Bhucheug K. Tsering from International Campaign for Tibet has a blog post here written in response to a recent China Daily article. He finds some cause for optimism, but:
As I am writing this I am thinking of the increasing Chinese interaction with Taiwanese as a people, including those from the KMT, who are historically the arch enemy of the Communists. Chinese officials and society have been providing space to the Taiwanese, be it freedom of movement to and from China or other levels of interaction. Even KMT leader, Lien Chan, was not only able to travel all over China in 2005 but also to perform the very personal and moving act of paying homage to his grandmother’s tomb in China.
I am mentioning this because when it comes to dealing with Tibetans, the Chinese authorities have a different standard. May be ethnicity has something to do with the way Tibetans are treated, compared to how the Taiwanese are treated. I myself know a few cases of Tibetan families who have not been able to visit Tibet for personal reasons because they were denied visas even after going through a racially discriminatory process at the Chinese Embassy here in the United States. In one case a terminally ill Tibetan American was kept waiting for several months by the Embassy and eventually denied the visa to fulfill his emotional desire of spending some time on Tibetan soil before he passed away.
It is with such a background that I feel even one Chinese official revealing some positive feeling of Tibetans as a people ought to be welcomed.
Unfortunately, my admiration of Hua Zi ends there. She intentionally (or is made to do so by her professional obligation to the authorities) misses the wood for the trees in the main thrust of her article. Instead of following up on her feelings and trying to understand the reason why “these young men and women should feel compelled to take their lives in such a horrific way’ she succumbs to political expediency of blaming those outside of Tibet for the mess that is there today. Who in his right mind would believe her assertion that “Extremism, as endorsed by the Dalai Lama and his clique, seriously taints the image of Tibetan Buddhism and disrupts social order.”?
There is no indication that she or the authorities have made any effort to study the underlying causes that are leading Tibetans to take desperate measures. If the Tibetan people have positively “experienced five decades of democratic reforms and social development” why are they still having grievances? If the Tibetans in Tibet are really subscribing to the “political conspiracy” from outside what does it say about the confidence that they have in the political leadership in place in Tibet today? Hua Zi does not even heed Xinhua’s interpretation of her article, namely, “The writer called for an objective analysis of the causes and potential consequences of the self-immolations, so as to keep such tragedies from happening again.” There is no indication that she has looked into these aspects of the issue. Maybe this was not her role.