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Wrong stance on Tibet hinders ties with China
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This year marks the 50th anniversary of the quashing of the Dalai Lama-led revolt in the Tibet Autonomous Region and subsequent beginning of democratic reform. Over the past five decades, Tibetans have bid farewell to feudal serfdom and entered a modern democratic era.

However, some Westerners long harboring ill intentions toward China have taken advantage of the Tibet issue in an attempt to force their misconceptions upon China. It is known that the Tibet issue is in essence not an issue of ethnicity, religion or human rights, but one of several Western infringements on China's sovereignty, territorial integrity and core national interests. Western nations should recognize that Tibet is an inalienable part of China and stop intervening if they want to remain on good terms with China.

Tibet has always been part of China and only became an issue when Western nations jumped on the bandwagon of the Dalai Lam and his supporters.

As early as the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), Western powers began to covet China's Tibet region. The Empire of Britain invaded Tibet by force during the late 19th century and fostered a pro-British force in the region to support separatist activities.

To seek an excuse for its long-term invasion of Tibet, the then British government signed with Russia an agreement and put forward the concept of Tibet's suzerainty. This has since provided the Western world with an excuse for denying China's sovereignty over Tibet.

For the past 100 years, the Tibet issue has constituted an infringement on China's sovereignty, with Western attempts to split it from China.

In the early 1950s, the United States did its utmost to stop Tibet's peaceful revolution. In November 1950, the then US Secretary of State Dean Acheson openly labeled China's liberation of Tibet, its own territory, as an aggressive action. In the mid-1950s, the US began to offer the Dalai Lama clique arms and military training for armed revolts and separatist activities against the motherland.

For many years, the Western world pedaled its distortions on Tibet. In October 1959, the US-dominated UN passed a resolution on the issue, grossly intervening in China's internal affairs. In May 1991, the US Senate passed a bill, classifying Tibet as an occupied country. In October 1997, the US administration appointed a so-called special coordinator on Tibet to strengthen its connections with the Dalai Lama clique.

The wrong stance on the Tibet issue by some Westerners is mainly attributed to their misconceptions. It is an indisputable fact Tibet has been part of China since ancient times. All Chinese people, including Tibetan compatriots, have never denied this. However, some Westerners typically have chosen to turn a blind eye to historical fact in their history books, documentaries and films.

In the past century, some Western countries have actually used Tibet as a tool to contain China's reemergence. The 'Tibet issue' is a trump played by the West against China, as one European newspaper put it.

After the founding of New China in 1949, the US implemented a "maneuvering Tibet against China" strategy. In the 1950s and 60s, Tibetan separatists always served as the puppets of the Cold War. Ever since it ended, the Dalai Lama clique has been retained as a tool for bashing China.

In recent years, China's development has given rise to anxiety and fear among some Westerners. As some Western countries strained under the pressures of economic, political and social crises, they began to play the "Tibetan card" in an attempt to contain China, divert domestic focus and gain popular support.

In the past 50 years, China has told the world in a steadfast attitude that it is impossible for Tibet to pursue independence, semi-independence or de facto independence. The country's 56 ethnic groups, including Tibetans, will never succumb to any separatist attempts. China will never give up its ground on issues related to its sovereignty.

With China's status rising on the world stage and contacts deepening with the rest of the world, Western ideas about Tibet are also changing. In 2008, British Foreign Minster David Miliband declared that the United Kingdom acknowledged China's sovereignty over Tibet.

As lies supporting Tibet separatism become less influential, China's standpoint has gained extensive understanding and backing. During the 48th UN Human Rights Council meeting in 1992, China succeeded in foiling a so-called Tibet bill, further squeezing the room for Tibetan separatists.

In recent years, more and more foreigners have come to China and visited the sacred Tibetan plateau. They have beheld the joyous and peaceful life of the Tibetan people, as well as the booming economy there. This has helped them form a deeper understanding of the Chinese government's position.

Relations between China and the rest of the world have experienced a historic transition. China's development is now tied to the world's, while the rest of the world also needs greater cooperation with China. It is impossible for any Western country to not interact with China. However, it is impossible for the West to cooperate with China unless it develops an objective and unbiased stance on Tibet.

(China Daily March 5, 2009)

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