No other political authority reaches the excesses of China’s regime when it comes to the deployment of euphemism. Within its monolithic structure there’s a dedicated team engineering pretentious titles to deflect from or mask the odious realities of China’s tyranny.
Take the phrase democratic reform used by China to describe a ‘process’ born it claims from Tibetans, who we are asked to believe appealed for the Chinese authorities to suppress the Lhasa Uprising of 1959. Following that military response the ‘reforms’ were launched with devastating consequences for the Tibetan people and their culture.
Apart from being a calculated deception it is of course an oxymoron of titanic proportions that a totalitarian, self-described communist state, headed by the dictator Mao Zedong could describe the cultural genocide which followed as a democratic transformation.
Whatever injustices existed withing Tibetan society were replaced by a foreign military occupation, mass arrests, forced labor camps, political thought-control, and the armed imposition of policies which targeted Tibetan culture as ideologically corrupt and regressive.
Like a serial kleptomanic who has come to believe his delusional insistence that thievery is economic redistribution, the Chinese government regards its deranged falsehoods as legitimate. In truth the so-called ‘reforms’ it celebrates are a political fiction and no amount of smiling Tibetan dancers performing in the front of Lhasa’s Potala Palace will change that fact.
The onslaught against Tibetan culture marches relentlessly on. China’s regime targets the children of occupied Tibet robbing them of their cultural identity within indoctrination centers. Such as the one above in the Tibetan town of Chamdo near the border with Tibet’s Kham region. In this so-called ‘experimental primary school’ the Chinese language is compulsory, along with a psychological grooming designed inculcate loyalty and patriotism towards China, its communist party regime and dictator Xi Jinping.
We’ve long taken the position that tourism to occupied Tibet serves the interests of the China’s regime and bank-balances of Chinese dominated tourist businesses. Those seeking the ‘spiritual experience’ of visiting Tibet are exploited, manipulated and suffocatingly controlled by the Chinese authorities. What they are allowed to see is an ersatz version of Tibetan culture, engineered by the same regime which, away from the stage-managed tourist hotspots, wages a genocidal assault upon Tibetan national and cultural identity.
Our just criticism and opposition on this issue occasionally results in weak responses from those who attempt to justify tourism to Tibet by claiming their presence enables information on the plight of Tibetans to reach the wider world. This reasoning held some credibility in the late 1980s and 1990s but no longer. With the instant access of the internet (informed by the knowledge, testimony, courage and sacrifices of Tibetans inside Tibet) the dire circumstances endured by Tibet’s people is freely available, 24/7 via a few taps of a mobile device or laptop.
The fact is that travellers are lead by a leash along well worn and safe tourist routes, constantly monitored, meeting approved Tibetans and exposed to China’s distorted version of Tibetan culture. They do not see the torture centers, visit forced labor camps, or witness the misery of Tibetans forced into concentration settlements.
Of course that inconvenient reality is not what tourists to Tibet are paying top dollars for. They come for the illusion of a Buddhist Shangri-la, which the Chinese tyranny is more than happy to fabricate, while milking them as cash-cows and promoting its propaganda narrative.
Thanks to the immense courage of local Tibetans who take a genuine risk in making such information available reports have emerged during the past few days of Tibetans living in Rebgong རེབ་གོང་, རེབ་ཀོང་ located within Amdo region of occupied Tibet being subjected to intensified oppression. With movements restricted, increased surveillance and musicians and beggars banned from streets. These measures are a response from China’s regime to suppress any show of dissent against its illegal and violent rule, particularly during the month of March, which on previous occasions has witnessed Tibetan uprisings and mass protests.
With armed paramilitary roaming the streets, security checks, 24/7 cctv surveillance, over 100 ‘police’ stations and a number of interrogation centers Mr Wang Yongpu a head of Chinese law enforcement proudly declared (March 13, 2019) such measures as resulting in Lhasa, the capital of occupied Tibet, as being virtually crime free.
By ‘crime’ of course he doesn’t mean robbery, traffic offenses, assault and the like, nope he’s talking public dissent against China’s illegal and violent occupation of Tibet.
The city has been on lockdown since China invaded in 1950. Tibetans terrorized into a state of compliance, made aware of the grim consequences of opposing Chinese rule. Torture, forced-labor camps, midnight raids on houses family members disappearing into the darkness.
The latest measures of oppression, including identity cards, facial recognition technology and tight restictions on movement across Lhasa have added to the suffocation endured by Tibetans.
Behind however the technology and security stratagies being praised by the Chinese regime what is maintaining the so-called ‘social harmony’ is the daily reality facing the people of Lhasa that any expression of opposition to China’s presence results in broken bodies and destroyed minds.
* The details of the photographers who took these images have been withheld for reasons of security. These can be added by contacting us to authorize.
This remarkable photograph was taken on March 12, 1959. as thousands of Tibetan women demonstrated against Chinese tyranny and massed around the Potala Palace Lhasa to show support for and protect the Dalai Lama from China’s army of occupation. Which had begun its deadly repression against legitimate Tibetan protests that sought freedom from an illegal and violent Chinese rule. We remember and salute the courage and sacrifice of those brave Tibetan women, whose spirit of resistance continues in the ongoing demands of Tibet’s people for their rightful independence.
Anyone with an interest in Tibet will eventually come across online references to Tibet being a part of China or claims insisting that since ancient times Tibetans have been ruled by China or under its control and influence. Such assertions promoted by propaganda mouthpieces such as Xinhua, Global Times and China Daily are usually accompanied by three deceptions and distortions. Which we take great delight in exposing below:
The ‘Ancient Tibetan King Had A Chinese Wife Claim’
The recorded claim that Wencheng, a Chinese Princess married the 7th Century Tibetan king Songsten Gambo is one of the devices used to press the falsehood of China’s claims over Tibet. Arguing that her marriage with a Tibetan ruler established a legitimacy regarding Chinese claims on Tibet. This specious reasoning is of course a nonsense. The Tibetan ruler in question also received a Nepalese wife at the same time, so perhaps Nepal should counter China’s cynical and baseless claims!
To further understand how ridiculous these bogus assertions are we need to look, not in 7th Century Tibet, but medieval France and its rival England. At a time equally marked by power politics and alliances. It is around the year 1122 and Éléonore de Guyenne was born. She was to become one of the most powerful and richest women in Europe. Receiving the title Duchess of Aquitaine, and eventually queen consort of France (1137–1152) and of England (1154–1189). Eleanor of Aquitane, as English historians recorded her name, married on May 18 1152 her cousin, Henry Plantagent, who was to become two years later the King of England.
The marriage lasted some thirteen years during which she bore Henry eight children: five sons, three of whom would become kings, and three daughters. Clearly a dynastic alliance and important to note one involving family members, all of whom were French, including England’s ruler! Now if we apply China’s distorted ‘reasoning’ that asserts legitimacy over Tibet, on the basis of ancient allegiances and marriage, then we must now consider that France could lay claim to the United Kingdom due to the historical truth of Eleanor’s marriage to Henry II of England!
The ‘Tibet Was Under The Control of The Yuan Dynasty Claim’
The so-called Yuan Dynasty during which China’s regime insists Tibet was part of China was in fact a time (nearly a hundred years in duration) when China proper was controlled, occupied and ruled by the Mongolians. Who while extending influence over, never conquered Tibet. Chinese historians and its present regime try to conceal the historical fact that China was part of the Mongolian Empire (dominated by non-Han rulers) by naming it as the ‘Yuan (new) Dynasty’.
China’s propagandists argue that as Tibet was within the territory ruled by so-called Yuan Dynasty is evidence that it historically is an inalienable part of China. Oh boy! The truth is that on the reasoning of conquest and political power it is Mongolians, the foreign rulers who occupied and ruled China at that period who can more legitimately claim that Tibet belongs to Mongolia!
The ‘Tibet Came Under The Patronage Of A Chinese Emperor Claim’
The final falsehood employed to press claims of legitimacy of Chinese rule over Tibet uses the argument of ‘previous control’. However this assertion derives from the Qing Dynasty when the Emperor K’ang Hsi (who was himself was a Manchu being Central Asian and not Chinese) intervened in Tibetan affairs, most particularly relating to Buddhism. Establishing what China’s regime claims was a condition of suzerainty over Tibet.
Well a few important considerations here, firstly the Dynasty in question (like that of cynically renamed ‘Yuan’) was not Chinese but Manchurian, a people and culture who had more in common with Tibetans than the Han society. Secondly although Chinese forces established military victories in some parts of eastern Tibet, large parts of such territory was regained by Tibetans in 1865 and later Chinese control was ended there when Tibetans expelled Chinese forces in the early 20th Century.
So there we have it folks, next time you see any hysterical (no mispelling there) claims that Tibet has always been a part of China you know what to say to such BS.