The Chinese leadership marked the anniversary of its establishment of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) today in Lhasa with tough warnings of its resolve to crack down on the Dalai Lama’s influence and ‘anti-separatism’.
A 65-member delegation from Beijing led by top Chinese political advisor Yu Zhengsheng presided over a ceremony today (September 8) in front of the Potala Palace, the Dalai Lama’s traditional winter residence, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party’s establishment of the Tibet Autonomous Region. The Chinese government marked the anniversary by issuing a lengthy ‘White Paper’ on Tibet’s ‘autonomy’, although Yu Zhengsheng made it clear in his comments at the rally that this is on the Party state’s terms, saying Tibetans had to “stick to the Communist Party’s leadership”.
The Chinese authorities claimed that the theme of the anniversary was to follow the spirit of the ‘Sixth Work Forum’ in August, the first major policy meeting on Tibet to be presided over by Party leader Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012. The meeting emphasized the importance of ‘stability’, political language for the elimination of dissent and enforcement of compliance to Chinese Communist Party policies, specifically blamed the Dalai Lama for ‘anti-separatist’ activities, and underlined the importance of the Tibet issue to the Beijing leadership.