You would think that atrocities on children have become a thing of the past, right? I mean, who brutalises children as young as eight or nine years old, only to ensure that they remain loyal to a certain set of beliefs and principles. Well, the 21st century has not changed China. If anything, China has regressed into the medieval ages. Chinese President Xi Jinping is an insecure person, who does not think twice before subjecting the people of China to extremities of unprecedented proportions.
With the military standoff with India still going on, the CCP has realised how its Han Chinese PLA soldiers make a clown of themselves in the Himalayas.
So, the Peoples Liberation Army needs new soldiers. It needs recruits for its many militias. Now here’s the thing. China tried the voluntary recruitment way with Tibetans. But that drive proved to be an unmitigated disaster. Now, the CCP has resorted to forcing Tibetan children as young as eight years old into indoctrination camps, where they are ‘Sinicized’ to the core.
Tibetan Children Face Atrocious Treatment
China ultimately aims to use these children against India. It is brainwashing them with brazen Maoist propaganda, while systematically erasing all memory of their Tibetan culture and religion. Unfortunately for China, India is all too aware of all that is happening in Tibet. Indian security and intelligence agencies have revealed that the indoctrination of children is aimed at overcoming resistance within the local population to the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) efforts to recruit more Tibetans.
According to a report by the Hindustan Times, Indian security agencies believe children are being sent to special camps to indoctrinate them with a Sinicised worldview that disregards Tibetan Buddhist values and prepares them to be soldiers.
These agencies have pointed out the existence of at least two camps where Tibetan children aged nine to 14 years are being provided basic military training and indoctrination to prepare them for induction into militias.
The highly placed sources in Hindustan Times added that 200 Tibetan youth, mostly below the age for recruitment into the military, were shifted from a training camp in Shiquanhe to Gar Gunsa in Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) in November. They also highlighted how China’s actions to indoctrinate and provide military training to Tibetan children were in brazen contravention of all international conventions.
China Calls its Indoctrination Camps “Boarding Schools”
Earlier this month, another report by the Tibet Action Institute shed light on Chinese excesses in the occupied region of Tibet. The report revealed shocking details. Almost 80 per cent of Tibetan children in China have been placed in a vast system of government-run “boarding schools”, where they are cut off from their families, languages and traditional culture. That amounts to close to 800,000 children.
Stomach that! China has placed 800,000 children, many below the age of 10, in indoctrination camps to turn them loyal to the CCP and to ensure they do not turn against the Chinese regime as adults. The report said, “The schools function as sites for remoulding children into Chinese nationals loyal to the CCP. Removed from their families and communities, students must study primarily in Chinese, are barred from practising their religion, and are subjected to political indoctrination.”
Why Xi Jinping’s Gamble Will Fail, Once Again
There is a fundamental difference between China’s indoctrination camps in Xinjiang and Tibet. In Xinjiang, China is committing cultural genocide against Uighur Muslims, not intending to make them fight for it. Han Chinese soldiers are subjugating and brutalising people in Xinjiang satisfactorily. And then, the CCP does not want to enrol Uighur Muslims into the PLA. But in Tibet, the equations are drastically different.
Tibetans refuse to fight for China, especially against India. Han Chinese soldiers, meanwhile, are not capable of fighting India and surviving the unforgiving Himalayan climate while at it.
As such, China desperately needs Tibetans to join the PLA. But as reported by TFI, Tibetans refuse to join ranks with the Chinese Communist Party. Successive enrolment drives have proven to be duds, and the Tibetan people have splendidly snubbed the PLA.
So, having failed at getting Tibetans to join the PLA voluntarily, the CCP is now trying to manufacture an army of Tibetan soldiers that will fight China’s battles against India. But like all other moves of the CCP, this one will backfire as well. Why? Because Tibetans are a culturally vibrant and aware community. They know they are under occupation and are being subjugated.
And then, they are sympathetic to India. Having said that, it is not like India is doing nothing. The Indian Army has rolled out Tibetology courses for its officers and soldiers, and this suggests how India is preparing for people-to-people ties with Tibet.
Tibetans are not loyal to the Chinese state. China will never be able to completely erase the sovereign sentiment prevalent among Tibetans. It is exacerbating the hatred that Tibetans feel for Chinese Communists by subjecting their children to political and cultural indoctrination. By attempting to build an army of Tibetan conscripts, the CCP is digging its own grave once again.