Home News Law & Policy Religion & Culture Opinion Economy Festivals Photos Arts Special Coverage
    Law and Policy

Tibet fire brigade officers and soldiers to aid Yushu

Delegates of ethnic groups

A photo of the ethnic minority delegates in 1949

Past and present of Tibet
Not everyone from Switzerland 'adores' Dalai Lama
(People's Daily)
Updated: 2010-04-15 09:45

The first Tibetan refugee group arrived in Switzerland 50 years ago. To commemorate the date, the Dalai Lama is visiting Switzerland. The Dalai Lama is well-known there, but the Swiss people living in China have a completely different view of the Dalai Lama.

Christoph Müller, who is from a Swiss German-speaking area, has lived in Beijing for seven years and owns a travel agency there. He has his own view on the Tibet issue.

"The so-called cultural extinction is completely nonsense," Müller.

Although he's been to Tibet only once, he is very familiar with the situation in Tibet. He stressed that with the support from the Chinese government, the Tibetan traditions have been respected.

"All the Tibetan text is written in both Tibetan and Chinese, new buildings must be in harmony with local buildings, and Tibet's infrastructure development is very fast," he said briefly.

Thanks to tap water and heating supply, the Tibetan people who have led nomadic lives for generations are now able to settle down.

A man running a travel agency

Müller also dismissed rumors on China's policy of turning Tibet into a Han Chinese-dominated region, because Tibetan people account for 93 to 95 percent of Tibet's total population, and China's official figure stands at 92 percent.

Data from other media agencies shows the percentage of the Han Chinese in Tibet exceeds 10 percent. Numerous Han Chinese are willing to take on work that local people are unwilling to do. Müller said that many Tibetan people highly valued the arrival of the Han Chinese.

"More than one-half of the Tibetan people are leading well-off lives, with their living standard is even higher than that of residents in towns around Beijing," said Müller.

In his eyes, all westerners are the victims of the Dalai Lama's inciting actions. He felt that the information provided by China is more reliable. He also believes that the Dalai Lama has attained the world peace and environmental protection awards through illegal means.

A businessman

"The Tibetan people enjoy full freedom of religious beliefs, just the same as people living in other parts of China," said Ivan Salamin, head of the China Branch of Alcan Aluminum Corporation.

His wife Catherine Salamin explained it more clearly, "I have not seen any signs of cultural extinction in Tibet. You know, the traditional culture and buildings in Tibet are all well-protected."

The couple believes that although there are still some problems in the daily lives of the Tibetan people, it is not a result from pressure by the Central Government, but a result of moral consciousness.

They arrived in China three years ago and had a long journey to Tibet in 2008. They took many photographs there, and one photo caption reads, "Travelers find truth and become pilgrims."

They also had many prejudices against China when they first arrived.

"As time went by, we learned more about China, and found out that we were completely wrong," Mrs. Salamin said.

Many foreign tourists have the same feelings.

"After visiting China in person, most of the tourists find China much better than they thought," said Müller.

As is mentioned before, a large number of Swiss people have changed their views on China through their personal experiences in the country. They have realized that the Dalai Lama makes use of Westerners' prejudice against China to give credibility to the "Tibetan government-in-exile."

Guozhuang bonfire dance in Tibet
  Latest News
Urumqi eases permanent residency rules
Officials seek to regulate Yushu quake donations
Tibet fire brigade officers to aid Yushu
Not everyone from Switzerland 'adores' Dalai
1st microcredit institution established in Tibet
  Special Coverage
  A detailed Travel Handbook to Tibet and know more interesting tour routes
  Charming Xinjiang
  Slideshow of Tibetan opera