China has ruled out calls from Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, for a greater degree of autonomy for his people under Chinese rule, saying he will play no role in Tibet's future, RFA's Mandarin and Tibetan services report.
In a white paper policy document issued Sunday and carried in full by the official Xinhua news agency, Beijing appeared to take a harder line than previously, ruling out further involvement by the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government-in-exile in the future of Tibet.
"The destiny and future of Tibet can no longer be decided by the Dalai Lama and his clique," the document said. "Rather, it can only be decided by the whole Chinese nation, including the Tibetan people."
It rejected recent calls by the Dalai Lama, who fled the region after a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959, for an arrangement similar to that of the "one country, two systems" policies operating in Hong Kong and Macau, which returned to Chinese sovereignty in 1997 and 1999, respectively.
"This argument is totally untenable," the document said. "The situation in Tibet is entirely different from that in Hong Kong and Macau. The Hong Kong and Macau issue was a product of imperialist aggression against China; it was an issue of China's resumption of exercise of its sovereignty."
"Since ancient times Tibet has been an inseparable part of Chinese territory, where the Central Government has always exercised effective sovereign jurisdiction over the region. So the issue of resuming exercise of sovereignty does not exist," it said.
In an apparent warming of ties between the exiled government in Dharamsala and Beijing, the Dalai Lama's special envoy Lodi Gyari led visits to China in 2003 and 2002 — ; the first since 1993.
But China has since slammed a series of high-profile overseas trips by the Dalai Lama, including a meeting with U.S. leaders and trips to France, Canada and, next week, Britain. Beijing also cancelled a trip by a private Tibetan delegation in August 2003.
The white paper was issued in response to the Dalai Lama's comments on recent international trips, Xinhua said. "The Dalai clique, disregarding the fact that the Tibetan people have become masters of their own affairs and enjoyed full democratic rights and extensive economic, social and cultural rights, has constantly attacked Tibet's regional ethnic autonomy, in the international arena," the document said.
China's People's Liberation Army troops marched into Tibet in 1951. The Dalai Lama has recently accused Beijing of implementing policies of "cultural genocide" against the region and its Buddhist heritage.