A plan to undertake “all-round efforts” to promote “sinicisation” is announced at a ceremony marking 70 years of Chinese rule over Tibet. The Dalai Lama is targeted for his “separatist” activities. The event is an opportunity to boost the “cult of personality” surrounding President Xi Jinping who is seeking a third term in office after limits were lifted.
Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – China plans to undertake “all-round efforts” to promote the complete “Sinicisation” of Tibet and the extensive use of the Chinese language, spoken and written, a top Chinese official said.
Wang Yang, member of the Politburo and chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, spoke at a ceremony marking 70 years of Communist rule over Tibet held at the Potala Palace in Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, once the seat of the Dalai Lama and a symbol of Tibetan Buddhism.
The event provided an opportunity to strengthen the "cult of personality" that surrounds President Xi Jinping who, according to well-placed sources, is seeking a third term as president
In his speech, Wang stressed that all Tibetans must share what he described as “the cultural symbols and images of the Chinese nation”. In his view, “Tibet can only develop and prosper under the party's leadership and socialism.” China, he pointed out, has made great efforts to improve the local economy.
For pro-Tibet activists and critics, China’s policy of extending its cultural and social influences is in reality a "threat" to Tibet's traditional Buddhist culture, which Beijing has condemned.
For China’s leaders, the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s traditional religious who lives in exile in neighbouring India, is a “separatist leader”.
In his speech, Wang stated that “separatist and sabotage activities committed by the Dalai (Lama) group and hostile external forces have been crushed.”
In concluding his address, he said that since 1951, Tibet had taken “a path from darkness to brightness, from backwardness to progress, from poverty to prosperity and from autocracy to democracy.”
Meanwhile, the propaganda campaign to bolster President Xi’s leadership continues, focusing on his speeches and images, as he prepares to remain in office for a third term after the National People’s Congress lifted terms limits in March 2018.
At the ceremony in Lhasa, a large portrait of the leader was displayed alongside another image showing five past leaders, overlooking the platform where Wang made his speech.
At the 60th anniversary of China’s invasion of Tibet, then Vice-President Xi cited the various leaders of the past, including Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping. This time, Wang just mentioned and praised the current leader.
“This means that Xi Jinping will definitely be re-elected” to a third term in office by “the 20th Party Congress next year,” said Hu Ping, the US-based editor-in-chief of Beijing Spring magazine.
“That's the message that's being sent.”