(TibetanReview.net, Jul13’23) – Despite sending tens of thousands of the best and brightest of children from Tibet to Tibetan classes especially set up at schools in provinces and cities across China, Beijing has continued to deploy many thousands of fresh Chinese college graduates to work in Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) each year in what can be seen as a two-way process of Sinicizing the region.
Over the past two decades, 11,751 college graduates have served in different sectors of the TAR, contributing to its overall development, reported China’s official chinadaily.com.cn Jul 13, citing regional authorities.
The report noted that the volunteer campaign to mobilize college graduates to serve in China’s (meaning People’s Republic of China’s) underdeveloped western regions, including TAR, was launched in 2003 by the Communist Youth League of China, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.
“The project has also greatly contributed to the region’s long-term stability and high-quality development,” Dawa Tsering, deputy Party secretary of the regional committee of the Communist Youth League, has said.
Of the graduates sent to work in the region so far, 3,937 were reported to have chosen to continue working in TAR after their service periods ended.
“These college graduates have been working in all 68 counties and districts of the region’s seven cities and prefectures, and they have served in sectors including social governance, education, health, youth, agriculture, animal husbandry, water conservation, poverty alleviation and rural vitalization,” Dawa Tsering has said.
“Where the motherland needs me, that’s where I belong,” Huang Xiaodong, a graduate from Xi’an University of Posts and Telecommunications in Shaanxi province, who joined the project in Aug 2021 and began working in Tibet’s department of ecology and environment, has said.
This year, participation is capped at 20,000 people, and the project is divided into seven sub-projects — rural education, rural construction, rural healthcare, grassroots youth work, rural social governance and service in the autonomous regions of Xinjiang and TAR. In TAR, volunteers will start their service later this month, the report said.
Meanwhile, there has been no news of how many of the tens of thousands of Tibetan children sent to schools in China each year have returned to serve in their homeland. Their number would have topped hundreds of thousand since the project was launched almost four decades ago.
It was in 1984 that the Chinese Communist Party decided to establish classes for Tibetan students in schools in Chinese provinces and cities as part of the so-called “nationwide aid to Tibet.” The purpose was to give them a Mandarin education in a Chinese cultural setting, separated from their families.
This project to Sinicize Tibetans from a young age is now being sped up with the setting up of such schools in TAR itself while the sending of volunteer graduates from china to the region works in tandem with it.