‘NINE MUST-HAVES’ FOR TIBETANS
China is engaged in the most repressive crackdown on Tibetans since 2008 and is intensifying a communist brainwashing campaign that is targeting Tibetans. The government in Beijing is calling the new campaign the “Nine Must-Haves.”
Beginning in early December, the government is forcibly imposing the policy throughout ethnically Tibetan regions in several western provinces, including Sichuan, Qinghai and Tibet. It calls for communist officials at every level in this vast area to vigorously implement the nine specific measures.
The nine measures, or Nine Must-Haves, require every Tibetan monastery, school, community center and household to have a composite portrait of Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, representing four generations of Chinese communist leadership; a Chinese national flag known as the Five-Starred flag, with the biggest yellow star at the center symbolizing the core leadership of the Chinese Communist Party; and a road leading to the facilities so it is easier for forces from outside to visit. The policy also demands these entities to have a supply of water; a source of electricity; radio and television sets, which will be powered by the mandatory availability of electricity; access to movies; a library; and copies of the Communist Party of China state-controlled newspapers, the People’s Daily and Tibet Daily.
The ideological campaign is aimed at forcing Tibetans, who are deeply religious and devout toward their exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, to give up their Buddhist beliefs and declare loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party and its leaders. Portrait of the Dalai Lama or any other forms of his image are banned in China.
Official Chinese media reports stated that as of January, more than 1 million CCP “core leaders” portraits and 1 million Five-Starred flags had been sent to Tibet region alone.
Last week, the Tibetan government in exile, based in India, published an open letter to Hu Jintao, the current Chinese Communist Party leader, expressing “deep concerns” over the repressive policies.
According to reports from the region, Chinese troops since Jan. 23 have indiscriminately shot and killed at least six Tibetans in Tibetan regions of Sichuan province. Scores more were wounded. On Jan. 24, Maria Otero, U.S. undersecretary of state for civilian security, democracy and human rights and special coordinator for Tibetan issues, released a statement.
“I am gravely concerned by reports of violence and continuing heightened tensions in Tibetan areas of China, including reports of security forces in Sichuan province opening fire on protesters, killing some and injuring others,” she said.
JAPAN’S EMBASSY WOES IN CHINA
China is stepping up hostile actions against Japan in a series of measures aimed at forcing Tokyo to accept Beijing’s various demands, especially related to disputed areas of the oil- and gas-rich East China Sea, over which both countries claim sovereignty.
The latest case of heightened tensions came as China once again refused to allow the Japanese to move into their new six-story embassy in Beijing, completed in July. China has withheld approval for supplies of gas, water and electricity to the building, angering Japanese diplomats, who have fumed over official Chinese intransigence. Late last year, the Japanese told the Chinese they would move in by the end of January 2012 with or without Chinese approval.
But the Chinese government insists the Japanese modified an officially approved interior design by changing a patio area into a corridor without prior Chinese approval. Chinese officials therefore claim the construction was illegal. The Japanese side says the bureaucratic delays are veiled retaliation against Japan for problems China experienced last year in purchasing land for its consulates in the Japanese cities of Nagoya and Niigata, as a result of local Japanese opposition to the facilities.
The Japanese lodged vigorous complaints on the matter and originally planned to move in August.
After sufficiently delaying the Japanese past January, Chinese authorities relented and allowed them to move into the new embassy in Beijing, which cost nearly $100 million. But the damage has been done to what had been seen as a chance to repair strained relations, the 40th anniversary in February of Sino-Japanese diplomatic normalization. The new embassy won’t be ready for operation until well into March.
• Miles Yu’s column appears Thursdays. He can be reached at email@example.com.