China’s growth at the dawn of the 21st century was poised to be one based out of global collective values. It was stated that the upcoming years of development would be led by a peaceful Chinese nation, that intended to overturn the global order in favour of the developing world from that of the developed world. However, in a complete opposite, the Chinese rise to the top, seems to be causing significant worry to the developing world more than any it has ever faced in the previous decades. Excessive examples in the Chinese neighbourhood have brought forward the true intensions of the Chinese Communist Party in achieving a hegemonic position in the global world order. A prominent strategy in the process, thus, as seen by the CCP, is to encapsulate many if not all the disputed regions under its own stronghold. Such aspirations however in the Chinese view can only be achieved through Sinicizing regions that have been causing trouble in assimilating into Chinese culture.China’s attempt of Sinicization, in any case, in the Tibetan Buddhist identity is no hidden secret to the world. The billion-strong nation’s wider plan of integration of disputed regions, is based out of a sinister minded plot of Sinicizing regions into its own culture.
Sinicization is known as the process in which non-Chinese communities are forced under the influence of Chinese culture, specifically in the language and their cultures. The Chinese Communist Party has been attempting to declare a successor to the Dalai Lama for years but has been unsuccessful in doing so as well. The succession plans of the 14th Dalai Lama are an integral aspect of China’s approach of integrating the Tibetan region into China. Yet, in recent times, Chinese prospects have seemed to intensify in order to capitalize on an inevitable future where a successor would have to emerge either by the CCP’s directions or through the preaching’s of the Buddhist religion itself.
Recently, two internal documents recovered by Tibetan researcher revealed the extensive plans of the CCP’s to control the reincarnation of the next Dalai Lama. Although the 14th Dalai Lama has made it clear that the reincarnation process would only initiate within the value systems and preaching’s of Buddhism; and any attempt to superficially name a successor by the CCP would remain discredited within Buddhist communities around the world as well as in the Tibetan region. However, China has been reaching out tot other international Buddhist communities through financial investments as well as facilitating renovation of important Buddhist sites and financing construction of monuments with Buddhist linkages.The investments in the regions, specifically in Southeast Asia, which has a majority Buddhist population, has been invariably linked to the multi-trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative.
Yet, for the CCP, the plans on the succession are part of an integral resolution to their Tibetan issue once and for all. The CCP views the next selected Dalai Lama to be a part of their outreach ofquenching the Tibetan question while also curbing the growing animosity within the region by installing a leader of their choice and not through the religious process of Buddhism. This in itself is a significant cause for concern for regions and countries that value human rights and have constantly voiced their worry on the same.
The report published by the International Tibet Network and Tibet Justice Centre in a similar understanding as that discussed above, examined elaborately the Chinese preparations for a ‘Post Dalai Era’. The specific connotation of an era post the 14th Dalai Lama, the report states is adopted in order to convey China’s plan to capitalize on the succession race once the 14th Dalai Lama is no more.
It is quite evident that the CCP is concerting all its efforts to exploit the inevitable passing of the Dalai Lama to cement its stronghold upon the disturbed region. This invariably addresses many issues for the CCP in one go itself. Firstly, it addresses a long-standing debate on who rules over the Tibetan region; China’s legitimacy has always been questioned due to the presence of the Dalai Lama in India. Secondly, it helps the Chinese administration to quell human rights violations in the region by asserting dominance in the region through a self-installed Dalai Lama over the Autonomous Tibetan region. Finally, the succession also has worldwide implications in terms of Chinese hawkish aspirations in and around its neighbourhood.
China’s repeated attempts of human rights violations has been criticized globally and has deterred China’s plans in the Xinjiang region.However, it would not be an over statement to claim that China is willing to use its iron-fisted approach, ignoring global calls for restraint in Tibet, if the situation intensifies due to its succession plans.The ultimate goal of reshaping the Tibetan history is of topmost priority for the CCP as noted by many scholars. This may perhaps be due to various reasons, yet as the official channels of the Chinese Communist party describes it, it is stated thatsuch plans are a part of ‘China’s strategy to achieve long-term social stability’. Of course, the official narrative on the ill-intended Sinicization of the Tibetan culture is veiled through the motive of achieving long-lasting peace; yet it requires no decoding that Tibet is part of a larger plan of encapsulating regions that have been disputed for decades.
In any case, it is important to call out Chinese strategies for what they truly stand to mean; from Xinjiang to Tibet to Taiwan, Chinese intentions are a cause for concern to the world, for the buck shall not stop at Tibet if at all it manages to name the next Dalai Lama based on its self-interest; all the while discrediting the philosophical roots of the Buddhist culture. Hence it is important that vital stakeholder view any Chinese action with caution, for Chinese ploys are at the verge of causing severe instability not only in the Asian continent but also in the western world with its expansionist approach looming large all over the world.