Wednesday June 19, 2019

Key facts regarding China’s invasion of Tibet

A glimpse of how China has destroying Tibet's land and culture

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A Tibean monastery Image: Wikimedia Commons

By Shubhi Mangla

Tibet is located in the center of Asia and south west China bordering Nepal, Bhutan, India and Burma.  It is a vast plateau with an altitude of 15,000 above sea level. It comprises of a unique culture, language and regional and political system.

In 1949, when Chairman Mao came to power, he peacefully liberated Tibet and sent troops to conquer it. Tibet being a small territory with a not so large army was easily crushed by the Chinese army. In 1951, an agreement took place between the Tibetan government and China, which acknowledged China’s sovereignty over Tibet while giving the Tibetan government the autonomy regarding Tibet’s internal matters. But over the years, the Chinese have violated this treaty and established greater control.

A simple map of the three traditional provinces of Tibet overlaid on a map of modern provincial boundaries of the People's Republic of China. Source : Wikimedia Common
A simple map of the three traditional provinces of Tibet overlaid on a map of modern provincial boundaries of the People’s Republic of China.
Source : Wikimedia Commons

Today Tibet has been divided, renamed and integrated into Chinese provinces. Originally, Tibet has three provinces− Kham, U-Tsang and Amdo. When Tibet is referred in the context of China, it means the region of U-Tsang and part of Kham. The remaining part of Kham was divided between Yunnan and Sichuan Chinese provinces and Amdo between Gansu, Sichuan and Qinghai.

China has imposed harsh policies over Tibet. They have destroyed their natural resources and claim that Tibet has been a part of China since 800 years without any facts. They have denied them from basic human rights including right to speak.

Related : Watch video on why Tibet is burning?

Dalai Lama XIV Source: Wikimedia Commons
Dalai Lama XIV
Source: Wikimedia Commons

There have been many protests by Tibetans to protect their land and their spiritual and political leader, Dalai Lama which has only led to Tibetans sacrificing their lives. During the uprising of 1959, Dali Lama Dalai Lama took an exile in India with his followers. He and his followers are thriving to make Tibet an independent and democratic state since years.

 

Here are some facts regarding Tibet

  • About 1.2 million people have lost their lives after China’s invasion of Tibet in 1950. It is hard to find a family who didn’t have at least on member jailed or killed by the Chinese. Approximately 17 percent of Tibetan population has been killed.
Tibetan monk self immolates in Nepal Image: voanews
Tibetan monk self immolates in Nepal
Image: voanews
  • Tibet’s rivers provide water to over 1 billion people across Asia. Tibetan plateau is the third largest source of water and ice in the world. Its glaciers, rivers, forests and wetland are important resources for China’s global power.
  • China uses torture to make Tibetans confess their crimes if they don’t confess out of fear. According to The Guardian, “Chinese security agents continue to employ a medieval array of torture methods against government opponents, activists, lawyers and petitioners, including spiked rods, iron torture chairs and electric batons, a report claims”.
  • There is mass immigration of Chinese in Tibetan region. Tibetans have less as compared to the Chinese people in their own land and have been reduced to the status of a minority.
  • According to freetibet.org, “Over 100 counties have achieved independence in the time that Tibet has been occupied”.
  • The so called Tibetan Autonomous Region of China covers an area of 1,220,000 square kilometers which accounts for 12 percent of China’s total area. This tells us how Tibet is being wiped off the map.
  • Tibetan monasteries are a key part of their rich cultural and religious significance where Tibetan Monks and nuns hold educational projects, old age homes and orphanages. Large number of monasteries has been destroyed since 1960s as the Chinese consider them as a threat. 99% of them are closed due to communist rule.
  • It is one of the most repressed countries in the world alongside Saudi Arabia, North Korea and Syria.

Shubhi Mangla is an intern at Newsgram and a student of Journalism and Mass Communication in New Delhi. Twitter @shubhi_mangla

  • Pritam Go Green

    Say hello to United States. Yes this is the desired help we need in order to stop China . First South China Sea and now Tibet. I mean what are these Chinese people trying to prove ? Probably take over the entire world -__-

  • Pashchiema Bhatia

    Tibet is in pathetic situation. Something has to be done in order to stop China or else Tibet would surely lose its identity

SHARE
  • Pritam Go Green

    Say hello to United States. Yes this is the desired help we need in order to stop China . First South China Sea and now Tibet. I mean what are these Chinese people trying to prove ? Probably take over the entire world -__-

  • Pashchiema Bhatia

    Tibet is in pathetic situation. Something has to be done in order to stop China or else Tibet would surely lose its identity

Next Story

Impoverished Tibetan Families Receive Cash Payments in Return to Display Xi Jinping Portraits

"The money will not be given if the families don’t agree to the required condition,” RFA’s source said, citing contacts in the region

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xi jinping portrait
China Offers Money to Tibetans to Display Portraits of Xi Jinping. Wikimedia Commons

Authorities in northwestern China’s Qinghai province are offering cash payments to impoverished Tibetan families to display portraits of Chinese President Xi Jinping in their homes, in a move aimed at enforcing Tibetan loyalty to Beijing, Tibetan sources say.

The new campaign, now under way in Arte village in the Tsolho  (in Chinese, Hainan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture’s Serchen (Gonghe) county, has promised 6,000 yuan (U.S. $869) to more than 30 families to hang the portrait in a prominent place, a source in exile told RFA’s Tibetan Service.

“The money will not be given if the families don’t agree to the required condition,” RFA’s source said, citing contacts in the region.

“Because of financial constraints and poor livelihood opportunities in the area, the Tibetans have no choice but to take the money and put up Xi’s picture,” the source said, adding that the portrait of China’s president must be placed as high any picture of the Potala Palace, winter home of exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

xi jinping portrait
A portrait of Chinese president Xi Jinping is shown hanging on the wall of a Tibetan home in Qinghai. RFA

“The families are choosing to do this because they need the money to survive, but they regret this immensely,” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Serchen county lies almost 142 km (88 miles) away from Xining city in Qinghai, a part of northeastern Tibet historically known to Tibetans as Amdo, and Arte village falls with four other villages under the jurisdiction of Arte township in the town of Chabcha.

Dalai Lama photos banned

Authorities in Tibetan-populated regions of western Chinese provinces have meanwhile launched a new push against possession of photos of the Dalai Lama, traveling to remote areas that had previously escaped police attention, sources told RFA in earlier reports.

The campaign, which began at the end of April, has targeted Serthar county in Sichuan’s Kardze (in Chinese, Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, but is also being enforced in other areas of the eastern Tibetan region historically known as Kham, one source said.

xi jinping portrait, dalai lama
Displays by Tibetans of the Dalai Lama’s photo or public celebrations of his birthday have been harshly punished in the past. Wikimedia Commons

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Chinese officials from government bureaus monitoring religious practice are also visiting Tibetan schools and warning teachers and students not to keep or display the photos, adding that local Tibetans have also been urged to tell high-ranking Chinese visitors of the “big improvements in their living conditions” owing to government subsidies.

The Dalai Lama, who turned 83 on July 6, 2018, fled Tibet into exile in India in the midst of a failed 1959 national uprising against Chinese rule, and displays by Tibetans of the Dalai Lama’s photo or public celebrations of his birthday have been harshly punished in the past. (RFA)

Reported by Chakmo Tso for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Tenzin Dickyi. Written in English by Richard Finney.