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Hu affirms that Tibet will continue to be suppressed

Seems like a very obvious statement to make, given how China has reacted in the past. Ever since China took over Tibet in 1951, it has been extremely touchy about any external reaction on Tibet, dismissing all reaction as being an interference with its internal affairs. A lot of it is due to how China’s Communist politicians decipher any external reaction – any reaction from a politician outside China is seen as interference, not to be tolerated. The other part of the reaction is internal politics. China’s political system, with the politburo being at the peak of the political system, is in a system of constant tension. Any sign of relaxation, of letting things go out of control, or of letting people start to lead a protest, can lead to a weakening of the position of the President, and maybe slowly start his fall. The past history of Zhao Ziyang, who made the ‘mistake’ of being sympathetic to student protesters in 1988, and was then overthrown and put under house arrest until his death in 2005 (17 years later). Even after death, there was no mourning allowed for him. This is the precedent that any China leader would want to avoid. Hu was the leader in charge of Tibet at the time of the last protest in 1988, and he was the one who made his name by suppressing the protest; and it was even more impressive politically for him because he did in a fairly ruthless manner. Read what he said:

Chinese President Hu Jintao Saturday defended the crackdown on protests in Tibet and denied the disturbances were linked to human rights in his first public comments on the incident. Hu told Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd the unrest was aimed purely at “splitting the motherland” and insisted Beijing’s handling of unrest was its own affair, according to state media.
“It is a problem (of) either safeguarding national unification or splitting the motherland,” he said on the southern island of Hainan. “The Tibet problem is entirely an internal issue of China.” Exiled Tibetan leaders say Beijing’s suppression of the rare protests, which began last month, left about 150 dead. Hu, whose officials say only that Tibetan “rioters” left 20 dead, maintained the response was justified.

The steps that China has taken are typical; stop all reporting out of Tibet, prevent outsiders from reaching there; try to implement a total breakdown; blame Tibetans for the violence, and then claim that nobody outside has any right to say anything. And the sad truth is, China is now so powerful economically that nobody will be able to say what they want.

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