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Beijing – China issued a government report Thursday praising its rule over Tibet and accusing the Dalai Lama of wanting to restore a backward feudal system in the Himalayan region.
The white paper, published six months after riots and protests rocked Tibet, said the government had spent vast sums of money and manpower to protect Tibetan culture.
But the 30-page paper issued by the State Council, China’s Cabinet, also accused Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader of spreading false rumors about cultural genocide in the region and said any moves to split it from China would fail.
“The 14th Dalai Lama and his clique’s clamor for ‘cultural autonomy of Tibet’ is essentially a political conspiracy to restore theocratic rule over the culture of Tibet and other Tibetan-inhabitated regions, and thus realize the ‘independence of Greater Tibet,'” it said.
The paper was issued about a month before an expected third round of talks aimed at easing tensions between the sides.
The talks were started after monk-led protests against Chinese rule turned violent in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa in March. Beijing has accused the Dalai Lama and his supporters of fomenting the unrest.
Despite the two earlier meetings with the Dalai Lama’s representatives, the government has stepped up its campaign to vilify the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
“The 14th Dalai Lama and his clique and the anti-Chinese forces in the West conspire to force the Tibetan ethnic group and its culture to stagnate and remain in a state similar to the Middle Ages,” the paper said.
The Dalai Lama has denied China’s claims that he wants independence for Tibet, saying he only seeks greater autonomy for the Himalayan region to protect its Buddhist culture.
His self-declared Tibetan government-in-exile in Dharmsala, India, rejected Beijing’s latest claims.
“If the situation was excellent in Tibet, then the Chinese government did not need to issue a white paper. If the Chinese government feels that they have done enough to protect the Tibetan language and culture, they should allow free access to the international media,” spokesman Thupten Samphel said Thursday.
The March demonstrations were the most significant challenge to Chinese rule in nearly two decades. Beijing has said 22 people died in the violence, but Tibetan supporters say many times that number were killed in the protests and subsequent military crackdown. China’s harsh response garnered worldwide criticism.
Associated Press
Associated Press reporter Ashwini Bhatia contributed to this report from Dharmsala, India.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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