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Erroneous understanding of Tibet goes against development trend
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08:36, March 03, 2009

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The year 2009 marks the 50th anniversary of the end of rebellion and democratic reform in Tibet. Since becoming free from a feudal serf system Tibetan people have become masters of a new socialist Tibet and now fully enjoy all kinds of rights that the country’s Constitution and Law endow them, creating a brilliant page in human history.

However, some westerners use the Tibet issue as a tool to damage China’s interests, and western media is overwhelmingly biased in their coverage of anything related to Tibet.

As a matter of fact, the center of the Tibet issue doesn’t concern race, religion or human rights. This is used by anti-China groups overseas to damage China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The precondition to co-exist with China peacefully is to realize the wrong understanding of Tibet and recognize the region as an integral part of China.   

The so-called “Tibet issue” is a problem that is related to China’s sovereignty.

Western powers invaded China in late Qing Dynasty, particularly in Tibet. The British invasion in late 19th century led to the pro-secession movement in the Tibetan upper class. To find an excuse for long-term invasion in Tibet, Britain and Russia signed a treaty in 1907, which was consequently used as “historical proof” by western countries that Tibet was not a part of China. ”

In 1950s, the US sabotaged the peaceful liberation of Tibet. In November the same year, US Secretary of State Dean Acheson openly slandered China’s liberation of its own territory of Tibet as “invasion”. A newspaper even called for intervention from the UN. The US provided the Dalai Lama with weapons and military training, and supported rebellion and secessionist movements.

Some western countries have never ceased the plot to separate Tibet from China under the disguise of International Law. In Oct. 1959, the US forced the UN to adopt a resolution on the Tibet issue, which wantonly interfered in China’s internal affairs. In May 1991, the US House of Representative announced “Tibet was a country that was invaded”. In Oct. 1997, the US appointed a Special Coordinator for Tibet, maintaining close contact with Dalai Lama.

Over the past century, the so-called “Tibet” issue aimed at violating China’s sovereignty and separating Tibet from China.

Some westerners, with erroneous understanding on Tibet, alleged they were not clear whether the Tibet issue was related to China’s sovereignty.

It is undeniably true that Tibet is an integral part of China, and the fact is also widely acknowledged by all the Chinese people including Tibetans. However, some westerners are unwilling to accept it.

It is not hard to understand what the westerners are thinking on the Tibet issue by taking a look at the books they wrote on the region’s history, culture and religion and documentaries they filmed. The west-centered theories make them blind and lose their mind. They have even lost the judgment to distinguish right from wrong.

Some westerners deprived Tibet of its history from the beginning. In their view, Tibet had no history and culture before they invaded the region. Tibetans did not live in civil society until they came there.

Over the past century, such prejudice has been misleading people in the western world. History text books in some European countries do not have anything related to Tibet’s history before Qing Dynasty. In Britain, many youngsters didn’t know their country had colonial rule over Tibet. In their text books, British colonial history has been beautified.

Like what they did in Africa and south Asia, some westerners believed they had the authority to interpret Tibet’s history and the right to explore the region. Their mentality to be colonial ruler of Tibet shows they intended to separate the region from China.

Some western countries do not understand China’s stance on Tibet. However, in consideration to strategic interests, they used it as a tool to damage China’s sovereignty and put pressure on China.

As a newspaper in Europe reported, the Tibet issue is a trump card for western countries to deal with China. The US pursued the policy of “overthrowing China with the Tibet issue” right after New China was founded. Tibetan Independence was an issue that was most frequently taken up by western powers during the Cold War period.

However, anti-China groups in western countries still use the Dalai Lama as a tool to attack Chinese government and Communist Party. Some of them acknowledged Tibet as an integral part of China, but meanwhile they also support Dalai Lama’s secessionist activities.

Structural changes occurred in international politics as China grew stronger and stronger. Some westerners are becoming upset and nervous. All the provocative activities centering on Tibet issues in 2008 are not accidents.

These anti-China groups in western countries play the Tibet issue card the moment they suffer heavy pressure from economy, politics and society. They plan to hold back China’s development and get more public support, which could ensure them of a better political career. Some even made it clear that China would be under control if the Tibet issue was carefully handled.

Over the past 50 years, China tells the world with its unswerving stance that Tibet Independence under any kind of disguise will not be tolerated. Secessionist activities go against the trend of development and all nationalities in China do not allow such movements.

China is, and will always, stick to the policy of national unity and territorial integrity, and will make no concession on the matter of sovereignty and principle.

Thanks to China’s rising international status and more frequent global exchanges, the west has changed their understanding on Tibet. Even Britain, the first country that set up colonies in Tibet, acknowledged the mistakes it had made concerning Tibet. David Miliband, British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs said the UK recognized Tibet as a part of China.

Increasing numbers of foreign tourists have visited China over the past years, particular the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. They have witnessed the region’s development and prosperity as well as people’s improved living standards. They also got a deeper understanding of how central government has managed to work to ensure Tibetans have a better life since 1959.

China’s ties with outside world have undergone unprecedented changes. China’s growth is a part of world development, and countries should facilitate deeper and more frequent exchanges with each other. No western country can afford not to cooperate with China now. Common development calls for a better understanding of each other and abandoning of the old and erroneous mentality. Fruitful cooperation with China will be based on the acknowledgement that Tibet is an integral part of China.

By People's Daily Online

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