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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

On Tibet, new China will stick to old policy

November 19, 2012

BEIJING, November 17, 2012: China's communist party has shown it will stick to its old policy of tackling the Tibet turbulence and separatist movement in Xinjiang as a law and order issue instead of dealing with dissident leaders at the political level.

This is evident from the composition of the 25-member Political Bureau, and the elite club of the seven Standing Committee members. There is none from the minority communities like Muslims, Tibetans or Hui. The eight provinces with major Muslim and Tibetan population are not represented.

Beijing's critics say there is a major communication gap because Tibetan and Uyghur Muslim areas of Xinjiang are ruled by Han officials, who are keen to please central leaders than convey the situation on the ground.

The recent spate of Tibetan self-immolations is a sign of poor communication and intelligence gathering on the part of authorities. The total number, particularly in Qinghai and Sichuan provinces, has crossed 60.

Beijing exposed its poor understanding of the ground situation when it recently discouraged Muslim employees in Xinjiang from holding fast during the month of Ramzan. It also faces ideological and armed challenges from Uyghur Muslim separatist in Xinjiang seeking an independent East Turkmenistan nation.

The new leaders have also not furnished themselves with ground knowledge and talent to deal with the issues. Barring one, none of the 25 members in the Political Bureau have experience working in the troubled areas.

But they are mostly using a combination of strong arm tactics by the police and welfare largesse instead of establishing communication channels with the people in the troubled areas. The government's only window into the lives of minorities is the United Works Department run by officials who control and closely watch activities in religious shrines.

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