The Chinese people and leaders have always been tolerant and patient to the Dalai Lama. In an interview with AP journalist Steele held after the decade-long Cultural Revolution, the then vice chairman of the CPC Central Committee Deng Xiaoping said, "The Dalai Lama may come back, but must as a Chinese citizen. We have only one requirement, that is, patriotism. We have also maintained that it is never too late to be a patriot. "
In February the next year, the Dalai Lama's private envoy returned to China and contacted related departments of the Central Government. In March, Deng Xiaoping had a meeting with the Dalai's envoy, saying: "The cardinal principle is that Tibet is part of China. We ought to use this criterion to judge whether anything is correct or not."
In Nov. 1997, President Jiang Zemin delivered a speech at Harvard University in the U.S. After the speech, a question concerning talks between the Chinese Central Government and the Dalai Lama was raised. President Jiang answered the question in explicit terms: "As long as the Dalai Lama really abandons his advocate of Tibet independence, as long as he stops his activities to split the motherland, as long as he openly declares that Tibet is an inalienable part of China, as long as he acknowledges Taiwan is a province of China and the Government of People's Republic of China is the sole legitimate government to represent the whole of China, the door of negotiations is wide open."
On March 26, 2008, in his phone conversation with U.S. President George W. Bush, President Hu Jintao made clear China's policy concerning the Dalai Lama: "The Chinese Governemnt's policy concerning the Dalai Lama has been explicit and consistent, and we have been maintaining contacts with him with maximum patience. So long as he abandons Tibet independence, halts activities to split the country, especially the present activities to instigate and design violent crimes all over Tibet and elsewhere in China, and activities to sabotage the Beijing Olympics, as long as he acknowledges Tibet and Taiwan are inalienable parts of China, we are willing to continue engaging him and holding talks with him."
It can be stated that the Chinese leaders' attitude toward and policies on the Dalai Lama have been consistent, whereas the Dalai Lama's attitude varies with the changes in the international situation.
As early as 50 years ago, Mao Zedong came to know the true nature of the Dalai Lama. Just a few days before Dalai went to India to attend ceremony to mark the 2500 Anniversary of Sakyamuni's Nirvana, the leader predicted the possibility of Dala's not return at the Second Plenary Session of the Eighth CPC Central Committee.
"We must predict that Dalai will possibly not come back. He will not only refuse to return, but also curse us, saying 'Chinese Communist Party' invaded Tibet'. He would go so far as to declare 'Tibet independence' in India."
As was expected, after the Dalai Lama and the 10th Panchen Erdeni went to India, only the latter returned, while the Dalai Lama stayed in New Delhi and refused to return home at the instigation of certain foreign forces and Tibetan separatists who had previously fled to India.
Late Premier Zhou Enlai who was then visiting India met with the Dalai Lama for three times. Thanks to Premier Zhou's earnest admonition and patient persuasion, the Dalai Lame returned to China. Chairman Mao sent a letter to him right away in praise of his deed.
On Jan. 23, 1961, Mao Zedong had a long conversation with the 10th Panchen Erdeni in Beijing. Speaking of the Dalai Lama, he said, "The Dalai Lama was very reluctant to sign the agreements. He and his clique sent two groups of negotiators: one led by Ngapoi Ngawang Jigme from Chanmdo to Beijing, and the other from Kolkata, India. The second delegation was obstructed by Nehru, while the delegation members did not want to come. Seeing that they had to, they arrived at last. … The Dalai Lama began to conspire a rebellion after he left Beijing in 1955. He had been arranging the rebellion for two years, from his departure from India to his return from India in early 1958. "
On Oct. 6, 1959, Mao Zedong met a delegation of the Communist Party of India. In his conversation with Ajoy Kumar Ghosh, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of India, Mao expressed China's attitude toward the Dalai Lama: "We hope for his return if he supports our proposition. As long as he acknowledges two principles, i.e., first, Tibet is part of China; second, he agrees to carry out democratic and socialist reforms in Tibet, then he can come back. "
China's central authorities have not changed the policy formulated by Mao Zedong 57 years ago concerning the Dalai Lama who fled abroad, especially the first principle. With the passage of so many years, however, the Dalai Lama has not changed his attitude at all. Furthermore, he has become even more skilled in serving as a double dealer, and slipped further and further on the path of splitting the motherland.
(Xinhua News Agency March 2, 2009)