Tuesday, March 11, 2014

March 10 at the National People's Congress

Yu Zhengsheng meets the Tibetan delegation
Last year, on March 9, China's boss, Xi Jinping visited the Tibet delegation at the National People’s Conference.
In his speech, the Chinese President pledged that under his leadership, Beijing would pay the same close attention to Tibet as previous 'leadership groups' and would continue to emphasize “the maintenance of stability and leap-frog style development” (weihu wending 維護穩定and kuayueshi fazhan 跨越式發展) following China’s own special pathway and according to Tibet’s special characteristics.
Xi then cautioned that there can be no stability in Tibet without economic development. A constant vigilance must be exercised vis-a-vis ethnic problems, sensitive religious issues and sudden waves of Tibet independence sentiment. 
Xi further affirmed that China will not bend to the pressure produced by collusion between foreign hostile forces and those seeking Tibet independence. He stated that the special characteristics of Tibet must be respected with even greater protection to its culture and religious faith as well as continuous support for its rapid, leap-frog economic development.
This year the discourse was not very different.
Yu Zhengsheng, who chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and a member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo, met the 'Tibetan' deputies [there are many Chinese Hans in the Tibetan delegation] to the 12th National People's Congress (NPC) on March 10 (which is celebrated outside Tibet as the National Uprising Day). 
While the exile-administration was commemorating the uprising of March 1959, Yu briefed the 'Tibetan' delegates about the latest central policies for their region. 
Yu Zhengsheng, who was taking part in a 'panel discussion' with deputies from Tibet, first stressed the importance to adhere to the 'rule of law' in Tibet. 
This seems to be the leadership's first and foremost preoccupation.
What means 'rule of law' for the Chinese leaders is another matter.
Yu also asserted that "strengthening the frontier region is key to governing a country [i.e. China], and maintaining stability in Tibet is a prerequisite of strengthening the frontier region.
Why so much insistence on the 'borders'? 
Is India a threat for China? Not to my knowledge.
Mr. Yu asked the Tibetan 'authorities' to follow the principle of 'Rule of Law' in governing Tibet [are there cases of corruption overflowing from the neighboring Sichuan?], take measures to win local people's hearts [that is the famous massline] and make Tibet's development an enduring task.
Yu could not resist bringing the Dalai Lama in the picture.
He said that efforts should be made to help local officials and people to get 'a clear understanding of the nature and danger' of the Dalai Lama's preaching of the 'Middle Way' and 'high-degree autonomy'.
Obviously, at the grass-root level, Tibetan officials (they are said to be 80%) do not have the same understanding than Beijing about the importance of the Dalai Lama for Tibet.
If Yu chose to address the 'Tibetan' deputies on March 10, he should know that the March 10 Uprising was a mass movement of the People of Tibet to protect the Dalai Lama. Can it be a coincidence?
Yu Zhengsheng also said that he wanted concrete measures to be taken to support Tibet's economic and comprehensive development, improve people's well-being and ensure long-term peace and stability in Tibet.
That is fine, but without taking the Dalai Lama on board, this will not work. 
Yu, like Xi last year, seem unable to understand this basic fact.

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