Beijing opposes Spanish court's arrest orders of former Chinese leaders over Tibet

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China says it is "strongly displeased" that a Spanish court issued arrest orders for several former Chinese leaders including retired President Jiang Zemin as a part of an investigation into alleged genocide in Tibet.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Wednesday during a regular briefing that Beijing firmly opposes the court's move and urged Spain to repair "the severe damage." Hong says Madrid should respect China's stance on Tibet and not harm China-Spain relations.

Acting on a universal justice principle, Spain's National Court on Tuesday accepted arguments from pro-Tibet rights groups that international reports indicate China's leaders may have had a role in alleged genocide and should be questioned.

Such investigations in practice have been largely futile but have irked countries including China and Israel.