News / Asia

    China Vows to Step Up Fight Against Dalai Lama

    Chinese security forces block Tibetans from ascending hill to mark the Dalai Lama’s birthday in Ganzi in Sichuan province on July 6, 2013.
    Chinese security forces block Tibetans from ascending hill to mark the Dalai Lama’s birthday in Ganzi in Sichuan province on July 6, 2013.
    Reuters
    China's top official in charge of religious groups and ethnic minorities vowed on Tuesday to step up the fight against exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, as a rights group reported police shootings of monks marking his birthday.
     
    The comments by Yu Zhengsheng, number four in the ruling Communist Party's hierarchy, appear aimed at thwarting speculation that China's new leadership could take a softer line on the Dalai Lama.
     
    Beijing considers the Dalai Lama, who fled China in 1959 after an abortive uprising against Chinese rule, a violent separatist. The Dalai Lama, who is based in India, says he is merely seeking greater autonomy for his Himalayan homeland.
     
    Visiting a heavily Tibetan area of the western province of Gansu, Yu told local officials and religious leaders that the Dalai Lama's separatist activities ran counter to the country's interests and to Buddhist tradition.
     
    “For the sake of national unity and the development of stability in Tibetan regions, we must take a clear-cut stand and deepen the struggle against the Dalai clique,” the official Xinhua news agency cited Yu as saying.
     
    Buddhist leaders must be guided to oppose separatism and any efforts to damage the Communist Party's leadership, added Yu, who is head of a largely ceremonial advisory body to parliament which aims at co-opting religious and minority groups.
     
    Yu repeated that ties with the Dalai Lama could only improve if he openly recognized that Tibet has been a part of China since ancient times and abandoned his Tibetan independence activities, Xinhua reported.
     
    “The Dalai Lama's 'middle way' aimed at achieving so-called 'high-degree autonomy' in 'Greater Tibet' is completely opposite to China's constitution and the country's system of regional ethnic autonomy,” Yu added, according to Xinhua.
     
    Speculation China would take a softer line towards the Dalai Lama had been fuelled in part by an essay written by a scholar from the Central Party School, who said that China could take some steps toward resuming talks with the Dalai Lama's representatives, which broke down in 2010.
     
    Rights groups also say there has been some discussion about lifting restrictions on public displays of the Dalai Lama's picture in Qinghai province, where the monk was born.
     
    Despite a heavy security presence, protests and resistance against Chinese rule in Tibetan areas have continued.
     
    Police in a restive Tibetan part of Sichuan province opened fire on a group of monks and others who had gathered to mark Dalai Lama's birthday over the weekend, seriously injuring at least two, the U.S.-based International Campaign for Tibet said.
     
    While Chinese security forces often use heavy-handed tactics to stop protests in Tibetan regions, they rarely use guns.
     
    Officials reached by telephone in Ganzi said they had no knowledge of the incident.
     
    China's Foreign Ministry said it was also unaware of the reports, but said the Dalai Lama was using the opportunity of his birthday to promote his separatist agenda.
     
    At least 119 Tibetans have set themselves alight in protest against Chinese rule since 2009, mostly in heavily Tibetan areas of Sichuan, Gansu and Qinghai provinces rather than in what China terms the Tibet Autonomous Region. Most have died.

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora