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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."

University Loses China Accreditation After Dalai Lama Honour

February 10, 2010

Epoch Times (Canada)
February 8, 2010

The Chinese regime’s vehement opposition to
recognition of the Dalai Lama has meant
repercussions for the University of Calgary,
which hosted the Tibetan monk and awarded him an
honorary degree during his visit to Calgary last September.

The university, which has about 600 students from
Mainland China and Hong Kong, confirmed last week
that it had been removed from the Chinese
Ministry of Education's list of accredited institutions in December.

The university is now trying to determine what impact this will have.

"Our biggest concern is we don't want to
disadvantage current or prospective students or
our alumni," university spokeswoman Colleen Turner told the Calgary Herald.

"We knew at the time the decision to bring in the
Dalai Lama would not be without controversy. All
of that said, the decision to bring in the Dalai
Lama was not intended to dishonour or disvalue
our relationship with our Chinese partners or the
Chinese community," Turner said.

A call by the Herald to the Hotline for Overseas
Studies Service Centre in Beijing to inquire
about attending the U of C got the response: "If
you don't already go to that school yet, it is
better not to go because you will face risks."

The operator told the caller that if she was
already at the University of Calgary, her degree
would be certified by the Chinese Ministry of
Education, but warned that "the policy might change" in the future.

The Canada Tibet Committee has denounced the
delisting, saying the Chinese regime "chooses to
bully rather than reason in order to resolve differences."

"That a foreign power should be so out of touch
as to believe that they can intimidate a Canadian
university through such tactics would be even
more astonishing if it were not the Chinese
government doing the intimidating," said CTC
executive director Dermod Travis in a statement.

U.S. President Barack Obama’s plans to meet with
the Dalai Lama later this month has also drawn
strong criticism from the Chinese regime, which
was already upset with America’s recent $6 billion arms sale to Taiwan.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said
Beijing is firmly opposed to any contact between
Obama and the Dalai Lama and warned the visit
could further undermine China-U.S. relations.

Travis said western governments need to realize
that "if we don’t change China through
constructive and substantive engagement, China will change us."

"The decision to delist the University of Calgary
is only the latest illustration of the
authoritarian measures that the Chinese
government will attempt to export to western
democracies unless we make it abundantly clear
that we will not be bullied by authoritarian regimes in our own countries.”

Conservative MP Rob Anders, whose riding includes
the U of C, told the Calgary Herald that any move
by China to sanction the university would be "childish."

"That would be kind of cutting off their nose to
spite their face. China would be making a mistake
to go down that route," said Anders, who has long
opposed China’s occupation of Tibet.

"It's obviously a cheap manoeuvre given the
widespread support the Dalai Lama has," he said. "It seems kind of petty."

Doug Horner, Alberta's minister of advanced
education, said he will look into getting the situation resolved.

"We understand both points of view. Obviously,
we'd like to see the situation rectified as soon
as possible," he told the Herald.

Horner added that although he does not believe
the move means Chinese students' degrees won't be
recognized, the delisting will mean a reduction
in Chinese enrolments at the U of C.

He said an upcoming trade mission to China
planned for later this year could present an
opportunity to talk with regime officials about
"what we can do to help the situation along."

The Dalai Lama has been awarded more than 25
honorary degrees from institutions around the
world, including in Canada. In 2006, Canada made him an honourary citizen.

Beijing has long sought to vilify Tibet’s widely
respected exiled spiritual leader in the eyes of
the world by branding him a separatist who has
fomented violent unrest in his home country.
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