China has denounced a decision by a Spanish criminal court to indict the former Chinese President Hu Jintao for genocide as part of an investigation into whether his government committed abuses in Tibet.
The Spanish National Court last week accepted a Tibetan advocacy group’s appeal in a case asserting that Mr Hu had supported genocidal policies when he was the Communist Party secretary in the Himalayan region from 1988 to 1992 and when he became head of state in 2003. The ruling could lead to a warrant for Mr Hu’s arrest in Spain or countries with which it shares extradition treaties, although in practice he is unlikely to ever face a Spanish court.
A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, said: “We firmly oppose any country or person attempting to use this issue to interfere with China’s internal affairs.”
Chinese troops took control of Tibet in 1950. China says it “peacefully liberated” the remote mountainous region.
Exiled Tibetan groups are campaigning for the return of the Dalai Lama and for self-rule for their region.