Join our Mailing List

"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Twelve Suggestions for Dealing with the Tibetan Situation, by Some Chinese Intellectuals

July 17, 2008

By Wang Lixiong and over 300 others
New York Review of Books
Volume 55, Number 8
May 15, 2008

1. 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 such
propaganda to be stopped.

2. 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 nonviolence. 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.

3. The Chinese government claims that "there is sufficient evidence to
prove this incident was organized, premeditated, and meticulously
orchestrated by the Dalai clique." We hope that the government will show
proof of this. In order to change the international community's negative
view and distrustful attitude, we also suggest that the government
invite the United Nations' Commission on Human Rights to carry out an
independent investigation of the evidence, the course of the incident,
the number of casualties, etc.

4. In our opinion, such Cultural Revolution–like language as "the Dalai
Lama is a jackal in Buddhist monk's robes and an evil spirit with a
human face and the heart of a beast" used by the Chinese Communist Party
leadership in the Tibet Autonomous Region is of no help in easing the
situation, nor is it beneficial to the Chinese government's image. As
the Chinese government is committed to integrating into the
international community, we maintain that it should display a style of
governing that conforms to the standards of modern civilization.

5. We take note of the fact that on the very day when violence first
broke out in Lhasa (March 14), the government authorities in Tibet were
already announcing that "we possess ample evidence that the violence has
been organized, plotted in advance, and meticulously orchestrated by the
Dalai clique." If so, then government authorities knew in advance that
rioting was going to occur and yet did nothing to prevent it or to stop
it from spreading. There should be a rigorous inquiry into the
possibility of official involvement and malfeasance.

6. If, in the end, it cannot be shown that the events were organized,
plotted in advance, and meticulously orchestrated [by the Dalai Lama]
but emerges instead that they were a government-instigated "popular
revolt," then the officials who were responsible for instigating this
"revolt" and for sending false and deceptive reports about it to the
central government and to the citizens of the country should be held to
account. There should be conscientious reflection, and the learning of
lessons, so that such things never happen again.

7. We strongly demand that the authorities not subject every Tibetan to
political investigation or revenge. The trials of those who have been
arrested must be carried out according to judicial procedures that are
open, just, and transparent so as to ensure that all parties are satisfied.

8. We urge the Chinese government to allow credible national and
international media to go into Tibetan areas to conduct independent
interviews and news reports. In our view, the current news blockade
cannot gain credit with the Chinese people or the international
community, and is harmful to the credibility of the Chinese government.
If the government sticks to true accounts of the events, it need not
fear challenges. Only by adopting an open attitude can we turn around
the international community's distrust of our government.

9. We appeal to the Chinese people and overseas Chinese to be calm and
tolerant, and to reflect deeply on what is happening. Adopting a posture
of aggressive nationalism will only invite antipathy from the
international community and harm China's international image.

10. The disturbances in Tibet in the 1980s were limited to Lhasa,
whereas this time they have spread to many Tibetan areas. This
deterioration indicates that there are serious mistakes in the work that
has been done with regard to Tibet. The relevant government departments
must conscientiously reflect upon this matter, examine their failures,
and fundamentally change the failed nationality policies.

11. In order to prevent similar incidents from happening in future, the
government must abide by the freedom of religious belief and the freedom
of speech explicitly enshrined in the Chinese Constitution, thereby
allowing the Tibetan people fully to express their grievances and hopes,
and permitting citizens of all nationalities freely to criticize and
make suggestions regarding the government's nationality policies.

12. We hold that we must eliminate animosity and bring about national
reconciliation, not continue to increase divisions between
nationalities. A country that wishes to avoid the partition of its
territory must first avoid divisions among its nationalities. Therefore,
we appeal to the leaders of our country to hold direct dialogue with the
Dalai Lama. We hope that the Chinese and Tibetan people will do away
with the misunderstandings between them, develop their interactions with
each other, and achieve unity. Government departments as much as popular
organizations and religious figures should make great efforts toward
this goal.

Wang Lixiong (Beijing, writer)
Liu Xiaobo (Beijing, freelance writer)
Zhang Zuhua (Beijing, scholar of constitutionalism)
Sha Yexin (Shanghai, writer, Chinese Muslim)
Yu Haocheng (Beijing, jurist)
Ding Zilin (Beijing, professor)
Jiang Peikun (Beijing, professor)
Yu Jie (Beijing, writer)
Sun Wenguang (Shangdong, professor)
Ran Yunfei (Sichuan, editor, Tujia nationality)
Pu Zhiqiang (Beijing, lawyer)
Teng Biao (Beijing, lawyer and scholar)
Liao Yiwu (Sichuan, writer)
Wang Qisheng (Beijing, scholar)
Zhang Xianling (Beijing, engineer)
Xu Jue (Beijing, research fellow)
Li Jun (Gansu, photographer)
Gao Yu (Beijing, journalist)
Wang Debang (Beijing, freelance writer)
Zhao Dagong (Shenzhen, freelance writer)
Jiang Danwen (Shanghai, writer)
Liu Yi (Gansu, painter)
Xu Hui (Beijing, writer)
Wang Tiancheng (Beijing, scholar)
Wen Kejian (Hangzhou, writer)
Li Hai (Beijing, freelance writer)
Tian Yongde (Inner Mongolia, rights activist)
Zan Aizong (Hangzhou, journalist)
Liu Yiming (Hubei, freelance writer)
Liu Di (Beijing)
and 338 others

The rules of signing one's name are as follows:

    1. No anonymous or pseudonymous signatures should be used.
    2. Only one's own name or commonly used pen name may be used.
    3. One needs to include one's name, the province of one's current
residence, and one's occupation.
    4. Signatures can be sent to one of the following e-mail addresses:;;
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665
Developed by plank