For Beijing, Tibet threat is 'life and death'
Officials say exiled leaders seek independence to break up China.
The saffron-clad monk, widely admired in the West as an icon of nonviolent struggle against the occupation of his homeland, was described Wednesday by a top Chinese official as "a wolf wrapped in monk's robes, a devil with a human face and a beast's heart."
"What other serious threat have Chinese governments faced ... that could be identified with a coherent movement and a single leader – and a charismatic one at that?" asks Robbie Barnett, a Tibet expert at Columbia University.
"We are in the midst of a fierce struggle involving blood and fire, a life-and-death struggle with the Dalai clique," Mr. Zhang warned his colleagues. "Leaders of the whole country must deeply understand the arduousness, complexity, and long-term nature of the struggle."
Chinese officials have offered just one explanation for the unrest in Lhasa: a plot by the Dalai Lama and his government in exile to further their alleged goal of breaking up China by winning Tibet's independence.
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