President Xi’s efforts to ‘Sinicize’ Tibet concerning: US Secretary of State Pompeo  

President Xi’s efforts to ‘Sinicize’ Tibet concerning: US Secretary of State Pompeo  

Washington/Beijing: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has criticised the statements of Xi Jinping, General Secretary of Chinese Communist Party (CCP), over Sinicization of the Buddhist religion in Tibet as also the activities in the region. Tibetan President-in-exile Dr Lobsang Sangay has voiced displeasure at President Xi’s remarks and has alleged that China was conspiring to destroy the Tibetan culture. Last week, the CCP had convened a special meeting to discuss Tibet. At the meeting, Xi Jinping put forth the strange demand of evolving the Tibetan Buddhist religion as per the Chinese Communist system.   

On the sidelines of the Coronavirus, the Chinese Communist regime snubbed international agreements for pushing its expansionist policy and took control of Hong Kong. At the same time, China is also trying to take possession of Taiwan and areas of the South China Sea. The Chinese activities have sparked intense discontent among the international community, and several nations have begun to oppose it openly. The US, European countries as even prominent nations such as Japan, Australia and India have said that the Chinese policy against Uyghurs and Tibetans was extremely concerning.  

Therefore, President Xi Jinping’s indications of launching a new crackdown for the Sinicisation of Tibet has drawn much attention to itself. Furthermore, the Chinese Communist Party had held a symposium under the title – ‘Seventh Central Symposium on Tibet’ last week. During his address, Jinping asserted the need for China to build an impregnable fortress for stability in Tibet. President Xi appealed that ‘In order to bolster China’s security, it is pertinent to stop the secessionist movement and educate people in the region. We need to create a new, modern, socialist Tibet and educational reforms are required for it. The Tibetan Buddhist religion needs to align with the socialist system and must promote Sinicisation of the faith.   

The CCP has already seized control over the Tibetan land and rejected fundamental, political, and religious rights of its people. Also, the Chinese regime is running the campaign of committing cultural genocide in Tibet of its distinct religious culture. China has not just rebuffed its demands for freedom but also autonomy. Although it has muzzled the voices of Tibetan people until today with its economic, political, and military might, the situation appears to be changing for the past few months. President Xi’s remarks thus make apparent the Chinese Communist Party’s aggressive attempts to consolidate its hold once again over Tibet. A furious reaction emerged from the US as well as Tibetan groups over the Chinese President’s statements.   

US State Secretary Pompeo lambasted China and said, ‘We’re also concerned about Chinese actions in Tibet, in light of the general secretary’s recent calls to ‘Sinicize’ Tibetan Buddhism and fight ‘splittism’ there. We are closely following Chinese activities in Tibet. We continue to call upon Beijing to enter into dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives without preconditions, to reach a settlement that resolves their differences.’ Even the Tibetan government-in-exile Dr Lobsang Sangay has launched stinging criticism against the plan.  

Sangay lambasted China by saying, ‘For Tibetans, Buddhism is more important than communism. To force them to treat communism as more important than their faith is not only a violation of international religious freedom but is also deeply misguided. It is an attempt at cultural and religious genocide in Tibet. Sinicisation of Tibetan Buddhism is never going to work.’ Groups such as the Human Rights Watch, Students for a Free Tibet (SFT) and International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) have also expressed dissatisfaction at President Xi’s plans. 

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