Claude Arpi for The Asian Age
China wants us to believe that it liberated Tibet 70 years ago. It didn’t really happen like that. It’s true that on May 23, 1951, Tibet and China signed an “Agreement on Measures for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet”, also known as the 17-Point Agreement; but it sealed the invasion of Tibet, not its “liberation”.
In his memoirs, the Dalai Lama said the agreement was forced “under duress” on the Tibetan delegates, and even the seals on the agreement had been forged. When he crossed the Indian border in March 1959 and reached Tezpur in Assam, the Tibetan leader immediately denounced the accord.
Strangely, the Communist Party of China decided to commemorate the May 23 event in August. No one knows why the so-called liberation wasn’t celebrated on May 23 or even when “core leader” Xi Jinping visited Tibet in July. Was Beijing nervous about the border situation in Ladakh in May?
On August 19, a high-level Beijing delegation led by Wang Yang, head of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and member of the politburo standing committee, landed in Lhasa to attend the 70th-anniversary functions. Mr Wang is fourth in the Communist pantheon.
Besides several officials of the United Front Work Department, which deals with minorities (and Tibet in particular), including its minister, You Quan, and a handful of hardcore Tibetan Communists, Mr Wang was accompanied by Adm. Miao Hua, a member of the Central Military Commission (CMC) and director of the CMC political work department.
Though very few commentators noticed the admiral’s presence, it was certainly a first for landlocked Tibet to see the white uniform of a three-star admiral. Later, Adm. Miao, accompanied by Lt. Gen. Zhang Xuejie, the powerful political commissar of the Tibet Military District (TMD), went by a fast train to the remote, cold, deserted high-altitude region of Nagchu. Adm. Miao had probably come to the Roof of the World for “political work” and to follow up on his colleague Gen. Zhang Youxia’s “border” discussions with the TMD during President Xi’s visit in July.
What is really cooking on the Roof of the World?
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