(TibetanReview.net, Sep10’20) – Thousands of Tibetan farmers and nomads are being forced out by the Chinese government from their ancestral land in Themchen (Chinese: Tianjin) County of Tsonub (Haixi) Prefecture, Qinghai Province, under a plan to turn their hometown area into a 50,200 square kilometre Mount Qilian National Park. The parkland straddles parts of the Tibetan areas in Qinghai and Gansu Provinces, with the greater section of it being in the latter.
Around 4,000 Tibetans in the county’s Muru Township and Suru and Drugkhyung villages had been ordered to leave their land and move to Golmud city in Qinghai by the end of 2020, reported the Tibetan Service of rfa.org Sep 9, citing a local resident.
“The relocation project is in full swing right now, and the forced displacement of Tibetan nomads from their homes has become a matter of great concern for the local people,” the report quoted the source as saying, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“The nomads from these areas are not willing to part from their ancestral land, but who is really able to defy China’s policies?” the source was quoted as saying.
The report noted that on Sep 3, county authorities held a meeting led by its governor Sengdrug to order the local Tibetans to move out as the establishment of the national park was in line with president Xi Jinping’s concern for environmental conservation.
The area was in the news recently for the environmental degradation of the Qilian Mountain caused by large-scale illegal coalmining by Chinese companies that was going on since 2006 and for which officials have been suspended and an enquiry ordered only very recently.
China has forcibly displaced hundreds of thousands of Tibetan nomads and farmers in the name of improving living conditions and protecting the environment in recent years, severing them from their traditional way of life and with no proper alternative means of livelihood for most of them.