‘Tibet movement falls victim to financial crisis’

November 15th, 2008 - 4:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Gordon BrownLondon, Nov 15 (IANS) A recent little-publicised decision by Britain to recognise Chinese sovereignty over Tibet may have been motivated by the need to bring Beijing into a new economic order, the BBC said Saturday.The Chinese minister who is leading negotiations over Tibet welcomed British recognition of Beijing’s direct rule over the territory, saying it brought Britain “in line with the universal position in today’s world”.

“I think this is a recognition of an already existing objective fact,” Zhu Weiqun said in an interview.

“It has also brought the UK in line with the universal position in today’s world.”

But the BBC’s diplomatic editor wrote: “Zhu Weiqun, China’s minister for Tibet, diplomatically sidestepped the question whether the British decision might be linked with (Prime Minister) Gordon Brown’s efforts to bring China into a new world economic order; though that is certainly what many China-watchers think.”

“They also think the Dalai Lama’s position has been weakened by Britain’s decision,” John Simpson wrote.

British Foreign Minister David Miliband, in a parliamentary statement Oct 29, gave his support to talks between Chinese and Tibetan negotiators and also backed the Dalai Lama’s call for autonomy as a basis for agreement.

Miliband also referred to a historic agreement dating back to the early 20th Century, which acknowledged China’s “special position” in Tibet, but asserted that Tibet had never been fully part of the country, the BBC said.

However, describing the policy as an “anachronism”, he asserted: “Like every other EU (European Union) member state, and the United States, we regard Tibet as part of the People’s Republic of China.”

Talks between Chinese officials and Tibetan exiles ended Monday after failing to make progress.

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