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China refutes Dalai's so-called 'middle way'
Updated: 2008-11-10 20:25

BEIJING  -- China said here Monday that no concessions would be made on issues concerning the national sovereignty following talks between central government officials and private envoys of the Dalai Lama.

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"The unification of the motherland, territorial integrity and the national dignity are the greatest interests of the Chinese people. We will never make a concession," Zhu Weiqun, executive vice minister of the United Front Work Department (UFWD) of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, told reporters.

The Dalai Lama's private representatives, Lodi Gyari and Kelsang Gyaltsen, were in China from October 31 to November 5, during which period Zhu, UFWD Vice Minister Sita and Executive Vice Chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Region Pelma Trilek held talks with them.

Du Qinglin, vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, also met with them.

This is the ninth round of talks between Chinese central government officials and the Dalai Lama's private envoys since 2002 and the third round of talks this year.

Zhu admitted contacts and talks "failed to make progress". He said the Dalai Lama side should "shoulder full responsibility for that".

Asked to comment on the reports in which the Dalai Lama said he would not follow a so-called "middle way" if the talks failed, Zhu said the claim of "middle way" aimed at outright Tibetan independence and thus unacceptable to the central government.

The Dalai Lama put forward the idea of "middle way" in the 1980s.

Zhu said the Dalai Lama explained the approach many times, including in the "five-point peace plan" in 1987, the "seven-point new suggestions" in 1988 and a "Memorandum" tabled to the central government by his private representatives during the recent talks.

Zhu said those remarks and documents showed that the Dalai Lama's "middle way" had five basic features. "The first is that the Dalai Lama does not acknowledge that Tibet is part of China since ancient times."

"The Dalai Lama said on many occasions that when the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) entered Tibet, Tibet was an independent country and now Tibet is still an independent country, which was illegally occupied," Zhu said.

He said it is known to all people with some historical knowledge that the Chinese central authorities have exerted undisputable and effective administration over Tibet since the beginning of the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368).

"By denying China's sovereignty over Tibet, the Dalai Lama is seeking a legal basis for his activities of 'Tibet independence', 'semi-independence and 'independence in a disguised form'," Zhu said.

'Secondly, the Dalai Lama is scheming for a 'Greater Tibet', which has never existed," he said.

Zhu said the so-called "Greater Tibet" included not only the whole Tibet Autonomous Region, but also a large territory of Qinghai Province, Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Gannan in Gansu Province, Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Garze and Aba in Sichuan Province, Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Deqen in Yunnan Province and some other areas.

"In total, it covers one fourth of China's entire territory," Zhu said.

Zhu said Tibetan areas outside Tibet had never been under the administration of Tibet's local government. When Tibet was peacefully liberated in 1951, the jurisdiction of the local Tibet government did not exceed the current area of the Tibet Autonomous Region.

Zhu said the attempt at a "Greater Tibet" also harbors malicious intentions.

"China is a country in which various ethnic groups live together. If ethnic groups in China all ask for an autonomous region in which only people of their own groups could live, the whole country would be cast into chaos," he said.

Zhu said the third feature of the "middle way" was to overthrow the current social and political system in the Tibet Autonomous Region under the pretense of "high degree of autonomy".

The official said the Dalai Lama and key supporters had said on many occasions that a "high degree of autonomy" meant that except for diplomatic and military affairs, all political, economic, cultural, educational and religious affairs should be subject to the administration of Tibetans.

In that case, feudal serfdom would be re-established over one-fourth of the Chinese territory, he said.

Zhu said the fourth feature was that it asked the central government to withdraw the PLA from "Greater Tibet" area.

"Everybody knows that the army is a basic guarantee of territorial integrity, national security and social stability," Zhu said. "I believe not a single nation would agree to withdraw its own army from its own territory."

Zhu said the fifth feature of the "middle way" is the exclusion of other ethnic groups from the area of "Greater Tibet".

Zhu said the Dalai Lama's "five-point peace plan" stated clearly that the migration of other ethnic groups to Tibet must be curbed and the Han migrants must leave Tibet.

That means, once the Dalai Lama retained power in Tibet, racial discrimination, segregation and purges would be inevitable, Zhu said.

The official urged the Dalai Lama to "do some good things for the country and the people including the Tibetans". He reiterated that the door for the Dalai Lama's return to a patriotic stance had always been open and would remain open.

"But the door for 'Tibet independence', 'half independence' and 'independence in a disguised form' had never been open, nor would it be open in the future," he said.