ICT’s Tibet Roundup—2023 Issue 3 (March 1-15)

ICT’s Tibet Roundup is a twice-monthly compilation of curated news from various sources, including Chinese state media, official Chinese documents, briefings, information reported by Tibetans in Tibet and international commentary on Tibet. The roundup is organized in categories, including law, politics, culture, economics, climate and commentary. The focus is on presenting news and reports with limited analysis and editorializing. The frequency and format of the digest may evolve over time.


1. 20th Party Congress propaganda documents in Tibetan language
According to state media, the Tibetan Language and Text Working Committee of Lhasa City has translated the documents of the National Party Congress for spreading propaganda on the spiritual mission of the 20th Party Congress into the hearts of the Tibetan people. More than 1,000 copies of the Tibetan language compilation of the Party Congress documents and “the compilation of the Chinese-Tibetan slogans” were distributed for study in counties, township and village schools, and temples.
2. Ideology czar Wang Huning declared Chairperson of 14th CPPCC. Phagpalha Geleg Namgyal continues as Vice-Chairperson

As expected, following the 20th Party Congress in October 2022, China’s ideologue in chief Wang Huning has been declared as Chairperson of the 14th Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). As the Chinese Communist Party’s Politburo Standing Committee member in charge of the United Front and Chairperson of the CPPCC, Wang Huning directs China’s Central Committee Tibet Work Coordination Group.

Four of the 23 Vice-Chairpersons of the CPPCC are non-Han. Phagpalha Gelek Namgyal, the only Tibetan in the top CPPCC leadership, continues to hold the position of Vice-Chairperson in the 14th CPPCC. He has held the position without break since the 3rd CPPCC in 1959.

3. Xi Jinping exhorts political security of CCP as prerequisite for a strong country
Chinese President Xi Jinping in his closing remarks at the 14th National People’s Congress stressed the political security of the Chinese Communist Party as a prerequisite for constructing China as a strong country and for national rejuvenation. Xi states that “governing the country must first govern the party, and only when the party prospers can the country become strong. To promote the construction of a strong country, we must adhere to the leadership of the Communist Party of China and the centralized and unified leadership of the Party Central Committee, and earnestly strengthen Party building.” Through the propaganda apparatus, Xi’s dictum is expected to reach throughout Tibet down to the local levels through various “study sessions.”
4. Tibetan returnees to Tibet face hardships, unable to revive household registration or make new one
Tibetan exile media outlet the Tibet Times reported that Tibetan returnees from India and Nepal have to wait three to six years, depending on regional authorities, before they can revive their household registration or make a new one. In the absence of household registration, the returnees face hardships, including being unable to find jobs, do business or travel. Residency cards and official identification documents are issued only after the returnee stays in one location, does not break the law and reports diligently to local authorities for an extended period. While the names of Tibetan exiles hailing from Qinghai have been removed from a household registration document, and their grassland ownership was transferred to the state in August 2020, a source in Lhasa told the Tibet Times that permanent resident certificates were being issued to Chinese and other migrants in 2022 by a branch of the public security bureau in Lhasa City.


5. Stability maintenance mobilization meeting in TAR ahead of two sessions
To deter any activities against the then-impending two sessions of the 14th NPC and CPPCC, a mobilization meeting of the stability maintenance forces in the Tibet Autonomous Region and the military-civilian armed patrol were held in Lhasa on March 1. Stability maintenance forces such as the People’s Liberation Army stationed in Tibet, the armed police, public security bureau, anti-terrorism and fire rescue took oaths to resolutely maintain national security and social stability during the two sessions.


6. “Three Consciousness” ideological indoctrination at Rongbu Rabten Monastery in Sog county
Chinese state media reported the launch of the eighth topic of “Three Consciousness” ideological indoctrination at Rongbu Rabten Monastery in Sog county, Nagchu prefectural-level city on Feb. 27. Over 120 monks and nuns were given “education” on the CCP’s basic policy on religious work, speeches of leaders given at the Central Ethnic Work Conference, the National Religious Work Conference and the Central Tibet Work Conference. The “Three Consciousness” refers to three key ideological concepts: political consciousness, national consciousness and social consciousness.
7. Political ideological meeting for religious representatives in Ngari
On Feb. 28, a political ideological meeting was held for the religious circles in Ngari area. The secretary of the prefectural party committee called for deepening and expanding the “national awareness, civic awareness, and rule of law awareness” and actively promote the Sinicization of Tibetan Buddhism. Besides ordering the monastic representatives to study the ideologies of Xi Jinping and TAR Party Secretary Wang Junzheng, they were ordered to unswervingly adhere to the central government’s position and fight against the “Dalai Lama clique.”


8. Tibet Autonomous Region’s foreign trade in 2022 valued at 4.6 billion yuan
According to state media, in 2022 the Tibet Autonomous Region engaged in foreign trade with 95 countries and regions. The total value of foreign trade valued at 4.6 billion yuan (USD 660.7 million @ 1 Yuan = 0.143 USD), which represented an increase of 14.6% compared to 2021. Of the total foreign trade, the TAR’s trade along the “One Belt and One Road” route accounted for 2.379 billion yuan in 2022, a 20% increase compared to 2021, while trade along the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) accounted for 652 million yuan. Nepal, valued at 1.563 billion yuan, was the largest trading partner of the TAR.


9. Paid parental leave for third child
Implementing the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council’s “Decision on optimizing the family planning policy to promote the long term and balanced development of the population,” the government of the Tibet Autonomous Region has publicized that government employees and workers giving birth to a third child are entitled to one year’s paid parental leave. Parents living in places above 4,000 meters above sea level or in border counties are entitled to one and a half year’s paid parental leave. Paternal leave is fixed at 30 days.

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