The story

James Miles, of The Economist, has just returned from Lhasa, Tibet. The following is a transcript of an interview he gave to CNN.

Q. How easy was it for you to see what you wanted to see?

A. Well remarkably so, given that the authorities are normally extremely sensitive about the presence of foreign journalists when this kind of incident occurs. I was expecting all along that they were going to call me up and tell me to leave Lhasa immediately. I think what restrained them from doing that, one very important factor in this, was the thoughts of the Olympic Games that are going to be staged in Beijing in August. And they have been going out of their way to convince the rest of the world that China is opening up in advance of this. I think they probably didn't want me there but they knew that I was there with official permission, and one thing they've been trying to get across over the last few months is that journalists based in Beijing can now get around the country more freely than they could before. Of course Tibet is a special example. I've been a journalist in China now for 15 years altogether. This is the first time that I've ever got official approval to go to Tibet. And it's remarkable I think that they decided to let me stay there and probably they felt that it was a bit of a gamble. But as the protests went on I think they also probably felt that having me there would help to get across the scale of the ethnically-targeted violence that the Chinese themselves have also been trying to highlight. Read full article »

All About TibetChinaSummer OlympicsWen JiabaoDalai Lama

Don't Miss