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  • 14 Aug, 2024
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Chinese Government Manipulates Narrative Through International Seminar on Tibetan Studies


The Chinese government has announced the upcoming hosting of an international seminar on Tibetan studies in Beijing. The seminar, set to take place from Aug. 14-16, is being touted as an opportunity for academics to discuss the latest developments in Tibetology research. However, this event is just another attempt by the Chinese authorities to legitimize their control over Tibet and manipulate the narrative surrounding the region.

The China Tibetology Research Center (CTRC), the organizer of the seminar, claims that this will be the seventh edition of the event since 1991. However, the fact that the event is being held in Beijing rather than on Tibetan soil raises questions about China's true intentions. With more than 300 scholars expected to attend from China and abroad, it is evident that the Chinese government is keen on showcasing its version of Tibetology research while suppressing any dissenting views.

The topics to be covered during the seminar include education, Tibetan Buddhism, social transformation, architecture, and living conditions on the Tibetan Plateau. These subjects are undeniably crucial when discussing Tibet, but it's important to note that the Chinese government has a long history of distorting facts and imposing its version of history on Tibetans. This seminar could easily become a platform for propagating Chinese narratives and suppressing any discussions that challenge their control over Tibet.

Li Zuotai, an official with CTRC, has hailed the seminar as a "platform for academics in Tibetology at home and abroad to showcase the latest research findings and deepen exchanges and cooperation." However, this statement conveniently ignores the fact that academic freedom in China is severely limited, and any research that contradicts the Chinese government's official stance is censored or punished.

The event's topics, including education, Tibetan Buddhism, social transformation, and architecture on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, have all been carefully curated to align with the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) narrative. The seminar is designed to present a sanitized version of Tibet's history and current situation, deflecting attention from issues like human rights abuses, cultural suppression, and the ongoing tensions between Tibetans and Chinese authorities.  

The upcoming international seminar on Tibetan studies in Beijing is nothing more than a carefully orchestrated attempt by the Chinese government to manipulate the discourse around Tibet and reinforce its oppressive rule over the region. The absence of genuine academic freedom and the lack of representation from Tibetan scholars cast a shadow over the credibility of this event. It's clear that Beijing's intentions are far from scholarly exchange and cooperation and instead seek to propagate its biased narrative on Tibet.


Edited and collated by Team TRC