....The Chinese bureaucracy's anti-working-class policies—including brutal repression of the religion, language, and cultural rights of oppressed nationalities like Tibetans—have given the imperialist powers a handle in their long-term campaign to isolate the workers state. At the same time, China is strategically and economically important to the imperialist powers, as they try to maneuver with the ruling bureaucracy for political stability and greater trade and investment.
Protests broke out in Tibet and other parts of China in March. Buddhist monks were arrested during an attempted rally marking the 49th anniversary of a landlord-inspired uprising against the Chinese Revolution. The protests spread and included rioting that targeted Han Chinese who have migrated to the region.
Tibet, historically separate from China but ruled for centuries by Chinese emperors, had a feudal system led by a religious hierarchy headed by the Dalai Lama. The Chinese People's Liberation Army entered Tibet in 1950 after the triumph of the Chinese Revolution. The oppressive property relations in Tibet increasingly came into conflict with the Chinese workers state. In 1959, imperialist powers backed a revolt by landlords trying to reassert their control. The defeat of this uprising was a setback for imperialism.
Since that time imperialist powers and liberal hangers-on, including a slew of celebrities, have used the "Free Tibet" campaign as a wedge against China. The recent spate of protests—which went beyond Tibet and included some participation from social layers other than Buddhist monks—have been the largest in 20 years.
In the last ten years the Chinese government has invested billions of dollars to develop infrastructure in Tibet, including building roads and a railway. As in other rural areas, the Chinese leadership is using capitalist methods to spur foreign investment and development. The accompanying social inequalities are creating a powder keg not only among Tibetans, who face national oppression, but amongst Chinese toilers as a whole.