CCP Arrests More Than 1,000 Tibetans After Protests Against Dam Construction Project

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Feb 27, 2024 - 03:20 AM

Authored by Frank Fang via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

The State Department is expressing concerns about recent mass arrests of Tibetans in China, after the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) launched a sweeping crackdown against the ethnic group over their peaceful protests against the construction of a hydropower dam.

More than 1,000 Tibetans, including monks, were arrested in China on Friday, according to rights group International Tibet Network. The crackdown took place at Derge, a town in Dege County in Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in southwestern China’s Sichuan Province.

According to the rights groups, the dam construction project will forcibly displace residents of two villages and submerge six monasteries.

The current status of those arrested is currently unknown,” it stated, before adding that those arrested were held at different locations throughout Dege County.

“Deeply concerned by reports of the PRC’s [People’s Republic of China] mass arrests of Tibetans protesting construction of a dam that threatens displacement of villages & destruction of monasteries,” said Uzra Zeya, undersecretary of state for civilian security, democracy, and human rights, in an X post on Feb. 25.

“[China] must respect human rights & freedom of expression and include Tibetans in the development & implementation of water and land management policies,” Ms. Zeya added. “These centuries-old monasteries are home to hundreds of Tibetan Buddhist monks & contain irreplaceable cultural relics.

[The United States] stands with Tibetans in preserving their unique cultural, religious, and linguistic identity.

The protests began on Feb. 14, International Tibet Network said, when at least 300 Tibetans protested at Dege County Hall. Arrests began on Feb. 22, when Chinese authorities arrested over 100 protesting Tibetan locals and Tibetan monks, the group added.

Chinese police officers reportedly used water cannons, pepper spray, and tasers to subdue protesters on Feb. 22, according to Radio Free Asia. Some of the arrested protesters were later admitted to a local hospital for medical treatment, the outlet added.

Outrageous what’s happening in Tibet right now ... colonizers stealing everything we have and yet Tibetans continuing to resist by the thousands,” Tenzin Yangzom, advocacy officer at the Tibetan Association of Boston who also works for International Tibet Network, wrote on X, formerly Twitter, on Feb. 24.

Benedict Rogers, human rights activist and deputy chair of the UK Conservative Party Human Rights Commission, took to X to call China’s repression of Tibetans “appalling and outrageous.”

Let us not forget Tibet. Let’s #FreeTibet,” Mr. Rogers added.


The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) invaded Tibet in 1949 and forced upon Tibetans a 17-point agreement to legitimize the CCP’s rule. Despite rosy promises of Tibetan autonomy on paper, China’s communist regime has turned the region into a surveillance state and installed labor camps.

The Dalai Lama, the region’s spiritual leader, went into exile in India in 1959 after the Chinese regime brutally crushed an uprising, killing tens of thousands of Tibetans. Later in the same year, the spiritual leader established a Tibetan exile administration, officially known as the Central Tibetan Administration.

Sikyong Penpa Tsering, president of the Central Tibetan Administration, issued a statement on Feb. 24, saying that “the crackdown on non-violent protests in Derge is beyond condemnation.”

The Chinese authorities’ disregard for the rights of Tibetans is unacceptable by any measure. The punitive acts demonstrate China’s prioritization of its ideology and interests over human rights,” Mr. Tseringa added.

“We call on the Chinese government to release all those detained and to respect the rights and aspirations of the Tibetan people. The world needs to hear the Tibetans’ voices and confront the truth of Chinese misrule in Tibet.”

The construction of the dam, a 2,240-megawatt power station located in the upper regions of the Yangtze River, will result in the resettlement of about 2,000 locals, according to Tibetan rights group International Campaign for Tibet (ICT). One of the six monasteries affected, the Wonto Monastery, has murals dating back to the 13th century, it added.

Earlier this month, House lawmakers passed the Promoting a Resolution to the Tibet-China Conflict Act (H.R.533) after a 392–28 vote. The bipartisan, bicameral legislation (S.138) has not been voted on in the Senate.

The legislation aims to “jump-start negotiations” between CCP officials and the Dalai Lama or his representatives, as the two sides have not had formal dialogue since 2010, according to a press release.

ICT Tibet President Tencho Gyatso issued a statement welcoming the passage of the House bill earlier this month.

“Today’s vote shows that U.S. support for Tibet is only growing stronger even after 65 years of China’s control and occupation,” Mr. Gyatso said. China has been playing a waiting game, hoping that the international community would eventually abandon Tibet. Clearly that is not the case.

“The Chinese government should take the hint and restart the dialogue process with Tibetan leaders. We thank Congressman McGovern and Chairman McCaul and all the representatives who helped pass the Resolve Tibet Act today.”