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  • 28 Jun, 2024
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Sikyong Penpa Tsering Highlights China`s Suppression of Tibet`s Identity and Calls for International Support


Sikyong Penpa Tsering, the democratically elected leader of Tibetans in exile, addressed a seminar in Delhi on Tuesday, June 27, shedding light on China's Tibet policy under Xi Jinping. He emphasized that China's overarching vision of assimilating Tibet into a homogeneous nation threatens the cultural, political, and linguistic identity of Tibetans.

The seminar, organized by the Centre for China Analysis and Strategy, focused on China's recent activities in Tibet, as well as its policies related to religion, ethnicity, and the environment.

Speaking for an hour, Sikyong Penpa Tsering stressed the importance of recognizing Tibet's historical status as an independent state, a fundamental aspect of the Middle Way Approach (MWA) advocated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and endorsed by the Tibetan administration. He suggested that resolving the Sino-Tibet conflict through the MWA could have broader implications for Southeast Asia, considering Tibet's border with multiple countries in the region.

Sikyong Penpa Tsering expressed his concerns about China's insecurity despite its immense power, highlighting the country's significant investment in internal security. He asserted that China relentlessly seeks international recognition to legitimize its illegal occupation of Tibet. He urged the international community to refrain from endorsing Tibet's inclusion in the People's Republic of China (PRC), as the history of Tibet should only be determined by the Tibetan people and their spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

He also drew attention to China's deliberate distortion of Tibet's historical legacy, particularly its economic and cultural ties with India. He pointed out the Chinese government's establishment of colonial boarding schools aimed at eradicating Tibetan national identity and assimilating Tibetan children into Chinese ideology and propaganda.

Sikyong lamented the cultural decline faced by Tibetans, specifically targeting China's attempts to Sinicize the Tibetan language, which strikes at the core of Tibetan national identity. He highlighted the tragic occurrence of 157 self-immolations inside Tibet, driven by a lack of political space and excessive control. These acts, he noted, were desperate pleas for international attention and support.

Furthermore, he criticized China's continuous perpetration of various forms of atrocities within Tibet while restricting access to journalists, diplomats, and human rights activists. He underscored China's sole concern for the survival of the Communist Party, linking its belligerence on the Indian border and assertiveness in the South China Sea and Taiwan to its insecurities surrounding potential threats to the party's existence.

He concluded his address by calling upon the global community to view Tibet as a partner rather than a victim in countering China's growing aggression. He urged governments and policymakers to refrain from legitimizing China's occupation of Tibet by recognizing it as part of the PRC. He emphasized the importance of the international community and the free world standing up for their values and supporting the cause of Tibet.  


Edited and collated by Team TRC