Xi vows unceasing fight against Tibet separatism

BEIJING • China will wage an unceasing fight against separatism in its restive mountainous region of Tibet, President Xi Jinping said, as the government repeated it would never accept the proposal by the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, for "genuine autonomy".

At a two-day senior leaders' conference this week of the senior leadership about on Tibet - only the sixth to be held - Xi Mr Xi repeated the government's Beijing's standard opposition to Tibetan independence, saying he would fight an "an unswerving anti-separatism battle", state media said in comments reported late on Tuesday. "We should fight against separatist activities by the Dalai group," he was cited as saying.

He also called for efforts to promote "patriotism among the Tibetan Buddhist circle and effectively manage monasteries in the long run, encouraging interpretations of religious doctrines that are compatible with a socialist society", state media said. There should also be more campaigns to promote ethnic unity, and a sense "of belonging to the same Chinese nationality", Mr Xi added.

Activists say China has violently tried to stamp out religious freedom and culture in Tibet. China says its rule has ended serfdom and brought development to a backward region. The Dalai Lama has denied seeking independence, saying he wants only genuine autonomy for Tibet something - what he calls the "Middle Way". Beijing believes is merely a smokescreen for independence,says Tibet already has real autonomy.

An accompanying commentary published by the United Front Work Department, which has led unsuccessful talks with the Dalai Lama's envoys, said the government has not accepted, and would never accept, the Middle Way.

The Middle Way plan seeks to cleave off one-quarter of China, as it would include historic parts of Tibet in neighbouring Chinese provinces, said the commentary, which was carried on the department's WeChat account said. "The so-called 'Middle Way' is, in essence, a splittist political demand," it added.Tibet remains under heavy security, with visits by foreign media tightly restricted, making an independent assessment of the situation difficult.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 27, 2015, with the headline 'Xi vows unceasing fight against Tibet separatism'. Print Edition | Subscribe