BEIJING, July 10 – China says the Dalai Lama can improve ties with it only by giving up wish for Tibetan independence and by publicly announcing that Tibet is an inalienable part of the country, Press Trust of India (PTI) reported.
“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 stop his secessionist activities, can his relations with the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee possibly be improved,” Yu Zhengsheng, Politburo member of CPC, said Tuesday.
Yu, China’s top ethnic affairs official, said while visiting Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in southern Gansu Province that 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 nation’s system of regional ethnic autonomy.”
Meanwhile, the U.S.-based International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) reported that security forces disrupted Tibetans in Sichuan province’s Daofu county as they carried out rituals on Saturday to honour the Dalai Lama’s 78th birthday.
“Large numbers of armed police and soldiers were deployed, with one source reporting at least seven army trucks and police vehicles at the scene,” BBC quoted ICT as saying.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry has denied the incident.
Earlier, China also denied it lifted a ban on worshipping the Dalai Lama.
“He (Dalai Lama) is by no means a religious figure. He is a political exile engaged in separating his country and undermining social stability of the country and his birthday is being used to promote the Dalai Lama’s separatist agenda,” foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said.
Ethnic affairs official Yu said the Dalai Lama had long been engaged in secessionist activities “which ran against the common interests of various ethnic groups and traditions of Tibetan Buddhism”, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
“Tibetan Buddhists should politically draw a clear line with the Dalai Lama and firmly oppose any secessionist act that sabotages the CPC’s rule and the socialist system,” Yu said.
“Development is a priority in the Tibet Autonomous Region and parts of Qinghai, Gansu and Sichuan provinces in western China to improve the living conditions of farmers and herders.
“Only when people’s lives have been improved can they be better united with the CPC and become a reliable basis for maintaining stability.”
Yu’s comments have cast doubt over China’s new leadership’s intention to negotiate with the Dalai Lama to resolve the long-standing Tibetan problem.