(TibetanReview.net, Dec21’23) – China’s top political advisor Wang Huning has called on local cadres for efforts to advance the work related to ethnic and religious affairs with a strong sense of responsibility and mission in his Dec 17-19 tour of Yunnan province. While this sounds innocuous enough, its unmistakable underlying message to the local cadres is to speed up President Xi Jinping’s call to culturally, ethnically, religiously, and demographically Sinicize by means of assimilation the ethnic minority regions of the People’s Republic of China.
Yunnan province currently stands expanded with the inclusion of the historically Kham Tibetan region of Dechen (Chinese: Diqing), a prefecture best known for its picturesque Gyalthang county, which China recently renamed as Shangri-la, to enhance its appeal as a tourist attraction.
Wang, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, emphasized the importance of fostering a strong sense of community for the Chinese nation and staying committed to the principle that religions in China must be Chinese in orientation to promote ethnic unity, religious harmony, and social stability, noted China’s official Xinhua news agency Dec 20.
During the tour, Wang, whose position makes him China’s top leader on ethnic minority, religious, and non-Party affairs, has visited Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture as well as the cities of Yuxi and capital Kunming, where he has inspected residential areas, Buddhist sites, enterprises, the provincial museum, and wetlands, among other places.
While praising Yunnan’s efforts to maintain harmony and stability in ethnic and religious fields, Wang has urged the province to promote extensive exchanges, communication, and integration among various ethnic groups and build a demonstration area for ethnic unity and progress in the country.
He has stressed the importance of sticking to the Party’s basic policy on religious affairs and providing active guidance to religions so that they can adapt to a socialist society.