Is it morally right to travel to Chinese occupied Tibet?
The first point is something which you must decide for yourself, but we feel that this worry is outweighed by the personal insight one can gain into the current political situation. It must also be borne in mind that over 98 percent of Tibetans live (willingly or otherwise) under the jurisdiction of the Peoples Republic of China and one cannot ignore them; they are trying just as hard to free their country as those in exile. Some live within the system, trying to get the best for themselves and their culture, whereas others attempt to live in spite of it, ignoring the rules. The second point is something in my view is far more serious. Many shops and restaurants are not owned by Tibetans, but by migrants. These migrants are encouraged by tax breaks and other government measures. The government would appear to be following a policy of cultural harmonization by marginalizing Tibetans and Tibeatan culture through a dilution of the Tibetan population. This is being done in the hope that future Tibetans will not be able to differentiate themselves from people in other parts of China. As tourism is an important part of the local economy, the growth of tourism will allow more migrants to earn a living in Tibet.
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