Thursday, March 27, 2008
Reports of unrest have quieted in Tibet and China in the last few days, but it's impossible to know if that's because the situation has calmed or because Chinese authorities have effectively closed off access by the outside world to troubled regions. Chinese officials permitted reporters back in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, on a guided "show tour" to demonstrate their peaceful control over the city, only to have the event interrupted by protesting monks. China reports that nearly 1,000 participants in the riots have surrendered to authorities, though it's quite likely that a substantial number of them did not so much surrender as they were rounded up by police. Despite Chinese claims that the unrest is at an end, it's clear that tensions are still simmering in Tibet and surrounding Chinese provinces. President Bush continues to press China on the issue of Tibet, and though calls for a boycott have still not gained widespread traction some European leaders have signaled their willingness to drop out of the Olympic games if Chinese repression continues.