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Tibet-UN-Human-RightsDharamshala: - Chinese authorities have not ruled out a visit by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to Tibet but said he must apply through the "appropriate channels."

Following his first media briefing as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on 16 October where Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein, announced he had been talking to Chinese authorities about a visit to Tibet, China has said they would not rule anything out, Reuters reported.

During a daily briefing on Thursday, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said, "China hopes to develop cooperation with the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights and his office on a foundation of equality and mutual respect, at the same time we also hope that he fulfils his responsibilities fairly and impartially."

If successful, Mr Hussein would be the first U.N. rights chief to visit Tibet since Mary Robinson in 1998. At the time China was criticised for not allowing Ms Robinson to visit any of the major teaching monasteries where protests had previously take place, nor was she able to visit any prisons. Human rights activists said the visit was compromised by the restrictions and she would not get an accurate picture of Tibet.

Ms Robinson's visit to China in 1998 gave hope to the Tibetan community in exile as it was for the first time that the Communist Chinese leadership had been willing to discuss human rights in the region. When she returned she was critical of prisoners being sent to labour camps without trial.

Mr Hussein would also possibly be permitted to enter Xinjiang where hundreds have been killed in violent unrest mostly involving the Muslim Uighurs. China began an aggressive counter terrorism campaign across the PRC in response to the violence.

Authorities are usually closed off to questions of human rights, often claiming that other countries have no right to interfere in its domestic affairs.

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