It is claimed by the Dalai Lama and several human rights organizations that China is committing "cultural genocide" in Tibet. But how close they are to this goal? Did the Tibetan people really change their culture and realign with Beijing?

  • If your "genocide" is about how PRC ended the serfdom of Dalai Lama and the old Tibet government: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serfdom_in_Tibet_controversy. Then I think they are pretty complete :) This a very controversial problem with a lot of fake and hidden facts, and all of it happens on a strategical location whose possesion can decide the fate of a country. It is better to use terms that are neutral.
    – Faito Dayo
    Commented Aug 27, 2021 at 17:54

1 Answer 1


There is a high level of subjective interpretation inherent to any question of culture. Where a traditionalist sees cultural extinction, others may see the preservation of a culture through adaptation to modernity.

Perhaps the closest thing to an objectively quantifiable measure of cultural transmission is the use of the language. An article in the New York Times describes efforts by the Chinese government to prevent the teaching of the Tibetan language, and cites estimates that "the literacy rate in Tibetan among Tibetans in China has fallen well below 20 percent, and continues to decline." Obviously if that rate falls to zero, the spoken language would also be highly endangered, making cultural extinction an imminent possibility.

Another key issue to consider is the succession of the Dalai Lama. There is considerable pressure on the Tibetan community that he (or potentially, she, which would be a radical break with tradition) should be approved by the Chinese government. In response, the present Dalai Lama has suggested that his position might be abolished, if Tibetan people agree that it should. Such a decision might be seen as acquiescing to cultural genocide, especially taken in conjunction with the decline of the language and other key elements of Tibetan culture.

  • 5
    mass population transfer of Han into the region, banning the language, imposing impossible restrictions on their relgion and customs and cultural expression. Destruction of thousands of monasteries and the imprisonment, torture, and murder of thousands of more monks and other members of the clergy. This isn't a "cultural genocide" according the Article 2 it is genocide. The Chinese are doing the same thing to the Uighur's in the east and they did the same thing to the Fulon Gong. Commented May 5, 2017 at 15:15

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