“It was the year when George HW Bush took a stance against China’s repressive religious policy after he became the first-ever US President to receive the Dalai Lama officially at the White House.”
In my analysis, the time has come to share an old Tibet story. I am happy to tell about the meeting between His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and the US President George Herbert Walker Bush in the White House.
A New start: China certainly requires India’s support to resolve the issue in its favour. Perhaps, the Wuhan meet was just about that!
At a recent academic presentation at Tibetology Research Centre, Beijing, Chinese experts on Tibet said when Deng Xiaoping was seeking an accommodation in Tibet in the 1980s, the Dalai Lama was exploring other options in the West to play mischief against China. On his part, Tibet expert Xiaobin Wang claimed that the most belligerent attempt at confronting China came from the Dalai Lama immediately after the dramatic collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. It was the year when George HW Bush took a stance against China’s repressive religious policy after he became the first-ever US President to receive the Dalai Lama officially at the White House.
The Tibetan spiritual leader was perhaps prompted to believe that the mightiest of empires could be pulled down by shared power of religion. Whether or not such assessments are accurate, there was no doubting the Dalai Lama’s optimism about a Soviet spinoff effect to either opt for a ‘political process’ or face ‘bloody political struggles’ as he also decided to drop the dialogue path.
The US Tibet Policy Act Bill (2001) and Congressional gold medal to the Dalai Lama (2007) ensued worst riots across the plateau in 2008.
Wang insinuated how the West fostered the Dalai Lama to become a potent force and an icon of resistance against China to wage a psychic war against the Communist regime. China’s vitriol against the Dalai Lama as an ‘evil separatist’ never stopped until Xi Jinping came to power in 2013. But the dialogue interrupted in 2010 has never been resumed.
Tibet’s history and polity is rooted in China’s ritualistic order that can’t be changed, Wang asserted. The confusion arose after the British Empire (through eight key conventions between 1876 and 1914) tried to alter Tibet’s status, from a territory of China to a de facto independent nation.
The Dalai Lama’s ‘middle way’ policy is an attempt at regaining a ‘suzerainty’ status like ‘trying to change the liquid, but not the drug’, the Chinese said.
The briefing was a part of the rare trip to Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture organised by China’s foreign ministry to showcase China’s achievements in Tibet. Ganzi (thrice the size of Punjab) proved its economic vitality: the middle class population here drew income from hydropower, geothermal, mining and tourism. The world’s largest methyl card lithium ore reserve is found here. Its agro-products directly go to Hong Kong, to cite few examples.
One could feel the churning — ethnic Chinese own shops everywhere. Tibetans are moving towards Chengdu to buy properties. Most Tibetans were discreet in making political comments. A lama in Xiede town said Xi was revered as lingxiu (wise man) and people are ‘very respectful of Xi’.
Asked discreetly why they were not inviting the Dalai Lama back, the reply invariably was ‘why should we invite him, he left the country by himself!’ Any prospect of his return would be resisted by the power elite network; people are more interested in better living than risking uncertainty, an official said.
Obviously, China still suspects the Dalai Lama’s covert intention to split Tibet from China. It is wary of his ‘disruptive potentials’. It is not ready to risk the chaos ensuing upon his arrival. ‘Tibet is an outlying region and its vulnerabilities could be exploited by anti-China forces,’ noted an official in Khanding.
Yet, I felt, he is still revered as a ‘god-king’ by Tibetan folks, though this question was met with polite reticence by local Tibetan officials. Nobody I spoke to in Ganzi and Beijing thought reconciliation is coming anytime soon. No radical policy change is visible though more and more ordinary Chinese are seemingly getting drawn towards Tibetan Buddhism. I was amazed by the area’s development and natural beauty. But as for the political takeaways, a bit of self-censorship in observation is needed, not only to avoid blocking access by China, but also to be careful to not hurt Tibetan sentiments about narrating China’s ‘Tibet story’.
On the downside, despite China’s high development achievements, some unsettling elements could be felt. The situation concealed as much as it revealed. I could understand the Tibetan obsession for an epistemological and metaphysical-driven life, but failed to figure out why, as practitioners of the most erudite Buddhist philosophy like the Indians, Japanese, Koreans, Chinese and others, they fail in adopting the transformative changes.
Perhaps, the greatest challenge before the younger Tibetan masters should include: firstly, to recognise the hard geopolitical reality; secondly, to employ their brand of Buddhism as a bridge to find a common ground; and thirdly, to catalyse Buddhism for bringing about a transformative change in Tibet.
After all, Asian societies have succeeded in spurring an enduring socio-economic change this way.
As for India, the Tibet issue seems no longer a crucial sticking point in its relationship with China. But, China definitely requires India’s support if the issue is to be resolved in its favour. Probably, the Wuhan process was just about that!
The visit has given rise to the idea that it is now time for India to normalise its traditional trade and cultural ties with Tibet that should include reopening of an Indian Consulate in Lhasa. Equally apt to find ways to send high Tibetan lamas back to Tibet if the fruits of investments made by India on them for such a long time are to be reaped fully.
TIBET AWARENESS – TIBET IS THE CORE ISSUE FOR INDIA
There should be no border dispute between India and the People’s Republic of China as they do not share a common border. The problem of China’s military occupation of Tibet should be addressed by the global community of nations to secure Peace, Security, and Justice in South Asia.
Tibet should be one of the core issues for India as China is trying to "influence" all of its neighbours, Lobsang Sangay, the head of the Tibetan government in exile has said.
Tibet should be one of the core issues for India, says Lobsang Sangay (Reuters)
Tibet should be one of the core issues for India as China is trying to “influence” all of its neighbours, Lobsang Sangay, the head of the Tibetan government in exile has said. China insists Tibet has been part of its territory for centuries, but many Tibetans say they were essentially independent for most of that time. The Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959 amid an abortive uprising against Chinese rule in his Himalayan homeland.
Sangay, who is currently here, has met a number of senior US administration officials, congressmen and senators and members of the think-tank community like the Hudson Institute. Explaining his quest for India making “Tibet a core issue”, Harvard educated Sangay said that after the occupation of Tibet, the People’s Liberation Army has now moved near the border of India.
“Now they are influencing all of India’s neighbours, from Pakistan, to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal. It is a reality now,” he said in an interview to PTI.
India and Tibet have had historically, cultural and civilizational ties for hundreds of years, he said, adding Tibet is the source of water for India and South Asia. “For these reasons, Tibet is very important for not just India, for whole of South Asia and ASEAN countries too. Hence, Tibet should be one of the core issues for India,” Sangay said.
“China has already said Tibet is one of the core issues. So, India should also table Tibet as one of the core issues and address this issue with Tibetan people in mind,” he said. Responding to a question, Sangay said that the people of Tibet are following the middle way approach by seeking “genuine autonomy within the framework of the Chinese constitution”. “This is the reasonable moderate line,” he said.
For that there should be a dialogue between the envoys of the Dalai Lama and the Chinese Government, he said. He sought the revival of a dialogue that happened between 2002 to 2010. “We think, that kind of dialogue will lead to the resolution of the Tibetan issue,” he said.
The Dalai Lama speaks on the first day of his four-day teaching at the request of a group from South Asia at the main temple in McLeodganj on Tuesday. Photo: Kamaljeet
Tribune News Service
Dharamshala, September 4
Amid concerns regarding his health, Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama said he would live around 100 years.
“With your prayers and wishes, I assure you I would live around 100 years,” said the Dalai Lama, addressing representatives of three regions of Tibet at Tsuglagkhang, the main temple in Dharamshala, yesterday. “I would serve the humanity,” he said.
Recently, news reports had raised concerns regarding the health of the Dalai Lama and suggesting that he was suffering from prostate cancer. However, later both the Dalai Lama and his personal physician declined the reports.
Tibetans representing Tibet’s three traditional provinces and Tibetans from Kalimpong, Gangtok, Darjeeling and Ravangla offered long life prayers to the Dalai Lama yesterday.
Thanking the participants and organizers for the ceremony, the Dalai Lama praised the 17 pandits of Nalanda for their logical way of teaching the Buddhism.
“The detailed explanation of the ancient Nalanda teachings has only been preserved in the Tibetan language which is why people from China are interested in learning the Buddhism,” said the Dalai Lama.
Speaking of the ancient Nalanda Buddhist teaching, he said the ancestors of Tibetans had well-preserved this knowledge which enabled Tibetans to get expertise in promoting the knowledge in their language. The Dalai Lama said it was the duty of the Tibetans to continue the practical teachings of the ancestors while, at the same time, taking pride in possessing such a vast knowledge.
“I respect all kinds of religious beliefs which only teach love and compassion as the ultimate source of human happiness,” he said.
Meanwhile, drawing the attention of the gathering, the Dalai Lama emphasized that the masters of Nalanda encouraged its followers to approach their teaching with logic and reason rather than following it blindly.
Living Tibetan Spirits present a guide to Potala Palace, Lhasa, Tibet. Potala Palace serves the same purpose as The White House of the US President. Potala is the Seat of Tibetan Government called The Dalai Lama Institution of Tibet.
Potala Palace is one of the most well-known spiritual sanctums in the world.
At 12,139 feet above sea level, Potala is the highest palace in the world. The 1,300-year-old structure was originally built as a gesture of love, commissioned by Tibetan king Songtsen Gambo for his marriage to Princess Wencheng of the Chinese Tang Dynasty. Eventually, monks came to rule Tibet and the palace was expanded and converted into the winter residence for the Dalai Lama. But when the Dalai Lama was exiled to India in 1959, the Chinese government took over and made the grounds into a museum.
Still, the Potala Palace remains an iconic part of the region and a mecca for Buddhists around the world. The name Potala is a nod to a sacred mountain in India, where the Buddha of compassion is said to dwell. Year-round, thousands of religious pilgrims circle the perimeter of the palace with prayer wheels and beads to ask for a blessing. Many have traveled thousands of miles by foot just to pay their respects.
With more than a thousand rooms, 10,000 painted scrolls, 698 murals, and thousands of exquisite statues made from precious alloys and jewels, the structure has become one of the most famous spiritual sanctums in the world. Inside are the tombs of eight Dalai Lamas, hundreds of sacred Buddhist scrolls, and numerous shrines. Butter lamps light the hallways and watchful monks are stationed in nearly every public room to ensure that decorum is maintained.
The building is divided into two sections—the Red Palace and the White Palace. The former serves as the religious section and the latter as the administrative area. They are literally colored red and white; a fresh coat of paint made up of milk, honey, and sugar is applied every autumn.
The Potala Palace was named a World Heritage site in 1994 by UNESCO, and the neighboring Jokhang Temple and Norbulingka and were added on as extensions in 2000 and 2001, respectively. The Jokhang Temple is considered the most sacred temple in Tibet and the Norbulingka was the former summer residence of the Dalai Lama. All three structures are outstanding embodiments of Tibetan culture and despite waves of natural and human-induced damage, they are international icons that have remained spiritually relevant and intact over the centuries.
HOW TO GET THERE
Fly into the Lhasa Gonggar Airport or take a train into the city. Visitors must obtain a Tibet Tourism Bureau permit through a local tour agency in advance (allow up to 14 days) to enter Tibet by plane or train.
HOW TO VISIT
All visitors must visit the Potala Palace with a tour group. Groups are allocated an hour inside the premises and photos are not allowed. While the palace and its adjacent temples are very much tourist attractions, many of the guests are Tibetan pilgrims who have come to the sacred sites to pray.
WHEN TO VISIT
As one of the highest cities in the world, Lhasa can get quite frosty during the winter. Summer is the best time to visit. June to August is peak tourist season.
Han Chinese are like the teeth of ‘The Dracula’. Innocent Tibetans are like the lips of The Dracula’s Bride. Instead of kissing the lips, Han Chinese thirst for the blood of the Tibetans. Indeed, it is a true story about Blood Relationship.
China spends big in Tibet to avert a crisis when the Dalai Lama dies
China spends big in Tibet to avert a crisis when the Dalai Lama dies
China is increasingly trying to enhance its image by casting itself as the largest nation of Buddhist believers.
by Eric Baculinao and Jason Cumming / Aug.30.2018 / 3:53 AM ET / Updated Aug.30.2018 / 4:09 AM ET
Pilgrims near the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa. Johannes Eisele file / AFP/Getty Images
LHASA, China — China is pouring billions of dollars into Tibet as Beijing seeks to cement its control before the succession struggle that is likely to follow the death of the Dalai Lama.
During a rare Chinese government-organized visit to the region, local officials described a development program that they contend will bring prosperity to the 3.3 million Tibetans who inhabit a vast area roughly double the size of Texas.
The massive infrastructure projects include new airports and highways that cut through the world’s highest mountains, with planned investment totalling $97 billion.
The investment plan aims to protect Tibetan Buddhism’s holy sites while building a sustainable “green economy” that safeguards the fragile environment that is an average elevation of 13,000 feet above sea level.
The roof of the world
Chinese troops marched into Tibet in 1950 in what Beijing officially terms a peaceful liberation. China has long aimed to reduce the influence of the Dalai Lama, who lives in exile in India.
Source: Natural Earth
Graphic: Jiachuan Wu / NBC News
According to official figures, China has also already spent over $450 million renovating Tibet’s major monasteries and other religious sites since the 1980s. An additional $290 million has been budgeted for the next five years.
The huge investment by China comes as the officially atheist country increasingly tries to enhance its image by casting itself as the largest nation of Buddhist believers. China claims some 300 million Buddhists of various schools, of which Tibetan Buddhism is one.
The effort comes as China faces charges from rights groups and exiles of repressing the Tibetan people. China has ruled Tibet with an iron fist since 1951, a year after its troops marched in.
The Dalai Lama in 2015.Ben Stansall / AFP – Getty Images file
Last month, Vice President Mike Pence said Tibet’s people “have been brutally repressed by the Chinese government.” And in June, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights said conditions were “fast deteriorating” in Tibet.
Beijing routinely denies charges of repression, saying that its rule ended serfdom and brought prosperity to what was a backward region and that it fully respects the rights of the Tibetan people.
It insists Tibet has historically been part of its territory since the mid-13th century. Many Tibetans, though, say the region has been effectively independent for most of its history.
While Beijing regards the Dalai Lama as a dangerous separatist who seeks to split off nearly a quarter of the land mass of the People’s Republic of China, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Tibetan spiritual leader says he only seeks greater rights for Tibetans, including religious freedom and autonomy.
For supporters of the Dalai Lama, China’s Tibet strategy is “aimed at increasing its control and limiting the personal freedom of the Tibetan people,” said Matteo Mecacci, a former lawmaker in Italy and president of the International Campaign for Tibet.
He called the infrastructure improvements and monastery renovations “superficial.”
Mecacci said Tibetans are “not even allowed to receive teachings from the Dalai Lama.”
A portrait of Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Sera Monastery in Tibet. Eric Baculinao / NBC News
He added, “When it comes to the real practice of Buddhism, China continues to increase restrictions.”
With the Dalai Lama now 83, many Tibetans fear that China will use the succession issue to split Tibetan Buddhism, with a new Dalai Lama named by exiles and another by the government after his death.
(Barry Kerzin, an American monk and the Dalai Lama’s personal physician, told NBC News that he is “perfectly fit.”)
The Dalai Lama, who fled Tibet and went into exile in India in 1959, has repeatedly tussled with China’s ruling Communist Party over who has final authority on the issue of reincarnation.
“The Tibetans and the Han
Chinese are like lips and teeth,
we are linked by blood.”
“The Tibetans and the Han Chinese are like lips and teeth, we are linked by blood.”
Tibetan Buddhism holds that the soul of a senior lama is reincarnated in the body of a child on his death.
China says it must approve the next Dalai Lama, and the Dalai Lama has said his biggest concern is that China will try to name his successor.
The Panchen Lama who was installed by the Chinese government attends an event in 2016.Cui hao / Imaginechina/Getty file
In 1995, after the Dalai Lama named a boy in Tibet as the reincarnation of the previous Panchen Lama, the second-highest figure in Tibetan Buddhism, China put the boy under house arrest and installed another instead.
Many Tibetans are torn between accepting and spurning the Chinese-appointed Panchen Lama.
Palaces and shrines
Explaining the seeming contradictions in China’s policy, Tibet’s foreign affairs deputy chief, Ma Qiang, said that while the Community Party “doesn’t believe in religion,” China’s government was “duty-bound to protect Tibetan Buddhism and restore and preserve its holy sites because that is also what the Tibetan people want so they can exercise their freedom of worship.”
The most iconic landmark to receive Chinese funding is the imposing Potala Palace, the thousand-room residence that overlooks Lhasa. It houses the tombs of all but one of the Dalai Lamas who have died since 1682.
Lhasa’s Potala Palace. iStock / Getty
According to the museum’s deputy director, Gonga Zhaxi, the 13-story palace has undergone two major renovations on which Beijing spent $37 million. Another $4.4 million has been budgeted for the repair of its ornate golden roofs.
To protect its priceless Buddha statues, frescoes and scriptures, a limit has been set of 5,000 pilgrims and tourists per day, and cats have been deployed against the colony of rats, he said.
Other sites that have benefited from Chinese cash include:
The seventh-century Jokhang Temple is Tibet’s holiest shrine as it houses a life-sized statue of Buddha (Jowo Shakyamuni) at the age of 12. The labyrinth of chapels thick with the smoke of incense and prayer candles is visited daily by around 12,000 pilgrims and tourists. Buddha’s statue was the gift of the Chinese Tang dynasty Princess Wencheng when she married Tibetan King Songtsan Gambo around 1,300 years ago. The union is now immortalized in a spectacular open-air opera with a cast of 800. A private production company has invested more than $80 million to promote this narrative of Tibet-China unity. Lhagba, a prominent monk and the site’s management director, said Beijing has spent $14.7 million on major repairs there in the past 10 years.
Beijing has also helped with major renovations at Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery, two of Tibet’s most influential Buddhist academies, with grants of $30 million and $8 million. Thanks to government help, the monks can focus on their studies and need not bother with the monastery’s repairs, according to Awang Ciren, the monastery’s academic head. To increase its enrollment of 480 monks, Beijing is building a new dormitory that can accommodate 170 monks, he added.
In addition, 46,000 monks and nuns are now covered by health insurance and social security, officials said.
And with Beijing’s “preferential” policy and massive budget subsidies, Tibet’s economy has been growing faster than the rest of China.
Some $170 million was spent on environmental projects last year, part of a 23-year plan unveiled in 2009 that’s worth $2 billion.
“In Tibet, we don’t allow the burning of coal, and since 2011, we have stopped approving any new mining projects,” said Luo Jie, Tibet’s environmental protection chief, adding that more than one-third of Tibet’s territory consisted of nature reserves. “We also don’t tolerate river pollution.”
Developing a “green economy” is the future of Tibet, according to economic planning official Jiang Taichang.
Tourism is also an industry that is drawing more focus. Last year, more than 25 million tourists and pilgrims visited Tibet, generating more than $5.5 billion or one-third of Tibet’s income, and their number is expected to rise to 70 million in four years. (The majority of tourists are Chinese, as security has been ratcheted up significantly in the decade since anti-government protests spread through Tibetan areas in 2008 and Tibet remains mostly off-limits to foreigners.)
Monks at Tibet’s Sera Monastery debate Buddhist teachings. Eric Baculinao / NBC News
Lhasa’s special economic zone, built with a $30 million investment from Beijing, is already fully leased out, with 200 enterprises producing a range of products from beer to medicines. A new technology zone and financial district are being planned.
Norbu Thondup, the Beijing-appointed executive vice chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Region, Tibet’s administrative name, condemned the “sabotage” activities aimed at the “harmony and happiness in today’s Tibet” by groups supporting the Dalai Lama.
He reiterated China’s policy that the “gate is open” if the Dalai Lama abandons the idea of “splitting” Tibet from China.
“The decision is for the Dalai to make,” Thondup said of him returning to his homeland. “The Tibetans and the Han Chinese are like lips and teeth, we are linked by blood.”
But Mecacci, of the International Campaign for Tibet, said it was important for China to engage with the Dalai Lama.
“Only a serious dialogue while the Dalai Lama is alive can provide a lasting political solution in Tibet,” he said. “Finding an agreement with the Tibetans would help China because it’s the right thing to do and because it will help China both domestically and internationally.”
Eric Baculinao reported from Lhasa and Jason Cumming from London.
TIBET AWARENESS – A CHARMING WAY TO FIGHT AGAINST THE DEVIL
Living Tibetan Spirits seek the Blessings of Guru Padmasambhava, Shantarakshita (Protector of Peace) to fight against the Devil giving us pain, and misery by robbing the Natural Freedom that Tibetans inherited entirely due to Natural Conditions, Natural Causes, Natural Factors, and Natural Mechanisms. Freedom in Tibet is the gift of Mother Nature. Whereas Occupation is the Sickness imposed by the Evil Power called The Red Dragon. In the fight against the Evil Power occupying Tibet, Living Tibetan Spirits embrace both conventional, and unconventional tactics of Warfare.
With the altitude of 4,300m, Tsurphu Monastery lies at the upper reach of Tsurphu river, about 70 km to the west of Lhasa. It was established by Dusum Khyenpa, the 1st Karmapa, and became the patriarch temple for Karma Kargyu to pass on and carry forward Tibetan Buddhism. Tsurphu Monastery has already been 800 years of history.
Tsurphu Monastery is the most important temple for Karma Kargyu in Tibet.
Tsurphu Cham Dance Festival falls on the 10th day of the fourth month in Tibetan Calendar. This Cham dance festival is celebrated to commemorate the great Indian guru Padmasambhava who came to Tibet and devoted himself in promoting Buddhism. During the Tsurphu Festival, you can also observe some other religious activities, like grand dharma assembly, Buddha exhibition, etc.
Cham dance is performed during Tsurphu Festival.
Cham dance in Tsurphu Monastery is a kind of Tibetan art and performance. It has plots, characters, music and dances. However, Cham dance is different from Tibetan Opera and has greater significance in religion. Not only can it entertain the audience but also advocate Tibetan Buddhism. It’s a grand religious activity organized by the temple. As for famous Tibetan monasteries, they have their own Cham group and make uniform Cham masks, dance costumes, ornamentations and musical instruments, etc. Usually, those items are treasured very well in the temple. Cham dancers have to pass through several religious rituals before using them.
Lots of Tibetans are watching Cham dance outside Tsurphu Temple.
There are many strict rules on Cham performance. Major roles are played by monks and dancers should be flexible and alert. All of them shall be completely into the roles even before the play. Body movements, facial expressions, hand gestures and dance steps must be elegant and smooth. In other words, as long as they put on Cham costumes and masks, they need to be like the real deities. It’s said that deities would get angry if they failed to meet those requirements and something bad would happen to relevant personnel. In addition to appreciating the Cham dance, Tibetan people also worship Buddha and receive blessings at Tsurphu Monastery.
If you are interested in Tibetan Buddhism and Cham dance, taking part in Tsurphu Cham Dance Festival is an excellent chance to feel religious atmosphere you couldn’t afford to miss. After visiting Tsurphu Monastery, you can also try to trek from Tsurphu to Yampachen and the scenery along the route will never let you down.
TIBETAN RESISTANCE MOVEMENT IS NOT ABOUT SEPARATISM
On behalf of Living Tibetan Spirits, I declare that The Tibetan Resistance Movement is not about Separatism. For centuries, Chinese Emperors ruled over Tibet without physically occupying Tibet. In other words, Tibetans enjoyed full freedom during the centuries of rule by foreigners. Tibetans resist the physical occupation of their territories. The issue is not that of separating Tibet from China. The issue is that of evicting the Occupier from Tibetan Soil.
FILE – In this Sept. 17, 2014, file photo, an Exile Tibetan woman wears a mask during a protest to highlight Chinese control over Tibet, coinciding with the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping in New Delhi, India. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue, File)
A top Chinese leader has called for “advancing anti-separatism efforts” in Tibet, in a sign of continued high-pressure tactics in the Himalayan region.
Wang Yang, the ruling Communist Party’s No. 4 ranking official, was quoted Monday in state media as stressing the importance of tight control over Tibet’s Buddhist institutions, urging “preparedness and precautions for danger in times of safety.”
Religious figures must “be courageous to battle all separatist elements” in the name of preserving national unity and social stability, Wang was quoted as saying in Tibet’s regional capital of Lhasa during a visit there on Sunday.
Beijing’s forces occupied Tibet shortly after the 1949 communist revolution and security there has been ratcheted up significantly in the decade since anti-government protests spread through Tibetan areas in 2008.
The tactics in Tibet are largely aimed at reducing the influence of the region’s spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, who lives in exile in India. China claims Tibet has been part of its territory for more than seven centuries and regards the Dalai Lama as a dangerous separatist.
Many Tibetans insist they were essentially independent for much of that time.
Wang has broad responsibility for religious policy as head of the government’s top political advisory body. In his comments Sunday, he also echoed Beijing’s calls for the Sinicization of religion, shorthand for adherence to the dictates of the officially atheist party.
Among recent tightening security measures in Tibet, students were required to sign agreements to “not take part in any form of religious activity” during the summer school holidays.
Young Tibetan monks have also reportedly been forced to leave one of the biggest monasteries in a Tibetan region of western China as part of a drive to replace monastic life with secular education.
Recent months have also seen sweeping crackdowns on traditional Muslim culture among the Uighur ethnic minority group in the northwestern region of Xinjiang and among Christians in eastern China.