A great quiz question for you, what is the national animal of Tibet? Too easy right? Well the Yak, once critical to the nomadic traditions and lives of the majority Tibetan population, no longer enjoys the open grasslands, freely moving from Winter and Summer pasture. Like Tibet’s herders it too has been incarcerated.
Readers and subscribers of our Blog will know that we’ve reported on how Tibetan nomads are being forced from their lands and homes by the Chinese regime into concentration settlements. What happens to the many herds of Yaks left behind you may wonder?
They are confiscated and sold off at knockdown cost to Chinese-owned companies, who fence the Yaks, mass breed them for slaughter. Apart from meat and leather, textile and medicinal products are processed. These are then marketed and distributed across occupied Tibet and sold to Tibetans at a considerable profit.
Not content with destroying the lifestyle of Tibet’s nomads the Chinese regime and equally corrupt companies are profiting from the theft and sale of Yaks and related products. As always it is the Tibetan people who are exploited. With those detained in newly built ‘socialist paradise villages’ having to buy Yak meat, sourced from herds which once had been theirs for generations!
Couple of days back the Chinese regime trumpeted that phone usage in Tibet had increased to nearly 4 million.
Of course that would be worthy of celebration if such claimed increase came with attendant progress in human rights, religious freedom and respect for Tibet’s cultural traditions.
However far from indicating such improvements (or ideas of economic progress and social modernity, which is what China’s authorities seek to plant in your mind) for Tibetans, the expansion of cell phone networks and personal use is yet another component of the suffocating control over Tibet.
All networks are authorized and monitored by the regime, as is internet and phone use, while the roll-out of 5G across Tibet enables mass surveillance technology. No phone call inside occupied Tibet is safe!
If Tibetans inside occupied Tibet were allowed, under international monitoring, to determine the future status of their country do you think they’d vote for a continuation of Chinese rule?
The subject of building what has been laughingly described as ‘Striving to be a Model of National Unity Together and Building a Beautiful and Happy Tibet‘ was today the topic of a meeting organized by the Chinese regime and attended by politically indoctrinated Tibetans.
These are individuals who join the communist Chinese party to gain financial and employment security, others are ideologues, while younger ‘delegates’ have been completely brainwashed.
It is of course impossible for the people of occupied Tibet not to be exposed to the daily flood of Chinese disinformation, political slogans are on virtually every street, television broadcasts and the internet are dominated by official propaganda. Towns and villages are targeted with staged public events in praise of Xi Jinping. While as we have reported previously Tibetan children are being denied their cultural identity and heritage and groomed into loyal Chinese speaking citizens.
Yet whatever the reasons for becoming a collaborator those Tibetans approving and implementing the latest edicts on Tibet from China’s regime, far from building a contented and thriving Tibetan society, are assisting in the oppression and elimination of Tibet’s cultural and national identity.
Tibet’s culture is being burned into oblivion by the occupying Chinese regime, yet blazing even more fiercely within Tibetan hearts is the hope that one day their land shall be free of China’s tyranny and that their rightful independence will be regained. This aspiration has fueled resistance to Chinese rule since Tibet was invaded in 1950. More recently it has been a major demand issued by Tibetans who have self-immolated. A reality not only ignored by the exiled Tibetan Administration but cynically re-written, an action we oppose and expose.
Well we made it, 2020 has arrived and around the world much celebration for a better year, unless you were a Tibetan suffering under the relentless misery and oppression of Chinese rule. In Lhasa and across occupied Tibet there were no parties, music concerts or dancing, only the sound of paramilitary patrols stomping along the sidewalk.
While the highlight show for the evening was a speech from Xi Jinping extolling the virtues of patriotism and loyalty to the Chinese communist party and its ambitions for the so-called Motherland.
For any Tibetan who dared go outside they would be confronted by the countless armed patrols ensuring what the Chinese authorities call ‘social harmony’
In Lhasa and other Tibetan towns high-tech security systems are being implemented, including facial recognition cameras and bio-metric barriers to control and identify each and every Tibetan. There is no aspect of life inside Tibet which is free from surveillance and Chinese regime oppression.
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.
As November 25th has been designated the International Day For The Elimination Of Violence Against Women our sense of solidarity towards this event and the objectives it champions is tainted by a troubling reality.
The very United Nations agencies behind this event, UN Women and UN Commission on the Status of Women are the same organizations which have knowingly and consistently ignored China’s program of forced sterilizations against women. Along with the wider women’s ‘movement’ and prominent NGOs, supposedly dedicated to women’s rights, they pose themselves as defenders of such freedoms and human rights across social media. Yet have cynically refused to condemn or oppose a range of violations inflicted by the Chinese regime.
These include:a policy of forcing Uyghur women into marriages with Han Chinese colonizers of occupied East Turkistan (so-called Xinjiang). Coercing Uyghur women to accept Chinese officials cohabiting their homes and sleeping with them, in essence rape! Detaining thousands of Uyghur women in forced labor and indoctrination camps where they face emotional, physical and psychological abuse. The placement of Uyghur girls,many infants into detention centers where they are denied access to their parents and forced and brainwashed to adopt Chinese language and cultural identity. A program of forced sterilizations which targets Uyghur, Tibetan, Manchurian, Mongolian and Han Chinese women.
This harrowing catalogue of violations does not trouble those who would have you accept them as being defenders of women’s rights, it’s not ignorance of these disturbing abuses which explains their collective silence. The reason is one of political correctness, selective values and agenda that refuse to stand against such atrocities, this is a singular example of silence is complicity. The hypocrisy and denial such organizations present on these issues is breathtaking and questions entirely their credibility and ethical standing.
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!