China slams British support for Dalai Lama

Following the counter-revolutionary riots in Tibet in March (see ‘Tibet – China frustrates imperialist sabotage’, Lalkar, May/June 2008), the Dalai Lama, a feudal relic and the region’s former theocratic dictator, made a tour of imperialist capitals, including an 11-day visit to Britain in late May.

Taking on the flavour of an obsequious circus, complete with fawning media clowns, the “awarding” of honorary doctorates, and so on, the circumstances and timing of the visit could not have furnished clearer evidence both of the despicable role of the Dalai Lama as a frontman and stooge for imperialist attempts to undermine and disintegrate the People’s Republic of China, and especially of the fact that British imperialism, which created the concept of “Tibetan independence” in the nineteenth century, remains an implacable foe of the Chinese revolution and the Chinese people, whatever hypocritical stance they might sometimes take to the contrary for commercial or other opportunist reasons.

As if to underline the fact that hostility to socialist China is something that unites all Britain’s bourgeois parties, the Dalai Lama was met by Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Conservative leader David Cameron and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg. Even many visiting heads of state or government from sovereign countries are not afforded such a high level reception. And, with characteristic indifference to the fact that when the Dalai Lama ruled Tibet 95 per cent of the population were serfs or slaves with no rights whatsoever, who could be bought and sold, tortured, mutilated and killed by their masters on a whim, the House of Commons invited him to give “evidence” to an impertinently named hearing on the so-called “human rights” issue in China.

These reactionary anti-China provocations on the part of British imperialism drew a strong rebuff from the People’s Republic.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang expressed the country’s “strong discontent and resolute opposition” to the meeting with Brown. “This interferes in China’s internal affairs and gravely hurts the Chinese people’s feelings as well,” he said.

China’s parliament, the National People’s Congress (NPC), strongly condemned the House of Commons stunt. Its Foreign Affairs Committee said:

We express our strong indignation and opposition to such an act that constitutes an arrogant interference in China’s domestic affairs and hurts the Chinese people’s feelings.”

Tibet is an inalienable part of Chinese territory and Tibetan affairs are part of China’s domestic affairs, the statement said, adding that the Tibet issue is not about ethnic, religious nor human rights, but a political issue that concerns China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The Dalai Lama could not represent the Tibetan people as he has been engaged in activities aimed at splitting the country and restoring the old theocratic rule in Tibet, which is even darker than medieval Europe, the statement continued.

The British parliament’s invitation of the Dalai Lama to speak at the hearing is unacceptable to the Chinese government and people, and indeed, to any international voice with conscience, it said. “This irresponsible act makes a mockery of democracy, freedom and human rights.”

We hope the British House of Commons and its Foreign Affairs Committee will take into consideration bilateral relations and the interests of the two peoples, and cherish the hard-won sound relationship between the two countries,” the statement said.

The Chinese parliament also demanded that Britain respect China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, recognise Tibet as an inalienable part of China, take concrete actions to protect bilateral ties and prevent such things from happening again.