It’s never enough for a fascistic, totalitarian oppessor simply to invade and brutalize your country and culture, nothing less than total assimilation is demanded. With all traces of cultural and national identity eliminated. Propaganda is of course a major weapon in such an offensive, especially when used to rewrite history into a narrative dictated according to the ruling ideology. Tibetans inside occupied Tibet know this all too well having been force-fed disinformation, lies and fabricated versions of their country’s past.
The image above was taken from a TV broadcast in Lhasa on April 22, 2019, Tibetans on Chinese strings performed a grotesque and politically authorized interpretation of daily life supposedly endured by the people of Tibet before China ‘arrived’ to introduce ‘liberty’ and ‘progress’. In terms of historical accuracy it’s a crude distortion, cultured in the laboratory of China’s ministry of deception.
Tibetans are exposed to such indoctrination on a daily basis, a meticulously calculated psyop is waged upon the thinking of Tibet’s people through a number of television and radio channels. The internet too is saturated with similar propaganda messages, while streets across Tibetan towns promote official slogans from the Chinese regime. It’s a war of mind-control.
When thinking about Tibet as it suffers under the oppressive grip of Chinese rule there’s a few key phrases to consider.
Image: Melong publication XXiii, 11, November 1956
The military strategy that seeks to destroy any assets or resources which might be of use to an enemy. These usually include water and food supplies, industrial centers, transport infrastructure, communications, and most chillingly people are also a target. Such objectives were central to the Chinese army when it invaded and occupied Tibet in 1950, and in the face of armed Tibetan resistance eventually realized.
Having secured complete control this policy was not concluded, instead its objectives were shifted to Tibetan culture, which was deemed by the Chinese regime to be backward and in need of what it termed ‘reform’. A euphemism for the cultural genocide which was inflicted upon the Tibetan people.
The Oxford English Dictionary, citing the use of the term in a 1946 New York Times report on the destroyed city of Hiroshima, defines ground zero as “that part of the ground situated immediately under an exploding bomb, especially an atomic one.” . The cost of Tibetan lives and decades of misery, starvation and persecution which followed the Chinese occupation of Tibet was as if a nuclear bomb had been dropped upon Tibet’s culture and freedom.
The reconstruction has been dictated by China’s regime, central to which has remained a merciless and brutal enforcement of dogma. Inflamed by the ideology of Marxism the Chinese tyranny saw its colonialism of Tibet as a progressive stage in the evolution from a supposed feudalism, of what it insisted was a stagnant culure. In Marxist language Tibetans were “relics of peoples” undeserving of national freedom, incapable of economic or political independence. Tibet was, under such ‘reasoning’, a valid target to be refashioned.
A new ‘social harmony’ was to be engineered. From the smouldering ruins of China’s brutal violence against Tibet would emerge a Tibetan population ‘liberated’ from a supposed ‘class exploitation’ and ‘local nationalism’. The methodology employed to assist Tibetans realize such a political consciousness included: forced labor camps, mass arrests, torture, destruction of Tibetan monasteries and a mass population transfer of Han Chinese into Tibet!
The poisonous cocktail of Marxist-Leninist doctrine with China’s traditional assimilationist ideology continues to terrorize the Tibetan people. Their culture having suffered the ravages of scorched earth and a nuclear-like assault is being redefined according to the political objective of China’s regime. Tibetan children are the experimental subjects, groomed into what is hoped will be a generation that knows only loyalty and gratitude towards the Chinese authorities.
Image: China’s Ministry Of Propaganda
To realize such a mindset Tibet’s past has been recreated, censored and sanitized in accord with the approved political ideology. Within that perversion of the facts China becomes a savior, arriving as the hero to bring freedom to sorely oppressed Tibetans, denied social and political development by a cruel and feudal elite. This meticulous propaganda is drip fed to Tibet’s children each day.
There is no Dalai Lama, no history other than the one fabricated by the Chinese regime. It’s a ‘new Tibet’ which is taught, with a doctrine that asserts before Tibet was ‘liberated’ existed only cruelty, exploitation and slavery. Now, thanks to the ‘enlightened’ policies of China’s government, Tibetans enjoy the modernity and progress of a socialist paradise. They are so the propaganda would have you believe, ‘masters of their own affairs’!
Such is the thought-control applied within indoctrination centers (schools and what monasteries are left) across occupied Tibet. China is assiduously destroying Tibet’s past, brutally controlling its present and attempting to possess its future!
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.
In its reportage of Tibet related news we charge Associated Press as being a willing accomplice of China’s regime.
Its dispatches are saturated with China’s propaganda terminology and consistently describe, what in truth are Tibetan lands, as being ‘in China’ or Chinese-named provinces. This editorial policy is a political decision, not independent journalism, as Associated Press selects to report as fact the biased and bogus claims of the Chinese authorities concerning Tibet.
Such appeasement, for that is what it is, betrays the facts on Tibet, its people and struggle. Furthermore, in uncritically publishing China’s official disinformation it promotes falsehoods and deceptions which misleads global media and its audience.
Like the majority of western media agencies within China, such as Agence France Presse and Reuters, Associated Press is serving as a conduit for the propaganda which the Chinese regime uses to conceal the dark reality of its tyranny against the Tibetan people.
The nature of online and print journalism is such that Associated Press is held in the highest of esteem as a credible and objective sources of information. This ensures that their reportage on Tibet is republished internationally, usually without any critical assessment or major editing. A credulity much welcomed by China’s government! Reports on Tibet, which were originally drafted within China’s Ministry of Disinformation, are written up by AP correspondents in Beijing, published immediately with approval from their plush offices in New York. These tend to go viral across global media outlets and online newspapers and within minutes the lies constructed by the Chinese regime are accepted as reported fact due to the prominence and respect accorded to Associated Press.
With China’s regime 24/7 pumping out disinformation on Tibet a lot of folks across social-media are exposed. For those with little knowledge of the situation in occupied Tibet it’s easy to be convinced. Take the report from a couple days back (eargerly consumed and spread by a consistently servile and uncritical mainstream media) that Tibetans were braving blizzard conditions to perform a New Year unveiling of a giant Buddha. Anyone reading that story or viewing the video footage would be forgiven for having the impression that Buddhism is alive and well within Tibet, after all seeing is believing. Right? However if there’s one truth which defines China’s portrayal of its rule over the Tibetan people and their culture, is that nothing is ever as it seems! A sleight-of-hand which our team over on @tibettruth expose in the image above, when they rightly ask people to think on the reasons why the Chinese regime approved that event. What a pity that news agencies do not apply such critical examination to the torrent of lies which reach their desks from China’s Ministry Of Deception!
Imagine if you will that one day a foreign army invades your neighborhood, enforces a lockdown and then imposes a series of draconian new rules. It announces that the name by which you and your family have known the town for generations is now changed to a verison in their language. Any dissent will be met with arrest, torture or execution. One of the new policies requires you to celebrate the New Year, not on 31st December but the 15th February. On that day you will parade carrying the flag of the tyranny which now terrorizes your community.
Allow us to introduce you to a village (in the Tibetan region of Kongpo renamed by the Chinese regime as Nyingchi) that’s around 6 hours drive east of Lhasa. As you can see from the photo above, taken around February 12 the local Tibetans were lined-up to wave the Chinese flag as part of what was described in the propaganda website ‘China Tibet Online’ as a ‘Losar celebration in a Tibetan village’. For untold generations the Tibetans of Kongpo tradionally celebrated their New Year in November, why then are these villagers supposedly enjoying festivities in February? Either the authentic customs of the area have been eradicated, or these Tibetans have been forced into a propaganda photo-shoot to coincide with the date of the Chinese Spring Festival.
This is further evidence of Tibetan traditions being suppressed and replaced with events dictated by the Chinese authorities. What has been since ancient times a festival welcoming the New Year, honoring the spirits of land and water and dispelling negativity along with the old year, has been debased into a crass political stage-show.
There is no untainted cinematic insight into the suppression and abuses inside Tibet, no full exposure of the harrowing realities of forced sterilizations, the destruction of a nomadic culture through a policy of re-settlement, nor any detailed documentary recording the environmental pillage. Which is transforming once verdant pastures and forests into a lunar-like landscape, with convoys of trucks heading back to communist China with their booty of timber and minerals. The transformation of Tibetan towns into yet another Chinese concrete facsimile, complete with gaudy excess and a range of previously unknown erosive social problems, continues apace, un-documented.
No genuine independent film-making is of course possible under such a repressive totalitarian regime, one desperate to convince the world that Tibet is undergoing positive change, thanks, we are asked to accept, to the seemingly compassionate rule of communist China. Unfortunately we’re denied any unbiased evidence which would reveal the progress claimed by the communist regime.
What we do have are seemingly unlimited amounts of Chinese films on Tibet, mostly designed for television broadcast, with sickly images of Tibetans dancing and singing in praise of yet another bumper-harvest, due no doubt to China’s enlightened agricultural policies. These are transparent disinformation with actors supposedly dressed in traditional Tibetan costumes, color coded to match the red and yellow branding of the communist Chinese flag! Barely able to move due to the overly abundant costume jewellery and obligatory fixed smile, set against images of modernity Chinese-style, like a crude layer of make-up they conceal a more disturbing reality.
Over recent years however a subtler form of propaganda has emerged, more cinematic, carefully crafted to present some illusion of balance and independence, yet the underlying message remains the same, albeit diluted and sophisticated. A rising directorial star of this Chinese state approved cinematic style is Mr Pema Tseden, or as he is known by his friends within the Communist Party Of China, Wanma Caida. Being a loyal citizen of communist China he carries a Chinese name along with his Tibetan version.
Couple days back his film ‘Jinpa’ was awarded top prize at France’s Festival International des Cinémas d’Asiethe. Like his previous works this film is a slick production filmed inside Tibet. While aesthetically his films have charm and nuance they cynically misdirect the viewer away from the brutal realities of life for Tibetans under Chinese rule. The alluring personal narratives and stunning landscapes he plays around with are an approved sleight-of-hand which assiduously avoid the erosion and oppression of Tibetan culture.
It is a reality which the Director surely knows dare not speak its name, his films clearly meet the propaganda requirements imposed by the Chinese regime, in that context he is a willing and conscious collaborator. Perhaps that explains his insistence that: “…filmmakers are starting to more accurately capture the essence of life in Tibet. They are starting to let go of the old stereotypes.” SOURCE
Those who see his films at festivals or art-houses need to be mindful of this. Sure his work can be selectively interpreted as offering “.. an uncompromising view of difficulty in modern society. They’re not deliberately provocative, but they also don’t offer us comfortable resolutions.”. A view presented by one Robert Barnet of Columbia University, top grade for nuanced euphemism there!
However the ‘difficulties’ of forced-labor camps, torture, ethnic-‘cleansing’ and cultural erosion do not feature in the cinematic vision of Pema Tseden. While the ‘modern society’ (translating as occupied and oppressed Tibet and its culture) is never truly explored and it’s important to remind yourself that the work of Pema Tseden would not be made public without the authorization of the Chinese regime.
In consideration of that we need to question what is it about his films that receives such approval?
Have you seen it maybe, or read about the virtual invasion of college campuses across the USA and elsewhere by Chinese students?
Academic institutions seeking funding and research collaborations have been pro-active in partnering with China’s regime, many agreeing to the controversial Confucius Institutes, which are now exposed as a front for covert actions from the Chinese intelligence services.
As the saying goes, ‘If you open the window the flies will come in’ and while the majority of Chinese students are genuine seekers of higher-education there’s no doubt that among them are a number whose objectives range from espionage to furthering the political and ideological narrative of China’s regime.
Look at what’s going down in University of Toronto Scarborough Campus Student Union where a Tibetan was recently elected to position of President of the SCSU. Ms Chemi Lhamo having won the vote received more than congratulation, in a short time Chinese students were voicing their opposition and demanding a fresh election.
We hear a lot across mainstream media about the radicalization of Muslims, yet virtually no exposure is given to the institutional indoctrination of an entire generation of Chinese youth. Who have been radicalized by China’s regime, programed through social and educational strategies to become fervent supporters of a totalitarian ideology that encourages nationalism and blind obedience to the dictate of the state. Such is the mindset which has been let loose across campuses!
Imagine for a moment you’ve been transported back to 1944 and you spot a headline in the newspaper that reads ‘Gypsies give support to relocation plan’. On further reading you notice a quote from a Nationalist Socialist Party official stating that: ‘The policy is entirely voluntary and no force is used in relocating Gypsies to the constructed settlements’. No doubt you would be feeling a real dissonance at that point. After all it’s been established those deemed by the Nazi State as ‘undesirable’ have been forced from their homes at the point of a gun. Failure to comply means torture, forced-labor or being shot!
Back in 2019 and the headline “Tibet nomads give support to relocation plan'” published January 22 by the China Daily, propaganda mouthpiece of the Chinese regime. Under the patently false claims of respecting the Tibetan environment (“We would rather slow down or give up our economic development than harm nature. This is important to ensure that future generations can also see the green mountains and pure rivers”. Mr Zhang Jianhua Chinese colonial official”) the ‘transfer’ of Tibetan nomads is justified as part of a process of environmental protection.
Let’s have a reality breakdown on this engineered deception. Firstly, the Chinese authorities claiming to protect Tibet’s environment is like a serial sex offender insisting he fully respects women’s rights! Folk across the digital world know too well that the rivers, mountains and grasslands of occupied Tibet are being polluted and seriously damaged by Chinese mining corporations, approved by China’s government. Removing Tibetans from resource rich lands is a key aspect of a greed-driven agenda’.
Lastly it’s important to be aware that the Chinese tyranny employs a wide range of euphemisms to conceal the dark reality of its illegal occupation and exploitation of Tibet. Take the innocuous sounding ‘relocation’, could be describing a wished for movement to another place, right? Look a little closer and the phrase is nothing more than code for the forced removal of Tibetans into concentration settlements. As we reported previously one of the key aims of China’s regime is to eradicate Tibetan national and cultural identity, the two central pillars of that character is Tibet’s nomadic traditions and its Buddhist and native religions. By a program of of ‘ethnic-cleansing’ Tibetans are denied their self-sufficient and sustainable lifestyle as nomads, bused into ‘socialist paradise villages’ to become dependent and compliant. Such is the harrowing truth behind China’s cynical use of the inoffensive term ‘relocation’!
After the Chinese regime recently allowed in a select group of media to visit East Turkistan (so-called Xinjiang) the chosen reporters issued a glowing account of how wonderful the treatment of the Uyghur people was by China’s authorities.
The laughingly named ‘Silk Road Celebrity China Tour’ took place from January 9 to 16 and the compliant ‘journalists’ dutifuly regurgitated the propaganda narrative after being escorted around a number of locations.
One among that party surely merits this year’s award for nausea. Erdal Kurucay, a presenter from Turkey’s ATV station,who a number of Chinese media mouthpieces claimed rejected international concerns on the violent oppression of Uyghurs and their culture as little more than “terrorist propaganda” and “misinformation” propagated by “global capitalist and imperialist forces.”. A script drafted and approved in Beijing’s Department of Disinformation!
We’ve a feeling that this pro-Turkish government reporter was fulfilling a foreign policy agenda of his beloved authorities, which has been issuing a number of appeasing statements on China, in the hope of securing trade deals.
He concluded by claiming that he had visited a ‘reducation center during the trip and insisted it been a “therapy centre” for criminals! Source: Ibid
Now there’s nothing new here, mainstream media and governments around the planet have been sucking up to the Chinese government, but to see Turkey effectively endorse the violent suppression of its Turkic brothers and sisters is particularly distasteful.
As to journalists and media outlets who serve as a conduit for the propaganda of China’s regime they are justly condemned as facilitating, through their active collaboration, the terrorism waged against those suffering under the tyranny of China’s dictatorship.