(TibetanReview.net, Apr07’21) – Although the number of Tibetans fleeing persecution in their occupied homeland has been down to a trickle, if at all, for more than two decades, China is taking no chances and its local Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) government has announced strict ban on 15 border activities. The move was meant to “further strengthening controls over illegal crossings as the region prepares to celebrate the 70th anniversary of its peaceful liberation in May,” reported the official globaltimes.cn Apr 6.
Citing the regional party mouthpiece Tibet Daily Apr 6, the report said the Public Security Department and Foreign Affairs Office of TAR had jointly issued a circular with other government departments, highlighting 15 acts that were prohibited at the border.
The report said the strictly prohibited acts included entering the border management zone without valid documents, evading border inspection, organizing or helping others to be smuggled across the border, and hunting or collecting national protected rare animals and plants.
The circular was also reported to stress that “carrying or disseminating newspapers, books or electronic products containing content that endangers national security and undermines ethnic unity is strictly prohibited.”
The bans were also stated to prohibit private small aircraft flight activities, damaging or moving of communications and water facilities, moving of markers that mark the location of the border, and damaging of military facilities.
“The bans have always existed in local laws. It is a preventive as well as a regular measure to safeguard border security,” the report quoted Zhu Xiaoming, former Party chief of China Tibetology Research Center, as saying.
The report noted that in 2020, Beijing had called for efforts to ensure national security and enduring peace and stability, steadily improve people’s lives, maintain a good environment, solidify border defense and ensure frontier security at the seventh Central Symposium on Tibet Work. Zhu has said the emphasis on the 15 border prohibitions could further implement this approach.
China compelled a Tibetan government delegation in Beijing to sign under duress a 17-point agreement on May 23, 1951. Even then, it only maintained a facade of abiding by its terms until the Mar 1959 Tibetan uprising when it trashed its own agreement and enforced from Mar 28 what it called democratic reform in Tibet. And following its pyrrhic crushing of the 2008 large-scale protests across Tibet, China began marking Mar 28 as Serfs Emancipation Day in the region.
The year 2021 also marks the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party of China.