Tibet's 50th anniversary; naval dispute between China and US heats up; Korean border crossing opened; Nawaz Sharif calls for 'sacrifices for a revolution'; and more
Top of the Agenda: Tibet's Anniversary
Tibet today marked the fiftieth anniversary of the revolt it led against China in 1959. The AFP reports that pro-Tibet protestors held prayers and rallies in parts of Japan and Australia, demonstrating in favor of greater Tibetan autonomy from China. Xinhua reports Tibetan separatists also clashed with police in the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu. China's President Hu Jintao spoke out on the anniversary, telling Tibetan leaders in Beijing that Chinese unity needs to be preserved and calling for a "great wall against separatism" (BBC). The Tibetan leader in exile, the Dalai Lama, made his own speech, calling for "meaningful autonomy" (Reuters) for Tibet and criticizing China for bringing "untold suffering and destruction" to the region.
Beyond questions about autonomy and sovereignty, the current political climate between China and Tibet is further complicated by new concerns about the succession of the Dalai Lama. Reuters explains the issue in a new FactBox feature.
Yet analysts say hopes for finding an easy, peacable resolution to the conflict remain distant. No country currently recognizes the sovereignty of Tibet, and a CFR.org Daily Analysis argues that a new wave of Chinese nationalism has polarized the issue. In an interview with CFR, Tibet specialist Robert J. Barnett argues that China should take a two-track approach to its dealings with Tibet, separating "the difficult talks about autonomy and the Dalai Lama's status, which they're nervous about, from the easy issues, which are religion, and migration, and development."
- This CFR.org Backgrounder explains the history of tensions between China and Tibet.
- A news analysis from CNN seeks to parse fact from fiction in assessing the hotly rhetoricized issue.
PACIFIC RIM: China-U.S. Naval Dispute
A naval dispute between China and the United States escalated today as Beijing rebuffed Washington's claims that Chinese ships "harassed" an unarmed U.S. ocean surveillance ship in the South China Sea on Sunday. China's foreign ministry spokesperson Ma Zhaoxu said today that "the U.S. claim is totally inaccurate and wrong" and that the American ship was breaking international law (CBS/AP).
N.KOREA-S.KOREA: Pyongyang reopened one border crossing (Korea Times) with South Korea, giving South Koreans access to an inter-Korean industrial complex, one day after it cut off military communications with Seoul after South Korea and the United States staged an annual joint military exercise.