A top Beijing official said yesterday that “all-round efforts” are needed to ensure Tibetans use standard spoken and written Chinese and share the “cultural symbols and images of the Chinese nation.”
Wang Yang, a member of the Politburo Standing Committee, made the remarks to a handpicked audience in front of the Potala Palace in Lhasa, home of Tibet’s traditional Buddhist leaders, at a ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of Chinese rule in the Himalayan region.
The Chinese Communist Party says it “peacefully liberated” Tibetan peasants from an oppressive theocracy and restored Chinese rule over a region under threat from outsiders. Beijing has also condemned the self-exiled Dalai Lama as a separatist.
Critics say such moves on cultural assimilation spell the demise of Tibet’s traditional Buddhist culture and that Tibet was effectively independent for most of its history.