Lawmakers from across the world condemn China’s new mass forced labour program in Tibet

September 23, 2020 10:59 pm0 commentsViews: 170

The Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. (Photo courtesy: Newsweek)

(TibetanReview.net, Sep23’20) – Following a report, confirmed by Reuters Sep 22, which documents a large-scale program in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) that had pushed more than half a million rural Tibetans off their land and into military-style training centers in just the first seven months of 2020, a total of 63 lawmakers from 16 countries have issued a joint statement, demanding urgent action against the Chinese Communist Party. The lawmakers belong to countries in Asia, Europe and North America.

“We call upon our governments to take immediate action to condemn these atrocities and to prevent further human rights abuses,” say the parliamentarians, who are members of The Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, which works to reform how democratic countries deal with China.

The report, “Xinjiang’s Militarized Vocational Training System Comes to Tibet,” released Sep 22 by scholar Adrian Zenz, the alliance’s ethnic minority advisor, documents a large-scale program in the TAR that pushed more than half a million rural Tibetans off their land and into military-style training centers in just the first seven months of 2020.

An exclusive report by Reuters corroborated Adrian Zen’s findings. It also “found additional policy documents, company reports, procurement filings and state media reports that describe the program.”

After completing their coerced training many of the Tibetans were sent to other areas of Tibet and China and pushed into low-wage factory and construction work.

The lawmakers have said this system was frighteningly similar to the coercive labour in Xinjiang, where the Chinese government had detained more than 1 million Uyghurs and members of other Muslim ethnic groups.

The statement noted that China’s forced labour system included “enforced indoctrination, intrusive surveillance, military-style enforcement, and harsh punishments for those who fail to meet labor transfer quotas.”

Zenz has said the TAR began introducing those policies last year.

The policies are seen to include a number of racist assumptions about Tibetans’ “backwardness” and the need to reform their thinking and cultural identity while making them loyal to the Chinese Communist Party.

Zenz’s report includes a number of photos of military-style training centers and Tibetans dressed in army fatigues while undergoing their training.

It details Tibetans having been forced to abandon their traditional way of life by leaving their ancestral land for degrading, low-pay work.

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