Tibet Insight News

November 21, 2017 By Centre for China Analysis & Strategy, CCAS

In letter to Tibetan herders, Xi sends message on China’s border row with India
October 29, 2017
Xi’s letter was a rare response to the flood of correspondence from the public to the Chinese leader.The presidential replies are seen as a window to the priorities of their writer. The Tibetan family – comprising a father and his two daughters – wrote to Xi about their community and Xi replied on Saturday. From 1979 to 1996, the family of herders were the only inhabitants of the Himalayan village of Yumai in Lhunze county, which covers 1,976 square kilometres, according to Chinese records. The community has since grown to 32 residents but remains on the front line of China and India’s conflicting territorial claims. The letter comes two months after the end of a military stand-off between China and India on the Doklam plateau. While not referring to India directly, Xi praised the family’s decades-long efforts to “protect the Chinese territory.” “Without peace in the territory, there will be no peace for millions of families,” Xinhua quoted Xi’s letter as saying. “We will safeguard every blade of grass and tree on the motherland’s border well.” He urged the family to take inspiration from a Tibetan wild flower and continue to defend the “sacred homeland”. Without elaborating, Xinhua said the two daughters, Dolkar and Yangzom, had written to Xi about changes in Yumai. In 2015, Chinese National Geography reported that the Tibetan family’s residence had helped China maintain control of the territory. “Yumai would be occupied by India already if the family had de cided to leave,” the village’s H ead was quoted as saying.[PDF]

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