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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

China's blatant spin on Tibet

July 17, 2008

Charleston Post Courier
Tuesday, July 15, 2008

With the Summer Olympics looming, the Chinese government has resumed
talks over the situation in Tibet with representatives of the Dalai
Lama. The resumption appears to be an effort to demonstrate that Beijing
is being reasonable. But comments by Chinese authorities leave the
opposite impression. China evidently is willfully refusing to hear the
Dalai Lama's message.

Du Qinglin, who heads the Chinese Communist Party office dealing with
Tibet, recently told the government news agency Xinhua that while "the
door to dialogue is always open," the Tibetan leader-in-exile must
"openly and clearly promise and through concrete actions not support
activities disturbing or sabotaging the Olympic Games, not support, plan
or incite violent criminal activities," and not support any efforts to
achieve Tibetan independence. He also said the Dalai Lama must renounce
the violent Tibet Youth Congress.

Mr. Du gave no indication that the Dalai Lama has repeatedly renounced
violence in Tibet, disassociated himself from the Tibet Youth Congress,
declared his support for the Olympics in Beijing, and denied seeking
Tibetan independence.

Indeed, he clearly laid out most of these positions last March in a
published "Appeal to the Chinese People."

On the other hand, Chinese authorities have yet to respond to the Dalai
Lama's March appeal for a "meaningful dialogue" that would address the
"deep-rooted resentment" by Tibetans of Chinese efforts to suppress
their religion and customs.

The Dalai Lama continues to express hope that talks with Beijing will
take a positive direction. Agence France Presse reported that he
repeated that he was not seeking Tibet's independence from China or
pursuing violence as alleged by China. "We remain committed to resolving
the issue of Tibet through dialogue and discussion in finding a mutually
acceptable solution — that is, within the constitution of the People's
Republic of China," he wrote in a letter to his supporters meeting in
Tokyo. "We are neither anti-China nor anti-Chinese and we have great
admiration for China and its people. It is extremely important that we
reach out to the Chinese brothers and sisters, wherever possible."

The Chinese government has no factual basis for implying that the Dalai
Lama is plotting violence or trying to spoil the Olympic Games. The more
it makes such accusations, the more China reveals its real lack of
interest in easing the tensions in Tibet. China's blatant failure to
engage in real dialogue on Tibet is a losing gambit.
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