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Tibet dreams of full autonomy dealt big blow

Britain’s decision to recognize China’s authority and Dalai Lama’s fragile health seen as setbacks

Bill Schiller (from Asia Bureau): Beiging- It is finally over, then for Tibet? Chinese government officials said flat out this week during a televised press conference that the Dalai Lama will “never” win the autonomy he seeks for Tibetans. But there was something decidedly different in their delivery. The normal Chinese defensiveness over its dealings with the Dalai Lama was gone. Demeaning references to the dastardly “Dalai clique”? Gone too. The usual over-the-top invectives, hectoring and virtual finger-wagging? All gone.

Instead, Chinese officials seemed strong, sure-footed, even smug in reporting on recent talks with the Dalai Lama’s representatives. And why not? Some say Tibet has now been stripped of the last vestige of what many believe was its legitimate, legal claim for special status within China. While the world was swept up in the heights of Obama-mania and the depths of a financial meltdown, Britain changed its policy on Tibet– and that makes all the difference.

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