On November 15, President Biden and Xi met in San Francisco before the APEC summit, however, amidst the geopolitical discussions, Tibetans, Hong Kong and Uyghur activists united in a powerful demonstration against Chinese President Xi Jinping and his authoritarian regime. As the world’s attention focused on the APEC Summit, these courageous individuals took a stand, their voices echoing the collective defiance of those oppressed by Xi’s iron grip. 20 y/o student activist Tsela vowed to remain on the flag pole outside the Hyatt waving the Tibetan flag until Dictator Xi arrived. Holding the Tibetan flag is a crime in Tibet and in China. A Tibetan flag flew over Xi’s dinner with the world’s top CEOs.
The voices of these activists can be witnessed echoing through the New York Times app. Opening the New York Times app right now, one will be greeted with a powerful message of unity and defiance. In addition, Tibetan flags flutter in the background, and the voice of Students for a Free Tibet (SFT) Executive Director Pema Doma fills the air, recounting how Tibetan, Hong Kong and Uyghur activists came together to rise up against Chinese President Xi Jinping and his authoritarian regime.
The persecution faced by these communities at the hands of the Chinese government is well documented. Tibetan people have long endured the harsh realities of the Chinese occupation of Tibet. Since the 1950s, when China annexed Tibet, the Tibetan people have faced a range of human rights abuses. They have endured the suppression of their culture and religious freedoms.
Hong Kongers have witnessed the erosion of their freedoms shrink under China’s control. They have seen how the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ promise has been broken, and the draconian National Security Law has made life very difficult under the Xi regime. Also, they witnessed a harsh crackdown from the Chinese government that led to the arrest and jail term of many activists.
The Uyghurs, in the northwestern region of Xinjiang, are subjected to systematic persecution and cultural erasure. Chinese govt is indoctrinating Uyghurs with Chinese Communist Party ideology and forcing them to renounce their Islamic faith. They have been subjected to mass incarceration, forced labour, and the systematic destruction of their cultural identity.
Defying the Chinese Narrative
In the face of this relentless persecution, these three groups have found a common cause, united in their struggle for self-determination and fundamental human rights. These persecuted communities are raising their voices and calling on world leaders to hold China accountable for its human rights abuses and to stand in solidarity with those who are fighting for freedom and democracy.
Their message is clear: the persecution of Tibetan, Hong Konger, and Uyghur people cannot be ignored or swept under the rug. Their voices must be heard, and their demands for justice must be met. The world is watching, and the future of these communities hangs in the balance.