Taiwan’s “2023 Cycling for a Free Tibet” was organized on February 8 by Tibetan activists and allies, who claimed that China’s persecution of Tibet had not abated over the years and had instead just found new methods to subjugate Tibetans. DNA is taken from Tibetans to increase Tibetan monitoring, and Tibetan children are compelled to attend residential schools that resemble prison camps in order to obtain a Chinese education.
The Human Rights Network for Tibet and Taiwan’s then-President, Tashi Tsering, created the yearly event, Cycling for a Free Tibet, in 2011. Since then, the pastime has expanded significantly and has become more popular every year. Cycling in a circle also represents the reality that the fight for a Free Tibet will go on as long as it is necessary.
The 64th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising will be celebrated on March 10, 2023, marking the conclusion of this year’s “Cycling for a Free Tibet,” with the theme “Oppression Continues, Resistance Persists,” which began on February 8, 2023, with awareness campaign programs at various locations in Taiwan.
The Human Rights Network for Tibet and Taiwan’s Executive Director, Tashi Tsering, stated: “This year commemorates the 64th commemoration of Tibetan national Uprising Day. I still recall that there were only seven Tibetans carrying Tibetan banners, images of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and English chants when the first march took place in Taipei in 2004. However, after 20 years, the yearly March 10th march has grown in significance for Taiwanese citizens or, at the very least, for the country’s social movement.
Under Xi Jinping’s slogan of “the sense of community for the Chinese nation,” Tibetan children are compelled to attend boarding schools that resemble concentration camps in order to receive a Chinese colonial education; Tibetans’ DNA is collected in order to increase surveillance of them; religious persecution has increased; and Tibetan culture and traditions are being eradicated.
“Seventy years after the 17 Agreements were signed in 1951, Tibetans are still having difficulty. When discussing the rising number of people opposing the Chinese government, Tashi said, “We have seen not only Tibetans, but also East Turkestan, Southern Mongolia, Hong Kong, and even the Chinese themselves, fight against the tyranny of the Chinese Communist rule.
According to a statement from Cycling for a Free Tibet, Tibet has a long history of independence and a distinctively rich religious, cultural, and political heritage. Tibetans have been denied their independence since 1951, when the Chinese Liberation Army entered Tibet and compelled the local government of Tibet to sign the 17th Point Agreement, also known as the Agreement between the Central People’s Government and the Local Government of Tibet. 10,000 people participated in a national demonstration in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, on March 10, 1959, which led to a violent assault by the Chinese troops and police. The greatest political and religious figure in Tibet, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, was forced to escape with hundreds of other Tibetans to India.
According to the statement, the courageous Tibetans have continued to demonstrate against the aggressor since the 1959 rebellion, with significant demonstrations taking place in Lhasa and across Tibet in 1987, 1988, and 1989. There were numerous demonstrations across the region in March 2008, just before China held the Beijing Olympics, which were violently suppressed. More than 150 Tibetans have set themselves on fire since 2009 to protect their faith, honor, and views both inside and outside Tibet as the Chinese government’s persecution of Tibetans intensifies.
The statement continued, “The religious, cultural, language and other customs of Tibet, as well as its delicate natural environment, have been badly harmed by repressive policies under Chinese imperial control and a firm policy of integration and Sinicization.
The statement concluded, “Today, 64 years later, the oppression of Tibet by the Chinese Communist Party has not only not stopped, but has intensified; however, Tibetans are still resisting, and for 64 years, the search for the truth will not stop, and the resistance to totalitarianism will continue. The Tibetan people are still resisting.”