DHARAMSALA, 9 March: Campaign groups have called China’s move to name their new naval destroyer after the capital of occupied Tibet, ’Lhasa’ a ‘disgusting insult’.
“People’s Liberation Army (PLA) have named their latest 10,000-ton naval destroyer ‘Lhasa’ after the capital of Tibet, which was occupied by Chinese government forces in 1959,” the London-based advocacy group Free Tibet stated in a press release and added that this is a ‘disgusting insult.’
The development came days ahead of the 62nd anniversary of the Tibetan national uprising day that falls on 10th March.
“This warship will no doubt form a key part of the increasingly aggressive foreign policy that we have seen under Xi Jinping. To name it after a place where protests against the occupation of Tibet have repeatedly been put down with violent force is a disgusting insult to the Tibetan people,” said John Jones, Free Tibet Campaigns and Advocacy Manager
The only thing that the Chinese naval destroyer and Lhasa have in common is that “both are currently full of Chinese military personnel.” he added.
And this, he says is “yet another sign that the Chinese government is confident it can flaunt its human rights abuses without fear of international reprisal” and added that “governments around the world must take concrete action.”
“They can start with sanctions against Chen Quango, the official who is behind much of the oppression of Tibetan and Uyghur people.”
Lhasa, the Chinese navy’s Type 055 large destroyer reportedly made its first public appearance at a naval base in Qingdao, East China’s Shandong Province recently.
It is stated to be the second Type 055 destroyer that has entered service with the PLA Navy. Nanchang, China’s first Type 055 destroyer was commissioned last year on January 12, 2020.