On Tibet anniversary, China amplifies Marxist pitch

China on Tuesday celebrated the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Tibet Autonomous Republic (TAR) by sending a powerful visual message of unity, along with an advocacy of fusing religious and socialist values.

In the backdrop of the imposing Potala palace — once home of the Dalai Lama — thousands gathered on Tuesday morning to listen to Yu Zhengsheng, a top Chinese official who had flown in from Beijing. A spectacular parade that followed, including soldiers in full uniformed regalia, goose-stepping marchers and flag-waving schoolchildren, reinforced the message of Tibet’s role, as a frontier state, in safeguarding China’s security.

“Border areas must be well-managed to successfully govern the country, and stability in Tibet is paramount to the management of these areas,” said Mr. Yu.

He, who was heading a 65-member delegation, was echoing some of the salient points regarding Tibet that President Xi Jinping had made last month, during a two-day seminar.

Among them was the rejection of the 14th Dalai Lama’s role in shaping modern Tibet. Mr. Yu said that Tibet had entered a new stage of sustained stability after people of all ethnic groups had foiled “sabotage attempts by the 14th Dalai Lama group and international hostile forces.” He asserted that China will be relentless in cracking down on all kinds of separatist activities in the future. Addressing troops from the People’s Liberation Army and other law enforcing agencies a day earlier, Mr. Yu, a Politburo member, urged the army, police and judicial staff in Tibet “to crack down on separatist forces and be ready to fight a protracted battle against the 14th Dalai clique.”

President Xi had pointed out that stability in Tibet would resonate in a much larger territorial swathe, as ethnic Tibetans and other ethnic minorities were residing in strength in neighbouring provinces, such as Sichuan and Yunnan.

Though China has been focusing on a cultural renaissance based on the revival of Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism, President Xi had made it plain that Marxist values should be promoted in shaping people’s views on ethnicity, religion and culture.

Analysts say that a fresh focus on Marxism could be part of drive to consolidate support within the Communist Party of China, following the President’s extensive, but sometimes divisive, anti-corruption campaign.

Xinhua is reporting that Mr. Xi had pointed to efforts that were required to promote patriotism among the Tibetan Buddhist circles, effective management of monasteries, and encouragement to interpretations of religious doctrines "that are compatible with a socialist society."

Meanwhile Free Tibet, a London-based human rights group, accused China of defining Tibetan identity, in accordance with its own priorities. It added that Tibetans suffered restrictions on movement and faced censorship — a claim rejected by Beijing which has been pouring in funds and capital, leading to a visible economic boom in Lhasa.

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Printable version | Apr 15, 2021 5:51:25 PM |

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