søndag 25. juli 2021

Chinese President’s Visit to Tibet Sends a Message to India, Experts Say

The visit this week to Tibet by Chinese President Xi Jinping underscores China’s concerns over security on the border with its southern neighbor India, where military clashes between the two countries took place last year, experts told RFA on Friday. Xi Jinping’s visit on Thursday and Friday to Lhasa, capital of China’s Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), was his first since becoming China’s president in 2013 and went unannounced ahead of time by the Chinese press. He had visited Tibet previously as vice president in 2011 when Chen Quanguo, now Communist Party chief in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), was party chief in Tibet.

Residents’ movements in the city were restricted and factories closed, with construction work halted and Lhasa’s iconic Potala Palace—winter residence of exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama—also closed for the day, sources in the city told RFA in an exclusive report on July 21. In a July 23 report, China’s Xinhua news service said that the Chinese president had met with officials in Lhasa to extend congratulations on the 70th anniversary of China’s “peaceful liberation” of Tibet.

The anniversary marks the signing in 1951 of the 17-Point Agreement, an agreement granting control of the country forced on Tibet by China, which had already invaded eastern regions of the country, under threat of further military action.