Updated: Jul 23, 2021 4:43 AM IS
Washington DC [US], July 23 (ANI): Chinese President Xi Jinping paid an unannounced visit to Tibet, according to the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT).
Video clips shared on Chinese social media on Thursday show Xi speaking to residents of Nyingtri town (Chinese: Linzhi), walking out of a store in Lhasa’s Barkhor neighborhood and remarking to the public while facing at the “Monument for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet” in front of the Potala Palace, the traditional winter residence of the Dalai Lama.
A recent official notice announcing the closure of the Potala on July 22 indicated the visit of a high-level dignitary, but the fact that Xi was visiting caught many observers off guard. Sources say the visit may have been linked to the 70th anniversary of the controversial 17-point deal, which China claims wrongly marks its “peaceful liberation of Tibet,” but which the Dalai Lama has renounced as agreement concluded under duress.
A source told ICT that Xi first landed at Mainling Airport in Nyingtri, southeast Tibet, on July 20. Xi addressed a public rally in Nyingtri, saying that 10 years ago, when he led the Chinese government delegation to mark the 60th anniversary of the 17-point Accord, he s ‘had first traveled to Lhasa. But this time, he said, he first came to meet the people of Nyingtri, telling them that no ethnic group should be left behind in efforts to fully build a modern socialist China.
Xi was also seen addressing a rally outside the Potala Palace in Lhasa, where he said, “As long as we follow the Communist Party and as long as we stay on the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, we will surely achieve the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation as expected. “
A source told ICT that Xi may also visit one of Lhasa’s monasteries, possibly Drepung Monastery, during this trip.
Three separate sources told ICT that their acquaintances in Lhasa have reported unusual activity and monitoring of their movements over the past few days, indicating a visit from an important leader. “People have reported receiving calls from security officials checking their activities for no apparent reason. Roads in several sections of Lhasa have been blocked and Lhasa city authorities have announced a ban on drones and kites in Lhasa from July 21 to August 17, ”ITC said. says liberation.
While heightened security is expected for Xi’s visit anywhere, it is unusual that even Chinese state media did not report on his visit to Nyingtri and Lhasa, even though two days have passed. already elapsed since his arrival.
Xi last visited the Tibet Autonomous Region – which spans about half of Tibet – in 2011, when he was vice president of China. At the same time, he visited Lhasa, Nyingtri and Shigatse. (ANI)
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