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Will Tibet Survive the Olympics? Prospects for Reconciliation After the Games

Recorded on June 20, 2008

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

The Olympic Torch Relay is scheduled to enter Tibet on June 19, arriving in Lhasa on June 20.  Judging from China's robust appropriation of the Olympic Torch as a beacon - not of global sportsmanship but of China's debut as a world power, the Torch ceremonies in Lhasa are likely to be fraught with political and nationalistic symbolism.

Tibetan exiles across the world, increasingly desperate to halt the "Sinification" of their homeland, see the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing as the last chance to shine the spotlight of international attention on their plight.  And Beijing, calculating that they need do little-to-nothing - except perhaps give the appearance of a "dialogue" with the Dalai Lama - to respond to Tibetans' and the broader global community's calls to preserve Tibet's heritage and culture, is running out the clock.

 Will the Torch spark new unrest on the Roof of the World?  What are the real prospects for dialogue once the Olympics are over?  Join Dr. Warren Smith, a Washington expert on Tibetan politics and history, as he discusses his new book (June 2008) China's Tibet?: Autonomy or Assimilation at The Heritage Foundation.