(TibetanReview.net, Aug24’23) – Having either failed or refused to respond to repeated UN experts’ queries on the issue previously, China now claims that the allegations that it has been carrying out a policy of forcible assimilation of Tibetan children in boarding schools it has set up in occupied Tibet are ‘fabricated” after the United States announced Aug 22 the initiation of steps to impose visa restrictions on involved officials.
Calling the accusations a “pure fabrication”, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin expressed firm opposition to the US move to use Tibet-related issues to impose illegal sanctions on Chinese officials, reported China’s official chinadaily.com.cn Aug 24.
The report said Wang urged the United States Aug 23 to revoke its “wrong decision” of imposing visa restrictions on Chinese officials over the allegations.
The move interferes in China’s internal affairs, damages China’s interests and violates the basic norms governing international relations, Wang has maintained.
He has claimed that students in those boarding schools are free to return home during holidays and weekends and that parents can visit their children or take them home according to their needs at any time.
But monitoring groups have long criticized the Sinocentric education curricula and regime which virtually incarcerates the Tibetan children of tender ages in these forced assimilation boarding schools.
What is more, he has claimed that “the boarding schools in Tibet are vivid examples of ways to protect human rights and cultural traditions in the region.”
China’s official globaltimes.cn Aug 23 further quoted Wang as saying: “The human rights conditions in Xizang are at their historical best, as witnessed by the international community. The region has long enjoyed a booming economy, harmonious and stable society, and effective protection and promotion of cultural heritage. The rights and freedoms of all ethnic groups, including the freedom of religious belief and the freedom to use and develop their ethnic groups’ spoken and written languages, are fully protected.”
Such claims have, however, failed to meet the UN human rights experts’ tests of credibility.
But this is of no concern to China, for the report further quoted Wang as saying, with a warning: “I need to stress that Xizang-related affairs are purely China’s internal affairs that brook no foreign interference. The US needs to respect facts, fulfill its commitment on Tibet, stop using Xizang-related issues to meddle in China’s internal affairs and undermine China’s interests, and immediately withdraw its wrong decision. Otherwise, there will be a resolute response from China.”