Matthew Ji Mrs. Dodd AP English 3 26 October 2018 Cultural Uprising in Tibet The unstinting cultivation of faith, the liberating freedom of speech, the unrestricted publication of press, and above all the unalienable rights for people to peacefully gather and protest against any unjust laws have all entrenched themselves into the American virtue, yet many fail to conceive or to even realize the arduous struggle for liberty that still persists in some parts of the modern world. Tibet is one of these areas. From the coordinated destruction of their Buddhist beliefs and Tibetic languages, to cultural removal and oppressive campaigns, and finally to the forceful settlement of “2.5 million Tibetan nomads … [,]destroying over 9000 years of mobile civilization”, ethnic Tibetans have experienced both challenges and oppositions under Chinese sovereignty for 68 years (Samphel et al. 29). On the 10th of March in every year, Tibetans would march peacefully on streets to commemorate a long train of hardships and abuses under the Chinese regime while “celebrating Tibet's culture and nationhood” in defiant opposition to China’s suppression of their identities; in recent years, some Tibetans even chose to immolate themselves during protests, utilizing their own body as a form of civil disobedience (“Tibet’s Resistance”). Under the view of the Dalai Lama, renowned religious leader of Tibetan Buddhism and resistance, Tibetans should seek to establish a Middle Way Approach where they could enjoy the “protection and preservation of their … identity” with improving autonomy and remain part of China for the government to enjoy its “security and territorial integrity” (“His Holiness”).
Ji 2 To achieve a comprehensive understanding of the conflict at present, the history of Tibet and its people must be adequately examined. Tibet once stood as a powerful empire with an unique richness in culture - centralizing on Tibetan Buddhism’s belief of universal acceptance and harmony, scholars across Asia once gathered in monasteries with the specific purpose of education and knowledge while immigrants and residents found prosperity through a culture of compassion (Samphel et al. 2). However, every empire would eventually meet its demise, and as Tibet failed to modernize with the coming of the Industrial Revolution, the once prestigious state devolved into a mere shadow of its former glory. Finally, in 1950, the new People’s Republic of China, seeking to claim resources and establish an excellent frontier on its borders, successfully invaded and annexed Tibet under the message of “liberating” Tibetans from their established culture (“Tibet’s History”). While the Seventeen Point Agreement did guarantee Tibetans religious freedom, in actual practice, the Chinese government did not endorse such practice, fearful of a powerful religious authority. As anger and discontent rose in the Tibetans, Chinese suppression of Tibetan culture culminated to a national uprising in 1959, in which “300,000
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