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Officials in rural Tibet ordered to use only Chinese in latest Sinicization drive

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(TibetanReview.net, Apr26’22) – Officials in rural areas of Tibet where Chinese language still remains largely foreign despite over 60 years of occupation rule have been ordered to change this situation by leading by example, according to the Tibetan Service of rfa.org Apr 25. And to begin with, village leaders have been ordered to speak only in Chinese language.

The report said that workshops launched at the end of last year ordered local administrators to conduct their official business only in Chinese. They have been told to support the language policies mandated by Beijing and lead the Tibetan public “by example,” a source living in Tibet was cited as saying.

“A 10-day workshop was held for local leaders in Kongpo (in Nyingtri City) in central-eastern Tibet to promote Chinese, both written and spoken, as their main language of communication,” the report quoted a local source as saying, speaking on condition of anonymity for security reasons.

Six such workshops were stated to have been held in Kongpo’s Gyamda (Chinese: Gongbujiangda) County, with others conducted in many other regions of Tibet, the source has said, adding, “Tibetan village employees are being required to speak and communicate in Chinese at all times.”

Under President Xi Jinping’s Sinicization and national rejuvenation drive, China’s constitutional guarantees protecting ethnic minority language and culture have been brushed aside. Schools in Tibet are now required to teach only in Chinese language. Private schools, programmes and coaching centres teaching Tibetan language and culture have been forced to shut down. Those protesting against this move have been arrested.

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