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China celebrates 65th anniversary of its trashing of ‘one country, two systems’ policy for Tibet

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(TibetanReview.net, Mar31’24) — China marked on Mar 28 the 65th anniversary of its scrapping of a “one country, two systems” policy for Tibet, promised less than eight years earlier, in 1951, with public celebrations across the occupied territory, including capital Lhasa and at newly built border security villages facing India and Bhutan, and a symposium in Beijing. Earlier, on Mar 10, Tibetans and supporters across the free world marked the 65th anniversary of the Tibetan national uprising day.

China began marking Mar 28 as “Serfs’ Emancipation Day” in 2009, a year after much of the Tibetan Plateau was engulfed by large-scale demonstrations against its continued occupation rule over Tibet. It led to large-scale massacres and continued atrocities in many areas of the Tibet Plateau region. The anniversary marks China’s declaration of the “dissolution” of what it called the “local” Tibet government and the launch of its so-called “democratic reform” there, which supposedly freed more than a million serfs. China also then launched a Preparatory Committee for the Tibetan Autonomous Region.

The 65th anniversary of “the democratic reform that ended feudal serfdom in southwest China’s Xizang Autonomous Region” was marked with multiple grand celebrations and commemorative activities across the region, reported China’s official Xinhua news agency Mar 28.

The event in Lhasa was stated to have been attended by more than 2,000 people from all walks of life at the Potala Palace square where a Chinese national flag-raising ceremony was held.

The 65th anniversary of democratic reform was celebrated with enthusiasm and reflection across the remotest border areas of Tibet Autonomous Region, reported China’s official globaltimes.cn Mar 28.

“Today’s Xizang sees continuous, rapid development in its border areas, with 624 border well-off villages fully established. All major townships are connected to the main power grid, and the coverage of broadband and 4G signals in administrative villages has reached 100%,” the report quoted Yan Jinhai, deputy secretary of the Communist Party of China Xizang Autonomous Regional Committee and chairman of the People’s Government of Xizang Autonomous Region, as saying in his speech published on the Xizang Daily newspaper on Mar 28.

Yan, a Tibetan from Qinghai with Chinese name, has also said: “Xizang will persist in balancing troop stationing with civilian settlement and emphasizing both border consolidation and development. Efforts will be made to tilt policies, projects, and funds more toward the border areas, promoting frontier prosperity to reinforce border defence, border security, and the happiness of border residents.”

The report said that in Yadong (or Yatung) county, “located in the southern borderlands of Xigaze city and intersecting with India and Bhutan, eight celebration events were held across its townships from Tuesday to Thursday (Mar 26-28). Apart from flag-raising, singing the national anthem, and watching the Mar 28 speech broadcast live, residents also commemorated and celebrated this day through quizzes, sports competitions, and cultural performances.”

Celebrations were also stated to have been held in Medog county in the south of Nyingchi prefecture-City bordering India; and Cona county-city, “one of the youngest cities in Xizang”, bordering India and Bhutan.

“On this special day, border soldiers also celebrated with the local residents. Soldiers in the Xigaze Military Area joined the local flag-raising ceremony on Thursday (Mar 28) morning and watched the public’s celebratory performances. They also reviewed knowledge and history of the country and Xizang,” the report said.

The symposium in Beijing was stated to have been organized jointly by the China Tibetology Research Center, the China Association for Preservation and Development of Tibetan Culture, and the China Society for Human Rights Studies.

Jin Canrong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University of China, has made it clear that the symposium was meant to counter Western harbouring of biases against Xizang.

“As long as anti-China forces abroad and the separatist group led by the Dalai Lama persist, commemorating this anniversary remains meaningful,” chinadaily.com.cn Mar 29 quoted Jin as saying.

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