Dalai Lama Central to Resolution of the Tibet Issue

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  • January 2014

    Since June 2013, there has been a spate of activity on the Tibet controversy. Sparking it off was the interview of Professor Jin Wei1 from the Central Party School in Asian Weekly2 on June 6, entitled ‘Reopen Talks and Resolve Tibetan Issues’, in which she advocated engaging the Dalai Lama rather than demonising him. Soon after, the International Campaign of Tibet reported that China had lifted the 17-year ban on the display of Dalai Lama portraits in Sichuan and Qinghai. On the other hand, on July 6, the Tibetans who had gathered to mark the 78th birth anniversary of the Dalai Lama in Tuwa county were fired upon by Chinese security forces. The State Administration for Religious Affairs reiterated: ‘Our policy toward the Dalai clique is clear and consistent, and has not changed’.3 Yu Zhengsheng, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) declared: ‘Only when the Dalai Lama publicly announces that Tibet is an inalienable part of China since ancient times, gives up the stance of “Tibet independence” and stops his secessionist activities, can his relations with the CPC Central Committee possibly be improved’.4 These developments suggest that China continues to remain serious about resolving the Tibet issue, especially regarding the Dalai Lama’s role. This commentary seeks to analyse different aspects of understanding on the Dalai Lama’s role in the resolution of the Tibet issue.