Unease in Tibet Over Influx of China’s Money and Migrants

At the Potala Palace in Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, images of the exiled Dalai Lama have been banned.

via Unease in Tibet Over Influx of China’s Money and Migrants – NYTimes.com.

Han Chinese workers, investors, merchants, teachers and soldiers are pouring into remote Tibet. After the violence that ravaged this region in 2008, China’s aim is to make Tibet wealthier — and more Chinese.

And its working.  Although the vast majority of the permanent residents of Tibet are Tibetan, the migrant Han Chinese are uncounted, and their numbers are growing.   They are the managers and owners of the new factories that employ the Tibetans, who are likely to be unskilled laborers.

China is also interested in the reserves of metals in Tibet, including the country’s largest chromium and cooper resources. Ethnic tension has increased along with the influx of migrants.

… a heavy security presence is needed to keep control of Lhasa. Around the Barkhor, the city’s central market, paramilitary officers in riot gear, all ethnic Han, march counterclockwise around the sacred Jokhang Temple, against the flow of Tibetan pilgrims. Armed men stand on rooftops near the temple.

After the riots of 2008 the Chinese government is taking no chances, and the people of Tibet are growing increasingly frustrated.

Tibetans interviewed independently expressed fear of the security forces and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

One high school student complained that Tibetans could not compete for jobs with Han migrants who arrived with high school diplomas. “Tibetans just get low-end jobs,” he said.


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