China has no intention of altering its "correct" policies in Tibet as they have brought unprecedented achievements, a government white paper issued yesterday says. It slams the romanticised notion that Tibet was once an idyllic fairyland.
China has long defended its iron-fisted rule in the remote and mountainous region, which Beijing says suffered from dire poverty, brutal exploitation of serfs and economic stagnation until 1950, when Communist troops "peacefully liberated" Tibet. It claism to have introduced "democratic reforms" in 1959.
When Xi Jinping took office as president this year there had been expectations he may take a softer line on Tibet, partly because his late father, Xi Zhongxun , a reformist vice-premier, had a close bond with the Dalai Lama.
But Xi has shown no sign of changing course in Tibet.
In a lengthy policy paper carried by Xinhua, the government said that Tibet under Chinese rule had achieved a great deal.
"Today's Tibet is developing economically, making progress politically, has a flourishing culture, a harmonious society and a good environment. Its people are happy and healthy," it said.
"Tibet's development cannot be separated from this correct path," the white paper added.
Meanwhile in Geneva, Tibetan activists protesting at Beijing's rule over Tibet scaled scaffolding on the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva early yesterday and unfurled a banner ahead of a session convened to examine China's human rights record.
At least three protesters from Students for a Free Tibet climbed up the Palais des Nations, currently under renovation, and put up a white banner that read: "China human rights - UN stand up on Tibet".
A UN spokeswoman, informed of the incident, had no immediate reaction.
Tibetan exiles and rights groups say that Beijing tramples on Tibet's culture, religion, language and environment, and has committed grievous abuses to ensure Beijing's rule.
Tensions in China's Tibetan regions are at their highest in years after a spate of self-immolation protests by Tibetans.