What happened to us can happen to you

Interview/ Lobsang Sangay, Tibetan PM-in-exile


Q/How do you see the growing aggression by China along the LAC?

A /China has traditionally maintained that Tibet is the palm, and Bhutan, Nepal, Arunachal Pradesh, Ladakh and Sikkim are its five fingers. Once they took over Tibet, they had an upper hand in terms of imposing their expansionist policy. Ladakh is the latest addition to China’s expansionist policy. Tibetans were its first-hand victim and we have been warning the world ever since.

Q/The People’s Liberation Army can use Tibet to gain access into Indian territory. Your comments.

A /If we look at history, India never shared a border with China, but it has always shared a border with Tibet. During that period, Indo-Tibetan border was never an issue. In fact, Tibet acted as a buffer zone between India and China, which is now no longer the case.

Q/In the event of increased Chinese assault on India, what role can the Central Tibetan Administration play?

A /We stand with India on ahimsa. The CTA and voice of the Tibetan people have been at the forefront when it came to confronting China. We seek China to follow international norms, basic human rights and non-violence. We have been alerting all the neighbouring countries, including India, that what happened to Tibet could happen to you.

Q/Do you think India should support the Dalai Lama even more?

A /India has been a gracious host to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and is the second home for Tibetans. In fact, no country has done more for the Tibetans than India and its people [have] and we are extremely grateful [for that].

Q/There is growing clamour about boycotting Chinese goods and products after the pandemic.

A /This campaign has been going on for decades. Its success depends on whether citizens consider national interests over individual interests or entertainment. For me, whether the public buys Chinese goods is secondary, because they will buy if things are cheaper. If India can make better and cheaper goods then people will buy Indian products.

People and celebrities should be informed on China’s strategic interests in Arunachal Pradesh, Ladakh, Bhutan and Nepal, and critically assess China’s increased aggression at the border in recent years.

Q/How do you see India’s reassertion of Aksai Chin in the new political map released in November 2019, post abrogation of Article 370?

A /[The] Aksai Chin problem began after the occupation of Tibet and Xinjiang. Till Tibet is resolved peacefully, such assertion will continue.