Hong Kong, December 24 (ANI): China is focusing more and more on historical revisionism in relation to territorial claims across its many borders, both land and water, reported The HK Post.
The Chinese Communist Party relies heavily on rewriting history, as does every authoritarian government and it is crucial to the ideological narrative it seeks to create about its rise to power and its place in the world.
Particularly under the spotlight is China's southwest border with the Himalayas, where there is a fascination with the ancient kingdom known as Zhangzhung', reported The HK Post.
In western Tibet, Beijing is doing extensive research and excavations related to Zhangzhung, but there is little study of the subject outside of China, according to cultural specialists and archaeologists in the Himalayan Indian state of Ladakh.
Academics disagree on the precise limits of Zhangzhung. Some claim the kingdom included areas of what is now known as Ladakh, Nepal, West Tibet, and Gilgit-Baltistan. In contrast, others claim it was much less extensive, only encroaching on the northwest corner of Nepal and a portion of Ladakh. Some people assert that Tibet and Zhangzhung were formerly independent nations.
According to Tibetologists, the only thing that is known about Zhangzhung is that it was a kingdom that was roughly located in what is now modern-day Tibet.
Truth and historical accuracy, however, are not crucial for Beijing's objectives. The kingdom is significant because it is linked to several cultural and geostrategic variables that China is currently trying to influence.
Therefore, Beijing is actively engaging in historical revisionism by funding historians and archaeologists to create a new account of Zhangzhung in order to defend its geographical, cultural, and geopolitical dominance in the area, reported The HK Post.
The CCP is busy denying that Tibet has a unique identity and with deciding who will become the next Dalai Lama, it read.
China intends to separate Tibetan culture and religion from its Indian roots by connecting them to Zhangzhung.
In addition to undermining Tibetans' feeling of independence and allowing China to appropriate Tibetan history, it also serves as a power move against Beijing's increasingly hostile neighbour, India, reported The HK Post.
This reasoning has several directions for the CCP. Beijing also links the origins of Zhangzhung to its claim to Tibet in order to defend its possession of that region.
In other words, if Zhangzhung is the origin of Tibet and Tibet is a part of China, then Zhangzhung and all it may (or may not) have included, such as portions of Nepal, India, and Pakistan, are also a part of China.
However, these claims are deceptive. According to archaeological evidence, the main religion in Tibet, Tibetan Buddhism, is descended from Indian Buddhism, which was spread from Kashmir through Ladakh and then to Tibet and China.
Due to their common past in terms of culture and religion, the majority of Tibetans have a certain amount of kinship with India.
Instead of mainland China as the CCP would like us to think, Zhangzhung is considered to have had contacts with what is now India, reported The HK Post. (ANI)