CHINA> National
China Tibetologists brief Tibet development in Finland
Updated: 2008-11-19 12:52

HELSINKI -- A delegation of Chinese Tibetologists on Tuesday briefed their Finnish hosts on Tibet's history and its social and economic developments.

The delegation, led by Zhu Xiaoming, deputy director-general of China's Tibetology Research Center, held separate meetings with Finnish politicians, media members, and representatives for overseas Chinese and Chinese students in Finland.

During a meeting with lawmakers, the Chinese Tibetologists cited data and examples to illuminate the point that Tibet has been part of China throughout history.

They also gave an account of social and economic developments in Tibet, the true story of the March 14 riot in the Tibetan capital Lhasa, as well as the Chinese government's negotiations with the Dalai Lama in recent years.

Over the past decades, the average life span of Tibetans has increased from 35.5 to 61 years, nine-year compulsory education has been accessible to over 90 percent of Tibet's school-aged children, and the per capita GNP has exceeded 10,000 yuan (about $1,470), said Zhu, adding all those are facts that Tibetans are living a life which is unimaginable under the serf system.

On negotiations between the Chinese central government and the Dalai Lama's representatives, Zhu said government officials and the Dalai Lama's private envoys have held nine rounds of talks since 2002.

The door for the Dalai Lama's return to a patriotic stance is always open, but the door to "Tibet independence," "half independence" or "independence in a disguised form" has never been open, nor would it be open in the future, Zhu said.

Finnish Congressman Ilkka Kantola welcomed the Chinese scholars' introduction on Tibet and hoped Finland and China can enhance exchanges to give Finnish people more chances to know China.

Also on Tuesday, Zhu met with representatives from Finland's major media and answered questions concerning Tibet. He also exchanged views on Tibet with overseas Chinese and Chinese students.

The Chinese delegation arrived in Finland on Monday.