Hiding behind the veneer of Environment Protection, Chinese Ambassador to USA sought to explain the restrictions on foreign visitors to Tibet. Speaking to a US broadcaster during an interview, Chinese Ambassador to the US Mr. Cui stated that high altitude of Tibet and its delicate environmental balance are the reasons why it regulates the number of visitors to the restive region.
Defending China’s stance on the matter in the wake of recent US caveat Cui said that they are open to ‘such’ visitors but difficult climate and high altitude of Tibet are reasons why people stay away from it. USA has recently said that Chinese visitors will be allowed access to USA based on a reciprocal basis. He also said that the delicate environment of the region makes it necessary to
regulate the number of visitors to the reason.
However this seems to be far from the truth. China has been building several projects in the region including infrastructure for its military and huge dams to divert water from the region to its southern provinces. When asked about the ‘Re-Education’ camps in Uyghur regions the ambassador refused to deny the presence of such camps. He said that Uighurs are being ‘re-educated’ in order to learn new skill and give up extremist ideologies.
Chinese ambassador appeared on back foot while putting a weak and unjust defense of Chinese policies in Tibet and Uighurs. The Chinese ambassador’s efforts failed to hide the reality that access to sensitive areas such as Tibet and Xinjiang is becoming impossible, not only for journalists but for others as well.
China recently refused to renew the visa of a BuzzFeed reporter who reportedly extensively on Xinjiang, for example. Another reporter for Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper was also detained last year when reporting there. Chinese Infrastructure building in Tibet (Remember Doklam Standoff) and continued military exercises in Tibet are inconsistent with its claims of
Environment Protection in Tibet. The reality might just be diametrically opposed to it.
The world community must increase pressure on China to allow more access to Tibet. Trump’s America and its insinuations to use all levers to pressurize China is an opportunity that may not come in long time if not seized this time.