The de facto representative of the Tibetan government-in-exile in Taiwan yesterday took exception to claims made by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) that Tibet had signed its 17-point peace agreement with China as a local government in 1951.
Ma made the comments yesterday when responding to Democratic Progressive Party Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) remarks on Wednesday comparing the cross-strait peace agreement that Ma has proposed signing to the agreement signed between China and Tibet.
In a press conference on Wednesday, Tsai said a peace agreement with China would not necessarily guarantee cross-strait peace and security. Using the 17-point peace agreement Tibet signed as an example, Tsai said that despite promises to ensure genuine autonomy, freedom of religion and Tibetan culture, the Chinese occupation of Tibet only brought repression on the Tibetans, their religion and culture, forcing the Dalai Lama into exile in 1959.
Responding to Tsai, Ma said her remarks were “downgrading” Taiwan’s status as a sovereign country, as the title of the Sino-Tibetan agreement shows that the agreement was signed between the “central government” and the “Tibetan local government.”
However, Dawa Tsering, chairman of the Tibet Religious Foundation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, disagreed with Ma.
“Tibet was forced to sign the peace treaty with China because the Tibetan army was defeated and Chinese troops were right outside the city of Lhasa at the time,” Dawa told the Taipei Times by telephone. “A delegation was sent to Beijing to hold talks with the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] regime and the delegation was forced into signing the agreement without receiving prior authorization from the government in Lhasa.”
The delegation had to make a new seal in Beijing to stamp on the agreement as they were not able to get authorization and the official seal from Lhasa, he said.
Aside from the title and how the Sino-Tibetan agreement was signed, Dawa said that what happened to Tibet afterwards, despite the “beautiful promises” by China, “should teach anyone or any country in the world that tries to make a deal with China a lesson.”
“The Chinese government is insincere, dishonest and it upholds no moral values,” he said.
A Tibetan living in Taiwan, Tashi Tsering, who is a member of the Taiwan Tibetan Welfare Association, shared Dawa’s views.
“We Tibetans don’t trust the CCP regime at all, no one should trust them,” he said. “I actually agree with what Tsai said.”