No change in policy on Dalai Lama, says China

Updated 10 July 2013
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No change in policy on Dalai Lama, says China

BEIJING: China’s top official for ethnic affairs indicated yesterday that there will be no softening of the Communist Party’s struggle against the Dalai Lama by the country’s new leadership.
The Dalai Lama has deviated from Tibetan Buddhist tradition and remains intent on splitting Tibet from China, the party’s fourth-ranking official, Yu Zhengsheng, said on a visit to a Tibetan area of the western province of Gansu.
Yu said the exiled Tibetan Buddhist leader’s proposal for a “middle way” of meaningful autonomy for all traditionally Tibetan areas is in opposition to China’s constitution and policies on self-governance by ethnic minorities.
“In order to safeguard national unity and the development and stability of Tibetan regions, we must open a clear and profound struggle against the Dalai clique,” Yu said, employing Beijing’s standard term for the Dalai Lama and his followers.
Tibetan Buddhists must draw a clear political line between themselves and the Dalai Lama, oppose all forms of separatism, and actions harmful to the party’s leadership and the socialist system, he said.
China says it has made vast investments to boost the region’s economy and improve the quality of life for the country’s 5.4 million Tibetans. Much of Yu’s speech focused on those measures, while he also pledged to expand the use of Mandarin Chinese alongside Tibetan in education to improve job prospects.
Recent years have seen the self-immolation of a reported 119 Tibetans in protest at Chinese rule and repeated clashes at Buddhist monasteries and Tibetan town.
Reports say Chinese paramilitary police fired on Tibetans seeking to commemorate the Dalai Lama’s 78th birthday on Saturday, injuring at least six people.
The Dalai Lama says he wants only meaningful autonomy for Tibet rather than independence. China says Tibet has been part of its territory for centuries, although many Tibetans say they were largely independent prior to the 1950 occupation by communist troops.


Trump, Moon discuss North Korea’s threat to scrap summit

Updated 20 May 2018
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Trump, Moon discuss North Korea’s threat to scrap summit

  • Kim Jong Un has threatened to pull out of the talks with the US after calls for a unilateral nuclear abandonment
  • North Korea also canceled at the last minute a high-level meeting with the South, protesting joint military drills between Seoul and Washington

SEOUL: US President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Sunday discussed North Korea’s recent threats to cancel its unprecedented summit with Washington, Seoul’s presidential office said.
After weeks of warm words and diplomatic backslapping, Pyongyang abruptly threatened to pull out of the planned summit next month because of US demands for “unilateral nuclear abandonment,” according to the North’s official KCNA news agency.
North Korea also canceled at the last minute a high-level meeting with the South, protesting joint military drills between Seoul and Washington.
In a phone conversation on Sunday, Trump and Moon “exchanged views on various actions taken by North Korea recently,” Moon’s office said in a statement.
The two leaders agreed to “work closely” for the success of the landmark summit in Singapore on June 12, which would be the first meeting between a sitting US President and a North Korean leader.
They are due to meet in Washington on Tuesday.
North Korea’s sudden shift in attitude followed a weeks-long charm offensive that has seen leader Kim Jong Un hold a historic summit with Moon and meet twice with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
At a dramatic summit last month in the Demilitarised Zone dividing their two countries, Kim and Moon pledged to pursue nuclear disarmament and a peace treaty.
Pyongyang also raised hopes ahead of the US summit by announcing it will destroy its nuclear testing site next week.
But the promise is open to interpretation on both sides and the North has spent decades developing its atomic arsenal, culminating last year in its sixth nuclear test — by far its biggest to date — and the launch of missiles capable of reaching the US.