It was business as usual, as China’s ceremonial parliament wrapped up its annual session.
Delegates rubber-stamped an economic stimulus package worth 450 billion euros. The global financial crisis has hit the country’s export trade hard, putting millions out of work. But Premier Wen Jiabao said China would survive the tough times: “We have long term plans ready to tackle even more difficult times.” “We have reserved adequate resources to take care of the situation, that is to say that we have ammunition set aside for this.” “We are prepared to introduce new economic stimulus policies,” he said. Premier Wen Jiabao rattled the saber over Tibet, saying the Dalai Lama should be more sincere: “We can continue talks with the Dalai Lama. The key lies in the Dalai Lama’s sincerity to allow the talks to achieve substantive results.” But outside, the police “no tolerance” treatment of a small demonstration, showed the strains in communist nation. Security is tight, because the 50th anniversary of Tibetan uprising fell this week, as did the anniversary of bloody protests last year.