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Dharamshala: - The US Ambassador to China, Mr Gary Locke, urged the Chinese leadership to engage in constructive dialogue with His Holiness the Dalai Lama or his representatives to resolve tensions in Tibet.

"As Ambassador, I have witnessed China's rich diversity first hand. I have also seen cases where heavy-handed policies deny basic freedoms to ethnic and religious minorities, including ethnic Uighurs, Tibetans and Mongolians, undermining the trust that binds diverse societies," Mr Gary Locke said in a statement issued on 10 December, the International Human Rights Day.

"The United States calls on the Chinese government to protect the fundamental freedoms of all its citizens without discrimination. We also urge China's leaders to engage in constructive dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives, as a means to reduce the tensions," he said.

The ambassador welcomed China's recent decisions to end the re-education through labour system and to strengthen the rule of law.

He expressed hopes that China's leaders will soon bring substance to the notion that certain inalienable rights pertain to all citizens.