Beijing [China], October 21 (ANI): Accusing the US basketball player Enes Kanter of trying to draw attention, China on Thursday downplayed the Boston Celtics team player's video message on Twitter in which he calls for independence for Tibet.
When asked a question during a presser, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said the "player you mentioned was clout-chasing, trying to get attention" with Tibet-related issues. "His wrong remarks are not worth refuting."
"Tibet is a part of China. We welcome unbiased friends upholding objectivity across the world to Tibet. In the meanwhile, we never accept the attacks and smears on Tibet's development," he added.
Earlier, in his video message, Kanter had asked the Chinese government to "free Tibet." "Tibet belongs to the Tibetans. Under the Chinese government's brutal rule the, Tibetan people's basic rights are non-existent."
"Dear Brutal Dictator XI JINPING and the Chinese Government Tibet belongs to the Tibetan people," he said in a tweet.
Reacting swiftly, Chinese video-streaming giant Tencent cut the live broadcast of Wednesday's NBA game between the Celtics and New York Knicks.
Chinese social media on Thursday was filled with angry fans calling for a boycott, The Washington Post reported.
Tibet has been ranked as the second least free region in the world, according to the latest report "Freedom in the World 2021: A Leaderless Struggle for Democracy," based on a study of political freedom around the world.
Tibet was a sovereign state before China's invasion in 1950 when the People's Liberation Army (PLA) entered northern Tibet. (ANI)