Beijing: China today vehemently opposed a Spanish court's move to issue arrest warrants against former top Chinese leaders for probe into the alleged genocide in Tibet and asked Madrid to "properly" handle the issue so that bilateral ties are not hurt.
"We have noticed relevant reports. China is strongly dissatisfied and firmly opposed to the erroneous acts taken by the Spanish agencies in this regards of Chinese position," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters.
She was responding to Spain's National Court in Madrid issuing international arrest warrants against China's former President Jiang Zemin, former Prime Minister Li Peng and three other officials for alleged genocide against the people of Tibet.
The warrants against them and three other senior Chinese officials are the latest in a long-running lawsuit by pro-Tibetan groups and a dual Tibetan-Spanish citizen who seek international legal action against some Chinese officials, CNN reported.
Spanish Judge Ismael Moreno issued the arrest warrants for alleged "genocide, torture and crimes against humanity," and ordered them to be sent to Interpol, the international police agency.
"The former officials will surely not be arrested in China, but there's a 'medium chance' of them being arrested if they go abroad, "depending on the country and its ethics," CNN quoted Alan Cantos, president of the Barcelona-based Tibet Support Committee as saying.
Criticising the Spanish court's move, Hua blamed Dalai Lama and the Tibetan overseas groups for carrying out slander campaign against China.
"We hope that Spanish government can see through the Dalai group's attempts to split the country, properly handle relevant issue and uphold the sound and stable development of bilateral relations that serve the interests of the two countries," she said.
"Those overseas Tibet independent forces have fabricated rumours to slander and attack the Chinese government. Such an act is really despicable. We hope that relevant parities can tell right from the wrong and see the wrong deeds of the Spanish agencies and urge them to properly handle the relevant issue," she said.
Stating that China would not like to interfere with the Spanish judicial system, she said, "It is only natural for the Chinese government to express our solemn position to the Spanish side. I would like to reiterate that China and Spain maintain good relations and respect each others core interests."