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China Dissatisfied with Tibetan Exhibition in Minsk

April 24, 2009

Charter 97 (Belarusia)
April 21, 2009

The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China
states the Belarusian authorities "play a double game."

The harsh remarks of the embassy were caused by
an exhibition organized in Yanka Kupala Central
Library in Minsk by Minsk Confucius Institute
dedicated to Tibet and publication of a book
Asian Dragon Triangle by Ihar Malevich, deputy head of the Confucius Institute.

A position of the PCR embassy was introduced to
Interfax agency by Syarhei Musienka, head of
EcooM analytical center, member of the Public
Consultative Council at the Belarusian
President’s Administration. According to him, the
Chinese party suspects the Belarusian authorities
of “playing a double game – making attempts to
walk a tightrope between the PRC, Taiwan, and Tibet”.

"We should understand that Confucius Institute
has an exclusive status in Belarus. In the whole
world, it is an influential Chinese structure,
only in Minsk, due to special PRC-Belarus
relations, China allowed the Institute to be
subjective to Belarusian State University with a
head appointed by the BSU leadership,” S.
Musienka explained. He drew attention to the fact
that China regards a position of the Institute as
a position of the state, as a position of the
structural unit of the leading university of the country.

Confucius Institute is headed by former rector of
Belarusian State University Vasily Strazhau. The
institute is sponsored by the PRC government -- IF.

"The photo exhibition "Chinese Tibet" by A.
Andreeva, member of the Belarusian Association of
Journalists, represented works demonstrating
"spiritual devastation" of Tibet of the last
years, meaning the situation will improve when
Dalai Lama returns there,” S. Musienka noted
speaking about China’s impressions of the
exhibition. The pictures didn’t reflect the
achievements China has brought to Tibet for the
last few years – a high-altitude railway, and so on.

"Neither the photographer nor the deputy head of
Confucius Institute accepted an invitation of the
PRC embassy to come and discuss this issue,"
Musienka told. "There was a meeting between
Chinese diplomats and the BSU rector and the
first deputy minister of education, but there wasn’t any reaction,” he added.

According to Musienka, another reason to doubt
sincerity of the Belarusian authorities was a
book Asian Dragon Triangle by Ihar Malevich,
deputy head of Confucius Institute, issued in the
printing house of the Department of President’s
Affaires “Belarusian Printing House”. “For the
example, the book states ‘the Republic of Chine
today is only the island of Taiwan and some small
shelf islands’, ‘Taiwan: is it a model of the
future Chine?’, “50-year occupation of Tibet,
introduction of communist Chinese governmental
officials to the Tibetan monasteries”, told the
director if the analytical center. He ironically
added that I. Malevich recommended buying as a
textbook for students and sinologists.

According to S. Musienka, China is shocked by the
fact that the country, they are developing
political and economic relations with, plays a
double, in their view, game. "They regard this as
an official position, as it comes from the
official structures,” Musienka emphasised.

In his view, such a short-sighted position "is
fraught with deterioration of relations with one
of the leading world states and withdrawal of the
agreements reached between the heads of state."

S. Musienka also added that according to the
information of the Chinese embassy, leadership of
Confucius Institute in Minsk, in particular
rector V. Strazhau and deputy director I.
Malevich would hardly receive Chinese visas.
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