Inside China: PLA hawks decry sellout by leaders

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Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said of the Dalai Lama’s visit to Leeds: “We hope the British side stop making mistakes again and again, which undermine China’s interests.

China-U.K. relations have been affected by the recent meeting between the British leader and the Dalai Lama. The responsibility lies with the British side.”

But will the Chinese pull out of the Olympics if the Dalai Lama keeps visiting Britain and giving speeches?

“The Chinese delegation is making preparations for the 2012 Olympics. I think politics and sport should be separated,” Mr. Liu said.

China apparently is unable to separate the Dalai Lama from its politics.

CHINA DOUBTS ON SPACE PROGRAM

With the successful launch of China’s manned Shenzhou-9 spacecraft and its docking with the space module Tiangong-1 this week, the communist nation appears rife with self-congratulations over the mission, which includes China’s first female astronaut in space.

But a surprise, albeit oblique, editorial from a key Chinese communist government newspaper, published hours after the launch, warned that China is essentially doing what the Americans and Russians achieved decades ago. It stated that China’s space ambitions should be based on Chinese reality and should not waste too many resources.

China should increase our presence in space … but no matter how important it is to build a space station, its connection with the people’s interests is not as direct and self-evident as building comfortable housing projects for the people,” the Global Times, a subsidiary of the Communist Party mouthpiece the People’s Daily, said Sunday in a rare editorial.

China is a big country with a considerable amount of realistic tasks for social development,” the editorial said. “We must correctly balance the relationship between solving problems for people’s livelihood and seeking a better future strategic position for our nation.”

The editorial warned that “any imbalance in dealing with these two objectives will be myopic and muddle-headed.”

It is rare for a party-controlled news outlet to challenge publicly an ongoing strategic program that has the publicized blessing of the top leadership.

The report prompted some speculation among analysts that it reflects internal disagreement among China’s top leadership over the country’s strategic priorities.

Miles Yu’s column appears Thursdays. He can be reached at mmilesyu@gmail.com.

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