Radio Free Asia (RFA) interview with Tibetan activists – Kyinzom Dhongdue (Australia) and Tsering Passang (UK)
As part of the hour-long “Call-in” programme, the Radio Free Asia (RFA) Tibetan language service interviewed two prominent Tibetan activists – Kyinzom Dhongdue from Australia and London-based Tsering Passang to share their experiences and analysis on China’s ongoing interference in foreign countries.
The interview was broadcast on Radio Free Asia on Sunday, 23rd January 2022.
Kyinzom Dhongdue is a former Tibetan MP, who represented the Tibetans living in the Australasia region from 2015 to 2020 at their parliament in Dharamsala, the headquarters of the Central Tibetan Administration (de facto Tibetan Government-in-exile). She was a former Executive Director of Australia Tibet Council, a leading Tibet advocacy group based in New South Wales.
Dhongdue is the first Tibetan-Australian to run for public office in Australia. A parliamentary candidate for the newly-formed Democratic Alliance, Dhongdue is eyeing for a Senate seat, the Upper House of the Australian Parliament.
Knowing Communist China’s growing influence in Australia as well as in the Indo-Pacific region, Dhongdue hopes that her candidacy would draw greater attention to the plight of Tibet from across the Australia continent. Dhongdue said that winning a seat in the forthcoming election may be slim but she’s delighted to have strong support from her own community and others. She said that her political campaign is just beginning and called for support from everyone in her constituency in New South Wales.
Tsering Passang, a former Director of Tibet Foundation, is the Founder and Chairman of the Global Alliance for Tibet & Persecuted Minorities (GATPM). He shared his thoughts on the recent Chinese Spy case in the UK, Christine Lee, her association with the British political parties and the huge donations made to parliamentarians to buy influence for the Chinese regime.
Passang explains that though no laws were broken by Christine Lee, who is linked to the United Front Work Department (UFWD), the unfolding of this latest news is a possible tactic employed by the MI5 to disrupt ongoing activities of the individual concerned. The United Front Work Department of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party is an important department that reports directly to the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which gathers intelligence on, manages relations with, and attempts to influence elite individuals and organisations inside and outside China. It reports directly to the Chinese President Xi Jinping.
This Notice from MI15 was originally issued to the Speaker of the Parliament. It alerts Christine Lee’s interference in the UK Parliament with donations of over £400,000 made to the Labour MP Barry Gardiner. The domestic secret service further cautions members of the parliament when making contact with Lee.
Passang said that by raising this latest concern at the highest level, the MI5 has managed to invoke the development of appropriate legislation by the government for much stricter controls over foreign donations to buy influence which threatens national security. Such legislation would give legal powers to the concerned agencies to take appropriate action against foreign agents to protect national security.
Passang also highlighted the UK’s tougher stance against China under Xi Jinping by making reference to the 2021 Integrated Review vis-a-vis UK National Security and Foreign Policy. He states that China is highlighted as one of the UK’s four major threats over the next decade including Russia, Iran and Terrorism in the Integrated Review. This, Passang said, presents a good opportunity for the persecuted communities and their allies to challenge the CCP regime and it should not be missed.
Passang calls on the Tibetans in diasporas to engage proactively and challenge the Chinese regime. He said that the Tibetans came into exile in 1959 with an object of fight-back and this should not be forgotten. He said Tibetans should foster stronger relations with other persecuted communities including those from Hong Kong and challenge the CCP regime altogether. He also called on the Tibetan Buddhist leaders to condemn the Chinese authorities for demolishing Buddhist statues and forcing monks and nuns out of their monasteries in eastern Tibet late last year.
The interview was conducted by Dhondup Namgyal, a journalist at Radio Free Asia (RFA) Tibetan Service.
Radio Free Asia: www.rfa.org/tibetan
Kyinzom Dhongdue: www.kyinzom.com