A senior Chinese official has
denounced the Dalai Lama's long-standing pursuit of autonomy for
Tibet, describing it as equivalent to advocating Tibetan
independence, state media said on Saturday.
The comments by Zhu Weiqun, chairman of the ethnic and
religious affairs committee of the top advisory body to
parliament, signal that China would probably refuse to pursue a
compromise with the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader.
The Dalai Lama, who fled China in 1959 after an abortive
uprising against Chinese rule, is considered a violent
separatist by Beijing. The India-based Dalai Lama says he is
merely seeking greater autonomy for his Himalayan homeland.
"In the fundamental sense, 'high-level autonomy' means
Tibet's independence," Zhu was quoted as saying in the China
Daily newspaper. "It is separated into two steps. The first step
is so-called autonomy. The second one is actual independence."