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"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?"

China’s Tibet policy a formula for conflict

February 16, 2009

(, Feb 13) – China is going full speed ahead with an
economic and demographic policy aimed at gaining full control over
Tibet, reported (India) Feb 11, taking part in a Tibet tour
organized by China’s State council Information Office for 19 Chinese and
foreign journalists, including from the US, Britain, France, Russia,
Italy, Singapore, South Korea and Japan. It said Beijing had been
encouraging mass Han Chinese migration to the region to, ostensibly,
help it improve economically.

While poverty and inflation were at an all time high there for the local
Tibetans, the Chinese immigrants were doing very well indeed. "I'm very
happy to be working here. I'm earning quite a lot," it quoted one such
migrant, named Han Lo, as saying. It said the mass Han migration was
part of China’s Go West policy aimed ostensibly at developing poorer
regions of the PRC and encouraging people like Han to move to Tibet.

The report said the policy had not only led to a skewered economic
pattern but also left many Tibetans disgruntled with the Chinese. It
noted that traditional Tibetan products like the Tibetan beer Chang was
being mass produced for consumption in the rest of the PRC, creating
investment and job opportunities for the Chinese migrants. At a high
street in Lhasa, Chinese shops are in direct competition with local
Tibetans, it noted.

The report said Chinese migrants make up a sizeable portion of Tibet’s
workforce, distorting the region’s demography and creating distrust
between the two communities. "Chinese are no good. All of them are very
bad," the report quoted a Tibetan woman in Lhasa as saying on condition
that her name be not revealed.

The media visit was a rare and tightly controlled government trip,
reported Feb 11. Reuters reported Feb 11 that the Tibetan
capital was under tight clampdown. I said the city seemed to be holding
its breath, just weeks ahead of two potentially explosive anniversaries
and a new holiday – the Mar 28 Serfs Liberation Day – created by Beijing
which pro-Tibet activists warn is "provocative".

Tight restrictions on Tibetans appeared to mean security for Chinese
settlers. "It feels very secure, there are military police on almost
every street, with guns and batons," it quoted a Chinese, a long-term
Lhasa resident, as saying.
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