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China says Dalai Lama trying to blacken its name

May 8, 2008

China says Dalai Lama trying to blacken its name
Guardian (UK) Reuters
May 7,  2008

BEIJING, May 7 (Reuters) - The Dalai Lama is trying to blacken China's name and prevent its rise, a state newspaper said on Wednesday, suggesting Beijing is in no mood to compromise just days after talks with the exiled spiritual leader's aides.

China blames the Dalai Lama for a wave of anti-government unrest throughout its Tibetan areas which started in March and has vilified him as a separatist bent on independence for Tibet and disrupting the Beijing Olympics.
The Dalai Lama denies China's charge that he orchestrated the unrest and says he wants meaningful autonomy, not independence, for Tibet.

"Trying to internationalise the 'Tibet problem' is a separatist plot of the Dalai Lama's and a clumsy way of damaging China's international image," the official Tibet Daily said in an editorial.

"In international society, there are some people and forces which don't want to see China's development or for it to become powerful. They hope China falls apart, and that the country and people forever remain poor and weak."

Analysts say it is a common tactic of China's to maintain a hardline public face at the same time as offering talks.

The newspaper denounced calls for Tibetan independence as a "filthy plot" and said that it was "wishful thinking" if the Dalai Lama thought he could prevent China's rise.

"China will naturally develop into a powerful country in the world. China is already standing like a giant with a peace-loving and responsible image," it said.

"Anyone who wants to achieve their sinister aims through vilifying China will find it is like lifting a rock only to drop it on their own feet," the editorial added.

An envoy of the Dalai Lama said on Tuesday that one-day talks with China on the unrest in Tibet had been "a good first step" and that the two sides would meet again after he reports back.
The unrest, the most serious challenge to Chinese rule in the mountainous region for nearly two decades, prompted anti-China protests around the world that disrupted the international leg of the torch relay for the August Olympics and led to calls for Western leaders to boycott the Games. (Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Nick Macfie)
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