• Open-source #satellite data to investigate #Xinjiang concentration camps

    The second part of this series discusses techniques on how to analyse a dire human rights situation in and around Xinjiang’s re-education and detention facilities.

    A pressing need to investigate characteristics of Xinjiang’s detention camps

    The story has been widely covered. Calls by human rights advocates to define China’s practices as ‘genocide’ grow louder. Hundreds of thousands of Uighurs, Kazakhs and other Muslims detained in internment camps. Many still are.

    “Inmates undergo months or years of indoctrination and interrogation aimed at transforming them into secular and loyal supporters of the party”, the New York Times wrote and published documents that unmistakably prove a dire human rights situation in the west of China.

    First China denied the camps ever existed. Then the Chinese consulate doesn’t bother anymore to play a smoke and mirror game and admits: “Xinjiang has set up vocational education and training centres in order to root out extreme thoughts…”. Their purpose: ‘compulsory programs for terrorist criminals’.

    Now, the language changed again. China’s President said the ‘strategy for governing Xinjiang in the new era is completely correct.’

    Unacceptable (and unwise) of some to deny it. Social media commentators, some who are frequently quoted by large media organisations, keep casting doubt on the tragic story. Margaret_Kimberley tweeted — after an ITV news report emerged — “These are lies. There is no evidence of Uighur concentration camps. More hybrid war against China” (it received 2,000 likes).

    While there is no room left to doubt that these camps do exist, there remains vast uncertainty whether investigative journalists and human rights advocates located all facilities spread out across the province.

    Researchers/journalists who made it their beat to find them, like Nathan Ruser at Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), says “we don’t believe that we have found them all”, after posting 380 facilities online.

    Germany’s chancellor last week said China’s President Xi offered delegates to send envoys to visit Xinjiang province [and camps] to see for themselves. Chances increase to see more of the so-called ‘show camps’ for a short period of time or as long as the visits take (the BBC encountered it when it visited last time). Xi also ensured that there will be an ‘ongoing human-rights dialogue’. But Ursula von der Leyen tweeted “a lot remains to be done .. in other chapters of our relations”.

    Satelite investigations exposing more and more evidence. OSINT journalists rely on them. It’s one reason why some open-source intelligence journalism colleagues keep hearing rumours that some of the camps may have moved underground (e.g. detention in under-surface facilities) to hide from the spying eyes and scrutiny of satellite data analysts (we don’t have proof for this thesis but I encourage you to reach out if you have evidence).
    Mounting number of facilities

    The number of confirmed facilities steadily grew. A 2018 BBC investigation looked at 101 campsites, which got pinpointed via various media reports and academic research, the author says.

    Most recently, Buzzfeed investigated 268 compounds, many from previous lists I worked on too. In February, the list of ‘confirmed re-education camps’, so lower-security sites, mainly for indoctrination purposes, was limited to mere 50 facilities. ‘Confirmed’ in this context means they have been validated by eye-witness reports. Back then, there were another 170 that had yet to be confirmed.

    It is of vital importance to keep this investigation rolling. This means to forensically document the changes in these camps and to spend more time on characterizing each detail. ASPI just dropped a new list and we are going to work with that one instead of the original 50 we received (the list can be downloaded here and geodata that can be simply dragged and dropped into QGIS and Google Earth Pro, it is available here).

    Finally, news broke via Reuters (and research by Adrian Zenz) that evidence of forced labour is mounting also in Tibet (we will look into this later, too).
    List of ‘expanded camps’ extended

    Earlier in the year US-based Uighure group ETNAM shared a list with around 50 confirmed sites. We and others scrutinised this list on increased activity on the ground via aggregated satellite remote sensing data (link). The list was shared as klm. file. It helped enormously with going through them one by one. All the coordinates as well as the Chinese names of the places are accessible via Google Earth Pro. Now that ASPI dropped a new list with coordinates and updated 2020 records, some of the work we have started can be extended and match.

    Because we are most interested in the camps that got expanded (so buildings or features were added), we will concentrate on the list of facilities that were developed. It includes a list of 61 sites.

    Why is the onus on expanded camps? In addition to the characteristics ASPI added as classifiers, the extended camps might tell us where the local administration invests and where forced labour in the firm of Uighur prisoners went. We added a few more details for each facility that we thought was worth looking at (see sheet above).
    We will go through various ways to characterise/investigate facilities and their surroundings

    First significant markers includes the size of the camps. That includes quantitative details such as the number of buildings on the premise and adjacent to it. We will go through how to compare them. There are the walls of camps that are usually quite straight-lined. Their height, which we will define and validate, and the walls’ thickness may tell us something about recent developments (e.g. how secure the sites are, or were meant to be).

    Guard towners are also a quantifiable element. ASPI and others counted them. Because they can be seen from outside they may act as a signal to local residents. That is also likely the reason why those facilities that have some or all of their towers removed recently tend to locate closer to residential buildings (see my stats below).

    These changes are further revealing as they may tell us something about how the local government in various parts of the region varied in their response to international pressure (or not, by keeping them in place). ‘A lot [camps] had their security features removed in the second half of 2019’, Zenz explained. Some remained in place (important to add here, it remains doubtful that conditions improved inside of the camps, even if towers or security features were removed).

    Zenz has an explanation for some of the changes: “On the same time they invited all these delegations and visitors, they released a lot of people. If you release a lot of people, you can afford to run with fewer security features. That can still be run like an internment camp, I’m sure”. We will look closer at what has changed ourselves.

    Including those features above, there are a number of other aspects to take into account. We put them into the list below — each will be discussed separately:

    What blue factory buildings in and around camps can tell us
    What typical ‘prison features’ tell us
    What cars in parking lots tell us about personnel working at the facilities during Covid-19
    What walls can tell us
    What guard towers can tell us
    What sports facilities can tell us
    What the shapes/types of buildings and location can tell us
    What agricultural space (e.g. fields) around the camps can tell us
    What potential crematory sites reveal
    What Xinjiang’s export tell us
    What population/urbanisation numbers tell us about internment and surveillance
    What Baidu maps can tell us

    Blue-roofed factory buildings

    In satellite images, they are very pronounced with their blue coating. They may also heat up in the summer.

    Most of them are factory buildings, has been reported. You can see them added in and around camp facilities, whether they are low or high security premises.

    We can quantify them by counting them or via quantifying the space they take up. ASPIT decided to count them, though some buildings are smaller and other are massive. Google Earth has a polygon area measuring tool. A third option is to write a statistical model to calculate square meters factory floor space. If you are lazy you can consult a service that helps you with that via a visual detection algorithm — it calculates the area and records the number of blue roof buildings for a given satellite image.

    One of the camps that expanded in the past two years is the tier 1 low-security re-education facility in Bugur in Bayingolu (41.808855284.3005783). It has a dense network of factory buildings nearby (around 23) and within its own walls there are eight. We used ASPI’s data to confirm this that noted: ‘considerable room for expansion’.

    Let’s run the classification system over it and classify how much blue-roofed buildings that scatter around the camp can we count (importantly not all are factory spaces but many will be).

    On the AI model: I downloaded the images with their highest resolution from Google Earth. To make the image a bit clearer for the model, I adjusted the brightness, upped the contrast and tinkered with the exposure. We can see the blue buildings, roughly in a radius of 1.5 to 2 miles (see image), account for about 1,464.9 m² (0.15ha). The number of little blue buildings expanded considerably since 2014 where they accounted for 1,022m2 (0.10 ha) — sadly we only have an image for 2014 and one for 2019.

    Short intersection on the availability of images available in Google Earth:

    Some of the important images to document the progression of these camps are missing. Some camps have a mere handful of publically available images (as in the case above). This is appalling and private satellite image companies need to be nudged to make more images public. Especially for the latest developments, this is urgently needed. Researchers noted down the latest dates for which images are available at the time of writing. Below we see them grouped by months, and then by facility category (tier 1 to 4).

    What about bias to provide fewer updates on higher-security facilities? We don’t have much to go in here (there is no direct evidence that western satellite companies are being pressured into not publishing their images for camps on Google). Despite only a few camps that didn’t get updated at all over the past two years, we can see at the time of writing that Google and others hold more images for lower tier facilities (1 and 2) than for higher-security facilities (tier 3 and 4):

    Continuing on the factories, another example is the facility in Maralbeshi County (39°49’7.84"N, 78°31’4.37"E). It was erected around 2017/2018. In Google Earth, you can see how the blue-roofed buildings surround the internment complex. Note, how the larger blue factory complexes to the left and right were there before the camp was erected.

    In other words, the camp was planned and embedded into existing factory operation. It further corroborates a thesis that factory work by prisoners (in the form of forced labour), was part of a grander plan all along (though, to be certain, looking at satellite images alone does not suffice).

    Adrain Zenz thinks blue roof factories is something that warrants looking into in more detail. A bunch of these blue roof factory building were erected in 2018, especially in the second half. Zenz explains it’s important timing because the policy documents on forced labour, as explained in his post from last December, shows that a lot of this kind of policy was released in the first half or mid of 2018.

    A recent Buzzfeed investigation did mention blue roofs but surprisingly didn’t pay more attention to the matter. The factories grow in importance as the forced labour of imprisoned groups is being increasingly ‘commercialised’.

    ASPI’s data recorded the distance (measured in km I assume) between the 380 facilitates and the local/nearest industrial parks — where some of the forced labour could have moved to put to work. The data categorizes facilities in four areas of security (ranging from Tier 1= re-education camp to Tier 4= prison facility). Tear two and tier three camps tend to be located more closely to the industrial centre of the towns, the data suggests (see chart below):

    Zenz adds: “what’s significant is the sudden increase of blue roof, single story, flat type factory buildings. It’s consistent with policy, and also release, the Karakax list also talks about people being released into forced labour. A lot of that took place in 2019.”

    The blue metal barracks found in Dabancheng shining light yellow in the sentinel IR images as they are being reflected. Low res Sentinel 2 data also suggests that these metal-like structures in the south of the Payzawat camp (Payzawat County, 39.538372, 76.713606) may also heat up in the summer. SWIR (short-wave infrared imagery) and NIR can be used for heat monitoring.

    Prisons features: camps that imprisoned people become more ‘secure’ not less:

    Among the around 60 camps that have expanded recently, half of it are tier 3 or tier 4 facilities —detention centers and prisons with high security features.

    While it is true that some camps removed some of the towers and other security features (labelled ‘desecuritisation’ by ASPI’s records), others increased theirs. Those happened to be facilities that are detention centres and prison. In the context that Chinese authorities moved prisoners to these more secure facilities with less transparency and harsher treatments, this is cause for concern.

    Let’s look at an example. From the list of expanded camps, there is the camps Yarkant Facility in the Kashgar prefecture (38.351531177.3055467). Since 2018, we saw a nearly 10,000 m2 large factory compound built (compare images from 5/8/2018 with 1/21/2018). Then, a year later, watch downers got added. There are now 8 towners. For such a small facility that’s quite conspicuous. The reason it’s a high-security prison facility.

    Newly built detention/prison facilities created between 2018 and 2020 are of special interest. Camps like the tier 3 (detention) camp of Sanji Facility (#3, 44.102764,86.9960751), a with several watchtowers and an external wall is important as we can follow the progression of each step of the building process with high-resolution images.

    The location was probably chosen because of a lower-security area nearby, north of the facility (3/7/2018). Building must have started in the summer. A couple of months after the last shot (8/11/2018) the blue-roofed factory gets built-in the north-west of the camp (a reason to assume a direct relationship there) and within two weeks in August the main building takes shape. At the same time, the walls get erected and we can make out the layout of the facility with its heavy concrete structures.

    We can see, those are fundamentally different from building built in other lower-security camps. Then two months later it’s almost completed.

    The speed of building is noteworthy (better trackable if we had access to a more continuous stream of images). From the few images we have above and those from Sentinel 2, below, we can assume that it took the developers between three to four months in pure building time to pull it up — an astonishing pace. China is renowned for its fast building pace. For many other areas, such as coal plants and artificial island-building its cookie-cutter approach — where blueprints are being re-used over and over again - it permits building more quickly.

    Other who looked at the situation in Xinjiang reported that many Uighurs held in lower-tier facilities could have been moved/transferred to higher-tier prisons. In other words, despite some re-education camps have experienced ‘de-securitisation’, half of the camps that expanded are higher security facilities, so tier 3 (detention) or tier 4 (prison) camp facilities.

    What parking lots tell us about the camps during Covid-19

    I believe this topic has largely remained unexplored. Busy parking lots are one way to tell how many staff members are on site. Especially interesting it this for the recent month that were affected by coronavirus. We dont know much about the conditions inside of the facilities.

    But with fewer staff members around (and fewer visitors allowed — previous reporting has revealed that detention centres have ‘small visitor centres’), the lives of inmates may have worsened. There was some reporting that Covid-19 cases spiralled in the province of Xinjiang and some expressed concern that cases could spread within camps. It’s possible, no doubt. With only a few cases in the whole region, though, the risk is lower.

    Pandemic related fears may have affected the material and food supply. Sick imprisoned detainees may go without healthcare treatment for weeks or months. All these are assumptions for which we have little evidence. But the possibility alone raises concerns. If it is true that prisoners remained in the facilities during Covid, they could have suffered from the absence of staff and proper care.

    From satellite images, it is hard to know — though there is some evidence from an eyewitness account shared by a historian, a Georgetown professor on his Medium page.

    We might be able to tell how many temporary people were on sites (those that use their car to leave for the night). Counting vehicles at nearby car parks is one way.

    At some facilities, we can clearly see the parking lot. An example is Ghulja City (43°58’37.52"N, 81° 8’18.98"E). It’s a fairly large car park. We can use Picterra system (there is a 10 day free trial version) to check the satellite images for May 23 — thought there isn’t much to count, the car park is empty.

    Seven months earlier, on October 24th of 2019, we count around 120 cars (with some false positives, but that’s good enough for us). The algo gives you a count so you don’t have to count the red boxes one by one. Once trained, we can run it on subsequent images.

    Let’s walk you through how to train and count the cars. I simplify here (a more complete tutorial can be found here and in their platform). First, we use one of the images to train the algorithm on the cars in the car park. Then we run it on the other pictures. It’s neat and simple (and quick if you don’t have time to run your own statistical model in python).

    The number of vehicles dropped during the heights of Covid-19.

    We could do this for other confirmed location such as the facility in Chochek City (Tǎchéng Shì, 46°43’3.79"N, 82°57’15.23"E) where car numbers dropped in April. We see this in many other facilities (for those that expanded).

    Hotan City Facility #1 (37.1117019, 79.9711546) with 81 cars in the parking lot at the end of 2019 dropped to 10 during the height of the pandemic. Similar developments have been perceived at Hotan County Facility 1 (37.2420734 79.8595074), Ghulja Facility 1 (43.9756437 81.5009539) and a number of others.
    Calculating rooms and capacity

    How many people fit in a facility. If we take the example of the re-education camp in Chochek City ( 46°43’3.79"N, 82°57’15.23"E), we have high res Google images for the end of March and end of April of 2020. We can see the thin middle part is three stories high and in earlier images (Jul 18, 19) we can see the southern part is four stories high. In 2018, we got an image of the foundation when it was built. This provides enough detail to calculate that the facility has around 367 rooms — for the total t-shaped building with the arms.

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    In the example above, we shouldn’t be too sure that alls detainees were kept in the facility during Covid. Some reports claim that some of the other lower security re-education centres kept people ‘only during the day for indoctrination classes’ (it’s certainly different for the high-security prison facility that is also on the premise of the Payzawat facility, see in the south, with their towers).

    Comparing camp sizes

    The total size of the camps matters, especially when they get extended. Most of the camps have clear wall frames build around them. It’s one of the most important and simple characteristics. The wall frames makes it relatively easy to draw shapes in your geolocation system of choice (the sheer size of the walls, might be less ideal to gauge the number of prisoners).

    Some have vast empty space in between might suggest that other faculty sections or factory buildings are due to be added. Some are cramped with building.

    Tracing and calculating the area of wall frames in Google Earth for some of the largest camps, we get what we already knew:

    To emulate the work ASPI’s data was posted here. A number of track and trace tutorials for Google Earth (one here on measuring property space) are available on YouTube.
    Staking out camp size:

    The Qariqash County/قاراقاش ناھىيىسى‎ /墨玉县(Mòyù Xiàn, 37° 6’44.88"N, 79°38’32.71"E) sits in the South of the large stretch of desert.

    We use the polygon tool in Google Earth to stake out the clearly marked walls. You usually end up with a rectangle. Under measurements (right-click on the item) you can see the perimeter is around 1.65 km and the area is roughly 16.7 hectares (0.17 square km).

    Now we can compare it with another one on the list, the camp in Aqsu City (41°11’27.12"N, 80°16’25.08"E). It’s markedly smaller, with a perimeter of 1.1km and only an area of 5.65 hectares. There are other ways to do this in QGIS, a geoinformation system more efficiently.
    What can walls and towers tell us?

    How tall are walls at some of the camps? The answer varies across the vast variety of facilities. Height may tell us something about who built the camp and the level of security. It’s unsurprising to find different heights at different camps built by different planners.

    Where we don’t have shades available, we can check the two images above and reference them with the people in the image and define the height this way. Another standard way to calculate height is using the shades by the walls and towers and calculate the height via Google Earth and SunCalc.

    The shade of the southern wall in the satellite image from 03/19/2020 for the Dabancheng camp is around 7.62 meters long. The towers on the southern wall for those dates result in a height of around ~8meters.

    But the images in the Reuters shots look different. That’s why they were taken a year or two earlier. Satellite images from 4/22/2018 show clearly the octagonal shapes of the tower shades. If we calculate again, the shade of the tower is around 9 meters long, translating into around 14 meters in height.

    We do this for the wall as well. What we find is that, although the towers disappeared (though, some are still there, just not protruding so visibly), the only thing that really changed is the height of the walls — now around 13.5m tall, compared with 9.5m in 2018. The same towners, removed from one Dabancheng camp, then re-emerged half a kilometre south-east at the other newly built one (2019).

    Why are we even bothering measuring height? On one hand we want to answer how security changed across the camps. Are walls getting higher? Do they change in their layout. It helps to classify the type of camps. The higher the walls, the more secure they probably were meant to be. Higher wall might mean higher chance that prisoners are held at facilities over night. It also may help to disprove claims by XJ denialists.

    We can verify the Suncalc analysis with images. Cherchen County, for which we reviewed images for 12/14/19 shows roughly the same height. Explainer how to measure the height of an object from satellite image available here and here.

    The number of press images of the camps is limited. Most are by Reuters or AFP/Badung Police. It is this one here (37°14’29.78"N, 79°51’35.00"E). More local street footage, though not of camps, might be obtainable via Mapillary.

    Buildings shapes/outlines and location of camps

    Let’s start with the location of the facilities first. ASPI recorded the type of security for its 380 odd facilities, and for many the distance to populated areas such as residential buildings. When local administration planned on where to place the facilities they might have taken into account how the neighbouring public should (or shouldn’t) perceived them. More secluded camps are more hidden from public scrutiny. Those near people’s homes or schools may be placed there to have the opposite effect.

    What’s immediately apparent when running a few inferential statistics on the records is that the more secure detention centres tend to be kept further away from buzzing residential areas — meaning, further away than for instance Tier 1 re-education camps, which are often nestled between residential parts of cities, or occupying old schools.

    Agriculture/fields around the camps — investigating forced labour by detainees

    Identifying agricultural fields near or around facilities may reveal some potential aspects of how forced labour in the camps were used in close vicinity.

    Especially for secluded faculties, with not much else urban life going on (so reducing the possibility that other local farmers were involved in working the them), the chance increases that Uighurs detained were used.

    One example is the facility near Yingye’ercun, in Gulja, with a 0.16km2 large campground (43°58’37.52"N, 81° 8’18.98"E). The farming area that was developed since 2018 (shortly after the multistorey buildings was built in the core of the facility) spans 1.7km2 and is clearly marked (which includes the facility itself, see in red below).

    In other words, once the camp was built the fields surrounding it got worked and developed— unlikely to be only a convenient coincident. The nearby factory complex was also extended.

    Often it warrant also checking with Sentinel 2 images on EO browser. In this case, it’s useful because it allows us to visualise agricultural development via its invisible light remote sensing capabilities. Additional bands (which Google images lack) give access to the invisible spectrum and shows the agricultural expansion (here shown in red via the false colour composite, commonly used to assess plant density and health, “since plants reflect near-infrared and green light, while they absorb red”. Exposed ground are grey or tan, vegetation is red).
    Image for post

    Another camp in this regard is the Maralbeshi Facility (#6) in Kashgar (39.7406222 78.0115086) with lots of fields surrounding it.

    Why is the forced labour aspect in Xinjiang’s agriculture so important in this debate? For one, it’s part of the human rights abuse that more and more governments and industry leaders recognise (such as Swedish company H&M, who profited from cotton supplies and other kinds within their supply chain). Some decided to cut ties with suppliers in the region. It may the answer for the short term. In the long run, western businesses much apply pressure to get suppliers on their own to dissuade local forced labour practices (see example on ads that emerged to sell Uighur forced labour online).

    According to the ILO Forced Labour Convention from 1930, forced or compulsory labour is defined as ‘all work or service which is exacted from any person under the threat of a penalty and for which the person has not offered himself or herself voluntarily’.
    Sports grounds: (basketball and other sports courts)

    Some found value in observing their development. BBC’s John Sudworth found that just before a press tour organised for his press teams two years ago the appearance of recreational areas altered. In some of the places they were taken to, satellite images and the internal security fencing — and what looked like watchtowers- where taken down shortly before the tours for journalists began. Specifically on sports grounds, they noticed that empty exercise yards have been transformed into sports facilities.

    The reporters asked: if the journalists have been presented with mere ‘show camps’, what may this say about the places they were not taken to. Sport facilities are quite easy to spot from satellite. The BBC travelled to Kaxgar in the very east of the region, about 100km south of Kazakhstan’s border. Their footages shows how the camp put up courts shortly before the press trip. But they didn’t last long. We found evidence that these very courts disappeared again in early 2020 (see below).

    In one of the camps in Qariqash (37°15’32.54"N, 79°44’52.08"E) the sports facilities were made unavailable as recently as July. Now big brown sheets, what looks like blankets with knobs on them, cover them. Those have never appeared on satellite images before and extend to the soccer field in the north and the big parking lot next to the sports courts.

    I have mixed feelings about recreational activities. We must strongly doubt that they benefit people held for indoctrination. So are they only a smoke and mirror game to show the friendliness of re-educational camps? Or are they actually benefiting the imprisoned? It is hard to say. In recent time, they are more likely to be added than removed. In around 37 facilities on the ASPI list basketball courts, running tracks or other sports fields were noted to have been added or extended.

    When we compare the average distance of residential building for these places (1.2km) with the average distance of all the places where we have a record on the distance to buildings (1.8km), we find the recreational activities might be used as an element to signal the locals that the facilities have those recreational features.

    Dabancheng has one court in the western block and a number of other ones in the centre part. In the eastern wing, there is nothing. We haven’t got any further high res satellite images on Dabancheng (other than those until March 2020, that leaves only checking Sentinel 2 images or commercial images).

    I am going to stop here. The analysis of recreational areas yielded rather little, for me and the folks at ASPI. “I don’t think the sports grounds mean much in the detention regime”, Nathan Ruser says. If you have more info do reach out or leave a comment.
    Crematories

    The New York Times followed the lead of findings (that emerged last year, also mentioned in the state.gov report) and check the extent of description of religious sites and burial grounds. In September, the team reported that ‘thousands of religious sites’, such as mosques, shrines and other sites were bulldozed or replaced.

    As many burial grounds disappeared and people within camps families have never heard from again, the question of how Uighurs’ life proceeded became more pressing. Crematories may be one aspect. Some anecdotal evidence by a source spoke of a nascent growth of crematory sites in the areas near camps. This appears important in the context of how prisoners are treated in facilities and what happens if they die and at what rates.

    High prevalence of tuberculosis in facilities worries insiders. TB is spread via droplets through the air by someone who is infected. It’s especially deadly when the immune system of those who caught it, can’t cope with it. With the conditions reported by some of the eyewitnesses, it is feasible that the hard conditions prisoners are being subjected to, could enhance the deadliness of TB.

    The think tank which produced a previous list of facilities searched and found a handful of crematories (I don’t think they concluded the research and it continues, perhaps with your help of OSINT research).

    The reason why crematories are of interest is that Uighur are Muslim, Muslims don’t burn the bodies of their dead. They bury them (creation is strictly forbidden). Seeing more crematories pop up might be a first clue on whether dead bodies from detention facilities are being burned. We have to stress here, we have to be extremely careful with drawing quick conclusions, the base of evidence is thin. One would need to check local statistics and cross-examine them with other data source.

    We will concentrate only on the sites itself. The ‘unconfirmed sample of crematory’ consists of ten sites. These are listed below. Just a word of warning. Feel free to investigate them further — either via additional satellite footage or on-site visits. Nonetheless, these get us started. The first three are confirmed by eyewitness accounts or local records (as far as I was told, this is sadly only secondary research).

    Cr_Gholja_01 (Existed, 44° 0’17.86"N, 81°13’40.43"E); Cr_Artush_01(Existed, 39°44’35.47"N, 76°12’7.49"E); Urumchi 2 Funeral Parlor (Existed, 43°54’55.20"N; 87°36’9.01"E)

    Cri_Hotan01_(Suspected)
    Cr_Artush_02 (Suspected)
    Cr_Hotan_02(Suspected)
    Cr_Urumqi_02 (Suspected)
    Cr_Urumqi_01 (Suspected)
    Cr_Urumqi_01(Suspected)
    CrArtush_02 (Suspected)

    Now let’s take a look at the characteristics of the confirmed crematories. They have some distinctive shapes, including a rectangular architecture, walls or a treeline that fence the premises (framed in black). Where marked ‘burial grounds’, I was unable to confirm this but checked with a few other sites mentioned in the coverage that was exposed in 2019 and it looked similar (in short, more time needs to be spent on this).

    What helped the researchers identify the confirmed ones? According to the source, the Chinese called them ‘burial management facilities’. It’s apparently a euphuism for ‘crematories’. The Chinese government bulldozed some burial grounds with the justification that they would take up too much space which was covered in the 2019 reporting.

    The other aspect is whether relatives receive the body of loved ones that die in the camps. Salih Hudayar (now Prime Minister of the East Turkistan Government-in-Exile) says he had a relative who died in a facility (he don’t know whether in the camps or the prison) and his family was not able to have his body returned. He thinks that many other Uighurs have not had the body of a deceased family members returned to them. He assumes they are being cremated as no record exists of a burial site.

    More crematories are only possible if you have employees who staff and run them. The Chinese government tried to find those employees online. “We assume they are being cremated because the government ran job ads and offering high salaries to work on these [crematory] sites”, he added.

    The suspected crematory facilities were then modelled upon the layout of the existing/confirmed ones — e.g. compared with buildings in and around the area. “We found a couple, but we are not 100% sure”, the source admits. Here OSINT journalists could become useful (let me know if you have intel on this matter to follow up with).

    On the description in 2019: evidence surfaced that 45 Uighur cemeteries have been destroyed since 2014, including 30 in just the past two years (research was carried out by AFP and satellite imagery by Earthrise Alliance, here reported by the SCMP).
    What population/urbanisation numbers tell us about internment

    Salih Hudayar explained that what worries him is that population statistics don’t square. An often-cited figure of 7 million Uighurs in the province is much lower than the official estimates of the Uighur people.

    The number often used is 12 million Turkic-speaking Muslim Uighurs. The number could be higher. Especially in the villages — Uighurs are allowed to have only three kids — some families have more than that and don’t register their offspring, as a result, many kids lack birth certificates. Other figures on the number of Uighur population is much taller (larger than twice of the 12 million figure, but remains hard to confirm that. The closes figure the Chinese government will have internally after the government’s extensive and invasive security and surveillance campaigns, in part to gain information regarding individuals’ religious adherence and practices).

    The rising number of orphanages and kindergartens is also of interest. A satellite and local administrative data analysis should track them. The premise here: the more aggressive the detention of families are in XJ (moving Uighurs from low to higher security facilities), demand for places that house children increases. More orphanages and child-caring facilities could be revealed.
    What can exports tell us about forced labour?

    The type of exports of a region can help to figures out what to look for when it comes to forced labour. Increasingly, the international textile and fashion industry wakes up to reputational damage if supply chains incorporate Xinjiang forced labour. EU leaders held a meeting with China’s president Xi last week where Xi ‘rejected’ foreign [political] meddling in his nation’s affairs. But businesses have more leverage. Xinjiang is busy trading with foreign powers. The Chinese province accounted for a large part of the world’s supply in cotton. Exports amounted to $19.3bn according to export documents (export data for the west of China can be found in China’s official data stats, Stats.gov.cn, customs.gov.cn, or mofcom — this might be useful. Comparing what the government reports and what’s happening on the ground might reveal discrepancies, as it did before).

    Exports (to Europe, across the silk road to the west) is directly connected at A busy train station connecting to the neighbouring country of Kazakstan in the northeast (the export route is called Ala Pass. A short promotional video here). Given the rebound of the Chinese economy, the shipments/trainloads must have increased in May after the effects of the pandemic subsided. What’s unclear is to what extent and whether that matches what the government said.

    Satellite images might reveal discrepancies when train containers at the Dzungarian Gate (the Dzungarian Alatau mountain range along the border between Kazakhstan and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region) are analysed. It’s the main connection between China and the west.

    The main railway station in Xinjiang for the Alataw pass is the Alashankou railway station (situated here: 45°10′13″N 82°34′13″E). It’s the last resort for export containers before entering Kazakhstan.

    OSINT journalists may be able to gauge Xinjiang export traffic by counting the number of containers on rail tracks. It might be laborious effort, not sure if it yields anything.

    More useful would it be to monitor the use of agriculture and factories in the nearby vicinity of camps, as shown before. Or perhaps they can be linked up.
    Baidu maps: Checking what the Chinese tech companies are ‘hiding’:

    The Chinese government may have little interest to showcase their human-rights violations which they deem as justified (Xi’s statement). Satellite images on Baidu Maps show maps that hide most of the facility. What to make of it? Google Earth lets you upload so-called ‘overlays’. If you stretch them to the right size you can compare the uploaded screenshot (we took from Baidu) with those present in Google Earth. For Tumshuq City/تۇمشۇق شەھىرى/图木舒克市(Túmùshūkè Shì) (39°54’40.02"N, 79° 1’26.09"E), see below.

    Why is Baidu’s involvement increasing relevant? On one hand, it is important to see the connection between private sector companies and the government. Chinese satellites are able to update and provide high-resolution images to the maps on Baidu. But they don’t. We had a similar debate on Twitter, that some government used to press companies to blur our images. But because images are available on other platforms ‘unblurred’, the practice was largely discontinued (there are still examples but they are getting fewer). One reason is that if a blurred area appears, it signals others to be extra vigilant and look out for other images. Instead, what increasing happens is that companies with private satellite are ordered not to release them (read more about the debate here).

    Baidu map’s decision to not show images on certain facilities have backfired. It can be reverse-engineered. Areas where images are unavailable became extra interesting. In this way Buzzfeed used Baidu Maps to their advantage. They located/confirmed some of the camps because of it. This way, they turned shortcoming into an opportunity. You may want to be quick in replicating this principle for other parts of the country where forced labour/detention camps are expected (e.g. Tibet). Such loopholes will usually be fixed swiftly.

    Bit more on the tech. According to a 2019 report by Human Rights Watch, Baidu’s map function used in the IJOP app, a controversial system used by the police and the state that generates “a massive dataset of personal information, and of police behaviour and movements in Xinjiang (it is not known how the authorities plan to use such data): The IJOP app logs the police officer’s GPS locations and other identifying information when they submit information to the IJOP app. The IJOP app uses a map functionality by Baidu, a major Chinese technology company, for purposes including planning the shortest route for police vehicle and officers on foot, according to the app’s source code.
    https://miro.medium.com/max/653/1*umOMbKghZDqPPiy0TpGZ7w.png

    What can the camps in Tibet tell us about the camps in Xinjiang?

    Reuters reported just last week that forced labour expanded to Tibet (south of XJ). Reuter’s own reporting corroborated the findings obtained by Adrian Zenz. It would take another post to go into how to investigate the state of transferred Tibetan labourers. The quick and dirty check on the situation shows the merit of using satellite images to investigate grows as foreign journalists are being barred from areas, such as entering the Tibet region (foreign citizens are only permitted on government-approved tours). OSINT lessons from investigating XJ should be applied to Tibet too.

    How does Xinjiang link to Tibet? The former Tibet Communist Party Secretary Chen Quanguo was chosen for the same job in Xinjiang in 2016 and headed the development of Xinjiang’s camp system, Reuters reported.

    Mass incarceration started before Quanguo came onto the scene: A fanghuiju work team was dispatched to a village in Guma wherein 38 individuals were allegedly detained in a government campaign, in early 2016 — it’s true however that Party Secretary Quanguo, appointed in August 2016, who waged a ‘Strike Hard Campaign’ against violent activities and terrorism increased repression.

    In an article last year, The Print used satellite images to prove that at least three Tibetan “re-education camps” are currently under construction. The author of the survey was Vinayak Bha, an ex-colonel retired from the Indian military intelligence unit.

    Col Vinayak Bhat (@rajfortyseven on Twitter) found three camps in 2018/2019 and share them. One of them is the one in Botuocun (see below). Bha writes about Chinese military deployment dynamics. The temple of Tibetan Buddhism is a ‘concentration camp’ that is surrounded by high walls and guard towers and has the same structural design as a prison. It is feasible that China’s mass detention to spread to Tibetans. Methods will likely base on the model executed in XJ.

    https://miro.medium.com/max/221/1*ln7TsCnetV75EKNcv4LBJg.png
    https://miro.medium.com/max/221/1*DtJKKnYJUH1K7p1_Pyyicw.png
    https://miro.medium.com/max/221/1*4dU7K9DK9agNbitNmLBT4g.png

    The reports of the three camps emerged in 2019. “Small-scale versions of similar military-style training initiatives have existed in the region for over a decade, but construction of new facilities increased sharply in 2016, and recent policy documents call for more investment in such sites”, one report stated. Looking at the three sites, some of them are quite old but the one below is less than three years old.

    https://miro.medium.com/max/221/1*xFr73HSkbxVqDGNgicuVCQ.png
    https://miro.medium.com/max/221/1*Ylxp6Hk1Nj8AAkvvxXI21Q.png
    https://miro.medium.com/max/278/1*a4UgMAeLCBp9LvRfOuf6Tw.png
    The allegation is that these facilities are now be used as detention centres for political indoctrination. “The detainees are allegedly used as forced labour in government factories and projects during the day time or as per shift timings”. It is something that rings true under the light of camps in Xinjiang but we lack evidence from the satellite images.

    There is some evidence that additional factory buildings were added. For the facility above, buildings in the upper east wing, with red roofing was added recently. Their layout reminds us of the blue-roofed buildings in and scattered around Xinjiang facilities, which we also have present: “This architecture is bang on a XJ prison, [though] with a different style roof”, Ruser said.

    https://miro.medium.com/max/512/1*GL1DwZmaqVdgUtaWsZHWdA.png

    https://miro.medium.com/max/303/1*Jr03h6ADK4_iNNfYP5YLkA.png
    https://miro.medium.com/max/328/1*RyzDtEa9SjE0WsBSwUaMfA.png

    The prison layout from the older prison facility above — with its long and vertically arranged wings and the rippled features — is similar to prisons seen in Xinjian, such as the two portrayed below (one at Qariqash County at 37° 6’44.88"N, 79°38’32.71"E and the other facility in 39°25’54.60”N, 76° 3’20.59"E).
    https://miro.medium.com/max/389/1*w01GGfJZZlcNCWm5MR4csQ.png

    Closing remarks:

    There is a mountain of stuff not included here. This is a training post and not an investigation with full-rested conclusion. This post should encourage other open-source investigative journalists to look into the facilities, follow their own reporting and help monitor developments/details that others may have missed.

    At present there are only a handful of OSINT journalists looking into it. Even fewer have the time to continuously keep this rolling, e.g. analysing the camps as other stories press them to move on.

    We need more eyes on this. The alleged human right abuse must receive all the international scrutiny it can get. People like Shawn Zhang and others with Nathan Ruser and APSI) started the journey. Other journalists must continue and expand on it.

    Also, the more open we are about sources and the analysis (hopefully) the fewer people might try to cast doubt on the existence of the camps (good thread here)

    OSINT techniques used must master the skill to help others to replicate the findings, step by step. That’s the reason this post resulted more in a hands-on tutorial than an explanatory post. I encourage anyone to start looking into the human rights abuse (though, I must stress, be careful to draw quick conclusions. Instead, share what you see on satellite images with the community of serious journalists and OSINT investigators).

    One last thought on commercial satellite imagery companies. It is crucial to get their support on this. For more than 100 camps mentioned in the latest update of the ASPI list (nearly 80 of them high-security detention facilities — classified as tier 3 or 4), we have no updated record of satellite images. This leaves researchers and journalists only to low-resolution devices, by Sentinel 2 images, or beg for images from Maxar or Planet Labs. That’s not good enough. Transparency requires companies inc to make those high-resolution images available, to anyone. Intelligence services should also consider making their high-resolution images available to the public for scrutiny, though, that unlikely to happen.

    https://medium.com/@techjournalism/open-source-satellite-data-to-investigate-xinjiang-concentration-camps-2713c
    #camps_de_concentration #architecture_forensique #images_satellitaires #rééducation #ré-éducation #camps_de_rééducation #Chine #droits_humains #droits_fondamentaux #Tibet

    ping @reka @isskein @visionscarto

  • Xinjiang’s System of Militarized Vocational Training Comes to #Tibet

    Introduction and Summary

    In 2019 and 2020, the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) introduced new policies to promote the systematic, centralized, and large-scale training and transfer of “rural surplus laborers” to other parts of the TAR, as well as to other provinces of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). In the first 7 months of 2020, the region had trained over half a million rural surplus laborers through this policy. This scheme encompasses Tibetans of all ages, covers the entire region, and is distinct from the coercive vocational training of secondary students and young adults reported by exile Tibetans (RFA, October 29, 2019).

    The labor transfer policy mandates that pastoralists and farmers are to be subjected to centralized “military-style” (军旅式, junlüshi) vocational training, which aims to reform “backward thinking” and includes training in “work discipline,” law, and the Chinese language. Examples from the TAR’s Chamdo region indicate that the militarized training regimen is supervised by People’s Armed Police drill sergeants, and training photos published by state media show Tibetan trainees dressed in military fatigues (see accompanying images).

    Poverty alleviation reports bluntly say that the state must “stop raising up lazy people.” Documents state that the “strict military-style management” of the vocational training process “strengthens [the Tibetans’] weak work discipline” and reforms their “backward thinking.” Tibetans are to be transformed from “[being] unwilling to move” to becoming willing to participate, a process that requires “diluting the negative influence of religion.” This is aided by a worrisome new scheme that “encourages” Tibetans to hand over their land and herds to government-run cooperatives, turning them into wage laborers.

    An order-oriented, batch-style matching and training mechanism trains laborers based on company needs. Training, matching and delivery of workers to their work destination takes place in a centralized fashion. Recruitments rely, among other things, on village-based work teams, an intrusive social control mechanism pioneered in the TAR by Chen Quanguo (陈全国), and later used in Xinjiang to identify Uyghurs who should be sent to internment camps (China Brief, September 21, 2017). Key policy documents state that cadres who fail to achieve the mandated quotas are subject to “strict rewards and punishments” (严格奖惩措施, yange jiangcheng cuoshi). The goal of the scheme is to achieve Xi Jinping’s signature goal of eradicating absolute poverty by increasing rural disposable incomes. This means that Tibetan nomads and farmers must change their livelihoods so that they earn a measurable cash income, and can therefore be declared “poverty-free.”

    This draconian scheme shows a disturbing number of close similarities to the system of coercive vocational training and labor transfer established in Xinjiang. The fact that Tibet and Xinjiang share many of the same social control and securitization mechanisms—in each case introduced under administrations directed by Chen Quanguo—renders the adaptation of one region’s scheme to the other particularly straightforward.

    Historical Context

    As early as 2005, the TAR had a small-scale rural surplus labor training and employment initiative for pastoralists and farmers in Lhasa (Sina, May 13, 2005). The 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-2010) then specified that this type of training and labor transfer was to be conducted throughout the TAR (PRC Government, February 8, 2006). From 2012, the Chamdo region initiated a “military-style training for surplus labor force transfer for pastoral and agricultural regions” (农牧区富余劳动力转移就业军旅式培训, nongmuqu fuyu laodongli zhuanyi jiuye junlüshi peixun) (Tibet’s Chamdo, October 8, 2014). Chamdo’s scheme was formally established in the region’s 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020), with the goal of training 65,000 laborers (including urban unemployed persons) during that time (Chamdo Government, December 29, 2015).

    By 2016, Chamdo had established 45 related vocational training bases (TAR Government, November 17, 2016). Starting in 2016, the TAR’s Shannan region likewise implemented vocational training with “semi-military-style management” (半军事化管理, ban junshihua guanli) (Tibet Shannan Net, April 5, 2017). Several different sources indicate that Chamdo’s military-style training management was conducted by People’s Armed Police drill sergeants.[1]

    Policies of the 2019-2020 Militarized Vocational Training and Labor Transfer Action Plan

    In March 2019, the TAR issued the 2019-2020 Farmer and Pastoralist Training and Labor Transfer Action Plan (西藏自治区2019-2020年农牧民培训和转移就业行动方案, Xizang Zizhiqu 2019-2020 Nian Nongmumin Peixun he Zhuanyi Jiuye Xingdong Fang’an) which mandates the “vigorous promotion of military-style…[vocational] training,” adopting the model pioneered in Chamdo and mandating it throughout the region. [2] The vocational training process must include “work discipline, Chinese language and work ethics,” aiming to “enhance laborers’ sense of discipline to comply with national laws and regulations and work unit rules and regulations.”

    Surplus labor training is to follow the “order-oriented” (订单定向式, dingdan dingxiangshi) or “need-driven” (以需定培, yi xu dingpei) method, [3] whereby the job is arranged first, and the training is based on the pre-arranged job placement. In 2020, at least 40 percent of job placements were to follow this method, with this share mandated to exceed 60 percent by the year 2024 (see [2], also below). Companies that employ a minimum number of laborers can obtain financial rewards of up to 500,000 renminbi ($73,900 U.S. dollars). Local labor brokers receive 300 ($44) or 500 ($74) renminbi per arranged labor transfer, depending whether it is within the TAR or without. [4] Detailed quotas not only mandate how many surplus laborers each county must train, but also how many are to be trained in each vocational specialty (Ngari Government, July 31, 2019).

    The similarities to Xinjiang’s coercive training scheme are abundant: both schemes have the same target group (“rural surplus laborers”—农牧区富余劳动者, nongmuqu fuyu laodongzhe); a high-powered focus on mobilizing a “reticent” minority group to change their traditional livelihood mode; employ military drill and military-style training management to produce discipline and obedience; emphasize the need to “transform” laborers’ thinking and identity, and to reform their “backwardness;” teach law and Chinese; aim to weaken the perceived negative influence of religion; prescribe detailed quotas; and put great pressure on officials to achieve program goals. [5]

    Labor Transfers to Other Provinces in 2020

    In 2020, the TAR introduced a related region-wide labor transfer policy that established mechanisms and target quotas for the transfer of trained rural surplus laborers both within (55,000) and without (5,000) the TAR (TAR Human Resources Department, July 17). The terminology is akin to that used in relation to Xinjiang’s labor transfers, employing phrases such as: “supra-regional employment transfer” (跨区域转移就业, kuaquyu zhuanyi jiuye) and “labor export” (劳务输出, laowu shuchu). Both the 2019-2020 Training and Labor Transfer Action Plan and the TAR’s 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) only mention transfers outside the TAR in passing, without outlining a detailed related policy or the use of terminology akin to that found in related documents from Xinjiang. [6]

    In the first 7 months of 2020, the TAR trained 543,000 rural surplus laborers, accomplishing 90.5% of its annual goal by July. Of these, 49,900 were transferred to other parts of the TAR, and 3,109 to other parts of China (TAR Government, August 12). Each region is assigned a transfer quota. By the end of 2020, this transfer scheme must cover the entire TAR.

    Specific examples of such labor transfers identified by the author to other regions within the TAR include job placements in road construction, cleaning, mining, cooking and driving. [7] Transfers to labor placements outside the TAR include employment at the COFCO Group, China’s largest state-owned food-processing company (Hebei News, September 18, 2020).

    The central terminology employed for the labor transfer process is identical with language used in Xinjiang: “unified matching, unified organizing, unified management, unified sending off” (统一对接、统一组织、统一管理、统一输送 / tongyi duijie, tongyi zuzhi, tongyi guanli, tongyi shusong). [8] Workers are transferred to their destination in a centralized, “group-style” (组团式, zutuanshi), “point-to-point” (点对点, dianduidian) fashion. The policy document sets group sizes at 30 persons, divided into subgroups of 10, both to be headed by (sub-)group leaders (TAR Human Resources Department, July 17). In one instance, this transport method was described as “nanny-style point-to-point service” (“点对点”“保姆式”服务 / “dianduidian” “baomu shi” fuwu) (Chinatibet.net, June 21). As in Xinjiang, these labor transfers to other provinces are arranged and supported through the Mutual Pairing Assistance [or “assist Tibet” (援藏, Yuan Zang)] mechanism, albeit not exclusively. [9] The transferred laborers’ “left-behind” children, wives and elderly family members are to receive the state’s “loving care.” [10]

    Again, the similarities to Xinjiang’s inter-provincial transfer scheme are significant: unified processing, batch-style transfers, strong government involvement, financial incentives for middlemen and for participating companies, and state-mandated quotas. However, for the TAR’s labor transfer scheme, there is so far no evidence of accompanying cadres or security personnel, of cadres stationed in factories, or of workers being kept in closed, securitized environments at their final work destination. It is possible that the transfer of Tibetan laborers is not as securitized as that of Uyghur workers. There is also currently no evidence of TAR labor training and transfer schemes being linked to extrajudicial internment. The full range of TAR vocational training and job assignment mechanisms can take various forms and has a range of focus groups; not all of them involve centralized transfers or the military-style training and transfer of nomads and farmers.

    The Coercive Nature of the Labor Training and Transfer System

    Even so, there are clear elements of coercion during recruitment, training and job matching, as well as a centralized and strongly state-administered and supervised transfer process. While some documents assert that the scheme is predicated on voluntary participation, the overall evidence indicates the systemic presence of numerous coercive elements.

    As in Xinjiang, TAR government documents make it clear that poverty alleviation is a “battlefield,” with such work to be organized under a military-like “command” structure (脱贫攻坚指挥部, tuopin gongjian zhihuibu) (TAR Government, October 29, 2019; Xinhua, October 7, 2018). In mid-2019, the battle against poverty in the TAR was said to have “entered the decisive phase,” given the goal to eradicate absolute poverty by the end of 2020 (Tibet.cn, June 11, 2019). Since poverty is measured by income levels, and labor transfer is the primary means to increase incomes—and hence to “lift” people out of poverty—the pressure for local governments to round up poor populations and feed them into the scheme is extremely high.

    The Training and Labor Transfer Action Plan cited above establishes strict administrative procedures, and mandates the establishment of dedicated work groups as well as the involvement of top leadership cadres, to “ensure that the target tasks are completed on schedule” (see [2]). Each administrative level is to pass on the “pressure [to achieve the targets] to the next [lower] level.” Local government units are to “establish a task progress list [and] those who lag behind their work schedule… are to be reported and to be held accountable according to regulations.” The version adopted by the region governed under Shannan City is even more draconian: training and labor transfer achievements are directly weighed in cadres’ annual assessment scores, complemented by a system of “strict rewards and punishments.” [11] Specific threats of “strict rewards and punishments” in relation to achieving labor training and transfer targets are also found elsewhere, such as in official reports from the region governed under Ngari City, which mandate “weekly, monthly and quarterly” reporting mechanisms (TAR Government, December 18, 2018).

    As with the Uyghurs in Xinjiang, overcoming Tibetans’ resistance to labor transfer is an integral part of the entire mechanism. Documents state that the “strict military-style management” of the vocational training process causes the “masses to comply with discipline,” “continuously strengthens their patriotic awareness,” and reforms their “backward thinking.” [12] This may also involve the presence of local cadres to “make the training discipline stricter.” [13]

    Because the military-style vocational training process produces discipline and transforms “backward employment views,” it is said to “promote labor transfer.” [14] Rural laborers are to be transformed from “[being] unwilling to move” to becoming willing to participate, a process that requires “diluting the negative influence of religion,” which is said to induce passivity (TAR Commerce Department, June 10). The poverty alleviation and training process is therefore coupled with an all-out propaganda effort that aims to use “thought education” to “educate and guide the unemployed to change their closed, conservative and traditional employment mindset” (Tibet’s Chamdo, July 8, 2016). [15] One document notes that the poverty alleviation and labor transfer process is part of an effort to “stop raising up lazy people” (TAR Government, December 18, 2018).

    A 2018 account from Chamdo of post-training follow-up shows the tight procedures employed by the authorities:

    Strictly follow up and ask for effectiveness. Before the end of each training course, trainees are required to fill in the “Employment Willingness Questionnaire.” Establish a database…to grasp the employment…status of trainees after the training. For those who cannot be employed in time after training, follow up and visit regularly, and actively recommend employment…. [16]

    These “strict” follow-up procedures are increasingly unnecessary, because the mandated “order-oriented” process means that locals are matched with future jobs prior to the training.

    “Grid Management” and the “Double-Linked Household” System

    Coercive elements play an important role during the recruitment process. Village-based work teams, an intrusive social control mechanism pioneered by Chen Quanguo, go from door to door to “help transform the thinking and views of poor households.” [17] The descriptions of these processes, and the extensive government resources invested to ensure their operation, overlap to a high degree with those that are commonly practiced in Xinjiang (The China Quarterly, July 12, 2019). As is the case in Xinjiang, poverty-alleviation work in the TAR is tightly linked to social control mechanisms and key aspects of the security apparatus. To quote one government document, “By combining grid management and the ‘double-linked household’ management model, [we must] organize, educate, and guide the people to participate and to support the fine-grained poverty alleviation … work.” [18]

    Grid management (网格化管理, wanggehua guanli) is a highly intrusive social control mechanism, through which neighborhoods and communities are subdivided into smaller units of surveillance and control. Besides dedicated administrative and security staff, this turns substantial numbers of locals into “volunteers,” enhancing the surveillance powers of the state. [19] Grid management later became the backbone of social control and surveillance in Xinjiang. For poverty alleviation, it involves detailed databases that list every single person “in poverty,” along with indicators and countermeasures, and may include a “combat visualization” (图表化作战, tubiaohua zuozhan) feature whereby progress in the “war on poverty” is visualized through maps and charts (TAR Government, November 10, 2016). Purang County in Ngari spent 1.58 million renminbi ($233,588 dollars) on a “Smart Poverty Alleviation Big Data Management Platform,” which can display poverty alleviation progress on a large screen in real time (TAR Government, February 20, 2019).

    Similarly, the “double-linked household” (双联户, shuang lian hu) system corrals regular citizens into the state’s extensive surveillance apparatus by making sets of 10 “double-linked” households report on each other. Between 2012 and 2016, the TAR established 81,140 double-linked household entities, covering over three million residents, and therefore virtually the region’s entire population (South China Morning Post, December 12, 2016). An August 2020 article on poverty alleviation in Ngari notes that it was the head of a “double-linked” household unit who led his “entire village” to hand over their grassland and herds to a local husbandry cooperative (Hunan Government, August 20).

    Converting Property to Shares Through Government Cooperatives

    A particularly troubling aspect of the Training and Labor Transfer Action Plan is the directive to promote a “poverty alleviation industry” (扶贫产业, fupin chanye) scheme by which local nomads and farmers are asked to hand over their land and herds to large-scale, state-run cooperatives (农牧民专业合作社, nongmumin zhuanye hezuoshe). [20] In that way, “nomads become shareholders” as they convert their usage rights into shares. This scheme, which harks back to the forced collectivization era of the 1950s, increases the disposable incomes of nomads and farmers through share dividends and by turning them into wage laborers. They are then either employed by these cooperatives or are now “free” to participate in the wider labor transfer scheme. [21] In Nagqu, this is referred to as the “one township one cooperative, one village one cooperative ” (“一乡一社”“一村一合” / “yixiang yishe” “yicun yihe”) scheme, indicating its universal coverage. [22] One account describes the land transfer as prodding Tibetans to “put down the whip, walk out of the pasture, and enter the [labor] market” (People.cn, July 27, 2020).

    Clearly, such a radical transformation of traditional livelihoods is not achieved without overcoming local resistance. A government report from Shuanghu County (Nagqu) in July 2020 notes that:

    In the early stages, … most herders were not enthusiastic about participating. [Then], the county government…organized…county-level cadres to deeply penetrate township and village households, convening village meetings to mobilize people, insisted on transforming the [prevailing attitude of] “I am wanted to get rid of poverty” to “I want to get rid of poverty” as the starting point for the formation of a cooperative… [and] comprehensively promoted the policy… Presently… the participation rate of registered poor herders is at 100 percent, [that] of other herders at 97 percent. [23]

    Importantly, the phrase “transforming [attitudes of] ‘I am wanted to get rid of poverty’ to ‘I want to get rid of poverty’” is found in this exact form in accounts of poverty alleviation through labor transfer in Xinjiang. [24]

    Given that this scheme severs the long-standing connection between Tibetans and their traditional livelihood bases, its explicit inclusion in the militarized vocational training and labor transfer policy context is of great concern.

    Militarized Vocational Training: Examining a Training Base in Chamdo

    The Chamdo Golden Sunshine Vocational Training School (昌都市金色阳光职业培训学校, Changdushi Jinse Yangguang Zhiye Peixun Xuexiao) operates a vocational training base within Chamdo’s Vocational and Technical School, located in Eluo Town, Karuo District. The facility conducts “military-style training” (军旅式培训, junlüshi peixun) of rural surplus laborers for the purpose of achieving labor transfer; photos of the complex show a rudimentary facility with rural Tibetan trainees of various ages, mostly dressed in military fatigues. [25]

    Satellite imagery (see accompanying images) shows that after a smaller initial setup in 2016, [26] the facility was expanded in the year 2018 to its current state. [27] The compound is fully enclosed, surrounded by a tall perimeter wall and fence, and bisected by a tall internal wire mesh fence that separates the three main northern buildings from the three main southern ones (building numbers 4 and 5 and parts of the surrounding wall are shown in the accompanying Figure 4). The internal fence might be used to separate dormitories from teaching and administrative buildings. Independent experts in satellite analysis contacted by the author estimated the height of the internal fence at approximately 3 meters. The neighboring vocational school does not feature any such security measures.

    Conclusions

    In both Xinjiang and Tibet, state-mandated poverty alleviation consists of a top-down scheme that extends the government’s social control deep into family units. The state’s preferred method to increase the disposable incomes of rural surplus laborers in these restive minority regions is through vocational training and labor transfer. Both regions have by now implemented a comprehensive scheme that relies heavily on centralized administrative mechanisms; quota fulfilment; job matching prior to training; and a militarized training process that involves thought transformation, patriotic and legal education, and Chinese language teaching.

    Important differences remain between Beijing’s approaches in Xinjiang and Tibet. Presently, there is no evidence that the TAR’s scheme is linked to extrajudicial internment, and aspects of its labor transfer mechanisms are potentially less coercive. However, in a system where the transition between securitization and poverty alleviation is seamless, there is no telling where coercion stops and where genuinely voluntary local agency begins. While some Tibetans may voluntarily participate in some or all aspects of the scheme, and while their incomes may indeed increase as a result, the systemic presence of clear indicators of coercion and indoctrination, coupled with profound and potentially permanent change in modes of livelihood, is highly problematic. In the context of Beijing’s increasingly assimilatory ethnic minority policy, it is likely that these policies will promote a long-term loss of linguistic, cultural and spiritual heritage.

    Adrian Zenz is a Senior Fellow in China Studies at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, Washington, D.C. (non-resident), and supervises PhD students at the European School of Culture and Theology, Korntal, Germany. His research focus is on China’s ethnic policy, public recruitment in Tibet and Xinjiang, Beijing’s internment campaign in Xinjiang, and China’s domestic security budgets. Dr. Zenz is the author of Tibetanness under Threat and co-editor of Mapping Amdo: Dynamics of Change. He has played a leading role in the analysis of leaked Chinese government documents, to include the “China Cables” and the “Karakax List.” Dr. Zenz is an advisor to the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, and a frequent contributor to the international media.

    Notes

    [1] See for example https://archive.is/wip/4ItV6 or http://archive.is/RVJRK. State media articles from September 2020 indicate that this type of training is ongoing https://archive.is/e1XqL.

    [2] Chinese: 大力推广军旅式…培训 (dali tuiguang junlüshi…peixun). See https://bit.ly/3mmiQk7 (pp.12-17). See local implementation documents of this directive from Shannan City (https://bit.ly/32uVlO5, pp.15-24), Xigatse (https://archive.is/7oJ7p) and Ngari (https://archive.is/wip/R3Mpw).

    [3] See also https://archive.is/wip/eQMGa.

    [4] Provided that the person was employed for at least 6 months in a given year. Source: https://archive.is/KE1Vd.

    [5] See the author’s main work on this in section 6 of: “Beyond the Camps: Beijing’s Long-Term Scheme of Coercive Labor, Poverty Alleviation and Social Control in Xinjiang,” Journal of Political Risk (Vol. 7, No. 12), December 2019. https://www.jpolrisk.com/beyond-the-camps-beijings-long-term-scheme-of-coercive-labor-poverty-allev.

    [6] See https://archive.is/wip/Dyapm.

    [7] See https://archive.is/wip/XiZfl, https://archive.is/RdnvS, https://archive.is/w1kfx, https://archive.is/wip/NehA6, https://archive.is/wip/KMaUo, https://archive.is/wip/XiZfl, https://archive.is/RdnvS, https://archive.is/w1kfx.

    [8] See https://archive.is/KE1Vd and https://archive.is/wip/8afPF.

    [9] See https://archive.is/KE1Vd and https://archive.is/wip/8afPF.

    [10] See https://archive.is/KE1Vd.

    [11] See https://bit.ly/32uVlO5, p.24.

    [12] See https://archive.is/wip/fN9hz and https://archive.is/NYMwi, compare https://archive.is/wip/iiF7h and http://archive.is/Nh7tT.

    [13] See https://archive.is/wip/kQVnX. A state media account of Tibetan waiters at a tourism-oriented restaurant in Xiexong Township (Chamdo) notes that these are all from “poverty-alleviation households,” and have all gone through “centralized, military-style training.” Consequently, per this account, they have developed a “service attitude of being willing to suffer [or: work hard]”, as is evident from their “vigorous pace and their [constant] shuttling back and forth” as they serve their customers. https://archive.is/wip/Nfxnx (account from 2016); compare https://archive.is/wip/dTLku.

    [14] See https://archive.is/wip/faIeL and https://archive.is/wip/18CXh.

    [15] See https://archive.is/iiF7h.

    [16] See https://archive.is/wip/ETmNe

    [17] See https://archive.is/wip/iEV7P, see also e.g. https://archive.is/wip/1p6lV.

    [18] See https://archive.is/e45fJ.

    [19] See https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/china-quarterly/article/securitizing-xinjiang-police-recruitment-informal-policing-and-ethnic-minority-cooptation/FEEC613414AA33A0353949F9B791E733 and https://www.hrw.org/news/2013/03/20/china-alarming-new-surveillance-security-tibet.

    [20] E.g. https://archive.is/R3Mpw. This scheme was also mentioned in the TAR’s 13th 5-Year-Plan (2016-2020) (https://archive.is/wip/S3buo). See also similar accounts, e.g. https://archive.is/IJUyl.

    [21] Note e.g. the sequence of the description of these cooperatives followed by an account of labor transfer (https://archive.is/gIw3f).

    [22] See https://archive.is/wip/gIw3f or https://archive.is/wip/z5Tor or https://archive.is/wip/PR7lh.

    [23] See https://archive.is/wip/85zXB.

    [24] See the author’s related work on this in section 2.2 of: “Beyond the Camps: Beijing’s Long-Term Scheme of Coercive Labor, Poverty Alleviation and Social Control in Xinjiang,” Journal of Political Risk (Vol. 7, No. 12), December 2019. https://www.jpolrisk.com/beyond-the-camps-beijings-long-term-scheme-of-coercive-labor-poverty-allev.

    [25] Located as part of the 昌都市卡若区俄洛镇昌都市职业技术学校 campus. See https://bit.ly/2Rr6Ekc; compare https://archive.is/wip/uUTCp and https://archive.is/wip/lKnbe.

    [26] See https://archive.is/wip/WZsvQ.

    [27] Coordinates: 31.187035, 97.091817. Website: https://bit.ly/2Rr6Ekc. The timeframe for construction is indicated by historical satellite imagery and by the year 2018 featured on a red banner on the bottom-most photo of the website.

    https://jamestown.org/program/jamestown-early-warning-brief-xinjiangs-system-of-militarized-vocational-

    #Chine #transfert_de_population #déplacement #rural_surplus_laborers #formaation_professionnelle #armée #travail #agriculture #discipline #discipline_de_travail #Chamdo #préjugés #terres #salariés #travailleurs_salariés #Chen_Quanguo #Xinjiang #Oïghours #camps #pauvreté #contrôle_social #pastoralisme #Farmer_and_Pastoralist_Training_and_Labor_Transfer_Action_Plan #minorités #obédience #discipline #identité #langue #religion #COFCO_Group #mots #terminologie #vocabulaire #Mutual_Pairing_Assistance #pauvreté #Shannan_City #Ngari_City #surveillance #poverty_alleviation #coopératives #salaire #Nagqu #Chamdo_Golden_Sunshine_Vocational_Training_School #Eluo_Town

  • Travail des enfants en Côte d’Ivoire : des plantations Fairtrade concernées
    https://www.rtbf.be/info/monde/detail_travail-des-enfants-en-cote-d-ivoire-des-plantations-fairtrade-concernee

    Une enquête de la télévision danoise l’affirme. Le travail des enfants dans les plantations de cacao certifiées Fairtrade en Côte d’Ivoire est bien réel.

    Ce label sur les bananes, le café ou encore le chocolat oblige les producteurs à répondre à certaines règles et notamment à ne pas recourir au travail des enfants.
    La chaîne TV 2 et le média d’investigation Danwatch ont tourné en caméra cachée dans plusieurs exploitations.
    Dans 4 des 6 plantations qu’ils ont visitées, ils ont trouvé des enfants travaillant entre les palmiers.
    Leur interview fait froid dans le dos. Marcelin, 14 ans, explique qu’il bosse 11 heures par jour.

    Diffusées au Danemark, les images ont choqué plus d’une personne et notamment les commerçants dont les boutiques vendent du chocolat ivoirien étiqueté Fairtrade.
    Dorthe Pedersen en est encore bouleversée. « C’est horrible. Je suis tellement émue de savoir que les enfants travaillent dans ces conditions » a-t-elle témoigné au micro des journalistes de TV2.

    Interrogée sur cette pratique, Camilla Erika Lerberg, la PDG de Fairtrade Danemark a déclaré : « Cette affaire est très, très triste, donc nous l’examinons avec gravité. Il est important pour nous de réagir et de corriger cela immédiatement. L’affaire fait toujours l’objet d’une enquête et nous essayons de comprendre ce qui s’est passé. En général, je tiens à dire que si nous recevons une observation du travail des enfants, et qu’elle est confirmée, alors nous avons un dialogue avec la famille de cet enfant, ensuite nous observerons si cela continue et si cela continue, nous procédons à une décertification. »

    Rappel des règles
    Les Standards Fairtrade pour les organisations de petits producteurs, les travailleuses et les travailleurs ainsi que les négociants interdisent le travail abusif des enfants.

    Chez Max Havelaar par exemple, il est clairement stipulé :

    – Il est interdit d’employer des enfants de moins de 15 ans au sein des organisations certifiées Fairtrade/Max Havelaar.

    - Les enfants de 15 à 18 ans ne peuvent pas réaliser un travail mettant en péril leur scolarité ou leur développement social, moral ou physique.

    – L’aide éventuelle dans les fermes familiales, courante dans le secteur agricole, doit être ponctuelle et adaptée à l’âge des enfants. Elle doit impérativement se faire en dehors des heures de classe et pendant les vacances. Dans ces conditions seulement, elle respecte les exigences de l’Organisation Internationale du Travail.
    Rien de neuf sous le soleil

    Le travail des enfants en Côte d’Ivoire, où on produit la majeure partie du cacao mondial, n’est pas un problème inconnu.

    En 2010, l’industrie du chocolat a collectivement signé une déclaration disant qu’elle améliorerait les conditions dans les plantations de cacao en Afrique de l’Ouest et réduirait le travail des enfants de 70% jusqu’en 2020.

    Seulement voilà, un rapport des chercheurs de l’Université de Chicago publié en avril dernier et financé par le département américain du Travail souligne que le recours au travail des enfants dans les plantations de cacao au Ghana et en Côte d’Ivoire a augmenté de 10% au cours de la dernière décennie, et ce, malgré les promesses de l’industrie.

    Plus précisément, le nombre d’enfants-travailleurs dans les plantations de cacao s’élevait à près de 2,1 millions la saison dernière dans les deux pays. Ce chiffre comprend des enfants de moins de 12 ans et des enfants également plus âgés dont le travail est dangereux et dépasse un certain nombre d’heures.

    Un niveau en hausse par rapport à 2010 lorsque Mars, Hershey, Nestlé et Cargill s’étaient engagés à baisser de 70% les pires formes de travail des enfants dans leurs chaînes d’approvisionnement dans la région d’ici 2020.

    Des chiffres qui s’expliqueraient par l’augmentation des prix et de la production de fèves qui poussent les agriculteurs à produire toujours davantage de cacao. Une tendance confirmée par le patron de la World Cocoa Foundation (WCF), au site Commodafrica. Richard Scobey, représentant des entreprises telles que Nestlé et Hershey, reconnaît que l’industrie n’est pas sur le point d’atteindre son objectif de 2020.

    Le Ghana et la Côte d’Ivoire produisent les deux-tiers de l’ensemble du cacao mondial. La production de cacao dans ces pays est passée à 3 millions de tonnes l’an dernier, contre 2,65 millions de tonnes en 2013-2014. Un secteur en expansion qui fournit des moyens de subsistances à des milliers de communautés dans le besoin.

    #Afrique #Enfants #travail_des_enfants #exploitation #esclavage #chocolat #cacao #certification #commerce_équitable #Fairtrade #multinationales #label #déforestation #industrie_agro-alimentaire #agriculture #multinationales #pauvreté #bananes #café #Mars #Hershey #Nestlé #Cargill #World_Cocoa_Foundation #WCF

    • Le dernier des Ouïghours et les derniers des journalistes Maxime VIVAS
      https://www.legrandsoir.info/le-dernier-des-ouighours-et-les-derniers-des-journalistes.html

      Voulez-vous soulever une vague mondiale d’indignation contre un pays ? Vous affirmez que les hommes y sont massivement emprisonnés et torturés, voire exécutés en catimini, que les femmes y sont stérilisées de force et qu’on y supplicie les enfants. C’est ce que vient de faire, ce que fait, ce que va continuer de faire la presse mondiale, agissant en porte-voix de quelques journaux états-uniens inspirés en sous-main par des officines de la Maison Blanche.

      Qu’il n’y ait pas un mot de vrai dans la campagne antichinoise sur les Ouïghours importe peu. Il suffit de prétendre, d’affirmer. L’information circule, les journaux se lisent entre eux, les politiques s’en mêlent. C’est faux mais plausible : Chine insondable, Chinois impénétrables derrière la fente de leurs yeux. Vous me suivez bien, vous qui êtes pour la plupart normaux, pardon : #blancs ?

      #Bruno_Le_Maire et #Clémentine_Autain sont #indignés et le font vertueusement savoir.
      C’est tout mensonge, mais le mal est fait. Ce n’est qu’après la destruction de l’#Irak et après des centaines de milliers de morts innocents que toute la presse concède que les informations sur les couveuses débranchées au #Koweit par les soudards de Saddam Hussein étaient inventées, que la fiole brandie par #Colin_Powell à l’#ONU contenait du pipi de son chat ou du sable de sa litière ou de la poudre de perlimpinpin et non des Armes de Destruction Massives qui risquaient d’avoir raison des USA, de la Grande-Bretagne et (horreur !) de la France.

      J’ai écrit plus haut qu’il n’y a « pas un mot de vrai dans la campagne antichinoise sur les Ouïghours ». La prudence ne voudrait-elle pas que je nuance : « Bien des choses sont inexactes dans la campagne antichinoise sur les Ouïgours ». Ou : « Certes, les Chinois ne sont pas des enfants de chœur, mais doit-on prendre au pied de la lettre les articles de Libération ? », ou encore : « Le problème que le régime chinois appelle « les trois fléaux » (terrorisme, séparatisme, fondamentalisme) est une réalité qu’on ne saurait nier, mais cela justifie-t-il une répression d’une telle ampleur ? ».

      Mais, tenez-vous bien, je persiste : « Il n’y a pas un mot de vrai dans la campagne antichinoise sur les Ouïghours » . Non, trois fois non, un ou deux millions de Ouïghours mâles (trois d’après Radio Free Asia) ne sont pas internés(1), les femmes ne sont pas stérilisées de force pour éteindre l’ethnie, les enfants ne sont pas tués pour prélèvement d’organes vendus à l’Arabie saoudite, Beijing n’est pas en guerre contre cette région autonome qui fait au contraire l’objet de toutes ses attentions, de toutes ses faveurs.

      J’ai écrit que « cette région autonome fait au contraire l’objet de toutes les attentions, de toutes les faveurs de Beijing. » ? La prudence ne voudrait-elle pas que je nuance : « Beijing gère ses régions avec l’autorité naturelle des communistes et le Xinjiang ne fait pas exception », ou : « Même si Beijing a mis le Xinjiang sous surveillance, des efforts financiers indéniables ont été consentis pour développer cette région, point de départ de « La nouvelle route de la soie ».

      Mais, continuez à bien vous tenir, j’insiste : « Cette région autonome fait l’objet de toutes les attentions, de toutes les faveurs de Beijing. »

      Je le dis aujourd’hui, en juillet 2020, avec la même assurance (inconscience ?) qui me fit écrire un livre en 2007 sur une idole alors aussi intouchable que #Nelson_Mandela. Je parle d’un type qui est aujourd’hui maire de #Béziers, élu avec le renfort du Front National.

      Je le dis aujourd’hui, en juillet 2020, avec la même certitude que celle qui me fit écrire un livre en 2011 sur une idole alors aussi intouchable que #Ghandi. Je parle de l’ancien bourreau du Tibet : le #dalaï_lama.

      Ça, c’est pour le passé. Je peux aussi performer sur le futur. Par exemple, j’ai une petite idée sur le passage de #Yannick_Jadot et #julien_Bayou dans le rang des ennemis de l’écologie, lesquels ont toujours un plat de lentille à offrir aux ambitieux peints en vert. Mais là n’est pas le sujet (j’en parle juste pour prendre date, pour triompher dans quelque temps : « Qui sait-y qui l’avait dit ? »).

      Un peuple qui oublie son passé est condamné à le revivre (Marx), un journaliste qui ne relit pas les #infaux de ses confrères est condamné à toujours utiliser les mêmes versions, ignorant que le truc a déjà été fait, à l’identique.

      Les journalistes se lisent entre eux (« La circulation circulaire de l’information ». Bourdieu). Mais parfois le psittacisme ne marche pas, des journalistes qui ont d’eux-mêmes une opinion qui les oblige à échapper aux caquetage des perroquets, se démarquent.

      Tenez, en 2010, j’étais au Tibet avec deux grands reporters des deux plus grands (par le tirage) quotidiens français : le Monde et le Figaro. J’en ai souvent parlé dans ces colonnes parce qu’il s’est passé un phénomène surprenant. Nous savions tous les trois (car nous lisons la presse et nous avons un autoradio et la télé) que le gouvernement de Beijing se livrait à un génocide au Tibet, que la culture était éradiquée et la religion férocement combattue. 
Ne me dites pas que vous ne le saviez pas vous aussi. « Free Tibet », vous ne découvrez pas en me lisant, là.

      Robert Ménard (aujourd’hui maire de la ville où naquit Jean Moulin) nous avait expliqué le drame tibétain en perturbant à Paris le passage de la flamme olympique pour les JO 2008 de Pékin. Le type qu’on voit avec lui dans les vidéos de l’époque, en t-shirt noir portant en sérigraphie 5 menottes symbolisant les 5 anneaux olympiques, c’est Jean-François Julliard qui a succédé à Ménard à la tête de RSF avant de devenir directeur général de Greenpeace France, fonction qui fait de lui un invité régulier des amphis d’été de LFI. Comprenne qui pourra (2).

      Donc on est au Tibet, mes deux comparses s’envoient des vannes rigolardes, l’un demandant à l’autre quel effet ça fait d’appartenir à des banquiers, l’autre répondant que le ressenti est sans doute le même que celui des journalistes qui sont la propriété d’un marchand d’armes. Ils sont allés voir sur Internet qui je suis. Ils m’épargnent. Je suis là, auréolé du prestige guerrier du Grand Soir, média rigoureux, fiable et qui frappe fort. Et sur qui le mérite. Message reçu jusque dans les montagnes tibétaines.

      Bref, tous les trois, ensemble, chacun sous le regard des autres, nous voyons le Tibet avec sa religion omniprésente, les temples pleins, les monastères grouillant de moinillons, les prières de rues, les montagnes souillées par des grossières peintures bouddhistes, des chapelets de drapeaux de prière claquant au vent. Un envahissement bigot jusqu’à la nausée pour l’athée que je suis.

      Tous les trois, ensemble, chacun sous le regard des autres, nous voyons les écoles où l’enseignement est fait en tibétain (jusqu’à l’université), nous voyons les panneaux indicateurs, les enseignes, les noms des rues rédigés en tibétain, ainsi que les journaux. La télé et la radio parlent le tibétain. Le doyen de l’université de LLassa nous montre une salle contenant des dizaines de milliers de livres en tibétain. Nous assistons aussi à des spectacles (danses, chants) tibétains.

      Tous les trois, ensemble, chacun sous le regard des autres, nous voyons des couples de tibétains accompagnés d’enfants (pas d’UN enfant). La politique de l’enfant unique n’a jamais été imposée au Tibet. D’où une explosion démographique favorisée par le quasi doublement de l’espérance de vie après la fuite du dalaï lama.

      De retour en France, tous les trois, chacun sachant que les autres vont le lire, nous écrivons ce que nous avons vu. Le croirez-vous, aucun n’a écrit que « le régime de Pékin » se livrait à un génocide, éradiquait la culture tibétaine et réprimait les bouddhistes ? Et puisque j’en suis aux confidences, je vous dirai que le journaliste du Figaro m’a envoyé son article et m’a demandé ce que j’en pensais (du bien, d’ailleurs). Le croirez-vous, les gens avec qui j’ai aujourd’hui l’occasion de parler de la Chine doivent surement tous lire Libération parce qu’ils m’expliquent tranquillement que les bouddhistes sont pourchassés dans un malheureux Tibet génocidé où parler le tibétain et prier c’est s’exposer à la prison ?

      Et maintenant, continuez à bien vous tenir, je prétends que si je partais au Xinjiang avec les deux grands reporters du Monde et du Figaro, chacun marquant l’autre « à la culotte », aucun n’écrirait au retour que Beijing se livre à un génocide contre les Ouïghours, brime leur religion, éradique leur culture, charcute les enfants.
Parce que ce n’est pas vrai.
Un peu quand même ? 
Non, pas du tout.
Les charniers de #Timisoara n’étaient pas vrais « un peu » . Les Gilets jaunes n’ont pas envahi « un peu » l’hôpital de la Pitié-Salpétrière, Nicolas Maduro n’a pas été « un peu » élu contre Juan Guaido (qui n’était pas candidat, je le rappelle aux distraits), etc. (3).

      Si je partais au #Xinjiang (j’y suis allé deux fois) avec Renaud Girard et Rémy Ourdan, ils s’affranchiraient des informateurs yankees et autres menteurs professionnels, ils se distingueraient de leurs confères qui écrivent des articles d’une telle débilité qu’ils sont des insultes aux lecteurs, des crachats sur la charte des journalistes. Ils feraient leur job en se respectant.

      #Beijing hait les enfants #ouïghours jusqu’à les tuer pour prélèvement d’organes ? C’est #Goebbels qui vous le dit. Il peut même faire témoigner (de dos) un chirurgien masqué dont le nom a été changé et la voix modifiée. Goebbels peut pondre un article terrifiant à coups de conditionnels, de « selon des témoins… », de « certaines sources affirment… », de « il semblerait que…. », de « un diplomate aurait constaté », « des Ouïghours auraient disparu… » de « des organisation de défense des droits de l’homme… ». Un conditionnel dix fois répété devient un indicatif certifié.

      La caisse dans laquelle le félin #Goebbels se soulage volontiers s’appelle #Libération.

      Il y a quelques années, Le Grand Soir avait démontré qu’un article traficoté de Libération avait fait de Hugo Chavez un antisémite (« Le Credo antisémite de Hugo Chavez » https://www.legrandsoir.info/chavez-antisemitisme-et-campagne-de-desinformation-a-propos-d-un-artic ).

      Un échange vigoureux et public avait alors eu lieu entre Le Grand Soir et Libération. Nous avions les preuves, nous les avons fournies. Irréfutables. Nous avons mis en regard la phrase de Chavez et la même, après troncature par Libération. Libération ergota (4). Pour ses lecteurs, Chavez est donc resté un antisémite. Pour les lecteurs des autres médias aussi, qui choisirent de se taire pour ne pas désavouer Libération. Le clan, la #mafia

      Le journaliste coupable de cette crapulerie est #Jean-Hébert_Armengaud, promu depuis rédacteur en chef de #Courrier_International et son N+1 à Libé, qui l’a couvert jusqu’au bout, est #Pierre_Haski, aujourd’hui chroniqueur tous les matins sur #France_Inter . Promotions au mérite.

      Alors, je le redis ici en invitant mes lecteurs à vérifier : les Ouïghours et les #Tibétains sont de plus en plus (et spectaculairement) nombreux, leur culture est préservée et promue comme jamais dans leur Histoire, leur religion est (trop) libre, l’instruction fait des progrès considérables, les deux républiques autonomes du Xinjiang et du #Tibet votent des lois dont aucune ne permet d’encager les citoyens au simple motif de leur croyance, de stériliser de force les femmes ou d’amputer les enfants.

      Pour répondre plus avant à la déferlante de mensonges sur le Xinjiang, il me faudrait citer des pages entières de mon livre « Le dalaï lama pas si zen » . On pourrait croire que les instigateurs des campagnes mondiales de mensonges ont un logiciel unique avec des cases sur lesquelles cliquer pour que ça démarre.

      La #stérilisation ? « Des villages entiers » (Voir les Mémoires du dalaï lama, longuement citées dans « Le dalaï lama, pas si zen »). 
Le #génocide ? « Observateur critique de la politique chinoise, le Britannique Patrick French, directeur de la « Free Tibet Campaign » (Campagne pour l’indépendance du Tibet) a pu consulter les archives du gouvernement du Dalaï-Lama en exil. Il a découvert que les preuves du génocide étaient des faux et il a démissionné de son poste » (« Le dalaï lama, pas si zen »).

      Cependant, la publicité faite en Occident à cette affaire d’extermination (par la stérilisation et des massacres) de la population tibétaine, a largement contribué hier à un élan de compassion pour le Tibet et le bouddhisme. Aujourd’hui les mensonges « hénaurmes » sur le Xinjiang font pleurnicher les gogos, soudain épris de cette région dont ils seraient bien en peine de citer la Capitale (5).
Ce n’est pas Laurent Joffrin, Pierre Haski, Jean-Hébert Armengaud qui le déploreront.

      Je ne sais pas à qui pense l’excellente humoriste #Blanche_Gardin quand elle affirme (un peu trop crument pour être citée par un site de bonne tenue comme Le Grand Soir) que « Nous vivons dans un pays où les journalistes sucent plus de bites que les prostituées ».

      Maxime VIVAS

      Notes. 
(1) Si l’on rapporte le chiffre de #Radio_Free_Asia au nombre de Ouïghours mâles adultes, il n’en reste pas un dans les rues. Or, continuez à vous tenir bien : j’en ai vus !
      
(2) Il serait injuste de ne pas mentionner les positions exemplaires( et dignes d’un chef d’Etat) de Jean-Luc Mélenchon sur la Chine. Au demeurant, je lui sais gré de me citer et d’inviter ses contradicteurs à me lire ici et ici sur ce sujet où nous sommes synchrones, même si j’ai une liberté d’expression qu’il ne peut avoir. 

      (3) Anecdote personnelle. Me trouvant avec mon fils aîné au commissariat de police de Toulouse le samedi 4 mai 2020 pour nous enquérir du sort de mon fils cadet, Gilet jaune arrêté pour rien dans la manif (Il fut jugé en « comparution immédiate » et acquitté après 42 heures de #GAV) nous apprîmes qu’il s’était tailladé les mains pour écrire avec son sang sur les murs de sa cellule. Nous avons vécu avec cette information terrifiante (que nous cachâmes à sa mère) jusqu’au lundi 6 mai où, devant le tribunal, il apparut, les mains intactes. Il ne se les était même pas « un peu » tailladées. L’automutilation des mains était aussi vraie que l’amputation des enfants ouïghours. Nombre de #journaleux ont un flic dans leur tête.
      
(4) J’aime à raconter cette histoire du Figaro écrivant qu’un film de #Jean_Yanne était « un monument de bêtise ». Jean Yanne s’en servit ainsi dans ses pubs : « Le Figaro : « un monument ! ».
      
(5) #Urumqi, 2 millions d’habitants.
      #merdias #journullistes #médias #propagande #us #usa #Jamestown_Foundation #libération

  • Mongolen in Beijing
    https://userpage.fu-berlin.de/~corff/im/Texte/renne.html

    mit weiterführenden Links zu Tibet und Buddhismus

    4 May 1998, 11:29:51 CEST von Mark Renné
    Momentaufnahme und Bruch in der Zeit

    Ankunft in Beijing im Frühjahr 1987. Unverhältnismäßig groß und leer wirkt auch in diesem Jahr das neue Flughafengebäude, kalt und monumental seine großen, grau-melierten Steinplatten. Auf der Fahrt über das neue Autobahnkreuz und vorbei an den in den letzten Jahren als joint ventures aus dem Boden gestampften Hotelkomplexen denke ich, daß Beijing auch 1987 keine schöne Stadt ist. Zu viele Baustellen gibt es hier, aus denen dieselben charakterlosen Neubauten emporwachsen werden, die schon jetzt einen viel zu großen Teil des Stadtbildes bestimmen. Wieviel schöner, wenn auch schmutziger, muß es hier noch vor dreißig Jahren ausgesehen haben, als noch nicht so viele Tempel und Palastbauten abgerissen waren und die hohen Stadtmauern noch nicht durch die die Stadt jetzt so unnatürlich durchschneidenden breiten Umgehungsstraßen ersetzt waren.

    Wir fahren in ein altes Stadtviertel in der Nähe des ehemaligen Reismarktes, wo noch die traditionellen, durch Holztüren aus engen Gassen zugänglichen Häuser mit Innenhof stehen, über die sich ein grau geziegeltes Walmdach deckt.

    In einem kleinen Hotel erwartet uns Dorje, ein mongolischer Prinz, der noch in eben jenem alten Beijing gelebt hat, das jetzt, aus der Notwendigkeit der schnellen Schaffung von Wohnraum für die ständig wachsende Bevölkerung heraus, systematisch in Schutt und Asche gelegt wird. Der Prinz ist nicht groß, die Schnürsenkel seiner traditionellen Stoffschuhe aus schwarzem Cord hängen offen, unter der weiten Hose aus grauem Sommerleinen gucken die Reißverschlüsse der wattierten Unterhosen hervor. Als Oberkleid trägt er über einem verwaschenen Rollkragenpulli aus blaß-violetter Baumwolle eine graue Strickweste sowie eine gefütterte braune Seidenjacke, die noch einmal von einer Überjacke aus blauem Tuch vor neugierigen Blicken und Verschmutzung geschützt wird. Die blaue Umhängetasche, in der er sein Manuskript trägt, entspricht den derzeit gängigen Vorstellungen über eine moderne, gutaussehende Reisetasche.

    Die Hände des Prinzen sind lang und schmal, Gesichts- und Augenfarbe auffallend hell. Später erzählt er uns, daß seine Familie früher einmal an der Wolga gelebt habe und wohl mindestens vier weißrussische Frauen sein äußeres Erscheinungsbild mitbestimmt hätten.

    Während wir ein erstes Gespräch führen, versuche ich, den Mongolen in ihm zu finden. Ich denke an meine Reise zu den Touristenjurten bei Huhhot, heute Provinzhauptstadt der Autonomen Region Innere Mongolei — an die braungebrannten, breiten Gesichter mit den schmalen Augen, die kräftigen, von der körperlichen Arbeit geprägten, oft fröhlich singenden Frauen mit den zwei- oder dreimal um den Kopf gewickelten Zöpfen, an die Kamelritte und an die von viel Wein und Gesang begleiteten Hammelessen.
    Mongolische Spuren

    In den gleichen Mongolenkitteln, wie ich sie in Huhhot gesehen habe, jenen quergeknöpften Gewändern, die im Gegensatz zu den traditionellen, weitfallenden chinesischen Gewändern von einer bunt bestickten Schärpe zusammengehalten werden, kamen sie schon Anfang dieses Jahrhunderts nach Beijing, als Kinder der Steppe, um auf dem alten Mongolenmarkt bei der ehemaligen britischen Gesandtschaft, der heutigen Dongjiaomin-Gasse südöstlich des Kaiserpalastes, Felle und Türkise einzutauschen gegen die feinen Gegenstände der westlichen Zivilisation. Und so trifft man sie auch heute noch, vor den Schaufenstern der großen Warenhäuser in Beijings Haupteinkaufsstraße Wangfujing, damals wie heute verlacht und bespöttelt vom hauptstädtischen Überlegenheitsgefühl der alteingesessenen Beijinger.

    Doch nicht nur als tumpelhafte Einkäufer, auch als Eroberer kamen die Mongolen nach Beijing. Nachdem sie unter Dschingghis Khan bis nach Europa vorgedrungen waren, richteten sie unter seinen Nachfolgern ihr Augenmerk wieder mehr auf den asiatischen Raum. 1279, nach siebzig Jahren kriegerischer Auseinandersetzungen, hatten sie die Song-Kaiser endgültig besiegt und ganz China unter ihre Kontrolle gebracht. Bereits 1266 hatte Dschingghis Khans Enkel Kubilai Khan beschlossen, die Hauptstadt des mongolischen Weltreiches, des größten zusammenhängenden Landreiches, das bis dahin existiert hatte, von Karakorum, westlich des heutigen Ulan Bator, nach Beijing zu verlegen. Rund um den Beihai-Park entstand hier innerhalb von vier Jahren die von Marco Polo so farbenprächtig beschriebene „Stadt des großen Khan“. Auf türkisch hieß sie Khanbaliq, auf chinesisch Dadu, die „große Hauptstadt“ der von Kubilai Khan gegründeten Yuan-Dynastie (1271-1368). Um einen Flecken Steppengras, das der Khan als Andenken an das einstige Nomadenleben mitgebracht hatte, entstanden die aus weißem Marmor gebauten und mit kunstvollen Steinmetzarbeiten verzierten Paläste, bekam die Stadt ihre bis heute erhaltene Grundeinteilung. Nicht nur die großen, von Norden nach Süden verlaufenden bis heute erhaltenen Verkehrsadern wie die Dongdan-, die Xisi- oder die Dongzhimen-Straße gehen auf die Mongolen zurück, auch der Trommelturm und die Alte Sternwarte haben bereits in Dadu die nördliche beziehungsweise südöstliche Stadtgrenze markiert. Heute sind die meisten dieser alten Bauten aus der Yuan-Dynastie nur noch in den Annalen der Beijinger Stadtgeschichte wiederzufinden. Durch Kriege, Feuersbrünste oder auch einfach Alterschwäche zerstört, wurden sie in den folgenden Dynastien wieder aufgebaut; auf die Mongolen geht meist nur noch die Festlegung ihres Standortes und ihrer Funktion zurück. Und so sind es inzwischen Legenden, in denen sich die Bedeutung ausdrückt, die den Mongolen bei der Gestaltung des Beijinger Stadtbildes zugekommen ist: So gäbe es zum Beispiel die die Silhouette des Beihai-Parkes nordwestlich des Kaiserpalastes so markant abrundende Weiße Pagode nicht, wenn nicht im 8. Jahrhundert ein Prinz der Tang-Dynastie von einem wundersamen Berg in der Mongolei gehört hätte, von dem sagte, daß er seinen Besitzer in den Genuß ungeahnter Kräfte bringen würde. Doch wie sollte der Prinz den Berg von der fernen Mongolei bis nach Beijing transportieren. Nach Gebeten zum schwarzgesichtigen Gott der Hindernisse und Bedrängnisse entschloß er sich, den Berg mit Essig zu begießen und um ihn herum ein Feuer anzuzünden, woraufhin der wunderbare Berg sich auflöste und zu jenem Hügel wurde, auf dem sich heute die Weiße Pagode erhebt. Wohl als Ergebnis der Reisen der Mönches Changchun, des Erbauers der Pagode, der von Dschingghis Khan als Berater angefordert und ihn auf ausgedehnten Reisen durch die Mongolei bis nach Indien begleitete, wurde die Pagode in der Form eines mongolischen Reliquienschreins erbaut: Ihre fünf Abschnitte Basis, Baukörper, Turmspitze, Ornamentik und vergoldete Abschlußkugel symbolisieren die fünf Elemente Wasser Erde, Feuer, Luft und Äther.

    Mongolische Spuren auch aus der mandschurischen Qing-Zeit, als Beijing zum zweitenmal Hauptstadt einer nicht han-chinesischen Dynastie war. 1500 hauptsächlich aus der Mongolei stammende Lamas wohnten damals in dem weiträumigen, von ochsenblutroten Mauern mehrmals unterteilten Lamatempel Yonghegong im Nordosten der Stadt. Einst hatte der Tempel einem Mandschu-Prinzen als Palast gedient, später soll er Sitz eines Lebenden Buddha geworden sein. Damit dieser, nach dem lamaistischen Glauben fleischgewordene Buddha, seinen Einfluß auf seine mongolischen Glaubensbrüder dahingehend verwendete, daß sie die Herrschaft der Qing-Kaiser durch ihre Überfälle nicht weiter bedrohten, ließen die Qing-Kaiser dem Lamatempel reiche Geschenke zukommen. Über die so verwöhnten Mönche heißt es, daß sie es nicht für nötig gehalten hätten, Chinesisch zu lernen, daß sie schlechte Manieren gehabt und faul, geizig und unwissend gewesen seien. Nach kärglichen Zeiten, als unter der Republik neben den kaiserlichen Zuwendungen auch die Spenden des in Beijing stationierten mongolischen Banners des einstigen Qing-Heeres nicht mehr in die Tempelkasse flossen, wurde der Tempel unter der Volksrepublik ganz geschlossen, dann aber Anfang der achtziger Jahre wieder geöffnet. Und wieder sind es bis auf zwei Tibeter mongolische Lamas, die dort ihren täglichen Dienst verrichten. Denn bis jetzt ist das Leben im Tempel nur den Mitgliedern der nationalen Minderheiten erlaubt. Und so sieht man dort jetzt wieder die mongolischen Knaben und Männer mit den kahlgeschorenen Schädeln in den braunen, je nach Ranghöhe von einem roten oder gelben Gürtel zusammengehaltenen Kutten die Perlen ihrer Gebetsketten weiterschieben oder die klassischen Sutren studieren.

    Von der Bedrohung, die die Mongolen für die Beherrscher von Beijing bedeutet haben müssen,spürt man noch in Überlieferungen wie der über den der Song-Dynastie loyalen Beamten Xie Fangde, der den mongolischen Yuan-Kaiser nicht anerkennen wollte und sich im Fayence-Tempel verbarrikadierte. Er starb dort den Hungertod. Eine andere Legende erzählt von der weisen Nonne Lü aus dem heute nicht mehr erhaltenen, einst aber außerordentlich einflußreichen Xianying-Kloster. Immer wieder versuchte sie den Ming-Kaiser Yingzong von der geplanten Strafexpedition gegen die aufrührerischen Mongolen abzubringen, konnte sie doch vorhersehen, daß der Kaiser gefangen genommen und erst sieben Jahre später wieder in seine Hauptstadt zurückkehren würde.
    Ratlosigkeit und Zufälligkeiten

    Und wo sind sie heute, die Mongolen in Beijing, die einst von hieraus ein Weltreich regierten? Fragt man Han-Chinesen, herrscht Ratlosigkeit. Zwar haben sie alle schon einmal einen Ausflug zur Großen Mauer gemacht und dort auch die mongolischen Schriftzeichen an der Wolkenterrasse am Juyong-Paß nordwestlich von Beijing gesehen. Und wahrscheinlich wissen sie auch, daß die die Yuan-Herrschaft ablösenden Kaiser der Ming-Dynastie diese Mauer erbauen ließen, da sie die Mongolen nie ganz bezwingen, die nördlichen Steppen nie ganz unter ihre Kontrolle bringen konnten. Und natürlich kennen alle Beijinger den besonders im Winter beliebten mongolischen Feuertopf, in dem man Lamm- oder Hammelfleisch mit verschiedenen Gemüsen kocht. Daß sie auch ihre Vorliebe für Süßigkeiten den Mongolen verdanken, wissen sie nicht unbedingt, wenn sie ihren Kindern am Straßenrand die auf ein Bambusholz gesteckten kandierten Granatäpfel kaufen, die die Mongolen einst an einer Schnur um den Hals trugen, um dann beim Reiten ab und zu davon abzubeißen.

    Angesichts des achselzuckenden Unwissens, das auch Geschichtslehrer und Angehörige anderer nationaler Minderheiten mir entgegenbringen, sobald ich das Gespräch auf die Mongolen in Beijing bringe, überlege ich, ob ich nicht einer Fiktion aufgesessen bin und aus der Bekanntschaft mit einem im Beijing lebenden mongolischen Prinzen heraus nach weiteren Mongolen suche, die es hier in Wirklichkeit gar nicht gibt. Ich denke an die bekannte und beliebte mongolische Schaupielerin Siqin Gaowa, die vor einigen Jahren Aufsehen erregt hatte, als sie in dem im Beijing der zwanziger Jahre spielenden Film „Der Rikschakuli“ eine Verführungsszene echter als bisher üblich mimte. Wenige Jahre später war Siqin Gaowa noch einmal in aller Munde. Sie ließ sich von ihrem chinesischen Ehemann scheiden, um einen Schweizer zu heiraten und mit ihm nach Westeuropa zu ziehen. Siqin Gaowa ist gegangen, doch die Filmstudios der Inneren Mongolei arbeiten weiter und über das staatliche Filmbüro gelangen ihre Produktionen auch in die Beijinger Lichtspielhäuser. Am Nachmittag sehe ich einen Film aus der Inneren Mongolei, in dem es um eine Beijinger Schülerin geht, die während der Kulturrevolution aufs Land verschickt wird, wo sie sich in einen mongolischen Nomaden verliebt. Lange zögert sie, als ein Brief ihr das Studium in Beijing ermöglicht, gibt aber schließlich dem Druck der Freundinnen nach und zieht zurück in die Hauptstadt, um dort Philosophie zu studieren. Später bereut sie diesen Entschluß; sie vereinsamt, sieht um sich herum nur unglückliche Liebesbeziehungen. Der Film endet mir ihrem Entschluß, in die Steppe zurückzukehren, um dort bei dem nur ihr allein gehörenden Mongolen Schutz und Geborgenheit zu finden.

    Ich blättere in Zeitschriften und entdecke in der letzten Ausgabe von „Chinese Women“ einen Artikel über eine mongolische Schriftstellerin, die als Bettlerin in einem Bergdorf in der Inneren Mongolei aufwuchs. Da man ihr die Teilnahme am Unterricht in der Schule verbot, lernte sie bei einem Geschichtenerzähler Lesen und Schreiben. Gegen den Widerstand der Dorfbewohner eignete sie sich Bildung an wurde zur „Gedichte schreibenden Tante“, die an die „Chinesischen Bauernnachrichten“ Verse wie zum Beispiel den „Traum von einem Besuch in Beijing“ schickte: „...diese Leere, die mich von meinen Hergen vertrieb, zu einer anderen Welt in Beijing...“
    Ein mongolischer Kader erzählt

    So wie sie hat es einst viele wissensdurstige Mongolen nach Beijing gezogen. Ein mongolischer Kader, der in einer Beijinger Wirtschaftsbehörde arbeitet, bringt Systematik in mein Mongolenbild:

    Er selbst sei in einem Dorf in der Inneren Mongolei geboren. In den fünfziger Jahren sei er zum Studium nach Beijing gekommen, wo ihm eine Arbeit zugeteilt worden sei, so daß er heute immer noch hier wohne. Er rechnet sich zur dritten Gruppe von Mongolen in Beijing, denen, die es zufällig, aus beruflichen Gründen hierher verschlagen habe und die hier, entsprechend der von der Regierung ausgegebenen Richtlinie, daß die nationalen Minderheiten in allen staatlichen Institutionen vertreten sein sollten, zusammen mit Chinesen leben und arbeiten. Daneben gäbe es die Gruppe jener Mongolen, die nach der Gründung der Volksrepublik von der neuen Regierung aus der Inneren Mongolei nach Beijing gerufen worden seien. Denn während es den nationalen Minderheiten unter der Guomindang schlecht gegangen sei, hätte die kommunistische Partei ihnen Respekt und Anerkennung entgegengebracht. Ein Institut, ein Verlag und Tanzensemble für nationale Minderheiten seien in Beijing gegründet worden; es gäbe Übersetzer, die die klassischen mongolischen Dramen ins Chinesische übertrügen oder für Radio Beijing die mongolischen Versionen der für die Ausstrahlung in die Innere und Äußere Mongolei bestimmten Nachrichtensendungen erstellten. Bei diesen Mongolen seien die nationalen Traditionen am deutlichsten erhalten; sie besäßen mongolische Festtagskleidung, beherrschten Volkslieder und traditionelle Musikinstrumente, wie zum Beispiel die Pferdekopfgeige und wüßten über die mongolischen Sportarten Bescheid, die einmal im Jahr beim Naadam-Fest im Institut für nationale Minderheiten einer interessierten Beijinger Öffentlichkeit vorgeführt würden.

    Daneben gäbe es dann noch die Gruppe der alteingessenen Mongolen, die schon vor der Befreiung 1949 in Beijing gelebt hätten. So wie die Beijinger Moslems rund um die Moschee in der Ochsenstraße lebten, hätten die Wohngebiete dieser Mongolen eine relativ große Fläche rund um dem Lamatempel eingenommen. Die ärmeren Mongolen hätten in den traditionellen chinesischen Wohnhäusern mit Innenhof gewohnt; Adlige und Prinzen hätten vornehmere, aber ebenfalls im chinesischen Stil gebaute Anwesen besessen. Heute seien viele Mongolen vom Lamatempel weggezogen, in die Wohnheime bei den Arbeitsstätten, die ihnen von der neuen Regierung zugewiesen worden seien.

    Insgesamt lebten heute in der chinesischen Hauptstadt zwischen zwanzig- und dreißigtausend Mongolen. Zwar hätten sie sich dem Beijinger Alltag fast vollständig angepaßt, ihrer nationalen Eigenständigkeit seien sie sich aber immer noch deutlich bewußt. Und mit den Mongolen der Äußeren Mongolei fühlten sie sich auf das Engste verbunden. Innerhalb der 56 nationalen Minderheiten, die zusammen fünf Prozent der Gesamtbevölkerung der Volksrepublik China ausmachten, hätten die Mongolen eine starke Position, hieße die traditionelle Rangordnung für die fünf wichtigsten Völker doch Han-Chinesen — Manzhou — Mongolen — Moslems — Tibeter. Dieses hohe Ansehen hinge mit der Rolle zusammen, die die Mongolen in der chinesischen Geschichte gespielt hätten. So sei es zum Beispiel ein mongolischer General gewesen, der die Truppen der Qing-Regierung gegen die aufständischen Boxer befehligt habe. Und auch in dem Erfolgsfilm „Die Verbrennung des Alten Sommerpalastes“ sei es ein kräftig gebauter Mongole gewesen, der in einer, mit heftigem Applaus bedachten Szene den vorwitzigen Vertreter der Beijing bedrohenden ausländischen Mächte kurzerhand unter den Arm klemmte und in den nahegelegenen Graben warf. Die nationale Identität hätte sich heute vermutlich am deutlichsten in den Eßgewohnheiten erhalten. Zwar hätten sich die Mongolen weitgehend auf die chinesische Küche eingestellt, aber sie äßen doch mehr Lamm- und Hammelfleisch als die anderen Hauptstadtbewohner. Und zum Frühstück gäbe es bei ihnen nicht Reissuppe, sondern den aus zerriebenen Teeziegeln mit Salz aufgekochten schwarzen Tee, in den sie Kuhmilch, Gerste und eventuell getrockneten Käse gäben. Auch trinkfester als die Chinesen seien sie. Gegen Ende eines gemeinsamen Abends würden sie gerne gemeinsam singen, sie liebten die mongolischen Ringkämpfe, und wenn sie es nicht schon als sechs- bis siebenjährige Kinder gelernt hätten, dann hätten sie spätestens dann Reiten gelernt, wenn sie ihre Verwandten in der Inneren Mongolei besuchten.

    Was das Heiraten angehe, so hofften wohl alle mongolischen Eltern, auch die, die für sich selbst einen han-chinesischen Ehepartner ausgewählt hätten, daß ihre Kinder sich in einen Mongolen oder eine Mongolin verliebten. So wäre es einfacher, wenn schon nicht die mongolische Sprache, so doch wenigstens einige letzte Traditionen und etwas zusätzliches Wissen über die eigene Geschichte und Kultur an die Nachfahren weiterzugeben. Falls eine innermongolische Ehe, wie in fünfzig Prozent der Fälle, nicht zustande käme, fühlten sich die Mongolen besonders zu den in Nordchina lebenden Han-Chinesen, Mandschus und Koreanern hingezogen; die anderen in China lebenden Nationalitäten seien ihnen relativ fremd geblieben.
    Die Mongolenforschung an der Beijing-Universität

    Das Telefon klingelt; es scheint sich gelohnt zu haben, daß ich überall von meiner Mongolensuche erzählt habe. Auf Umwegen höre ich von einem polnischen Forscher für mongolische Sprache an der Beijing-Universität, der sich bereit erklärt, dort zwei Mongolen in meiner Sache zu interviewen und mir am nächsten Tag Folgendes mitteilt: Seit mindestens dreißig Jahren gibt es innerhalb des Instituts für Orientalische Sprachen der Beijing-Universität eine Abteilung für Mongolistik. Während die sieben Studenten dort ausschließlich Han-Chinesen sind, kommen zwei der ebenfalls sieben Lehrkörper aus der Inneren Mongolei; die Äußere Mongolei hat für ein Jahr einen Gastprofessor entsandt. Der Unterricht findet in chinesischer Sprache statt, es wird aber auch Mongolisch gelernt. Die Bibliothek umfasse viele Publikationen aus der Äußeren Mongolei, aber auch auf Mongolisch geschriebene Bücher aus der Inneren Mongolei, sowie chinesische und ausländische Werke. Mit der diplomatischen Vertretung der Mongolischen Volksrepublik stünde man offensichtlich in gutem Kontakt, kämen deren Mitglieder doch des öfteren auf einen Schwatz an die Beijing-Universität und sei der Abteilungsleiter gerade von einem längeren Forschungsaufenthalt aus Ulan Bator zurückgekehrt. Auf die Frage, was den Mitarbeitern der Abteilung zu den Mongolen in Beijing einfalle, kommt nur eine kurze Antwort. Etwa 7000 Mongolen lebten derzeit in Beijing. Sie hätten keinen inneren Zusammenhang mehr und seien in der ganzen Stadt verstreut. Die meisten von ihnen sprächen kein Mongolisch, niemand habe sich in irgendeiner Weise hervorgetan oder gar Berühmtheit erlangt. Aus anderer Quelle höre ich später, daß um den Kohlehügel, in der Nähe der Qinghua-Universität und in den Duftenden Bergen noch relativ viele Mongolen leben sollen. Und man erzählt mir auch von dem berühmten mongolischen Philosophen Ai Siqi, dem Geologen Li Siguang, dem Schriftsteller Li Zhun.
    Der Buchladen und das Alte Mongolenviertel rund um den Lamatempel

    Auf der Suche nach schriftlichem Material mache ich mich auf zum großen Buchladen in Wangfujing-Straße. Zwar ist es inzwischen leichter geworden, an ausländische Publikationen heranzukommen, aber über die Mongolen, geschweige denn die Mongolen in Beijing, finde ich nicht ein einziges Buch. Lediglich in der nach Verlagen geordneten Abteilung stehen einige chinesische Bücher, die der Verlag der Inneren Mongolei aufgelegt hat: eine Einführung in Fragen der Volkswirtschaft, der vom Mongolischen über das Französische ins Chinesische übersetzte Roman „Das ausländische Banner“ sowie ein 1984 erschienener Band mit prämiierten Kurzgeschichten. Etwa jede vierte Erzählung stammt von einem mongolischen Autor, die Themen umfassen die Verletzung der Nomadengesetze bei der Hirschjagd, aber auch das Scheitern einer Liebesbeziehung, als die Frau mehr Wissen erwirbt, als im Dorf üblich ist oder den Konkurrenzkampf zwischen dem Fahrer eines Eselkarrens und dem eines LKWs. Nebenan gibt es einen Buchladen für nationale Minderheiten. Dort finde ich drei Regale mit Bücher in mongolischer Sprache, neben Werken in Tibetisch, Uigurisch, Koreanisch und Kasachisch. Auf dem Ladentisch liegen verstaubte Hefte der Zeitschrift „Minderheiten, vereinigt Euch!“ sowie mongolische, tibetische und koreanische Versionen von „China im Bild“ und der Mao-Bibel. Aus Mangel an Büchern suche ich nach Musikkassetten, aber auch hier ergeht es mir nicht viel besser. In vier Schallplattenläden gibt es nur eine einzige Kassette mit mongolischen Volksliedern, gesungen von zwei alternden han-chinesischen Popstars.

    Also entschließe ich mich zu einem Spaziergang in das Alte Mongolenviertel rings um den Lamatempel. Bis auf den Kahlschlag an der nördlichen Andingmen-Straße ist hier noch ein Stück altes Beijing erhalten geblieben: Rostige Ofenrohre ragen über den Bürgersteig und blasen den Ruß der Kohleöfen ins Freie, ein Singvogel zwitschert aus seinem an der verwitterten Holztür aufgehängten Bambuskäfig, unter weißen und hellblauen Papierblumen klebt ein mit einer Plastikfolie vor Regen geschütztes rotes Plakat, auf das in ordentlichen schwarzen Schriftzeichen die Namen und Adressen der in diesem Monat ausgezeichneten Bewohner des Viertels gepinselt sind. Ich lese die Familiennamen, sie scheinen mir alle chinesische Namen zu sein. In der Dritten Gasse zur Neuen Nördlichen Brücke gibt es keine Geschäfte, nur graue Mauern, aus denen leicht geöffnete Türen den Blick in die alten Innenhöfe freigeben. Ein alter Mann, dem die Fausthandschuhe an einer Schnur um den Hals baumeln, trägt in einem Einkaufsnetz aus Nylon eine Flasche Essig nach Hause. Ein anderer hat einen Behälter mit dem Propangas für die Zubereitung der nächsten Mahlzeiten an der Seite seines schwarzen Fahrrades festgebunden. Vor einem roten Haustürschild bleibe ich stehen und frage den Alten, der gerade mit einer Schüssel schmutzigen Wassers herauskommt, ob die Schriftzeichen an seiner Tür Uigurisch seien. Er bejaht und erzählt mir, daß er Moslem sei. Wenn ich Mongolen suchte, sollte ich zum Lamatempel gehen. Hier in seiner Gasse gäbe es keine Mongolen mehr, Eine junge Chinesin kommt hinzu. Auch sie weiß nichts von Mongolen hier. An der nächsten Straßenecke rede ich mit einem sicher achtzigjährigen Chinesen, der gerade die Zeitung geholt hat. Ich frage mich, ob er schon lange hier wohnt. Er lacht und sagt ja. Ob es noch Mongolen hier gäbe? Nein, nur die Lamas nebenan im Tempel. In der Tat habe ich den ganzen Viertel kein einziges Feuertopf-Restaurant gesehen; in anderen Stadtteilen reiht sich inzwischen oft eins an das andere. Nur in der baumstandenen Allee, die einst zur kaiserlichen Akademie führte, steht vielleicht als einzige mongolische Spur, eine inzwischen stark verschmutzte Marmorstele, auf der auch auf Mongolisch geschrieben steht, daß die Beamten hier vom Pferd absteigen müßten.
    Money changers und Schriftstellerverband

    Ich besuche eine Freundin vom chinesischen Schriftstellerverband, selbst Angehörige einer nationalen Minderheit, die mir noch einige zusätzliche Informationen beschaffen will. Auf dem Wege zu ihr werde ich aufgrund meiner westlichen Kleidung von einem modisch herausgeputzten Schwarzmarkthändler angesprochen. Er erzählt mir, daß es unter seinen Freunden viele Mongolen gäbe. Wie er seien sie money changer. Jede Woche kämen sie für ein oder zwei Tage aus der Inneren Mongolei nach Beijing, um an den Straßenecken rund um den Kaiserpalast lokale Währung gegen Devisen einzutauschen, mit denen sie dann die begehrten Fernseher, Stereoanlagen und Zigaretten aus dem Westen für ihre fern des Warenangebots der Hauptstadt lebenden Landsleute einkauften.

    Meine Freundin ist erfolglos geblieben. Der mongolische Schriftsteller, den sie mir vorstellen wollte, läßt ausrichten, daß es über die Mongolen in Beijing nichts zu berichten gäbe.
    Alte und neue Prinzen

    Unser Besuch in Beijing ist zuende. Da ich immer noch unsicher bin, was ein Mongole in Beijing nun eigentlich ist, frage ich Dorje zum Abschied, ob es für sein Leben eine wichtige Rolle gespielt habe, daß er Mongole sei. Er antwortet, daß er die Chinesen nie richtig verstehen konnte. Die Beijing-Oper sei ihm fremd geblieben,und er habe nie begreifen können, wie Chinesen sich bei der Wahl eines Ehepartners ganz wesentlich am Erreichen der Standardgröße von 1.65 beziehungsweise 1.75 Metern orientieren könnten. Und dann beginnt er, wie alle meine anderen Gesprächspartner auch, über die mongolische Geschichte und Tradition zu reden. Er erzählt von alten Hochzeitsbräuchen, nach denen das Brautpaar einen zwischen zwei Hada-Tüchern gespannten Hammelknochen halte und dabei „den Ofen anbete“, daß Mongolen sich gerne zur Begrüßung Schnupftabak überreichen und daß „Mongolenarzt“ in der Beijinger Umgangssprache ein Schimpfwort sei, eigentlich aber Mediziner bezeichne, die auch von Han-Chinesen gerne aufgesucht würden, da sie einen Mittelweg zwischen der westlichen und der chinesischen Medizin gefunden hätten.

    Etwas weiter im Westen von Beijing lebt ein anderer Mongolenprinz. Seinen mongolischen Namen hat er sinisieren lassen, so daß die ursprünglische Bedeutung „roter Sohn“ heute nicht mehr erkennbar ist. Seine in Beijing aufgewachsenen und dann in der Sowjetunion in den Vereinigten Staaten ausgebildeten Söhne, von denen zumindest einer mit einer Han-Chinesin verheiratet ist, bekleiden hohe politische Ämter in der Autonomen Region Innere Mongolei. Er selbst wurde 1925 Mitglied einer Revolutionären Volkspartei, deren Ziel die Schaffung einer autonomen Regierung für die Innere Mongolei bildete. 1939 schloß er sich in Yan’an der Kommunistischen Partei Chinas an, die ihn nach der Gründung der Volksrepublik zum Stellvertretenden Vorsitzenden der Nationalitätenkommission ernannte. Von 1947-1967 stand er als Vorsitzender der Volksregierung der Inneren Mongolei vor und seit 1983 ist er der Stellvertretende Staatspräsident der Volksrepublik China. Die Rede ist von Wulanfu, der bei den Mongolen, mit denen ich in Beijing gesprochen habe, hohes Ansehen genießt, da er sich immer wieder für die mongolischen Anliegen eingesetzt habe. Doch darf man, wenn man über die Zukunftsaussichten des mongolischen Adels im heutigen Beijing nachdenkt, nicht vergessen, daß Wulanfu der einzige Mongole ist, dem es gelungen ist, bis in die zentralen Führungsgremien der kommunistischen Partei aufzusteigen.

    Dorje hätte sich eine solche Karriere sicher nie gewünscht. Wenn er am Nachmittag auf einen Plausch oder ein Glas Portwein vorbeikam, hat er uns oft erzählt, daß er im Grunde ein ganz unpolitischer Mensch sei.

    Völker Chinas
    https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/V%C3%B6lker_Chinas

    Tibet
    https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tibet#XXe_si%C3%A8cle

    Tibet sous le contrôle administratif de la dynastie Yuan
    https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tibet_sous_le_contr%C3%B4le_administratif_de_la_dynastie_Yuan

    Dynastie Yuan
    https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynastie_Yuan

    Tibet - Britische Okkupation
    https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tibet#Britische_Okkupation
    %C3%A9clin_de_l’empire

    Innere Mongolei - Geschichte
    https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Innere_Mongolei#Geschichte

    Bouddhisme tibétain
    https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lama%C3%AFsme

    #Chine #Mongolie #Tibet #culture #politique #religion #lamaïsme #bouddhisme

  • Les habitants des régions d’altitude moins sensibles au coronavirus ?

    https://www.altitude.news/culture/sciences/2020/05/20/habitants-regions-altitude-moins-sensibles-coronavirus

    Un lien serait établi entre affaiblissement du covid-19 et altitude. Les populations vivant au-delà de 3.000 mètres d’altitude seraient moins infectés, notamment grâce à leur « acclimatation physiologique à l’hypoxie ».

    #bolivie #équateur #tibet #altitude #covid19

  • Psychopathisches Wahnsystem - Über Dalai-Lama und tibetischen Buddhismus
    http://www.humanistische-aktion.de/wahn.htm

    Was verbirgt sich hinter dem tibetischen Buddhismus? Mit dieser Frage beschäftigte sich der Bund für Geistesfreiheit Kulmbach/Bayreuth, der mit Colin Goldner, Psychologe und Wissenschaftsjournalist aus München, einen Insider eingeladen hatte. Goldner hat in den achtziger Jahren Tibet, Indien und China bereist, war Entwicklungs- und Sozialhelfer in Nepal und stellte Recherchen in der Autonomen Republik Tibet sowie am Exilregierungssitz des Dalai-Lama an. Die Ergebnisse hat er in seinem Buch „Dalai-Lama - Fall eines Gottkönigs“ zusammengefasst

    #religion #guerre #Tibet #bouddhisme

  • Obstacles to Excellence: Academic Freedom & China’s Quest for World Class Universities

    Obstacles to Excellence is a new report from Scholars at Risk mapping threats to academic freedom that jeopardize China’s higher education ambitions.

    “For decades now, the Chinese government has invested heavily in academic institutions and programs designed to compete with the world’s finest,” says SAR executive director Robert Quinn. “This positive ambition is undermined, however, by state policies and practices that fail to protect academic freedom. This poses grave personal and professional risks for Chinese scholars and students,” as documented in the report, “and serious academic, reputational, and financial risks for foreign academic institutions with partnerships with Chinese counterparts, in China or abroad.”

    Drawing on academic literature, legislative and regulatory texts, media, human rights reports, interviews with Chinese and foreign experts, and data from SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project, Obstacles to Excellence identifies pressures and threats to academic freedom in China and where China has extraterritorial academic connections, including:

    Systematic and targeted tactics employed by state and university authorities in mainland China to constrict academic activity and to intimidate, silence, and punish outspoken academics and students;
    Heightened pressures on scholars and students in the Tibet, Inner Mongolia, and Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Regions including language policies that limit equitable access to higher education, heightened surveillance, and the imprisonment of a growing number of minority scholars and students at so-called “re-education camps;”
    Erosion of university autonomy in Hong Kong and Macau under Beijing’s growing influence over China’s Special Administrative Regions;
    Academic freedom and autonomy challenges facing foreign higher education institutions operating joint ventures with Chinese universities on the mainland;
    Extra-territorial pressures by the Chinese Party-state and supporters, through Confucius Institutes and other activities, to restrict academic inquiry and expression at universities outside China; and
    Vague, unsubstantiated, and overbroad foreign government rhetoric and policies that impede academic inquiry and risk stigmatizing innocent overseas Chinese academics and students.

    As noted in the report, a small but growing number of international universities have responded to academic freedom concerns by scaling back or terminating partnerships with institutions in mainland China and with China-supported institutes on their own campuses. Others have stayed out of the public dialogue. Obstacles to Excellence urges nuanced, public discussion of the issues, with the goal of identifying practices which recognize China’s legitimate higher education ambitions while fully protecting academic freedom.

    “Pressures on academic freedom in China mirror those we see around the world, as documented in our annual Free to Think reports,” says SAR’s advocacy director Clare Robinson. “But given the size of its higher education sector, and China’s important and growing position on the global academic stage, it is more important than ever to discuss the issues raised publicly and to work together to institutionalize policies and practices that safeguard academic freedom and recognize its central role in world-class universities and scholarship.”

    Obstacles to Excellence, available in English and simplified Chinese versions, invites readers to consider these important issues and to discuss them publicly, including at conferences, annual association meetings, and in international partnerships. It includes recommendations for Chinese state authorities, university leadership, and civil society in China aimed at strengthening understanding of and respect for academic freedom. It also urges state authorities, higher education leaders, and civil society outside of China to demonstrate their commitment to academic freedom by supporting at-risk Chinese scholars and students, wherever they may be, and by ensuring that their international partnerships—with Chinese and non-Chinese partners alike—respect academic freedom and other core university values.

    https://www.scholarsatrisk.org/resources/obstacles-to-excellence-academic-freedom-chinas-quest-for-world-clas
    #liberté_académique #Chine #université #rapport #scholars_at_risk #éducation #Tibet #Mongolie #Xinjiang_Uyghur #Macau #Hong_Kong #Confucius_Institutes

    Ce mot d’#excellence qui me dérange beaucoup...

  • Portrait d’un imposteur, charlatan, facho, stipendié par la CIA, belliciste et misogyne (j’en oublie). Théophraste R. - 30 Juin 2019 - LGS
    https://www.legrandsoir.info/portrait-d-un-imposteur-charlatan-facho-stipendie-par-la-cia-bellicist

    Eduqué par un précepteur nazi envoyé au Tibet par Hitler, il a été jusqu’en 1959 le chef d’une théocratie si féroce que « son peuple » martyr, avec une espérance de vie de 37,5 ans, était en danger de disparition.

    En avril 1999, il a lancé un appel au gouvernement britannique afin qu’il libère l’ex-dictateur fasciste chilien Augusto Pinochet, arrêté au cours d’une visite en Angleterre (1).

    Il était l’ami du gourou japonais https://www.legrandsoir.info/le-dalai-lama-vient-de-perdre-un-ami.html de la secte Aum, Shoko Asahara qui le sponsorisait et qui a défrayé la chronique de l’horreur en faisant gazer au sarin des passagers du métro de Tokyo le 20 mars 1995.

    Il est subventionné depuis 1959 par la CIA. En 1998, son représentant à Washington a avoué : «  C’est un secret dévoilé, nous ne le contestons pas.  »

    Le 27 juin 2019, il s’est exprimé à la BBC https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-48772175 sur l’immigration en Europe, qu’il souhaite limitée, faute de quoi «  l’Europe pourrait devenir « musulmane ou africaine  ». Elargissant le slogan de nos fascistes («  La France au Français !  ») il a déclaré «  Europe is for Europeans  ».
    Le « chef » si peu spirituel d’une frange minoritaire des bouddhistes envisage de se réincarner en femme, mais «  il faudra qu’elle soit attirante  ». Il n’a pas dit : «  je ne me vois pas en boudin  », mais on l’a entendu.

    Despote, #charlatan, #facho, stipendié par la CIA, belliciste (partisan de la guerre en Irak et en Afghanistan), misogyne, tel est l’individu que notre site dénonce depuis des années dans de nombreux articles (2) quand la classe politico-médiatique se prosterne devant lui.

    Théophraste R. Auteur du pamphlet (que j’hésite à publier) : «  Le dalaï lama est un sale con  ».

    Notes. 
(1) Pendant les 25 années d’emprisonnement de Nelson Mandela, il s’est tu. C’est pourquoi, malgré ses efforts, et contrairement à Raul Castro, il n’a pas été autorisé à assister aux funérailles du leader Sud-Africain en décembre 2013.

    (2) Voir aussi le livre : « Dalaï lama pas si zen », de Maxime Vivas (Editions Max Milo, 2011).

    #dalaï_lama #misogynie #tibet #chine #religion #bouddhisme #femmes #politique #histoire #censure #manipulation #asile #asie #Nelson_Mandela #théocratie #augusto_pinochet #europe #migrations #emmanuel_macron #macron Curieux que #brigitte_macron, ne figure pas sur la photographie, ce devait être une demande de sa #sainteté pour qui les #femmes sont des . . . .

    • J’ai aucune raison de défendre un dirigeant religieux hein, mais on peut pas appeler ça du journalisme quoi. Article débile sans aucune source, qui mélange des trucs vrais et faux exorès (moi j’arrive jamais à avoir confiance à chaque fois que je lis le Grand soir, je pige jamais si c’est un contenu copié d’autre part, un article écrit exprès, et d’où sortent les infos, etc).

      Rien que la première phrase « putaclic » n’a aucun sens « Eduqué par un précepteur nazi envoyé au Tibet par Hitler » : il a jamais été éduqué par un précepteur étranger… il a juste croisé la route de l’alpiniste https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heinrich_Harrer pendant un moment, aucun rapport avec son éducation.

      Enfin bref, super le journalisme quoi… Si c’est pour critiquer une religion, ou des personnes de pouvoir (très bien !), j’attends plus que ce genre de merde, personnellement…

  • Un nouveau site archéologique révise la chronologie des habitations humaines sur le plateau tibétain.

    Qinghai-Tibet Plateau First Conquered by Humans at Least 30,000 Years Ago---Chinese Academy of Sciences

    Les ancêtres des humains se sont d’abord rendus à l’intérieur du plateau Qinghai-Tibétain il y a environ 30 000 à 40 000 ans, selon une nouvelle étude réalisée par des scientifiques de l’Académie chinoise des sciences (ACS). Cette nouvelle découverte recule les données les plus anciennes sur l’habitation à l’intérieur de 20 000 ans ou plus.

    L’équipe de recherche (...) dirigée par le Dr. ZHANG Xiaoling et le Prof. GAO Xing de l’Institut de paléontologie et de paléoanthropologie des vertébrés (IVPP) du CAS, (...) publiée dans Science, était basée sur les recherches de Nwya Devu, le site archéologique le plus ancien et le plus élevé du Paléolithique datant du début de l’âge de pierre, connu dans le monde entier.

    [C’est] une avancée majeure dans notre compréhension de l’occupation humaine et de l’évolution du plateau Qinghai [situé au Nord-Est du plateau tibétain et de plus basse altitude]., ainsi que des migrations et des échanges humains préhistoriques à plus grande échelle.(...)

    La haute altitude, l’hypoxie atmosphérique, les températures froides toute l’année et la faible pluviosité du plateau créent un environnement extrêmement difficile pour l’habitation humaine. Les preuves archéologiques indiquent qu’il s’agissait de l’un des derniers habitats colonisés par l’Homo sapiens. Aujourd’hui, le plateau Qinghai est le troisième endroit le moins peuplé de la planète.

    Jusqu’à présent, il n’existait aucune preuve concrète montrant que des personnes vivaient à l’intérieur du plateau avant l’époque géologique de l’Holocène (il y a 4 200 à 11 700 ans). En outre, seuls quelques sites archéologiques datant de façon fiable datant du Pléistocène (11 700 à 2,58 millions d’années) ont été découverts aux abords du plateau.

    Le site paléolithique de Nwya Devu découvert par cette équipe confirme que des ancêtres des humains ont foulé le plateau Qinghai à une altitude d’environ 5 000 mètres d’altitude, il y a environ 30 000 à 40 000 ans. C’est le premier site archéologique paléolithique découvert au Tibet qui conserve une stratigraphie intacte permettant une datation de l’Antiquité du site. Nwya Devu est situé dans la région de Changthang, dans le nord du Tibet, à environ 300 km au nord-ouest de Lhasa, capitale de la région autonome du Tibet, à environ 4 600 mètres d’altitude.

    Attention : je n’ai pas lu l’article original de Sciences et il me semble donc qu’il y a un problème de localisation : Ci-dessus, Nwya Devu se situerait dans la région du Changthang (la plus grande aire du plateau tibétain, situé au Sud-Ouest) mais le début de l’article mentionne le plateau Qinghai (situé au Nord-Est et de plus basse altitude).

    Le site comprend une vaste surface dense d’artefacts en pierre et un enregistrement continu enterré de l’occupation humaine. C’est le plus ancien site paléolithique connu sur le plateau Qinghai et le plus élevé jamais découvert au monde. Avant cette découverte, les premières traces archéologiques d’activités humaines en haute altitude provenaient de l’Altiplano andin, à environ 4 480 mètres d’altitude, montrant une habitation humaine il y a environ 12 000 ans.

    Cette découverte approfondit considérablement l’histoire de l’occupation humaine du plateau Qinghai et l’antiquité des adaptations humaines à haute altitude (> 4 000 m d’altitude).

    Le Pléistocène supérieur (il y a environ 12 000 à 125 000 ans) a été une période cruciale pour l’évolution humaine. Au cours de cette période, le comportement et les capacités cognitives des humains anciens se sont développés rapidement et leur capacité d’adaptation à un plus large éventail d’environnements s’est accrue de manière similaire. Les artefacts culturels préhistoriques de Nwya Devu fournissent d’importantes preuves archéologiques des stratégies de survie des peuples modernes anatomiquement et comportementalement modernes dans ce qui est sans doute l’environnement terrestre le plus rigoureux sur terre. Il permet également d’analyser les échanges et les interactions paléolithiques entre l’Est et l’Ouest en suggérant des voies de migration possibles.

    Le document a été approuvé par trois relecteurs au cours du processus d’évaluation. L’un d’eux a conclu qu’il « est assez original et très excitant, et qu’il intéressera au plus haut point les lecteurs de Science et les chercheurs qui étudient l’origine et la dispersion des humains modernes. colonisation en altitude. Les résultats ont de profondes implications pour la compréhension du calendrier et de la dynamique de la colonisation humaine du plateau tibétain. »

    Le projet Nwya Devu a été financé par le programme de recherche prioritaire stratégique de l’Académie chinoise des sciences, la Fondation nationale des sciences naturelles de Chine et le projet Financement des fouilles et déploiement emphatique de l’Institut de paléontologie et de paléoanthropologie des vertébrés.

    #Paléolithique #Peuplement #Tibet #Asie #Chine #30000BP #40000BP

    Date : 30 novembre 2018
    Source : #Chinese_Academy_of_Sciences_Headquarters

    Journal Reference :
    X. L. Zhang, B. B. Ha, S. J. Wang, Z. J. Chen, J. Y. Ge, H. Long, W. He, W. Da, X. M. Nian, M. J. Yi, X. Y. Zhou, P. Q. Zhang, Y. S. Jin, O. Bar-Yosef, J. W. Olsen, X. Gao.

    http://english.cas.cn/newsroom/news/201812/t20181203_201748.shtml

    The earliest human occupation of the high-altitude Tibetan Plateau 40 thousand to 30 thousand years ago. Science, 2018 ;
    Science 30 Nov 2018 :
    Vol. 362, Issue 6418, pp. 1049-1051
    DOI : 10.1126/science.aat8824


    http://english.cas.cn/newsroom/news/201812/t20181203_201748.shtml

  • China: Crackdown on Tibetan Social Groups. New Regulations Ban Social Action Under Guise of Fighting ‘Organized Crime’

    Chinese authorities are using an ostensible anti-mafia campaign to target suspected political dissidents and suppress civil society initiatives in Tibetan areas, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The authorities are now treating even traditional forms of social action, including local mediation of community or family disputes by lamas or other traditional authority figures, as illegal.

    The 101-page report, “‘Illegal Organizations’: China’s Crackdown on Tibetan Social Groups,” details efforts by the Chinese Communist Party at the local level to eliminate the remaining influence of lamas and traditional leaders within Tibetan communities. The report features rare in-depth interviews, state media cartoons depicting the new restrictions, and cases of Tibetans arbitrarily detained for their involvement in community activities.


    https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/07/29/china-crackdown-tibetan-social-groups
    #Chine #Tibet #rapport #répression

  • Bambini tibetani per famiglie svizzere

    Su iniziativa dell’industriale di Olten #Charles_Aeschimann, 160 bambini tibetani vengono dati in affidamento a famiglie svizzere tra il 1961 e il 1964. I più non sono orfani, come invece si vuole far credere. È un capitolo fosco e poco conosciuto della storia sociale svizzera legato ai collocamenti extra-familiari e alle adozioni internazionali.


    https://www.swissinfo.ch/page/ita/societa/adozioni-internazionali_bambini-tibetani-per-famiglie-svizzere/44186324
    #enfants #enfance #adoption #Tibet #Suisse #histoire

  • #The_Explorers_Club - About - Summit of #Mount_Everest

    https://explorers.org/about/history/summit_of_mount_everest

    “We couldn’t find the #summit,” #Hillary later phrased it, in good humor. “It wasn’t until we came to a place where we could see that the ridge ahead dropped away, and we could see #Tibet in front of us, that I realized we must be pretty close to the summit. Up above us the snow rounded off into a dome, and we realized that that must be the top.” (Quoted in #LIFE_The_Greatest_Adventures_of_All_Time, 2000)

    TRADUCTION :
    « Nous ne pouvions pas trouver le #sommet, dit plus tard joyeusement Hillary. Ce ne fut qu’au moment où nous arrivions à voir l’arrête redescendre loin devant et à voir le Tibet face à nous que je rendis compte que nous devions être plutôt proches du sommet. Au dessus de nous la neige s’arrondissait en formant un dôme et nous prîmes conscience que cela devait être le sommet. »

    This #article of the #Explorers_Club summarizes the history of the first exploration which arrived at the summit of the #roof_of_the_World. The New Zealander Edmund P. Hillary and #Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norgay succeeded this achievement on #May_29, #1953, marking the recognition of an expedition of 3 months.
    TRADUCTION :
    Cet #article de l’#Explorers_Club nous résume l’histoire de la première expédition parvenue au sommet du #toit_du_monde. L’explorateur #néo-zélandais Edmund P. Hillary et le sherpa #népalais Tenzing Norgay ont réussi cet exploit le #29_mai #1953, marquant la consécration d’une expédition de 3 mois.

  • Is #Taiwan a Country? What About #Tibet? China Says They Aren’t—and Wants Foreign Companies to Fall in Line · Global Voices
    https://globalvoices.org/2018/01/17/is-taiwan-a-country-what-about-tibet-china-says-they-arent-and-wants-f

    Despite what people may say, #Hong_Kong (#Hongkong), #Macau, Taiwan and Tibet are not countries. At least not in the eyes of mainland China.

    This week, a smattering of multinational corporations publicly apologized for listing Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and Tibet as countries on their websites, at the behest of Chinese authorities.

    The wave of apologies from JW Marriott Hotels, Zara, Delta Airlines and Medtronic, among others, was sparked by a January 9 email questionnaire sent by Marriott to its Chinese members, in which the four territories were listed separately from China in one of the questions about residence.

    #chine #territoires #différends_frontaliers #frontières

  • Quand le #Tibet se raconte à travers le film « Tharlo, le berger tibétain »
    https://theconversation.com/quand-le-tibet-se-raconte-a-travers-le-film-tharlo-le-berger-tibeta

    L’histoire de #Tharlo est celle d’un #berger menant une vie simple, qui se voit sommé de faire faire une carte d’identité comme tous les citoyens de la République populaire de #Chine. Mais quand il est se rend au commissariat, Tharlo met du temps à donner son vrai nom. Orphelin, il s’est habitué depuis l’enfance à son surnom, « Petite-Natte ». De plus, il ignore son âge : il pense avoir dans les quarante ans – sa connaissance d’un discours célèbre de #Mao_Zedong signale en effet une éducation sommaire pendant la #Révolution_culturelle.

    #film #cinéma

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2uyCGD-PgI

  • Dalai Lama : Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLY45o6rHm0


    Dans cette vidéo on assiste à la rencontre de deux grand comiques.

    J’encourage le gouvernement chinois à introniser John Oliver comme successeur du Dalai Lama. Je pense que c’est une bonne solution pour les problèmes politiques en relation avec le soi-disant leader religieux des tibétains.

    La preuve : J.O. arrive à convaincre le D.L. à accepter une montre éectronique « Made in China » à la place de la montre mécanique « Swisse made » offerte au leader religieux par Theodore Roosevelt.

    L’unique obstacle à ce dénouement d’un conflit vieux de décennies : Je crains que l’humour de John Oliver et du Dalai Lama soit trop compliqué par rapport à l’humour typiquement chinois pourtant fort agréable.

    P.S. Il y a un problème qui met en question l’argumentaire précédent : Il n’est pas sûr que la montre électronique en question soit « made in China ». Si jamais elle était « made in Vietnam » sa présence constituerait un obstacle insurmontable à la reconcialisation entre le peuple tibétain et le peuple chinois humilié par les Vietnams.

    Guerre sino-vietnamienne
    https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guerre_sino-vietnamienne

    C’est compliqué les relations internationales ...

    #religion #politique #Asie #satire #humour #Chine #Tibet #Vietnam

  • Au #Tibet, la plaie ouverte des mines de lithium
    http://www.lemonde.fr/planete/article/2017/08/14/au-tibet-la-plaie-ouverte-des-mines-de-lithium_5172215_3244.html

    La piste cahoteuse longe la rivière Liqi puis bifurque vers une retenue d’eau. L’altimètre indique 4 200 mètres. Le dernier village et son monastère sont à quinze kilomètres. Un gardien débonnaire nous laisser passer sans ciller à travers la zone minière de Jiajika, sur les hauts plateaux tibétains de Garzê, dans la province chinoise du Sichuan. Jiajika est le plus vaste gisement de spodumène d’Asie, un minerai présent dans les roches magmatiques dont l’on extrait du lithium, avec lequel sont fabriquées les batteries électriques rechargeables.

    L’exploitation de mine, plus coûteuse que celle de lacs asséchés en altitude, intéresse de plus en plus les producteurs chinois. Deux d’entre eux sont présents à Jiajika : Rongda, qui appartient au même groupe que le géant chinois de la voiture électrique BYD ; et, à quelques kilomètres, Tianqi, exploitant de la mine de Greenbushes en Australie, en passe de devenir l’un des plus gros producteurs mondiaux de lithium. La mine de Tianqi est encore en chantier. Tout est comme figé : des passerelles couvertes qui montent ou descendent entre les vastes bâtiments neufs signalent le circuit des blocs de pierre après leur extraction. Vers l’est, les pics enneigés du Zhakra, une montagne sacrée, se découpent sur l’horizon.

    L’ennui, c’est que Rongda, la seule mine opérationnelle à ce stade, a par deux fois déjà provoqué des épisodes de pollution – en 2013, puis en mai 2016, deux jours après avoir redémarré. « La rivière est devenue noire, ça puait, puis on a retrouvé des yaks morts. Ils buvaient, ils marchaient puis ils s’écroulaient après. Il y avait beaucoup de poissons morts aussi », nous dit un jeune Tibétain croisé en voiture sur le site de Jiajika avec un compagnon.

    #paywall

    • Jiajika Mine, Kangding pegmatite field, Kangding Co., Garzê Autonomous Prefecture (Ganzi Autonomous Prefecture), Sichuan Province, China
      https://www.mindat.org/loc-146947.html

      Jiajika Mine, Kangding pegmatite field, Kangding Co., Garzê Autonomous Prefecture (Ganzi Autonomous Prefecture), Sichuan Province, China
      Latitude & Longitude (decimal) : 30.3333333333, 101.316666667

      Tianqi Shenghe
      http://www.tianqilithium.com/en/resinfo.aspx?ContentID=5&t=56

      Tianqi Shenghe, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tianqi Lithium , owns the mining license of Cuola Spodumene in Yajiang County, which is located in theWest Block of the largest Jiajika Spodumene Mine in Asia, with over 200,000metric tonnes in lithium reserves. Tianqi Shenghe is mainly engaged in the exploitation, production and sales of lithium ore products. Following operational start up of this asset, Tianqi Lithium will increase the diversity of its lithium resources, ensuring customer supply security and sustainable and efficient resource development.

    • La piste cahoteuse longe la rivière Liqi puis bifurque vers une retenue d’eau. L’altimètre indique 4 200 mètres. Le dernier village et son monastère sont à quinze kilomètres. Un gardien débonnaire nous laisser passer sans ciller à travers la zone minière de Jiajika, sur les hauts plateaux tibétains de Garzê, dans la province chinoise du Sichuan. Jiajika est le plus vaste gisement de spodumène d’Asie, un minerai présent dans les roches magmatiques dont l’on extrait du lithium, avec lequel sont fabriquées les batteries électriques rechargeables.

      L’exploitation de mine, plus coûteuse que celle de lacs asséchés en altitude, intéresse de plus en plus les producteurs chinois. Deux d’entre eux sont présents à Jiajika : Rongda, qui appartient au même groupe que le géant chinois de la voiture électrique BYD ; et, à quelques kilomètres, Tianqi, exploitant de la mine de Greenbushes en Australie, en passe de devenir l’un des plus gros producteurs mondiaux de lithium. La mine de Tianqi est encore en chantier. Tout est comme figé : des passerelles couvertes qui montent ou descendent entre les vastes bâtiments neufs signalent le circuit des blocs de pierre après leur extraction. Vers l’est, les pics enneigés du Zhakra, une montagne sacrée, se découpent sur l’horizon.

      L’ennui, c’est que Rongda, la seule mine opérationnelle à ce stade, a par deux fois déjà provoqué des épisodes de pollution – en 2013, puis en mai 2016, deux jours après avoir redémarré. « La rivière est devenue noire, ça puait, puis on a retrouvé des yaks morts. Ils buvaient, ils marchaient puis ils s’écroulaient après. Il y avait beaucoup de poissons morts aussi », nous dit un jeune Tibétain croisé en voiture sur le site de Jiajika avec un compagnon.

      « Tout le monde est inquiet »

      Le jeune homme, qu’on appellera Dorje, est vêtu de la veste fourrée tibétaine. Il sort du coffre un appareil photo et montre la mine prise au téléobjectif. Plus d’un an après l’incident, les nomades des environs se relaient pour observer ces dinosaures de tôle et de ciment endormis, guettant le moindre regain d’activité. « On ne sait pas s’ils vont reprendre l’exploitation, ni quand », dit Dorje. La société leur a vaguement promis de l’argent. « On a beau être pauvres, on s’opposera aux projets miniers même s’ils partagent leurs profits avec nous, insiste-t-il. On veut juste que l’on nous rende nos terres et notre nature. » Malgré sa détermination, il dit avoir peur : « Les gens du gouvernement nous disent de nous occuper de nos affaires. » Deux hommes de son village ont été condamnés à deux et trois ans de prison pour avoir protesté lors du premier cas de pollution de 2013.

      Ces fuites toxiques ne sont pas le moindre des paradoxes pour un élément clé des énergies de demain comme le lithium. Dans les régions tibétaines, elles affectent un écosystème fragile et vulnérable. Elles perturbent aussi une nature que les Tibétains tiennent pour sacrée. La rivière Liqi coule à travers pâturages et habitations d’éleveurs. Elle traverse la petite ville de Lhagang (Tagong en chinois) – un haut lieu de l’écotourisme –, puis se jette dans le Yalong, le plus gros affluent du fleuve Yangzi.

      La pollution minière touche un nerf sensible chez les Tibétains, tant elle est liée à cette dynamique de développement à tout-va que la Chine déploie dans ces régions rétives à l’emprise de l’Etat-parti chinois. La préfecture de Garzê, qui borde la Région autonome tibétaine, fut l’épicentre du soulèvement tibétain de 2008. Une immolation par le feu y a encore eu lieu le 15 avril, la 148e depuis 2009. Or les éleveurs ne sont pas les seuls à avoir réagi après la dernière pollution de 2016 : « Tout le monde est inquiet. Les clans qui sont souvent en conflit se sont réconciliés. Il y a eu des manifestations de nomades mais aussi des habitants de Lhagang », rapporte une riveraine qui a suivi les événements.

      Quand l’incident s’est produit, la population a déversé sur la route des bacs de poissons morts. Les autorités ont parlementé. Et envoyé la police paramilitaire. Le gouvernement local a toutefois promis par écrit la suspension des activités de la mine Rongda « en raison de la contamination ». Cependant personne n’en a à ce stade expliqué les raisons ni précisé quelles substances étaient à l’origine de la pollution. Dorje croit savoir qu’un bassin de résidus miniers a débordé. Un porte-parole de Youngy, le groupe du milliardaire Lu Xiangyang, le cofondateur de BYD qui possède Rongda, maintient que la pollution est « un acte malveillant » indépendant de Rongda et « qu’une enquête est en cours ». Les autorités de Garzê n’ont pas donné suite à nos questions.

      1,88 million de tonnes de réserves de lithium

      A Lhagang, un entrepreneur tibétain accuse les sociétés minières d’avoir « arrosé » le gouvernement mais aussi une figure religieuse locale chargée d’inciter la population au calme. Lui aussi oscille entre colère et résignation. Un nomade de ses amis nous apporte un paquet soigneusement enveloppé de photographies de la pollution de 2013. Cette année-là, 12 000 signatures furent collectées en signe de protestation. L’homme affirme qu’en 2016, les enfants d’une école primaire ont été intoxiqués par l’eau, mais que les parents ont été réduits au silence. « Notre premier souhait, c’est qu’ils cessent d’exploiter la mine. Mais s’ils le font, il n’y aura plus qu’à partir », explique-t-il.

      Les communautés tibétaines savent le peu d’espace de négociation que leur laisse le système chinois. « Quand il y a des mines au Tibet, une compensation va en général aux utilisateurs de la terre mais pas au-delà. Les royalties vont au gouvernement central. Les communautés locales en bénéficient très peu », nous explique le chercheur Gabriel Lafitte, basé en Australie et auteur d’un livre sur l’accaparement des ressources naturelles du Tibet par la Chine, La Spoliation du Tibet (Spoiling Tibet, Zed Books, non traduit, 2013). « Les Tibétains ne sont de toute façon pas autorisés à s’organiser », souligne-t-il.

      La mine de Tianqi est encore en chantier. Tout est comme figé.
      Le 1,88 million de tonnes de réserves de lithium de Jiajika reste promis à un bel avenir. L’agence de planification de la préfecture de Garzê l’a confirmé début 2017 : Lhagang est décrite comme future « capitale chinoise du lithium ». Pour l’instant, les échantillons de matériau sont envoyés à Chengdu, la capitale du Sichuan, à quelque 450 kilomètres, précise un géologue chinois de Rongda. Les deux mines ouvriront selon lui en 2020 : « L’autoroute et le chemin de fer seront terminés et les coûts du transport auront baissé. »

      « Politique de développement à outrance »

      Viaducs et tunnels sont en effet partout en chantier sur les deux grandes voies d’accès à la préfecture tibétaine de Garzê depuis Chengdu. La région vivra le grand bond en avant des énergies renouvelables qui, outre le lithium, prévoit la construction de nombreux barrages sur la rivière Yalong, ainsi qu’une dérivation vers le fleuve Jaune. Des milliards d’euros d’investissements sont programmés pour les cinq ans à venir.

      Si la population locale (1,2 million de personnes, à 70 % des Tibétains) profite en partie du développement économique, le gouvernement chinois semble peu soucieux d’atténuer ou même de comprendre les perturbations de ces changements sur l’humain et l’environnement. « Cette politique de développement à outrance a pour but d’amener les Tibétains à se considérer comme des citoyens chinois. Or, elle ne prend pas en compte leur mode de vie, leur rapport avec la nature. Elle fait de l’urbanisation une fin en soi alors que ce doit être un processus progressif, choisi », estime Gabriel Lafitte.

      Le jour de notre passage, bien en aval des mines de lithium, un éleveur tibétain dont la maison est accrochée à la pente s’acharne à planter un pieu sur chaque rive de la Liqi. Il tend au-dessus de l’eau un filin d’où pendent des loungta (drapeaux de prière). Ce geste en apparence futile a son importance, avant qu’il ne soit trop tard : obtenir les faveurs des divinités aquatiques envers tous ceux, hommes, animaux et plantes, qui dépendent d’elles.

  • Deux poètes tibétains en exil : 2/ Palden Sonam
    http://www.larevuedesressources.org/deux-poetes-tibetains-en-exil-2-palden-sonam,2925.html

    Dans le remarquable dossier sur la « Littérature contemporaine du #Tibet » du printemps-été 2011 de la revue siècle 21, Françoise Robin, de l’INALCO, précise que vivace et plurielle, cette littérature est pratiquement inconnue hors du cercle restreint de ses lecteurs et de quelques spécialistes occidentaux et pourtant, l’écriture est aujourd’hui un des principaux canaux d’expression culturelle pour les Tibétains du Tibet mais aussi de l’exil. Notre projet et les présentations suivantes sont beaucoup plus (...)

    #Voix_de_l'Asie_d'aujourd'hui

    / Tibet, #Poésie

  • Friendly Fuedalism - The Tibet Myth
    http://www.michaelparenti.org/Tibet.html

    Many Buddhists maintain that, before the Chinese crackdown in 1959, old Tibet was a spiritually oriented kingdom free from the egotistical lifestyles, empty materialism, and corrupting vices that beset modern industrialized society. Western news media, travel books, novels, and Hollywood films have portrayed the Tibetan theocracy as a veritable Shangri-La.
    ...
    Old Tibet was much more like Europe during the religious wars of the Counterreformation.” 5 In the thirteenth century, Emperor Kublai Khan created the first Grand Lama, who was to preside over all the other lamas as might a pope over his bishops. Several centuries later, the Emperor of China sent an army into Tibet to support the Grand Lama, an ambitious 25-year-old man, who then gave himself the title of Dalai (Ocean) Lama, ruler of all Tibet.

    His two previous lama “incarnations” were then retroactively recognized as his predecessors, thereby transforming the 1st Dalai Lama into the 3rd Dalai Lama. This 1st (or 3rd) Dalai Lama seized monasteries that did not belong to his sect, and is believed to have destroyed Buddhist writings that conflicted with his claim to divinity. The Dalai Lama who succeeded him pursued a sybaritic life, enjoying many mistresses, partying with friends, and acting in other ways deemed unfitting for an incarnate deity. For these transgressions he was murdered by his priests. Within 170 years, despite their recognized divine status, five Dalai Lamas were killed by their high priests or other courtiers. 6
    ...
    An eighteenth-century memoir of a Tibetan general depicts sectarian strife among Buddhists that is as brutal and bloody as any religious conflict might be. 9 This grim history remains largely unvisited by present-day followers of Tibetan Buddhism in the West.
    ...
    Until 1959, when the Dalai Lama last presided over Tibet, most of the arable land was still organized into manorial estates worked by serfs. These estates were owned by two social groups: the rich secular landlords and the rich theocratic lamas.
    ...
    Drepung monastery was one of the biggest landowners in the world, with its 185 manors, 25,000 serfs, 300 great pastures, and 16,000 herdsmen. The wealth of the monasteries rested in the hands of small numbers of high-ranking lamas. Most ordinary monks lived modestly and had no direct access to great wealth. The Dalai Lama himself “lived richly in the 1000-room, 14-story Potala Palace.”

    Secular leaders also did well. A notable example was the commander-in-chief of the Tibetan army, a member of the Dalai Lama’s lay Cabinet, who owned 4,000 square kilometers of land and 3,500 serfs. 12 Old Tibet has been misrepresented by some Western admirers as “a nation that required no police force because its people voluntarily observed the laws of karma.” 13 In fact. it had a professional army, albeit a small one, that served mainly as a gendarmerie for the landlords to keep order, protect their property, and hunt down runaway serfs.

    Young Tibetan boys were regularly taken from their peasant families and brought into the monasteries to be trained as monks. Once there, they were bonded for life. Tashì-Tsering, a monk, reports that it was common for peasant children to be sexually mistreated in the monasteries.
    ...
    In feudal Tibet, torture and mutilation—including eye gouging, the pulling out of tongues, hamstringing, and amputation—were favored punishments inflicted upon thieves, and runaway or resistant serfs.
    ...
    What happened to Tibet after the Chinese Communists moved into the country in 1951? The treaty of that year provided for ostensible self-governance under the Dalai Lama’s rule but gave China military control and exclusive right to conduct foreign relations. ... Among the earliest changes they wrought was to reduce usurious interest rates, and build a few hospitals and roads. ... No aristocratic or monastic property was confiscated, and feudal lords continued to reign over their hereditarily bound peasants.
    ...
    Over the centuries the Tibetan lords and lamas had seen Chinese come and go, and had enjoyed good relations with Generalissimo Chiang Kaishek and his reactionary Kuomintang rule in China.
    ...
    What upset the Tibetan lords and lamas in the early 1950s was that these latest Chinese were Communists. It would be only a matter of time, they feared, before the Communists started imposing their collectivist egalitarian schemes upon Tibet.

    The issue was joined in 1956-57, when armed Tibetan bands ambushed convoys of the Chinese Peoples Liberation Army. The uprising received extensive assistance from the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), including military training, support camps in Nepal, and numerous airlifts.

    Many Tibetan commandos and agents whom the CIA dropped into the country were chiefs of aristocratic clans or the sons of chiefs.
    ...
    As far as can be ascertained, the great bulk of the common people of Lhasa and of the adjoining countryside failed to join in the fighting against the Chinese both when it first began and as it progressed.

    Whatever wrongs and new oppressions introduced by the Chinese after 1959, they did abolish slavery and the Tibetan serfdom system of unpaid labor. They eliminated the many crushing taxes, started work projects, and greatly reduced unemployment and beggary. They established secular schools, thereby breaking the educational monopoly of the monasteries. And they constructed running water and electrical systems in Lhasa.
    ...
    Both the Dalai Lama and his advisor and youngest brother, Tendzin Choegyal, claimed that “more than 1.2 million Tibetans are dead as a result of the Chinese occupation.” The official 1953 census—six years before the Chinese crackdown—recorded the entire population residing in Tibet at 1,274,000.
    ...
    If the Chinese killed 1.2 million in the early 1960s then almost all of Tibet, would have been depopulated, transformed into a killing field dotted with death camps and mass graves—of which we have no evidence.
    ...
    The authorities do admit to “mistakes,” particularly during the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution when the persecution of religious beliefs reached a high tide in both China and Tibet. After the uprising in the late 1950s, thousands of Tibetans were incarcerated. During the Great Leap Forward, forced collectivization and grain farming were imposed on the Tibetan peasantry, sometimes with disastrous effect on production. In the late 1970s, China began relaxing controls “and tried to undo some of the damage wrought during the previous two decades.”38

    In 1980, the Chinese government initiated reforms reportedly designed to grant Tibet a greater degree of self-rule and self-administration.
    ...
    By the 1980s many of the principal lamas had begun to shuttle back and forth between China and the exile communities abroad, “restoring their monasteries in Tibet and helping to revitalize Buddhism there.”
    ...
    For the rich lamas and secular lords, the Communist intervention was an unmitigated calamity. Most of them fled abroad, as did the Dalai Lama himself, who was assisted in his flight by the CIA. Some discovered to their horror that they would have to work for a living. Many, however, escaped that fate. Throughout the 1960s, the Tibetan exile community was secretly pocketing $1.7 million a year from the CIA, according to documents released by the State Department in 1998. Once this fact was publicized, the Dalai Lama’s organization itself issued a statement admitting that it had received millions of dollars from the CIA during the 1960s to send armed squads of exiles into Tibet to undermine the Maoist revolution. The Dalai Lama’s annual payment from the CIA was $186,000.
    ...
    Whatever the Dalai Lama’s associations with the CIA and various reactionaries, he did speak often of peace, love, and nonviolence. He himself really cannot be blamed for the abuses of Tibet’s ancien régime, having been but 25 years old when he fled into exile.
    ...
    But he also sent a reassuring message to “those who live in abundance”: “It is a good thing to be rich... Those are the fruits for deserving actions, the proof that they have been generous in the past.” And to the poor he offers this admonition: “There is no good reason to become bitter and rebel against those who have property and fortune... It is better to develop a positive attitude.”
    ...
    Violent actions that are committed in order to reduce future suffering are not to be condemned, he said, citing World War II as an example of a worthy effort to protect democracy. What of the four years of carnage and mass destruction in Iraq, a war condemned by most of the world—even by a conservative pope—as a blatant violation of international law and a crime against humanity? The Dalai Lama was undecided: “The Iraq war—it’s too early to say, right or wrong.” Earlier he had voiced support for the U.S. military intervention against Yugoslavia and, later on, the U.S. military intervention into Afghanistan.
    ...
    It should be noted that the Dalai Lama is not the only highly placed lama chosen in childhood as a reincarnation. ... In 1993 the monks of the Karma Kagyu tradition had a candidate of their own choice. The Dalai Lama, along with several dissenting Karma Kagyu leaders (and with the support of the Chinese government!) backed a different boy. ... What followed was a dozen years of conflict in the Tibetan exile community, punctuated by intermittent riots, intimidation, physical attacks, blacklisting, police harassment, litigation, official corruption, and the looting and undermining of the Karmapa’s monastery in Rumtek by supporters of the Gelugpa faction.
    ...
    Not all Tibetan exiles are enamoured of the old Shangri-La theocracy. Kim Lewis, who studied healing methods with a Buddhist monk in Berkeley, California, had occasion to talk at length with more than a dozen Tibetan women who lived in the monk’s building. When she asked how they felt about returning to their homeland, the sentiment was unanimously negative. At first, Lewis assumed that their reluctance had to do with the Chinese occupation, but they quickly informed her otherwise. They said they were extremely grateful “not to have to marry 4 or 5 men, be pregnant almost all the time,” or deal with sexually transmitted diseases contacted from a straying husband. The younger women “were delighted to be getting an education, wanted absolutely nothing to do with any religion, and wondered why Americans were so naïve [about Tibet].”

    The women interviewed by Lewis recounted stories of their grandmothers’ ordeals with monks who used them as “wisdom consorts.” By sleeping with the monks, the grandmothers were told, they gained “the means to enlightenment” — after all, the Buddha himself had to be with a woman to reach enlightenment.
    ...
    Notes:

    Mark Juergensmeyer, Terror in the Mind of God, (University of California Press, 2000), 6, 112-113, 157.
    Kyong-Hwa Seok, “Korean Monk Gangs Battle for Temple Turf,” San Francisco Examiner, 3 December 1998.
    Los Angeles Times, February 25, 2006.
    Dalai Lama quoted in Donald Lopez Jr., Prisoners of Shangri-La: Tibetan Buddhism and the West (Chicago and London: Chicago University Press, 1998), 205.
    Erik D. Curren, Buddha’s Not Smiling: Uncovering Corruption at the Heart of Tibetan Buddhism Today (Alaya Press 2005), 41.
    Stuart Gelder and Roma Gelder, The Timely Rain: Travels in New Tibet (Monthly Review Press, 1964), 119, 123; and Melvyn C. Goldstein, The Snow Lion and the Dragon: China, Tibet, and the Dalai Lama (University of California Press, 1995), 6-16.
    Curren, Buddha’s Not Smiling, 50.
    Stephen Bachelor, “Letting Daylight into Magic: The Life and Times of Dorje Shugden,” Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, 7, Spring 1998. Bachelor discusses the sectarian fanaticism and doctrinal clashes that ill fit the Western portrait of Buddhism as a non-dogmatic and tolerant tradition.
    Dhoring Tenzin Paljor, Autobiography, cited in Curren, Buddha’s Not Smiling, 8.
    Pradyumna P. Karan, The Changing Face of Tibet: The Impact of Chinese Communist Ideology on the Landscape (Lexington, Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky, 1976), 64.
    See Gary Wilson’s report in Worker’s World, 6 February 1997.
    Gelder and Gelder, The Timely Rain, 62 and 174.
    As skeptically noted by Lopez, Prisoners of Shangri-La, 9.
    Melvyn Goldstein, William Siebenschuh, and Tashì-Tsering, The Struggle for Modern Tibet: The Autobiography of Tashì-Tsering (Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, 1997).
    Gelder and Gelder, The Timely Rain, 110.
    Melvyn C. Goldstein, A History of Modern Tibet 1913-1951 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989), 5 and passim.
    Anna Louise Strong, Tibetan Interviews (Peking: New World Press, 1959), 15, 19-21, 24.
    Quoted in Strong, Tibetan Interviews, 25.
    Strong, Tibetan Interviews, 31.
    Gelder and Gelder, The Timely Rain, 175-176; and Strong, Tibetan Interviews, 25-26.
    Gelder and Gelder, The Timely Rain, 113.
    A. Tom Grunfeld, The Making of Modern Tibet rev. ed. (Armonk, N.Y. and London: 1996), 9 and 7-33 for a general discussion of feudal Tibet; see also Felix Greene, A Curtain of Ignorance (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1961), 241-249; Goldstein, A History of Modern Tibet, 3-5; and Lopez, Prisoners of Shangri-La, passim.
    Strong, Tibetan Interviews, 91-96.
    Waddell, Landon, O’Connor, and Chapman are quoted in Gelder and Gelder, The Timely Rain, 123-125.
    Goldstein, The Snow Lion and the Dragon, 52.
    Heinrich Harrer, Return to Tibet (New York: Schocken, 1985), 29.
    See Kenneth Conboy and James Morrison, The CIA’s Secret War in Tibet (Lawrence, Kansas: University of Kansas Press, 2002); and William Leary, “Secret Mission to Tibet,” Air & Space, December 1997/January 1998.
    On the CIA’s links to the Dalai Lama and his family and entourage, see Loren Coleman, Tom Slick and the Search for the Yeti (London: Faber and Faber, 1989).
    Leary, “Secret Mission to Tibet.”
    Hugh Deane, “The Cold War in Tibet,” CovertAction Quarterly (Winter 1987).
    George Ginsburg and Michael Mathos Communist China and Tibet (1964), quoted in Deane, “The Cold War in Tibet.” Deane notes that author Bina Roy reached a similar conclusion.
    See Greene, A Curtain of Ignorance, 248 and passim; and Grunfeld, The Making of Modern Tibet, passim.
    Harrer, Return to Tibet, 54.
    Karan, The Changing Face of Tibet, 36-38, 41, 57-58; London Times, 4 July 1966.
    Gelder and Gelder, The Timely Rain, 29 and 47-48.
    Tendzin Choegyal, “The Truth about Tibet,” Imprimis (publication of Hillsdale College, Michigan), April 1999.
    Karan, The Changing Face of Tibet, 52-53.
    Elaine Kurtenbach, Associate Press report, 12 February 1998.
    Goldstein, The Snow Lion and the Dragon, 47-48.
    Curren, Buddha’s Not Smiling, 8.
    San Francisco Chonicle, 9 January 2007.
    Report by the International Committee of Lawyers for Tibet, A Generation in Peril (Berkeley Calif.: 2001), passim.
    International Committee of Lawyers for Tibet, A Generation in Peril, 66-68, 98.
    im Mann, “CIA Gave Aid to Tibetan Exiles in ’60s, Files Show,” Los Angeles Times, 15 September 1998; and New York Times, 1 October, 1998.
    News & Observer, 6 September 1995, cited in Lopez, Prisoners of Shangri-La, 3.
    Heather Cottin, “George Soros, Imperial Wizard,” CovertAction Quarterly no. 74 (Fall 2002).
    Goldstein, The Snow Lion and the Dragon, 51.
    Tendzin Choegyal, “The Truth about Tibet.”
    The Dalai Lama in Marianne Dresser (ed.), Beyond Dogma: Dialogues and Discourses (Berkeley, Calif.: North Atlantic Books, 1996)
    These comments are from a book of the Dalai Lama’s writings quoted in Nikolai Thyssen, “Oceaner af onkel Tom,” Dagbladet Information, 29 December 2003, (translated for me by Julius Wilm). Thyssen’s review (in Danish) can be found at http://www.information.dk/Indgang/VisArkiv.dna?pArtNo=20031229154141.txt.
    “A Global Call for Human Rights in the Workplace,” New York Times, 6 December 2005.
    San Francisco Chronicle, 14 January 2007.
    San Francisco Chronicle, 5 November 2005.
    Times of India 13 October 2000; Samantha Conti’s report, Reuter, 17 June 1994; Amitabh Pal, “The Dalai Lama Interview,” Progressive, January 2006.
    The Gelders draw this comparison, The Timely Rain, 64.
    Michael Parenti, The Culture Struggle (Seven Stories, 2006).
    John Pomfret, “Tibet Caught in China’s Web,” Washington Post, 23 July 1999.
    Curren, Buddha’s Not Smiling, 3.
    Curren, Buddha’s Not Smiling, 13 and 138.
    Curren, Buddha’s Not Smiling, 21.
    Curren, Buddha’s Not Smiling, passim. For books that are favorable toward the Karmapa appointed by the Dalai Lama’s faction, see Lea Terhune, Karmapa of Tibet: The Politics of Reincarnation (Wisdom Publications, 2004); Gaby Naher, Wrestling the Dragon (Rider 2004); Mick Brown, The Dance of 17 Lives (Bloomsbury 2004).
    Erik Curren, “Not So Easy to Say Who is Karmapa,” correspondence, 22 August 2005, www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php?id=22.1577,0,0,1,0.
    Kim Lewis, correspondence to me, 15 July 2004.
    Kim Lewis, correspondence to me, 16 July 2004.
    Ma Jian, Stick Out Your Tongue (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2006).
    See the PBS documentary, China from the Inside, January 2007, KQED.PBS.org/kqed/chinanside.
    San Francisco Chronicle, 9 January 2007.
    “China: Global Warming to Cause Food Shortages,” People’s Weekly World, 13 January 2007

    #Tibet #Chine #religion #bouddhisme

  • Doubling down | The Economist

    http://www.economist.com/news/china/21699167-plans-new-railway-line-tibet-pose-huge-technological-challengean

    “A COLOSSAL roller-coaster” is how a senior engineer described it. He was talking about the railway that China plans to build from the lowlands of the south-west, across some of the world’s most forbidding terrain, into Tibet. Of all the country’s railway-building feats in recent years, this will be the most remarkable: a 1,600-kilometre (1,000-mile) track that will pass through snow-capped mountains in a region racked by earthquakes, with nearly half of it running through tunnels or over bridges. It will also be dogged all the way by controversy.

    Chinese officials have dreamed of such a railway line for a century. In 1912, shortly after he took over as China’s first president, Sun Yat-sen called for a trans-Tibetan line, not least to help prevent Tibet from falling under the sway of Britain (which had already invaded Tibet from India a decade earlier). Mao Zedong revived the idea in the 1950s. In the years since, many exploratory surveys have been carried out.

    #tibet #chine

    • In Litang, a town high up in Sichuan on that difficult stretch, a Tibetan monk speaks approvingly of the project, which will bring more tourists to the remote community and its 16th-century monastery (rebuilt since the Chinese air force bombed it in 1956 to crush an uprising). But the impact on Tibet of the Golmud-Lhasa line still reverberates. It fuelled a tourism boom in Lhasa that attracted waves of ethnic Han Chinese from other parts of China to work in industries such as catering and transport. The resentment it created among Tibetans, who felt excluded from the new jobs, was a big cause of rioting in Lhasa in 2008 that ignited protests across the plateau. The new line will cut through some of the most restive areas. Since 2011 more than 110 Tibetans are reported to have killed themselves by setting themselves on fire in protest at China’s crackdown after the unrest. Some of the self-immolations have happened in Tibetan-inhabited parts of Sichuan, including near Litang.

      Cité aussi, mais brièvement, l’évident rôle stratégique d’une telle liaison. Ça ne va pas vraiment faire baisser la tension.

      It will also, to India’s consternation, pass close to the contested border between the two countries. (China says India occupies “south Tibet”, and launched a brief invasion of India there in 1962.) A Chinese government website, China Tibet News, said in 2014 that building the Sichuan-Tibet railway had become “extremely urgent”, not just for developing Tibet but also to meet “the needs of national-defence-building”.

  • Deux poètes tibétains en exil : 1/ Loten Namling
    http://www.larevuedesressources.org/deux-poetes-tibetains-en-exil-2-loten-namling,2926.html

    Dans le remarquable dossier sur la « Littérature contemporaine du #Tibet » du printemps-été 2011 de la revue siècle 21, Françoise Robin, de l’INALCO, précise que vivace et plurielle, cette littérature est pratiquement inconnue hors du cercle restreint de ses lecteurs et de quelques spécialistes occidentaux et pourtant, l’écriture est aujourd’hui un des principaux canaux d’expression culturelle pour les Tibétains du Tibet mais aussi de l’exil. Notre projet et les présentations suivantes sont beaucoup plus (...)

    #Voix_de_l'Asie_d'aujourd'hui

    / Tibet, #Poésie

  • The Tibet Album : British Photography in Central Tibet 1920-1950
    http://tibet.prm.ox.ac.uk/tibet_project_summary.html

    The Tibet Album:British Photography in Central Tibet 1920 -1950
    Summary

    The Tibet Album website provides unprecedented access to more than 6000 photographs spanning thirty years of Tibet’s history. The majority of these photographs were taken by an elite group of men who visited Tibet as civil servants representing the British Government. The period between 1920 and 1950 was marked by increasing warmth in Anglo-Tibetan relations and a greater ease of access to the country from the centres of colonial power in India. The photographs featured in this site therefore reflect the topography of the routes used by the British to reach the capital of Tibet (Lhasa) from the Indian side of the Himalayas and are concentrated in south and central Tibet. In many ways these photographs are the product of a particularly British engagement with Tibet at the height of colonialism. However, the time frame in which they were made documents an era when the influence of the British Empire was actually beginning to unravel in Asia: by 1947 India had gained its independence from Britain. Tibet’s position on the fraying edge of the Empire meant that it was of significant interest for British trade and diplomacy but it was never colonised. However the country exerted a powerful fascination in the minds of many British subjects. This was fuelled by the photographs and publications of the privileged few who managed to enter Tibet and to live there for months at a time. The photographs contained in The #Tibet Album reproduce the ways that Tibet was imagined by the British at a particular historical moment. They also offer profound commentary on what Tibet was and has become.

    #1920 #1950 #photographie #histoire #archive #diaspora #famille #liens_familiaux #colonialisme