Table of Content
- China is taking away Tibetan identity from people
- Violation of human rights in China
China has rejected the allegation made by UN Special Rapporteurs that it has taken one million Tibetan children away from their families and put them in boarding schools against their will.
According to the UN, the aim behind this action is to integrate them into the dominant Han Chinese culture and erase their religious, cultural, and linguistic identities. The Han people, also known as Han Chinese, are an ethnic group of East Asian origin that has its roots in China.
Mao Ning, a spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry, denied the accusation that China had forcibly placed one million Tibetan children in boarding schools to assimilate them into the Han Chinese culture. Mao Ning called the allegation ‘false’ and suggested that it was an attempt to “damage China’s reputation’.
He clarified that these boarding schools are not operated like detention centres or military camps but instead function as regular educational institutions that cater to the educational needs of local students.
China is taking away Tibetan identity from people
According to a press statement by the UN’s Human Rights Council, released on February 6, 2023, in Geneva, the Chinese government is operating a network of residential schools where approximately one million Tibetan children are being held against their will.
The spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry responded by explaining that, due to Tibet’s high altitude and scattered population, children from herding families have to travel long distances to attend school. As a result, the establishment of boarding schools provides an opportunity for children to receive an education in a single location.
According to the UN experts, the situation is more complicated than what China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson suggested. The experts mentioned that the educational materials and environment in the residential schools for Tibetan children are designed to promote Han culture exclusively.
Additionally, lessons are only taught in Mandarin Chinese (Putonghua), with minimal emphasis on Tibetan history and religion and no mention of the exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.
Violation of human rights in China
These allegations have arisen at a time when China is already under scrutiny for its alleged human rights abuses against Uyghurs, a Muslim ethnic group residing in Xinjiang’s northwestern region.
According to international media, Uyghur Muslims have been separated from their families and put in concentration camps. These camps are filthy, unsanitary, and devoid of open space, evoking memories of Hitler’s concentration camps, where millions of Jews were genocided.
Human rights groups believe that more than one million Uyghur Muslims have been detained in these camps in the name of a “re-education drive,” but the purpose is to systematically cleanse the religious and cultural identity of Muslims.
The Uyghur women were subjected to forced sterilisations and abortions through state-sponsored campaigns to control the Uyghur Muslim population.
The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, mentioned that China is committing “genocide and crimes against humanity”.
However, China denies all allegations of human rights abuses in Xinjiang and calls them ‘propaganda of the West’ to assault the Chinese image.
China was in the news for some time until recently for its much-talked-about “Zero-Covid policy”. To achieve Zero-COVID cases, China implemented strict quarantine, aggressive mass testing, draconian lockdowns, and forced hospitalisation. When the entire world was reopening and the economy was coming back on track, Chinese people were under strict lockdown guidelines due to their government’s strict approach to curtailing the virus.
People who were frustrated by the denial of the movement took to the streets to protest against the government. The zero-covid trauma still haunts people there.
The Chinese government’s reputation has been tarnished at home, but Xi Jinping is coming out stronger now that he has been elected for his third term.