After all, the Chinese say, we came in, liberated them from their backwards, feudal parasites that were repressing them, denying them the their true historical development. We took their children and educated them, and we built roads and railroads so that they could partake in the glorious path of socialist development. How ungrateful the bastards are! They are obviously being agitated from outside, by counter-revolutionary forces, exemplified by that murderer and tyrant in red robes, the Dali Lama (stage sound effects: hisssssssssss, boooo).
After all, so say the Chinese, the Tibetans were prevented from developing properly, trapped in ignorance and poverty by a repressive religious regime, parasitical and obsessed with maintaining its power over the means of production. These parasites taxed their peasants and forced them to follow arcane and incomprehensible rituals that reduced their productivity and denied them the fruits of their labors.
The liberation of Tibet was a glorious service of the selfless and sacrificing Chinese people, who gave their lives in order to liberate their Tibetan brothers. After all, Tibet always belonged to China and it would have been an unbearable crime against the path of communist development, as laid out by the great, wide and glorious leader, Mao Zedong, to not have liberated the repressed masses in Tibet.
And now this is the thanks? It is inconceivable that the path of socialist development be turned around: no liberated people can ever want to return to their sordid, repressed path in order to be exploited by such ruthless parasites like the Dali Lama (hisssssssssssss, booooo).
For that reason it must be outside interference from those lackey reactionaries that scurry in the darkness and serve the Dali Lama (hissssssssssss, boooooo).
Well, they would say that, wouldn't they?
The Chinese are indeed clueless to their own nature: so long steeped in their own Maoist rhetoric, they cannot see the beam in their own eye.
The Chinese perceive themselves to be the perennial victims of foreign interference: that the political incursion, economic exploitation and military aggression of the West undermined the glory of China, humiliating China and making worthless its historical achievements. This is, to a large extent, the basis for how China views the external world. This is in stark contrast to the other major thread in Chinese thinking, of the innate and unique history of the Central Kingdom and the amassed wisdom of millenia of experience with problems. China can overcome its victim status first when the world recognizes the Central Kingdom for what it is: the center of the universe. Until this happens, China will remain a victim.
Talk about your insecurity complex. The way that China has reacted to the riots in Tibet is also classic passive-aggressive behavior: it's not our fault, it's always your fault. See what YOU made ME do?
And they are, fundamentally, afraid of Tibet: scoff what you may, there are more Tibetans living outside of Tibet than in Tibet. Tibetans are characterized not merely as a ethnic group that has adapted to life at very high altitudes, but also in their religious beliefs. Tibet is spoken as far east as Sichuan; not only do the Tibetans form the majority in Tibet, but also in Qinghai Province and a good half of Sichuan Province as well.
What China does not realize, are not capable of realizing, is that they were wrong to have invaded Tibet and to have forced the Dali Lama into exile. They were wrong to think that the Tibetan culture was backwards and not worthy: Tibetan culture is uniquely adapted to life at high altitudes, and while there are always exceptions to the rule, Tibetans were largely content with their simple life, intense spiritualism and support of their religion, given the largely barren and inhospitable regions where they live.
It is the Chinese who are, here, the true imperialists, incapable of recognizing their attempt to destroy and recreate the Tibetans in their own image. This can be traced back to the classic Central Kingdom arrogance towards anyone not Han: it is the greatest weakness of modern China as well.