In the span of world and political history China is just coming out of the dark ages, albeit very quickly in a global economic way. The Chinese government’s policy to “crackdown” and “strike hard” is a primitive technique to bring fear not only to the Tibetans but also to their own population or to anyone who has an idea to bring reform. (It seems to be well documented that China’s domestic or in-country spy agencies consume more of the nation’s budget than its military defense.) Nevertheless, the wise action would be to support the Tibetan spiritual effort.
All this talk about freeing the serfs and bringing a better economy to Tibet has nothing to do with China’s agenda in Tibet. If China was altruistic they wouldn’t be engaged in torture and murder of innocents.
If China continues its “strike hard” policy in Tibet, China will continue to lose face to the rest of the world. They will also have lost an incredible opportunity to be world leaders in a meaningful way.