China threatens consequences if Canada interferes in Tibetan issues

Tibetan administration appeals to lawmakers to help find Tibet‘s 11th Panchen Lama, who has been missing for 27 years

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The Chinese government has expressed concern over the visit of the Central Tibetan Administration to the Canadian House of Commons. An embassy spokesman referred to the delegation as the Tibetan “government in exile” – a separatist group.

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“China demands that Canada immediately stop interfering in China’s internal affairs on issues related to Xizang (Tibet), while undermining the stability of Xizang, and stop providing support and assistance. -shape the separatists on which to carry out their anti-China separatist activities,” the embassy spokesperson said – “or China will be forced to react accordingly.”

On May 5, led by Penpa Tsering, the Tibetan administration appeared before the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development to discuss political and human rights issues in the Chinese-controlled autonomous region.

“As the leader of the organization, Tsering is a downright anti-China separatist whose purpose of the visit is to sell the idea of ​​Tibetan independence and advance the internationalization of Tibet-related issues,” said the spokesperson. “Basically, he is engaged in anti-China separatist activities.”

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The issues discussed by the CTA were more deeply rooted than the separation. He reiterated that his fight was for language freedom and the salvation of Tibetan culture.

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Activists hold a portrait of the 11th Panchen Lama, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, and wave the flags of Tibet and <a class=India during a protest against the Chinese invasion of Tibet, in Kolkata on April 23, 2022.” class=”embedded-image__image lazyload” src=”https://smartcdn.gprod.postmedia.digital/nationalpost/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Panchen_Lama_of_Tibet.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=288″ srcset=”https://smartcdn.gprod.postmedia.digital/nationalpost/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Panchen_Lama_of_Tibet.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=288, https://smartcdn.gprod.postmedia.digital/nationalpost/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Panchen_Lama_of_Tibet.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=576 2x” height=”750″ loading=”lazy” width=”1000″/>
Activists hold a portrait of the 11th Panchen Lama, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, and wave the flags of Tibet and India during a protest against the Chinese invasion of Tibet, in Kolkata on April 23, 2022. Photo by DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP via Getty Images

“When Xi Jinping came to power, what little language freedom Tibetans enjoyed was demolished when he imposed the one-China policy under which there was no room for the practice of a language and culture other than Chinese language and culture,” Tsering said in a statement.

Along with a request for protection of its language and culture, the Tibetan administration also appealed to the committee regarding the long-standing case of Gendun Choekyi Nyima, the 11th Panchen Lama of Tibet, who has been missing for 27 years. The Panchen Lama is the second highest figure in Tibetan Buddhism and was appointed to this position when he was 6 years old.

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He has since been detained, although the Chinese government insists he is in protective custody.

“The Chinese government always says he is healthy and warm and does not want to be disturbed,” Tsering said. “So at least if there’s evidence that he’s alive or not, that would be soothing to Tibetans.”

The Central Tibetan Administration has requested that Canada’s Ambassador to China meet with the Panchen Lama to ensure his well-being. They also want the Panchen Lama to be recognized as a victim of enforced disappearance and as a person who has been deprived of human rights.

The Panchen Lama has been described as the world’s youngest political prisoner, but the embassy spokesman dismissed the claim, saying the 11th Penchan Lama, now in his 30s, is just a Chinese citizen ordinary leading an average life.

“The affairs of Xizang (of Tibet) are purely China’s internal affairs which do not allow any interference from outside,” the spokesperson said.

It would not be the first time that Canada has intervened in matters related to China.

Relations between Canada and China have been troubled in recent years due to issues surrounding the imprisonment of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. The Canadians were taken prisoner in China in retaliation for Canada’s involvement in the extradition of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou to the United States.