China’s top official in Tibet has urged authorities to tighten their grip on the Internet and mobile phones, state media reported yesterday, reflecting the government’s fears about unrest ahead of its annual parliamentary session.
The move is the latest in a series of measures the government says are intended to maintain stability, and comes after a spate of self-immolations and protests against Chinese control in the country’s Tibetan-populated areas.
It is likely to mean telephone and online communications will be even more closely monitored and censored than is normal.
Chen Quanguo (陳全國), who was appointed the Chinese Communist Party chief of Tibet in August last year, urged authorities at all levels to “further increase their alertness to stability maintenance” ahead of the National People’s Congress, the official Tibet Daily newspaper quoted him as saying on Wednesday.
China’s rubber-stamp parliament session meets on Monday.
“Mobile phones, Internet and other measures for the management of new media need to be fully implemented to maintain the public’s interests and national security,” Chen said.
China has tightened security in what it calls the Tibet Autonomous Region and other Tibetan parts of the country following several incidents in which people have set fire to themselves, and protests against Chinese rule, mostly in Sichuan and Gansu provinces.
This month is a particularly sensitive time for Tibet, as it marks five years since deadly riots erupted across the region.
Twenty-two Tibetans have set themselves alight in protest since March last year, and at least 15 are believed to have died from their injuries, according to rights groups. Most of them were Buddhist monks.
Chen also vowed to “completely crush hostile forces” that he said were led by the Dalai Lama, suggesting that he will not ease the government’s hardline stance towards the region, enforced by his predecessor Zhang Qingli.
The Chinese government has repeatedly blamed exiled Tibetans for stoking the protests, including spiritual leader the Dalai Lama. China has ruled Tibet since 1950.
Nationally, defending one-party control is a leadership priority. Official anxieties about unrest have multiplied ahead of a change of leadership later this year, when Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) will hand power to his successor, widely expected to be Xi Jinping (習近平).
A prominent Beijing-based Tibetan writer who goes by the single name of Woeser yesterday said state security agents have barred her from collecting an award given by the Netherlands.
Woeser was awarded the Prince Claus award in September last year for her work on Tibet, according to the Web site for the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development. She was due to accept the award yesterday at the Dutch ambassador’s house in Beijing, she said.
“They told my husband that I couldn’t go to the ceremony but didn’t give specific reasons,” Woeser said by telephone. “They said even if I wanted to go, I wouldn’t be able to go. They have people below our apartment watching us.”
Dutch officials were not immediately available for comment.
When Melinda Gates asked her husband, Microsoft Corp cofounder Bill Gates, to let her coauthor the 2013 annual letter about their foundation, the conversation blew up into a fight. “It got hot,” Melinda Gates wrote in her 2019 book The Moment of Lift. “Bill said the process we had for the Annual Letter had been working well for the foundation for years, and he didn’t see why it should change,” she wrote. Ultimately, Bill Gates agreed for her to write a separate piece about contraceptives, while he penned the main letter about the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s work. In the next year’s letter,
Part of a huge rocket that launched China’s first module for its Tianhe space station is falling back to Earth and could make an uncontrolled re-entry at an unknown landing point. The 30m-high core of the Long March 5B rocket on Thursday launched the “Heavenly Harmony” uncrewed core module into low Earth orbit from Wenchang in China’s Hainan Province. The Long March 5B then itself entered a temporary orbit, setting the stage for one of the largest-ever uncontrolled re-entries. Some experts fear it could land on an inhabited area. “It’s potentially not good,” said Jonathan McDowell, astrophysicist at the Astrophysics Center at Harvard
It is the world’s biggest market for luxury goods — and their counterfeits — so an expert eye for telling a bona fide Chanel handbag from a bogus one is a skill set in hot demand across China. Enter the “luxury appraiser,” an eagle-eyed differentiator of real from fake, trained to triage handbags, belts and garments for dodgy serial numbers, stitching and logos. China’s factories churn out huge quantities of luxury goods, much of which is destined for a domestic market worth about 4 trillion yuan (US$618 billion), data provided by market researchers UIBE Luxury China showed. The country’s second-hand
A forum of scientific advisers set up by the Indian government has told authorities about minor mutations in some samples of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, that could “possibly evade immune response” and require more study, a leader of the forum said. However, the advisers said that while they were flagging the mutations, there was no reason to believe that they were expanding or could be dangerous. Scientists are studying what led a surge in cases in India in the past few weeks and particularly whether a variant first detected in the country, called B.1.617, is to blame. The WHO has