A university student union in Britain has removed a Tibetan flag from display because it offended Chinese students – one of whom threatened to inform the Chinese embassy.
Students at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, eastern England, recently held a global diversity event at which many different worldwide flags were shown.
But when some Chinese students saw the flag of Tibet (pictured), they complained and it was swiftly banished. They also received an apology. The flag has been banned by Chinese authorities since 1959.
Malaika Jaovisidha, the union’s international officer, claimed the Tibetan flag – a symbol of Tibetan independence since the area was invaded by China in 1950 – was taken down because there is no official Tibetan students’ group at the university.
But Kai Wang, from Shanghai, apparently threatened to contact the Chinese embassy in London about the display of the Tibetan flag. He wrote on Facebook: “I am so angry with this. Tibet is a part of China and it’s not a special administrative region like Hong Kong. This flag is a sign of secessionism. You call this democracy? I call it ignorance.”
Tibet has been under Chinese control for 67 years. Its leader, the Dalai Lama, lives in exile in India.
The flag of Taiwan was also in line to be removed from the display but was granted a stay of execution because the university’s Taiwan Society objected to its removal.
The University of East Anglia was widely mocked last year for showing excessive political correctness when it banned sombreros on the grounds that if non-Mexican students wore them Mexicans might find it offensive.