With so many regions and people facing pressure from the Chinese state, whether from the weekly chipping away of civil liberties in Hong Kong to the mass detention of the persecuted ethnic Uyghur population or Chinese military jets flying closer and closer to Taiwan, attention to Tibet can be easily lost.
One of the reasons for the lack of coverage is the fact that the territory has been closed and controlled by Beijing as a police state the longest. We know very little. But, as our report shows, people in Tibet have learned the art of Orwell’s doublespeak.
Tibet – nicknamed "The Roof of the World" for its rugged peaks and home to the spectacular Potala Palace. But these days, one of the most common sights in the remote territory is the Chinese leader’s smiling face.
And as China celebrates the 70th anniversary of its control over Tibet, it is broadening its political education campaign.
When a monk is asked who his spiritual leader is, he clearly names the Chinese President Xi Jinping.
But it’s no coincidence that monks are so comfortable with the party line.
The Chinese version of history is learned from an early age in Tibet: That Beijing "peacefully liberated" Tibet in 1951, Tibet’s economy has grown under the care of China’s central government,
And that the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism who fled Tibet in 1959, is today a dangerous separatist, and Tibetans should transfer their loyalty from him, to the Communist party.
Beijing strongly denies any accusations of rights abuses, and says all ethnic groups in Tibet have the right to religious freedom. But critics accuse China of a calculated, cultural takeover.
Whatever Tibetans choose to believe, it will surely be closely monitored by the patient, watchful gaze of the Chinese state.
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