Viewpoint

03.15.19

Is This the Last Dalai Lama?

Jessica Batke
This month marks the 60th anniversary of the Dalai Lama’s flight from Tibet. His departure exposed the rift between the Tibetan faithful and the Chinese Communist Party (C.C.P.), one which has not closed in the six decades since—and which threatens...

Conversation

11.20.18

Has the World Lost Sight of Tibet?

Gerald Roche, Lhadon Tethong & more
Since the incarceration of roughly a million Uighurs in the northwestern Chinese region of Xinjiang over the last year, the situation in Tibet has gotten relatively less coverage in Western media. What is the current situation for human rights,...

Gap Apologizes for Selling T-Shirt with 'Incorrect Map' of China

Reuters Staff
Reuters
Disputed territories including south Tibet, Taiwan and the South China Sea were omitted.

India Is Willing to Snub the Dalai Lama to Please China

Devjyot Ghoshal
Quartz
On March 17, 1959, a 23-year-old Buddhist monk disguised as a soldier fled Tibet, travelling for three weeks across the Himalayas before reaching the border with India.

China Asked Marriott to Shut down Its Website, the Company Complied

Washington Post
Marriott International is apologizing to the Chinese government — and changing its practices — after coming under fire for listing Hong Kong, Taiwan, 

Delta Air Lines, Zara Join Marriott in China's Bad Books over Tibet, Taiwan Gaffes

South China Morning Post
The outrage in China over US hotel giant Marriott’s gaffe in which it listed Tibet, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan as independent countries, has spread to a clutch of other well-known international brands as angry internet users sought to “expose”...

China’s Global Ambitions: Are There Lessons to Be Learnt from Tibet?

Sydney Morning Herald
The Harvard-educated lawyer’s message to Australia: “It happened to Tibet - you could be next.”

China-India Border Dispute Spills over into Australian University

South China Morning Post
An IT lecturer at the University of Sydney has apologised for using an out-of-date map that showed a region of Tibet as being Indian territory. The image upset some Chinese students after it was used by Khimji Vaghjiani during a course titled “...

Viewpoint

06.26.17

Why Are So Many Tibetans Moving to Chinese Cities?

Gerald Roche, Ben Hillman & more
China’s Tibetan areas have been troubled by unrest since 2008, when protests swept the plateau, followed by a series of self-immolations which continue to this day. The Chinese state, as part of its arsenal of responses, has intensified urbanization...

Books

05.15.17

A World Trimmed with Fur

Jonathan Schlesinger
In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, booming demand for natural resources transformed China and its frontiers. Historians of China have described this process in stark terms: pristine borderlands became breadbaskets. Yet Manchu and Mongolian archives reveal a different story. Well before homesteaders arrived, wild objects from the far north became part of elite fashion, and unprecedented consumption had exhausted the region’s most precious resources.In A World Trimmed with Fur, Jonathan Schlesinger uses these diverse archives to reveal how Qing rule witnessed not the destruction of unspoiled environments, but their invention. Qing frontiers were never pristine in the nineteenth century—pearlers had stripped riverbeds of mussels, mushroom pickers had uprooted the steppe, and fur-bearing animals had disappeared from the forest. In response, the court turned to “purification”; it registered and arrested poachers, reformed territorial rule, and redefined the boundary between the pristine and the corrupted. Schlesinger’s resulting analysis provides a framework for rethinking the global invention of nature. —Stanford University Press{chop}

China’s Huge Dam Projects Will Threaten Southeast Asia as Water Scarcity Builds Downstream

Daniel Rechtschaffen
Forbes
A river is born high in the Tibetan Plateau, before snaking its way 3,000 miles south and emptying itself into the South China Sea.

Why India Can’t Afford to Miss out on China’s Belt and Road Plan

K.S. Venkatachalam
South China Morning Post
India-China relations has been plagued by a low level of trust due to unresolved territorial disputes.

China Names Areas in Region Disputed with India to Assert Claims

Reuters
China has issued standardized spellings of the names of six places in a region disputed with India, in what China’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday was an assertion of sovereignty.

India-China Row Deepens as Dalai Lama Arrives in NE India

Wasbir Hussain
Seattle Times
India said Tuesday that China should not interfere in its internal affairs, as the Dalai Lama began a weeklong visit to India’s remote northeast that Beijing has protested.

Environment

03.14.17

Source of Mekong, Yellow, and Yangtze Rivers Drying Up

from chinadialogue
In 2015, the Chinese government announced plans to set up a new nature reserve in the Sanjiangyuan (“three river source”) region of the Qinghai-Tibet plateau. This area is a key source of fresh water for Asia and is known for the rich biodiversity...

The Dalai Lama Told John Oliver That China’s Leaders Are Not “Using the Human Brain Properly”

Zheping Huang
Quartz
British comedian John Oliver recently flew to the north Indian town of Dharamsala, where the Dalai Lama has lived in exile for more than five decades.

China Says Hopes Mongolia Learned Lesson after Dalai Lama Visit

Reuters
China said on Tuesday it hopes Mongolia has learned a lesson and will keep a promise not to invite the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama again after his visit in November led to a chill in relations.

Sinica Podcast

01.19.17

The State of Journalism in China—Ed Wong’s Exit Interview

Jeremy Goldkorn, Kaiser Kuo & more from Sinica Podcast
Edward Wong became a reporter for The New York Times in 1999. He covered the Iraq war from Baghdad from 2003 to 2007, and then moved to Beijing in 2008. He has written about a wide range of subjects in China for the Times, and became its Beijing...

Depth of Field

01.17.17

House Calls on the Tibetan Plateau, Children of Divorce, Celebrity Secrets

Yan Cong, Ye Ming & more from Yuanjin Photo
In the final galleries of 2016, the publishing juggernaut Tencent again shows its leadership in the documentary photography space, but iFeng’s choice to publish a personal photo gallery by Zhou Xin is also worth a good look, especially since...

How Tibet Is Being Crushed—While the Dalai Lama Survives

Jonathan Mirsky from New York Review of Books
If you read every page of Tsering Woeser’s latest book and skip the first and last chapters of Tsering Topgyal’s, the ultimate message about the situation in Tibet is often the same. Chinese rule, writes Woeser, is no less than “ethnic oppression,”...

Tibetan Leader Urges Trump to Confront China on Rights

Sanjeev Miglani
Reuters
The head of the Tibetan government-in-exile said he was encouraged by Trump’s tough stand on China

Features

12.02.16

How Do You Stand up to China? Ask Mongolia

Sergey Radchenko
The day before the Dalai Lama’s November 18 trip to Mongolia, Beijing issued a “strong demand” to its neighbor to cancel the visit of the “anti-Chinese separatist” or face (unstated) consequences. The Dalai Lama would be making his ninth visit to...

A Plea to Britain: Don’t Forget Tibet in Your Dealings With China

Lobsang Sangay
Guardian
Britain has a fine history of upholding the democratic values of Tibet. It must do once again as it negotiates business and trade ties with Beijing

China Says Countering Dalai Lama is Top Ethnic Priority in Tibet

Michael Martina
Reuters
Region's Communist Party boss vows to uproot the monk's "separatist and subversive" activities...

China to Prosecute Former Top Executives for Alleged Graft

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
Next on the chopping block: former Sinopec, China Southern execs, Tibet top security official

China Upset by U.S. Republican Platform on South China Sea, Tibet

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
China's Foreign Ministry urged the U.S. Republican Party to stop making “groundless accusations” against China...

Books

06.22.16

Tibetan Environmentalists in China

Liu Jianqiang
This book weaves together the life stories of five extraordinary contemporary Tibetans involved in environmental protection (as well as a host of secondary characters): Tashi Dorje, a well-known and celebrated environmentalist; Karma Samdrup, a philanthropist, businessman, and environmentalist; Rinchen Samdrup, Karma’s brother, another extraordinary environmentalist; Gendun, a painter, historian, and researcher from Amdo; and Musuo, a Tibetan from the Dechin area of northwest Yunnan who founded the Khawakarpo Culture Society.In the politically fraught and ever-worsening situation for Tibetans within China today, it is often said that the only possible path for a better solution will be through a change in the way that the majority Chinese society thinks about and understands Tibetans, their aspirations, histories, and desires. This book provides the first such account by drawing readers in with beautiful narrative prose and fascinating stories, and then using their attention to demystify Tibetans, cultivating in the reader a sense of empathy as well as facts upon which to rebuild an intercultural understanding. It is the first work that seriously aims to let the Chinese public understand Tibetans as both products of an admirable culture and as complex individuals negotiating religious ideals, economic change, and sociopolitical constraints. In short it opens up a whole new way of understanding Tibet. —Rowman & Littlefield/Lexington Books {chop}

'Truth Ain't Lie Dude': Official Chinese Account Goes on Twitter Spree

James Griffiths
CNN
They quickly attracted considerable mockery such as "go home State Council Information Office, you're drunk."...

‘Doctor Strange’ Writer Says China-Tibet Remarks Don’t Represent Marvel

Edward Wong
New York Times
A growing uproar from critics accusing Marvel of racism in casting a white actress in a role that should have gone to an Asian actor

What a Semi-Naked Woman Posing by a Lake Says About China’s Relationship With Tibet

Hannah Beech
Time
While professing reverence for Tibetan culture, Beijing is also swift to crack down on Tibetan freedom.

Why Are Tibetans Setting Themselves on Fire?

Tsering Woeser from New York Review of Books
February 27, 2009, was the third day of Losar, the Tibetan New Year. It was also the day that self-immolation came to Tibet. The authorities had just cancelled a Great Prayer Festival (Monlam) that was supposed to commemorate the victims of the...

China Stick to Right to Decide Reincarnation of Dalai Lama

Reuters
The Dalai Lama and China's officially atheist Communist Party have repeatedly tussled over who has final authority on the issue of reincarnation...

Tibet, Taiwan and China – A Complex Nexus

Tshering Chonzom Bhutia
Diplomat
Recent developments in cross-strait relations raise interesting questions for Tibet’s leadership in exile.

Nancy Pelosi Made Rare Visit to Tibet, China Says

EDWARD WONG
New York Times
Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader of the House of Representatives, visited Lhasa, the capital of Tibet.

Environment

11.11.15

China’s Bottled Water Industry to Exploit Tibetan Plateau

from chinadialogue
Tibet wants to bottle up much more of the region’s water resources, despite shrinking glaciers and the impact that exploitation of precious resources would have on neighboring countries.This week, the Tibet Autonomous Region’s government released a...

At U.N., China Uses Intimidation Tactics to Silence Its Critics

Sui-Lee Wee and Stephanie Nebehay
Reuters
“When I was hiding in the mountains, the Chinese government announced a cash reward of 200,000 yuan (about $31,000) for whoever finds me.”

China Micromanages Tibet, Floods It With Money to Woo Locals

Tablet
Nearly 6,500 civil servants have been dispatched to manage hefty budgets and shape Tibet's modernization...

Why Tibet Could Be the Best Opportunity for Xi Jinping

Matteo Mecacci and Bhuchung Tsering
Huffington Post
The state visit is a growing alarm about China's less than peaceful rise, and provides a rare opportunity for Obama to give an important message on Tibet...

Rights Protesters, China Supporters Greet President Xi in Seattle

Reuters
About 100 people protesting against human rights abuses in China greeted President Xi Jinping in Seattle.

Culture

09.11.15

French Director’s Chinese Movie Balances Freedom With Compromise

Jonathan Landreth
In 2012, French movie director Jean-Jacques Annaud got a warm welcome in China after more than a dozen years as persona non grata there for having offended official Chinese Communist Party history with his 1997 film Seven Years in Tibet—the story of...

I’m with the Banned: China Blocks Bon Jovi Gigs

Jennifer Duggan
Guardian
U.S. group were due to perform first China shows next week, but previous use of Dalai Lama image may have prompted officia intervention.

Inside the Quiet Lives of China’s Disappearing Tibetan Nomads

Rachel Lowry, photos by Kevin Frayer
Time
As settlements see an influx of Tibetans, the transition is difficult for these nomad-turned-villagers.

Chinese Police Seize Ashes of Tibetan Monk Tenzin Delek Rinpoche

Dan Levin
New York Times
Chinese police forcibly seized the ashes of a prominent Tibetan monk whose death in prison set off public demonstrations.

Tibetans Protest to Demand Release of Monk's Body in China

Sui-Lee Wee
Reuters
Dozens of Tibetans shouting "return the body" protested outside a prison in China after a prominent Tibetan monk died in jail, reflecting anger amongst his supporters and family, who believe he was murdered...

China Opens New Land Route to Tibet for Indian Pilgrims

Edward Wong
New York Times
The crossing of Nathu La, between India and Tibet, signals the opening of a new pilgrimage route for Indian pilgrims to holy sites.

CCTV Shows Moment Aftershocks Hit Tibet after Nepal Earthquake

Guardian
The footage shows roads and buildings shaking violently in Gyirong county, which neighbours Nepal. 

At Least 20 Killed, 58 Injured in Tibet Following Earthquake

Xinhua
Some 24,800 people in Xigaze City were relocated after 8.1 earthquake in neighboring Nepal.

Books

04.02.15

Muslim, Trader, Nomad, Spy

Sulmaan Wasif Khan
In 1959, the Dalai Lama fled Lhasa, leaving the People's Republic of China with a crisis on its Tibetan frontier. Sulmaan Wasif Khan tells the story of the PRC's response to that crisis and, in doing so, brings to life an extraordinary cast of characters: Chinese diplomats appalled by sky burials, Guomindang spies working with Tibetans in Nepal, traders carrying salt across the Himalayas, and Tibetan Muslims rioting in Lhasa. What Chinese policymakers confronted in Tibet, Khan argues, was not a "third world" but a "fourth world" problem: Beijing was dealing with peoples whose ways were defined by statelessness. As it sought to tighten control over the restive borderlands, Mao's China moved from a lighter hand to a harder, heavier imperial structure. That change triggered long-lasting shifts in Chinese foreign policy. Moving from capital cities to far-flung mountain villages, from top diplomats to nomads crossing disputed boundaries in search of pasture, this book shows Cold War China as it has never been seen before and reveals the deep influence of the Tibetan crisis on the political fabric of present-day China. —The University of North Carolina Press{chop}

The Cowboys (and Indians) of Sichuan: Photographers Search for China's Billy the Kid

Stephanie Borcard and Nicolas Metraux
South China Morning Post
The people of remote Tagong in the southwestern grasslands resemble the cowboys and Indians of North American history.

Obama’s Public Encounter With the Dalai Lama Riles China

New York Times
Obama previously met the Dalai Lama privately in the White House rather than in public.

Conversation

02.05.15

What’s the Case for Heads of State Meeting the Dalai Lama?

Francesco Sisci, Robert Barnett & more
On Thursday in Washington, the Dalai Lama attended the annual National Prayer Breakfast hosted by President Barack Obama, angering China's leaders in Beijing who have long called the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader a "splittist" and...

American Film On A Tibetan Migrant Finds Unlikely Success In China

Frank Langfitt
NPR
Journalist Jocelyn Ford spent years documenting the life of Zanta, a Tibetan migrant who fled her poor, mountain village to build a life for herself and her son in Beijing.

Pope Francis’ China Problem

Jonathan Mirsky from New York Review of Books
China-watchers, friends of Tibet, and admirers of Pope Francis were amazed and disappointed last week when the Pope announced he would not be meeting the Dalai Lama during the Tibetan leader’s visit to Rome. The Dalai Lama was there with other...

China Warns Tibet Party Members Not to Harbor Separatist “Fantasies” about Dalai Lama

Reuters
Reuters
"As for cadres who harbor fantasies about the 14th Dalai Group, follow the Dalai Group, participate in supporting separatist infiltration sabotage activities, (they will be) strictly and severely punished according to the law and party...

Environment

10.23.14

Tibetan Plateau Faces Massive ‘Ecosystem Shift’

from chinadialogue
Large areas of grasslands, alpine meadows, wetlands, and permafrost will disappear on the Tibetan plateau by 2050, with serious implications for environmental security in China and South Asia, a research paper published by scientists at the Kunming...

The Dalai Lama Forces China to Overplay its Hand in South Africa

Eric Olander & Cobus van Staden
Pretoria’s apparent refusal to grant Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama a visa to attend a summit of Nobel peace laureates has sparked outrage in South Africa. Critics allege the government is bowing to China, undermining South African...

South Africa to Dalai Lama: ‘You’re Not Welcome’ (Really)

Eric Olander & Cobus van Staden
For a third consecutive time, South Africa has made it clear to the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama that he is not welcome to visit. Most recently, the Dalai Lama was informed he would not receive a visa, forcing the controversial religious...

Tibet in Sichuan

Miguel Cano
Diplomat
Traveling the Tibetan plateau in Sichuan Province with indepdendent journalist Miguel Cano.