|We have confidence in Tibet's future|
Zhu Weiqun, vice minister of the United Front Work Department (UFWD) of the Communist Party of China Central Committee(CPC) introduced the stable developing situation of Tibet when meeting a joint-visiting group of journalists from Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Albania on the afternoon of June 12 and Zhu also answered questions from the journalists.
Tibet Democratic Reform 50 years ago is a history choice
Zhu Weiqun: This year marks the 50th anniversary of Tibet Democratic Reform and is a year with special significance on our Party and country's work on Tibet. For long periods before 1959, Tibet had been a society of feudal serfdom characterized by the merging of politics and religion which was darker and crueler than the European serfdom of the Middle Ages. The 14th Dalai Lama is not only the leader of the Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism and also head of the Tibetan local government, the general symbol of the system. The 17-Article Agreement on measures for the peaceful liberation of Tibet signed between the central people's government and the local government of Tibet in 1951 has clearly pointed out, Tibet shall carry out reforms on social system as any other part of China, while the exact time of reform shall be discussed with the upper class of Tibet so as to respect their ideas. So, Tibet didn't have any reform when the central government carried out the land reform and other democratic reforms in other parts of China after the founding of New China. In 8 years since the peaceful liberation in 1951 to 1959, the central government adopted an attitude of patient waiting and tolerant towards the upper class in Tibet. However, the reactionary clique of the upper social strata in Tibet led by the Dalai Lama just hoped the feudal serfdom system characterized by the merging of politics and religion in Tibet "never subject to change". Hence, they launched an armed rebellion in 1959, tore up the "17-Article Agreement ". When the armed rebellion failed, they fled to India, set up the so-called "government in exile", promulgated a so-called "constitution" and openly started their efforts to split the motherland for half a century. The frequently used political words "Dalai Clique" is coming from the above story.
The Dalai Clique attempted to hold back the beginning of democratic reform with armed rebellion and secessionist activities and the onward march of events was opposite to their wishes, that is, their rebellion sped up the footstep of democratic reform. When the PLA was appeasing the armed rebellion, a democratic reform was rapidly launched in Tibet, which eradicated the feudal serfdom system marked by the combination of politics and religion. This is a big event for the social development of Tibet, for the cause of liberation of the Chinese people, even for the worldwide Human Rights Campaign. In the 50 years since the democratic reform, Tibet witnessed fast economic development, rapid improvement in people's living standards, adequate protection of traditional culture, respect for people's freedom on religious belief and huge changes in each aspect. All these changes can refer to the white paper "Fifty Years of Democratic Reform of Tibet" recently issued by the Information Office of the State Council.
Under the supports of some overseas forces, the Dalai Clique incited and plotted the "March 14" Lhasa Riots last year which caused huge losses to Tibetan people. However, this action of Dalai Clique can not hinder the big trend of Tibet's development and advancement. In a short time, we rapidly quenched the riot and the social order in Tibet returned to normal with the supports of people from all ethnic groups in Tibet. March 10 this year marks the 50th anniversary of the armed rebellion of Dalai Clique, Dalai Clique and some overseas forces sought to make some troubles in Tibet by making the best use of this chance, but they failed again.
The current Tibet is stable and developin
Zhu Weiqun: The current situation in Tibet is really good: both the society and politics are stable while the region's economy keeps on rising. I will release some latest data to you here. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Tibet of 2008 was up 10% compared with that in the same period of last year, delivering a double-digit growth for 16 consecutive years. The per capita net income for farmers and herdsmen increased by 13.9% year-on-year, a double-digit growth for 7 consecutive years, while the per capita disposable income of urban Tibetans has risen to 12%, also a double-digit growth for 7 consecutive years.
In the first quarter of this year, Tibet's GDP was up by 7.3%. The international financial crisis has lowered the figure compared with that of last year, but is still higher than the national average. The per capita net income of rural Tibetans has increased by 13.4%. In the eyes of Chinese central government and Tibet local government, the farmers and herdsmen make up the majority of the population of Tibet, so their production and living conditions directly indicate the success and failure of our work, and that is why we are paying SO much attention to the GDP figure of rural Tibetans.
The tourist arrival in Tibet of last year has showed a certain drop because of the "March 14" Riots in Lhasa. After the riots, we took some actions in order to protect foreign and domestic tourists, but now the figure is rising obviously and has been quite good.
A total of more than 720,000 tourists from home and abroad have travelled Tibet during the period from this January to May, up 7% compared with that of 2007. If I compared the figure with that of 2008, the speed of progress may look much quicker, since the tourists arrivals of last year were relative low. That is why I just contrasted the figure with a normal year like 2007.
Now, streets in Lhasa are again full of tourists and tickets for famous tourist attractions can not meet the tourists' demands.
Some said we didn't allow foreign journalists to cover Tibet and were throttling the freedom of the press. In fact, we have organized some batches of foreign tourists to Tibet after the riots in Lhasa. This year, we have organized three batches with about 40 foreign journalists and more foreigners go to Tibet as tourists.
Our conflict with Dalai Clique over the last 50 years, especially after March 14 Riots in Lhasa, once again proves that the policy the Chinese Central Government practised in the Tibet Autonomous Region is right and the majority of Tibetan people back up the Chinese government. Cadre of different ethnic minorities in Tibet are able to stand in austere tests and are loyal to our Party and people, and most of the monks, nuns and monasteries of Tibetan Buddhism are loving their country and religions.
The Dalai Clique and some foreign forces are doing their best to give the public an illusion that the Tibetan people and Tibetan Buddhism believers are opposing to the Chinese government. It is nothing of the sort! We are very confident of the future of Tibet since we win the support of the mass.
The Dalai Lama lacks sincerity on talks with the Chinese central government
Albanian journalist: Dalai said he wanted to talk with Chinese government, do you exclude this option?
Zhu Weiqun: The Chinese government has persistent and clear attitude towards talks with the Dalai Lama and we have principals on this issue. However, Dalai Lama has been taking such talks as means for separatist activities as well as cheating the public opinion around world. He has been changing his words constantly. There is no credibility about Dalai Lama.
Here is the background about contacts and talks between Chinese central government and the Dalai Lama.
The Dalai Lama has contacted with Chinese central government as early as in the late 1970s when China started reform and opening up. The Chinese central government wanted to give Dalai Lama an opportunity to come back from wrong way to the right way. Many senior officials of Chinese central government had contacted with Dalai Lama's relatives and private representatives. But Dalai didn't have intension to correct mistakes, further more, he used talks between Chinese central government as good opportunities to make demands such as a Greater Tibet, high degree of autonomy, being treated as future Taiwan and other sort of separatist declaration, which had been rejected and opposed by Chinese senior officials including Deng Xiaoping. In addition, those Dalai Lama's private representatives did separatist activities and sent words and views in Tibet during visits that were arranged by the Chinese central government. They stirred local residents to make destructive activities in the autonomous region. They are the source of the instability in Tibet. Along with the so-called "June 4" storm raised in Beijing in 1989 and the great changes in USSR and some other eastern European countries in the early 1990s, Dalai Lama considered it as a good time to split Tibet from China and therefore claimed that he would no longer talk to an instable Chinese government. After that, we even asked Zhao Puchu, head of the China Buddhism Association to invite Dalai come back for memorial meeting of 10th Panchen Lama but he refused. He officially claimed to discontinue the talks with Chinese central government in 1993.
The situation afterward has proven that China would not turn to chaos or collapse. And Dalai Lama has to face the truth and resume the contact with Chinese central government. As always tolerant as we Chinese central government has been, the contacts resumed in 2002 and we have had nine talks by the end of 2008. However, since the Dalai Clique had made no progress but rejections for his secessionist demands during these talks, especially in the contact last November, the Chinese central government again rejected a so-called "Memo of the whole Tibetan people" and criticized them, which deeply broke them down, Dalai Lama again halted the talks.
So if you look at this part of history, you can tell it, objectively, that the Chinese government has always been making efforts to make Dalai Lama come back to the right way. And it's the Dalai Lama, who fails to show his sincerity and closed the door for twice.
Recently, someone of Dalai Lama's Clique rumored they wanted to have talk with Chinese government and it's we Chinese government doesn't want to talk with them, which is also a lie. Firstly, the talk in last November was discontinued by Dalai's private representatives, not us. Chinese government has persistent attitude towards talk with Dalai Lama and the door is always open. It's Dalai Lama's private representatives claimed that face to face to us in the talk. The government-in-exile even had another "special meeting" in India and confirmed the talk was discontinued, which was well known around the world. If they really want to talk, shouldn't they make any explanation for this? Shouldn't apologize for this to Chinese government?
Secondly, Dalai Lama has announced many times in public that further talk must base on the so-called "Memo of the whole Tibetan people", which has been completed denied and rejected. Is there any sincerity? There must be someone in the Dalai Clique who is not capable to analysis the current situation in objective position.
Thirdly, we Chinese government has fixed and effective path to have contact with Dalai Lama. But Dalai Lama this time didn't send any message via fixed path but only shouting in front of foreign media, which only can be treated as making political show.
Hence, if Dalai Lama still wants to talk with Chinese central government, he must ensure himself sincere.
The Dalai Lama must thoroughly rethink and rectify
A journalist from Bulgaria: We have seen the improvement in Tibet's economy and local people's living standard, but the key is the local culture and religious tradition. How does the Chinese government establish a new relationship with the Dalai Lama and Tibetan people?
Zhu Weiqun: For many years, the main action for the Dalai Lama to deceive the whole world and get the initiative in politics is to camouflages himself to be the spokesman of "Tibetan ethnic, culture and religion", but we (not only includes the CPC and Chinese government, but also includes all the ethnic people in Tibet) share different ideas about this matter. The divarication between China and the Dalai Clique isn't a problem of ethnic groups, culture or religion, but a problem of split or unification for China, a problem of turbulence or stable for Tibet. Chinese people consist of 56 ethnic groups while Tibetan culture is a part of Chinese ethnic culture. The culture of every ethnic group of China is the common protected and cherished treasures for the 1.3 billion Chinese people. There are five major religions in China and the Tibetan Buddhism is a part of Buddhism. Just as other religions, Tibet's religion is under protection of our law. The Central government together with the Tibet regional government has contributed a lot to protecting and preserving Tibet's culture and religion. And I will not discuss this in details as you will go to Qinghai Province. I believe you can find what we have done to protect Tibetan culture and religion there. The conflict between our Central government and the Dalai Clique focuses on whether changing Tibet into a country. We insist that Tibet was, is and will be a part of China while the Dalai Clique leaves no stone unturned to deny this fact. The Dalai Clique tries every means to confuse Tibet, especially since the "March 14" Lhasa Riots, the whole world has witnessed what the Dalai Clique has done in disordering Tibet and boycotting the Beijing Olympics. But to us, we only want to keep the stable of Tibet and maintain the basic interests of all the ethnic groups in Tibet.
Some foreign friends mistakenly regard that the Dalai Lama equals to Tibetan people, actually it is an inequation. I arrived in Tibet just after the "March 14" Lhasa Riots and I have gone to Tibet for many times in these two years, what I have seen is that all the ethnic people and local cadres in Tibet are fighting against the Dalai's splittism. Tibetans occupy a large portion in our policemen and armed-police while many Tibetans from grass roots help us arrest the criminals in "March 14" Lhasa Riots. We can't imagine how difficult for us to quiet down this incident without support from all ethnic locals and cadres including local Tibetans. So it is not true that the Central government stands in one side while the Dalai Lama and Tibetan people stand in the other side as the relationship is between all the Chinese people including Tibetan people and the Dalai Lama. And there is only one choice for this relationship, and the choice is that the Dalai Lama must thoroughly rethink about his splittism claim, completely rectify his splittism action and finally returns to the patriotic road. But it seems that the Dalai Lama still doesn't want to come back to this road now.
To the end, who is lying?
Zhu Weiqun: If there is no more questions, I hope you can do me a favor to send a message for me. During the 2009 Two Sessions in March, there was a dramatic event. When our foreign minister Yang Jiechi answered journalists' questions on March 7, Yang severely criticized Dalai's attempt of driving the Chinese army away from Tibet and expelling other ethnic people who have lived there for generations. The Dalai Lama made strong response on a press conference held in Dharamsala on March 10 for "commemorating the 50th anniversary of Tibet's uprising", he said:" I have never said the PLA should leave Tibet," "I have never said all the non-Tibetan people should move out from Tibet", and he also asked the presented journalists:" Please ask the Chinese foreign minister on behalf of me, when did I say those words?" The Dalai Lama censured our foreign minister that "he is too angry or just lying, he must give evidence." It is really a severe incident for Dalai Lama, an influence figure in the western world to condemn Chinese foreign minister to be lying. About this problem, our Premier Wen Jiabao has given an answer. Premier Wen said when answering journalists' questions on March 13:"Whether the Dalai Lama had said or not, we can have a check to the 'Tibet's Five Point Peace Plan' published by the Dalai Lama in the USA in 1987 and the 'Seven New Proposals' published in Strasbourg of France in 1988, there writes about asking Chinese troops and military installations to leave, stopping Han people to enter Tibetan-related areas and for those who have already been there also have to go away." Premier Wen said:"Black and white, you can correct, but you can't deny." We have checked those two documents Premier Wen Jiabao has mentioned, here I will ask our translator to directly read the original English version offered by the Dalai Lama himself:
"The establishment of a peace zone in Tibet would require withdrawal of Chinese troops and military installations from the country."
"only a withdrawal of Chinese troops could start a genuine process of reconciliation."
"A troop withdrawal would be an essential signal that in future a meaningful relationship might be established with the Chinese, based on friendship and trust."
"For the Tibetans to survive as a people, it is imperative that the population transfer is stopped and Chinese settlers return to China."
There are many similar words in Dalai Lama's these two documents.
We didn't hear any responses from the Dalai Lama. So here is a problem, to the end who is lying? My dear friends including me, myself, we all have been a journalist, and the basic principle for a journalist is to report the truth. I would like to ask you to help me raise this question:" Dalai Lama, have you even talked about this? Who is lying, China's foreign minister or you, the Dalai Lama yourself!"
We are waiting for your answer.
(Translated by Milo, Mirenda Wu, Niki and Sophia Zhang)