The Chinese govenment has admitted that anti-government riots have spread to other provinces in Tibet. Armed police and troops poured into far-flung towands and villages in Tibetan areas to reassert control as sporadic demonsrations continued to flare. Foreigners were barred from traveling to many areas of Tibet and tour groups were cancelled. China insists the protests, which began with peaceful marches and escalated into more violent displays at anger toward China’s occupation of Tibet, were planned and directed from outside sources and placed the Dalai Lama as the main source of instigating the violence.
Foreign Ministy spokesperson, Qin Gang, said the government was suggesting foreign tourists stay out of Gansu and Sichuan provinces. “But, I shall assure you that our government is fully capable of maintaining social stability and ensuring the security of tourists.” According to the Bangkok Post, a telephone communication from a woman in Sichuan’s Aba county said “There are many, many troops outside. I’m afraid to leave the house” and she could hear soldiers shouting at protestors. The official Xinhua News Agency claimed protestors attacked “shops and government offices” in Aba but made no mention of any firing on the part of troops.
The comments by Chinese officials indicate protests have spread to many areas in Tibet. An Assoicated Press photographer was forbidden to get on a flight to Yunnan province and armed guards were stationed at check-in counters. The Chinese government continues insisting the Dalai Lama is a separatist leader. However, he has indicated a willingness to meet with Chinese officials in order to find a way to calm the situation in Tibet.