China celebrates 65th anniv of Tibet takeover along India-Bhutan borders

[ KJM Varma ]

BEIJING, 30 Mar: China, which is building numerous villages in Tibet close to its borders with India and Bhutan, has held several celebratory events to mark its takeover of Tibet in the new border villages with a mix of border troops and the local population, the official media here reported.

China, which refers to Tibet by its Chinese name Xizang, in recent years as part of new nomenclature of all references to the Tibetan region celebrates 28 March as ‘democratic reform day’ in the Himalayan region, marking the end of the rule of the Dalai Lama, who fled to India in 1959.

Chinese troops took over Tibet in 1951.

“Last Thursday marked the 65th anniversary of the democratic reform that ended feudal serfdom in southwest China’s Xizang Autonomous Region, with multiple grand celebrations and commemorative activities held across the region,” state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

State-run Global Times in its report highlighted the commemoration of the day in the new border villages built along the borders of India and Bhutan.

China has been pressing ahead with its plans to build well-furnished villages in both the Indian and Bhutan borders, raising concerns in both countries.

According to a report by the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post last month, three of the villages with new buildings to accommodate locals and soldiers were built on the disputed boundary with Bhutan.

The Post report said that the villages were part of China’s state-led poverty alleviation scheme to provide better living conditions but they also doubled as “citadels” to strengthen national security.

The Global Times reported that so far, China has built about 624 villages in the border region.

“Across the border regions of southwest China’s Xizang (Tibet) Autonomous Region, the 65th anniversary of democratic reform was celebrated with enthusiasm and reflection,” Global Times reported on Friday.

“Today’s Xizang sees continuous, rapid development in its border areas, with 624 border well-off villages fully established,” it said.

Yan Jinhai, deputy secretary of the ruling Communist Party of China, Xizang Autonomous Regional Committee, and chairman of the People’s Government of Xizang Autonomous Region, while highlighting the connectivity of the region with 100 percent of broadband and 4G signals, said that Xizang would persist in balancing troop stationing with civilian settlement and emphasising both border consolidation and development, the report said.

“Efforts will be made to tilt policies, projects and funds more toward the border areas, promoting frontier prosperity to reinforce border defence, border security, and the happiness of border residents,” he said.

In Yadong county, located in the southern borderlands of Xigaze city and intersecting with India and Bhutan, eight celebration events were held across its townships from Tuesday to Thursday, the Global Times report said.

The celebrations were also held in Medog county in the south of Nyingchi, at the China-India border, besides the newly-built Cona city, it said. (PTI)