As temperatures drop across occupied Tibet with the onset of Winter Tibetan hearts are no doubt warmed by the opportunity to read the constitution of their Chinese regime oppressors. Teams of propagandists have been active again on the streets of Lhasa pushing the extremist ideology of China’s communist party. Of course the only rights it defends are those that maintain the power and position of Xi Jinping and his political sycophants, the individual is entirely subservient to the dictates of the state. There is compliance or prison, a reality Tibetans have suffered since their land was invaded and placed under military occupation in 1950.
Reports coming out from Ngaba in Amdo region of occupied Tibet that today a Tibetan named as Yonten carried out a self-immolation protest against the brutal and illegal occupation of Tibet by the Chinese.
Image: made available by courageous Tibetans
That news of this latest sacrifice has managed to get out is testament to the bravery and determination of Tibetans whose land has been placed under a suffocating totalitarian black-out. They took immense risks in making sure information on Yonten’s action reached a global audience.
Like all the Tibetan heroes who stand up against the brutal tyranny of Chinese rule, his sacrifice will not be forgotten.
* Our appreciation to Jigme Ugen for sharing information on this protest.
Lhasa: November 14, 2019: The relentless indoctrination of Tibetan children by the Chinese regime continues. Today in Lhasa students were marched into a theater, provided with the flag of China, others had it face-painted and then seated in anticipation of a propaganda show.
Image: Chinese Occupying Regime In Tibet
The story, is of course a political fiction, created by China’s ministry of disinformation, a toxic fantasy that replaces authentic Tibetan history with a calculated lie showing Tibetans under the oppressive yoke of an elite and uncaring aristocratic elite. In this scene Tibetans having been supposedly enlightened by Maxist-Lenenist doctrine, courtesy of those helpful invading (oops, liberating) Chinese troops decide to resist the oppression of their rulers.
Image: Chinese Occupying Regime In Tibet
That the account is a fabrication while known to the Chinese regime is of no importance, the key objective is to employ the methodology of the Nazi’s ‘Big Lie’ which was that repetition over time would transform a falsehood into a truth. Given that these Tibetan children probably have little knowledge of the actual events regarding the invasion of Tibet or the condition of Tibetans prior to occupation by Chinese forces, the story presented to them is engineered to implant a false history and inculcate obedience and loyalty to the regime.
Image: Chinese Occupying Regime In Tibet
The merciless Tibetan aristocrat having been overthrown, the show concludes with scenes of gratitude and harmony, as China’s heroic liberators of Tibet are served tea and praised. The concoction having reached its close, the cast assemble to lead the audience with a rousing song in praise of China’s communist party and its glorious leader, Xi Jinping. Welcome to television in occupied Tibet!
Anyone within the Central Tibetan Administration (formerly the exiled Government of Tibet now CTA) care to explain why on earth the editorial team of their website has featured a promotional review of a film which, while posing as an artful exploration of lives and communities transformed through economic and infrastructure developments, is essentially propaganda.
Last time we checked the CTA (headed by Doctor Lobsang Sangay) was, apart from peddling an appeasement deal-of- surrender to China, engaged in exposing and opposing the suppression of Tibet and erosion of Tibetan culture. It regularly issues statements and reports on the expansionist agenda of China, cautions the international community on the corrosive influence of Chinese corporations and regularly criticizes projects, that have exploited and massively degraded the environment of occupied Tibet. From concerns about Huawei to open hostility towards mining companies which are opening up Tibetan mountains the CTA has a respected and established record of challenging and reporting upon the genuine concerns posed by China’s political, economic and corporate objectives.
With that in mind the decision of its website to give such full-page prominence to ‘Common Destiny’ (a film receiving the approval and support of China’s regime) and heavily promoted by the propaganda mouth-piece Xinhua during it’s screening at the Venice Film Festival in September, is all the more baffling.
But this ‘documentary’ was never going to consider such contexts, the crippling debts, failed infrastructure projects or the political and economic dominance imposed upon those partnering governments by China’s regime. No inclusion or reference to the environmental impacts of such developments. Those major issues had no place in this carefully engineered propaganda, the audience is engaged with the various personal narratives, distracted by the emotion, struggle and relative triumphs. A strategy which no doubt was factored into the film from its beginnings and obediently employed by six other (Chinese) directors all of whom were approved by China’s government! The production company behind this exercise in disinformation was none other than Beijing Silk Road Media Group, a public-relations arm of the project and by extension fully committed to the ideology and dictates of China’s regime. Interestingly its producer Liang Yan claimed at the screening that the film is not backed by government, anyone buying into that should seek reality counseling immediately!
There is no genuinely independent film-making within China especially when the subject is a cornerstone of the Chinese regime’s global economic policy. As such there would have been a very close scrutiny of its production. content and promotion, what has been produced is yet another slick, emotion focused distraction that promotes the supposed triumphs of the Belt Road Strategy. It also features key propaganda themes exemplified by the account of a Uyghur boy dreaming of winning a basketball scholarship. Touching story, right? But wait a minute while young Yusuf Jiang (note the Chinese second name) is aspiring to realize such ambitions Uyghur children of all ages are being torn from their families and detained within indoctrination centers to be brainwashed into obedient Chinese speaking citizens. Did that well-documented reality not trouble Martin Campbell or Guy Hibbert? Would not their creative talents not be better served by making a documentary on the cultural genocide waged against Tibet or the Uyghur homeland of East Turkistan?
What also of the Central Tibetan Administration and its promotion of this Chinese orchestrated disinformation? Was it some gross error of editorial judgement that decided to feature this film on their site? A calculated decision to curry favor with China, a signal of further appeasement? No matter the reasons, giving publicity to such propaganda while the same regime behind the film is waging a genocidal assault against Tibet’s culture and national identity raises worrying questions. Particularly for any Tibetan who expects their exiled Administration to be championing the just cause of national freedom rather than uncritically disseminating the lies and disinformation of China’s government!
Have you wondered why the issue of Tibet seems to have dropped off of the media radar? There has over the past few years been a remarkable silence, broken occasionally by reports of self-immolation protests. Yet increasingly the information coming out appears to have reduced dramatically. There’s one man who could offer an explanation, but he’s something of a biased participant. Mr Chen Quanguo the communist Chinese party (CCP) official directly responsible for imposing a mass surveillance system and ruthless police-state in occupied Tibet, and more recently within so-called Xinjiang (East Turkistan).
This communist Chinese regime psychopath, formerly Party Secretary (2011-2016) in the Tibetan region known as U-Tsang, devised a strategy of control that divided Tibet using a grid-system. Into each was established Chinese police stations at regular intervals across the entire region which formed an inter-locked, inescapable security presence. He also organized, through bribery and intimidation Tibetan households to spy on each other. This was assigned the euphemism of the “double-linked household management system.”
These draconian measures were not enough for Quanguo, he also throttled and distorted the flow of information, cracking down on relatively independent news sources, replacing them with media outlets loyal to the CCP. He transformed ‘Tibetan’ TV new channels into 24/7 conduits for Chinese regime propaganda. Anyone having satellite television was required, by fear of prison, torture and forced labor, to have only a reception fixed to channels approved by the authorities.
From what information which has emerged by the end of 2016, Quanguo had built over 700 police stations, which are called ‘convenience police stations,’ and created 81,140 ‘double-linked households’ that monitored around three million Tibetans.
With a seemingly limitless budget, he vastly increased the number of Chinese ‘police’ in occupied Tibet and played a key role in the introduction and expansion of technological surveillance which has added to the infrastructure of daily oppression and fear experienced by Tibetans. CCTV now monitors virtually every street, roads, public space in towns across occupied Tibet. This has been augmented recently by the implementation of facial-recognition systems, engineered, installed and maintained by Chinese tech-corporations such as Huawei, Sense Time, CIMC and Tencent Technology (which enjoy fruitful commercial and research relations with western companies and institutions such as MIT).
Such disturbing surveillance is being enhanced by a program of bio-metric identity cards forced upon Tibetans. Without which the meager support (housing rights, fuel or food supplies) offered by the occupying Chinese authorities is withheld. Meanwhile, the internet, social media and cellphone apps such as Tik-Tok are monitored and censor any mention of human rights, Tibet or the Dalai Lama.
Having successfully engineered complete and effective totalitarian control over the Tibetan population Quanguo was appointed to target a similar system of oppression and surveillance against the people in neighboring East Turkistan (so-called Xinjiang). Which he is presently realizing, having criminalized Uyghur culture and identity, forced countless thousands into concentration camps and detained huge numbers of infants within indoctrination centers. While the potential of big-data, AI and facial-recognition systems is discussed across western media, some regarding the expanding technology as offering positive social opportunities, Chen Quanguo and his thuggish comrades within the CCP have reminded the wider-world of the very genuine dangers such advances present.
Apart from violating basic freedom such as the right-to-privacy, the unique bio-data of an individual, monitored, recorded and stolen by the hands of tyrannical regimes such as China’s enables greater restrictions and supervision. Eroding civil and political rights while empowering the capacity of a government to impose an increasing spiral of oppressive social, economic and political controls.