Tibet being Sinicized not just in language, but also in governance, demography

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Chinese army raising Chinese flag in front of the Potala Palace. (Photo courtesy: SupChina)

(TibetanReview.net, Dec03’21) – China’s Sinicization drive in occupied Tibet has meant not just the imposition of Chinese language in education and governance but also the predominance of ethnic Chinese people in government positions. Ethnic Chinese (politicised as Han Chinese) now outnumber Tibetans in top government posts in Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) by more than 2-to-1, reported the Tibetan Service of rfa.org Dec 2, citing Tibetan sources.

After Wang Junzheng, known as the “Butcher of Xinjiang”, was made the TAR’s party secretary on Oct 19, only four out of the 15 chief and vice-chief administrative positions in capital Lhasa are held by ethnic Tibetans, the report said, citing Chinese government figures.

“They are starting to use Chinese now as the official language in all the administration offices in Lhasa, and 70% of the individuals holding higher positions there don’t know how to read or write in Tibetan,” the report quoted a source as saying, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“Even more concerning is the fact that 60% of Lhasa’s population are now Chinese,” he has added.

The current situation and trend contrasts from the fact that Tibetans were better represented in leadership positions in Tibetan areas in the 1970s and early 1980s, the report cited Mr Dawa Tsering, director of the exile Tibetan administration’s think-tank Tibet Policy Institute, as saying.

According to him, “except at the most senior levels, Tibetans held many different official positions, with about 70% of these jobs taken by Tibetans and 30% taken by Chinese” previously. “But China’s policies in connection with this have changed drastically in recent years.”

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