LANZHOU, China, July 10 (UPI) -- A senior Chinese official said the Dalai Lama must acknowledge that Tibet has always been part of China before relations with the religious leader can improve.
Yu Zhengsheng, a member of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China, said the Dalai Lama's "middle way" of "high-degree autonomy" for greater Tibet is not possible under China's Constitution, the official Chinese news agency Xinhua reported.
Yu urged Tibetan Buddhists to break politically from the Dalai Lama.
"The Dalai Lama has long been engaged in secessionist activities, which run against both the common interests of people of various ethnic groups and the traditions of Tibetan Buddhism," he said.
He called for an "absolute fight" against what he termed "the Dalai clique."
His remarks were delivered during a visit to a largely Tibetan area of west Gansu province, CNN reported. The comments came just days after reports that Chinese police fired on a group of Tibetans celebrating the Dalai Lama's 78th birthday.