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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

China’s white paper on Tibet and the audacity of lies


(, Nov24’23) – Academics in China derive their relevance and, indeed, legitimacy from the fact that they paint a glorious picture of the situation in the country, as mandated by its Communist Party dictators, no matter how far removed their doctored discourses – embellished with false or distorted facts, data, and narratives – may be from the ground reality. And China’s superlative praise of itself for its latest white paper propaganda on “Xizang Autonomous Region”, issued on Nov 10, just proves it, going by its report on a forum on it Nov 21.

The Communist Party-state of China, of course, has its fair share of “useful idiots” who have found their relevance, or, rather, use, in the former’s world of propaganda academia, media outlets, and various other politically hued spheres, including, latestly, as social media influencers. And they will no doubt dutifully play their role to maintain their place in the good books of the Communist Party of China (CPC). But this has not prevented the Party-state from also doing its own bit of singing the praise of its latest white paper on Tibet, which is titled as “CPC Policies on the Governance of Xizang in the New Era: Approach and Achievements”.

“With the correct policies and leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the development of Southwest China’s Xizang Autonomous Region is presented with real examples and data, allowing people to see the true development of Xizang, leaving the separatist forces speechless,” began the Nov 21 report on a “high-level forum on the practice of the CPC’s strategy for governing Xizang in the new era and its historic achievements.”

The claim that “the separatist forces” were left “speechless” by the white paper is, of course, an unmitigated lie. Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet had already released an analytical rebuttal of it on Nov 15, to begin with.

Still, if the white paper left anyone “speechless”, it would certainly not be because of the awesomeness of its truthfulness or brilliance of analysis. Rather, it will be due to the sheer enormity of the audacity of lies, distortions, untruths, and euphemisms it packed, which left one wondering whether at all it is worth the while being critiqued, instead of being dismissed offhandedly as just another piece of false propaganda. After all, China has issued a long list of 18 such position-papers on “Tibet” and one on “Xizang” since 1992. A white paper is only a position paper, rather than a report based on verifiable, objective facts.

Still, it is painfully necessary to rebut the Chinese government white paper lies if only because it will otherwise mislead people across the world who know little or nothing about what has been, and still is, going on in occupied Tibet under the rhetoric of Beijing’s claim about having peacefully liberated it in 1951 and developed and modernized it like never before or anywhere else. It is also necessary not to allow China’s propaganda to have a free run on the narrative on the historical status of Tibet and, more importantly, the current situation there.

The report says the white paper presented “real examples and data, allowing people to see the true development of Xizang”. But when the purpose of presenting them is stated to be not just a matter of academic interest designed to help policymakers and researchers to find out how China is doing in Tibet and in what areas it is lacking but, rather, aimed solely at propagandizing how brilliantly and philanthropically it has ruled the territory, the realness of these “real examples and data” deserves a serious relook.

The Nov 21 high-level forum was stated to have been hosted by the China Tibetology Research Center in Beijing, with the participation of nearly 50 experts and scholars. Everyone knows that the raison d’être of both the centre and these so-called experts and scholars is nothing but to rationalize and thereby legitimise the Party-state’s policies and actions directed at assimilating Tibet by means of suppressing or distorting facts, fabricating lies and employing euphemisms to sugar-coat the savagery of the policies and actions underlying the goal to achieve this dastardly twenty-first Tibet “final solution” objective of China. This objective begins, in its current phase, with replacing “Tibet” with “Xizang”. There is no such thing as independent scholarship in the Communist Party-state of China, certainly not on issues dealing with Tibet, except criminal liability for engaging in any such “misadventure”.



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