Dharamshala — "If you look at it from Lincoln’s point of view, he would have approved of China overturning the serfdom system in Tibet,” said a senior Chinese official last week during the congress party, while other officials came down on foreign officials for meeting with the Tibetan spiritual leader.
According to reports, Zhang Yijiong, who heads the Communist Party’s Tibet working group, told reporters following the Chinese party congress that there are no excuses for meeting with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
“Although some people say, the Dalai is a religious figure, our government didn’t put in an appearance, it was just individual officials, this is incorrect,” said Zhang.
“Officials, in their capacity as officials, attending all foreign-related activities represent their governments. So I hope governments around the world speak and act with caution and give full consideration their friendship with China and their respect for China’s sovereignty,” he added.
Zhang, who worked in Tibet from 2006-2010 as a deputy Communist Party boss, said that Tibetan Buddhism was a special religion “born in our ancient China”.
“It’s a Chinese religion. It didn’t come in from the outside,” he said, a statement contradictory to the widely accepted detail that the Buddha was, in fact, born in ancient India.
Another senior official, Supervision Minister Yang Xiaodu, said the United States and Tibet had much in common with their human rights experiences.
“In Chinese people’s minds, Lincoln is a hero, as he freed the slaves, and on this issue Chinese and American people’s recognition is the same, it’s a human rights issue,” Yang said.
“In Tibet we freed the serfs, and how are American friends not able to understand this? This is also a human rights issue. If you look at it from Lincoln’s point of view, he would have approved of China overturning the serfdom system in Tibet.”
President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves in the United States in 1863. In 1949, Tibet was invaded by authoritarian Communist China resulting in over 1.2 million out of a total 6 million Tibetans being killed, the destruction of over 6000 monasteries, and the Tibetan people inside Tibet being victims to acts of murder, rape, arbitrary imprisonment, torture, and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. Beijing continues to call this a "peaceful liberation".