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China's Vice-President vows to 'smash' Tibetan separatism PDF Print E-mail
[22 July 2011] As part of China's 60th anniversary celebrations marking the so-called 'peaceful liberation' of Tibet, Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping arrived in Lhasa on 18 July for a three-day visit and vowed to "smash" any attempts to destabilise Tibet and fight against "separatist activities" linked to the Dalai Lama.

Xi Jinping in LhasaXi Jinping, (on right in picture) who is expected to succeed President Hu Jintao in 2013, attended a number of official functions in Lhasa, including a mass rally in front of the Potala Palace and a meeting with 100 monks at the Jokhang temple. The Chinese government use such anniversaries as part of their propaganda drive showcasing the supposed 'harmony' and 'prosperity' in Tibet. They also use the opportunity to denounce the Dalai Lama and stress the importance of policies to ensure 'social stability' and 'ethnic unity'.

60th anniversary celebrations in LhasaIn his speech at the mass rally in front of the Potala Palace on 19 July, Xi said "[We] should thoroughly fight against separatist activities by the Dalai clique by firmly relying on all ethnic groups... and completely smash any plot to destroy stability in Tibet and jeopardise national unity. The extraordinary development of Tibet over the past 60 years points to an irrefutable truth: Without the Chinese Communist Party, there would have been no new China, no new Tibet."

Xi Jinping in LhasaOn 20 July, Mr Xi spoke to over 100 monks at the Jokhang temple in Lhasa, telling them to "stay clear from" separatist forces. He said that "the government will not forget your positive contributions" to maintaining social stability, national integrity and ethnic unity. He urged them  to carry on China's patriotic spirit and stay in line with the Party and government policies.

During the celebrations Lhasa was reported to be under virtual lockdown. Local residents reported that the city was under tight security, with certain areas sealed off, and that officials were telling residents to stay at home. Foreign tourists have been banned from the Tibetan Autonomous Region since mid-June. Such measures are taken in an attempt to avoid protests or from foreigners witnessing any disturbances.

Further reading:
BBC I Xinhua (19 July) I Xinhua (20 July) I ReutersRFA
Read a profile of Xi Jinping on, a website created by International Tibet Network, of which Tibet Society is a member organisation.

Tibet Society, the worlds first Tibet support group, was founded in 1959. Funded by its members, it has been working for over 50 years to seek justice for Tibet through parliamentary lobbying, campaigns and actions. Help keep Tibet alive by joining Tibet Society today. (Annual membership 24; Overseas 36; Life 500).

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