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China claims religious repression ensured economic prosperity in Tibet, Xinjiang

Chinese soldiers amass outside of Labrang Monastery in Gansu Province to prevent protests during Losar, the Tibetan lunar New Year festival. (Photo courtesy: Freedom House)

(TibetanReview.net, Jan10’20) – A stable religious situation in Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, ensured by severe crackdown, paved the way for their economic boom and poverty relief, reported China’s official globaltimes.cn Jan 9, citing mainland Chinese experts.

The report cited Zhu Weiqun, former head of the Ethnic and Religious Affairs Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), as saying relevant authorities and religious institutions had severely cracked down on the separatist force hidden in monasteries, and guided the patriotic and religious activities of Tibetan Buddhism for more than a decade, achieving good results.

The efforts have been welcomed by the majority of monks, Zhu has maintained.

The report noted that Representatives and committee members approved at the 11th Tibet Regional Committee meeting of CPPCC on Jan 8 that freedom of religious belief in the region was fully guaranteed but that monasteries were never allowed to be turned into illegal places that undermined national unity.

The report cited Dzongkha Adan, vice director of Tashilhunpo Monastery in Xigaze (Shigatse) as maintaining that monks and nuns while being Buddhists were Chinese citizens first of all.

Zhu has said the success of religious repression work in Tibet had provided valuable experience for Xinjiang and other parts of the country.

The report said both the regions were poised to secure a full victory in the anti-poverty battle in 2020, with the TAR having basically eliminated absolute poverty in 2019 and Xinjiang achieving that Xi Jinping goal of the PRC in 2020.

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