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China calls for "absolute fight" against Dalai Lama PDF Print E-mail
[11 July 2013] The Chinese government has responded to recent media reports of possible softer stances in some Tibetan regions, with a top Party official calling for an "absolute fight" against the Dalai Lama and for Tibetans to "oppose actions harmful to the party's leadership and the socialist system".

In recent weeks, there have been reports suggesting the Chinese government may be relaxing its policies towards the worshipping of the Dalai Lama in some regions of Tibet. Reports indicated the Dalai Lama's photo was being displayed in several monasteries in Qinghai province and that official denunciation of the Dalai Lama was to end. However, there has been no confirmation that such 'experimental' policies were officially sanctioned.

Yu ZhengshengA top Chinese official has now issued a strong statement seemingly to quash suggestions of a softening stance towards the Dalai Lama. The statements were made by Yu Zhengsheng (pictured right), a member of the Politburo Standing Committee, during a recent visit to Tibetan areas of Gansu province. Yu is considered to be the fourth highest ranked politician in the Chinese Communist Party.

Xinhua, the Chinese state news agengy, quoted Yu as saying Chinas policies towards the Dalai Lama were consistent and clear whilst calling for an absolute fight against the Dalai Lama clique in order to realise national unification and Tibetan regions' development and stability.

"Tibetan Buddhists must draw a clear political line between themselves and the Dalai Lama, oppose all forms of separatism, and actions harmful to the party's leadership and the socialist system," Yu said. "The Dalai Lama's 'middle way' aimed at achieving so-called 'high-degree autonomy' in 'Greater Tibet' is completely opposite to China's constitution and the country's system of regional ethnic autonomy."

Yu reiterated government policy, saying, Only when the Dalai Lama publicly announces that Tibet is an inalienable part of China since ancient time, gives up the stance of Tibet independence and stops his secessionist activities can his relations with the C.P.C. Central Committee possibly be improved.

On 28 June, China's State Bureau for Religious Affairs issued a statement which simarlarly stated China's policy. "If the Dalai Lama wants to improve his relationship with the Central Government, he must really give up his stance in favour of 'Tibetan Independence' or independence in any disguised forms," the statement read.

Yu Zhengsheng's declaration comes only several days after Chinese police violently dispersed Tibetans who had gathered to peacefully celebrate the Dalai Lama's birthday in Tawu, Sichuan province. Latest reports indicate at least nine Tibetans were shot and seriously injured, two critically.

The Dalai Lama has consistently said he is not seeking independene but rather a "Middle-Way" approach, whereby Tibetans are granted genuine autonomy within the People's Republic of China. Autonomy for ethnic minorities is written into the Chinese constitution, and areas are named as "autonomous" regions, prefectures and counties. However, the reality is that the Chinese Communist Party are wary of ethnic and cultural differences and instigate and promote policies which homogenise civil society.

Further reading: Xinhua (in People's Daily) I Guardian I NY Times I AP (in Newsday) I BBC (28 June) I Profile of Yu Zhengsheng (provided by International Tibet Network)

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