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China says no independence or autonomy for Tibet


BEIJING, March 2 (RIA Novosti) - The Chinese government repeated its claim on Tibet and said the region would not be granted independence or autonomy, a report published on Monday said.

The document, published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of democratic reforms in the region, said "granting independence to Tibet is impossible," adding "semi-independence or attempts to free Tibet using the term of high-level autonomy is also impossible."

The China Daily described the document as "conducive to telling right from wrong in history and helps the world better understand the real Tibet."

Tibet was first incorporated into the Chinese Empire in the 13th century. After the creation of Communist China in 1949, Beijing signed a 17-point agreement for the peaceful liberation of Tibet, after which the autonomous region became part of China.

Chinese officials consider the document a legal contract that was mutually welcomed by both governments and by the Tibetan people. However, many people in Tibet consider the agreement invalid having been signed reluctantly or under duress.

In 1959, the Chinese government launched a crackdown to suppress an uprising in Tibet which led to the removal of the Tibetan government. Tibet's spiritual leader the Dalai Lama escaped to India, where he has headed the Tibetan government in exile ever since.

China has branded the Dalai Lama a separatist and accused him of orchestrating violent unrest in Tibet and Gansu in March 2008, which left 19 people dead and injured some 623, according to official Chinese reports.

The West has accused China of human rights violations, which the Chinese government sees as attempts "by imperialistic powers to isolate, split and demonize China."

Though the West considers the Dalai Lama to be the "spiritual leader of the Tibetans, the keeper of peace, and the protector of human rights," the Chinese government described these tags as being "completely absurd."

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