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The Chinese Communist Party is celebrating 60 years of rule over Tibet this week. But ethnic tensions run deep in the region where protests against Chinese authorities broke out in 2008.
Top Chinese official Xi Jinping is warning against unrest in Tibet. He spoke on Tuesday in Lhasa at a celebration marking 60 years of communist rule in the region.
Xi said that the Party will, quote, "smash any attempt to undermine stability in Tibet and the national unity of the motherland." He also said that the Party "should fight against separatist activities by the Dalai group."
Xi Jinping is expected to replace Hu Jintao as head of the Chinese Communist Party next year. His words show that amid the parades and other celebrations hosted by the Party, Chinese authorities are worried about ethnic unrest.
On Wednesday, Xi spoke to monks at Jokhang temple, telling them to "stay in line with the Party." Monks at the temple had staged a protest in front of foreign reporters in 2008.
Tibetans say their culture, language and religion have been suppressed by the CCP. And economic inequalities between Han Chinese and Tibetans have added to ethnic tensions.
Security in Tibet has been amped up ahead of the anniversary. Travel to the region has been closed to foreign visitors and even Chinese tourists until the end of July.