Chinese riot police have been seen marching in the streets of Tongren ahead of the first anniversary of deadly riots in the Tibet region.
Tongren is in a Chinese province north of Tibet, but its population is predominantly Tibetan. Beijing is anxious to prevent a repeat of violent protests against Chinese rule in Tibet 12 months on. Reports from the region say some areas remain calm. Elsewhere the Chinese authorities are expecting trouble. Speaking at a news conference the governor of neighbouring Xinjiang province,Nuer Baikeli said: “I’m afraid we will face a more severe situation in maintaining stability in Xinjiang than last year. Our task will probably be heavier, and the struggle will probably be fiercer.” Last year anti-Chinese riots left at least 19 dead in the Tibetan capital. As well as the anniversary of these protests March the 10th is the date 50 years ago when Chinese troops marched into Tibet. Despite two significant anniversaries the Chinese government insists Tibet is not currently under a high state of military control.