China to Seek Stability in Tibet via Development
President Hu Jintao and other leaders at a Tibet planning conference decided that “more efforts must be made to greatly improve living standards of the people in Tibet, as well as ethnic unity and stability,” the Xinhua news agency reported.
The emphasis on economic development indicates that Chinese leaders still see the solution to the problem of Tibet as one of supplying creature comforts. If the region can develop fast enough, the reasoning goes, then Tibetans will buy into Chinese rule.
But a vast uprising among Tibetans in 2008 and continuing tensions since have shown that even though the region’s economy has been growing quickly for years, many Tibetans still feel economically disadvantaged and culturally threatened. In private conversations, Tibetans often express rage over the suppression of traditional Buddhist practice and over the influx of ethnic Han migrants to Tibetan areas.