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China re-opens Tibet to foreign tourists

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China re-opens Tibet to foreign tourists


China says it has reopened Tibet to foreign holidaymakers today. The remote region was shut off to visitors from abroad after riots there in March.

While tension remains high, the Olympic torch did pass smoothly through the capital Lhasa at the weekend, albeit amid tight security. And now a local tourist chief has been quoted as saying that proves Tibet is stable enough to let foreign visitors back in. The territory had already been reopened to domestic tourists.

Before the riots, official figures forecast five million visitors to Tibet in 2008. But, in the wake of the disturbances, many residents of Lhasa believe it will take two years or more before large crowds of tourists return.

Beijing says at least 19 people died in the anti- China protests but Tibetan exiles put the number much higher. Amnesty International claims more than 1,000 people are still detained without charge.

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