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Foggy Bottom plays political theater with Tibet 'special coordinator'
By:First Voice
update:December 23,2021
 
Editor's note: CGTN's First Voice provides instant commentary on breaking stories. The daily column clarifies emerging issues and better defines the news agenda, offering a Chinese perspective on the latest global events.
 
Facing soaring COVID-19 deaths, exacerbating racial discrimination and lackluster economic performance, the United States has never ceased its efforts in "protecting" human rights in China. This time, the "human rights pioneer" turned its focus to China's Tibet Autonomous Region.
 
The U.S. on Monday named a new "special coordinator for Tibetan issues," who, according to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, is to "promote respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of Tibetans, including their freedom of religion or belief."
 
The move is America's another blatant intervention in China's domestic affairs.
 
To begin with, the Tibet-related issue concerns China's sovereignty and territorial integrity. Human rights and religious freedom have never been a problem in Tibet since its peaceful liberation in 1951.
 
Facts tell. There are more than 1,700 sites for the practice of Tibetan Buddhism and more than 46,000 resident monks and nuns in Tibet, according to the Standing Committee of the People's Congress of Tibet Autonomous Region. The Chinese central government has promulgated regulations to respect and protect the living Buddha reincarnation and succession system.
 
Before 1951, 98 percent of Tibet's population was "enslaved in serfdom," as The Guardian reported in its 2009 article titled "What we don't hear about Tibet." The rulers of Tibet "pilfered most of the country's wealth – torturing disobedient serfs by gouging out their eyes or severing their hamstrings."
 
This changed after Tibet's peaceful liberation.
 
Today, people in Tibet are masters of their society. Official data shows the population in the region has increased from 1.23 million in 1959 to 3.44 million in 2018, with ethnic Tibetan people accounting for over 90 percent of the region's total. Deputies from the Tibetan and other ethnic groups occupy more than 92 percent of the region's over 35,900 deputies to the people's congresses at all levels. This ensures that the voices of ordinary people, not just high-ranking lamas or the wealthy, are fully heard in the decision-making process.
 
A villager attends a spring plowing ceremony in Jiaru Village, Gurong Town, Lhasa, southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, March 16, 2020. /Xinhua
 
Human rights improvement in Tibet is an irrefutable fact. But this doesn't stop the U.S. from making groundless accusations and discrediting China's ethnic polices.
 
Washington's long-term pursuit of containing the socialist country explains its relentless efforts of "protecting human rights" in China's Tibet, Xinjiang, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
 
It's worth noting that prior to Monday's assignment of the "special coordinator," Democrats and Republicans including Marco Rubio, Patrick Leahy, Jim McGovern and Chris Smith have been calling for Biden to support Tibet "autonomy." The lobbyists are the same people who have been fabricating lies about "forced labor" in Xinjiang and pushing for sanctions on China's policy on religion. These American politicians see Tibet and Xinjiang as regions ripe for promoting separatism in China, and have been seizing every chance to use human rights as a pretext to undermine China's sovereignty.
 
With the 2022 Winter Olympics approaching, Western rumor-mongering campaign against China has reached a new climax. Playing the Tibet card would be a never-to-miss opportunity to meddle in the region, and hyping human rights issues can always woo "supporters."
 
In addition, the 14th Dalai Lama turns 86 this year. This means the succession of the living Buddha could be put on the agenda in the near future. Given the 14th Dalai Lama's record of separatist activities, the U.S. has long been preparing to exploit the reincarnation issue to instigate separatists and undermine China's sovereignty.
 
Shouting human rights, Washington cares only about politics. Despite their disagreement on whether to wear a mask in the COVID-19 pandemic, whether global warming represents a threat, and whether the current president has been legally elected, GOPs and Democrats agree on one thing: China is bad, and "human rights" is always a good tool to use.
 
If the U.S. could divert its attention from China's human rights records to itself, maybe more American lives could be saved.
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