Beijing, Aug 19 (EFE).- The Chinese Communist Party justified the entry of its troops into Tibet 70 years ago saying the region went “from poverty to prosperity” and “autocracy to democracy,” according to official statements Thursday.
“Tibet has embarked on a journey from darkness to light. This is a new, socialist Tibet, standing tall and firm on the roof of the world,” China’s political advisory committee Chairman Wang Yang said during a memorial ceremony in Lhasa, Tibet’s capital, guarded by legions of the Chinese army.
Wang said that “with the establishment of the socialist system and the Tibetan Autonomous Region, the rights of all ethnic groups were ensured” in Tibet. Human rights associations have for years denounced continuous attacks on the culture and religion of Tibetans, who cannot freely worship their spiritual leader Dalai Lama.
“The liberation of Tibet was a great victory in the Chinese cause of reunification,” Wang added about the days when the “17-point agreement” was signed by which the region became part of China on May 23, 1951.
The communist regime said its arrival stopped rebellions aimed at “preserving a barbarous feudal and serf system” and that in these years it has managed to improve the standard of living of citizens thanks to its investments.
According to Wang, Tibet’s Gross Domestic Product exceeded 190 billion yuan ($ 29.3 billion) in 2020, while in the 2016-2020 period the region received 160 million tourists.
In these 70 years, the official said, life expectancy increased from 35.5 years to 71.1.
“Hunger, poverty and illiteracy in Tibet are things of the past,” he said.
He also said there are 140 flights that connect the world with Tibet, although to access the region it is essential to hire the services of a local travel agency.
In addition, foreign journalists based in China are banned from access, and can only enter with trips organized by the Chinese government that require an invitation.
Wang also spoke about the upcoming policies of the Chinese government toward. Tibetans:
“Prosperity and development come hand in hand with socialism and the leadership of the (party). Officials and the general public must mobilize to forge an armored defense against all separatist activity,” he said.
The party opposes the current system of “reincarnation” of the Dalai Lama – the current one is 86 years old and is in exile in India – and plans to appoint its own religious leader based on “Chinese standards.”
“We must guide Tibetan Buddhism to adapt to socialist society,” said Wang on Thursday, calling for “efforts to teach Mandarin Chinese” in Tibet and “promote the cultural symbols of the Chinese nation among all ethnic groups.” .
The official chided “foreign” groups that criticize his policies in Tibet.
“No one from outside China has the right to point the finger at us. Any maneuver designed to separate Tibet from China is doomed to failure,” he said.
About 150,000 Tibetans live in exile, many of them in Dharamshala (India), after the Dalai Lama moved there in 1959, after eight years of living with Maoist forces. EFE