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Dalai Lama urged to give up Tibet independence
Updated: 2004-05-23 15:16

China issued Sunday a white paper to acquaint the world with its ethnic policy and the truth about Tibet, and urged the Dalai Lama to "truly relinquish" his stand for "Tibet independence."

"The Central Government's policy as regards the Dalai Lama is consistent and clear. It is hoped that the Dalai Lama will look reality in the face, make a correct judgment of the situation, truly relinquish his stand for 'Tibet independence,' and do something beneficial to the progress of China and the region of Tibet in his remaining years," says the white paper, titled Regional Ethnic Autonomy in Tibet.

The 30-page white paper, released by the Information Office of the State Council, or the cabinet, is the first of its kind to focus on the "regional ethnic autonomy" policy long practiced in China's ethnic minority regions, as well as the substantial benefits this policy has brought to Tibet, which formally became one of China's five province-level autonomous regions in 1965.

"Regional ethnic autonomy means, under the unified leadership of the state, regional autonomy is exercised and organs of self-government are established in areas where various ethnic minorities live in compact communities, so that the people of ethnic minorities are their own masters exercising the right of self-government to administer local affairs and the internal affairs of their own ethnic groups," explains the paper.

With the implementation of the policy of regional ethnic autonomy, the Tibetan people enjoy full political right of autonomy, have full decision-making power in economic and social development, and have the freedom to inherit and develop their traditional culture and to practice their religious belief, says the paper, citing a series of facts and figures.

"Regional ethnic autonomy is the fundamental guarantee for the Tibetan people as masters of their own affairs," the paper concludes.

The issuance of the white paper appears to be a counteroffensive against the international propaganda and lobbying by the Dalai Lama, who alleged that the regional ethnic autonomy in Tibet was "devoid of essential contents" and proposed the exercise of "one country, two systems" and "a high degree of autonomy" in Tibet after the model of Hong Kong and Macao.

The white paper refuted the "attack" and "argument" of the " Dalai clique" as "totally untenable."

"The regional ethnic autonomy in Tibet the Dalai clique attacks is the very regional ethnic autonomy for Tibet which the 14th Dalai supported and whose preparation he was involved in," says the paper, citing the fact that the Dalai Lama was the chairman of the Preparatory Committee for the Tibet Autonomous Region when the committee was established in 1956.

"The Dalai's attack against the regional ethnic autonomy in Tibet runs counter not only to the reality of present-day Tibet but also to the words he once uttered in all seriousness," it adds.

The white paper says that the situation in Tibet is "entirely different from that in Hong Kong and Macao". "...the Central Government has always exercised effective sovereign jurisdiction over the region (of Tibet). So the issue of resuming exercise of sovereignty does not exist (as it had existed in Hong Kong and Macao)," it says. "...the possibility of implementing another social system (in Tibet) does not exist either."

The paper also states that regional ethnic autonomy is a basic political system of China and the establishment of the Tibet Autonomous Region and the scope of its area are based on the provisions of the Chinese Constitution, the laws on regional ethnic autonomy and decided by the conditions past and present.

"Any act aimed at undermining and changing the regional ethnic autonomy in Tibet is in violation of the Constitution and law, and it is unacceptable to the entire Chinese people, including the broad masses of the Tibetan people," the paper stresses.

It goes on to point out that the local government of Tibet headed by the Dalai Lama representing feudal serfdom under theocracy has long since been replaced by the democratic administration established by the Tibetan people themselves.

"The destiny and future of Tibet can no longer be decided by the Dalai Lama and his clique. Rather, it can only be decided by the whole Chinese nation, including the Tibetan people," says the paper. "This is an objective political fact in Tibet that cannot be denied or shaken."

The Dalai Lama fled China in 1959 after a failed armed rebellion aimed at separating Tibet from China. The rebellion was staged by "some people in the upper ruling strata of Tibet" "in order to preserve feudal serfdom," with the support of "imperialist forces," says the white paper.

After leading the Tibetan people to "quickly quell the rebellion," the central government implemented the Democratic Reform which overthrew the feudal serfdom under theocracy, abolished the feudal hierarchic system and emancipated a million serfs and slaves. "The Democratic Reform cleared the way for regional ethnic autonomy in Tibet," says the paper.

The paper notes that under the reign of the Dalai Lama, "even in the first half of the 20th century, Tibet remained a society ... even darker and more backward than medieval Europe." But after nearly 40 years of practice of regional ethnic autonomy, Tibet has "recorded rapid economic growth and all-round social progress," and the Tibetans have "become the creators and beneficiaries of the material and cultural wealth of Tibetan society."

"Historical facts indicate that the institution of regional ethnic autonomy in Tibet was the natural result of social progress in Tibet, and that it accords with the fundamental interests of the Tibetan people and the inexorable law of development of human society," the paper says.

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