By Lobsang Yangtso | JNU
NEW DELHI, India, 19 March 2013
The Tibet forum, JNU, organised a seminar on “Leadership Transition on China and its Impacts on India, Tibet and China” in the School of International Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University on 18 March 2013. This seminar was presided over by four Tibet expert speakers from different prestigious universities in India, with as many as two hundred active participants. On 17 March, the member students distributed the posters of this event at every nook and corner of the campus to invite and increase participations from the students and faculty members of the university.
The actual event commenced around 2pm with a brief introduction by Miss Lobsang Yangtso, a PhD student of Chinese studies, on the topic of the seminar. Dr Yeshi Choedon, Professor of International Studies chaired the event. The first speaker, Professor BR Deepak of International Studies of JNU, gave a brainstorming presentation on his topic “Leadership Transition in China and its impact on China”, where he outlined the major key focuses of the new party under the leadership of Xi Jinping and its challenges. He elaborated on the dichotomy of the rapid growth of Chinese economy in general and that of the Western Front where Tibet is included. He also talked about the massive urbanisation which is the apparent reality in modern China and the problem of human resources and pressure of unemployment in China. He continued his presentation on the discriminatory educational system in China followed by political reforms where he said that “in spite of the continuous wave of revolutions in China for the past three decades, the totalitarian structure of the Chinese government has not been changed and China can be saved only through constitutional reforms.”
Professor BR Deepak’s talk was followed by an insightful presentation by Miss Tshering Chonzom, a research scholar at JNU, on “Leadership Transition in China and its impact on Tibet”. She began her talk by giving the historical review of Tibet since Chinese subjugation, and the major trends in the Tibetan Movement up to the contemporary scenario. She continued her presentation by delving into the voyages and challenges of Sino-Tibetan Dialogues and the authentic situation inside Tibet under the Chinese. She also gave a brief account on the causes and geographical dispersion of Tibetan self-immolation cases inside Tibet and its various implications. Miss Tshering concluded her presentation with an overview of the socio-political changes in Tibet since the massive protest in Tibet in 2008, where she gave special focus on opening of the two departments for Tibet by the Chinese government.
The third speaker, Mr Jayadeva Ranade, a member of the National Security Advisory Board and former additional secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat, Govt of India, started his presentation with the just-concluded 12th National People’s Party Congress and the final phases of transfer of power. He also talked about the compositions of the vice premiers, among various other issues like inflation, unemployment and the widespread corruption in the government. Mr Ranade further illuminated Xi Jinping’s so-called “China Dream” — a dream to propel China forward. The Chinese dream according to Mr. Ranade includes putting more money into the pockets of the Chinese people, rejuvenation of the country, and a strong Chinese nation. He said that the “China dream” is an overall inclusive concept. He also talked about the recent moves made by China to protect its strategic interest in South Asia by making some important ambassadorial appointments in India, Nepal and Myanmar. Wu Chintai — the ambassador to Nepal becomes important because of the various political activities conducted by the Tibetan refugees in Nepal.
The last speaker of the session, Professor Madhu Bhala from Delhi University, talked about the leadership transition in China, and its economic impact on China, Tibet and the subcontinent. She laid special emphasis on the resource optimisation of the Chinese government in Tibet, the development strategies and the consequences of these activities on the life and environment of the Tibetan people. She also mentioned how Tibet has become a destination for the Chinese mining industries. She concluded her presentation by saying that “today the Chinese people, especially civil society groups, have become very aware and vocal about the environment degradation and destruction of Chinese development activities.”
The half-day seminar came to conclusion with a few rounds of a question-answer session, where some of the participants raised questions and probed the speakers further for their valuable responses.