DHARAMSHALA, May 8: A new report by the International Campaign for Tibet has called for a more robust international approach on Tibet based on the principle of reciprocity and an emerging awareness that China’s increasing authoritarian influence under Xi Jinping has extended beyond the borders of the PRC.
“China promotes Tibet as being open to the world, and tells foreign governments and journalists that they should see the world’s highest and largest plateau for themselves. But multiple requests by governments to visit Tibet have been refused in recent years, in contravention of usual diplomatic practice between countries and international organizations, and journalists reporting on Tibet have been threatened, detained, and expelled from the PRC,” the group based in Washington DC said in a release.
While Tibetans are “locked in” to Tibet and international observers are locked out, there has been an upsurge in the number of Chinese official delegations that have been sent abroad to “tell the world the story of Tibet in China,” said the ICT.
Matteo Mecacci, President of the International Campaign for Tibet, said, “Chinese leaders are seeking to enforce complete isolation on Tibet, often described as being worse than in North Korea, where at least some foreign media are based. Independent international observers are shut out of Tibet, or allowed to visit only under strictly controlled circumstances, while numerous delegations of Party officials face no obstacles in travelling to Western democracies to spread their propaganda.”
Matteo said there is a stronger case to be made than ever to push for the respect of human and civil rights within the PRC, in line with crucial US and international values and security interests.
The report titled ‘’Access Denied: China’s enforced isolation of Tibet, and the case for reciprocity’ reports that China’s propaganda efforts to ensure it controls the narrative on Tibet, both inside and out, have been intensified, described as a “new historical starting point” to be strengthened by the Party state in 2018.
The report also points out the mass Chinese domestic tourism across Tibet now coexisting with the untrammelled powers of a security state engaged in the most widespread political crackdown in a generation. “While Chinese tourists are increasingly free to come and go to the plateau, usually escorted in groups by state-trained guides, Tibetans themselves face unprecedented restrictions on their movement and communications with the outside world,” the report said.