The "genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people" advocated by the Dalai Lama is another term for "Tibet independence," said a signed commentary published in Monday's Global Times, a major Chinese newspaper.
The commentary, published under the byline Lin Feng, said the "genuine autonomy" in the "Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan People" published in November 2008 ran counter to the Chinese Constitution and related laws.
But the Dalai Lama recently reiterated that the "Memorandum" was in line with the Constitution and laws on autonomy, according to Lin, who added that various terms such as "high-level autonomy", "real autonomy" and "meaningful autonomy", all with similar meaning, were used by the monk.
However, the Dalai Lama had always said he did not support "Tibet independence," according to the commentary.
It said the monk made clear in the "five-point peace plan" in 1987, the "seven point new suggestions" in 1988 and the "memorandum" in 2008 that "high-level" autonomy should be achieved by way of "one country, two systems," with the central government in charge of Tibet's defense and diplomatic issues and the local government entitled to administration of education, the economy, the environment and religious issues.
Lin said the Dalai Lama also proposed to set up separate, independent executive, legislative and judicial organs in Tibet.
"Such a 'country' with separate executive, legislative and judicial powers would be the Dalai Lama's ideal 'high-level autonomy'," Lin said, adding: "The pretext of his autonomy is to negate history that Tibet is an inseparable part of China.
"The Dalai Lama still claims that any country's territory, including that of China, cannot be exactly same as throughout history," it said, adding the monk was preparing for "Tibet independence" under the guise of "high-level autonomy."
The Dalai Lama had demanded that Chinese troops and military facilities be withdrawn from Tibet and that the central government allow Tibet to set up "overseas organs" to handle Tibet's contacts with foreign countries, it said.
Lin said it was common sense that troops and diplomatic organs were symbols of a government and national sovereignty.
"The 'Greater Tibet' with 'high-level autonomy' which has been dreamed about by the Dalai Lama is actually without the Chinese military presence and diplomatic control of the central government. Then how can China exercise its 'indisputable' sovereignty over Tibet?"
The Dalai Lama had continued to distribute the "Memorandum" in the international arena over the past few months, pressuring the Chinese government to take action, it said, adding that Chinese officials had already responded to it by saying that the "Memorandum" still preached "Tibet independence" but with different phrasing such as "Constitution" and "national regional autonomy."
Lin said China would not allow any step back toward "Tibet independence" as such "wishful thinking" ran against the Chinese Constitution and ethnic autonomy laws and infringed on the national interest.
(Xinhua News Agency March 23, 2009)