ICT’s Tibet Roundup—2023 Issue 7 (May 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. Anti-Dalai Lama requirement prominent in employment recruitment announcements

In the government employee recruitment announcements published in early May, a stance against the Dalai Lama or support for the Dalai Lama, in addition to loyalty to the Communist Party of China and Xi Jinping, is listed prominently as a requirement in almost all the recruitment announcements for positions in the following counties and districts:

  • Kharro (Chinese: Karuo) district in Chamdo (Changdu) prefectural-level city Ecological Environment Bureau
  • Lhoka (Shannan) Civil Affairs Bureau (City Children’s Welfare Institute)
  • Lhoka People’s Hospital
  • Lhoka County’s Centralized Support Service Center for Destitute Persons in Lhoka County
  • Lhatse County (in Shigatse) Emergency Management Bureau’s announcement on the recruitment of safety production and law enforcement support personnel for unemployed college students and retired soldiers
  • The Judicial Bureau of Ngamring (Angren) County
  • The Culture and Tourism Bureau of Kyidong (Jilong) County announcement for a farmer and herdsman staff member
  • Emergency Management Bureau of Xietongmen County for emergency management system safety production law enforcement assistants
2. Xi’s apparent instruction to Sinify Tibet and Tibetans at 7th Tibet Work Forum

Veiled as a research article, an author with a Tibetan name, Sherap Nyima, with no transparent current affiliation given, thinly pushes the Tibetologists in Tibet to follow Xi Jinping’s speech at the highly secretive Seventh Tibet Work Forum as the guide for their research works. Looking beyond the propagandistic language of promoting diversity and unity of the Chinese people, Xi during the Seventh Tibet Work Forum apparently seems to have given instructions for the Sinification of Tibet and Tibetans (a term for forcing Tibetans to adopt Chinese language, culture and identity) by constructing a narrative of “integration of various ethnic groups in Tibet since ancient times” for the future of the Chinese nation. The author tells Tibetologists in Tibet to focus on propaganda of personal stories of “interethnic exchanges” to highlight Tibetan people’s contributions toward Xi’s master narrative of the Chinese nation as a “community with a shared future” and “national unity.”

3. TAR United Front Work Department conference emphasizes ‘two thoughts and one exposition’

A large conference of the TAR United Front on April 26 to “study and implement Xi Jinping’s work on the party’s united front in the new era” was attended by around 100 heads of the party’s United Front work. During the conference, Karma Tseten, Member of the Standing Committee of the Party Committee and Minister of the TAR United Front Work Department, summarized Xi’s thoughts on “strengthening and improving ethnic work, and important expositions on religious work” under the catchphrase “two thoughts and one exposition.” He also stated the “two thoughts and one exposition” as the latest achievement of the party’s United Front ethnic and religious theory innovation, which must be understood and worked toward by the United Front cadres.

Karma also pointed out that “two thoughts and one exposition” is an important element of Xi Jinping’s thought on socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era and the fundamental principle of the party’s United Front work in the new era, which must be fully implemented in Tibet. He explained the role of the United Front department and its cadres “at all levels in the region should be firm implementers of the decisions of the CCP Central Committee and the regional party committee, coordinators and implementers of the establishment of a model area of ethnic unity and progress, a strong promoter of the awareness of the Chinese nation community.” As a political requirement for United Front cadres, Karma instructed the cadres to “internalize ‘two thoughts and one exposition’ and externalize it in practice.”

4. Leveraging global media reports for propaganda goal
After launching a perfect smear campaign against the Dalai Lama taking advantage of the global media vulnerability to sensationalism, the Chinese propaganda apparatus took further leverage of global media reports on the manufactured “suck my tongue” incident for propaganda against the Dalai Lama for the Chinese domestic audience. Writing under the academic institution of the “Human Rights Research Institute of Southwest University of Political Science and Law” as a smokescreen for credibility and objectivity, Chinese propaganda informs the domestic audience of a wide range of negative reports carried by global media against the Dalai Lama. Purporting to be an objective analysis, the propaganda report carries offensive and defensive arguments over the incident as a smokescreen of “balance” to drive home the Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda goal of demonizing the Dalai Lama.
5. Survey questionnaire for party members and cadres in Tibet
The CCP made publicly accessible on May 9 a questionnaire for research on improvising propaganda and ideological work in Tibet. The questionnaire is to be completed by party members and cadres in Tibet. Titled “Research on the Important Thoughts of General Secretary Xi Jinping on Propaganda and Ideological Work,” the questionnaire asks for answers to 61 questions like whether the surveyee agrees that the society will be in chaos and the country might break without a consciousness of one country, one party and one people. Another question asks whether the surveyee agrees that Marxism is suitable for China’s need and development of Tibet. Similarly, a question asks whether the surveyee agrees that China will have unprecedented prosperity under Xi Jinping. A question also asks whether the surveyee is aware of the Dalai Lama and the exile Tibetan government’s “smears” against China using the internet.
6. Tibetan middle schoolers in Beijing for weeklong ‘patriotic education’ tour
Jointly organized by the Civil Affairs Department of the Tibet Autonomous Region and the Charity Federation of the Tibet Autonomous Region, 32 Tibetan middle school students from Dhingri (Tingri) County in Shigatse (Rikaze) were taken for a weeklong “patriotic education” tour to Beijing. According to state media, the Tibetan middle schoolers witnessed the flag raising ceremony at Tiananmen Square and visited the National Museum, the China Monetary Museum and Beijing Aeronautics University, as well as the old Palace Museum and other places. A series of “patriotic educational activities” similar to the Dhingri County middle schoolers’ visit to Beijing are also planned for Tibetan children from other counties in the TAR.
7. Propaganda event to make Tibetan children feel gratitude to CCP

Taktse (Daze) District Propaganda Department organized a group tour for 200 Tibetan middle school students to the “Memorial Hall of the Emancipation of a Million Serfs in Tibet,” according to state media reports on May 9. Through the “drinking water to think of the source for gratitude” propaganda activity, the propaganda department aims for Tibetan children to develop gratitude and loyalty to the CCP. In the Memorial Hall, the instructor tells the children that “Tibet has been an inseparable part of the sacred territory of the motherland since ancient times” and that “old Tibet was under the rule of feudal serfdom under the banner of church and state.” According to state media reports, the children were left with the impression that “without the CCP, there would be no new socialist Tibet, not to mention the happy life of Tibetan people today.” The next phase of propaganda activities aim to “guide the students to feel the party’s benevolence, listen to the party, follow the party, and strengthen the cultivation of moral, intellectual, physical and aesthetic development of socialist builders and successors.

8. Speech competition for children in Tsona County to test knowledge of CCP and its policies

Aimed at the ideological assimilation of Tibetan children, the Tsona (Cuona) County Committee of the Communist Youth League and the County Comprehensive Cultural Service Center organized a speech competition event for 33 contestants from a Tibetan youth group on May 5. The event attended by the Propaganda Department, United Front Work Department, the Youth League Committee, the Women’s Federation, the Education Bureau and the Cultural Bureau as judges, tested the children on their understanding of the CCP and its policies with an emphasis on “building a solid awareness of the Chinese nation community.” Through a series of “educational activities” like the speech competition, the CCP shapes the children ideologically to its liking.


9. China passes new Qinghai-Tibet Ecological Protection Law

The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress passed the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Ecological Protection Law on April 26, 2023. The law will come into effect on Sept. 1, 2023. Although purported to promote “comprehensive management, systemic governance, and governance of mountains, rivers, forests, fields, lakes, grass, sand and ice, to contribute to the ecological protection and sustainable development of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau,” the Tibetan pastoral community, who have already been displaced in numbers over 1 million, will face the impact of the law with more displacements and their traditional ways of life made irrelevant by the law.

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