The emancipation of one million serfs in Tibet 50 years ago was a progress as remarkable as the success of the anti-slavery movement in the United States in the civil war (1861-1865), said a white paper published Monday by the Information Office of the State Council.
The white paper said the government's decision to quell an armed rebellion by feudal serf owners on March 10, 1959, and to free the serfs was of great significance "not only in the history of China's human rights development, but also in the world's anti-slavery history."
"The historical significance of this righteous action is entirely comparable to the emancipation of the slaves in the American civil war," claimed the white paper, titled "Fifty Years of Democratic Reform in Tibet ".
After quelling the rebellion, with the 14th Dalai Lama and his followers fleeing overseas, the Chinese government carried out the democratic reform that eventually resulted in profound changes in the region.
"When the Dalai (Lama) clique staged the large-scale armed rebellion to retain the theocratic feudal serfdom, the Chinese government took actions to quell the rebellion for the sake of defending national unity and emancipating the serfs and slaves of Tibet," said the white paper.
"History has convincingly proved that abolition of serfdom, the liberation of serfs and slaves, and keeping national unity safe against separation are a progressive and just cause for the protection of human rights and maintenance of national sovereignty," it said.
The white paper also accused the Dalai Lama, supported by anti-China forces in the West, of whitewashing the old feudal serfdom under theocracy and misleading the international community.
"Since fleeing overseas 50 years ago, they have never ... ceased their separatist activities to sabotage the steady development of Tibet," it said.
It also blamed "the anti-China forces in the West" for "accusing the Chinese government that abolished feudal serfdom and emancipated the serfs and slaves of 'trespassing on human rights.'"
"This is totally absurd, and provokes deep thought," it said.
(Xinhua News Agency March 2, 2009)