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China Bars Foreigners From Making Visits to Tibet

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New York Times
Wednesday, Sept 23rd, 2009

BEIJING — China has stopped issuing travel documents to foreigners seeking to visit Tibet, according to local tour operators, another indicator of the government’s skittishness over the coming anniversary of the Communist victory in 1949.

The ban on new permits, which took effect on Monday, will last at least three weeks, travel agents say.

This is the third time foreign travel to Tibet has been halted since March 2008, when rioting killed at least 22 people in Lhasa, Tibet’s capital, and left part of its main business district in flames.

Tour operators who arrange the paperwork said the new regulations were issued Sunday by the region’s tourism bureau without explanation. They said that foreigners already holding permits would be allowed to travel to Tibet, but with restrictions, including requirements that they travel only with guides and stay in government-approved hotels. Tour operators said they were told that the ban on new permits would remain until at least Oct. 8.

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This article was posted: Wednesday, September 23, 2009 at 3:48 am

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