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World EXCLUSIVE: China is developing a mass labor program in Tibet

13:20  22 september  2020
13:20  22 september  2020 Source:   ouest-france.fr

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China seized control of Tibet after Chinese troops entered the region in 1950, in what Beijing calls a "peaceful liberation." While there has been some evidence of military-style training and labor transfers in Tibet in the past, this new, enlarged program represents the first on a mass scale and

China seized control of Tibet after Chinese troops entered the region in 1950, in what Beijing calls a "peaceful liberation." While there has been some evidence of military-style training and labor transfers in Tibet in the past, this new, enlarged program represents the first on a mass scale and

CHINA-RIGHTS-TIBET: EXCLUSIVE: China is developing a mass labor program in Tibet

EXCLUSIF: LA CHINE DÉVELOPPE UN PROGRAMME DE TRAVAIL DE MASSE AU TIBET © Reuters / Damir Sagolj EXCLUSIVE: CHINA DEVELOPING A PROGRAM OF MASS WORK IN TIBET

by Cate Cadell

BEIJING (Reuters) - China is pushing increasing numbers of Tibetans out of rural areas to join military-style training centers, recently established to train them for factory work.

This policy is similar to the program already in place in Xinjiang which, according to rights groups, is akin to forced labor.

Reuters' review of more than 100 articles in state media, official documents produced by Tibet's regional authorities, and public orders placed between 2016 and 2020 shows that Beijing has set quotas for the massive transfer of rural workers within the Himalayan region itself or to other regions of China.

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BEIJING — China is pushing growing numbers of Tibetan rural laborers off the land and into recently built military-style training centers where they are turned into factory workers, mirroring a program in the western Xinjiang region Beijing has set quotas for the mass transfer of rural laborers within […]

The CIA Tibetan program was a nearly two decades long anti- Chinese covert operation focused on Tibet which consisted of "political action, propaganda

More than half a million people have been trained as part of this project in the first seven months of 2020, or about 15% of the region's population, according to a note published last month on the site internet of the Tibetan regional government.

Of this total, nearly 50,000 workers were transferred to Tibet, and several thousand more were sent to other areas. Many of them have low-paid jobs, especially in the textile, construction and agriculture sectors.

"CORRECTING THE MODES OF THOUGHT"

The documents reviewed by Reuters place a strong emphasis on ideological education to correct the "concepts of thought" of workers.

"It is stated that minorities are not very disciplined, that they have to change their state of mind, that they have to be convinced to participate," said Adrian Zenz, an independent researcher on Tibet and Xinjiang, who compiled the main findings of the program.

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These are detailed in a report released this week by the Jamestown Foundation, a Washington-based institute specializing in political issues of strategic importance to the United States. "This is a coercive lifestyle change, moving from nomadism and agriculture to wage labor."

"From my point of view, this is the strongest, clearest and most targeted attack on traditional Tibetan livelihoods that we have seen since the Cultural Revolution" of 1966-1976, says Adrian Zenz .

Rural workers transferred to these vocational training centers receive an ideological education - what China calls "military style" training - which is based on strict discipline with physical exercises and the wearing of military uniform.

They acquire professional skills in the fields of textiles, construction, agriculture and ethnic crafts. One of the centers mentions among its teachings "Mandarin, legal training and political education". Another regional administrative document states that the goal is to “gradually achieve the transition from“ I have to work ”and“ I want to work. ”

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As the Economy of China has rapidly developed , issues of labor relations have also developed . Independent unions are illegal in China with only the All- China Federation of Trade Unions permitted to operate, this deprives Chinese workers of any true representation in the workplace.

China ’s biggest state enterprises, including Sinopec, China National Gold Group, and PetroChina, have also been instructed to invest in Tibet . One side effect of Beijing’s subsidize-and-invest policy is that Tibet is afflicted by a version of the profligacy that helped lead to China ’s own slowdown.

About 70% of Tibet's population lives in rural areas, according to 2018 figures. of the National Bureau of Statistics of China and China pledged to eradicate rural poverty in the country by the end of 2020.

In a statement to Reuters, the Chinese Foreign Ministry strongly denies the use of forced labor, assures that China is ruled by law and that workers are voluntary and well paid.

"What these people with hidden motives call 'forced labor' simply does not exist. We hope that the international community will distinguish right from wrong, respect the facts and not be fooled by lies, "he insists.

" MAINTAIN STABILITY "

In recent years, Xinjiang and Tibet have been the target of restrictive policies within the framework of what the Chinese authorities call “the maintenance of stability.”

These policies aim to suppress dissent, unrest or separatism, to restrict the movement of inhabitants of these regions to other parts of China or abroad, as well as to strengthen control over religious activities.

In August, President Xi Jinping said China would again step up its efforts against separatism in Tibet, where Tibetans represent about 90% of the population, according to census data.

This program is growing as international pressure increases on similar projects in Xinjiang, some of which are linked to centers s of mass detention.

A United Nations report estimated that around one million people in Xinjiang, mostly Uyghurs, were held in camps and subjected to ideological education.

China initially denied the existence of these camps, but has since said that they are vocational training and education centers, and that all people have "graduated" there.

Reuters was unable to verify the living conditions of the transferred Tibetan workers as foreign journalists were not allowed to enter the area.

(French version Kate Entringer, edited by Jean-Stéphane Brosse)

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This is interesting!