Growing Gulf Divides China and Old Foe

The New York Times looks at gaps in perception of the between China and much of the rest of the world:

The call for some kind of Chinese-Tibetan talks continues to mount. On Friday, the Dalai Lama, speaking in India, made his most extended comments on the violence, accusing China’s state-run media of trying to “sow the seeds of racial tension” there but calling for “meaningful dialogue” with Beijing about how to defuse tensions.

…Mr. Hu told Mr. Bush during a phone call on Wednesday that he was willing to talk to the Dalai Lama, according to China’s official Xinhua news agency. But what was most striking about the exchange was the consistency of Beijing’s language on Tibet, which analysts say provides little reason to expect new initiatives.

Mr. Hu’s formulation, which has been used almost word for word since the time of Deng Xiaoping, in the 1980s and ’90s, was that China would resume contact with the Dalai Lama as long as he abandoned advocating Tibetan independence, stopped activities aimed at “splitting the motherland” and accepted that Tibet and Taiwan were inalienable parts of China.

The problem with Beijing’s line is that even when the Dalai Lama insists that he does not seek independence, as he and his representatives have repeatedly done, the Chinese government has merely repeated this trope, leaving little room for progress.

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