It's Time for China, Tibet to Cut a Deal

Dalai Lama backs off demand for autonomy, opening window
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 7, 2008 7:01 AM CDT
Tibetan exiles hoist a poster of spiritual leader the Dalai Lama in Katmandu, Nepal, today. It was ripped by police during a demonstration for Tibetan rights.   (AP Photo/Binod Joshi)
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(Newser) – The Dalai Lama is willing to accept Chinese rule in Tibet, providing Beijing with a major concession in an attempt to preserve the cultural character of the region, writes columnist Nicolas D. Kristof in the New York Times. The Chinese government must recognize the Dalai Lama's willingness to compromise and offer incentives of its own, urges Kristof, who held discussions with the spiritual leader and with Chinese and Tibetan officials.

Kristof outlines what acceptable terms would look like: China would release political prisoners, limit the immigration of Han Chinese into Tibetan areas, and relax its "patriotic education" campaigns that only exacerbate tensions. The Dalai Lama, for his part, would back off from calls for a larger, politically autonomous Tibet and accept existing boundaries. The two sides must compromise while the Dalai Lama is still alive. Otherwise, "a deal could be impossible for another generation," warns Kristof.