China’s southwest Tibet Autonomous Region has registered a steep 79 per cent decline in illegal entry and exit of Tibetans in the second half of last year due to a crackdown, state media reported Friday.
Over decades, Tibetans have been crossing the remote Himalayan region from the Nepalese side. Many use to take this route to Dharamshala in India to visit the Dalai Lama.
The numbers over the years have been declining steadily specially after Nepal started cooperating with China to crackdown on the entry and exit of Tibetans which the overseas Tibetan groups blamed on pressure from Beijing following the development of close ties between the two countries.
A report in the Global Times said following the drive to crackdown on illegal entry to and exit from Tibet in July led to a 79 per cent decrease in the number of cases compared with the first half of the year in 2018.
In response to an increase of illegal exits and entries along the border of Tibet during the first half of 2018, the Tibet departure and entry inspection station launched the drive and strengthened cooperation with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) stationed along the border, the report said.
“As the main department to manage exit and entry in Tibet, we are responsible and obliged to severely crackdown on illegal exit and entry and to offer better services for domestic and foreign tourists,” said Yuan Bin, head of the Tibet exit and entry inspection station.
The departure and entry inspection station focuses on preventing terrorists or criminals from entering China via Tibet and strengthening management of entry and exit information, it said.
A total of one lakh vehicles and five lakh passengers have been inspected.
Nearly 1,000 people were refused entry to Tibet from the border for not completing entry and exit formalities, the report said.
More than 16,000 police officers were asked to visit 21,000 households along the border areas and to register 48,000 people coming from other provinces or regions. Seven residents were awarded a total of 84,000 yuan for their contributions in safeguarding border security, the report added.
China insists Tibet has been part of its territory for centuries. The Dalai Lama, who lives in Dharamshala, fled Tibet in 1959 amid an abortive uprising against the Chinese rule in his Himalayan homeland.