Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Fight against Dalai Lama will continue, top Chinese official says

By Paul Armstrong, CNN
updated 3:03 AM EDT, Wed July 10, 2013
The Dalai Lama addresses guests during a public talk on June 16, 2013 in Sydney, Australia.
The Dalai Lama addresses guests during a public talk on June 16, 2013 in Sydney, Australia.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Top official calls for "absolute fight" against what he termed "the Dalai clique"
  • Yu Zhengsheng was speaking during a visit to western Gansu province
  • Said talks will only start when Dalai Lama gives up 'Tibet independence' stance
  • Advocacy groups report Tibetans were shot celebrating Dalai Lama's birthday

Hong Kong (CNN) -- Just days after reports that Chinese police fired on a group of Tibetans marking the Dalai Lama's birthday, one of China's most senior officials vowed to continue with the fight against the exiled Tibetan leader.

"The Dalai Lama has long been engaged in secessionist activities, which run against both the common interests of people of various ethnic groups and the traditions of Tibetan Buddhism," said Yu Zhengsheng, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, in a report by the state-run Xinhua news agency.

He then called for an "absolute fight" against what he termed "the Dalai clique" as a means of protecting Chinese unification.

"Only when the Dalai Lama publicly announces that Tibet is an inalienable part of China since ancient time, gives up the stance of 'Tibet independence' and stops his secessionist activities, can his relations with the CPC Central Committee possibly be improved," Yu added.

He was speaking during a visit Tuesday to a largely Tibetan area of the western province of Gansu.

Tibetan self-immolations on the rise
Chinese artist portrays Tibetan woes
Dalai Lama silent on self-immolations

The Dalai Lama, who fled to India in 1959 after a failed uprising, has long denied China's assertion that he's seeking Tibetan independence. He says he wants only enough autonomy to protect its traditional Buddhist culture.

Beijing rejects accusations of oppression, saying that under its rule, living standards have greatly improved for the Tibetan people. It makes centuries-old historical claims on the region.

Meanwhile, London-based Tibetan advocacy group, Free Tibet, has claimed a Tibetan Monk was shot in the head, while at least six others received gunshot wounds, when Chinese security forces opened fire on a crowd in Tawu County in northwestern Sichuan Province on July 6. They were reportedly celebrating the Dalai Lama's 78th birthday at a sacred mountain.

According to the U.S.-based International Campaign for Tibet, large numbers of armed troops were deployed and attempted to prevent people from making their offerings and gatherings. Then without warning, according to several Tibetan sources the group said, police opened fire on the unarmed crowd and used tear-gas.

CNN could not confirm the authenticity of these reports, while Chinese officials could not be reached for comment.

In recent years, reports have circulated about a growing number of Tibetans setting themselves on fire in protest against Chinese rule.

Read: 100th Tibetan self-immolates in China

So far, more than 100 people have resorted to self-immolation, Tibetan advocacy groups have said. Independently verifying reported self-immolations inside China is often difficult because of restrictions on reporting from the restive areas and the reluctance of local officials to comment on the accounts provided by foreign groups such as Free Tibet.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 7:06 AM EST, Mon November 24, 2014
China is building an island in the South China Sea that could accommodate an airstrip, according to IHS Jane's Defence Weekly.
updated 5:57 AM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
North Korean refugees face a daunting journey to reach asylum in South Korea, with gangs of smugglers the only option.
updated 6:19 PM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
China and "probably one or two other" countries have the capacity to shut down the nation's power grid and other critical infrastructure.
updated 5:39 AM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
It'd be hard to find another country that has spent as much, and as furiously, as China on giving its next generation a head start.
updated 12:32 AM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
In 1985, Meng Weina set up China's first private special needs school in the southern city of Guangzhou.
updated 3:14 PM EST, Wed November 12, 2014
Despite China's inexorable economic rise, the U.S. is still an indispensable ally, especially in Asia. No one knows this more than the Asian giant's leaders, writes Kerry Brown.
updated 10:38 PM EST, Wed November 12, 2014
For the United States and China to announce a plan reducing carbon emissions by almost a third by the year 2030 is a watershed moment for climate politics on so many fronts.
updated 3:26 PM EST, Mon November 17, 2014
China shows off its new stealth fighter jet, but did it steal the design from an American company? Brian Todd reports.
updated 8:01 PM EST, Mon November 10, 2014
Airshow China in Zhuhai provides a rare glimpse of China's military and commercial aviation hardware.
updated 8:14 AM EST, Wed November 12, 2014
A new exchange initiative aims to bridge relations between the two countries .
updated 12:51 AM EST, Tue November 11, 2014
Xi and Abe's brief summit featured all the enthusiasm of two unhappy schoolboys forced to make up after a schoolyard dust-up.
updated 8:12 PM EST, Mon November 10, 2014
Maybe you've decided to show your partner love with a new iPhone. But how about 99 of them?
updated 9:19 PM EST, Sun November 2, 2014
Can China's Muslim minority fit in? One school is at the heart of an ambitious experiment to assimilate China's Uyghurs.
updated 9:55 AM EST, Tue November 4, 2014
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is one of thousands of Americans learning Chinese.
updated 12:00 AM EST, Tue November 4, 2014
Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou says he needs to maintain good economic ties with China while trying to keep Beijing's push for reunification at bay.
updated 1:28 AM EDT, Thu October 30, 2014
Chinese drone-maker DJI wants to make aerial photography drones mainstream despite concerns about privacy.
updated 1:18 AM EDT, Wed October 29, 2014
A top retired general confesses to taking bribes, becoming the highest-profile figure in China's military to be caught up in war on corruption.
ADVERTISEMENT