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China’s anti-corruption campaign in Tibet targets religiosity, ‘separatism’

Chen Quanguo, Communist Party of China (CPC) chief of Tibet. (Photo courtesy: HRW)
Chen Quanguo, Communist Party of China (CPC) chief of Tibet. (Photo courtesy: HRW)

(TibetanReview.net, Nov11, 2015) – President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign has a rather odd Tibet-specific Chinese characteristic: it has metamorphosed to especially target officials who are seen as secretly believing in religion and revering or respecting the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s top spiritual figure living in exile in India. Reuters Nov 9 cited Tibet’s Chinese party boss Chen Quangu as saying the Communist Party of China’s fight against corruption was also being applied in Tibet to officials who secretly believe in religion and try to pay pilgrimages to the Dalai Lama.

The report said that in comments carried on the website of the party’s graft-busting Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, Chen had remarked that Tibet’s lack of oxygen and position at the frontline of fighting separatism did not mean it ignored the battle against corruption.

However, Chen has said, Special effort was being focused upon “officials who have an incorrect view on minority people’s (issues) and profess no religious belief but secretly believe”. He has said the party would go after officials who follow the Dalai Lama, go on pilgrimages to worship him, listen to religious sermons or send their children to schools organised by followers of the Dalai Lama.

China’s anti-graft authorities had earlier said they had found 15 senior Tibetan party officials guilty of corruption last year and punished them, after sending in a team to probe officials suspected of joining groups supporting Tibetan independence.

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