Sep. 9 (The Economist): By casting every discussion of Tibet as a “core” interest of national sovereignty, China does at least manage to deflect attention from other issues, such as the continuing repression there. Since riots and protests in March 2008, hundreds of Tibetans, including prominent intellectuals, have been detained. Another generation seems to be growing up in Tibet chafing at Chinese rule and looking to the Dalai Lama for salvation.
A more drastic sop to Chinese sensitivities over Tibet came in a statement on the British Foreign Office’s website in October 2008. This junked the country’s longstanding position on Tibet, which, uniquely, had fallen short of an explicit recognition of full Chinese sovereignty. It was a position that mattered far more to China than to Britain. The concession was presented as an exercise in diplomatic house-tidying. If China reciprocated, it did so imperceptibly.