Things are happening.
Chinese are talking about Ti bet, but not in any major way. Most of my students think what's happening is wrong, but believe they don't have the resources or ability to do anything about it. Ti bet, even after it was no longer an independent kingdom has always been considered far and remote for most Chinese. People who live in nearby Sichuan province have far more experiences with Ti bet ans, and maybe I'd feel more angry reactions if I were there. To the average Beijinger, news on the conflict came very late and was heavily opinionated. On CCTV9 they called it the "La ma clique separatist movement" and voiced that the Ti bet an people were being misled. I think most people believe this to a degree, but also view the Ti bet an plight sympathetically.
Due to all this and more, the Olympic torch was extinguished many times on route through Europe with thousands of protesters. Now that the torch is coming to San Francisco, there will be many more. Mainland Chinese are mostly unaware of this, and the reporting on the torch relay is totally positive with smiling faces and interviews with happy athletes. Even Hilary is calling for a presidential boycott of the opening ceremony, but I'm sure Chinese don't know this.
Like anything, this is complicated. I understand the anger, but I also see how excited and prepared Beijing and the Chinese are. Most mainlanders are totally unaware of what really happens in China, and they may not understand anti-China protests. Many cannot separate people that are anti-Chinese government vs. anti-Chinese. I've had Chinese ask me, "why do Westerners fear China?" or "we are a poor country, so why are we a threat?," etc.
Truth be told, the 百姓 (common people) ARE poor and have almost zero control over anything in government, so using the Olympics as protest is a way to give voices to the voiceless. However, a total boycott (not just the boycotting of the opening ceremony) will harm the potentially vital relationship between China and the Western world. It's true that China has a million problems, but the progress that's been made is astounding. Millions of Chinese died from the worst famine in history, horrific cultural cleansing and terrible misguided policy in this century. To see a China where things are beginning to drastically change is beyond impressive and important to note. You cannot compare China's human rights, politics, etc. on equal footing with Germany or America or France; it's unfair and impossible. The West is 40+ years ahead in development and China just recently showed up at at the race. More time is needed to see a fairer, more democratic China.
(To avoid my blog getting shut down, if you post about Ti bet, leave a space between or use a different spelling, like Teebet.)