Sunday, January 17, 2021

China’s Tibet Enjoys Development, Religious Freedom Unlike Kashmir

Tibet has been part of China since eternity and has witnessed development and religious freedom, Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Weidong wrote in an article published in the Hindustan Times.

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The article titled China’s Tibet: A story of progress – said this year celebrates the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China and the 60th anniversary of democratic reform in Tibet, and over the past 60 years, great reforms have taken place in the region.

Politically, the backward feudal system was revoked and a socialist system with people as masters and regional ethnic autonomy was established, Sun wrote.

Economically, Tibet has enjoyed double-digit growth for 26 consecutive years with a GDP of $21 billion in 2018. Culturally, the Tibetan language has become the first ethnic minority language in China to meet international standards, Sun noted.

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In education, Tibet boasted a 9.55-year per capita schooling in 2018 from less than 2 per cent of children school enrolment rate and 95 per cent of youth illiteracy rate 70 years ago.

In the religious field, Sun pointed out that Tibet has over 1,700 religious sites and over 46,000 resident monks and nuns. Each year, millions of people come to Lhasa to worship the Buddha.

“Historical records prove that Tibet has been part of China since ancient times,” he wrote. “In today’s world, it is universally recognised that Tibet is an integral part of China, and no country has ever recognised ‘Tibetan independence’.” “And there is no such thing as the so-called ‘political status'” of Tibet,” he added.

Sun expressed confidence that India will adhere to its position on Tibet, honour its commitments, oppose meddling in the region and promote the healthy ties between China-India relations.

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Meanwhile, as experts point out, this is the same China that lambasted New Delhi over the revocation of Article 370 from Kashmir. Beijing had objected to the reorganization of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union territories, saying India’s decision to “include” what it called Chinese territory into its administrative jurisdiction “challenged” Beijing’s sovereignty.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang had then stated – “China deplores and firmly opposes” the reorganization of Jammu and Kashmir. “This is unlawful and void and this is not effective in any way and will not change the fact that the area is under Chinese actual control,” Geng said, urging India to “earnestly respect Chinese territorial sovereignty” and “uphold peace and tranquillity in the border areas”.

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