The Chinese government released a white paper on Tibet earlier today denouncing the Dalai Lama whilst lauding the development path Tibet has taken under CCP rule. Titled “Tibet’s Path of Development Is Driven by an Irresistible Historical Tide“, the document was released by the Information Office of the State Council.
Having previously accused the Dalai Lama of terrorism and of profaning Buddhism, China has again openly attacked the exiled spiritual leader in this latest white paper, blaming him for manipulating Tibetans and encouraging violence in the contested region. The Tibetan’s spiritual leader is accused of publishing a “self-Immolation guide”, which the paper describes as “an instruction manual to incite Tibetans in China to burn themselves” and through which he is “duping” them into believing it is “martyrdom”.
The paper then proceeds to attack the “Middle Way” approach, an attempt at compromise by the Dalai Lama which seeks to give Tibetans autonomy over all matters except diplomacy and defence. The white paper claims its essential intent is to split China by feigning acceptance of Chinese sovereignty so “Tibetan independence” forces can establish a “state within a state” and ultimately effect secession once its governing power is consolidated. The white paper takes particular issue with the Dalai Lama’s denial of Tibet being part of China since ancient times; his urging for parts of neighbouring province to be incorporated into the “Greater Tibet” unified administrative region; and his calls for the exclusion of non-Tibetan ethnic groups and withdrawal of Chinese troops so the province may become a “zone of peace”. The paper describes the “Middle Way” as antithetical to “China’s history, national reality, state Constitution, laws and basic systems.”
This latest political machination from Beijing may stoke tensions in the notoriously turbulent region. Last week, a CCP official announced Buddhist monks would be tested for “patriotism”, while new rules demanding Chinese national flags be installed at monasteries would be enforced in Tibet. As the Dalai Lama continues to age and Tibet remains firmly under Chinese rule, observers have been leaning in closely to see whether this renewed condemnation of the Tibetan independence movement causes more restlessness.
By Liam Bourke