President Xi Jinping made a surprise, unannounced visit to Tibet last week, and few Tibetans saw him. It was a quickly but carefully staged sideshow, heavily controlled by State Security. Tibetans in a militarized Lhasa were ordered to remain in their homes. Only CCP loyalists with special cards were allowed outside, their role being to dress in fancy costumes like extras in a movie, and hail Xi Jinping for the benefit of China’s state television. “It was like curfew, a Tibetan housewife said, those who were caught in the streets without the card were taken to the police stations.”
Xi also visited the holy places of Tibetan Buddhism, for photo opportunities with mandatorily cheering monks. Bitter Winter was told that he repeated the usual slogans that monks should love the Party and follow the Party, and warned that any relations with “separatists” abroad and the “Dalai Lama clique” will not be tolerated.
Read more at “Xi Jinping in Tibet: A Sideshow About Water”