China determined to tame Tibet with help of Maoist-era policies

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London, July 14 : Internal Communist party documents have revealed that China is planning a programme of harsh political repression in Tibet despite a public show of moderation to win over world opinion before next month's Olympic Games.

A Times report says that a re-education campaign has been outlined in confidential speeches to meetings of Communist party members by Zhang Qingli, the party's secretary in charge of Tibet.

These speeches, however, have been kept out of the Chinese media, but were printed in the April and May editions of the Xigang Tongxun (Tibet Communications) - a classified publication restricted to party officials. Translations were handed to The Sunday Times in Hong Kong.

Zhang is of the view that the anti-China riots between March and May this year "destroyed social stability", and said Beijing needed to crack down on dissent sooner than later to achieve what he called the "final victory".

Rioting broke out in Lhasa on March 14 after days of peaceful protests by Buddhist monks. The violence was fuelled by ethnic hatred for Chinese migrants who owned shops and homes. China said 18 people died, some beaten to death and several burnt alive.

That the situation from the Chinese point of view was so grave, can be determined by the fact that monks and civilians confronted Chinese security forces in towns and villages, some hurling stones and wielding primitive weapons.

The internal publication stated that 242 soldiers and police were killed or wounded but did not break down the figures. It said 120 homes and 908 businesses in Lhasa were destroyed.

There are no independently verified numbers for Tibetan casualties but the Tibetan government in exile has spoken of about 200 dead.

Zhang has now outlined a Mao-era system of "administrative committees" to control the monasteries, revived officious "street committees" to watch over the city and co-ordinated an intensive military operation.

Amid calls for a boycott of the Games, foreign governments and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have welcomed China's decision to meet the Tibetan exiles as a sign of dialogue.

However, Zhang's words make it plain the talks are a diplomatic mask to conceal China's actual policy.

His speeches, which are remarkably frank, show the government's chosen response is a classic Marxist-Leninist propaganda and re-education campaign backed up by armed force.

The Tibet party leader retains the backing of China's President Hu Jintao who crushed a Tibetan revolt in 1988 during his tenure as party secretary in Lhasa.

He also has heavyweight support on the politburo in Beijing in the shape of his mentor Wang Lequan, a 64-year-old lifetime Communist functionary believed to be directing policy in both Tibet and the neighbouring region of Xinjiang. Wang has described himself as the number one terrorist target in China.

The internal publication noted that the police, the government's religious bureau and all party branches should earnestly implement Zhang's instructions.

In reality, Tibet is governed by the Communist Party of China and the People's Liberation Army.

ANI

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