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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Instigation of "Tibet Independence" doomed to fail

March 8, 2008

Special Report: NPC, CPPCC Annual Sessions 2008

BEIJING, March 7 (Xinhua) -- The instigation of "Tibet independence"
is doomed to fail, said Tibetan Party chief Zhang Qingli here Friday.

The Dalai Lama has never stopped his plot to separate Tibet from China
since he betrayed the country, Zhang, secretary of the Tibetan
Autonomous Regional Committee of the Communist Party of China, said on
the sidelines of the parliament session.

"I have never heard that the Dalai Lama refrains from splitting Tibet
from China," Zhang told reporters after the panel discussion of the
Tibetan delegation to the First Session of the 11th National People's
Congress, China's top legislature.

"We welcome anyone who shows loyalty to the country as long as he
means what he says but never tolerate those who are dead set on
splitting activities," Zhang said.

Responding to a question about the reincarnation of Living Buddhas,
Qiongba Puncog, chairman of the government of the Tibet Autonomous
Region, said there have been complete religious rituals and historical
conventions in this regard which no one should break.

For generations, the reincarnation of a Great Living Buddha, like the
Dalai and Panchen Lamas, must be selected among soul boy candidates by
drawing lots from a gold urn, and the enthronement needs approval from
the central government, the Tibetan official said.

"We respect the conventions. Those who want to break these principles
will never be tolerated by Tibetan Buddhism followers and will surely
end up in failure," Qiongba Puncog said.

Qiongba Puncog also voiced his confidence in Tibet's security during
the forthcoming Beijing Olympic Games, saying the autonomous region is
currently witnessing an "unprecedented" coherence among its people.

"All Chinese hope for a successful Olympics. Anyone who wants to
sabotage the Games will get nowhere," he said.

Qiongba Puncog extolled the history-making Qinghai-Tibet Railway,
saying it brings increasing number of tourists into Tibet, which
topped four million last year.

"Compared with the past, it (tourists number) is an impressive jump,
but not that impressive given the region's vast area," he said.

He assured that rising tourism unnecessarily destroys local
environment, as the facts in the past 18 months since the railway's
operation has proved.

"As long as we are fully aware of environmental protection and adopt
proper measures, another several million tourists will pose no problem
either."

The Qinghai-Tibet Railway, the world's longest plateau railroad,
stretches 1,956 kilometers from Qinghai's provincial capital Xining to
Lhasa of Tibet. It was put into operation in July 2006.

The railway project has set a very good example in balancing human
development and environment, Qiongba Puncog said.

As the ecological environment in Tibet is vital to China and the whole
Asia, the region is investing much and working hard to protect it, he
said.

A project will not be approved without environmental assessment, he
said. "We will say no to any environment-damaging project even if it
yields gold."

The region's top legislator Legqog told reporters the system of
regional autonomy of ethnic minorities proves the best choice for
local people to exercise democratic rights, and "we are exploring new
ways to improve this system."

The regional People's Congress has provided a platform for Tibetan
people's political participation, where their representatives discuss
regional affairs, make regional laws, supervise the government, elect
local government and legislature heads, and approve appointments of
local officials, Legqog said.

In the past five years, the regional People's Congress standing
committee has examined the implementation of 26 laws and regulations,
discussed 46 administration reports, assessed the government work
seven times, and approved the appointments of and ended 832 official
posts, according to Legqog.

"Our proposals to the government were well handled," he said.
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