1. Tibet Autonomous Region Cyber Security Management Regulations come into effect
The Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) Cyber Security Management Regulations came into effect on Feb. 1, 2023. The 11th People’s Congress of the TAR adopted the regulations on Dec. 9, 2022. Article 1 of the regulations states that the regulations
are in accordance with China’s Cyber Security Law, in effect since June 1, 2017, and “formulated in light of the actual conditions of the autonomous region.”
1. Former dialogue participant named Vice-Chairman of Tibet Autonomous Region government
Xu Zhitao, an ethnic Manchu and the former Director of Bureau Seven of the Central United Front Work Department in Beijing, was appointed
as one of the vice-chairmen of the TAR government on Jan. 9, 2023 and listed as one of the two spokespersons of the TAR government in an official spokespersons list on Feb. 2. During the Sino-Tibetan dialogue, which has been stalled since 2010, Xu was one of the Chinese officials who met with the envoys of the Dalai Lama.
2. Promotion for Party Secretary who oversaw Buddha statue demolitions
Draggo (Chinese: Luhuo) County’s former Party Secretary Wang Dongsheng now has a position in the Kardze (Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture government as Director of the Bureau of Science and Technology. After his appointment as the Party Secretary of Draggo County in October 2021, he oversaw the destruction
of a 99-foot Buddha statue; Gaden Rabten Namgyal Ling monastic school; a row of 45 prayer wheels; and a 45-foot Guru Padmasambhava statue in Draggo County between October and December 2021. At least 11 Tibetans who resisted the destruction were detained. As the Deputy Party Secretary of Serthar County prior to his appointment in Draggo, Wang oversaw the partial destruction of Larung Gar Buddhist Academy between 2016-17, resulting in the demolition of around 7,500 monastic dwelling huts and the expulsion of around 5,000 monastics. Wang was promoted to his current role in August 2022.
3. Cadre applicants required to ‘draw line’ against Dalai Lama
China’s state media outlet Tibet Daily reported on Jan. 30 that, in line with the “National Organizational Ministers Conference,” the Party Secretary of the TAR, Wang Junzheng stressed the need during an expanded TAR Party Standing Committee meeting to “implement the general requirements of party building in the new era and the party’s organizational line in the new era, build a team of high-quality cadres who are loyal, clean and responsible, and provide a strong talent guarantee for the comprehensive construction of a new socialist modern Tibet.”
As a basic condition for cadre recruitment, the party requires all job applicants to hold a “consciousness of the Chinese nation community, resolutely draw a clear line with the 14th Dalai Lama and the Dalai Lama clique.” The Civil Affairs Bureau and Education Bureau in Nagartse county in Lhoka (Shannan) and Drakyib (Bayi) district in Nyingtri lay down the requirements clearly in their recruitment notices dated Jan. 29 and Jan. 20, respectively.
4. Lhasa’s former Mayor now reportedly at Tibet Federation of Industry and Commerce
Since Wang Qiang’s installation as the new Mayor of Lhasa on Dec. 13, 2022, his Tibetan predecessor, Gho Khog, has reportedly been moved to the Tibet Federation of Industry and Commerce, according to a source in Tibet. ICT is yet to see an official document announcing the transfer. Gho Khog is reportedly under investigation for corruption.
5. 2 top Tibetan officials in Chamdo charged with ‘serious violation of discipline and law’
Apo, the former Tibetan Party Secretary of Chamdo (Changdu) prefectural-level city, and Tsering Gyurmey
(Ciren Junmei), the Tibetan head of the United Front Work Department, have been charged after investigations with “serious violation of discipline and law.” Although the details behind the charge are unclear, it appears the two top Tibetan officials have been charged for their political views and leanings.
6. CTA leadership study of eastern Tibet prefectures
In an unpublished leadership study of two Tibetan prefectures in eastern Tibet, the India-based Central Tibetan Administration finds the following:
Kardze (Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture
- Out of 14 members in the prefecture’s party standing committee, 6 are Tibetans and 8 Chinese. The Party Secretary position is held by a Chinese with 2 Tibetans and 1 Chinese as Deputy Party Secretaries.
- Out of the 1 Chairman and 8 Vice-Chairmen of the People’s Congress, 7 are Tibetan and 2 Chinese. The Chairman of the prefecture’s People’s Congress is Tibetan.
- Out of the 1 Governor and 9 Vice-Governors, 3 are Tibetan and 7 Chinese. The prefecture’s Governor is a Tibetan.
- Out of the 1 Chairman and 10 Vice-Chairmen of the People’s Political Consultative Conference, 8 are Tibetans, 1 Yi and 2 Chinese. The Chairman is Tibetan.
- Out of the 1 President and 6 Vice-Presidents of the Intermediate People’s Court, 3 are Tibetans and 4 Chinese. The President is Chinese.
- Out of 1 Chief Procurator and 7 Vice-Procurators, 3 are Tibetans, 4 are Chinese and 1 is of unidentified ethnicity. The Chief Procurator is a Chinese.
Ngaba (Aba) Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture
- Out of the 14 members in the prefecture’s party standing committee, 4 are Tibetans, 2 Qiang and 8 Chinese. The Secretary is Chinese.
- Out of the 1 Chairman and 8 Vice-Chairmen of the People’s Congress, 4 are Tibetan, 2 Qiang, 2 Chinese and 1 unidentified ethnicity. The Chairman of the prefecture’s People’s Congress is an ethnic Qiang.
- Out of the 1 Governor and 9 Vice-Governors, 3 are Tibetan, 2 Qiang and 5 Chinese. The prefecture’s Governor is Tibetan.
- Out of the 1 Chairmen and 9 Vice-Chairmen of the People’s Political Consultative Conference, 5 are Tibetans, 2 Qiang and 3 Chinese. The Chairman is Tibetan.
- Out of the 1 President and 6 Vice-Presidents of the People’s Court, 3 are Tibetans, 2 Chinese and 2 Qiang. The President is Chinese.
- Out of 1 Chief Procurator and 6 Vice-Procurators, 4 are Tibetans and 3 Chinese. The Chief Procurator is Chinese.
7. Aviation plan aims to add 58 new general airports by 2035
The Development and Reform Commission of the Tibet Autonomous Region recently announced the “General Aviation Development Plan of the Tibet Autonomous Region (2021-2035)
.” The plan aims to build a general aviation infrastructure network system by 2035 with 58 new general airports added to the existing one, bringing the total number of general airports to 59. According to the report, 14 new general-purpose airports will be built in the short term by 2025. Twenty-six and 18 additional new airports will be added by 2030 and 2035 during the 15th and 16th five-year plans, respectively.
8. Railway plan to connect Tibet to Xinjiang
A new railway plan
aims to connect Shigatse in Tibet to Hotan in Xinjiang by 2035. The first phase of the railway line from Shigatse to Pekhudtso (at the junction of Kyidong and Nyalam counties) during the 14th five-year plan will be completed by 2025 with the remaining railroad to Hotan to be completed by 2035, according to the “Tibet Autonomous Region ‘14th Five-Year Plan’ and medium and long-term railroad network planning” recently published by the TAR authorities. By 2025, the Sichuan-Tibet railroad section between Nyingtri in Tibet and Ya’an in China’s Sichuan will be operational. Similarly, the Yunnan-Tibet railroad section between Pome county in Nyingtri prefectural-level city and Rakwatso (Ranwu lake) in Chamdo prefectural-level city will also be operational according to the railway plan. Several strategic areas along the South Asia international border will be connected by the railway plan upon its completion in 2035.
1. Industrial developments, displacements and securitization in eastern Tibet
Writing in The Diplomat
, American writer Scott Ezell shares his observations from his road travels in eastern Tibet in 2004 and 2019. Comparing the two trips, Ezell writes, “But over the next 15 years, as I returned to the eastern Tibetan plateau I saw destructive dam and mining projects multiply exponentially, displacing autonomous Tibetan communities into resettlement zones. Armored vehicles appeared in towns, and platoons of People’s Liberation Army soldiers patrolled Buddhist temples with assault rifles. Tibetans became a minority in their own territory due to the influx of ethnic Han Chinese migrating from lowland areas for work or business opportunities.” Reflections from his travels in eastern Tibet are documented in his book, “Journey to the End of the Empire