Beijing commemorated the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Tibet Autonomous Region and called for the acceptance of Communist rule.

China celebrated the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Tibet Autonomous Region on the roof of the world and called for the acceptance of Communist rule.

Since the Chinese People’s Liberation Army marched and took control of the so-called “peaceful liberation” in 1951, Beijing has ruled this remote western region.

“Tibet can develop and prosper only under the leadership of the party and under socialism,” Wang Yang, the head of the national organization responsible for uniting all ethnic groups and parties under the leadership of the Communist Party, said at an event in the capital of the region on Thursday, Lhasa.

During the changing of the guard in front of the Potala Palace in Lhasa, armed police officers exchanged positions [File: Thomas Peter/Reuters]

The celebration was attended by nearly 10,000 people and was held at the foot of the iconic Potala Palace, a Buddhist holy place related to the Dalai Lama.

The national live television of the celebration highlighted a four-story portrait of Chinese President Xi Jinping towering in front of the audience.

Propaganda staff in the 1950s and 1960s used to display Mao Zedong’s portrait extensively in rallies and celebrations to create a cult of personality and cultivate loyalty around him.

Most leaders after Mao banned this practice, although his personal portraits and portraits of him and the four former leaders were widely placed in Tibet under Xi Jinping’s rule.

The party’s atheist Han leaders in Beijing have also made extra efforts to cultivate the loyalty of Tibetans, many of whom are devout Buddhists who traditionally regard the Dalai Lama as their spiritual leader.

Beijing calls the current Dalai Lama exiled to neighboring India a dangerous separatist, and recognizes that the current Panchen Lama appointed by the party is the highest religious figure in Tibet.

As a sign of the party’s rule of Tibetan Buddhism, Wang presented a commemorative plaque to the Panchen Lama at the ceremony.


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