Beijing (AsiaNews) - The recent wave of self-immolations "will not stop development" in Tibet, said Li Changping, a senior party official in Sichuan province, adding that "separatist activities by the Dalai Lama clique are doomed to fail." He spoke on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC) currently underway in Beijing. Xinjiang party boss echoed such sentiments, saying that in his province "terrorists" would be stopped by any means.
China's parliament opened its annual session on Monday in the Great Hall of the People on Tiananmen Square. Attended by some 3,000 delegates, the meetings in the huge hall are often viewed as useless because the NPC rubberstamps decisions already made by the politburo. However, it is an important catwalk for provincial leaders to showcase their achievements to national leaders (and media).
Not surprisingly, some Tibetan leaders use the venue. "Some of the suicides are committed by clerics returning to lay life," said Wu Zegang, the government's top administrator in Aba Prefecture, as he spoke about the recent spate of self-immolations in Tibet and Tibetan districts. "They [the monks] all have criminal records or" have been involved in "suspicious activities. They have a very bad reputation in society".
Such "people can neither represent all Tibetans nor stop the stably-developing trend in these regions," said Li Changping, a senior party official in Sichuan province.
Things are not much better in Xinjiang, where for years indigenous Uyghur have been fighting for autonomy against the Communist central government.
The local party boss, Zhang Chunxian, said that terrorism in the province would be wiped out. To do this, he urged neighbouring countries to stop terrorists from crossing into China.
In his view, the conflict in Xinjiang "is not a religious issue, nor an ethnic issue". In reality, "The terrorists are basically against humanity. They are brutal to innocent people, including the elderly and even boys and girls. We are determined to fight back against these violent terrorists."