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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."

China's Hu links a stable Tibet to a stable country

March 7, 2008

BEIJING, March 7 (Reuters) - Stability in the occasionally restive
region of Tibet, where many remain loyal to the exiled Dalai Lama, has
a bearing on the stability of China as a whole, newspapers on Friday
quoted President Hu Jintao as saying.

The Dalai Lama, 72, fled to India in 1959 after an abortive uprising
against Communist rule, but remains the single most important
influence in Tibetan life. The atheist Communist Party has competed
against him for the loyalty of his people.

March 10 marks the 49th anniversary of his exile.

"Tibet's stability has to do with the entire country's stability,
Tibet's safety has to do with the entire country's safety," Hu told
Tibetan members of parliament on Thursday.

China's presence in Tibet has become yet more controversial ahead of
this year's Beijing Olympics, which activists hope to use to draw
global attention to the plight of the predominantly Buddhist region.

Critics say China continues to repress Tibetans' religious
aspirations, especially their veneration for the Dalai Lama, the 1989
Nobel Peace Prize winner whom China denounces as a separatist.
Periodic rioting by monks has been brutally crushed.

China has defended itself, saying it has spent billions of dollars to
develop Tibet and improve the living standards of the impoverished
Himalayan region.

President Hu said "efforts should be made to transform the mode of
(Tibet's) economic growth". He did not elaborate.

Critics have warned of environmental degradation as Tibet rushes to
enrich itself and catch up with the rest of the country.

Hu, who doubles as Communist Party and military chief, praised the
hard work of cadres in Tibet in a sign Tibetans would not be given
more say in their own affairs.

Politically the Party should "fully trust" Han Chinese cadres in
Tibet, tremendously support their work, warmly care about their lives
and set strict standards to prevent abuse of power and corruption, Hu
said.

But Hu also said the work of grassroots cadres from all ethnic groups
in Tibet was difficult and the Party should "care about them more,
support them more and help them more".
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