Asked by Brian Luckett, from Morgan State University
There is little prospect Tibet will achieve full statehood in the foreseeable future. Apart from preservation of its own power, China's Communist Party's highest imperative is the territorial integrity of the country. It is determined to keep Tibet a part of China and thus far the world community has acquiesced in China's claim.
The Cultural Palace of Nationalities in Beijing has a new exhibit commemorating the "50th Anniversary of Democratic Reforms in Tibet," a sweeping masterpiece of propaganda that provides one of the few available glimpses of contemporary China.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed this resolution regarding Tibet on March 11, 2009. The resolution coincided with the 50th anniversary of an uprising against Chinese rule and calls for "the Government of the People's Republic of China to respond to the Dalai Lama's initiatives to find a lasting solution to the Tibetan issue, cease its repression of the Tibetan people, and to lift immediately the harsh policies imposed on Tibetans."
Fifty years after a failed revolt against Chinese rule, many Tibetans continue to push for greater freedoms. But their claims are plagued by mistrust, and hope for resolving the conflict seems remote as ever.
Robert J. Barnett interviewed by Bernard Gwertzman
Robert J. Barnett, a leading expert on Tibet, says the Chinese government, which had hoped for a honeymoon period with the new Obama administration, is nervous as the fiftieth anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan revolt approaches.
Robert Barnett reviews Pico Iyer's account of the Dalai Lama. Barnett writes that while the book focuses on the Dalai Lama’s modern spirituality it has metamorphosed in light of the May 2008 Tibetan protests. The book now seems to touch on the question: "can a leader who aims to serve the spiritual yearnings of a world community deal with the specific needs of his nation?"
The unrest that is currently plaguing Tibet is only beign exacerbated by recent uprising and events that show how much influence the Chinese governement has over the domestic and international perception of the conflict in Tibet.