China’s regime has today indicated that the door remains open regarding talks with the Dalai Lama’s representatives, who have for years been engaged in fruitless effort to secure a resolution to the issue of Tibet, due to the immovable demands imposed by the Chinese leadership. In response to such intransigence the exiled Tibetan authority has made a number of dangerous compromises in an effort to reassure Beijing of its sincerity in seeking an agreement. Most worryingly it has abandoned (without any genuine democratic agreement from its people) Tibet’s rightful claim to independent nationhood and has insisted that it wishes to secure what has been termed ‘genuine autonomy’ under China’s national and regional laws. Despite such breathtaking compromise, which has generated seismic tensions and frustration within the Tibetan Diaspora, China continues to play hard-ball, always suspicious of what it regards as as veiled ploy, on the part of the Dalai Lama, to regain Tibet’s independence.
According to its official mouthpiece the China Daily (CD) talks may resume upon condition of the Tibetan leader relinquishing what’s described as efforts to restore Tibetan independence, to what degree this latest indication is linked to the ongoing protests inside occupied Tibet, and the global attention created by a series of self-immolation is unclear. What is known however is that China’s regime is always meticulous in trying to seek any advantage in terms of pressurizing the exiled Tibetan authorities. It knows that the Dalai Lama and his exiled representatives are under considerable strain regarding the vicious crackdown currently being enforced, and desperate to end the loss of Tibetan lives. This latest announcement therefore may well be another cynical effort to exploit Tibetan anxieties, a strategic blow aimed to extract even further compromises.
The additional concessions insisted by China are revealed by the comments of Qu Xing, President of the China Institute of International Studies a state approved body, in today’s CD article, these insist upon the abandonment of major elements featured in the so-called Memorandum on Tibetan Autonomy (proposals upon which the exiled Tibetan authority is seeking a solution). These include:
Withdrawal of China’s military and security from Tibet (defined by China as ‘Tibetan areas)
Relocation of non Tibetans from Tibet
Political cultural and religious authority and autonomy over the three traditional Tibetan regions of Kham Amdo and Tsang U
The question that now looms large is will the exiled Tibetan authority, in its desperation to further negotiations with China’s regime, agree to debate the prospect of agreeing to these ultimatum? Will it evaluate the ongoing violent oppression inside occupied Tibet as being of such a magnitude as to warrant compliance with such demands? In so doing it would of course be surrendering the regions of Kham and Amdo and accepting only the truncated region of U-Tsang as comprising Tibetan territory. Moreover it would be endorsing the continued presence in occupied Tibet of China’s colonizers and paramilitary oppressors, while granting virtually all political authority to the central government of China. In effect the prison doors would remain firmly closed upon the Tibetan people with a cosmetic display of autonomy, and that limited to the so-called Tibet Autonomous Region.
Such is the freedom that would be realized by further negotiations with China on the basis of seeking autonomy under Chinese laws, is that the future being sought by Tibetans inside Tibet who continue to demand their nation’s independence? Are the sorely oppressed people of Kham and Amdo aware that in exile their Administration may well be considering a capitulation in which they are abandoned, no longer considered a part of Tibet? Do the residents of Lhasa realize that the representatives of the Dalai Lama may be evaluating an agreement which would see China’s torturers and killers remaining with the same tyrannical authority over Tibetans?
Anyone supportive of the rights and national freedom of Tibet would surely hope that the exiled Tibetan authority will not spare even a second in contemplation of China’s demands, unfortunately if recent compromise is any accurate measure, we cannot be so certain that such an accommodation may not be made. In light of that uncertainty, and given the colossal consequences of capitulating to these ultimata, it is imperative that the Tibetan people are given an assurance by the Central Tibetan Administration that such concessions are not reached and in particular affirm that the political, cultural and territorial integrity of Tibet, its three traditional regions will not be surrendered as part of any negotiation. Are you reading this Lobsang Sangay?