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China promotes ‘ethnic unity’ law with Chinese-Tibetan marriages campaign

Erja and Nyima, during their traditional Tibetan wedding in Sichuan Province Jan. 26, 2012. (Photo courtesy: Carlos Barria/Reuters)

(TibetanReview.net, May07’20) – China has begun implementing its new “ethnic unity” law in Tibet by organizing public meetings and educations at which it is issuing calls for interethnic marriages between local Tibetans and Chinese immigrants, reported the Tibetan Service of rfa.org May 6, citing developments in the southern prefecture-level city of Shigatse.

Mass meetings and educational training sessions were being held in Shigatse, at which Chinese authorities call on Tibetans and Chinese to intermarry, the report cited a local source as saying, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“If Tibetans and Chinese marry each other in Shigatse, they will be held up as exemplary ‘ethnic unity’ families, and such model families will be awarded prizes.”

The “Regulations on the Establishment of a Model Area for Ethnic Unity and Progress in the Tibet Autonomous Region” was adopted by the People’s Congress of Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) on Jan 11 and came into force on May 1.

The law mandates equal participation by non-Tibetan ethnic groups at all levels of government and in schools, private business companies, religious centers, and the military.

Tibetans and human rights groups have condemned the campaign as a further move to “Sinicize” Tibet.

The campaign is part of a broader move to make Tibetans to study the writings and political thought of Chinese President Xi Jinping and his vision for “Socialism with Chinese Characteristics.”

China has previously sought to promote such interethnic marriages by providing a host of incentives for the new couples and their children and these are now obviously being greatly strengthened.

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