Tag Archives | Xi Jinping
PAP in Tibet

Millions of Chinese students to be sent to “minority areas”; China doubles down on Tibet control during anniversary period

April 15, 2019

In a March 22 document, the Chinese Communist Youth League said it was sending more than 10 million vocational school and university students to rural areas as volunteers by 2022 in order to “increase their skills, spread civilization and promote science and technology.” The document was made public by Chinese state media as well as by international news agencies.

For some the deployment of millions of students to “spread civilization” evokes the excesses and chaos of the Cultural Revolution in 1966-76, when millions of Chinese intellectuals and others were sent to live in the countryside. According to an AFP report, which monitored reaction to the campaign on China’s Twitter-like Weibo social media platform, a user, WangTingYu, posted “Has it started again?,” while another user with a Tibetan-sounding name, KalsangWangduTB, posted: “Sometimes history advances, sometimes it retreats.”

Xi Jinping, president of China and secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, spent seven years in a village in the northwestern province of Shaanxi starting at the age of 16. Xi has become known for reinvigorating Communist Party ideology to an extent unseen since the Cultural Revolution, and policy developments in Tibet indicate a doubling-down on strategies of control and securitization.

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Laying tracks in Tibet

Tibetans ordered to prostrate to pictures of Chinese President as Tibet leaders prioritize anti-Dalai Lama stance

January 15, 2019

As authorities in Tibet Autonomous Region emphasized their “clear-cut” stance against the Dalai Lama at meetings of the Region’s Party Congress last week, news emerged from eastern Tibet that Tibetans are being told to prostrate and make offerings to pictures of Xi Jinping.

TAR Chairman Che Dalha announced in his work report to the regional Party Congress that oppressive measures had been heightened, saying: “Tibet has firmly curbed and cracked down on secession, infiltration and sabotage activities by hostile forces [a political term encompassing the Dalai Lama and Tibet supporters] at home and abroad.”

Amid other signs of an intensified campaign against the Dalai Lama, in the eastern Tibetan area of Serthar county in Sichuan, Tibetans who receive official “poverty alleviation” subsidies from the government have been ordered to remove images of the Dalai Lama from their homes and to destroy their altars, according to information from former political prisoner Golok Jigme. Some families are even being compelled to display images of China’s leader Xi Jinping in their homes, and to prostrate and make offerings.

Another source told the International Campaign for Tibet that new housing provided for Tibetans relocated in settlements in Kham were already equipped with small altars – not with Buddhist icons, but with images of Chinese Party leaders.

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On eve of President Trump’s China trip, bipartisan resolution introduced in US Congress supporting Dalai Lama and Tibet

November 1, 2017

On the eve of President Donald Trump’s visit to China to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping, a concurrent Resolution (H. Con. Res. 89) has been introduced in the United States House of Representatives on November 1, 2017 asking the Trump Administration to make Tibet an important factor in US-China relations, to fully implement the US Tibetan Policy Act, to promote access of US citizens to Tibet and to encourage China “to enter into a dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives leading to a negotiated agreement with respect to Tibet.”

This resolution is co-sponsored by Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chairman Emeritus of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Representative Eliot Engel (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, along with Representatives. Ted Yoho (R-FL) and Brad Sherman (D-CA), the respective Chairman and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, The Representatives are all senior members of the House Foreign Relations Committee. President Trump, who is leaving on November 3 for a five-nation Asia trip, will be in China on November 8, 2017.

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Xi Jinping cements grip on power at Party Congress: new leaders revealed and their influence on Tibet policy

November 1, 2017

  • China’s 19th Party Congress came to a close last week, revealing a new leadership committee and breaking with tradition by not including a clear successor to Party Secretary and President Xi Jinping. The new configuration cements Xi Jinping’s grip on power for the next five years and potentially beyond, with Xi’s ideology approved for incorporation into the Party Constitution as ‘Xi Jinping thought’.
  • In his marathon three and a half hour work report to the Party Congress, Xi Jinping underlined his determination not to allow “to separate any part of Chinese territory from China”, a political term linked to the crushing of dissent and enforcement of compliance to Party rule.
  • Among the new figures on China’s top Politburo Standing Committee, the seven leaders who now govern China, is an official who served in a Tibetan area, Zhao Leji, and was active in the “political struggle against the Dalai Lama”, according to the state media. Another among the seven, Wang Huning, has maintained a close involvement with Tibet and is also likely to be extremely influential on policy.
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Inside Tibet: The four loves and the enemy within: new ideological campaign in Tibet reflects heightened agenda of control in 19th Party Congress year

April 20, 2017

The Chinese authorities have launched a new ideological campaign in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) aimed at “diluting the negative impact of religion” and promoting loyalty to Xi Jinping as part of an intensified control agenda in the year of the 19th Party Congress.

The new propaganda effort is focused around the “four loves”, which are defined as “core interests” of the Chinese Communist Party; the motherland; one’s home town, and one’s livelihood – and was promoted in numerous meetings around the region over the last two weeks.[1]

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On Eve of Chinese President’s US visit, Congressional Bicameral Bill Calls for Americans to Receive the Same Access to Tibet that Chinese Citizens Enjoy in the United States

McGovern, Hultgren, Rubio, Baldwin introduce Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act in both House and Senate of the US Congress to lift restrictions on US citizens’ access to Tibet

April 4, 2017

On the eve of the first summit between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, a bipartisan legislation to promote access by Americans to Tibetan areas, which is routinely denied by Chinese authorities, has been introduced by Senator Rubio (R-FL) and Baldwin (D-WI) in the Senate and by Congressmen McGovern (D-MI) and Hultgren (R-WI) in the House of Representatives of the United States Congress on April 4, 2017.

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Xi Jinping visit to Qinghai reveals strategic importance of Tibet’s water, minerals; highlights CCP’s advanced plans

  • The visit of China’s Party chief and President Xi Jinping to north-eastern Tibetan region in Qinghai, in August signalled its importance to the Chinese leadership’s well-advanced long-term plans. Xi’s visit revealed the Party’s priorities in that region and beyond in terms of militarization of the plateau, the strategic importance of Tibet’s water and the intensified focus on exploitation of minerals, particularly lithium and uranium.
  • Making a visit to a nomad settlement village during his trip, Xi Jinping reiterated the retrograde official line about removing pastoralists from the grasslands, despite the scientific consensus among rangelands experts in the PRC and internationally that the indigenous knowledge of pastoralists and herd mobility are crucial to the protection of the environment. An award given by Xi to a People’s Liberation Army battalion based on the border near India raised hackles in South Asia.
  • In an indication of the oppressive measures against religious practice in Tibet, Xi warned that greater efforts needed to be made “to make religions […] follow a sinicized direction”.[1]
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US Congress seal

11 Members of Congress Urge Secretary Kerry to Raise Cases of Tibetan Political Prisoners with Chinese Government

April 1, 2016

On March 31, 2016, as President Barack Obama met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Washington, D.C., 11 Members of Congress sent a bipartisan letter to Secretary of State Kerry urging him to raise the cases of three Tibetan political prisoners — Khenpo Karma Tsewang (also known as Khenpo Kartse), Lobsang Kunchok, and Thabkhe Gyatso—with the Chinese government.

The letter urged the United States “to raise their cases with the Chinese government, make every effort to obtain information about their whereabouts and health status, press for necessary medical treatment, and prioritize their release.”

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ICT calls on President Obama to raise Tibet in meeting with Xi Jinping and at Nuclear Security Summit

March 30, 2016

As world leaders converge on Washington this week for the fourth and final Nuclear Security Summit, the International Campaign for Tibet calls on President Obama to raise the situation in Tibet both in the bilateral meeting with Xi Jinping and at the Summit. This is an opportunity to reiterate concerns about the deteriorating situation in Tibet and to highlight the uncertainties over Tibet’s nuclear security due to China’s policies.

President Obama will meet with Xi Jinping tomorrow at a time when relations between the two countries are tense because of China’s military expansion in the South China Sea and other issues.

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Amid pomp and circumstance of Xi state visit, backlash on ‘great British kowtow’

October 20, 2015

Xi Jinping received a ceremonial state welcome of the highest order in Britain today amidst a public backlash against the UK government’s compliance to the Beijing leadership.

As Xi travelled along the Mall in a horse-drawn carriage with the Queen, past cheering Chinese students, media attention was focused on Tibet, Uyghur, Falun Gong and dissident Chinese protesters. There was also disappointment expressed in Parliament as the visit coincides with job losses in the UK steel sector, with cheap Chinese imports among factors being blamed.

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Groups to focus on on UK China relations and human rights violations by China during Xi Jinping’s London visit

October 19, 2015

A ‘Stateless Lunch’ and a panel discussion are some of the events that a coalition of human rights groups is organising to coincide with the visit of the Chinese President, Xi Jinping to the United Kingdom. China’s Party Secretary and President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan will arrive in London on October 19.

On the same day (October 19) Fabian Hamilton MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet, will host a ‘Stateless Lunch’ to honor Tibetan, Uyghur and Chinese human rights defenders who have been imprisoned and intimidated by the Chinese government. ICT is among the organizations that is supporting this event.

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Obama urges China to engage the Dalai Lama

October 1, 2015

On September 25, 2015, during a joint press conference at the White House with the visiting Chinese President, Xi Jinping, President Barack Obama urged China to engage the Dalai Lama and to preserve Tibetan identity, stating during his opening remarks: “Even as we recognize Tibet as part of the People’s Republic of China, we continue to encourage Chinese authorities to preserve the religious and cultural identity of the Tibetan people, and to engage the Dalai Lama or his representatives.”

President Obama said that during his discussion with Xi on human rights generally, he had affirmed America’s “unwavering support for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all people, including freedom of assembly and expression, freedom of the press and freedom of religion.” Obama said he had “expressed in candid terms our strong view that preventing journalists, lawyers, NGOs and civil society groups from operating freely, or closing churches and denying ethnic minorities equal treatment are all problematic, in our view, and actually prevent China and its people from realizing its full potential.”

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Anniversary of UN women’s conference is opportunity to challenge Xi on lack of freedoms

September 26, 2015

China’s leader Xi Jinping’s attendance at the World Conference on Women in the UN [tomorrow], on the 20th anniversary of the same conference held in Beijing in 1995, should focus attention on the lack of freedoms of Tibetan, Uyghur and Chinese women in the PRC today.

To mark the anniversary, Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the UN, has launched the #FreeThe20 campaign calling for the release of 20 female political prisoners from 13 countries including Chinese human rights lawyer Wang Yu. The International Campaign for Tibet supports this campaign, which aims to encourage global action around the Beijing Declaration’s call for gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Matteo Mecacci, President of the International Campaign for Tibet, said: “Many will remember the vivid images from Beijing 20 years ago of nine Tibetan exile women standing silently, gagged with silk scarves to symbolize China’s silencing of Tibetan women’s voices. This initiative – by the first Tibetan exiles to protest Chinese rule over Tibet on Chinese soil – highlighted the courage and spirit of Tibetan women, who have long been on the frontline of resistance, solidarity in their community, and preservation of Tibetan identity and culture.”

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President Xi Jinping meeting with US tech giants highlights challenges of doing business in China under censorship regime

September 23, 2015

The State visit of President Xi Jinping to the United States features today a major forum hosted by the Chinese leader involving the CEOs of leading US high tech firms including Microsoft, Apple, Google, Facebook and IBM.

Lu Wei, the highest official in the Chinese government in charge of Internet policy and cyber-security, who oversees a complex and aggressive system of online censorship, will also attend the U.S.-China Internet Industry Forum with the CEOs of Alibaba and Weibo.

The meeting will take place at a time of increased tensions between the United States and China regarding cyber espionage.

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NGOs urge Obama to stand with Chinese civil society ahead of Xi Jinping’s Visit

September 9, 2015

A coalition of NGOs, including International Campaign for Tibet, have expressed concern at the deteriorating human rights situation in China and are urging President Obama to “visibly stand with independent Chinese civil society by inviting members of that community into the White House in advance of President Xi’s visit,” which will take place on September 24-25, 2015.

In a letter to President Obama, the NGOs wrote, “We believe that visibly demonstrating support and solidarity for that community may bring individuals or their organizations relief from persecution, and in turn also protect their efforts on legal reform, the freedom of expression and religion, and other issues critical to a healthy, predictable US-China relationship.”

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Major policy meeting on Tibet in buildup to sensitive anniversary

August 28, 2015

A major policy meeting on Tibet presided over by China’s top leader Xi Jinping concluded this week in Beijing, as security is tightened in Lhasa in advance of a political anniversary on September 1.

The Tibet Work Forum on August 24-25, setting out Tibet policy for the coming years, is the sixth such strategy meeting on Tibet to be held since the Chinese took over Tibet in 1949-50.

Attended by the entire Politburo, the Party leadership, the emphasis of the Work Forum was on ‘stability’, a political term associated with a dramatic expansion of military and police powers. According to the Chinese state media, the meeting also emphasized the struggle against ‘separatism’, above economic development, in contrast to the last Tibet Work Forum in January, 2010. The official Global Times reported: “Stressing that national unity, consolidating ethnic unity, and realizing long-term and comprehensive social stability should be regarded as the primary task for the region, Xi said that the country should “firmly take the initiative” in the fight against separatism, and adhere to the principle of governing Tibet under the rule of law.” (August 27, 2015, Global Times). The Chinese authorities state that the Dalai Lama is a prime cause of Tibetan ‘separatism’.

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Statement by Matteo Mecacci, President of the International Campaign for Tibet on the upcoming meeting between President Obama and President Xi Jinping in Beijing

November 11, 2014

Washington, DC – “While meeting China’s leader Xi Jinping in Beijing President Obama should take the opportunity to raise once again the issue of Tibet.

The situation continues to deteriorate in Tibet, where far too many political prisoners are unjustly detained and mistreated and where self-immolations have vividly reminded us the depth of decades of suffering and oppression. Religious freedom continues to be denied to Tibetans, while China goes on with its campaign aimed at denigrating the Dalai Lama.

The US Congress and the American people continue to be concerned with the situation in Tibet and overwhelmingly support the Dalai Lama and his quest for justice for the Tibetan people. President Obama should reflect this sentiment and voice the same while meeting President Xi Jinping, to make sure that basic human values are not forgotten in the great game of politics and diplomacy.”

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Bruges arrest

Illegal detentions of protestors in Belgium during the visit of Chinese president

April 7, 2014

Tibetans and Belgian supporters seeking to peacefully protest during President Xi Jinping’s visit to Bruges, Belgium on April 1 were detained for hours, in one case partially strip-searched, and had Tibetan flags confiscated. Permission to organise a peaceful protest had been granted earlier by the Mayor of Bruges.

Our organisations documented the following violations of human rights:

  • The detention of at least 13 Tibetans and three Belgian citizens, either en route to a peaceful protest or near a venue where Xi Jinping was speaking.
  • Inge Hermans, musician at the Anvers Opera and President of Vrienden van Tibet, was held in a “cold, damp cell” for several hours after being detained near where Xi Jinping was speaking in Bruges. She was told by police that during the visit of Xi Jinping: “There was no democracy” in Belgium as “the rules had changed.”
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