Full Text: Fifty Years of Democratic Reform in Tibet [Chinese Full Text]
On Monday, 2 March 2009, China's government published a white paper on the situation in Tibet before and since 1959 to mark the 50th anniversary of the region's Democratic Reform.
The paper, released by the State Council Information Office, reviewed the profound changes that have taken place in the past 50 years.
It also shed light on the laws governing the social development of Tibet, and attempts to rebut lies and rumors it alleges were spread by the 14th Dalai Lama and his hard-core supporters.
"It is conducive to telling right from wrong in history and helps the world better understand the real Tibet," the paper said.
Tibet had been a society of feudal serfdom under theocratic rule before 1959, with the 14th Dalai Lama as the chief representative of the upper ruling strata of serf owners, the paper said.
The long centuries of theocratic rule and feudal serfdom stifled the vitality of Tibetan society, and led to its decline and decay, the paper said.
In 1951, the Central People's Government and the Local Government of Tibet signed an agreement on the Measures for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet, or the 17-Article Agreement.
The agreement acknowledged the necessity of reforming the social system of Tibet, and stressed that "the local government of Tibet should carry out reform voluntarily."
In an attempt to perpetuate the old social system, the upper ruling strata in Tibet publicly abandoned the agreement and staged an armed rebellion on March 10, 1959, the paper said.
The Central People's Government and the Tibetan people quelled the rebellion, to safeguard the unity of the nation and the basic interests of the Tibetan people. Meanwhile, the Chinese government launched a vigorous democratic reform to overthrow the feudal serfdom system and liberate about 1 million serfs and slaves.
Since 1959, Tibet had greatly developed its social system and advanced its modernization. The cause of human rights in Tibet had made remarkable progress, and the living conditions of the people were improved.
"History has convincingly proved that there is no way to restore the old order, and no prospect for the success of any separatist attempt," the paper said.
"There is no way for the Dalai clique to uphold 'Tibetan independence.' Neither will it succeed in its attempt to seek semi-independence or covert independence under the banner of 'a high degree of autonomy.'
"The 14th Dalai Lama must thoroughly reflect upon and correct his political position and behavior. The central government has opened and will always keep its door open for the 14th Dalai Lama to return to a patriotic stand," the paper said.