CHINA> Regional
Ulterior motives behind Dalai's 'Memorandum'
(China Daily)
Updated: 2008-11-22 09:50

Seeking for a 'greater Tibet' without any historic, realistic and legal basis

The "Memorandum" suggests, "The entire community, comprising all the areas currently designated by the PRC as Tibetan autonomous areas, should be under one single administrative entity. The current administrative divisions, by which Tibetan communities are ruled and administered under different provinces and regions of the PRC, foments fragmentation, promotes unequal development, and weakens the ability of the Tibetan nationality to protect and promote its common cultural, spiritual and ethnic identity."

It is known to all that the administrative divisions of Tibet and other areas inhabited by Tibetans have been formed since the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), and the former local government of Tibet has never governed any other Tibetan areas outside Tibet. In history, Tibetan people had lived in different administrative regions, and they had formed close ties with other ethnic groups living in the areas and formed regional cultures of different characteristics.

The PRC, since its founding in 1949, has established the Tibet Autonomous Region, 10 other Tibetan autonomous prefectures and autonomous prefectures for both Tibetans and other ethnic groups, and two Tibetan autonomous counties. All the Tibetan autonomous areas have adopted the regional autonomy system for ethnic minorities.

Article 14 of the Law on Regional Ethnic Autonomy says, "Once an ethnic autonomous area is established, it shall not be abolished or merged without legislative process. Once the boundary of an ethnic autonomous area is confirmed, it shall not be changed. If it is really necessary to abolish, merge or change it, it must be done through sufficient consultation between the relevant departments of the higher State organs and the autonomous organ of the ethnic autonomous region and applied for approval according to legal process."

In this case, why has the Dalai side tried to create a "greater Tibet" that did not exist in history and has no realistic basis?

In the autobiography of the Dalai Lama, one sentence exposes the "top secret". The Dalai Lama says that since the 1950s he has been pondering on how to win independence for "Greater Tibet".

There is a map of the "Tibetan state" he has imagined on the head page of his autobiography. In the hall of the so-called "Tibetan government in exile" in India's small town of Dharamsala, hung their dreamed-of "map of the Tibetan state", which takes up about one quarter of China's territory. Apparently, the so-called "greater Tibet" is a key component of the advocacy of the Dalai side to separate the nation, and its essence is "Tibetan independence".

Trying to create isolation among ethnic groups

The "Memorandum" says, "To us it would be vital that the autonomous organs of self-government have the authority to regulate the residence, settlement and employment or economic activities of persons who wish to move to Tibetan areas from other parts of the PRC (the People's Republic of China) in order to ensure respect for and the realization of the objectives of the principle of autonomy."

In a sovereign nation, citizens of different ethnic groups are free to choose where to live. This is the basic human rights. It is normal that people of Han nationality and other ethnic groups visit Tibet and Tibetan people do business, receive education and find jobs in other parts of China. This is conducive to exchanges among ethnic groups and common progress.

China's system of regional autonomy of ethnic minorities is based on the history, relations among ethnic groups, and local economic and social conditions. It is not purely the autonomy of a single ethnic group nor a single region.

Since the Tibet autonomous region was founded, the population of Tibetan people and other ethnic minorities have always at least accounted for 95 percent of the total. The "large-scale migration to Tibet, initiated by the Chinese government", as claimed by the Dalai Lama and some foreigners, has never happened.

China's then leader Deng Xiaoping told then US President Jimmy Carter in a meeting in 1987, "As a region with a small population, Tibet is too large to be developed only through the efforts of 2 million Tibetan people. It is not a bad thing for some Han people to help them. If you simply judge China's policy on ethnic minorities and the Tibet issue by the population of Han people in Tibet, you will not come to a right conclusion. The key issue is how to benefit Tibetan people, to make the regional development fast and to put Tibet in a leading position in China's drive to realize Four Modernizations (modernization in agriculture, industry, technology and defense)."

The Dalai side intends to create a scenario of pure Tibetan autonomy while restricting exchanges and bonds among different ethnic groups, which actually provokes conflicts and creates isolation among ethnic groups. Anyone who has lived in the 20th Century would know the consequences of such a policy.