Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay and Kalon Dicki Chhoyang at the opening of the international conference on China's leadership transition in Dharamshala on December 28, 2012.(Phayul photo)
DHARAMSHALA, December 28: Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, the elected head of the Tibetan people, today presided over the opening of an international conference on the implications of the leadership transition in China here in the Tibetan exile headquarters of Dharamshala.
The conference organised by the Tibet Policy Institute of the Central Tibetan Administration is titled, ‘Conference of China Scholars on ‘Leadership Transition in China: Implications for the Chinese, Tibetans and Others.’
Eminent scholars and experts including Dr Gordon G. Chang, author and television analyst; Prof. Chong-Pin Lin, former deputy defense minister of Taiwan, Prof. Micheal van Walt van Praag, visiting professor at Princeton, Prof. Madhu Bhalla, Dr Abanti Bhattacharya, Zhu Rui; and Lodi Gyari, former special envoy of His Holiness the Dalai Lama will be speaking at the conference.
Organisers expressed hope that the perspectives and substantive analysis on China’s political, social and economic point of views by the experts during the three-day conference from December 28 to 30 will help CTA’s approach vis-a-vis China.
Speaking at the inaugural session of the conference, Sikyong Dr Sangay welcomed the experts who have spared their time by giving up Christmas and New Year celebrations, which Sikyong said, “reflects true friendship, commitment and support for Tibet and the Tibetan people.”
“The recent change in the Chinese leadership will have global implications, regional as well as on India and the Tibetan people,” Sikyong said. “And your much sought after expertise will help us prepare and think through as to how we should move forward in the comings months and years. Given the expertise, we are looking forward to very insightful, substantive and hopefully optimistic conclusion.”
The de facto
Tibetan prime minister described the present crisis in Tibet “real, very painful, sad and at the same time reflective of the strength of the Tibetan spirit and Tibetan solidarity.”
Sikyong noted that self-immolations seem to be the only form of protest left for Tibetans inside Tibet after the continuous crackdown on Tibetan protesters by the Chinese authorities.
“Whenever Tibetans demonstrated in 1987, 1988, 1989, 2006, and 2008, it was harshly cracked down,” the Tibetan leader said. “Hence, Tibetans are left with no space for any forms of protest, of freedom of speech, and it seems they have concluded that self-immolation is the one form of protest that they can have control over in how they want to express themselves and protest against the repressive policies of the Chinese government.”
Some of the topics that will be discussed during the conference includes, ‘The Coming Collapse of China- And What it means for Tibet,’ ‘Xi Jinping: Personal Advantages and National Challenge,’ ‘Solutions to the Sino-Tibetan Conflict,’ ‘Tibetans in the Leadership Position in the Chinese Establishment,’ ‘A Profile of the Top Seven Chinese Leaders,’ and ‘China’s Environmental Governance and Party Congress.’
Last month, after what experts call “much wrangling” between the former leader Jiang Zemin’s and outgoing head Hu Jintao’s factions, China announced a seven-member Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China headed by Xi Jinping.