Xi also visited the holy places of Tibetan Buddhism, for photo opportunities with mandatorily cheering monks. Bitter Winter was told that he repeated the usual slogans that monks should love the Party and follow the Party, and warned that any relations with “separatists” abroad and the “Dalai [Lama] clique” will not be tolerated.
This is repeated to Tibetans by local CCP bosses every day, and would hardly have been a reason for a visit by Xi Jinping. Party insiders in Tibet believe that the real motivation behind the surprise visit was water. “Make no mistake, a bureaucrat who prefers to remain anonymous told Bitter Winter, the important visit was to Nyingchi, not to Lhasa.”