The Arrest of a Tibetan New York City Cop Confirms Suspicions of Tibetan Diaspora on Being Watched by the People’s Republic
Tibet and Human Rights Researcher
Global Human Rights Defence
For a long time, the diaspora community of Tibetans in New York has been denouncing their suspicions of being controlled by the People’s Republic. When a Tibetan New York police-man - Angwang - was arrested under spying charges, these suspicions seemed to find confirmation that the Chinese Communist party (CCP) is watching them.
There are up to 150,000 Tibetans living outside of China today, and 15,000 are residing in and around New York City. The Chinese government has viewed the Tibetan diaspora as an enemy, due to their activism and independence movement widely supported by the international community. For this reason, Tibetans in New York have always felt observed and controlled by the CPP. For example, their visa application for China takes a different entrance to the consulate in the city, and they have to undertake a long interview.
Angwang's arrest under spying allegations caused turmoil within the community. This was reflected by the urgent press conference held by the Tibetan Community Association of New York and New Jersey, who had to explain and justify the reasons behind Angwang’s attendance to their meetings. One member of the board expressed his point of view: “We knew he was a pro-communist type of guy, but we never suspected he could be a spy.”
For the Tibetan community in Queens, the result of Angwang’s trial does not matter. What mattered was the confirmation of their suspicions on being watched by the People’s Republic, and the latter’s control on thought and speech beyond Chinese borders.
Further reading and source:
Hilgers, L. (26th October, 2021). ‘We are so divided now’: how China controls thought and speech beyond its borders. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/news/2021/oct/26/we-are-so-divided-now-how-china-controls-thought-and-speech-beyond-its-borders.