News

    Tibetan Unrest Highlights Rejection of Chinese Development Goals

    Stephanie Ho

    China has long championed its policies in Tibet as aimed at boosting development and raising living standards in a remote and impoverished region. But, as Tibetan protests and self-immolations continue in some areas, the unrest is a public rejection of those claims of progress.

    Tibetans are depicted in official Chinese media as members of a happy minority group with colorful traditions that include singing, dancing and, for nomadic herders, archery. The images support the Chinese government’s claims that living standards are rising and Tibetans are content.

    Tanzen Lhundup, with the China Tibetology Research Center, says Beijing's concern for Tibetan people is genuine.

    “The government has invested heavily in improving peoples' living conditions, infrastructure in Tibet and education. It has introduced a great number of preferential policies in support of the Tibetan areas. The changes in Tibet and Tibetan areas have been fundamental,” Tanzen Lhundup said.

    Although the local economy has grown, so has the sense of desperation among many ethnic Tibetans. In the past year nearly 30 have set themselves on fire - vividly demonstrating that they would rather die than live under Chinese rule.

    Many of the recent anti-China protests, like one last week in Qinghai province, involve Buddhist monks, who have long played a central role in Tibetan culture.

    “We have no freedom, no religious freedom and not even freedom of speech. The pressure is too great. People have no choice, so we protest,” said one monk in Gansu province, who asked to remain anonymous.

    The protests and immolations have led to no notable changes from Beijing.

    Lian Xiangmin, also with the China Tibetology Research Center, echoes the government’s view that the protests are artificially manufactured - not linked to actual grievances.

    “I think first of all, those who plan such incidents should stop. Two, the Dalai Lama should issue a statement to call for an end to such cases and express his opposition to such behavior. Three, the media should stop playing up such incidents,” Lian Xiangmin said.

    In China, the protests go largely unmentioned in state media, which instead focuses on rituals that emphasize Tibet as an inalienable part of Chinese territory.

    The Dalai Lama, who remains a potent spiritual and political symbol for Tibetans, has largely refrained from publicly commenting on the immolations.

    For both sides, the immolations remain a symptom of a problem that the other refuses to acknowledge.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
        Next 
    by: kevin
    March 27, 2012 7:45 PM
    Well, i know i can not persuade the foolish people to believe our determination. But, we will keep our independence with will and blood. We love peace, we will not invade Iraq or Afgan like US or British, time will witness that

    by: Sam
    March 26, 2012 5:49 PM
    this is to the guy called "Anti-China Government". Whether the China Government wants the sun, moon and stars or not has nothing to do with if Tibet is part of China or not. Tibet will forever be part of China. The reason is simple-every drop of water in Chinese rivers comes from Tibet. You really think we will let Tibet be independent???? until every drop of Chinese blood runs dry it won't happen.

    by: Xing
    March 26, 2012 1:51 PM
    "Reporter Sethi says protesters gave indications well before Monday's immolation that something unusual was going to happen.
    Still, Choedon Lama, regional general secretary for the activist Tibetan Youth Congress, insists the self-immolation was spontaneous."
    Thanks VoA. Now you give the truth who are behind the self-immolation.

    by: Joel
    March 25, 2012 8:45 AM
    It's interesting. People complain and argue how China is trying to rid Tibet of its culture, religion, language, identity, etc. but no one ever asks why. The are about 56 other ethnic minorities living in China that seem to live in relative peace. Why not Tibet? I am not saying that I condone China's actions, but there might actually be a little bit more justification for it than the Free Tibet activists are leading to believe.

    by: Anti-china government
    March 25, 2012 7:30 AM
    China gov. does not only want Tibet but also the whole world. Now they aggressively occupy the South East Asian sea and Indian ocean that are not belonging to them historically. They want everything. If possible they also want to own the Moon, the Sun too in order to control the world. They have a term called "the soft border", this means where a Chinese living is the land of China. They are greedy and selfish. The world need to know and be extremely cautious about them all the time.

    by: Xing
    March 25, 2012 1:37 AM
    CCP made a big mistake in 1980s. They sent a party chief called Wu Jinghua to revive the Lama religion in Tibet. Then Dalai Lama become something. Do we really need someone like us to rule us in spirit or even in real life? Is it called democracy and freedom?

    by: @M
    March 23, 2012 11:26 PM
    Tibet is always Chinese territory. I don't know why so many people want to seperate it form China. Maybe they don't want China to become stronger.

    by: Leave China alone
    March 23, 2012 6:10 PM
    Tibetan are Chinese. Nothing can change that. Why do some guys always want to separate them? Actually we do have wrong policy for Dalai Lama. We do not need to care about him. Just learn from US and other weatern countries, keep the traditional culture in some small places. Most of Tibet should live various nationalities and good benefits should be used to attract some Tibetan to live the other provinces.

    by: Masa(2)
    March 23, 2012 5:12 PM
    I less respect China as a state than any other country, no matter how China may reach wonderful economic development and grab hegemony in the world. contemporary China will not gain at all from the world as much respect as past Chinese dynasties did.

    by: Masa(1)
    March 23, 2012 5:12 PM
    In the past, serial dynasties in China used to have good relationships to local minority groups, giving them self-rule.Now, the contemporary Chinese authorities not only rob them of self-rule, but also try to destruct their culture, ethnic identity,and pride.
    Comments page of 2
        Next 

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenyai
    X
    February 08, 2016 4:30 PM
    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Sanders, Clinton Battle for Young Democratic Vote

    Despite a narrow loss to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in last week's Iowa Democratic caucuses, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders secured more than 80 percent of the vote among those between the ages of 18 and 29. VOA correspondent Aru Pande talks to Democrats in New Hampshire about who they are leaning towards and why in this week's primary.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.