Three senior media members from the Hong Kong and Taiwan said on July 6th that it is necessary to visit Tibet for oneself to know the real Tibet, and not to rely on rumors.
2016 Forum on the Development of Tibetwas held July 7-8 in Lhasa. Visitors from over 30 countries and regions are in attendance, with three attendees coming from the Hong Kong and Taiwan regions. They visited Lhasa and Lhoka on July 4th-6th to see and experience Tibet for themselves.
Liang Yancheng is from Hong Kong and currently lives in Canada. He is the trustee of China’s Tibetan Culture Protection and Development Association. Liang has written a lot of commentaries about China for the overseas media. He said many foreigners are concerned about Tibet but do not know much about it.
Twelve years ago, Liang, still working as a radio commentator, visited Tibet for the first time. He arrived on the snowy plateau and found the infrastructure to be backward. “The roads cannot compare to what they’re now, and they’re very dusty.” Now, 12 years later, Liang is visiting Tibet for the fourth time. He believes there have been major changes in Tibet.
“I think the Tibetans have a great life. Every day at dusk, I can see people dancing on the streets.” Said Liang. In the past few days, locals would wave at their vehicles wherever they were visiting. “Their smiles are so sunny. Even more importantly, their lives have changed so much for the better.”
For Westerners, Liang is an expert in Tibetan history. He has found mistakes in many historical materials the West have on Tibet. “Some history books believe that Tibet was independent during the Republic of China period. This is absolutely false. They do not know that Wu Zhongxin, the chairman of the Mongolian and Tibetan Committee of the Republic of China government, was the one hosting the bed-sitting ceremony for the 14th Dalai Lama.”
He emphasized that various historical records have all proven that Tibet has always been a part of China and has never been independent.
“You need to learn and discover for yourself to understand the real Tibet, and not just listen to what other people say or what you read.” Liang believed. “The human rights issue in Tibet is not at all what the Western media has portrayed. I have seen with my own eyes the people living freely and practicing religion here.”
Wang Yunfeng is the deputy trustee of the Overseas Chinese Media Association, and owns a media company in Hong Kong. In addition to attending the forum in Tibet, he is also bringing information about his new media program, “One Belt One Road.” He hopes to provide information exchange services for overseas Chinese media with this cloud-based program. “I hope to better promote Tibet’s development with this product.”
To Wang, international readers’ learning of Tibet from Chinese and Western media outlets are not balanced. “China is saying less than the West. We should be more active in promoting Tibet, not only its religion, but its tourism, culture, construction, etc. After I go back to Hong Kong, I will tell Hong Kong readers about the contemporary and modern Tibet.”
He also believed that Hong Kong’s young people have a weak historical understanding, so it could be useful to use Tibet’s grand historical set-up to guide the new generation of Hong Kong, to help them better understand China, their motherland.