Chinese President Xi visited Tibet. On visits to infrastructure projects, a Buddhist monastery and the former palace of the dalai lama, he was greeted by enthusiastically waving crowds and bending monks.
It is exceptional that the Chinese head of state visits Tibet: the last time was thirty years ago. Xi himself visited the region for the last time in 2011, when he was still vice president.
The visit was not announced in advance and no specific reason was mentioned either. It more or less coincides with the 70-year anniversary of the Chinese raid in the country, which Beijing still calls the liberation of the area.
Although Beijing has driven more education in Chinese over the past few years and increased control of religious life, Xi seemed to be particularly interested in the manoeuvre that Tibet is awarded. Xinhua State Office reported that he wanted to be educated about faith matters and the protection of Tibetan heritage and culture.
In addition, the Chinese President seized the journey to highlight the progress that has been made since then. For example, he visited a newly constructed railway track through the mountains and came to the floor in Chinese propaganda a Tibetan telling how the area around the Potala Palace had been greatly refurbished.
Correspondent Sjoerd den Daas joined Tibet on a propaganda trip earlier this year: