President Xi Jinping told senior party leaders that China must build an “impregnable fortress” to maintain stability in Tibet, protect national unity and educate the masses in the struggle against “splittism”.
At a senior Communist Party meeting on Tibet’s future governance, Xi lauded achievements made and praised frontline officials but said more efforts were needed to enrich, rejuvenate and strengthen unity in the region.
China seized control over Tibet in 1950 when Chinese troops marched into the region in what it describes as a “peaceful liberation” that helped the remote Himalayan state throw off its “feudalist” past.
But critics, led by exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, say Beijing’s rule amounts to “cultural genocide”.
Xi meanwhile said, political and ideological education needed to be strengthened in Tibet’s schools in order to “plant the seeds of loving China in the depths of the hearts of every youth”, state news agency Xinhua published on Saturday.
Pledging to build a “united, prosperous, civilised, harmonious and beautiful new, modern, socialist Tibet”, Xi said China needed to strengthen the role of the Communist Party in the territory and better integrate its ethnic groups.
Tibetan Buddhism also needed to adapt to socialism and to Chinese conditions, he added.
China’s policies towards Tibet have come under the spotlight again this year amid the country’s deteriorating relationship with the United States.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in July that the United States would restrict visas for some Chinese officials involved in blocking diplomatic access to Tibet and engaging in “human rights abuses”, adding that Washington supported “meaningful autonomy” for Tibet. (Source: CNA)