Beijing: China has vowed to continue to fight the Dalai Lama and his supporters to create a "favourable" social and political environment in the restive Tibetan region while asking Buddhist monks and nuns to be patriotic and law abiding.
Yu Zhengsheng, member of the newly constituted seven- member Standing Committee of the Party, which rules China, was on an an inspection tour in southwest China`s Sichuan province where he spoke for the first time on Tibet, which has been hit by a spate of self-immolation protests against the Chinese rule.
"The fight against the Dalai Lama clique should continue in order to create a favourable social and political environment for economic development and the improvement of people`s well-being," he said.
He also called on monks and nuns to be patriotic and observe the law and monastic rules during an inspection tour in Sichuan on Sunday and Monday.
This is the first public comment by the newly-elected Chinese leader on Tibet, which in the recent past witnessed a spate of self immolations.
Overseas Tibetan groups say the immolations were a protest against the Chinese rule in Tibet as well as for the return of the Dalai Lama from exile.
Ninety-eight self immolation cases were reported in Tibet of which many of them were by monks and nuns.
China has reacted angrily to calls by UN Human Rights body and US officials to address the situation in Tibet saying that it amounted to interference in its internal affairs.
Dalai Lama himself has expressed optimism that the new Chinese leadership headed by Xi Jinping, who succeeded Hu Jintao as Party leader in November last would take steps to ease the situation.
Officials say that any initiative to reopen talks by Chinese government with the Dalai Lama representatives could be contemplated only after March this year, when Xi takes over as President from Hu.
Talks were held in the past but without much success.
Yu said a unified and strong China together with developing and stable Tibetan areas will help ethnic groups improve their lives and brighten the prospects for Tibetan Buddhism.
Yu said he hopes Tibetan Buddhists will support the government`s efforts to manage monasteries in accordance with the law and encourage monks and nuns to observe both the law and monastic rules.
"The government should offer public services to monasteries while enhancing their management, as well as help Tibetan Buddhism to correspond with socialist society," Yu said.