Beijing has begun increasingly referring to Tibet as ‘Xizang’ amid its recent ‘white paper’ showcasing Tibet’s development under Chinese president Xi Jinping
Amidst the debate in New Delhi’s power corridors about calling India’s northern border in the Himalayas as its ‘border with Tibet’ instead of with China, Beijing has started referring to Tibet as ‘Xizang’.
China observers in India believe Beijing has been doing propaganda on Tibet since 1950 when its People’s Liberation Army (PLA) marched into Tibet. They believe that by using the name Xizang, instead of Tibet, China is putting its stamp on the region and trying to erase Tibetans’ cultural identity
It is all seen as in line with China’s future plans in Tibet. “This has serious security implications for India as well since China calls Arunachal Pradesh as Zangnan, a part of Xizang,” said an observer based in New Delhi, adding that clarity on this from segments of the Chinese civil society would be extremely helpful in countering Beijing’s narratives on Tibet.
Observers maintained that the ‘White Paper’ on Tibet was similar to Mao Zedong’s (founder of the People’s Republic of China) approach to Tibet in the 1950s. In 1951, the CCP Tibet Work Committee, headed by Zhang Jingwu and Zhang Guohua, reported that “the high tide of the socialist transformation has emerged all over the country” and that “the minority areas neighbouring Tibet are all preparing to conduct democratic reforms”. This is similar to what is being reported in numerous white papers being brought out now on Tibet’s development and how Tibetans enjoy prosperity in ‘Xizang’.