Beijing: US Ambassador to China Garry Locke`s call to the Chinese leadership to re-examine policies on Tibet came in for criticism by an official daily today that slammed it as part of the US policy of playing the "Tibet card" every now and then.
Locke, who took over as envoy to China last year, had recently visited monasteries in Aba prefecture in Sichuan Province where a large number of self-immolations, mainly by monks, have taken place, to press for their demand of the return of the Dalai Lama.
"We implore the Chinese to really meet with the representatives of the Tibetan people to address and re-examine some of the policies that have led to some of the restrictions and the violence and the self-immolations, and we are very concerned with the human rights condition here in China," Locke had said in an online chat with citizens in cities across the US about his rare trip.
Seven Tibetans reportedly set themselves afire last week taking the total in different areas of Tibet so far to about 60 since 2009.
Slamming his comments a write up in state-run Global Times said negative remarks about human rights in Tibetan areas by the US have been part of Sino-US relations over the past decades.
"The US has always urged China to address the human right issue in Tibetan areas, and by using this, it tries to take a share of China`s internal affairs.
"The Dalai Lama fled into exile in 1959 and enjoys strong public support in the US. Whenever the Sino-US relations are at a deadlock, the Dalai Lama enhances his activities abroad. When the US tries to show friendliness to China, he restrains himself," it said.
The article claimed that in the early 1970s, when the US sought to establish diplomatic relations with China, it offered "much less support to the Dalai group, although it never forgot this puppet that it could play with".
"Then in the 1980s when the Sino-US relationship gradually normalised, the US frequently raised this issue," it said.
Calling the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize for the Dalai Lama "disgraceful", it said it was not actually a prize for the Tibetan spiritual leader but a "card that the West used to contain and against China".
"In recent years, the influence of Dalai Lama has been declining, and forces advocating `Tibetan independence` in foreign lands are unstable.
"Under such circumstances, the US will attempt to shame China either by using the Dalai Lama or stressing the issue of human rights, no matter how ineffective it might be," it said.
"China has already put a lot of diplomatic resources into the Tibetan issue. As long as the US`s strategy toward China doesn`t change, activities seeking `Tibetan independence` will continue to exist," it said.