Join our Mailing List

"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."

CTA's response to Chinese government allegations: Part One

June 22, 2008

Chinese Government's Blaming and Shaming Game
Central Tibetan Administration
Tibet.net
May 15, 2008

Ever since peaceful protests erupted in Tibet, starting from 10
March, the Chinese government used the full force of its state media
to fling a series of allegations against the "Dalai Clique". These
allegations range from His Holiness the Dalai Lama masterminding the
recent Tibet protest to His Holiness the Dalai Lama making attempts
to restore feudalism in Tibet.

This is the first in a series of response by the Central Tibetan
Administration (CTA) to these accusations.

The Chinese translation of this response is available at www.xizang-zhiye.org
The Tibetan translation is available on the Tibetan edition of this
website www.tibet.net/tb/

CHINESE GOVERNMENT'S BLAMING AND SHAMING GAME: PART ONE

Since 10 March a series of massive demonstrations rocked all over
Tibet 1. Beijing made several allegations. Beijing accused "the Dalai
clique of masterminding" these demonstrations. Beijing said these
demonstrations were "violent" and organised by "terrorists," and
these demonstrations were aimed at "splitting Tibet from the
motherland." Premier Wen Jiabao told that the international media on
18 March 2008 that his government had "ample facts and plenty of
evidence to prove that the recent riot in Lhasa was organised,
premeditated, masterminded and incited by the Dalai Lama clique."

Official China claims that these demonstrations prove that His
Holiness the Dalai Lama's advocacy of non-violence is just lip
service. China says Dharamsala has become "the epicentre of lies,"
and "the government-in-exile has churned out groundless fabrication
since the riot in Lhasa."

China claims that the appeals issued by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
to our Chinese brothers and sisters are his attempt to "stir up more
unrest in Tibet." The Chinese authorities said on 9 April that "the
Dalai Clique's statements also attempted to stir up hostility between
ethnic groups in Tibet and internationalize the so-called Tibet issue."

In fact the war of words is so intense from the Chinese side that
they have already published a book called Lies and Truth. The lies
are all on the Tibetan side and the truth is with Beijing. The book
was launched on 4 April in Beijing by Sanlian, a unit of the China
Publishing Group. The publishers claim the publication of Lies and
Truth is the fastest ever in publishing history. The book was
commissioned on 27 March and published on 3 April. The publisher of
Sanlian, Zhang Weimin told China's CCTV that "We had to frame a
response to demonstrate our position. We worked to show the true
state of things to those unaware of the truth, and to rebut the
axe-grinding, misleading reports of the western media."

The book consists of previously published articles. It regurgitates
all the official allegations of Beijing that the "Dalai clique" is
behind the current unrest in Tibet. Lies and Truth is an attempt to
refute "the distortions" of the western media in its reporting of the
current problems in Tibet. The book contains a large section in which
all the "major achievements in economic, cultural and social
development" in Tibet are explained.

Ultimately Lies and Truth is aimed at the Chinese people. The sweep
of the western media and the breadth of its coverage of China's Tibet
headache has shaken the Chinese people's faith in their own
government and its handling of the Tibet issue. This has forced
Beijing to make an attempt, however feeble, to explain its actions
and policies to its own people.

1The term TIBET here means the whole of Tibet known as Cholka-Sum
(U-Tsang, Kham and Amdo). It includes the present-day Chinese
administrative areas of the so-called Tibet Autonomous Region,
Qinghai Province, two Tibetan Autonomous Prefectures and one Tibetan
Autonomous County in Sichuan Province, one Tibetan Autonomous
Prefecture and one Tibetan Autonomous County in Gansu Province and
one Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan Province.

Who Is Behind the Unrest in Tibet?

The Chinese government's ongoing accusation that His Holiness the
Dalai Lama organised the recent unrest in Tibet is nothing new. Ever
since the People's Republic of China was established in 1949, the
Chinese leaders developed a rich and well-known tradition of blaming
others for the disastrous consequences of their wrong policies. In a
democratic society wrong policies can always be checked and corrected
by the ballot box. In China, because of the Chinese Communist Party's
monopoly of political power, this is not possible. In order to
maintain a semblance of legitimacy, the leaders of the day always
find a scapegoat. Not being able to find a scapegoat is to admit your
policies. Lord Action once commented on the "undying penalty which
history has the power to inflict on the wrong." It comes as no
surprise that the Chinese Communist Party believes, as Jasper Becker
says, its control over the past is the key to its future" and on its
ability to cover-up mistakes, however big, depends its survival.

Take the case of the greatest famine in China that took place between
1958 and 1961. About 30 million Chinese died of starvation during
this period. At the time not a word of this man-made disaster was
heard in the rest of the world. This disaster was brought about by
Mao's Three Red Flags, a policy of transforming the whole
organisational set-up into a military-like institution that functions
with a sense of war-like urgency to attain unrealistic industrial and
agricultural growth, so that China could march directly from a
primarily agricultural-based to a full-fledged Communist and
industrial society. Faced with unprecedented severe criticism from
the ranks of his own leadership, Mao blamed the weather. He explained
away the deaths of 30 million human beings by finger-pointing. The
weather in China was fine but not Mao's policies. Until recently, the
world was no wiser.

In 1962, the 10th Panchen Lama submitted a 70,000 character petition
to the top Chinese leaders, including Mao. In this document, the
Panchen Lama described the real situation prevailing in each and
every part of Tibet. The Panchen Lama said that if the situation was
not improved it would lead to the eradication of Tibetan Buddhism and
culture and to the elimination of the Tibetans as a distinct
nationality. Instead of respecting this courageous act and listening
to the Panchen Lama's well-intentioned criticism, Mao condemned him
as a "reactionary feudal overlord" and his petition as "a poisoned
arrow shot at the Party." The Panchen Lama spent 14 years in solitary
confinement and house arrest.

To regain his leadership role, damaged badly by his Great Leap
Forward and Hundred Flowers campaign, Mao in 1966 unleashed the
horror of the Cultural Revolution on the Chinese people. By 1976, the
top and middle ranks of the Chinese leadership were decimated and the
country was in chaos. Who was blamed for this mess? Not Mao, but the
Gang of Four, which included his wife. Jiang Qing, Mao's wife, during
her trials, said, "I was Chairman Mao's dog. Whoever he told me to
bite, I bit." Mao, as usual, went unscathed. On the contrary, Deng
Xiaoping, who assumed supreme power after Mao passed away in 1976,
said that Mao was 70 percent good and 30 percent bad, despite the
fact that he himself was a prime victim of the campaign and his son
was crippled because of the violence.

The question is, if the Chinese government is able to hide crimes of
such enormity from their own people and the world, how much more
capable will they be to cover up their mistakes and the suffering
these mistakes cause the people of Tibet?

In 1987, 1988 and 1989, Lhasa was rocked by a series of
demonstrations. These demonstrations were brutally crushed and
martial law was imposed in Lhasa in 1989. Once again the Chinese
authorities pointed their accusing fingers at His Holiness the Dalai
Lama. Similarly, China blamed the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy
movement on "a few reactionaries." This event was the most momentous
in modern China's troubled history. What began as a peaceful memorial
demonstration following the death of the popular reform leader Hu
Yaobang turned into a massive pro-democracy movement. This movement
in the heart of Beijing was supported by an upsurge of protests in
most Chinese cities. Troops of the People's Liberation Army fired
upon the crowd and the city came under martial law. During the crisis
a tearful Zhao Ziyang, premier then, met with the student leaders to
end their protest. The students did not have any bad intention
towards the Chinese Communist Party. They wanted an end to corruption
and democracy, freedom and human rights. But a divided party
leadership decided to meet their demands with violence. This ended
the career of Zhao Ziyang. He was ousted from the post of the prime
minister and was kept under tight house arrest. But the real victim
of the brutal crackdown was the Chinese people who deserve so much
more than their leaders are able to give them in terms of respect,
tolerance, human dignity and rights.

China is yet to give convincing accounts of the great famine from
1958 to 1961, nor of the horrors of the Cultural Revolution and its
brutal suppression of the student protests in 1989. The Chinese
people deserve an explanation for all this brutality.

The same is true of China's implacable application of brute force to
end Tibet's current crisis. Neither blaming His Holiness the Dalai
Lama nor using force as a means to resolve China's Tibet trouble is
the correct way to handle the crisis. The seeds of the present crisis
were sown when China reversed its relatively liberal policies
implemented in Tibet.

The Third Tibet Work Forum and the Seeds of the Present Crisis

 From July 20 to 23, 1994, Beijing staged the Third Forum on work in
Tibet, which recommended the total destruction of an entire
civilization flourishing on the Tibetan plateau for thousands of years.

The Third Forum on Tibet was convened by the top Chinese leadership
and was presided over by the then President Jiang Zemin. The
authorities have now enshrined this Work Forum as the most "important
strategic policy to rejuvenate Tibet" and have hailed its directives
as the new manifesto for party work on the plateau.

The significance of the Third Work Forum lies in the fact that it
overturned the more liberal policies laid out for Tibet's
"development" by the First and Second Work Forums held in 1980 and
1984. The first two work forums were initiated by the late Hu
Yaobang, then Secretary General of the Chinese Communist Party. This
liberal leader is credited with masterminding a series of measures to
improve the social, economic and political conditions in Tibet. The
brief spell of liberalization markedly improved the living conditions
of the majority of Tibetans and contributed to a more relaxed
intellectual and social climate.

All these were reversed at the Third Work Forum. The Third Work Forum
policy recommendations contained four key elements. China stepped up
the scale of repression in Tibet. External propaganda work was
escalated. The pace of economic development in Tibet and its
corollary of encouraging more Chinese settlers and businessmen to
take advantage of the economic boom on "the roof of the world" was
also increased.

One main target of the current policy of repression is Tibetan
Buddhism. Chinese leaders are increasingly alarmed by the
proliferation of monasteries and temples which the period of
liberalization spawned throughout Tibet: they are seen as the
bastions of Tibetan nationalism. The authorities have set up
"Democratic Management Committees" to control monasteries and
nunneries and established "Work Inspection Teams" to supervise the
"education" of monks and nuns.

What appalls the Tibetan people is China's all-out war on Tibetan
culture. The leadership revived the old aphorisms once served up to
the Tibetan people to justify their policies to destroy Tibetan
Buddhism during the Cultural Revolution. Bewildered Tibetans were
then told that just as there cannot be two suns in the sky, so there
could not be both Buddhism and socialism in Tibet. Inevitably
Buddhism had to give way to socialism. Today Buddhism is once again
being blatantly sublimated to Chinese state power.

A major thrust is underway to break the bond of loyalty between the
clergy in Tibet and His Holiness the Dalai Lama in India. Campaigns
like "Strike Hard" and "Patriotic Re-education", unleashed in 1996,
are aimed at crippling the rise of Tibetan Buddhism which the
authorities suspect is weaning the loyalty of the Tibetan people away
from the communist party and towards His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

One salient feature of the "Strike Hard campaign is how differently
it is interpreted in China and Tibet. China's "Strike Hard" campaigns
was started to weed out crime. Tibet's version was used as a
political tool to eliminate those whom the authorities label
"splittists". In Tibet, rather than combating crime, the authorities
turn a blind eye to this social disease in the hope that it will
erode the traditional morality of Tibetans and undermine Tibetan Buddhism.

In fact, at a secret meeting held in December 1999 in Chengdu,
capital of Sichuan province, Chen Kuiyuan, the hardline Party
Secretary of "TAR" recommended to the Central Chinese Government that
an all-out effort must be made to eradicate Tibetan Buddhism and
culture from the face of the earth so that no memory of them will be
left in the minds of coming generations of Tibetans- except as museum pieces.

Chen Kuiyuan stated that the main cause of instability is the
existence of the Dalai Lama and his Government-in-Exile in Dharamsala
and these must be "uprooted". He recommended that Tibet, Tibetan
people and Tibetan Buddhism - in other words the very name of Tibet-
must be destroyed and the "Tibet Autonomous Region" be merged with
provinces like Sichuan.

This total assault on Tibetan culture is heightened by comments made
by the current party secretary in Tibet. Zhang Qingli said, "The
communist party is like parents to the Tibetan people and are always
considerate about what the children need. The party is the real
Buddha for the Tibetans." On His Holiness the Dalai Lama Zhang Qingli
said, "The Dalai is a devil with a human face but with a heart of a
beast... Those who do not love their country are not qualified to be
human beings." On the Tibetan struggle for greater freedoms, Zhang
Qingli said, "We are currently in an intensely bloody and fiery
struggle with the Dalai clique, a life-and-death struggle with the enemy."

What Tibetan, Chinese and Foreign Scholars Think of the Tibet Situation

That this hardline policy, and the abusive rhetoric accompanying it,
has failed and disastrously so was made amply clear by the recent
month-long demonstrations in Tibet. The top Chinese leaders have been
informed that this hardline policy is wrong by no less a figure than
Baba Phuntsok Wangyal, the founder of the Tibetan Communist Party,
who played a key role in cementing Chinese Communist rule in Tibet.
In his letter of 29 October 2004 addressed to President Hu Jintao, he
said, "As far as how to solve the Tibetan issue is concerned, since
the fundamental nature of the question is absolutely related with
domestic matters, so under the premise regarding the sovereignty of
the nation it is merely a demand for meaningful autonomy and slight
changes in the administrative division policy. In addition, as to the
essence and preconditions of this matter, every one of us can and
should reach a common understanding. With this as a base, and after
the Central Government and the Dalai Lama have reached a mutual
understanding on the principles regarding national sovereignty,
appropriate adjustments to the domestic administrative division
policy and implementing the right to self-determination, both sides
should officially declare in a political statement that friendly
relations between them have been restored. Within such a friendly and
harmonious environment, regarding the concrete formations, plans, and
schedules for unifying the Tibetan autonomous regions- including
temporarily establishing a transitional consultative department in
order to assure the united autonomy of its fundamental content and
destination being achieved - both sides should be strategic,
far-sighted and generous, adhering to the brotherly relationship."

Wang Lixiong, a Beijing-based writer, reinforces Phuntsok Wangyal's
argument. On 28 March 2008 his op-ed piece appeared on The Wall
Street Journal. In this piece he says that China's current
anti-splittism struggle is wrong. He says, "Having invested their
careers in anti-splittism, these people cannot admit the idea is
mistaken without losing face and, they fear, losing their own power
and position as well."

Wang Lixiong says, "The most efficient route to peace in Tibet is
through the Dalai Lama, whose return to Tibet would immediately
alleviate a number of problems. Much of the current ill will, after
all, is the direct result of the Chinese government's verbal attacks
on the Dalai Lama, who, for Tibetan monks, has an incomparably lofty
status. To demand that monks denounce him is about as practical as
asking that they vilify their own parents."

Wang Lixiong initiated the recent 12-point statement on Tibet by 30
Chinese intellectuals. In fact, since the statement was first issued,
many more Chinese human rights and environmental activists, writers
and scholars have signed up. The first point says. "At present the
one-sided propaganda of the official Chinese media is having the
effect of stirring up inter-ethnic animosity and aggravating an
already tense situation. This is extremely detrimental to the
long-term goal of safeguarding national unity. We call for this to be stopped."

The second point says, "We support the Dalai Lama's appeal for peace
and hope that the ethnic conflict can be dealt with according to the
principles of goodwill, peace and non-violence. We condemn any
violent act against innocent people, strongly urge the Chinese
government to stop the violent suppression and appeal to the Tibetan
people likewise not to engage in violent activities." The statement
urges the Chinese government to hold direct talks with His Holiness
the Dalai Lama to resolve the issue.

Ruan Ming, a speechwriter for former CCP General Secretary Hu
Yaobang, has a different take on the tense situation in Tibet. Ruan
Ming who lives in Taiwan told The Epoch Times on 26 March that "The
Dalai Lama has always proposed a peaceful solution to Tibet issues
and won the world's recognition. With that in mind, the CCP has
framed the Dalai Lama for having 'carefully planned and stirred up
the event.'" Ruan Ming added, "This is exactly how the CCP framed
Zhao Ziyang for the Tiananmen Massacre in 1989 and accused Zhao of
'splitting the Party and supporting unrest.'" Ruan Ming added, "The
Dalai Lama already said he would resign if the unrest continued. The
Dalai Lama is influential globally and if he really retired, the CCP
could greatly push and label the Tibetans as terrorists like the
Xinjiang independence movement. This will give the CCP an excuse to
ignore Tibetan appeals and further repress them."

On 27 March 2008, more than 70 Tibetologists sent an open letter to
President Hu Jintao. In this letter, the scholars said, "As scholars
engaged in Tibetan Studies, we are especially disturbed by what has
been happening. The civilization we study is not simply a subject of
academic enquiry; it is the heritage of a living people and one of
the world's great cultural legacies...The attribution of the current
unrest to the Dalai Lama represents a reluctance on the part of the
Chinese government to acknowledge and engage with policy failures
that are surely the true cause of popular discontent."
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
Developed by plank