February 15, 2019
A new “political education camp” in Shigatse is intended to provide ideological training to some of the thousands of Party cadres who have been deployed across Tibet in recent years in private homes, monasteries and schools and in line with Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s agenda of deepening control.
The Chinese state media report refers to the importance for Party cadres of changing their attitudes not just at the superficial level of reciting Party slogans, but in terms of achieving a complete ideological shift. It reflects the current approach of securitization combined with tougher attempts at rewiring Tibetan political thinking, with the stated official aim of “breaking lineage, breaking roots, breaking connections, and breaking origins” of Uyghurs and Tibetans. In Xinjiang, in an unprecedented and horrifying development, an extensive prison camp system of “de-extremification training centers” has been created where around a million Uyghurs and Kazakhs are being held.
The new training camp in Shigatse, established in a year that the Chinese Communist Party marks the 70th year of its foundation on October 1, is focused at training “grass roots Party cadres in rural and pastoral areas” in line with the methodology for Party members in Xi Jinping’s so-called “new era” announced at the 19th Party Congress in October, 2017.