China flies helicopters in military drill over Lhasa to intimidate Buddhists in Tibet

The aerial drill comes days after the United States enacted the Tibetan Policy and Support Act of 2020 that reaffirmed the right of Tibetans to choose a successor to their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

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China has carried out an aerial drill over the Tibet’s capital of Lhasa, a preemptive move designed to remind Buddhists scattered across the vast Himalayan plateau about the communist party’s military might that last crushed an uprising by young Tibetans ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The aerial drill comes days after the United States enacted the Tibetan Policy and Support Act of 2020 that reaffirmed the right of Tibetans to choose a successor to their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. The Tibetan government-in-exile based in Himachal Pradesh’s Dharamshala had described the US legislation as historic.A China watcher in New Delhi said the drill could be only one part of the continuing effort by President Xi Jinping to sinicise Tibet that would pick up pace in view of the new US law.

“China wouldn’t want anything to happen in Tibet that reflects support for the US law… The military drill was a preemptive move and would be followed by other steps to stem any potential dissent,” he said.

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