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17:03 Sep 25 2009

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English>>Tibet Online
Could "Tibet independence" and "Xinjiang independence" forces be colluding?
14:38, September 25, 2009  

Organized by former Czech Republic President Vaclav Havel, the Dalai Lama and Rebiya Kadeer shook hands before cameras recently under the cover of attending the "Peace, Democracy and Human Rights in Asia" meeting. On the surface, "Tibet independence" and "Xinjiang independence" forces have collaborated. Some media outlets have claimed that a trend of collusion between the two independence forces is starting to emerge, and an "axis of independence" seeking to split China is forming.

It is indeed worth paying attention to the possible collusion efforts between the two independence forces, however, in-depth analysis and thinking on whether they can collude is needed.

First of all, the possibility that "Tibet independence" and "Xinjiang independence" forces will collaborate cannot be ruled out. There are three reasons for this; firstly, they share common ground – wanting to separate China and seeking independence or disguised independence. This is the main reason for the possible collaboration between the two "independence" forces. The Dalai Lama and Rebiya share the same goal of splitting China. Although they dare not publicly admit this stance, they have a tacit understanding on this point. With this common ground, the two "independence" forces can maneuver together to separate China.

Secondly, the two "independence" forces both have the same manipulating forces of behind the scenes and overseas supporters. The manipulating forces behind the scenes are western anti-China forces and anti-China western media that is hostile to China, including some anti-China politicians and other influential figures. These people occasionally join the two "independence" forces in front of the world’s mainstream media agencies to create hype and so-called “hot news” to make trouble for China. The survival of "Tibet independence" and "Xinjiang independence" forces depends on support from western anti-China forces, so they are willing to be manipulated and used by them.

Thirdly, they have the same performance platform of conferences, forums, speeches and other occasions surrounding disguised and so-called "peace, democracy and human rights." Political tricks under academic cover have already become the usual means used by western anti-China forces to gather their various factions and make public political performances, which have long been stereotypical. As they have the same performance platform, it would not be strange if "Tibet independence" and "Xinjiang independence" forces joined hands to perform together.

Although "Tibet independence" and "Xinjiang independence" forces are likely to collude, at present this is difficult for them to do fully because there are some practical differences between them. The Dalai Lama is favored by the western world and western media agencies as a "spiritual leader" or "spiritual master". From childhood he received a western education and has maintained close contact with the western upper-class since his overseas exile in the 1950’s. He understands how to cater to western values and adapt to meet the needs of the western world by conducting sophisticated and crafty political performances. For example, he disguises his motives with western values such as "human rights, democracy and freedom" in order to win recognition from the western community and a response from western media agencies.

Because of the fact that engaging in separatist activities later than the Dalai Lama, and having a lower level of education and less knowledge and experience, Rebiya lags far behind the Dalai Lama in terms of influence in the western world. The gap between them in personal experience, background knowledge, religious consciousness and other aspects determine both the different methods adopted by the separatist forces they respectively represent to contact the western world and the different means and form they use in their respective separatist activities. These differences will become an obstacle to in-depth cooperation between the two "independence" forces.

Secondly, the two "independence" forces act in different ways and have different methods of expression. Although some Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC) members advocate violent terrorist activities, they are not dominant among "Tibet independence" activists. The Dalai Lama has always described himself as a “spiritual leader” of Tibetan Buddhism and a "peace guardian," therefore he is afraid that his image will be damaged by close contact with "Xinjiang independence" forces who advocate violent terrorist activities. The Dalai Lama claims at public events that he advocates a "high degree of autonomy" in Tibet and is willing to negotiate with the central government. The Dalai Lama still worries about standing with Rebiya in public however. Although the two "independence" forces are becoming closer, they are still different as "Tibet independence" forces led by the Dalai Lama adopt “a peaceful and non-violent path” superficially, while "Xinjiang independence" forces advocate violent activities.

Strictly speaking, cooperation and collaboration are two different concepts. Cooperation means two independent entities coordinate with and take advantage of each other, while collaboration is the merging of two entities. At present, the two "independence" forces are only cooperating, not collaborating with each other. They are still in a cooperative stage to coordinate with, support and take advantage of each other.

It is believed that superficial coordination and mutual support won’t conceal the differences and divergences between the two separation forces. In mid-July this year, a number of foreign media agencies reported that the WUC had written a letter to the Dalai Lama appealing for joint opposition against China. According to a report by the VOA News, Tsegyam, secretary general to the Dalai Lama's office, said, “So far, we have not received any related letter,” while the WUC secretary general confirmed that the WUC had indeed sent a letter to the Dalai Lama's office.

Although it is hard to clarify the hidden facts, what is certain is that "Tibet independence" forces are not willing to have too close contact with "Xinjiang independence" activists advocating violent terrorist activities, to prevent the outside world from believing that they have close contact with violent organizations, which is against the Dalai Lama's public position of "non-violence." This shows that the two sides do not have a shared practical basis and conditions for reaching a common action plan. Therefore, the situation of the two "independence" forces cooperating and taking advantage of as well as suspecting each other may continue. But its development trend requires further observation.

By People's Daily Online

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