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China bans foreigners traveling to Tibet

 FILE - In this June 20, 2009 file photo, tourists walk through the Potala Palace in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, China. China has completed a seven-y...
 The Potala Palace is seen in the background in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, China, Monday, Aug. 24, 2009. China has completed a seven-year renovation...

China Tibetan Palace

FILE - In this June 20, 2009 file photo, tourists walk through the Potala Palace in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, China. China has completed a seven-y...

China Tibetan Palace

The Potala Palace is seen in the background in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, China, Monday, Aug. 24, 2009. China has completed a seven-year renovation...

China has barred foreigners from travelling to Tibet until after sensitive Oct. 1 celebrations marking the 60th birthday of communist China, a government tourism office and travel agents said yesterday.
A woman staffer at the official Lhasa Tourism Bureau in the regional capital said the ban would officially go into effect tomorrow.
"Passes for foreign travelers to enter Tibet will be suspended from Sept. 24 to Oct. 8. That's according to a notice from the Tibet Tourism Bureau," said the woman, who refused to give her name.
She said the notice contained no further information and no reason for the measure.
Officials with the regional government and Tibet Tourism Bureau refused to comment.
However, travel agents reached by AFP said the ban was already in place. "It started from Monday, according to the notice from the Tibet Tourism Bureau. Passes for foreign travelers are suspended until Oct. 8," said a woman staff member at the Tibet Youth Travel Service.
Staff at two other major travel agencies also confirmed the ban.
The move is the latest sign of intense official concern over security ahead of National Day, which will mark 60 years since Mao Zedong proclaimed the founding of the People's Republic of China at Tiananmen Square in Beijing.
The government already has sharply ramped up security in the capital, putting thousands of extra police on the streets ahead of the festivities, which will include a military parade, fireworks and mass performances at the square.
State media reported Monday that outgoing flights would be halted at Beijing's airport during the parade, and retailers have said they have been banned from selling kitchen knives after two recent stabbings near the square.
Foreign tourists must obtain special permission from China's government to enter Tibet, the remote Himalayan region where resentment against Chinese control has seethed for decades.
China has previously banned foreign tourists from visiting Tibet including after deadly anti-Chinese riots that erupted in Lhasa in March 2008.


Updated : 2021-06-17 15:36 GMT+08:00