Chinese central government officials and the private representatives of the 14th Dalai Lama had contact on Sunday or May 4. It is hoped that the contact poses a step taken toward the correct direction, which will be conducive to Tibet's stable growth of socio-economy and culture and to the fundamental interests of all ethnicities in Tibet as well as to the fundamental interests of all the Chinese people.
This contact has once again shown that the policy of the central government toward the Dalai Lama is clear and consistent, and the door for dialogue remains open. Though the Dalai side has done a range of things that should not have been done, the central government still persuades them to take the overall interests into account and be as good as their words and take credible moves to return to the correct track.
Since the year 2002, the central government has managed to hold six meetings with the Dalai Lama's private representatives for exchanges on some issues of interest to them. What is regrettable, however, is that no due progress has been made in these contacts and talks. Despite the fact that recent riots or grave violent actions occurred in Lhasa and serious interference and disruption done to Beijing's Olympic torch relay around the world, leading central government department officials still agreed to arrange this meeting with the Dalai Lama's private representatives at the repeated requests the Dalai side had made for resuming talks. Facts have eloquently proven that the central government has shown its extremely great tolerance, sincerity and patience for the Dalai Lama.
The "March 14" Lhasa riot, which had jeopardized the fundamental interests of all the Chinese people including Tibetans and caused great public indignation and strong condemnation by people from all walks of life, is therefore unacceptable.
It was completely correct for the local government to take actions in accordance with the law to maintain social stability and to safeguard the country's legal system and the people's essential interest. Those involved in the riots were only the extremely small handful of law-breakers; the people of all ethnicities in Tibet are in firm opposition to all deeds to separate the motherland and to such violent actions as beating, destroying property, looting and arson, and resolutely support the government to quell the incident in accordance with law. Facts have also proven that any scheme to disrupt social stability in Lhasa and other ethnic Tibetan areas will never succeed eventually.
At present, as riots in Lhasa and other ethnic Tibetan areas has been put down, social order is being restored; the Olympic torch relay journey has returned to inside China from overseas and preparations are underway for torch relay to ascend Mount Qomolangma (also known as Mt. Everest).
Tibet is an inalienable part of China. Earth-shaking changes have taken place in Tibet since its peaceful liberation in 1951 and particularly since the launch of the reform and opening itself to the outside world. Its (achievements) in ethnical autonomy, social development, the protection of its traditional culture and the freedom of religious belief are for all to see.
The central government will, as always, support the development effort of Tibet and go all out to help the people of ethnic minorities in the region to improve production and living conditions of farmers and herders, continue to implement the policies for religious followers to enjoy freedom of religious belief, protect the fine cultural traditions of Tibetan and other ethnicities and protect the ecological environment of Tibet. Any Chinese who has a genuine love for the motherland should sincerely hope for the stability and development of Tibet.
"Listen to what a person says and watch what he does," as an ancient Chinese saying goes. We hope the Dalai side will put the national interest first, comply with the aspirations of all Chinese people, including those of people of all ethnicities in Tibet and comply with the tide of historical development, and truly halt activities to separate the motherland, stop inciting violent moves and stop activities to disrupt Beijing Olympic Games, so as to create favorable conditions for contact in the next step.
By People's Daily Online and its author, a Xinhua reporter