Fujisan's Kyareng

Monday, September 2, 2019

Why Chinese leadership is avoiding talks with the Tibetan representatives


1.       https://tibet.net/2019/07/why-chinese-leadership-is-avoiding-talks-with-the-tibetan-representatives/

Zhu Weiqun, the former Executive Deputy Head of the United Front Work Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the former the Chair of the Ethnic and Religious Affairs Committee, in his recent article in Global times and tirade against His Holiness the Dalai Lama, has said, “It is impossible to hold negotiations with Dalai Lama without conditions.” He criticized Ambassador Terry Branstad for interfering in China’s internal affairs in the same article.

The US Ambassador to China, Terry Branstad, during his visit to Tibet in May, has rightly pointed out to the Chinese authorities the need for substantive dialogue with the Representatives of His Holiness the Dalai Lama without any precondition to resolve Tibet issue.

Zhu was one of the leading members in Sino-Tibetan dialogue 2002-2010, which ended without any concrete result. Now, let us examine what prompted Zhu and the Chinese leadership to insist on preconditions to any further Sino-Tibetan dialogue.  Although Tibet did not achieve any positive result from the nine rounds of talks, it greatly helped China. Firstly, to silence the international uproar over Tibet for sometimes. Secondly, to gain the 2008 Olympics right for Beijing and thirdly and most importantly, to understand what exactly the Tibetans are looking for. 

The first and second point proved advantageous to China. But the third “Genuine autonomy for Tibet” has sent adrenaline rush among the leadership.  As this was within the Chinese constitution, it greatly alarmed them. Refusing it would mean violating the Constitution, this would invite Chinese public and international outcry. So, they insidiously misinterpreted the Tibetans’ Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy as ‘independence in disguise’, ‘demanding greater Tibet’, ‘expulsion of Chinese from Tibet’ etc. and rejected the proposal to negotiate on the same. The Chinese public and many among the leadership in China are also not aware of the contents of the Memorandum.

From the nine rounds of dialogue that have taken place since 2002, China realized that it has no strong legitimate ground to enter into negotiation. They saw that the Tibet was a military occupation, and the 17-point Agreement was a forced one and an excuse to invade Tibet. Now, that the Tibetans are demanding what is already provided in the constitution of the land and the 17-point agreement. So, the truth and justice are in favour of Tibet. A talk without some purported precondition would mean putting itself in a difficult corner. Therefore, the concoction of preconditions. 

Zhu mentions two preconditions: first, “the talks are not between China’s central government and the Tibetan government-in-exile or ‘Central Tibetan Administration,’ nor are ‘Tibetan-Han Talks’ or ‘Tibetan-China Talks’.” Second, the Dalai Lama must accept Tibet and Taiwan as an integral part of China, and stop all separatist and destructive activities.

If we study the contents of these two preconditions, it is obvious that the intention is only to jeopardise and evade any further talks. It demonstrates no serious intention on the part of communist leadership to resolve the issue. Therefore, Zhu Weiqun’s statement “It is impossible to hold negotiations with Dalai Lama without conditions” only betrays the Chinese leadership’s deliberate intention to strangle the talks. Because a free and fair talk or negotiation is bound to be in favour of Tibet.

It also shows that the Chinese leadership is just wishing that Tibet issue fade away with the Dalai Lama. Their wishing away that “there is no so-called Tibet issue” will not make Tibet issue go away. The recent visa issue of a New Zealand-born half Tibetan 14-year-old boy’s episode is indicative of this fact and Chinese vulnerability. 

China considers itself as very strong and invincible because of its military and economic power. His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetans have nothing but the power of truth with them. This reminds us of David and Goliath story from the Bible, where the Giant despite his strength was defeated by the young boy David. This analogy is succinctly demonstrated from the recent Chinese consulate in New Zealand’s refusal to grant a visa to a New Zealand born half Tibetan 14-year-old boy to play football in China. 

It shows how scared and vulnerable China feels about Tibet and the Tibetans. No doubt, guilty conscience pricks the mind. The message is clear; despite its all military and economic power, a half Tibetan 14-year-old boy is enough to put the totalitarian regime on its toe. Then what about a full grown Tibetan, for that matter, the whole Tibetans! 

Therefore, Zhu Weiqun is wrong in saying that there is no Tibet issue. There is Tibet issue and it will live till the last Tibetan, even to the last half or quarter Tibetan.
Instead of trying to distort history and vilify His Holiness the Dalai Lama, China should accept the reality and give Tibet its rightful autonomy as enshrined in the country’s constitution. 

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