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By Chris O'Brien The Washington Times March 21, 2008

BEIJING — Throughout the crisis in Tibet, images of Tibetan rioters attacking ethnic Han Chinese have been shown over and over on Chinese television.

Chinese officials have ordered the Chinese press to "incite patriotism and hatred of the Dalai Lama clique" among the Chinese people.

Heavy Internet censorship ensured that many international news Web sites were intermittently blocked and that comments contrary to the Communist Party line were deleted from online forums.

But support for the government has flooded Chinese language Internet chat rooms, with anger often expressed against Tibetans for hurting China's image, especially with the Summer Olympics just months away.

"Your average Chinese citizen would have to be very conscientious indeed to break through the wall of skewed facts now facing the nation," said David Bandurski, project researcher for Hong Kong University's China Media Project.

China blanketed restive Tibetan areas yesterday with a huge buildup of troops, turning small towns across a wide swath of western China into armed encampments, the Associated Press reported.

Chinese officials also acknowledged for the first time yesterday that last week's anti-government protests had spread far beyond Tibet's borders.

In an overture of peace, the Dalai Lama offered to meet with Chinese President Hu Jintao and other leaders, reiterating that he was not asking for Tibetan independence.



© The Tibet Bureau - Geneva 2007  |  TOP