Australia Tibet Council

Enabling everyone in Australia to be part of change in Tibet

Tibet Closed To Tourists As China Today Celebrates 90th Year Of The Founding Of The Communist Party

Friday, 01 July 2011

Australia Tibet Council condemns the closure of Tibet to tourists in the latest propaganda drive of the Chinese government, driven by two highly sensitive anniversaries: the 90th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party on 1 July and the 60th anniversary of what China calls the "peaceful liberation" of Tibet, the takeover marked by the signing of the 17 Point Agreement of 1951(1).

Reports suggest that senior Chinese leaders and perhaps some foreign guests will travel to Lhasa in mid-July for events to mark the 60th Anniversary of the signing of the 17 Point Agreement. Starting from 25 June, China sealed off the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) to foreign tourists for a month to prepare for and choreograph the events for these anniversaries.

"If China is confident about its developments in Tibet, why doesn't it open Tibet for the world to see? China has had 60 years to win Tibetan hearts and minds, and has utterly failed," said Paul Bourke, Executive Officer of Australia Tibet Council.

 

"The propaganda concerning China's supposed 'achievements' in Tibet has barely changed over the years, yet Tibetans have repeatedly rejected Chinese rule in huge numbers, with widespread protests across the plateau in the period since 2008. Tibetan resistance is continuing to this day with the districts of Ngaba(2) and Kardze(3) in eastern Tibet (Ch: Sichuan) currently seeing extraordinary and persistent incidents of protest, and even a protest in Lhasa itself."

The Chinese propaganda masters have spared no cost in their efforts to project their version of modern China in the lead up to today's anniversary, with a new star-studded film, a new history book, countless exhibitions and "red" singing pageants. An exhibition on "Magnificent Historical Progress" promoted in Beijing as "a true reflection of the peaceful liberation of Tibet and the great historical process" will soon move to Lhasa.

Australia Tibet Council and the International Tibet Network refute the Chinese propaganda with a report detailing 60 years of China's failed policies in Tibet(4).

China's propaganda drive has hit our local cinemas too. The propaganda epic Beginning of the Great Revival is screening in cinemas across our national capitals.

For further information: 

Paul Bourke: 02 9283 3466
Tsering Kyinzom: 02 9283 3466

Notes:
1. The '17 Point Agreement' followed China's invasion of Tibet in 1949/50. Signed on 23 May 1951 by the Chinese government and by the Tibetan government under duress, the 'agreement' collapsed under growing opposition to Chinese rule among Tibetans and the escape of the Dalai Lama in 1959.

2. New developments at Kirti Monastery; crackdown shows no sign of easing

3. Dozens of Tibetans imprisoned in new wave of Kardze demonstrations: protest in Lhasa by Dargye monk

4. 17 Points of Disagreement