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In 1949, The People's Republic of China was formed under Chairman Mao Zedong. He quickly began purging the country of anything that did not coincide with his vision of a communist nation, resulting in millions of deaths. In 1950, China invaded Tibet, forcing its leader, the Dalai Lama, into exile in India and forcing the communist system on the people of Tibet. In recent years there has been a move to a free market economy. However, that freedom has not carried over into human rights and religious freedom and China’s human rights record remains one of the worst in the world.
Through a system of "re-education through labour,” the Chinese government detains hundreds of thousands each year in work camps without even a court hearing. There are more Christians in prison in China than any other country in the world. The only legal churches are those strictly controlled by the government of China. Those who do not wish to follow government policies on religious practice and beliefs must meet in homes and risk being labelled as "evil cults." Such a designation can result in closing down the church, confiscation of property, and charges against the leadership, often resulting in torture, imprisonment and death.
In an effort to annex Tibet, China invaded and has occupied it for the last fifty years. Throughout its occupation of Tibet, China has used its political and military power to rid Tibet of its religious culture. The case of China in Tibet exemplifies that sometimes religious persecution is not simply a persecution of a group of people because of their faith. China's persecution of the Tibetan Buddhists is not driven by religious motives but by a realization that weakening the Tibet' religious culture would undermine their strength to defend themselves. One of China's motivation for destroying Tibet's religious culture was to assimilate the Tibetans to the more technologically advanced, modernized culture of China. It can also be interpreted that the destruction of Tibet's religious culture is the result of war.
According to Premier Zhou Enlai: "The Chinese are greater in number and more developed in economy and culture but in the regions they inhabit there is not much arable land left and underground resources are not as abundant as in the regions inhabited by fraternal nationalities."  China's intent to annex Tibet is to benefit from their agricultural and natural resources. Most of Tibet's agricultural production has been exported to China. Furthermore, China has also exploited Tibet's natural resources. "Deposits of uranium in the hills around Lhasa are said to be the largest in the world. Tibet is also rich in gold, copper, zinc, lithium, and other minerals."  By annexing Tibet, China profits from Tibet's extensive resources.
China's policy of re-education in Tibet bans any religious studies in schools. In secular countries such as the United States, banning religious studies in schools is not uncommon. However, most Tibetans' lives have evolved around religion and religious studies play a major role in their lives. Moreover, a large number of Tibetans have been forced to attend schools in China. Those Tibetans forced to live in China were cut-off from their own Tibetan culture and heritage. This is one way in which China is attempting to make the younger Tibetan generation adopt Chinese culture. China has also made Chinese the official language in Tibet. This is further evidence of China's aim at annexing Tibet.