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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

China Tibet policymaker probed for state secret leak

November 24, 2008

By Ben Blanchard and Benjamin Kang Lim
November 22, 2008

BEIJING (Reuters) - A key Chinese Communist Party policymaker for
Tibet is being investigated after her computer was hacked and
classified documents stolen related to Beijing's talks with the Dalai
Lama's envoys, sources said on Saturday.

Bi Hua, 53 and a Han Chinese, was asked to step down recently as
director of the No. 7 bureau of the Party's United Front Work
Department, two independent sources with knowledge of the case said,
requesting anonymity for fear of repercussions.

"She is under investigation," one source told Reuters. "But she
insists she has done nothing wrong."

Her computer was hacked by unknown individuals, and classified
documents stolen, the sources said.

It enabled the Dalai Lama's representatives to have a heads-up as to
Beijing's bottom line toward talks.

"It was a major leak," a second source said.

The embarrassing security lapse came as Tibetan exiles gathered for a
special meeting to discuss their future, a gathering that could
possibly challenge the Dalai Lama's moderate line toward Beijing.

"People are very surprised. She was very hardline," the second source
added, referring to her dismissal. "Even the old Communist Tibetan
cadres could not stand what she was saying."

China's Communist Party and Tibet's government-in-exile could not
immediately be reached for comment.

The Dalai Lama, who fled into exile in India in 1959 after an
abortive uprising against Communist rule, wants genuine autonomy for
his Himalayan homeland..

But China reviles him as a separatist, and officials often accuse him
of secretly harboring pro-independence sentiments that he has
publicly rejected.

China's official Xinhua news agency on Friday unleashed a new attack
on the Dalai Lama, taking aim at a memorandum his envoys gave their
Chinese hosts at talks earlier in the year. That visit yielded no
progress and Chinese officials have recently shown little taste for

The Dalai Lama's proposals for genuine autonomy would never be
acceptable to China, as they were really a demand for independence,
Xinhua said in a commentary.

"Its attempt is to set up a 'half independent' or 'covertly
independent' political entity controlled by the Dalai clique on soil
that occupies one quarter of Chinese territory, and when conditions
are ripe, they will seek to realize 'total Tibet independence'."

The piece was a reiteration of the tough line taken by Zhu Weiqun, a
vice minister who handles relations with ethnic minorities and
religious leaders, at a news conference two weeks ago.

Beijing's hard line has created increasing frustration among some in
the Tibetan diaspora who fear the 73-year-old Dalai Lama has not been
aggressive enough.

(Editing by Bill Tarrant)
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