By Tenzin Dharpo
CTA President Dr. Lobsang Sangay and DIIR Secretary Sonam Norbu Dagpo on the first day of the conference/Phayul Photo
DHARAMSHALA, Oct. 22: Tibetan scholars, students and Chinese liaison officers must keep a close watch on the trends of China’s changing geopolitical, economic and military pulse, Tibetan exile government’s President Dr. Lobsang Sangay said on Monday here. The Tibetan President of the Central Tibetan Administration was speaking at the inaugural day of the ‘Chinese Outreach Forum and Training’ organized by the China Desk of the international relations and information wing of the CTA.
Dr. Sangay said that it is important for Tibetans to “burst the bubble” of Chinese counterparts, in offsetting the Chinese government’s narrative, particularly through the popular and mainstream narratives that are trending currently. He said that such dialogues can only take place when the Tibetan representatives have information and knowledge of China’s changing trends.
“Unfortunately, there is a collective gap in the exile Tibetan diaspora in grasping the key and ongoing shifts that China is undergoing and pursuing on the global platform. There are virtually no research papers authored by Tibetans on important topics such as China’s One Belt, One Road and its Market Economy Status,” the head of the Tibetan polity lamented.
Visiting Chinese scholar and expert on Sino-Tibet relations Dr. Ding Yifu told participants of the forum that China’s rise in global standing poses challenges but opens up opportunities for Tibet. “If there is a massive shift in China with regards to Tibet, are Tibetans ready to embrace that change that is par with the current geo-political scenario of the world?” he questioned.
Dr. Yifu said that Tibetans must reach out to the Chinese people with truth and information and dispel their misinformation that the Chinese government has fed.
CTA has organized five similar conferences to train Chinese liaison officers as well as students and scholars alike in the last few years, inviting participants from North America, Europe, Australia and the Indian Subcontinent. The ongoing three-day forum has 45 participants from 12 different nations.
DIIR Secretary Sonam Norbu Dagpo told Phayul that the aim of the initiative is to create ambassadors, spokespersons and champions to liaise with Chinese counterparts and further the grander aims of fostering understanding and link between Chinese and Tibetan people on the ground.