DHARAMSHALA, February 20: A Chinese official said China should ignore foreign pressure on human rights in Tibet and East Turkestan or Xinjiang and instead must win Western opinions to its side.
“As China becomes more involved in international affairs, and as Tibet and Xinjiang further open to the world, more and more Westerners will have an understanding of Tibet and Xinjiang that better accords with reality," writes Zhu Weiqun on a Chinese government-run website. Zhu is the former head of the United Front Work Department with whom the representatives of the Dalai Lama met ten times between 2002 and 2010.
“Without a doubt this will all need long-term, difficult and careful work, as well as much patience, but time is on China's side," he wrote.
Protest against China’s rule in Tibet has escalated over the decades resulting in a wave of self-immolation. Since 2009, as many as 127 known Tibetans have set themselves in fire in Tibet to protest against the China’s occupation of their homeland.
Zhu Weiqun, former head of United Front Work Department of CCP
"We can only push the West to change its way of thinking if we let them understand that China's power cannot be avoided ... and that the West's interests lie in development and maintaining ties with China, not the opposite," Zhu wrote.
He however said that China "must totally disregard whatever the West says".
The exile Tibetan government and many Western scholars say the self-immolation has its root cause in China’s policies in Tibet especially those of of political and religious repression, cultural assimilation and environmental destruction in Tibet.