US Sanctions Chinese Officials Over Alleged ‘Forced Assimilation’ in Tibet

US Sanctions Chinese Officials Over Alleged ‘Forced Assimilation’ in Tibet
Last updated Aug 23, 2023
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons


  • The US Dept. of State announced on Tuesday that new visa restrictions will be put in place on Chinese officials suspected of involvement in the alleged “forced assimilation” of more than 1M children in state-run boarding schools in Tibet.
  • A State Dept. spokesperson said that the new restrictions would apply to present and former Chinese officials but didn't go into detail, citing US confidentiality law on visa records.
  • US Sec. of State Antony Blinken cited a UN estimate given in February that claimed around 1M Tibetan children have been forcibly placed into boarding schools in a program that allegedly aims to integrate Tibetans into China’s majority Han culture, with compulsory education in Mandarin and no lessons culturally relevant to Tibet.
  • China, which denies the allegations of forced assimilation , took charge of Tibet in 1950 — a move it claimed to be part of a "peaceful liberation."
  • The US typically views Tibet as Chinese-occupied and has accused Beijing of committing human rights abuses there, releasing reports of alleged extrajudicial and arbitrary killings, torture, and severe restrictions on religion and freedom of belief, among other abuses.
  • However, China sees Tibet as an integral and historic part of its territory and has denied the US' allegations.


Anti-China narrative

China's treatment of non-Han minorities is atrocious, and there's strong evidence that 1M Tibetan children are facing cultural erasure. The US is right to hold Chinese officials accountable for their role in forcibly assimilating minority populations.

Pro-China narrative

The US consistently interferes in Chinese affairs while holding itself to a different standard, violating basic norms governing international relations. Unlike the US, China doesn't have a sordid history of deep-seated racism, and Tibet has long enjoyed a booming economy, a harmonious society, and effective protection of cultural heritage.

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