China vows to act against separatism on Tibet uprising anniversary

Protests were held in several cities around the world to mark the anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan uprising.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A Tibetan reacts as he is detained by police during a protest held to mark the 58th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule, outside the Chinese embassy in New Delhi, India, March 10, 2017.

Updated Mar 11, 2017

China said on Friday it would act against "separatist activities" and protect its frontier regions as protests were held in major world cities to mark the anniversary of a Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule in 1959.

Che Dalha, Tibet's governor, said the government would "hold a clear-cut stand against separatism, resolutely strike against the Dalai clique's damaging and separatist activities."

"The most important task is to protect our motherland's frontier regions, build up our homes, absolutely not allow any groups to separate even one inch of our land from the motherland," said Tashi Yangjen, a representative of the tiny Lhoba ethnic minority of southeast Tibet.

China views the Dalai Lama, Tibet's Buddhist spiritual leader who fled into exile in India after the failed uprising, as a dangerous separatist.

The Nobel Peace laureate denies espousing violence and says he only wants genuine autonomy for Tibet.

Chinese troops marched in and took control of Tibet in 1950 in what Beijing calls a "peaceful liberation."

TRT World's Sara Jones reports.

Protests in major cities

In Sydney, 200 protesters marched to the Chinese consulate to protest against the lack of human rights in Tibet, with larger demonstrations planned later on Friday in cities including Taipei and London.

The protesters, many dressed in traditional Tibetan chupas, waved flags and shouted, "Human rights for Tibet," as they made their way past shoppers and office workers.

Hundreds of Tibetans in Australia march through the centre of Sydney, March 10, 2017 marking the 58th anniversary of China's presence in Tibet. (Reuters)

"We hope this kind of movement might bring the message to the world that we are still under Chinese suppression," third generation Tibetan Tashi Gyatso said.

Chinese university student Nancy Cao, from Shijiazhuang, the capital of the northern province of Hebei, said she was confused about the protest.

"Tibet is always a part of China in our history," said Cao, adding that the Chinese government had helped Tibet develop.

"Tibet's situation is quite similar to Taiwan's," said Chen Jing, 25, a Taipei rally participant in previous years. "If you support Taiwan independence, you would also support Tibet independence.

I think it's very important to hold these rallies because a lot of people who watch are curious about Tibet, and if you haven't been exposed you might not know why it's fighting for itself, since in the past it has been described in teaching materials as part of China.

In the Indian capital of New Delhi, hundreds of Tibetans, waving flags and shouting anti-China slogans, marched towards the Chinese embassy, only to be halted by police.

"Tibet is not part of China," said Tenzin Metok, a protester. "We want freedom."

TRTWorld and agencies