China official paper: crush protesters

BEIJING – The communist government’s leading newspaper called Saturday to “resolutely crush” Tibetan demonstrations against Chinese rule.

The statement came as international criticism against the crackdown on Tibetan protesters swelled.

A senior EU official said European countries should not rule out threatening China with an Olympic boycott if violence continues in Tibet. Republican presidential hopeful John McCain and House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi also joined the growing chorus of critics.

Fighting back against the criticism, Beijing has begun releasing tallies of statements of support from foreign governments and trying to get its version of events before the international community.

“It is a clear proof that the international community is on the side of China,” foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said, according to the official Xinhua News Agency, which reported that 100 governments have endorsed China’s handling of the protests.

China’s government has portrayed the protests as having been instigated by supporters of the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama

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