Lhasa (Tibet): The selling of groundwater and spring water in plastic bottles is the biggest scam on earth and China is performing the same tricks with Tibetans, according to Tibet Rights Collective.
China is stealing Tibet's groundwater and selling it back to Tibetans, who previously got it for free. In one of the ads, a young Tibetan nomad woman was seen promoting a Chinese brand of bottled water that is actually sourced from Tibet. China has reduced the status of the once-proud and self-sustaining nomads of Tibet to beggars. China has forcefully removed from their traditional grazing lands to make way for so-called 'nature reserves' and now, the nomads are reliant on the Chinese government's meagre subsidies. Except for the tea, all of these were available for free to nomad yak herders. They would camp near rivers, lakes or other water sources to fetch their own water. Now they are reduced to buying water that Chinese entrepreneurs are bottling by tapping into Tibet's abundant groundwater and spring water, reported Tibet Rights Collective.
Tibet Rights Collective is a Delhi-based advocacy and policy research group that aims to increase access to information about the politics, culture, traditions and language of Tibet by offering a strategic overview of the ground situation
The ad's main intention is to sell bottled water to the Chinese saying that this is the cleanest water for them but it is not. Tibet's once-pristine rivers are no longer trustworthy. As the pollution from rampant Chinese mining ventures has rendered some sections of rivers dangerous, with yaks dying from tainted water.
According to this article, China is the biggest plastic polluter on the planet--by some accounts responsible for a third of global plastic waste.
Tibet's immense reserves of groundwater were never exploited until the Chinese invasion of Tibet. And not on any scale until 2006, with the arrival of the railway from Golmud to Lhasa. The railway link makes the export of Tibet's bottled water to Shanghai and Beijing economical--and highly lucrative trade.
Starting out in 2006 with a few water bottlers on the plateau, the number of enterprises ballooned to almost 30 operators by 2014, encouraged by tax breaks and heavy subsidies from the State. In 2014, the regional government of Tibet signed contracts with 16 major companies to expand the water bottling industry, under an initiative called 'Sharing Tibet's Water with the World.' Facts and figures are hard to come by. In 2017, Xinhua News reported that 800,000 tonnes of water were bottled in Tibet, in an industry employing 20,000 workers, with an income generation of USD 223 million. By 2025, the target is to produce 10 million tonnes of bottled water, an exponential increase. And an eco-disaster in the making for Tibet. There is absolutely no need to share Tibet's water with the world: all that is happening here is sharing China's plastic pollution with mass production of plastic in Tibet, Tibet Rights Collective reported. —ANI