Sunday, April 27, 2008

China returns to angry rhetoric

Maybe yesterday's post was too hasty — China returned today to angry rhetoric about the Dalai Lama, calling him a 'criminal to history.' The new verbal assault came two days after Beijing said officials would meet with representatives of the Dalai Lama in an effort to blunt international protests that have followed the path of the Olympic torch around the world. China is hosting this year's Summer Games, and blames the Tibetan spiritual leader for the protests, many of which carried out by demonstrators for more autonomy for Tibet. China took over Tibet in 1950, and the Dalai Lama fled into exile in India in 1959. On Friday, China appeared to have bowed to international pressure over the pro-Tibet protests and agreed to meet with the Dalai Lama's representatives. But the anti-Dalai Lama rhetoric returned Saturday, with the daily Communist Party newspaper, accusing him of trying to "split" China by agitating for more autonomy for Tibet. "The Dalai clique has always been masters at games with words and the ideas that they have tossed about truly make the head spin," the People's Daily said Saturday. "Questions of sovereignty are beyond debate and splitting China is sure to fail." Beijing has long called the Dalai Lama a "splittist," accusing him of trying to split China because he advocates more independence for Tibet.

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