China opposes radical moves taken by a number of Tibetan monks such as self-immolation, as these actions disturb and undermine social harmony, Premier Wen Jiabao said on Wednesday.
"These young Tibetans are innocent and we feel deeply distressed by their behavior,"
Wen told a news conference after the conclusion of the annual parliamentary session.
Wen said that Tibet and the Tibetan-inhabited areas in the four provinces of Qinghai, Sichuan, Gansu and Yunnan are inseparable parts of China's territory.
The so-called Tibetan government-in-exile in Dharamsala of India is in nature a theocratic one, both under the direct control of Dalai Lama or under his indirect influence, he said.
"Its purpose is to separate Tibet and the Tibetan-inhabited areas from China. We have a firm position and principle on this matter," Wen said.
"We should respect Tibetan compatriots' freedom of religious belief and their religious belief is protected by the law," he said.
Wen added that, despite making significant progress in terms of economic and social development, Tibet still lags behind central and eastern parts of the country .
The central government has taken strong measures and drafted new plans to accelerate development in Tibet in order to improve living standards there, Wen said.
The premier stressed that, while developing its economy, the government should pay attention to protect Tibet's environment, culture and traditions.
"We must treat all of our Tibetan compatriots with equality and respect and continuously improve our work in this field," Wen said.
（中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑）
About the broadcaster:
Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.