Tibetan leader vows to reveal the real Tibet to Americans

17:17, March 17, 2011      

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Tibetan leader Qiangba Püncog reaffirmed his unwavering belief in portraying a true Tibet to the Americans after being asked by Americans whether or not the Tibetan language is taught in Tibetan primary schools.

Qiangba Püncog, the current chairman of the Permanent Committee of the People's Congress of the Tibet Autonomous Region of China, led the Tibetan government deputy of the National People's Congress to visit San Francisco starting on March 14 local time. And the first public stop on the trip is a panel with University of California at Berkeley experts and professors specialized in Buddhism and Arts.

The first stop has achieved several mutual agreements between both sides. Qiangba discussed with the media a number of topics, including contemporary Tibetan culture and arts — especially the current development situation of Tibetan Buddhism — and the furtherance of academic research cooperation.

However, the leader said he has also been shaken by the misperceptions of modern Tibet held by Americans. Allegations of a severely damaged Tibetan ecology, destroyed Tibetan culture and the depressed Tibetan people, as Qangba pointed out, are false messages that foreign media convey to the American public.

The real Tibet bears no resemblance to this characterization. In the 2011 NPC and CPPCC sessions which just wrapped up on March 14, the Chinese central government has explicitly demonstrated its intention to protect Tibetan culture, which is part of the special Chinese regional culture. Püncog advised the foreign experts to conduct fieldwork for their research in the real Tibet.

China has received a number of American congressmen, and their perceptions toward Tibet have changed greatly after the real local experiences there. Although no fundamental change has yet been made for those who support the Dalai Lama, at least they refreshed their understanding of Tibet, Qiangba said.

In discussing bilateral cooperation, he said that although economic cooperation still at its initial stage, the English language instruction and education cooperation plan started early in 1987. So far, 90 American experts have been sent to Tibet and played a pioneering role in promoting English language in the Tibet area.

However, there has not yet been cooperation with California. Thus, the professional panel creates the opportunity to break new ground.

China plans to strengthen cooperation through Tibet University, the Tibetan Academy of Social Science, the China Tibetology Institue and other institutions.

Today Tibetan deputy has traveled to Washington, D.C. and just finished the meetings with Mark Kirk and Rick Larsen, co-chairmen of the U.S.-China Working Group in the House of Representatives. Soon the deputy will visit Chicago and Canada.

By Li Yancheng, People's Daily Online

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