Chinese President Xi Jinping paid an unexpected visit to Tibet.
Video clips shared on Chinese social media by the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT), a Washington-based rights group, show Xi speaking to residents of the town of Nyingtri, walking out of a store in the Barkhor district in Lhasa and remarking to the public, while facing the “Monument of the Pacific Liberation of Tibet” in front of the Potala Palace, the traditional winter residence of the Dalai Lama.
Xi last visited the Tibet Autonomous Region, which spans about half of Tibet, in 2011, when he was vice president of China. At the same time, he visited Lhasa, Nyingtri and Shigatse.
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Tibet shows how Tibet continues to feature in Chinese political considerations, as the visit is linked to the 70th anniversary of the so-called ‘peaceful liberation of Tibet’, ICT said .
“Severe flooding hit China’s Henan Province even while Xi was in Tibet. However, the manner in which the visit was organized and the complete lack of immediate media coverage of the visit indicate that Tibet continues to be a sensitive issue and that the Chinese authorities do not have confidence in their legitimacy with the people. Tibetan. “
The ICT, citing a source, said Xi first landed at Mailing Airport in Nyingtri, southeast Tibet, on July 20. 60th anniversary of the 17-point Accord, he first went to Lhasa.
But this time, he said, he first came to meet the people of Nyingtri, telling them that no ethnic group should be left behind in efforts to fully build a modern socialist China.
Xi said the public should work for the rejuvenation of China and the next 100 years of the Chinese Communist Party.
The president was also seen addressing a rally in front of the Potala Palace in Lhasa, where he said that “as long as we follow the Communist Party and as long as we stay on the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, we will surely achieve the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation as planned “.
The source told ICT that Xi may also visit one of Lhasa’s monasteries, possibly Drepung Monastery, during this trip.
Three separate sources told ICT that their acquaintances in Lhasa have reported unusual activity and monitoring of their movements over the past few days, indicating a visit from an important leader.
People have said they have received calls from security officials checking their activities for no apparent reason. Roads in several sections of Lhasa were blocked, and Lhasa city authorities announced a ban on drones and kites in Lhasa from July 21 to August 17.
While heightened security is expected for Xi’s visit anywhere, it is unusual that even Chinese state media did not report on his visit to Nyingtri and Lhasa, even though two days have passed. already elapsed since his arrival.