It is calm in Tibet at the moment but tensions are set to rise as two sensitive anniversaries approach.
It is almost a year since the region was swept with violence in a crackdown on anti-Chinese protests and now China has warned other countries not to give the Tibet’s exiled Dalai Lama the oxygen of publicity.
The Chinese Foreign Minister told a press conference: “Our differences with him are not over religious issues, human rights, nationality or culture. It is a major issue about whether we should defend China’s unity or if we should prevent Tibet being separated from Chinese territory.”
The Minister claimed the Dalai wants to establish a greater Tibet on a quarter of Chinese territory.
The Dalai Lama, who fled Tibet almost 50 years ago, insists he only wants greater autonomy for the remote region in China’s far west, rather than outright independence.
China has ruled remote and mountainous Tibet with an iron hand since the People’s Liberation Army troops marched into the region in 1950.
The human rights pressure group Amnesty International says it is continuing to receive reports of human rights violations in Tibet and surrounding regions.
Riots in the Tibetan capital Lhasa last year left at least 19 dead and triggered demonstrations and marches throughout ethnically Tibetan regions.
These were quelled in a crackdown by Chinese police and paramilitaries.
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