Tibet, a region spanning well over 1,000,000km², has often been a source of ire for the Chinese Government when it comes to internal dissidence. It asserts Tibet was only granted suzerainty at best in the past and that it has always been a part of China. Supporters of Tibetan Independence would contend that Tibet was officially made free after the collapse of the Qing dynasty, for over 35 years.
In 1950, China set out to ‘liberate’ Tibet. I’ll tell you why they instead tried to purge it of Tibetans.
The systematic destruction of Tibetan culture is all too easy to see today. Human rights abuses are rife in Tibet and in regions were temples were once abundant, all that remains is barren land. The Chinese government has tortured those who do not conform to its regime, with there being over 100 self-immolations in the last few years alone. Over six thousand temples have been destroyed in Tibet’s recent history alone. On top of this figure, hundreds of thousands of Tibetans have died through starvation and labour camps, with 87,000 dying in the 1959 push for freedom.
There is also great financial incentive for the Chinese to continue occupying Tibet. Nearly half of the world’s population depends on the freshwater flow that originates from Tibet. Natural resources are rife in Tibet, and this is all at China’s disposal, so why would they relinquish it? Uranium, copper, and gold are among the many resources that Tibet wields. Tibet is an invaluable asset to China because with it, it can industrialise faster at the expense of the people who live in Tibet.
This blatant disregard for the Tibetan people leads me to believe China is not fit to rule it.
The admirably docile and non-violent nature of the Tibetan people makes the likelihood of an independent state hard, but there’s always hope (well, at least Richard Gere thinks so).