Wang Yi’s visit to Tibet
Tibets conflicting relation with China can be traced far back in the two respective countries’ history. History, when studied properly stands as a proof that Tibet was never a part of China and that it still isnt.
The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) claim that Tibet has always been a part of China is far from the truth. China’s illegal occupation of Tibet resulted in the drastic turn of events and led to Tibet’s demise. The gradual schemes run by the CCP has not only destroyed Tibet’s land but has also affected the Tibetan population severely.
The past few decades have been extremely hard for the Tibetans who lost their land, their independence and their people. Tibetans have however been able to build their lives in exile and have led on the freedom struggle with much strength and dedication.
It hasn’t been an easy journey but the people of Tibet have and are still facing the hardships with immense solidarity and unity. Tibetans in Tibet have faced and are still facing a much tougher front since they are under China’s watch and strict surveillance. The lack of basic rights in Tibet adds to their troubles and the CCP’s constant attack on the Tibetan identity through various means adds on to their list of countless sufferings. During the Covid-19 pandemic also, China made sure to introduce more schemes to affect the Tibetan identity through the closure of many religious institutions and by making the surveillance even harsher than before.
Wang Yi, who joined the Communist Party of China in May 1981 and is currently the Minister of Foreign Affairs, made a sudden visit to Tibet which sparked even more worries for the people. The CCP has already laid plans to tighten the border securities and has also started many of their well sought plans. Wang’s further visit to inspect the border infrastructure can only be a cause of worry and suspicion for the Tibetans. His visit to India in the year 2014 to meet up with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was newly elected then led to a huge turmoil.
Tibetans and Tibetan supporters had organised a huge protest outside the Chinese Embassy but that had been controlled by putting the organisers and participants under lockdown in the Tibetan colony in Delhi. The recent wasn’t met with much appreciation or enthusiasm by the people who were standing for Tibet’s cause and wanted China to own up to their injustice acts towards Tibet and Tibetans. China and India faced tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) which is said to have been the reason for Wang Yi’s visit to the borders. He is said to have met with the top Communist Party official in Tibet, Wu Yingjie as well as the Chairman for the Tibet Autonomous region (TAR) government, Qizhala. All this was done under the disguised efforts to safeguard the national security and to eliminate any threats seen or witnessed at the borders.
It is indeed rare for a Foreign Minister of a country as powerful as China to visit the remote regions of a land fully under their control under the guise of a call for security and safety.
Wang also made a statement about how the security and stability of the region is important to the overall development of China. This is in turn an indication of how China benefits immensely from Tibet and how the borders are exceedingly important to monitor the movement of the Tibetans and also to keep the border countries under their watchful eyes. His visit to the border areas is also explained by how he studied the poverty alleviation in the regions, the infrastructure and the construction of the villages. The Xiaokang villages that are being built is said to be for Tibet’s safety but it is visible to the Tibetans how the main motive is for the Chinese authorities to look out for any pro-Dalai Lama movements and to suppress it when discovered. Wang’s visit could have been to study about the state of the Tibetans although he supposedly expressed his concerns over the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic clearly didn’t stop them from forcibly closing the religious institutions in many Tibetans areas and in forcing the monks and nuns to also leave clear out the concerned premises.
India should also see Wang’s visit as a threat to their own border safety although he mentioned conflicts regarding the international situation and China’s diplomatic work. His claims that China has helped Tibet in achieving great economic development and has stabilised the border areas is completely false. China has only destroyed Tibet’s environment, stripped the land off its natural resources, used up every ounce of resource of their own benefit, destroyed the Tibetan historical building and relics and also killed and tortured thousands of Tibetans. The Foreign Minister’s so called concern over the safety of the Tibetan borders is only because of the threat that it could impose or carry forward that would hinder China’s plans for extra surveillance or plans of illegal expansion. It is never a good news for the Tibetans in Tibet when a Chinese official comes to the land to claim it further and to make regulations and changes that only affects the Tibetan people.
Tibet’s border is more China’s than it is Tibet’s. The border countries should feel threatened by China’s sudden interest in rechecking the borders and in strengthening it since it could be an initiation of a plan that could affect the countries at stake. Tibetans feel endangered but it doesn’t come off as a surprise to them since they have been facing injustice for decades and have personally faced the wrath of the Chinese Communist Party and their brutality. These visits and concerns shown by the Chinese authorities can lead to more oppressive schemes for the Tibetans in Tibet and can affect their current livelihoods even more.