Chinese official says no softening in Communist Party struggle against Dalai Lama supporters

China's top official for ethnic affairs says there will be no softening in the Communist Party's struggle against the Dalai Lama.

Fourth-ranking party official Yu Zhengsheng said Tuesday that Tibet's exiled Buddhist leader was intent on splitting the Himalayan region from China. He said Tibetan Buddhists must draw a clear political line between themselves and the Dalai Lama.

Yu's comments indicate Beijing's new leadership is maintaining hardline policies on Tibet, enforced by a massive security presence in the Tibetan Autonomous Region and traditionally Tibetan areas of western China.

His remarks follow reports of Chinese paramilitary police firing on Tibetans seeking to commemorate the Dalai Lama's 78th birthday Saturday. At least six people were injured.

The Dalai Lama says he wants only meaningful autonomy for Tibet rather than independence.