Sunday, September 28, 2008

Wen Jiabao's interview with CNN

CNN was the hate target of angry Chinese nationalists during the Tibetan protests. In March 2008 during his visit to Vietnam, Wen Jiabao in his interviews with international press used the phrase "the Dalai Lama' in contrast to the usual term Dalai or Dalai clique that was favouved by the Chinese state media. Wen Jiabao's use of the phrase lead many to speculate that Wen might have different views from hardliners in the Party. Wen further called upon the Dalai Lama to use his influence to end the violence in Tibet. In the recent interview with CNN, Wen follows the standard line and showed no indications of change in China's stance.

Watch the news clip here or read the full transcript of the interview here.

The section on Tibet is as follows:



ZAKARIA: May I ask you about another set of possible talks? The Dalai Lama has said, now, it appears that he would accept China's rule in Tibet. He accepts the socialist system in Tibet. And what he asks for is cultural autonomy and a certain degree of political autonomy.

The talks apparently are stuck at a lower level between the Tibetans and the Chinese government. Why don't you, given your power and your negotiating skills, take the issue yourself, and you or President Hu Jintao were to negotiate directly with the Dalai Lama and solve this issue once and for all, for the benefit of the Chinese people and, of course, the Tibetan people who are also in China?

WEN (voice of interpreter): In many places all over the world, the Dalai Lama keeps preaching about the idea of the so-called autonomy in the greater Tibetan region. And actually, the so-called autonomy that he pursues is actually to use religion to intervene in politics. And they want to separate the so-called "greater Tibetan region" from the motherland.

And many people in the United States have no idea how big is the so-called "greater Tibetan region." The so-called "greater Tibetan region," preached by the Dalai Lama, actually covers Tibet, Sichuan, Yunnan, Qinghai and Gansu - altogether, five provinces. And the area covered by this so-called "greater Tibetan region" accounts for a quarter of China's territory.

For decades, our policy towards the Dalai Lama remains unchanged. That is, as long as the Dalai Lama is willing to recognize that Tibet is an inalienable part of China's territory, and as long as the Dalai Lama gives up his separatist activities, we are willing to have contact and talks with him or his representatives. Now, sincerity holds the key to producing results out of the talks.

ZAKARIA: What action would you like to see from the Dalai Lama that would show sincerity?

WEN (voice of interpreter): Actually, I already made it clear that, when we observe any individual, the Dalai Lama included, we should not only watch what - we should not only observe what he says, but also watch what he does.

His sincerity can be demonstrated in giving up separatist activities. But then, everything depends on the development of the situation.

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