Tibetan households are now reportedly being forced by Chinese authorities to display the portraits of leading Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leaders.
This policy is the latest in a series by the CCP to demand the loyalty of Tibetans to the Party and the People’s Republic of China.
Previously, this policy was only compulsory for Tibetan families that were dependent on state support under the poverty alleviation programme. The policy has been extended to the wider community since the beginning of the year.
According to Tibet Watch’s sources, authorities in the region have stated that people should “remember the gratitude of the party and in the spirit of following the party, all households, monasteries, schools and offices must display the portrait of top party leaders”.
As part of the programme, villagers across Tibet were assembled and images of party leaders for them to hang on their walls or altars were distributed. Images were also distributed to be hung in schools, monasteries and offices. It is reported that authorities are inspecting each household to check whether this order has been carried out or not.
Images obtained by Tibet Watch show the distribution of framed images of Xi Jinping in Dzoge County in eastern Tibet. An estimated 14,000 images of this sort have been distributed across the county.
Since 2012, various programmes to ensure loyalty and patriotism among Tibetans to the CCP and the Chinese state have been launched. Under the pretext of the fight against separatism since 2017, the massive drive has been launched rigorously throughout Tibet.
Patriotic re-education, forced displays of loyalty to the party and the state, eradication of connections to the Dalai Lama and such similar efforts have been relentless in Tibet. The main objective of this current programme is to transfer the reverence and loyalty that Tibetans have for the Dalai Lama and the Buddhist religion to the CCP leaders.
There have been numerous reports where Tibetans continuously holding loyalty and faith to the Dalai Lama or deviating from the CCP’s rules have been targeted or arrested by the authorities under these regulations.
Since the arrival of Xi Jinping in political leadership, the party’s approach to Tibetan has been more aggressive. This has been backed by ever-increasing surveillance alongside various programmes aimed to brainwash, indoctrinate and transform the loyalties of Tibetans.
Free Tibet is calling for the media to stop spreading CCP propaganda. Some media publications have recently dropped China Watch from their print and online editions. We are urging The Economist and The Wall Street Journal to follow them and do the same. Help us urge them to drop CCP propaganda.