Editorial note: This article is from 2013, the purpose of this article is to show how things have more or less remained the same for Tibet.
Tsering Woeser uses her blog named Invisible Tibet, together with her poetry and nonfiction and social media platforms like Twitter to give voice to millions of ethnic Tibetans who are prevented from expressing themselves to the outside world by government curbs on the information. Woeser still documents the situation of Tibetans in spite of constant surveillance and house arrest.
In a commentary broadcast by RFA’s Mandarin Service, she analyzes the likelihood of a less harsh policy on the issue of Tibet with the new Chinese leadership under Communist Party chief Xi Jinping:
Perhaps it isn’t decent enough to continue to hope that one will see any change from the leader of the ruling Chinese Communist Party, Xi Jinping, on the issue of Tibet? A lot of people have been hoping for a softer approach, or for some positive changes, one often hears been spoken about in diplomatic statements.
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So many people have asked Tsering Woeser what to expect from the Xi administration on the issue of Tibet that she gets a headache. This is because the conversation is often followed up with a past story that is supposed to sound heartening. His Holiness the Dalai Lama met with the present president’s father when he was in his early twenties and got an impression of open-mindedness warmth and friendship.
However, ancient Chinese culture has a saying: “Look not at someone’s words but at their actions.” Xi Jinping, about to fully grasp power at the 18th Party Congress, talked about “achieving the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation,” and focused on the “Chinese dream.”
However, this isn’t just fantasy. The Chinese people realized that they are closer to this goal now than at any other point in history.
According to the People’s Party of China’s tradition, every president has to have his own agenda. Deng Xiaoping’s agenda was “reform and opening up.” Jiang Zemin had the “Three Represents.” Hu Jintao’s was “a harmonious society.” And Xi Jinping’s is “the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation”.
And what does the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation means?
On Jan. 28 this year, Xi Jinping took a stand and got tough on the Diaoyu Islands. He said: “We must not give up our legitimate rights and interests, and we must not sacrifice our core national interests.”
Analysts noted that Xi’s importance on the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation is nothing but actually the ultimate dream of a Chinese empire.
The sun has set on the many previously imperialist countries, while the emerging empires are on the rise. Territorial sovereignty is a priority and has usually been focused on never giving it up, rather than on trying to grab it.
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Tibet’s’ dream is figuring out a middle ground of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who seeks nothing less than a degree of autonomy of Tibet, although support of independence for Tibet increases daily.
However it seems that for the Chinese Communist Party, the Middle ground is still “de facto independence,” and “independence” is a sin that cannot be pardoned. It interferes with China’s “core interests” relating to territory and sovereignty, and so this dream must be crushed.
While some people do not believe that Xi Jinping will be able to achieve the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, and feel that the renaissance of the nation is deprived of its spirit and soul. But one thing is very clear. There is no room for the dreams of Tibetans in the “Chinese dream.”