The US Ambassador to China, Garry Locke, on his rare visit to Lhasa, Tibet on June 26, 2013 urged the Chinese authorities to allow foreigners to travel freely in the tightly controlled areas of the Tibetan region.
Locke was accompanied by his family members, embassy staff, and Chengdu’s consulate general on the local government’s three days trip to Lhasa, which would end on June 28, 2013. The Ambassador lobbied for opening access to Tibet to the foreign diplomats, and stressed on the significance of preservation of Tibetan culture, traditions, language, and heritage during his meetings with the local officials.
Embassy deputy spokesman Justin Higgins said that it was the first time since September 2010, where the Chinese authorities had approved an embassy request to visit Tibet. "We remain concerned by the deteriorating human rights situation in Tibetan areas, including the tragic self-immolations," Higgins said.