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Despite government surveillance, Tibetans turn to WeChat messaging app

US Public Radio Series

America Abroad is an award-winning documentary radio program distributed by Public Radio International (PRI) and broadcast on public radio stations nationwide. Each month, we take an in-depth look at one critical issue in international affairs and U.S. foreign policy.

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Imagine living across the world from your family and friends and not being able to use Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp and other social media and messaging apps to communicate.

“Once His Holiness is gone, then, even if the Chinese government or representatives of Chinese government, if they want to engage in a dialog – it's going to be really hard to identify who to do it with.”

Perched in the mountains of upstate New York sits Karma Triyana Dharmachakra, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery known as KTD.

When a Tibetan couple tied the knot last year, they were not only newlyweds — they were newly famous.

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