China issues white paper to reassert its might-is-right Tibet policy

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama during his exclusive interview with the International Network of Street Papers (INSP) in Inverness, Scotland, 23 June 2012. (Photo courtesy: Simon Murphy/
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama during his exclusive interview with the International Network of Street Papers (INSP) in Inverness, Scotland, 23 June 2012. (Photo courtesy: Simon Murphy/

(, Apr16, 2015) – For this year of Tibet marking what the official Xinhua news agency Feb 18 called crucial anniversaries – such as the 50th anniversary of the founding of Tibet Autonomous Region and the 30th anniversary of sending the first group of Tibetan students to study in cities in China proper – China has issued a new white paper on Tibet. The underlying theme of the white paper, titled as “Tibet’s Path of Development Is Driven by an Irresistible Historical Tide” and issued on Apr 15, is China’s development path for Tibet remains absolutely correct while the Dalai Lama as well as the “Dalai Lama clique” are absolutely wrong about their criticisms of its policies.

The white paper’s first section speaks of the ending of Tibet’s old system which prevailed before 1959, when the country was still nominally independent, being a historical inevitability. It speaks of China having ended slavery and serfdom in Tibet as a justification for invading and occupying the country.

In the second section, China praises itself highly for the system of development it has pursued for Tibet, although it is much criticized for being designed to destroy the region’s ethnic and cultural identity and its globally critical environment health. It speaks of China having peacefully liberated Tibet from imperialism, although no such imperial power existed and the invasion was said to have been accompanied by the killing of more than 1.2 million Tibetans.

The third section condemns the Dalai Lama and the exile Tibetan administration’s proposal for a middle way solution, which seeks autonomy for Tibet, not independence, as being designed to split China. The “Dalai group has kept modifying its tactics for ‘Tibetan independence’,” the white paper says. Calling Tibet “an integral part of China since ancient times,” it accuses the 14th Dalai Lama and his followers of pursuing a “sheer fantasy,” with their demand being not in conformity with “China’s history and national conditions”.

The fourth section seeks to deride the Tibetan campaign against China as being peaceful and non-violent by pointing to the CIA’s support for Tibet in the 1960’s. It also claims that the largely peaceful protests in Tibet in the late 1980’s and the uprising protests across the Tibetan Plateau in Mar-Apr 2008, when China opened fire and massacred unaccounted number of Tibetans, were proof that the campaign was violent, citing unverifiable figures of arson and looting in the territory which it had kept under lockdown and sealed from the outside world.

The fifth section deals with China’s policy towards the Dalai Lama. It says: “Only when he makes a public statement acknowledging that Tibet has been an integral part of China since antiquity, and abandons his stance on independence and his attempts to divide China, can he improve his relationship with the central government in any real sense.” China’s repeatedly stressed reward for Dalai Lama, if he does these things, is to consider allowing him to come and live in China, while the latter keeps insisting that this is not what he seeks, that he only wants to see the Tibet issued resolved in a mutually beneficial manner on the basis of his middle way proposal.

The Information Office of the State Council, China’s cabinet, last issued a white paper on Tibet on Oct 23, 2013 with much the same contents, titled as “Development and Progress of Tibet”.


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