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Apr 29

My Tibetan Students and I

Written by Nimrod on Wednesday, April 29th, 2009 at 4:31 am
Filed under:education, General | Tags:
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The following essay (translated below) written by somebody named “Crystal” was posted to Woeser’s blog. I am not sure that is the origin of the article, as some attribute it to 《联合早报》 (their version here). But it has been slowly spreading since to other sites like Anti-CNN, MITBBS, and Minkaohan forums. I think it’s a very good essay, informative and incisive.

I will also post some comments from those other sites. Feel free to chime in.


China’s mainland has many Tibetan programs. Those in Tibetan areas can start applying to these after graduating from elementary school. After they finish middle school, they can test for high school or vocational secondary school. After high school, they can test for university. Those who finish vocational secondary school go directly back to Tibet to work. The Tibetan students who study in the Tibetan programs of the mainland must go back to Tibet to work, because all of their tuition and stipends are paid by the government.

From 1998-2000, I taught for two years at Shanghai’s Administrative Management School. Shanghai has two schools with Tibetan programs. This is one of them. When I was allocated to be the headmaster of a Tibetan program, I was really excited at the novelty and my mind filled with thoughts of the land of the snow, hatas, and Potala Palace. The Principal and I took a few senior Tibetan students to the train station to pick up the new students. These senior students have long adjusted to life in Shanghai. They were quite capable and looked after each other well. When they took the new students back to school, I never had to worry because they took meticulous care of them. And these of my own Tibetan students would also have such a transformation in a short few years.

When I first met my Tibetan students, the shock was still great. They were already students who had studied for three years in a mainland middle school, but some of them were still unusually shy. Speak to them gently and they get frightened, and would laugh uncomfortably. I think it must be the normal reaction of people who lived for a long time in a closed and pure environment when they first enter an unfamiliar and bustling metropolis. The days were still hot. When they sweat, a strong disagreeable odor would come from the Tibetan students, and Han students and teachers would all find it hard to bear. But showing any disgust would be highly offensive. To get the new students into the habit of bathing regularly was a difficult task. The girls adjusted quickly and the boys took a bit more effort.

In all honesty, our ethnic policy has done a lot. I see online the argument that the Communist Party of China has the best ethnic policy in all of China’s history. I don’t know about this, but I can say what I’ve seen. The country shoulders all the tuition, living costs, and medical care costs, and all the life necessities and school supplies are provided by the school. There are even two enterprises that give out generous scholarships. Every year during Tibetan New Year, we give them money to buy decorations and additional meals. Every year there is free travel, movies, performances, and outings. There is also really nothing that can be called thought control. As headmaster, I never say anything about cardinal principles. At the weekly classwide meetings, all that we tell them patiently are things like don’t smoke and don’t get into relationships. But I do want to say some problems from my observations.

From what I know from my Tibetan students, I think the rich-poor gap is very big in Tibetan regions. Tibet is a place with a very harsh environment. If you’re a common farmer or herder and depend on your own labor, your income is very low, and your life is very difficult. But the country has invested enormously in Tibet, to the point where as long as you are not a farmer or herder, and have any kind of job at all, whether it’s in the bureaucracy or a plain factory worker, your income is very high. I’ve seen my students’ school records, which have their family background. Back when it was 1998, according to one student, his father was an ordinary factory worker with a monthly income as much as 6000 yuan. While the common situation in Shanghai at the time was about 1000 or 2000 yuan. This caused the large rich-poor gap. The students in my class, if they came from a rural family, had no money at all beside the stipends to cover living costs given by the country. But if their parents had jobs, then they would spend extravagantly, clearly exceeding the standards of ordinary Shanghai students. The most extravagant spender in my class, also the one that gave me the greatest headache, was said to be the son of the principal of the TAR Party School. Later I saw reports that the central government noticed the problem and increased subsidy to farmers and herders. But China is big, and subsidies won’t ever make things fair and equal. My colleague went to Qinghai last year representing the Ministry of Education. Since China is a typical place where the squeaky wheel gets greased, so the country has invested heavily in Tibet and Xinjiang, but neglected Qinghai. Life in Qinghai is very hard. Also because in Qinghai, Gansu, and Sichuan, Tibetans live in mixed quarters with other ethnicities, so the country cannot just subsidize Tibetans, so Tibetans outside the TAR benefitted very little. If you watch the news, frequent incidents happen mostly in places like Qinghai and Sichuan, not inside the TAR.

From this there comes another problem of corruption of officials. A senior girl student with whom I have a personal friendship has told me, she is a daughter of herders. They know that testing into a Tibetan program in the mainland is the opportunity to change their fate, so they try the hardest they can. But if a region recruits ten students, they almost need to be in the top three to have a chance, because the other spots will be taken by people with connections. In Tibet’s bureaucracy, the CCP relies on Tibetan cadres it has cultivated to administrate. Because they are heavily relied upon, added to the sensitivity when communicating with different ethnicities, Tibetan cadres are under looser discipline compared with those of other regions. Clearly this leads to more serious corruption. At the same time, corruption of officials brings more serious and complicated consequences in ethnic regions. Among my Tibetan students, some don’t care one bit about studies because somebody has got their back, because their parents or relatives are cadres. On the other hand, some very hardworking sons and daughters of rural families know that no matter how outstanding they are or how hard they try, they won’t have a great future prospect. It’s not like in a big city like Shanghai, where there are all sorts of job opportunities, anybody can find a niche based on ability, Tibet is heavily dependent on the central government, and students get assigned for any kind of job. So it becomes the hotbed of corruption. The Tibetan girl I like would place first every year, but after graduation she became an accountant in a small restaurant in some remote place. Another class leader who performed well went to the countryside. That place doesn’t even have electricity. He writes to me with some dark humor saying he holds a candlelight party every night. Another far less worthy student than her enjoys a comfortable high-paying position as a government worker in Lhasa. The social inequality that I see in my students, when magnified to every aspect of the region, makes me fear that dark currents and submerged dangers run in TAR. Official corruption and social inequality are commonplace anywhere in China, but in an ethnic autonomous region these conflicts can easily become acute.

Because of the heaven-and-earth difference in fate that results from getting a good job or not, some students from rural backgrounds demonstrate an extraordinary intensity of trying to get ahead. After I had just announced the class leaders list,
a student stayed after class to ask me directly about being the class leader. He said he could do all the work, that I wouldn’t need to worry about anything. All he wanted to be was class leader. Then another student told me the same thing. Later I discovered that those who spoke to teachers in insincere ways or who were cold were mostly children of cadres, for they had already entered the country’s ranks. And those who were energetic and took initiative were rural students, for they wanted to make their way in. My class leader was highly capable. He took care of everything and I had no place to lend a hand. I tried to implement democracy in my class, and let them cast votes to elect class leaders, but even such a simple thing caused complicated factional struggles. When I found my class leader even snitched on me, I felt anger inside. At this time, he picked up an IC card on the playfield. Of course he knew this belonged to another Tibetan student (the school gives Tibetan students special IC cards and fills these every month with a certain amount of cash, which they can use in the cafeteria or school stores), but he still went to a store and spent it all in one go. But the Tibetan program just has 200-300 people, the store owner knew everybody. Someone who ordinarily spent little suddenly spending a huge amount would certainly have made a strong impression. The owner of the card only needed to make an inquiry to find out everything. And if this kind of thing were reported to the school his class leader position would be revoked. It is said that my class leader kneeled down and begged others not to let a Han teacher know about a disgrace among Tibetans. They let him go. But his own class did not let him go and told me. I called him to my office and asked him. He didn’t admit it at first, but shut up soon. I saw that he was under enormous stress, so we talked about other subjects, like his family situation. He kept forcing his mouth into a smile and said how difficult it was for Papa and Mama to make a living planting back home, how they could do little work when they got on in their years; how something happened to one of his elder brothers, and another one was washed away by a river and drowned when cutting timber. He was a boy of 1.80 meters with a big and tanned face, and still he kept his mouth open as if smiling, but big drops of tears fell. He said, he was the only boy left in his family. When he left, he promised his Mama that he would do well and promised he would overturn their fate. Other students more or less had some spare money from home, but he got not one cent from his family. When he saw classmates buy this and that, he was envious so when he found the card… I think I will never forget that face with mouth smiling but big drops of tears falling.

An inequitable society can twist the psychology of people. Many Tibetan student leaders can speak bureaucratic language even better than Han, and have beat the Han at their own game of mastering the unhealthy parts of bureaucratic culture. I am often amazed at the appeal of the Dalai Lama among Tibetan people after fifty years. While the power of religion is no doubt significant, it likely has also to do with the lack of credibility of government officials.

Another problem I have sensed is the estrangement between Han and Tibetans. At school, it is rare to find personal friendship between Han and Tibetan students. Because the country has a protective policy toward minority ethnicities, were any dispute to happen, the bias is definitely toward minorities. The school and teachers repeatedly educate the Han students to take care not to cause any ethnic issues. This fearful mentality meant people who wanted to avoid any potential for trouble would interact as little as possible. Without personal interaction, their observation of a group often landed on those individual cases of really superb or really terrible members. I see a lot of online commentary that says Tibetan students get drunk and hack down Han students with knives. Our school also had such situations, where a Tibetan student got drunk and went out to town letting loose, trashing windows and street lamps. The whole town didn’t mutter a thing and let him trash what he willed. But this is a very individual case. If you don’t interact with the group, all you see are the outliers. If you interact with the group, you’ll find that most people are good. Turning the table, we also see Han people acting uncivilized abroad but they do not represent all Han people.

I love my Tibetan students very much. But my romantic vision at the beginning gradually disappeared. I feel that people everywhere are the same. If they have some special characteristics, these must be imprinted by their environment. Usually we believe Tibetan people are simple and warm, unmoved by materialism. But I think this is caused by living a long time in a closed and monotonous environment. In my observation, my Tibetan students all adjust to Shanghai very quickly. They go from nervous and shy to fashionable and confident quickly. In a matter of months, if they have the financial resources, they become no different from the young Shanghai boys and girls. They don’t get assimilated into Han, but they get urbanized, modernized. This is certainly not the deliberate doing of the government.

I don’t believe that Tibet was heaven fifty years ago, because my students showed me her family photos from the Fifties. They frightened me. The people looked dark and skinny with lifeless expressions, like woodcut. She too told me that before Liberation people only lived to about thirty. And there wasn’t really a marriage system. Her two younger sisters don’t have the same father as she, I think. Maybe many passersby like to see the virgin culture, but for those living in it, they have the right to a happier life, rather than turning their lives into a living fossil for others to observe. On the other hand I want to remind my Han compatriots, don’t pretend other people are too simple-minded. You think you liberated them from a dark and horrible feudal serf system so they ought to be forever grateful. You think you spent so much money so they ought to show they are happy and owe favors to you. Yes, these facts are definitely not false, but any individual has dignity and independent thought, an ethnic group more so.

A subject that the Vice Principal responsible for Tibetan students never forgets to mention at school meetings is to make Tibetan students “recall bitterness and think of sweetness.” One time he said, you know you need to treasure the educational and living conditions of Shanghai, last year when I dropped off graduates to Tibet, it wasn’t a far place, just a suburb outside Lhasa, but what those farmers in the fields were eating… Before he could finish, the senior students started to jeer and whistle, overpowering his voice. The teachers commented among themselves that the Tibetan students were different from before. The graduating class had a chance to visit a big Shanghai enterprise like BaoSteel. In the past, when you asked Tibetan students where they wanted to go they were always excited, but now when you ask them they are very cold. They are not interested. Some Tibetan students told me privately that “you just want to tell us how advanced you are, how backward we are; how much you gave us, and we all depend on you.” Another time, I had my class leader come to get his class schedule from my office. After he looked over it he said, “Teacher, I will add a word.” I was surprised because I didn’t know where I made a mistake. He took a pen and wrote “Han” before “Language Arts”, so it read “Han Language Arts”. I said, “Isn’t this the same?” He said sternly, “There is also Tibetan Language Arts, so which language arts it is needs to be specified clearly.” But the school doesn’t teach Tibetan language arts, not because the school doesn’t attach importance to it. At some point, the school had employed a Tibetan teacher to teach Tibetan language, but after a year he left because he felt lonely. These little things have made me aware of the Tibetan students’ attachment to their native language and culture.

I often think, this generation of young people, Han or Tibetan, is completely different from before. They are well educated and live in a time of abundant information. They are all people of modernity. Yet the imprint of ethnicity is deep in their blood. Han should not think of minorities in such simple terms as I give you lots of money and care for you so you need to know what is good for you and behave yourselves. We are all the same kind of people, all living in an era of radical change, all bearing the brunt of industrialized culture and urban living, and we are bewildered and feel at a loss between keeping our traditional heritage and becoming modern citizens. We need to love each other, pay attention to communicate, and start this new life together.

What I find the hardest to forget is the send-off my Tibetan students gave me when I was leaving the school after testing into a graduate program. Those were the peak high-temperature days of the summer of 2000. They said they must drink. The school forbade drinking so I went to their dorms. Most of the cramped room was taken up by double-decker beds. Thirty-seven or thirty-eight degrees celcius, a room stuffed with more than thirty people, every one gave me a hata and sang a drinking song with raised glass. I was piled full of hatas sweating and tearing up and could hardly breathe. How many times in life could you find such uninhibited and unadulterated emotion?

I love my Tibetan students. I think Han is like the elder brother in a big family, who needs to look after the younger brothers and sisters. I’m afraid what the elder brother needs to do now isn’t to arrange everything, but to quietly listen to the brothers and sisters speak their minds. After all, the elder brother is maturing, and brothers and sisters are growing up, too. Nothing is like the past any more.

  Crystal


There are currently 4 comments highlighted: 35870, 36147, 36638, 36639.

326 Responses to “My Tibetan Students and I”

  1. Wukailong Says:

    @Nimrod: Do you have the link to the original?

  2. Charles Liu Says:

    Nicely done, thanks for translating this.

  3. Wukailong Says:

    @Allen, admin: There was a page some time ago tagged with “annoying.” Now here a page has been tagged with “shy.” Any analyses? :D

  4. Allen Says:

    A very well written article (and translation). I don’t think the CCP is bad – or Tibet was misgoverned. But I do also take comfort in the fact that the CCP is changing, China is changing …

    As for politics: it has always been my personal view that Tibetan culture and identity should be treasured, that it is only Tibetan nationalism that need to be fought. Reading this article reminds me how important it is for all China loving people – irrespective of the DL – to try to separate the two.

  5. Nimrod Says:

    Some comments. Minkaohan is a forum for minority students (mostly in Xinjiang) who attend Chinese-track programs. MITBBS is a forum with many unversity students in China and overseas Chinese.

    hotpotato on Minkaohan: “One batch of rice nurtures a benefactor, ten batches of rice nurtures a foe.”

    竹叶青 on Minkaohan: “If it weren’t for the ethnic policy concocted by Hu Yaobang, how would China have so many ethnic issues … In truth caring for disadvantaged groups is a country’s responsibility, because disadvantaged groups don’t have an ethnic distinction. But giving advantages just because minorities are a different ethnicity from the majority is difficult to accept. This includes schooling, birth control, and criminal sentencing. Are Han second-class citizens? People are born equal, all ethnicities should be equal, but what I’ve seen the most are the dissatisfaction of the Han.”

    bluetears2002 on Minkaohan: “Our school also recruited one or two Tibetan students, the type to train to become teachers. At first it just felt like they had tanned faces and relatively more pimples but half a year later we couldn’t tell the difference. At the time they had a deputy county superintendent come to see how they were doing. We were so envious.”

    木斯塔法 on Minkaohan: “Yes, a good essay! I read it again carefully. A closed farming and herding society created in a closed environment makes this group drastically different from the surrounding culture. But the globalization of modern society is an inevitable trend. No corner of the world can escape it. A social group long closed to the world cannot enter the current of modernization without harsh moulding and shaping. It will experience a painful process of training the flesh and mind, just like China after the Opium War or after Reform and Opening. The Chinese government uses soft approaches of Easterners approximating ruling a family or treating a guest. I question whether these approaches can solve complicated problems of ethnicity and culture.”

    cao2001516 on Minkaohan: “No use. They will never be full. Look at blacks in America, still so backward, almost 200 years now, they are still the group with the highest crime rate. Even if you don’t distinguish ethnicity, those apt to cause trouble will do so. It can only be worse if you deliberately cover for troublemakers.”

    库苏木齐 on Minkaohan: “Tibet is still using assignment for jobs? Rule by man is not very modern.”

    goworld on MITBBS: “Indeed everybody should be equally treated. Just like it says, biasing toward Tibetans will result in Han and Tibetans rarely making friends. Don’t distinguish between you and me. Let all live together, compete for jobs. And don’t always send those Tibetans back to Tibet to work. Why not let them choose their jobs freely? Rural kids can also find a good job in Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen if they study well. With more people exchanging, every province will be connected, then who would speak of independence.”

    commoner on MITBBS: “The more awakened the Tibetan or other minorities, the stronger the thought of self-determination. The division between ethnicities isn’t that easy to erase. If I were Tibetan, I would also strongly fret about the continuation of my culture and despise the upper-class Tibetans helped up by the CCP. CCP’s ethnic policy is very hard to be successful. Doesn’t matter how many lama temples you build. That isn’t the key. The Tibetan problem is decided by the stance of both sides. I don’t see the long term favorably.”

    superinter on MITBBS: “Why do other minorities not have so many problems?”

    wwwhu on MITBBS: “On minority cadres, I feel the same way. The cadre system has big problems, high reliance on really corrupt minority cadres creates divisions in the relationship between minority and Han. But making noise is still better, the squeaky wheel gets greased. If not where would these Tibetan programs come from. Like the Zhuang of Guangxi, about as numerous as Beijingers, the whole of Guangxi is 10th in population in the country, what education assistance do they get? The spots reserved for all of Guangxi to Tsinghua University cannot even compare to one good high school in Beijing. When they adjusted the university system, all the national universities were dismantled and sent to other richer provinces. So you can’t get recruited by other provinces and there is nowhere to study within the province. The result is a complete weakening.”

    caesar1 on MITBBS: “faint, why can we not mention assimilation? Only assimilation can completely solve the root ethnic problem.”

    dobbin on MITBBS: “Why force Tibetan students to go back after graduation? If they can find jobs in the mainland then they should stay. And there is no need to cover tuition. They can take loans. If they go back to Tibet then the loan can be struck, otherwise they can repay after getting a job. And living costs shouldn’t be covered. Why can’t they take a job, it’s just three meals a day. Letting Tibetans come to the mainland is a good thing, lest they get full and have nothing to do but cause trouble in Tibet.”

    bbking on MITBBS: “Because nobody dares to hire them for a job” in response to why Tibetans can’t work while they study.

    dobbin on MITBBS: “Student loans already exist. It’s possible. While university students can work, secondary school students are not appropriate for work. The real solution is to let Tibetans leave Tibet. Don’t subsidize. That cold and harsh place is not suited for living. Why not go somewhere else. The country can subsidize those who want to leave, and go to a place with better natural environment, at least somewhere lower in elevation. It’s better for the longevity of Tibetans and the standard of living is higher too, no? Without subsidy, those who can bear it and who are willing to bear living there are an extreme minority. Then let those stay. With fewer there, troubles will decrease, and you don’t need to feed as many lamas either. In accordance with equality, take away subsidies and let voluntary decisions dictate where people want to live.”

    dobbin on MITBBS: “Yes that’s what I mean. They need go out to get practice. If they always get spoiled in the Nationality schools, or spoiled in Tibet, they grow lots of issues. Everybody is born equal. An ounce of effort earns you an ounce of sustenance. Society will naturally allocate them a position fitting with their ability. If it’s to dig shit, then go do that. If you assault, vandalize, rob, then the police awaits. Aimless wanderers will be dealt with by residency enforcement officers. No distinction between Han and Tibetan, only distinction between the nine stations of society.”

    riskyboy on MITBBS: “A monthly salary of 6000 yuan. Hard to believe.”

    mygoldfinger on MITBBS: “Do graduates of the Tibetan program have levels of skill competitive with regular graduates? If not then they won’t get a job in the city, either.”

  6. Tsering Says:

    Dalai Lama is not a separatist, its your thought that is making. He doesn’t have to be a separatist, we are different nation. the thing is you have invaded.

    We have different history. Don’t boast of your power, it will diminish one day. You cannot be someone else if you are you.

    What about the dialogue? genuine autonomy for Tibet? All our mines and rich resources are curbed by the CCP still saying you spent money on us? Shame on you! Life in Tibet is in tense. What about the Human Rights situation in Tibet? Ask Good ccp.

    Good article and translation, thanks for your good effort to Crystal and Nimrod.

  7. Shane9219 Says:

    被遮蔽的西藏

    撰文:阿来, 西藏作家, 获奖矛盾文学奖

    http://news.sina.com.cn/c/sd/2009-04-27/184017699029.shtml

      谈论西藏是件容易的事情,不然的话,这个世界上没有那么多人,那么多媒体在谈论西藏。知道的人在谈论,特别对一无所知的,一知半解的,道听途说的人,更加要谈论,而且,都谈得更加振振有词。这是一种很奇特的文化现象。一般说来,大部分人谈论一个地区,一种文化,一个族群,总是基于一种认知的需要,才会加入这种讨论。而关于西藏的话题大多数时候是出于想象。想象的动因似乎是因为需要确认在这个世界上还有另外一种生活的可能。这另外的生活就是与当下以物质消费为主导的大多数人相反的一种生活。希望有一种生活是当下这种生活的反面。如果当下生活是物质的,那么,希望那个生活是精神的;如果当下生活是复杂的,就希望那种生活是单纯的;如果当下生活过于务实与功利,那就要希望另一种生活是浪漫的……总而言之,那种生活是现在大多数人所过的生活的反面。

      更有一种关于西藏的言说,出于一种意识形态的有意的视而不见。对历史的真实的面貌视而不见,对于现实生活的真实图景视而不见。

      我个人常常遭遇这样的情形。比如我的小说英文版在美国就遇到过愤怒的读者。他不是普通读者,是著名学府里的人类学家。他呆在纽约的书房里生气,认为我的书写歪曲了旧西藏的历史。这里需要补充一点的是,他并不是一个研究西藏族群的人类学家。还有一次,我的小说的德文出版社安排我在德国和瑞士一些讲德语的城市作一系列有关小说的演讲与朗诵,在其中一个城市,遇到一些藏族同胞,在一次会后请我聚餐聊天,他们特意做了些西藏风味的食品,大家都愉快友好,其中一个非常温婉的妇女,她首先对我取得的“成就”表示高兴,但也温婉地感到“遗憾”。她说,你的小说里写了那么些残酷的刑法,信佛的西藏怎么会有这么残暴的事情呢?而且,还有血淋淋的杀人……那个蓝眼睛的人类学家生气时我还能理解,可能他研究过的族群与文化都在某些地方使他失望,而他希望西藏的文化不会使他重复这种失望,而我的书写破碎了他的希望。但是那位生活在异国的同胞却让我吃惊,但我的写作只是为了呈现,而不是为了与谁争执,所以,我也非常礼貌地回答:“可能你和你的前辈曾经生活的那个西藏和我所生活的西藏不是同一个地方。”

      所以,我要说的是,如果我们要认真负责地谈论西藏这个话题,可能是相当困难的。首先因为这个话题上已经产生了重重的遮蔽。无意的遮蔽,是希望西藏的生活能够代表或预示未来生活的另一种选项,另一种生活态度与生活方式。而有意的遮蔽呢?显然对施加遮蔽者有着巨大的现实利益。这几天呆在广州,领受《南方都市报》主办的一个文学奖项,并参加一些相关文化活动,我一直在不同的场合向人们传达我以上的观点。

      在不同的场合中,对不同的听众,我说过这样的话:

      “在很多的时候,西藏就是一个形容词化了的存在。对于没有去过西藏的人来说,西藏是一种神秘,对于去过西藏的人来说,为什么西藏还是一种神秘的似是而非的存在呢?你去过了一些神山圣湖,去过了一些有名无名的寺院,旅程结束,回到自己栖身的城市,翻检影集,除了回忆起一些艰险,一些自然给予的难以言明的内心震荡,你会发现,你根本没有走进西藏。因为走进西藏,首先要走进的是西藏的人群。走进西藏的日常生活。但是,当你带着一种颇有优越感的好奇的目光四处打量时,是绝对无法走进西藏的。强势的文化以自己的方式想要突破弱势文化的时候,它便对你实行驼鸟政策,用一种蚌壳闭合的方式对你说:不。”

      我还说过这样的话:

      “有关藏族历史、文化与当下生活,外部世界的期待大多数时候都基于一种想象。把西藏想象成遍布宗教上师的国度,想象成传奇故事的摇篮,想象成我们所有生活的反面。而在这个民族内部也有很多人,愿意作种种展示(包括书写)来满足这种想象,让人产生种种误读。把青藏高原上这个文明长时间停滞不前,大多数人陷于蒙昧的局面,描绘成集体沉迷于一种高妙精神生活的结果。特别是去年拉萨“3-14”事件发生后,在国际上,这种“美丽”的误读更加甚嚣尘上。尤其使人感到忧虑的是,那样的不幸事件发生后,在国内,在民间,一些新的误解正在悄然出现——虽然并不普遍,但确实正在出现。这些误解会在民间,在不同民族的人民中间,布下互不信任的种子。我的写作不是为了渲染这片高原如何神秘,渲染这个高原上民族生活得如何超然世外,而是为了去除魅惑,告诉这个世界,这个族群的人们也是人类大家庭中的一员。他们最最需要的,就是作为人,而不是神的臣仆去生活。他们因为蒙昧,因为弄不清楚尘世生活如此艰难的缘故,而把自己的命运无条件托付给神祗及其人间的代言人已经上千年了。”

      总而言之,我的意思就是,对西藏的认识的确需要去除很深重的遮蔽。这种遮蔽是双重的,一重出自于出于想象,把西藏想象为另一种存在。如此一来,西藏永远就是另一个世界,生活在那另一世界的西藏人是另一种人类。今天这个世界一个重要的主题,是不同民族与不同文化之间的相互理解与交流,但这种看法可能把这个族群永远拒斥于这种氛围之外,让他们也有理由自外于这个世界,永远作为一种符号性的存在。符号有一个好处,固定不变,容易辩识,但一群人的生存一旦被符号化,他们作为普通人的生活,连同世俗的愿望,情感也被抽空了。在好多地方,他们成了一心向佛的人,始终在快乐吟唱舞蹈的人,所有这些固然是他们生活的一个方面,但更重要的是,他们的生活还有另外的一个方面,但这个方面却在文化等等看起来正当无比的名义下被遮蔽了。作为一个藏族人,我当然为自己的族群生活中还保持着更多一些的诗意与淳朴而深感自豪,但同时也为大多数普通人(包括我大部分的亲人)的生存还很艰难,诗意与古风犹存是生活的一个方面;为地里的庄稼焦虑,为牧场上的牛羊焦虑,为孩子上学焦虑,为老人生病焦虑,所有这些林林总总是生活的另一个更为真切的方面。而后一个方面,也就是这个族群的现实生存的状况却常常被遮蔽。我要说的,西藏首先是一个族群的现实生活,然后才是作一种价值观与符号学的文化。而不是首先是文化,其次,还是文化。所有人都在文化的氛围中生存,但不是所有人的生存都只是为了呈现一种文化。

      而更严重的还是出于意识形态的那种遮蔽。前述那个我的生活在瑞士的女同胞对我的诘问,就是这种遮蔽的表现,也是这种遮蔽的结果。这种遮蔽是真的要对历史与现实视而不见。

      因此之故,认识西藏与关怀西藏,都需要一个去魅的过程,需要每个人都不是从已有的观念与出发,而是不要先入为主,从一个一个的局部,一个一个的个体去感受,去体察。对此,我的想法一以贯之,所以,我还可以再次引用从前说过的话:“上个世纪以来,地理与思想的禁锢之门被渐渐打开。这里的大多数人才得以知道,在他们生活的狭小世界之外还有一个更为广大,更为多姿多彩,因而也就更复杂,初看起来更让人无所适从的世界。所以,他们跨入全新生活的过程,必定有更多的犹疑不决,更多的艰难。尘世间的幸福是这个世界上绝大多数人的目标,全世界的人都有相同的体会:不是每一个追求福祉的人都能达到目的,更不要说,对很多人来说,这种福祉也如宗教般的理想一样难以实现。于是,很多追求幸福的人也只是饱尝了过程的艰难,而始终与渴求的目标相距遥远。所以,一个刚刚由蒙昧走向开化的族群中那些普通人的命运理应得到更多的理解与同情。”

      言说西藏与认知西藏的过程中,如果去除了这有意无意地双重遮蔽,不止可以帮助我们更好地走进西藏,更为重要的是,这样的方式能够帮助西藏更好地融入这个日新月异的世界。

  8. Shane9219 Says:

    @Tsering #6

    “we are different nation”

    The notion that Tibet as an independent nation is simply an imagination by TIE community. Tibet was under China’s dynastic control for hundreds of years. That is the history, people of TIE community has to face such fact and could not change it, regardless they like it or not.

    It’s time for TIE community to fold their flags and rejoin the family.

  9. Shane9219 Says:

    @Tsering #6

    “All our mines and rich resources are curbed by the CCP still saying you spent money on us”

    I have read such kind of argument put up by people like Woser. I would have to say to her: grow-up, you are not a child. Mature adults will not make such kind of argument. It just doesn’t make sense.

    People in TIE community need to take steps to come out of their dark psyche in order to see some sun light.

  10. Tsering Says:

    @ Shane

    You need to grow up and teach yourself. Tibet has TRUTH to go with. China also used to be under Tibet.

  11. Mick Says:

    Interesting to compare this with Sun Shuyun’s description in her new book of the Tibetan students who won places to study at Tibetan Inland school in Xian. Very different accounts. With this account, replace the words Tibetan/Chinese with native/white and it reads like a recitation of the white man’s burden.

  12. heiheianan Says:

    @Mick

    Exactly. This will be the new China – a working/middle class that sees it as their duty to “help” and “educate” certain ethnic groups, whether they want that help or not. Furthermore, and much more damning, is the idea that if this help needs to be forced onto the minority groups, even with violence, all the better.

    We know what’s best for you. —- That is the thinking: paternal, malevolent, and with more than a few echoes of past western (and Japanese) policy towards China. I know for certain that many people (not just Chinese) see some form of colonialism as the path to superpowerdom (I know it’s not a word!) and they feel A-OK with this; after all, a pattern has already been established, right?

    There is a lot of online complaint about persecution of China and Chinese these days. As with every broad complaint, it includes some valid, some debateable, and some ridiculous assertions. However, what is really interesting about the “China is continuously under attack, circle the wagons” assertion is that it actually ignores the fact that China is in the catbird’s seat, so to speak.

    Chinese citizens themselves might make the same complaints about China, but they are stiffled at every turn, and not just by their government, but often, also by their fellow citizens. I ask, is there a more vicious criticism than to be called a “race traitor” these days? In this we might see echoes of McCarthyism here in the U.S., and (repeatedly) in former policies of various Chinese authorities. The Cultural Revolution springs to mind. Those of you who say China is opening up, don’t mistake business policy and (sporadic) enforcement of the criminal code for actual policies addressing the civil rights issues many talk about. Issues like those of Tibet. Now, does saying that tip my hand one way or another on my feelings towards Tibet? No. It couldn’t, because Tibet is a mystery to me, and to the vast majority of people, including Chinese themselves. The few Tibetans most Chinese claim to “know”, are they representative of most Tibetans?

    Nevermind the Dalai Lama, just fo the moment. I am suspicious of charismatic leaders myself. But, I would be A LOT more willing to consider the CCP policies towards Tibet in a reasonable light if ANY Tibetan community leaders/elders – be they religious, political, cultural, etc – were allowed to speak to the media. One has to seriously wonder about the acceptance of CCP policies among Tibetans when the entirety of their dominant religion’s leadership is shut off (at the tip of a bayonet) from the outside world. As far as the the Dali Lama being a feudal leader; again, forget him for a moment. Here we are in 2009, and the Tibetans seem to be just as tightly clinging to their religion as they did in their past. So one has to wonder, at what point are their leadership/religious choices taken into account?

    That’s internal criticism.

    Western criticism – be it by Chinese in the west, “westerners” (a grab bag of nations and ethnic groups is there ever was one) are dismissed quickly: how could we ever understand China, especially given our own history of colonization and ill-treatment of minorities? This is the line of thought per westerners. Comparisons of Tibetans to Native Americans are not always exactly parallel, but I do find one reasonable comparison: life expectancy rates rising, infant mortality rates dropping. Those are good things, right? Even if they happen in tandem with events like the Trail of Tears? Even if it means languages becoming practically obsolete? Even if it means those being helped have to be helped by suffocation and isolation?
    Or I suppose that all those monks that have rioted, under verifiable threat of death of imprisonment, they are just “black hearted wolves” too?

    What I really think many, if not most, Chinese want is to be allowed to throw their weight around a bit, just as their own previous tormentors in the west did for so long. For many people, that is part and parcel of being a superpower, the right to impose your will on others, chiefly those in your ranks. If the Dalai Lama died today, crushed under the weight of his own ego, what would change? Would most Chinese be open to letting the Tibetans themselves, the ungrateful sots, chose a new leader? Or let the monks that administer their chief religion have a say in matters? I think not.

    Most Americans – barring those buffoons at the extremes, both left and right – look back at various stages of our history with some nausea. Slavery. Treatment of native Americans. Suffrage for various groups. McCarthyism. More recently, the Iraq War and Guantanamo Bay. And of course, we have more than our share of pride over some of our (rightfully celebrated) triumphs too.

    Chinese, though… a century of humiliation seems to have brought many into a permanent underdog status. So, no matter how badly – or brutally – the new power is wielded, it matters not. Not just a permanent victim, but the only victim.

    I would say that is a neat trick, but unfortunately, as an American, I have seen it before.

    Lastly, I will say that I do know a Tibetan, a friend of mine here in the U.S. It would be unfair for me to say too much about her, I am sure she enjoys her anonymity. I also don’t want to make the mistake of projecting her opinions as those of all Tibetans, but I’ll say that she harbors deep resentment towards China – though not necessarily all Chinese. This is a woman who has profited mightily from the “new” China, yet her concerns go beyond money. Some of you may ask, “well why doesn’t she give back the money”? To which I say, “money earned honestly is yours to keep”. She once told me that no matter what she said, what she did, her only place in Chinese society was to be a grateful beneficiary, someone dragged into modern times, dressed smartly and “cleaned up”. By being “cleaned up”, I mean she doesn’t stink, which apparently equates to inner-peace for many Han Chinese.

    So when I think about her, i have to wonder, what would other Tibetans say, if they had the chance to speak at all with the detested western media? Not just CNN (I agree it’s utter crap) I mean even serious and respected media.

    Well, so far none of us know. But in the meantime, we’ve got a bunch of colonialists 2.0 telling us that Tibet is doing fine, thanks for asking, but they aren’t just ready to have the training wheels off yet…

    Hmmm.

    http://cmp.hku.hk/2009/03/24/1527/

  13. Wahaha Says:

    I know for certain that many people (not just Chinese) see some form of colonialism as the path to superpowerdom (I know it’s not a word!) and they feel A-OK with this;

    heiheianan,

    Whether Tibet is part of China or not, China cant allow a pro-West government controling Tibet. If West had been as poor and as powerless as countries in Africa, I dont think Chinese government would mind to let DL and his followers control the Tibet as they were 50 years ago.

    Tibet is never an issue of human right, it never will be, it is about the surviving of China as a nation !!!

  14. Shane9219 Says:

    @Tsering #10

    It is fair to say that you knew more of Tibet history than I do. However, do not let that assumption to confuse with the fact that I do not know Tibet’s basic history.

    In another Tibet related thread, I said “Tibet, as an independent political/dynastic entity, faded away quickly during its early civilization, and never materialized after.”

    That is both historical TRUTH and reality that TIE community have to face with. If you don’t, you will keep yourself in disillusion. Like I used to describe people in that kind of situation:

    “They lock themselves in the past, crying in the middle of night with hatred. Their dark psyche won’t let them see sun light, let alone see a changing China”

  15. Nimrod Says:

    Mick wrote:

    “Interesting to compare this with Sun Shuyun’s description in her new book of the Tibetan students who won places to study at Tibetan Inland school in Xian. Very different accounts. With this account, replace the words Tibetan/Chinese with native/white and it reads like a recitation of the white man’s burden.”

    +++++
    I suppose parallels can be drawn in broad strokes, but I can’t help but think this is a form of projection. At the risk of turning this into a discussion similar to the “are Chinese racist” thread, let me throw out there the question: Is what China doing with minorities really a rehash or is it not something novel?

    China’s “paternalistic” attitude may be akin to white-man’s burden, but first you need to subtract the religious stuff and belief in hereditary race differences. I do think ordinary Han Chinese genuinely believe they are helping Tibetans (and only measure this on a scale of materialism), but the Tibetans that go to these schools agree, too. Even the Dalai Lama cannot deny this. The issue seems to be dignity, not unwanted help. You can say the same about Han rural kids who come out of their villages and go to school in cities. Is the policy wrong to provide these opportunities? Nobody (except the invisible hand) is forcing them to undergo these difficult transitions. But with ethnic minorities the same paternalism can seem like Han chauvenism. And here I agree with those who believe too much ethnic-based preferential treatment, even in passive forms, is detrimental and paternalistic. China has really gone too far with it, causing resentment and high-horse attitudes among Han (affirmative action is also a form of help) and a sense of low expectation for minorities. It’s distortion of the labor market, as the excellent ones cannot stand out, which is not fair. But I don’t see a good alternative, becaues of demographic disparities — poor and needy Han will always outnumber minorities.

  16. Allen Says:

    My uncle is a Taiwanese businessman in Shanghai. He is well connected with gov’t officials as well as local businessmen. It is standard practice for poorer districts to hook up with richer districts where the richer districts will provide money as well as resources for modernization. My uncle was an emissary to one of the poorer districts in Yunnan.

    Sure one may criticize the system or not … but to call any arrangement of governance you don’t like as racist, paternalistic, colonialist … is a non-starter.

    Is L.A. a colony of Sacramento? Is CA a colony of Washington D.C.?

    If we must question China’s sovereignty over her territory any time we discuss Chinese governance issues and issues with ethnic dimensions in China – then we are not going to get anywhere. That’s the truth (I don’t use that word very often in this blog – and I mean that here).

    China is not the West – and the West is not the China. To use Western experience to describe Chinese … that’s not just a “trick” – it’s ignorance … or simple bad faith.

  17. Nimrod Says:

    Some people say that there is no “genuine autonomy” in autonomous regions. I agree there is no autonomy of the level of Hong Kong in them, but they have relatively more say on internal matters than provinces. It is ironic that for the most part, more autonomy for Tibet hasn’t turned out to be good, in the past or in the present. Instead, having competent and sensible people run the place would be more useful than autonomy. Let me also add that if you consider the policy objectives carefully, you see that the government is trying to get well educated ethnic Tibetans to go back to Tibet to serve the region and improve it themselves. If the goal were to assimilate Tibetans and reduce autonomy, this wouldn’t be the way to do it.

    I also wonder if there is an “anybody but Chinese” syndrome. I recall reading glowing accounts of Younghusband’s invasion of Tibet in 1904 and how it was a so-called welcome and enlightening experience for Tibetans who opened up and saw the world — the same kind of things said about Perry vs. Japan. Of course Japan later used the same logic on the rest of Asia. Perhaps it was right or perhaps not but it doesn’t really matter, since China’s inclusion of Tibet isn’t based on these moralistic grounds but on inheriting the sovereignty of prior regimes.

  18. ustc Says:

    While I’m glad this Chinese teacher loves her Tibetan students, her comments reflect a paternalistic & ultimately prejudiced view of Tibetans and Tibet. The same happened in the U.S. when several whites championed the cause of American Indians but didn’t really understand Indian culture nor did they appreciate the fact that Indians didn’t want to be or look like Anglo-Americans but were proud of their native culture. The same is true for Tibetans. We don’t want to look & act like Chinese. We’re very proud of our unique culture, religion & history. And we don’t considere ourselves the younger siblings of the Chinese but your equals. Tibet is Tibet & China is China. We can be friends & neighbors but we are separate countries & cultures & we are not lesser or subservient to China.

  19. Nimrod Says:

    ustc,

    Thanks for writing. I think you misunderstood the analogy of elder vs. younger siblings. That analogy, at least according to my interpretation, is one of degree of modernization or industrialization — Han being the farthest along. I suppose in that sense the author would say Chinese people are younger siblings of Europeans in the family of the world… Now that I think of it, that does sound pretty bad, but maybe still true.

    In any case, while we obviously differ on whether Tibetans and Han Chinese should be part of the same country, I definitely agree that ethnic groups should be equal. In fact, I think it’s better if ethnic labels just get discarded altogether and people can be proud of whatever they want to be proud of. Among Han Chinese, for example, there is some notion of hometown origin, but it doesn’t rise to an ethnic category. Tibetans of course are much more different, but one thing the author argues is that we are all modernizing and urbanizing, so in a sense we are all becoming citizens of this one new modern culture, just with some markers of our heritage. I think that’s true to a large extent. Tibetans are adapting to this modern culture, admittedly filtered through China, more than they are adapting to the Han culture. So they don’t look or act like Chinese. They look and act like modern people who happen to be Tibetan. A culture needs to stay in synchrony with the world to survive and evolve. Tibetan culture in exile probably changed even more.

    I don’t think it’s a misunderstanding about native culture, but a misunderstanding of psychology. I really think the issue is how much Tibetans feel like none of this is “arranged” but of their own choice. Nobody wants to be told what to do even if it’s what she wants to do anyway.

  20. Shane9219 Says:

    @ustc #18

    Your comment is a fair reflection of TIE perspective. But you missed three important points:

    1) the majority people in Tibet do not think that way,
    2) the majority of people in the rest of China (including Taiwan, HK etc) do not think that way.
    3) the real history of Tibet tells a different story: Tibet region has been under China’s dynastic control for centuries, and it was not in a neighbour-to-neighbour relationship with China since Yuan dynasty.

    Your POV is also similar to pro-independent people in Taiwan, they had argued that Taiwan is Taiwan and China is China. However, this kind of argument is a wishful thinking, because it was not a historical reality and the majority people in China (includinng Taiwan) just say no to such proposition.

  21. heiheianan Says:

    @Shane9219

    I am amazed to read that you understand how the majority of people in Tibet think. How do you measure their thoughts? By what the government tells you? By the people the government appoints as spokespeople? It is one thing to simply swallow the party line, but it is quite another to ignore the military presence to quell the Tibetans and the monks. Unless you think that the military is there to help Tibetans reel in their unbridled enthusiasm, and to help put helium in all the balloons? Party over here!!!! You may question “western” – that pesky term again, one which manages to include many Asian media, btw – perception of Tibet, but how can you simply ignore the violence, ALL of it carried out by Tibetans and monks? If the majority of Tibetans are really so thrilled to be part of the fam, then surely the CCP would let journalists in to record this outpouring of support, right?

    I mean, wowsers! You’re drinking it straight from the pitcher, huh?

    When you say “the majority of people in the rest of China (including Taiwan, HK, etc), yet admit that pro-independence Taiwanese also harbor such POV, you do realize that pro-independence Taiwanese form a substantial (perhaps even majority) portion of the population, right?

    As it often does, the argument on Tibet returns to “you don’t know Chinese history, only people who agree with me do”.

    BTW, I’d say even a cursory glance at Taiwanese politics would change your opinion the majority of Taiwanese people “just say no” to such proposition. I mean, who were those people that applied for U.N. membership under the name “Taiwan”?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6909053.stm

    which led to

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/30/world/asia/30taiwan.html

    GO DENVER NUGGETS!!!!

  22. Nimrod Says:

    Allen wrote:

    “My uncle is a Taiwanese businessman in Shanghai. He is well connected with gov’t officials as well as local businessmen. It is standard practice for poorer districts to hook up with richer districts where the richer districts will provide money as well as resources for modernization. My uncle was an emissary to one of the poorer districts in Yunnan.”

    China is not the West – and the West is not the China. To use Western experience to describe Chinese … that’s not just a “trick” – it’s ignorance … or simple bad faith.

    +++++
    This is a good point. For one thing Chinese are not averse to rating society based on how “advanced” or “backward” they are. It seems these terms are thrown around frequently, like the inland is more “backward” than the coast. Or the hill country are more “backward” than the plains, etc. When some people in China think minorities are “backward”, I am almost certain they don’t think it’s something genetic in the minorities to be backward, especially since Chinese consider Tibetans, Qiang, and various other minorities to be the same (genetic) race anyway. Sometimes they do think it’s the culture that is “backward”, but usually not even that. For the most part, people only say a place is backward, e.g. with regard to Tibetans, people think in terms of physical terms like its geographic conditions, difficult to access, cold, not hospitable, can’t grow anything, etc. It doesn’t matter who lives there — they will be “backward” (in materialistic terms).

    I don’t think that’s how Western colonists thought of their “backward” people at all, in white man’s burden.

  23. Allen Says:

    @Nimrod #22,

    You wrote:

    I don’t think that’s how Western colonists thought of their “backward” people at all, in white man’s burden.

    The problems with characterizing Chinese actions as colonial are many. We’ve had several discussions here and there on it.

    One problem is factual. In European colonialism, the colonized is never treated as an equal of the colonizer. The Indian subjects were never full British subjects or citizens, for example. Even when Britain practices democracy, it never allowed the Indian subjects to vote to control the British government. The opposite is true. Minorities of all ethnicity are full Chinese citizens. They can participate fully in the CCP. Sure as this article details, opportunities may not be equal for all ethnicity – but that is a problem not by design – but a problem that the gov’t and nation is fully committed to trying to resolve.

    Another problem is political. European control of faraway lands was justified through a white-man’s burden type of logic. Europe needs to control far away lands for the good of the natives throughout the world (this mentality still exists in the West; the West must promote “human rights” and “democracy” for the “good of the world”). But as you also mentioned in #17, Chinese sovereignty over its recognized territories is not based on moral right or superiority. It simply is. If people want to challenge it, Chinese people will fight their territory. That is all.

    There are so many others … Some claim that genocide (or cultural genocide) is a necessary result of colonialism. However as scholars like Prof. Barry Sautman have detailed, there is no genocide or cultural genocide by any way of measure. If there are any loss of heritage, chalk that up to globalization (international tourism, media, etc., for example) not draconian actions by Chinese gov’t.

  24. Shane9219 Says:

    @heiheianan #21

    Good and tricky question, huh? It is always easy for people with western mindset to come up this kind of question — since China does not run western-style ballot or referendum, how do you know people’s popular opionion? Such question can be easily answered if you know mainland China is governed by the majority.

    There is no actual ballot to show how many people support CCP in mainland China, but there is no doubt CCP enjoys very wide support among mainland’s population, Tibetan included. If you ever visited Tibet, you can find the pictures of Mao and Deng hanging squarely in average family’s living rooms.

    In Taiwan, you can also find, through western style ballot and polls, the majority there do not support independence.

    TIE community have put their belief squarely behind independence, and the major of them were western educated, including DL (who actually chose a Nazi as his personal teacher). Such combination prevents them from seeing Tibet history from a fair and neutral perspective. They would then turn around against people with different opinions of theirs, claiming those are the official lines from CCP.

    Well, let’s just keep things simple, the idea of Tibet indepenece will NOT ever fly — that is the majority view inside China.

  25. Shane9219 Says:

    @heiheianan #21

    “CCP would let journalists in to record this outpouring of support, right?”

    Good question! Tibet regions have been open to geniune tourists (regardless western or not). But certain western journalists are not allowed. It is a good sanction, I would say, since these journalists were nitpicker and pro-independence activists, and they tell lies (saw enough of their reports in 2008). No wonder they deserve such kind of sanction.

  26. Allen Says:

    @Shane 9219 #25,

    You wrote:

    In Taiwan, you can also find, through western style ballot and polls, the majority there do not support independence.

    Your are right. The small minority for independence are vocal thugs – no more…

    But that is really irrelevant. Even if everyone in Taiwan (excluding me) were for independence – it’s not a unilateral decision for Taiwan to make. Taiwan does not gain a right to make such unilateral decision simply because it is an island, has a formidable lobby to the U.S. Congress, or simply because a few decades have passed since the last shots of the civil war has been fired. Any decision to make regarding Taiwan independence need to be made by the Chinese Nation as a whole…

  27. heiheianan Says:

    Shane:
    Well, let’s just keep things simple, the idea of Tibet indepenece will NOT ever fly — that is the majority view inside China.

    Yes indeed, keep it simple! That is a reply I’ve got to love. No pesky trick questions, just a nice “not now, not ever”. If my question – itself simple – strikes you as “tricky”, I’d say that you might have a weak foundation for your arguments. And please stop trotting out the “people with western mindset” sort of thing… I don’t have much in common with the default stereotype of a common westerner – not in race, religion, upbringing, or a host of other characteristics. Sorry~~~ And, what do you say to the non-westerners who have a divergent view on Tibet? I know for certain there are many within Asia/outside of China who have “tricky” questions…

    Allen:
    Taiwan does not gain a right to make such unilateral decision simply because it is an island, has a formidable lobby to the U.S. Congress, or simply because a few decades have passed since the last shots of the civil war has been fired. Any decision to make regarding Taiwan independence need to be made by the Chinese Nation as a whole…

    That doesn’t address that the Prez of Taiwan lobbied the UN for membership status, and that his replacement has gone ahead and requested a form of autonomy. These aren’t local rabble-rousers, and I don’t think they polled “The Chinese Nation as a whole” before they went before the UN with their proposal. Did you even bother to look at the second link I put up? Yes, Taiwan was denied, but – but! – they were considered. Do you think that if Bloomberg went to the UN and asked that New York be considered for membership, it would have ever gotten off the ground? Perhaps I am on shakey ground with that analogy.

    For me, here is the money quote – notice the use of the word “international”:

    In an interview at the presidential palace in Taipei on Feb. 12, Mr. Ma was mostly conciliatory toward Beijing but emphatic that Taiwan’s international space be protected.

    “There is a clear link between cross-strait relations and our international space,” he said then. “We’re not asking for recognition; we only want room to breathe.”

    If that isn’t someone (or the representative of several million someones) making a clear cut step of self-determination, I don’t know what it is.

    GO NUGGETS!!! Denver beats Dallas in six games.

  28. Otto Kerner Says:

    “Your are right. The small minority for independence are vocal thugs – no more…”

    Absurd. Didn’t pan-Green get over 40% of the vote in the last presidential election? For fear of being misrepresented later, let me point out that I’m not saying the pro-independence side is a majority there. But a small minority? How have you drawn this conclusion?

    “But that is really irrelevant. Even if everyone in Taiwan (excluding me) were for independence – it’s not a unilateral decision for Taiwan to make. Taiwan does not gain a right to make such unilateral decision simply because it is an island, has a formidable lobby to the U.S. Congress, or simply because a few decades have passed since the last shots of the civil war has been fired. Any decision to make regarding Taiwan independence need to be made by the Chinese Nation as a whole…”

    This is really confusing. As you said, Chinese sovereignty in Tibet isn’t justified by any reason, it simply is, which is true insofar as there are a lot of PLA soldiers there. Observing Taiwan, however, there are no PLA soldiers. Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan simply is not, except insofar as the Republic of China is the government of China. Therefore, if Taiwan wanted to secede from China, it could seek approval from the government of China, namely the Republic of China, and go on its way peacefully. That makes sense, doesn’t it?

    But, now I think I get it. The Tibet and Taiwan situations are opposites, and yet you and I both support the same course action in either case: self-determination in my view or Chinese control in yours. This makes sense for me because my political views require me to always give self-determination the benefit of the doubt. And your view makes sense, too, if it is simply that you always support whatever strengthens China.

  29. Lime Says:

    @Allen
    I’m trying to resist but I can’t help asking you this.
    You said in on our discussion about successor states that size is not the deciding factor when determining who gets to be the successor state. If this is true, and Taiwan was an “integral” part of the Qing state, as the PRC’s government likes to claim, then what justification is there for seeing the PRC as the ROC’s successor, as the latter still exists on “integral” Chinese (meaning ex-Qing) territory?

    If it’s possible to see the present ROC as the legitimate successor state of the Qing state, then wouldn’t its government be entitled to recognise the break away CPC-controlled state’s independence, just as the PRC recognised the Republic of Mongolia’s independence, and the Russian Federation recognised the independence of the other ex-Soviet states? (If I understood your interpretation correctly, the recognition of independence by the successor state was the only legitimate way for multiple states to be formed out of the territory of a collapsed state).

    And if we could see it like this, and the ROC did grant the PRC its independence (just as the PRC government did with Mongolia, without actually consulting the “Chinese Nation” as a whole, but instead using it’s theoretical authority as the theoretically legitimate government of the theoretically legitimate successor state), then wouldn’t the ROC’s people (now limited to the residents of Taiwan, Jinmen, and the surrounding islands) be what you describe as the “Chinese Nation” in its entirety, and thus allowed to change the name of the state to the ‘Republic of Taiwan’ or whatever else it might want, and live happily politically separate from any and all states in the rest of the ex-Qing territory for ever after?

    According to your personal interpretation, of course…

  30. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Shane #24:
    “There is no actual ballot to show how many people support CCP in mainland China, but there is no doubt CCP enjoys very wide support among mainland’s population, Tibetan included.” – oh really? So in all the restive regions in western China, where does the restlessness and dissatisfaction come from? And do many mainland Chinese support the CCP without question like self-respecting automatons, or is it conceivable that perhaps that support ebbs and flows on a case by case basis? And is the level of support of the ruling party in a one-party state really a good reflection of public satisfaction at the bang-up job they’re doing?

    Your circular reasoning seems to go like this: the CCP is the only show in town; people seem to like watching the show the CCP puts on; so therefore the CCP must be putting on a good show. Well, maybe someday, Chinese will have a choice of channels.

  31. Allen Says:

    @Lime #29,

    Good question. Here is my perspective on the issue.

    If ROC and PRC are both successor states to Qing – then there are no problems. Both claim to be the legitimate China – and both can fight for assertion of that status. This was where we were between 1949 and early 1980′s.

    Since the 1980′s, it became clearer and clearer that the ROC lost (sob, sob … I was truly upset when that happened … I still remember donating my piggy bank savings to the gov’t in the name of fostering national self reliance – we’ll grow strong ourselves and teach those commie bandits a lesson ourselves – without the help of the world…). I don’t think anyone who lives in the real world can argue anything otherwise. So the only issue now is how will ROC and PRC officially end their hostility and reunite the country. This is where we are today in history.

    Now if ROC want to declare itself simply Taiwan – then it is not acting as a successor state – but as a renegade province. The PRC – now as the sole successor of the Chinese state – has the right to stop that – with military means if necessary.

    As for your question about consulting the Chinese nation as a whole – it does not necessarily mean democratic referendum as you seem to imply. The CCP is the sovereign gov’t of the Chinese nation. If it wants to orphan Taiwan from the Chinese nation, it can do so unilaterally – as the legitimate gov’t of China. If it wants to recognize an independent Mongolia as it did, it could do so without a referendum of all the Chinese people.

    In summary, we can either have ROC and PRC both acting as the successor ostates f the Qing – both claiming to be the “one” China. I am perfectly happy with that, but for me personally, it’s clearly not based in reality. Or we can have PRC as the legitimate successor – with the status of ROC to be officially determined in a future date when all the territories will be officially re-united. Or we can have Taiwan as a renegade province. Then PRC – as the lone successor state of Qing – has a right to either fight to keep that from happening – or the right to formally separate Taiwan from the nation – either way will have to be a decision made by PRC.

  32. Allen Says:

    @Otto Kerner #28,

    Your post made no sense to me. But I will try a short reply.

    About the green vote: when 40% voted for it, not all 40% were pro-independence. Many voted as a mandate to clean up gov’t corruption. KMT would have garnered 60% if it had not been torn by inparty rivalry and split into two parties. In the second election, DPP would not have won without sympathy votes from a stray bullet.

    As for self-determination – have you followed our discussions here – most recently in the smurf thread? I am being consistently clear that I apply self determination at the national level – not at the clan level, tribe level, zip code level, city level, province level, island level, mountain range level, “ethnic” level, “religious” level, etc., etc., etc. I do that relative to Taiwan – and I do the same relative to Tibet – irrespective of the reach of the PLA.

  33. Allen Says:

    @heiheianan #27,

    You wrote:

    In an interview at the presidential palace in Taipei on Feb. 12, Mr. Ma was mostly conciliatory toward Beijing but emphatic that Taiwan’s international space be protected.

    “There is a clear link between cross-strait relations and our international space,” he said then. “We’re not asking for recognition; we only want room to breathe.”

    If that isn’t someone (or the representative of several million someones) making a clear cut step of self-determination, I don’t know what it is.

    Uhh … that’s called politics. I don’t deny that Taiwan has been self governing. I don’t deny Taiwan has some international pull. Heck I even revel in the fact that Taiwanese people – at least for now – have a disproportionately (relative to their population and their status as a province) effect on the future of China as a whole.

    However, it does not follow that ergo – Taiwan has a right to self determination…

    Go Lakers! Lakers to win it all!!!

  34. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Allen:
    “However, it does not follow that ergo – Taiwan has a right to self determination…” – ahh, but why does the right to self-determination have to be derivative? Why does it have to “follow”? To me, as you well know, it just is.

    And besides, shouldn’t you be supporting the Kings, or the Warriors? Are you a closet Southlands-wannabe? Say it ain’t so…

  35. Lime Says:

    @Allen
    But specifically, what has caused the ROC to lose its successor state status in your opinion?
    You say it’s not because it’s smaller, and I don’t think it’s because you believe it’s any less “Chinese”.
    Is it because the UN recognised the PRC? Because Washington did?

    Outside the PRC, I think the common perception is that it’s just a big, loud, aggressive state, that uses flimsy and vague pseudo-legal justifications to veil what are really just naked territorial ambitions. I’m not saying this is necessarily the case, but if this difference in perception is to be overcome, the PRC, or the supporters of the PRC’s territorial claims, have to come up with some concrete justifications that can be communicated to the skeptics.

    If the territorial claim on the ROC’s territory boils down to ‘sometime in the 80s it became obvious that we were the legitimate successor state and they weren’t, and therefore we get to decide how their territory and ours may or may not be divided’, it’s never going to hold water for anyone but the true believers.

    Also, I wasn’t implying that a democratic referendum was needed for a consultation with the “whole of the Chinese Nation”, as this was your idea. The way I understood you, the legitimate successor state’s government gets to represent the “nation” (meaning all the people in old state’s territory, and which in this particular case must be further amended to the all the people in the what had been the territory of the Qing state, but only between 1683 and 1895), and get the right to decide what if any territory can be independent. The Taiwanians were obviously not consulted on the freeing of the Republic of Mongolia. My point was that if the legitimate government can make that decision without direct consultation, then, if the ROC is the legitimate successor state, it could recognise the PRC’s independence (which is actually what it would be doing if it did what people often erroneously refer to as ‘declaring Taiwan’s independence’) without the permission of either the PRC itself or its citizens. See what I mean?

    Finally, I don’t believe your “ROC and PRC both acting as the successor states” can fly. I think in your interpretation, its pretty clear that there can only ever be one successor state, as the key feature is this right to decide the fate of any and all potential other states. If you don’t agree, we’ll have to revise the framework some more.

    umm… Go Redwings, I guess (the Oilers didn’t make it this year…)

  36. Nimrod Says:

    Lime,

    This sounds like word games. But I’ll play along. Your issue would only arise when there are competing successor states and you can’t determine which one is legitimate. But even then it isn’t much of an issue. There are four possibilities with Taiwan independence:

    1. The ROC kicks out the mainland. You’d have to allow states to kick out a component without it asking to be. I don’t think there has ever been a precedent of a state doing that. In fact, it would make the state seem rather illegitimate!

    2. The ROC approves PRC’s declaration of independence in 1949. But the PRC did not declare independence. It declared itself as a successor state.

    3. The ROC recognizes Taiwan’s request to be independent. But all that does is for the ROC to lose its rights to Taiwan; the PRC, a rival claimant can still recover Taiwan. In the same vein, if the ROC were to take over, it could try to get back Mongolia, I suppose.

    4. The ROC gives up its claim to be the legitimate government of China. Then it has no rights to rule Taiwan at all under this rubric and PRC’s claim on Taiwan would stand.

    Look at it this way, there is a successor state title, and each claimant can compete for it. While it is in the running for it, it can attempt to get all the rights to that title. Not that complicated.

  37. Tsering Says:

    @ shane @ 14

    U live in the dark side even being the super power gulping the smaller ones, your time will come. U can’t take care of ur people well thats why eating other’s possession, still boasting and lying and lying, u r lier. Shame on you of being big of small value. esp ppl like shane not all the Chinese.

  38. Lime Says:

    @Nimrod
    I personally don’t believe the successor state convention is anything more than a convenient, voluntary agreement between a newly established state and a foreign state to save time and effort re-establishing embassies and doing paper-work. I don’t know of any precedent outside of the PRC’s claim where long established independent states can be absorbed against the will of their governments by so called ‘successor states’ with a claim of legitimacy.

    Really, my interest is in untangling the justifications behind Allen’s claim in #26 that “Any decision to make regarding Taiwan independence need to be made by the Chinese Nation as a whole”.

    So yeah, your number 4 doesn’t work, because in my scenario the ROC would be using its claim as the Qing’s successor to get rid of its relationship with the PRC. 3 is non-sensical because ‘Taiwan’ is not a political entity beyond a theoretical province controlled by the ROC, and can’t request anything. 2 you’re right as well, if the way the PRC understands itself should matter at all, then it didn’t declare independence. So you’re left with 1. And yeah, if Allen is willing to add yet another clause to his particular belief in the law governing successor states- that for the successor state to recognise independence, the body governing the territory in question must accept independence for it to be valid- then you’ve solved the problem for him. Good work.

    Maybe, if the ROC’s government wants to get rid of the PRC, it could officially cede it to another nation, just like the Qing did to Taiwan; there are certainly many precedents of that happening. (I’m joking, of course).

  39. Mick Says:

    Does this teacher’s school teach in Tibetan or Chinese? A program in the 1990s showed that Tibetan students did very much better academically when taught in their own language. But the program was discontinued and the Tibetan’ schools now teach almost exclusively in Chinese.

  40. Nimrod Says:

    Mick,

    It teaches in Chinese. The article says they got a Tibetan teacher for a short time but couldn’t keep him or her, and this was only for a Tibetan language class. Probably only Tibetan-track schools in TAR and other Tibetan autonomous units have mandatory Tibetan instruction in other subjects.

    “A program in the 1990s showed that Tibetan students did very much better academically when taught in their own language. But the program was discontinued and the Tibetan’ schools now teach almost exclusively in Chinese.”

    This is one of the problems with no solution. Higher education is almost exclusively in Chinese (or English), not Tibetan, so eventually students need to get instruction in Chinese, and the earlier the better, since they also need to take entrance exams. The Tibetan students who stick around in Tibetan-track programs through secondary school don’t end up with enough practice. That’s why these students go to the inland schools in the first place: to get a Chinese education. Also there are not enough qualified Tibetan teachers and education material for post-secondary education in the sciences. This isn’t an exclusively PRC problem. The exile government does even worse, and India just doesn’t care. Of course nobody blames them for cultural genocide, right?

  41. Wahaha Says:

    Tsering,

    How will Dalai Lama select his successor ?

    My guess is that he will pick one from Tibetans in India, right ? but if so, the 15th Dalai Lama will not be a ‘ native ‘ Tibetan. How will he solve this issue ?

    ___________________________________________

    I just googled, and found this link :

    http://www.nowpublic.com/world/dalai-lama-my-successor-may-be-girl

    What do you think ?

  42. Wahaha Says:

    Also, what if the next Dalai Lama is selected by Panchen Lama in China and and Dalai Lama in India also select a successor ? I know you wont accept the one in China, what I am asking is how that will impact on the mentality of Tibetans ?

    the following article :

    http://www.verytribe.com/panchen-lama.html

    The 11th Panchen Lama, the highest leader of Tibetan Buddhism in China, held religious rituals in Tibetan habitats in southwestern Sichuan Province from June 12 to 28, and was warmly greeted by believers.

    During his stay in the province, the Panchen Lama, or Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu, held head-touching ceremonies to bless more than 60,000 local believers, living in Garze and Aba, two Tibetan autonomous prefectures, located in Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

    also this one :

    http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200512/19/eng20051219_229038.html

    The past decade witnessed Gyaincain Norbu grow-up from a child to the leader of Tibetan Buddhism. He has presided over many religious ceremonies in Tibet as well as Tibetan communities in Qinghai, Gansu, Sichuan, Shanxi provinces and Beijing and blessed nearly 300,000 Tibetan Buddhists through the holy head-touching ritual
    ____________________

    It seems to me that Ordinary Tibetans really dont care how Dalai and Panchen lama are selected, they want bless.

  43. Allen Says:

    @Nimrod #36,

    You wrote:

    In the same vein, if the ROC were to take over, it could try to get back Mongolia, I suppose.

    That is my secret wish – for the ROC to take over Mainland China (including Mongolia) again. Though I’ll admit – it’s kind of like pornography – all fantasy … little reality. ;-)

  44. Allen Says:

    @Lime #35,

    I think the basis of your point in #35 is how should self determination be applied when there are two gov’ts claiming to be successor states.

    For example you wrote:

    If the territorial claim on the ROC’s territory boils down to ’sometime in the 80s it became obvious that we were the legitimate successor state and they weren’t, and therefore we get to decide how their territory and ours may or may not be divided’, it’s never going to hold water for anyone but the true believers.

    The Taiwanians were obviously not consulted on the freeing of the Republic of Mongolia. My point was that if the legitimate government can make that decision without direct consultation, then, if the ROC is the legitimate successor state, it could recognise the PRC’s independence (which is actually what it would be doing if it did what people often erroneously refer to as ‘declaring Taiwan’s independence’) without the permission of either the PRC itself or its citizens. See what I mean?

    Finally, I don’t believe your “ROC and PRC both acting as the successor states” can fly. I think in your interpretation, its pretty clear that there can only ever be one successor state, as the key feature is this right to decide the fate of any and all potential other states.

    I don’t think self determination as a concept per se applies to components of a nation during a civil war. During a civil war – when there are multiple successor states – the civil war is the process through which a nation works through who becomes the successor state.

    And yes – during a civil – when there are competing successor states – the action of each successor state will have to be justified by the “true believers” – and ratified when that successor state later truly formalizes its successor state status.

    As for ROC being consulted about Mongolia – well no. If ROC can recapture mainland again – it needs not recognize Mongolia. It needs not recognize PRC. Some things are clearer seen in retrospect. It may turn out to be ROC is the successor state not PRC. Sometimes – we have to let reality inform us though …

    Now as for how many successor states there can be – well, yes, in my mind, I think there should be only one. Successor means the entity next in line. In International Law, a successor states inherits all the rights and obligation of the predecessor state. The fact that during a civil war there could be transition periods where there are multiple competing “successor states” does not change this overall framework.

    Now that doesn’t mean a state cannot die and be permanently split into multiple states – or that a state never can lose territory (or later gain territory).

    The important thing to understand here I think is that there was a China a long ago – there is a China today – and there will be a China tomorrow. And these Chinas are successor states of each other… For now, PRC is the successor of the long row of states we know as China.

  45. Allen Says:

    @SKC #34,

    Self determination can be just “is” – but at what level … We’ve gone over this many times.

    If you want to say at the “ethnic” or “religious” or “island” level – simply because … fine. I will say it is at the “national” level – simple because … period.

    We can stop there – and I’ll be perfectly happy … as I’ve conceded many times throughout the last year.

    And as I’ve written many times before:

    The hidden and emotional political assumption of self determination is to decide what makes a people a “people” entitled to self determination. Self determination is not an individual right, but a collective right. One must define beforehand at what granularity to apply self determination – at the clan level, tribe level, zip code level, city level, province level, “ethnic” level, “religious” level, or national level, etc., keeping in mind that whatever level you choose – you will always find minorities and majorities on any divisive issue…

  46. Shane9219 Says:

    @Tsering #37

    You may say whatever you please. It’s simply ironical that some TIE, people like 14th DL and Woser, keep coming to the West, a bunch of practitioners and real beneficiary of old colonism , to seek fheir distant illusion of Tibet independence.

    It’s time for these people to wake up.

  47. Otto Kerner Says:

    @Allen #34,

    You know, I apologise for diving back into that topic right now. I think it’s become clear that you and I have serious differences of opinion, both with regard to surface facts and basic principles, so there’s no point in me hashing it out again here. Especially so, since it distracts from the actual main topic of this post. Lime is pursuing a more promising train of thought, anyway.

  48. Hemulen Says:

    @Allen#23

    This is a gem:

    In European colonialism, the colonized is never treated as an equal of the colonizer. The Indian subjects were never full British subjects or citizens, for example. Even when Britain practices democracy, it never allowed the Indian subjects to vote to control the British government. The opposite is true. Minorities of all ethnicity are full Chinese citizens. They can participate fully in the CCP. Sure as this article details, opportunities may not be equal for all ethnicity – but that is a problem not by design – but a problem that the gov’t and nation is fully committed to trying to resolve.

    This is a gem. Allen has absolutely no idea what a colony is. Actually, Indians who happened to live in the UK could vote in general elections, they could even be elected to parliament, such as Dadabhai Naoroji, who represented a London constituency as a Tory between 1892 and 1895. Indians, like Mohammed Ali Jinnah, could take the bar and practice law in the colonial metropole. There were a lot of laws on the books in the UK that treated Indians as formally equal in Britain. That didn’t make British India less of a colony, because once Indians were back in India, they were treated like second class citizens because of the colonial type of government in British India, where there were all kinds of visible and invisible barriers that prevented Indians from exercising home rule.

    And you could make the same argument for minorities in China. Yes, Uighurs and Tibetans can get privileged access to education or even get a government job in Beijing, as long as they assimilate to Han Chinese culture. But as soon as they are back in Urumqi and Lhasa, they will notice that the people who really have the power in Tibet and Xinjiang are all Han Chinese men.

    You look at the roster of all ranking party posts in Xinjiang and Tibet and you will see that they are taken up by Han Chinese, like Wang Lequan, Zhang Qingli, Chen Kuiyuan or Hu Jintao, people who are rewarded by seats in the Politburo and may even advance to the absolute top. You don’t see the same career pattern for Tibetan governors of TAR, such as Lekchog, Jampa Phuntsog or Ragdi. They only go as far as to the Central Committee and then they hit the glass ceiling of Chinese politics. In it’s existence, the Politburo has only accepted two minority members, a Sinicized Mongol and a Hui.

    This is the way it is, whether you like it or not, and there are very few signs that the central government wants to do about anything about it. You have to be very naive to believe otherwise.

  49. shane9219 Says:

    @Hemulen #48

    So what your point? Those benefits given to Indian (or others) in UK is fairly recent. UK did not hold any free election in HongKong until they had to transfer HongKong to China.

    It’s better to stay in a colony and be a secondary European citizen, is that your point? Modern white Europeans love to talk about human rights and freedom, while their not so-far ancestors owned slaves and exploited the world with colonism.

  50. Nimrod Says:

    Hemulen wrote:

    “This is a gem. Allen has absolutely no idea what a colony is. Actually, Indians who happened to live in the UK could vote in general elections, they could even be elected to parliament, … Indians … could take the bar and practice law in the colonial metropole. There were a lot of laws on the books in the UK that treated Indians as formally equal in Britain.”
    +++++
    I don’t know what you’re trying to argue here. Forget any preferential treatment. Answer Allen’s original question, were Indians legally equal to the British? Yes or no? You seem to be arguing that it doesn’t matter if there is legal equality if there is inequality in practice. Well heck, nobody is disputing that, but if you are not legally equal, then there is nothing to even talk about, it’s a non-starter to even talk about equality in practice then.

    “You don’t see the same career pattern for Tibetan governors of TAR, such as Lekchog, Jampa Phuntsog or Ragdi. They only go as far as to the Central Committee and then they hit the glass ceiling of Chinese politics. In it’s existence, the Politburo has only accepted two minority members, a Sinicized Mongol and a Hui.”
    +++++
    Have you considered the fact that more than 90% of China is Han, and the possibility that a Lekchog, Jampa Phuntsog, or Ragdi are just not qualified to run the whole country? Have you considered the possibility that minorities having entered the highest echelon runs counter to your claim that there is a glass ceiling? What does it matter if they are Sinicized? We’re talking about leading China, for god’s sake. Nobody is denying non-Sinicized people the right to run their autonomous regions.

  51. Khechog Says:

    Admin, Allen,

    You two seem to be the grand-daddy or heart and soul of this web blog. So I am going to complain to you about shane9219′s conduct.

    Is shane9219 put in to be the bully for any Tibetans who want to contribute and engage in a dialogue on the Tibetan issue in this forum. That’s what I see as he tries to stifle the Tibetan voices in this forum by putting out so much misinformation and out and out lies on Tibet and then attacks any Tibetan who contribute in this forum by wild accusations and more lies. As the saying goes, little knowledge is dangerous is quite evident especially when one thinks they know it all but in reality, it’s contrary.

    I briefly contributed a couple of months ago and went away as I was out of country. Now been back and was going to join and engage in some meaningful dialogue but then put-off by shane9219 with his arrogance and ignorance on the Tibetan issue. Learning the truth is often painful but when it’s contrary to what you are taught and your belief system but you don’t lash back with more lies. Instead I would expect to do some research to find out the truth.

    As I had mentioned earlier, I visit Tibet and China quite often and know the feelings on the ground of Tibetans and situation quite well having talked with many in their own language. So I was going to contribute time to time to clarify, refute so much distortion and misinformation on Tibet and will share the true feelings and voices of the Tibetans in Tibet which is so much lacking in these forum. I don’t have a lot of time but plans to spend 10-15 minutes a day in this forum to respond, contribute etc.

    If Shane9219 is discounting and attacking even Woeser’s contribution, then what I write is going to be disappointing to him and the like minded.

  52. PeterC Says:

    I agree with shane9219! Most people who say “Hongkong was best stayed a colony to UK” or the like usually say that out of hatred for “Communist China”. Basically, the western power wanted everything in their ways, so any country that does not listen to them are regarded as “terrorists, barbarians, communists” etc… Modern white westerners speak loudly of human rights, of democracy, however, they are largely blind to what actually is going on in the world. US advocates “freedom, liberty, human rights” but they have one of the most violations of human rights in the century. Their cruelty in Vietnam, Korea was well kept. What happened in Con Dao island during 1950s are beyond what Guantanamo Bay today.

    I was a member of the Armed Forces in Iraq war, their method of finding enemy insurgent is this: “You look into their eyes, you can tell who the bad guys are” which leads to tortures and captures of innocents. US intel officers (freshly trained for 1 year in US) picked out random civilians with the “look” method, use a hammer to smash their fingers 1 by 1 until they “talk”. I am not saying all Iraqii are innocents, I am saying the method of convicting and maiming people just because they “look” guilty. The “judge” can be as young as 19 years old, and the innocents may live the rest of their lives in labor intensive environment without fingers. This is US human rights and democracy.

    It is also stated in history that the first country to use machine guns (gattling guns) to spray bullets on women and children is …. surprisingly not Germany, but American, during Mexican war in 1800s. Also, not to forget how Americans killed millions of Native Americans in genocide, ethic cleansing in 1700-1800s era. Slavery ended in US in 1800s, whereas China abolished slavery in 200BC.

    The west, especially US, has little rights to speak human rights and freedom, let alone attempting to lead the world in this aspect.

  53. Shane9219 Says:

    @Khechog #51

    I always encourage people of different POVs to share their thoughts in straight-forward fashion. I did the same myself. However, I do not spend time here to write ‘soft” or “warm” posts, although there is nothing wrong with that.

    I like to engage people’s hearts and minds, and challenge their assumption or perception on issues based on historical facts. Some of these facts may not sound convenient to certain POVs time to time, but facts are facts.

  54. PeterC Says:

    I also want to point out that a lot of argument about Tibet are on invalid grounds. Mainly because a lot of facts people have are not correct. Media in the west portrait Tibet in very distorted views. First, they introduced Tibet as a paradise free nation before the “Communist invasion”. Then, they speak of how Chinese committed genocide against Tibetans in the past 50 years. Especially that Lhasa riot was reported as Chinese troops used extreme violence onto ever peaceful protesters.

    In reality, Tibet was far from paradise, they lived in theocracy and serfdom system, which is a form of slavery for the entire lower class population. If Chinese troops movement into Tibet was an invasion, they should have mentioned all the “invasions” dated back during the Yuen and Qing dynasties, which indicated how long China controlled Tibet. If China wanted to genocide Tibet, it only needed 50 days, not 50 years. And Lhasa riot was a violent riots, if it was to happen in US or any other western countries, I doubt the governments “celebrate human rights movement” and allow the destructions reign freely.

    Until people are on the right grounds to argue, there is little to argue about. You can’t possibly argue how Superman and Hitler may conflict, or comparing the speed of a car to a speed of a laser printer.

  55. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Allen #45:
    yes, definitely ground we’ve covered ad nauseum. But every so often, it comes up again.

    To me, as you well know, self-determination just is, to be applied by whoever chooses to exercise it. Therefore, there is no pre-ordained “level”; in fact, to artificially impose constraints on it by definition makes it something else already ie it’s “self”-determination, not “somebody else’s”-determination.

    To Shane:
    it always amuses me when someone claims to have exclusive domain over “facts”, especially wrt Tibet.

  56. Nimrod Says:

    Khechog,

    I for one encourage you to contribute your first-hand knowledge, the more direct the better. People here can be opiniated but that doesn’t affect what you say, does it? Let’s hear what you say…

  57. Allen Says:

    @Hemulen #48,

    Good to hear back from you again … although as usual – it is to argue against me. :-(

    I did not know that Indian subjects could simply go to Britain and be treated like full British citizens – with full rights and status of British’s native citizens? However, even if I did overlook that curious fact of British empire – it does not lessen what I wrote.

    Indians in India were second class citizens. They did not have political rights – nor economic rights of first class British citizens in India. India existed to serve Britain. The colonized were never British citizens at any point of British colonial history. Britain never saw India as its proper territory – but as an appendage that serves the mother land.

    All this – and more (I don’t want to get into colorful emotional language that describes how Britain raped India) – makes India a colony.

  58. Allen Says:

    Khechog #51,

    Good to see you again…

    Shane9219 is his own self. He does come across a little blunt some times – but that’s life. Sometimes, I probably come across as equally blunt also… :-(

    Hopefully if we listen to each other long enough though … we will come to understand each other better.

    One thing I want to note though. Bullying Tibetans is the last thing we want to do here. It would be against the purpose of this forum.

    It is my hope that one of the exiles and I – over time – can come to understand (even if not agree) with each other. But even if not – it would be equally valuable to have individual readers on this forum build bridges with each other.

    In summary – ignore Shane9219 if he comes across as abrasive. Tell me to tone it down if I come across as abrasive. Respond only to those who you feel are respectful of you. The rest should take care of itself.

    Just my 2 cents…

    See you around! :-)

  59. admin Says:

    Khechog,

    Welcome back! To echo what Allen and Nimrod said, I really hope you will stay around and share your insight.

    As to abrasive comments, we have a comment voting feature so readers can vote a low quality comment into oblivion. :)

  60. Lime Says:

    @Allen
    Colleague Nimrod has successfully patched my last attempt to poke a hole in your successor state construct. I don’t have any more ideas at the moment, but I do want to say that I appreciate your candour and courtesy in responding. When I come up with a new line of attack, I’ll let you know.

    @Khechog
    Without accusing Shane9219 (as I haven’t exchanged any comments with him myself), I agree that some commenters on this blog can be real jerks, and don’t seem to understand or appreciate the difference between an attack on an argument and an attack on a person. That said, I think there are some really decent people here that are worth talking to, even if you really dislike their perspective and they dislike yours. I agree with Allen that the best strategy is to just ignore people that you feel are being disrespectful to you personally.

  61. Khechog Says:

    Thank you all for your encouraging comments. I see myself as another spokesperson for the Tibetan people, especially representing the Tibetans in Tibet when their direct voices have been silence and lacking for various reasons. I see myself as pro-Tibet and pro-Tibetan people and none of the other labels such as anti-Chinese, anti-China, Pro-west, Dalai clique etc.

    It’s also true that the almost all of the Chinese and certainly the mainstream population woke up to the Tibet issue from last March 14th protests yet this issue had always existed from the late 1950s to the outside world. It opened up to the Chinese population because PRC-CCP made it using its sophisticated and omnipresence media used the March 14th when it caught the world with so much intensity and before the Olympics. The PRC-CCP after 2-3 days of top level meetings decided to make it public when their power/control is threatened used as an event to rally Chinese nationalism against the Tibetan people and the outside world such as any China shoud stop outsiders taking Tibet away from the motherland. In China and in the Chinese language media, they made this March 14th almost into 9/11 in the west with the same intensity and emotion. We see this fervour in this forum with wild accusations and highlight frivolous points. This was very dangerous game and they were playing with fire as all of sudden it was turning racial, ethnic, hatred. I never thought that sure Tibetan dispised the PRC-CCP deeply but there was never a deep hatred against the people unlike other major conflicts such as Jews/Arabs, Tamil-Sinhalese etc.

    Then this misinformation and propaganda never stopped by PRC-CCP yet Tibet was completely locked down and they increased the repression in Tibet. So with this misinformation, it took a life of its own and this forum is a product of this. The PRC-CCP to this day has not admitted that there is serious problem in Tibet just as not a single student died in the Tianneman square. As if it’s manufactured and incited by outside anti-China forces.

    HHDL and the Tibetan exiles were doing the same work since early 60s trying to tell the world and work with the PRC top leadership since early 80s. Tibetans in Tibet were protesting late 1980s and 1990s and Tibetan in exiles were also protesting outside as well and appealing to anyone who will listen.

    So the West or the people in the free world had known Tibetan issue much earlier than the Chinese so perhaps it came as a surprise when the people in the West and the media reacted so differently than the Chinese population to the Tibetan riot or uprising.

    BTW, I learned a lot about the history of this forum reading the other topic on 1 year anniversary and congratulations as it’s great forum to talk with Chinese without fear and inhibition.

    Sure I see hope and don’t see a problem with even both Chinese nationalists and Tibetan nationalists working together under one China but can’t stand the hypocrites.

    My time is up ….

  62. Wahaha Says:

    Khechog,

    No offense, but

    1) You talk like propaganda machine.

    2) There are at least 10 times more Han chinese who have been to Tibet than Westerner, and you claim “So the West or the people in the free world had known Tibetan issue much earlier than the Chinese “, this is ridiculous.

    Do you mean Chinese are so stupid that they havent learned from the experience under Mao and are still brained washed by media ?

    3) You consider yourself as as another spokesperson for the Tibetan people, fine. Tell us what Tibetan people IN TIBET want. I wont deny that they want bless from Dalai Lama, which is why I disagree with the way Chinese government treats DL. Other than that, what else do Tibetan people IN TIBET want ?

    4) Have you been to Tibet recently ?

  63. Hemulen Says:

    @Allen

    I did not know that Indian subjects could simply go to Britain and be treated like full British citizens – with full rights and status of British’s native citizens? However, even if I did overlook that curious fact of British empire – it does not lessen what I wrote.

    It is not a curious fact of the British empire, until the late 60s Hong Kong Chinese and colonial Africans could settle in Britain as British subjects (there is no such thing as British “citizen”). Now, does that make Hong Kong less of a colony? Not in your book, I would guess. And you would see similar things in the French empire. As a matter of fact the French empire looks very much like the current PRC empire. The French had a very elaborate ideology of civilization and faux equality. They also tried to remold their colonial subject into their own image, yet they failed.

    Indians in India were second class citizens. They did not have political rights – nor economic rights of first class British citizens in India. India existed to serve Britain. The colonized were never British citizens at any point of British colonial history. Britain never saw India as its proper territory – but as an appendage that serves the mother land.

    Yes, Indians in India were second class citizens, just as much as Tibetans in Tibet or Uighurs in Xinjiang are second class citizens. You look at any given area in Tibet and Xinjiang – whether it be politics, economy, education – and you will find that Han Chinese dominate. These territories are run to serve the interior of China. They are colonies of China. If looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…

    All this – and more (I don’t want to get into colorful emotional language that describes how Britain raped India) – makes India a colony.

    Well, a lot of the things that the Chinese government and the CCP did to Tibet between 1959 and 1979 could be described in terms of “rape”. And don’t pretend that the Cultural Revolution in Tibet was no different from the CR in the rest of China. You know better than that.

  64. Hemulen Says:

    @Wahaha

    Now you are pulling the same old trick against Khechog. You are implying that he is not qualified to speak for Tibet because he is an exile, possibly a refugee who cannot go back to Tibet. Would you disqualify Taiwan-born US citizen Allen Yu, from posting to this blog as a Chinese? I guess not. Where is your decency?

  65. William Huang Says:

    @ Hemulen #64

    I don’t see how Wahaha implied anything in this post (#62). Can you be more specific on what he said for you to draw this conclusion? You may not like his view but accusing people of lack in decency?

  66. Wahaha Says:

    Hemulen,

    I neither qualify Allen nor disqualify Allen. I just agree with most of what he said.

    and did Allen ever claim he is a spokeperson for Chinese ? I m sure if he had claimed that, you would be among the first to question his qualification.

    By the way, it is really funny you talk about deceny.

    I stated in another thread:

    When talking about issue in Tibet, Tibetans have the right to say whatever they want, Westerners ? especially those politicians and media, please dont think yourself being on morally high ground, unless you are a moron politically. It is disgusting.

  67. Khechog Says:

    Wahaha, Yes my recent visit was in Tibet just in the 3-4 months ago and heard some horrific details of the repression, torture, fear post 3-14 which is still continuing. That’s another time to share the grave human rights violation. Did you see the torture video that came out a month ago which Beijing responded with fabrication (it should be in youtube). I have first hand information to validate. You have to understand that Tibet has different laws and restrictions than rest of China that my friends in Beijing/Shanghai don’t even understand.

    As I had mentioned, I go to Tibet and China almost every year and sometime twice. Back in the fall, I recommended Allen to visit the Tibetan areas of Yunnan which I don’t think he did. It’s true Tibetans are indigenious and inhabit almost 1/4 of current PRC land. Just to feel the place and see the people, I encourage anyone to visit Tibet. Some may think as there is so much paranoi and suspicion that I am spy or something and not true. I make a good living and lucky to have a foreign passport so I can afford to travel to places I deeply feel passionate about. I must admit I speak very poor Chinese but my significant othere grew up there as in privileged class so know the people and system intimately.

    So that’s my response and credential and again spending way too much time on this forum and won’t have time to respond to all. I am sure Nimrod wanted to know my feelings on the essay above. I will read it again but looks quite truthfully skimming over. Again if it’s the truth I will accept and have absolutely no problem so why is Tibet still lock-down and there is so much fear for people to speak up. It still amazes me the courage and determination of the Tibetan people in Tibet who continue to risk their lives speaking up. As I have mentioned I can’t stand hypocracy, lying, hiding which is going on in Tibet by the authorities there. So is that propaganda that you label?

  68. Jay Says:

    So many of the poor Han Chinese have been brainwashed by their CCP teachers – their idea of history is so distorted but they do not realize it. If they could only read objective articles about Tibet written outside of China they would realize there is much that they should question. Will they ever learn that they have been lied to?

  69. JXie Says:

    That is my secret wish – for the ROC to take over Mainland China (including Mongolia) again. Though I’ll admit – it’s kind of like pornography – all fantasy … little reality.

    Allen, what if you were in the porn videos, kind of like Edison Chen’s collection — the dude had the right idea but have to say the actions were kind of subpar… ;-)

    A large number of those Han Chinese living in Tibet on some relatively unskilled works were from Sichuan countryside. Not sure if anybody has been to rural Sichuan. It’s very crowded, and often a family’s living relies on cultivating a tiny parcel of land. If you think it’s fair and equitable to deny the opportunities for those poor souls to buy a train ticket and start a new life, you MUST be a part of the solution, i.e. the same person now can go to Denver or Calgary (far less densely populated) if he chooses.

    Another realist’s point is, when the tension between former Soviet Union and PRC was high, Soviet tanks stationed in Mongolia were a few hundred KMs away from the northern Chinese population centers. This made the national defense contingency plan so much tougher. Had Tibet been independent, it could easily become a military ally of India, which let’s say in a future scenario hostile to China…

    The Tibetan Kingdom between late 600s to 800s was once powerful, and from time to time it gave Tang quite a bit headache. Once it even sacked Changan (now Xi’an) during a Chinese civil war. Where is that powerful Tibet Kingdom?

    Overtime, it’s about how inclusive your people, and your culture are that will keep your culture or your civilization alive. Today’s Han has had a lot of infusions, including from tribes such as Xianbei, Qidan, etc. during the peak of the Tibetan Kingdom. You often hear Tibetans vs. Chinese, which includes ethnicities such as Han, Hui, Mongolian, etc. I’ve got news to you, unless you can run a cultural platform that is more inclusive, that few million of true blood Tibetans won’t be able to hold on to that vast land sooner or later, peacefully or otherwise.

  70. Nimrod Says:

    Yes my recent visit was in Tibet just in the 3-4 months ago and heard some horrific details of the repression, torture, fear post 3-14 which is still continuing. That’s another time to share the grave human rights violation. Did you see the torture video that came out a month ago which Beijing responded with fabrication (it should be in youtube). I have first hand information to validate. You have to understand that Tibet has new laws and restrictions that my friends in Beijing/Shanghai don’t even understand.

    …So that’s my response and credential and again spending way too much time on this forum and won’t have time to respond to all.
    ++++++
    Khechog,

    I think we get your credential claims at this point. But we’re more interested in your “first hand information” which you keep mentioning but have not stated.

  71. may Says:

    Khechog, I am very concerned about the case your mentioned in your comment. I heard that a Lhasa young man was tortured in police custody and died soon after he got out of the prison. Do you mind say a bit more about the case? And your source of information? Is your informant related to the young man’s family? I know probably every Tibetans in Lhasa know the story and have their own version of what happened. But I think it is important to hear from the family itself.

    And how are the young man’s parents doing now?

  72. Wahaha Says:

    Khechog,

    Thx for the response.

    Your comment “… and heard some horrific details of the repression, torture, fear….”. Will you kindly describe in detail ?

    I believe there are mistreatments in Tibet (but I failed to see why they are different from in other parts of China), and I believe mostly there were on those tibetan who kept protesting for Tibetan independence. Unless you can give some proofs, I believe that the mistreatments you talk about are cuz of repression of separatism, not human right. as you can see from the article :

    “……. Because the country has a protective policy toward minority ethnicities, were any dispute to happen, the bias is definitely toward minorities….. ”

    so when Tibetans talk about the mistreatment in Tibet, I want to see what it is about, separatism or human right, west media never mentions that.

    Also, if you have time, I would appreciate if you can answer my question #3.

  73. Allen Says:

    @Hemulen #63,

    I (or you) have to write a thread regarding why certain territories within the PRC is a colony and why certain territories are not. For me, as I wrote in #16:

    If we must question China’s sovereignty over her territory any time we discuss Chinese governance issues and issues with ethnic dimensions in China – then we are not going to get anywhere. That’s the truth (I don’t use that word very often in this blog – and I mean that here).

    I don’t think I can entangle differences in our worldview in these comments – but perhaps after time discussing with each other wider range of issues – as we understand each others’ world views better, we can come back to revisit these in the future…

  74. Hemulen Says:

    @Allen

    Yet another attempt to derail the discussion. Britain exercised legal sovereignty over Hong Kong, India and all of its overseas territories. Did that make British rule less colonial? No. The same goes for Chinese rule over Tibet.

    Colonialism is usually defined as “acquisition and colonization by a nation of other territories and their peoples.” We can argue back and forth whether Tibetans are a “nation” or just another “Chinese ethnicity”. Yet the fact remains that prior 1950, Tibetans ruled over Tibet, the Tibetan language was the language of government, Tibetans controlled the economy and so on. Today, Han Chinese control all aspects of Tibetans society, whether it be politics, economy, military affairs, education. You can pretend that Tibet is just another province in China, but not even the Chinese government does that. And to a reasonable outside observer, Chinese rule over Tibet look very much like colonial rule.

    We can argue about the extent to which Tibetan society prior to 1950 was “hell on earth” or a “pacifist paradise”, but that changes nothing. All colonial powers justify the rule by referring to their own superior civilization. So did the Brits in India, the French in Algeria and the Chinese in Tibet. In Rudyard Kipling’s days the British, claimed that they were carrying the “white man’s burden”. Today, Han Chinese moan about the amount of tax money that is spend on Tibet and the lack of gratitude on the part of the Tibetans.

    This not a discussion about worldviews or about words. A lot of British people still believe that their colonialism was for the good of the colonized peoples. And you obviously believe that China is controlling Tibet for its own good. That is a separate discussion. Let’s call a spade a spade and a colony and colony.

  75. foobar Says:

    In it’s existence, the Politburo has only accepted two minority members, a Sinicized Mongol and a Hui.

    That’s kind of an odd knock on the politburo. It really reads like this:
    In its 200+ years of existence, the US presidency has only admitted half a non-white person, a Caucasianized Black, (a Yankeeized half-black half-white? I can’t decide), not half a year ago by the way.

    Seriously, the black population is 13% of the US total and was at one time nearly 20%. The ethnic minorities in China (minus Zhuang and Manchu, which I can only guess is too Sinicized for your taste) count for 6% of the Chinese total.

  76. pug_ster Says:

    @may

    It is a sad fact that people die in jail all the time, regardless of which country where it is from. While some deaths are suspecious because of beatings, others happen because of neglect. Of course, whenever someone dies in Jail in China, people think it is some kind of human rights issue. However, when it happens in the US, it is just because of neglect.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/28/us/28detain.html?_r=1

  77. foobar Says:

    Colonialism is usually defined as “acquisition and colonization by a nation of other territories and their peoples.”
    I’m a bit confused here. Did the China colonize Taiwan circa 1947? Did China colonize Shanghai, or Shandong?

    Did the US colonize Texas, California, Arizona, Utah, Oregon, Washington… and what’s essentially 80% of the current US?
    Did Japan colonize Hokaido?
    Did Britain colonize Wales, Scotland?

    I thought the answer would be No, but I’m confused now.

    Did the US colonize Alaska?
    Did the US colonize Hawaii?
    Did Japan colonize Okinawa?
    Did Britain colonize Ireland?

    I thought the answer would be Yes, but I’m also confused now.

    Did India colonize Sikkim, Laddakh, south Tibet (Arunachal)? Is India colonizing Bhutan? These are even more confusing for me.

  78. Hemulen Says:

    @foobar

    I accept your apology.

  79. Allen Says:

    @Hemulen #74,

    I am not trying to derail the conversation. Quite the opposite. I am trying avoid being detracted into a conversation that goes no where.

    No doubt under your worldview (it is your worldview), China should be like Europe – divided into many ethnically divided ethnic majority states. State lines should be drawn around linguistic and cultural demographics. Any other arrangement is morally repugnant. Any arrangement short of that is colonial.

    I’ve been meaning to write a post on what is colonialism for some time. What makes it so difficult is for me to try to untangle the twisted, politically distorted view people like you seem to hold.

    That is not an accusation regarding you by any sense. That is an admission how far apart we are. It is an admission that it is so hard to find common ground.

    Just to be perfectly clear. I do not justify China’s sovereignty in Tibet based on moral rights that the gov’t is helping the poor Tibetans (like the Europeans justified their colonization of much of the world on white man’s burden’s theories). I for one though am proud the gov’t is doing so much to promote development throughout the country – not just along the eastern seacoast.

    I would support China’s sovereignty even if the gov’t had completely screwed up and misgovernend the country over the last 60 or so years. I might support regime change … but that’s another issue. I would not support the undermining of Chinese sovereignty over its own territories – which the West has been trying to do the last 200 years.

    I do also do not dispute that some areas of the Himalaya regions had enjoyed tremendous autonomy during the Chinese Republican era. The fact is that so were many other areas in China at that time. The Chinese central gov’t finally was able to become stronger and to unify the country in the middle of the 20th century. Thank god…

    Colonialism is a very real event and caused very concrete suffering. It should be understood for what it was, and not twisted and distorted for one’s current, political expediency. It’s kind of disgusting for some to continually to detract from the conversation and to escape repugnance of their history by retroactively making up allegations of colonialism onto others.

    Anyways – going to back to your post: if you want to call your spade spade. Fine. I respect your right to.

    Just don’t call my heart a spade.

  80. foobar Says:

    Hemulun,
    I appreciate your presumptuousness.

  81. Hemulen Says:

    @Nimrod

    Have you considered the possibility that minorities having entered the highest echelon runs counter to your claim that there is a glass ceiling? What does it matter if they are Sinicized? We’re talking about leading China, for god’s sake. Nobody is denying non-Sinicized people the right to run their autonomous regions.

    Huh? The fact that you have one token woman and one token ethnic minority in the current politburo speaks volumes about how far a minority or a woman can go in the CCP. As for minorities running the so-called autonomous areas, take a look at the following line-up of regional leadership (地方党委领导人资料库) and the pattern is clear:

    http://cpc.people.com.cn/GB/64162/123659/7398342.html

    Tibet CCP Ctte: 9 Han Chinese and 6 Tibetans. This is a region where Tibetans are supposedly the majority population.

    Xinjiang ditto: 10 Han, 4 Uighurs. This is a region where Uighurs are about half of the population.

  82. Hemulen Says:

    @Allen

    No doubt under your worldview (it is your worldview), China should be like Europe – divided into many ethnically divided ethnic majority states. State lines should be drawn around linguistic and cultural demographics. Any other arrangement is morally repugnant. Any arrangement short of that is colonial.

    Colonialism is a very real event and caused very concrete suffering. It should be understood for what it was, and not twisted and distorted for one’s current, political expediency. It’s kind of disgusting for some to continually to detract from the conversation and to escape repugnance of their history by retroactively making up allegations of colonialism onto others.

    Another attempt to derail the conversation. “Twisted, distorted, repugnant, disgusting.” You started the discussion about colonial rule and made some “factual” remarks about the nature of colonialism. When I showed that you have no idea what you are talking about, you change topic and make it into a question of worldviews. Your argument is basically that Chinese rule in Tibet is not colonial, because you don’t think it is.

    And did I ever say that China should be like Europe? The Chinese government is not even living up to its own official standards and promises of regional autonomy.

    @Mimrod

    It should be 3 Uighurs and 1 Kazakh.

  83. Allen Says:

    Regarding #81,

    Hemulen wrote:

    Tibet CCP Ctte: 9 Han Chinese and 6 Tibetans. This is a region where Tibetans are supposedly the majority population.

    Xinjiang ditto: 10 Han, 4 Uighurs. This is a region where Uighurs are about half of the population.

    In America – perhaps every representative district needs to be combed to make sure its elected official is of an ethnicity of the majority in the district.

    For higher officials such as say the president – we need to make sure the ethnicity over time reflects the ethnic make up of the country. Since Asian Americans make up some 5+% of the US population, there must be an Asian president at least 5% of the time. Since African Americans make up some 13+% of the US population, there must be an Asian president at least 13% of the time.

    The ethnic makeup of gov’t officials, bureacrats, judges, etc. in all levels of gov’t all need to be scrutinzed.

    We probably should also screen to make sure gender, class, religion, sexual orientation, and other factors are also accounted for.

    If there are any deviations between gov’t makeup and demographics, the country must be a corrupt and oppressive colonial power!!!

  84. Allen Says:

    @Hemulen #82,

    You wrote:

    The Chinese government is not even living up to its own official standards and promises of regional autonomy.

    Since you are such an expert of history and knowledgeable about world affairs, can I ask – what is the official standards and promises of regional autonomy in China?

    No rush … but just curious to see your perspective some day on this (narrow) issue?

  85. foobar Says:

    US senate: 5 minority senators out of 100(or 99) 5% (32% of population) 5/32 = 0.156

    California senate: 11/39 ethnic minorities 28% (57% Cal population) 28/57 =0.491

    Tibet CCP Ctte: ethnic Tibetans 6/15 40% (92% Tibet population) 40/92 =0.435

    Xinjiang CCP Ctte: ethnic Uighers 3/14 21% (45% XJ population) 21/45 = 0.475
    Xinjiang CCP Ctte: ethnic Kazakh 1/14 7.1% (6.7% XJ population) 7.1/6.7 = 1.06

    sounds about right?

  86. miaka9383 Says:

    @Allen
    I guess if I am understanding Hemulan correctly, at least in America, we can all run for office… regardless or race..
    But in CCP even if you are a minority and join the party, the chances of those minorities that makes it to an important position is rare. Also, in a place where minorities are the majority, you would see that more minorities hold public office. I think that is what he meant.

    Don’t you think its a bit fishy that in a Ugher populated region, more Han Chinese hold leadership office? Could it be Cronyism? or do you think that these Ugher’s are just so poor because many Han Chinese discriminate based on stereotypes and they don’t have the funds to join the party and run for party leadership? Do you think there is an equal opportunity for these minorities when they join the party?

  87. Lime Says:

    @Allen
    You said:
    “I would support China’s sovereignty even if the gov’t had completely screwed up and misgovernend the country over the last 60 or so years.”

    Why????

  88. Nimrod Says:

    miaka9383,

    “I guess if I am understanding Hemulan correctly, at least in America, we can all run for office… regardless or race.. But in CCP even if you are a minority and join the party, the chances of those minorities that makes it to an important position is rare. ”

    “Don’t you think its a bit fishy that in a Ugher populated region, more Han Chinese hold leadership office? ”

    Please be more quantitative. I don’t buy these assertions. Are minorities underrepresented or overrepresented? If underrepresented, then we can find out what is the reason, and while we are at that, we should better find out the reason in the case that they are overrepresented. Because oh no, if you don’t get the right quota number there must be evil. Maybe in those cases of overrepresentation, the Han are living under the jackboots of minority colonial masters!

  89. Nimrod Says:

    @Allen
    You said:
    “I would support China’s sovereignty even if the gov’t had completely screwed up and misgovernend the country over the last 60 or so years.”

    Why????

    The same reason why US sovereignty over New Orleans is not questioned even if Bush completely screwed up. What’s so difficult?

  90. Allen Says:

    @miaka9383 #86,

    It’s ok for you to suspect … to be suspicious. I’m sure there are some funny business in the Chinese gov’t – the same way there are funny businesses in any other gov’t (including all democratic gov’ts).

    If you are suspicious of the Chinese gov’t … why not be suspicious of the U.S. political process as well? (see foobar’s comment in #85).

    Many people give democracies the benefit of the doubt simply because they are democracies. But have people actually been involved in grassroots movements in democracies? Do you know how difficult it is to get your message out without getting by key gatekeepers (local political parties, funding, forums, etc.)? Do you know how much you cover my back I’ll cover yours thing that goes on? Do you know how much discrimination exist in political organizations? I know … because I was heavily involved in the political movement when I was a college student.

    If you are going to be suspicious of the CCP – fine. But I think you should be an equal opportunity skeptic – you should be equally suspicious of all Western (so-called developed) constitutional gov’ts as well.

  91. Lime Says:

    @Nimrod
    Are you trying to pick a fight here? I think you missed the point of what Allen said, and besides I’m asking him why he personally would support ‘China’s sovereignty’, not if it’s ‘questioned’ or not, whatever that means.

  92. Allen Says:

    @Lime #87,

    You asked why “I would support China’s sovereignty even if the gov’t had completely screwed up and misgovernend the country over the last 60 or so years”?

    My next sentence in #79 may help.

    I might support regime change … but that’s another issue. I would not support the undermining of Chinese sovereignty over its own territories – which the West has been trying to do the last 200 years.

    If the gov’t is truly incompetent – I’d support a change of gov’t. A bad gov’t does not however mean I need to lose faith in or turn my back to the nation.

    I support Chinese sovereignty because of my belief in my country – a concept distinct from my support of the presiding gov’t.

    You see a similar kind of distinction in the U.S. over the last 8 or so years. You can be patriotic but you can still disapprove of the gov’t and the war at the same time.

    Now – I happen to support CCP policies for the last decade or so. But the point I wanted to make was that even if I didn’t, I still would support Chinese sovereignty.

    Most of my disagreements with people here is not necessarily over their criticism of CCP policies per se. Most of my disagreements with people here is over the seemingly incessant, persistent, unwarranted attack on Chinese sovereignty itself.

  93. miaka9383 Says:

    @Allen and Nimrod
    This is not the topic about democracy. I suspect our government everyday. But that is not the point here. If we were to talk about U.S. I also have a lot of complaints, but this is not an U.S forum. I truly think the Ughers are underrepresented. Last month I posted a link some where on here that Ughers are going to protest, why? because they can’t find jobs… why? because many Han business owners won’t hire them, and the government refuse to help them. Is this not evidence of them being under represented? Now, lets say these Ughers do join the Party, how many percent of these Ughers gets elected by their fellow CCP Peers to be in leadership? Don’t you guys think that there is a glass ceiling for those who are not Han Chinese?

    Allen, Your experiences in discrimination in the political system of U.S, I can understand. But why do you support the same thing in China? I understand the U.S. system more than you think I do. I am too tired of cronyism but at least if I want to, I can run for office.. starting at the city councilor level…
    What opportunities do you think a non han chinese get in the same situation within CCP?

  94. Lime Says:

    @Allen
    ‘Unwarranted’ is a judgment call, but sure, let’s cut to the heart of the matter, and I don’t mean this as an attack, just a questioning.

    “I support Chinese sovereignty because of my belief in my country – a concept distinct from my support of the presiding gov’t.”

    I totally understood that. But I’m still asking why do you support Chinese sovereignty? I understand you to mean political unity under one government, and not necessarily a specific government when you say ‘sovereignty’. With the ROC/Taiwan example, even if we agree that the PRC has the legal right to absorb the ROC by hook or by crook, if we can’t prove that there would be any benefit in political unity for the people of either state, why would you (or anyone else) support it?

  95. Allen Says:

    @miaka9383 #93,

    You may run for the equivalent of the city council level in China any day (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elections_in_the_People%27s_Republic_of_China).

    If you want to go further – you need to rise through the Party – just like in any democracies, you need to rise through one of the major parties.

    Now – as for Han business owners not hiring Ugher minorities – what else do you know about it? Is it a purely ethnic issue? Is there lack of opportunity for the minorities? Lack of training?

    If there are some Han people who want to relocate from the east to help people in Xinjiang or Tibet (as reflected perhaps partly in demographics of han in gov’t there) – is that so bad?

    Remember, in the U.S. civil rights movements, many white intellectuals (legal scholars, judges, lawyers, etc.) had to reach out to stand with the black community for the civil rights movement to be successful. Many of the achievements made (still much more need to be made) could not have happened without their participation. Are these white intellectuals and do-gooders “colonialist”?

    I don’t think you ever used that term … but just the mere presence of Han raises suspicion for you … why?

  96. miaka9383 Says:

    @Allen
    not the Presence of Han raises suspicion… personally I believe that one of the mistake that CCP ever made was to grant a flood of Han Chinese into these areas. 1. there is a cultural shock 2. because of 1 there bound to be conflict. According to the news article, the Ughers were protesting becuase they won’t get hired, and the journalist interviewed the Chinese merchants, they simply said “All of them are lazy that is why we don’t hire them”.
    As for your other points, yes I know you need to rise within the party. However, what Hemulan pointed out was, even if they tried to rise within the party, they will eventually hit a glass ceiling. But why? could it be cronyism? or even the Hans holds these stereotypes to be so true that they don’t trust Minorities such as Ughers and Tibetans?
    IF Han people mass immigrated to a place wanting to “help” then they should have hired these people don’t you think? It all goes back to discrimination…from the other thread….
    I remember reading somewhere on the forum that CCP offers bonus incentives for Han officials to go to these rural areas, so why don’t they just hire local CCP member who are minority? Why do they have to pay someone else better to go be an official in a place so far away?

  97. Allen Says:

    @Lime #94,

    I believe you are asking me to justify my belief in Chinese nationalism?

    I can go at several angles, but a more productive tact may be for me to ask you: does any nationalism need to be justified? Does a belief in capitalism or in socialism or in democracy or in religion need to be justified?

    You may ask me: is there a point when I lose my faith in the concept of a Chinese nation?

    Probably … I don’t know where, but I am sure there is.

    Before you snicker, I would ask back: is there a point when a believer lose his/her faith in the concept of capitalism, socialism, democracy, religion?

    There definitely has been a lot of bad things done under each of those ideologies, but there are still many adherents to each of those ideologies because each ideology does in its own way represent genuine human ideals…

  98. Hemulen Says:

    @Allen

    If you want to go further – you need to rise through the Party – just like in any democracies, you need to rise through one of the major parties.

    If you are a woman or belong to an ethnic minority – forget about rising through the ranks of the party. It just won’t happen. You go all the way from regional party committees, to the central committee and the politburo. That is the way it has always been in the CCP (and the Kuomintang for that matter) and that is why regional autonomy in China is just a word, nothing more.

    Now – as for Han business owners not hiring Ugher minorities – what else do you know about it? Is it a purely ethnic issue? Is there lack of opportunity for the minorities? Lack of training?

    Well, what does it look like if uneducated people from Sichuan are preferred over uneducated people from Kashgar?

    Remember, in the U.S. civil rights movements, many white intellectuals (legal scholars, judges, lawyers, etc.) had to reach out to stand with the black community for the civil rights movement to be successful. Many of the achievements made (still much more need to happen) could not have happened without their participation. Are these white intellectuals and do-gooders “colonialist”?

    Good point, but where is the civil rights movement among Han Chinese intellectuals today?.

  99. Hemulen Says:

    @Allen

    If this is just a question of faith and everything boils down to “China is always right”, why do you even try to argue? I mean, if this faith is so important to you, the logical conclusion would be to stop blogging in English and move to Mainland China.

  100. Allen Says:

    @miaka9383,

    Here are my response to your questions. They are just my perspectives – not necessarily the “truths.”

    You asked:

    As for your other points, yes I know you need to rise within the party. However, what Hemulan pointed out was, even if they tried to rise within the party, they will eventually hit a glass ceiling. But why? could it be cronyism? or even the Hans holds these stereotypes to be so true that they don’t trust Minorities such as Ughers and Tibetans?

    If there is a glass ceiling – is it really a politically motivated ceiling (i.e. based purely on “ethnicity”) or due to something else? Are there other factors involved – such as there are not yet a critical mass of educated minority cadets ready to take over governance of the region – capable of faithfully implementing policies of central gov’t? (Yes – you need to be well educated to govern well. Yes – there are central gov’t policies that need to be faithfully implemented in all areas of the country.)

    You asked:

    IF Han people mass immigrated to a place wanting to “help” then they should have hired these people don’t you think? It all goes back to discrimination…from the other thread….

    To the extent there is racism, it needs to be rooted out – or else China will never achieve a truly peaceful and harmonious society. There have been many articles in the Western media over the last year reporting that many Tibetans and (maybe Uighurs too) are religious and not as adapted to a commercially driven life as Hans or Huis. If that’s true, then many Tibetans and Uighurs will appear to be “lazy” to commercially driven business owners. What should be the solution? For the owners to hire anyways? Allow the religious people to go poor? Force the commercially oriented people to move out? You see – there are no easy answers. It’s not always about oppression this and discrimination that.

    You asked:

    I remember reading somewhere on the forum that CCP offers bonus incentives for Han officials to go to these rural areas, so why don’t they just hire local CCP member who are minority? Why do they have to pay someone else better to go be an official in a place so far away?

    Doctors in the U.S. are paid better in rural areas than in city areas. Well trained people – all else being equal – generally prefer to live in the cities than in rural areas. It’s an issue of supply and demand.

    Most people in China today prefer to live in the more prosperous areas of the country. In order to incentivize government officials to work in the poorer areas of the country, the gov’ts needs to incentivize gov’t workers with higher pay, benefits. Again, it’s an issue of supply and demand.

  101. Lime Says:

    @Allen
    My answer to all your questions would be, absolutely yes, save those concerning religion, as that’s a different kettle of fish.

    Belief in democracy, socialism, and capitalism all should be justified. None of them have any intrinsic value in of themselves. If a person believes in democracy, they don’t believe that voting for a government is just naturally good, they believe that the system provides some benefit for them or their society. This may or may not be true, and questioning it, as many, many people on this blog have done is healthy. If, through rational observation, a person finds that democracy is not beneficial, then that would be the logical point to lose their faith. Exactly the same goes for capitalism, socialism, and every other social theory.

    Personally, I don’t think nationalism is any different. A state is not an intrinsically good thing, or a nation an intrinsically good idea. They are human-created tools too help us improve our lives, and nothing more. If they don’t serve their purpose, they should be discarded.

    So yeah, I’m asking you to justify your belief in Chinese nationalism, or explain how your understanding of nationalism (and the other social theories) differs from mine. This is kind of a personal question, I realise, and if you’d prefer not to say, I totally understand, but I am very interested in what you have to say, as I think this may help us to better understand the difference between our worldviews.

  102. Hemulen Says:

    @Allen

    There have been many articles in the Western media over the last year reporting that many Tibetans and (maybe Uighurs too) are religious and not as adapted to a commercially driven life as Hans or Huis. If that’s true, then many Tibetans and Uighurs will appear to be “lazy” to commercially driven business owners. What should be the solution?

    Well, now you are stumblingly close to making the old culturalist/racist argument…At any rate, the fact that Tibetan exiles in Nepal seem to do very well belies the idea that Tibetans are bad businessmen per se. Uighurs are also known for their skills in agriculture and trade.

    So why are Tibetans in Tibet poor? Well, if you destroy the local economy completely by killing or exiling the elites, shutting off border trade, forcing people to grow the wrong crops, and so on, then make a huge u-turn and rebuild the economy by importing administration, expertise and labor force from interior China, it should not come as a surprise that Tibetans don’t do particularly well. In such a situation being Tibetan in itself more or less become a handicap. The same thing goes for Xinjiang.

    One thing that we often forget when we look at the economic miracle in China is the extent to which it has relied on overseas ethnic Chinese capital and Chinese networks. The Chinese government has been courting former running dog capitalists of Chinese origin while holding exile Uighurs and Tibetans at arms length. As the discussions on this board often make plainly clear, for all the talk of Tibetans and Han being the same family, most Han Chinese don’t regard exile Tibetans and Uighurs as overseas Chinese. It is not a big mystery then, why Tibetans and Uighurs do so poorly in their own regions in China.

  103. William Huang Says:

    @ Allen #79

    “I would support China’s sovereignty even if the gov’t had completely screwed up and misgovernend the country over the last 60 or so years. I might support regime change … but that’s another issue. I would not support the undermining of Chinese sovereignty over its own territories – which the West has been trying to do the last 200 years.”

    I agree with you 100%. Some people use democracy and human rights as excuse with the real intention to divide and weaken China. It is the country and people of China they have problem with not necessary the government. I don’t see any point to discuss with them.

    As for some people taking pride that they can chose their government and the government works for them, etc, etc, that’s all great. But how many of them are willing to take responsibility for their government’s wrong doing?

  104. Hemulen Says:

    @William Huang

    China is always right.

  105. Allen Says:

    @Hemulen #102

    I will agree with you to the extent that were the exile Tibetans and Uighurs rejoin the Chinese family – the world would be a much better place! And I also agree with you were the border disputes with India finally resolved – the world would be an even better place! I also do agree with you that overseas Chinese do form an important part of the Chinese nation – even if they may not be Chinese nationals anymore. And one last thing – I agree with you that overseas Tibetans and Uighurs are rarely considered overseas Chinese. There is a simple reason for that though – out of political expediency, they go out of their way to say they don’t consider themselves part of the Chinese family – often undermining the home country!!

  106. foobar Says:

    Why are Tibetans in Dharamsala poor? I imagine the percentage of “elites” in that area is sky high compared to anywhere else.

  107. Shane9219 Says:

    @Lime

    We indeed exchanged a few comments before, maybe on some other threads. I have been on this forum for a while, and saw a wide spectrum of POVs. Sharing them with an open mind is a good starting point for mutual understanding. But that does not mean we can not challenge each other on different POVs. Territory integrity of a nation and advocacy of independence by a minority group are often hard-egded issues, which may not result in rose-and-cheese scenarios.

    Nations in Asia, Africa and Latin American sufferred tremendously from European colonism and exploitation, thus people from those areas are always firm on territory integrity issues. This is an important yet often missed aspect in dialogues between the West and China on the Tibet issue.

    @Khechog
    Allen made a fair statement at #58. I of course open myself for criticism and challenges. After many exchanges with TIE people on this forum, my perceiption is that they hold a strong belief on their causes, yet NOT willing to look at reality and geniune historical facts with a fair mind. I wish I am wrong however.

    They also blindly believe that anything against their line of thought is CCP propaganda. This is the age of Internet with 24-hr news cycle. Many people in China are also well-traveled (both inside and outside), many even had experience living abroad. So it is not those old days that government propaganda has a big impact on Chinese people’s views. On the contrary, it is people in the West who are quite slow to update their view on China. It’s my hope that TIE people can make a gradual change on their perceiption.

    At #7, I shared an article written by a well-known native Tibetan author (西藏作家 阿来) titled “On a hidden Tibet”. If you read it, you can see what I mean.

    “更有一种关于西藏的言说,出于一种意识形态的有意的视而不见。对历史的真实的面貌视而不见,对于现实生活的真实图景视而不见”

  108. Shane9219 Says:

    @Hemulen

    “China is always right”

    I think no one here argues that “China is always right”. You know that is just a false statement. No one on this planet can be right all the time. China is a work-in-progress, including policies on ethnic minorities. Healthy critcism can always make China better. However, it is day-and-night difference to say everything wrong in China, like some in the West want to believe.

    China needs to be given its due for what she has done right. China is also indeed changing for better, and can make this world a better place.

  109. Hemulen Says:

    @Shane9219

    Healthy critcism can always make China better.

    That’s just a cliché. As the discussion here amply demonstrates, the standard for “healthy criticism” of China is set much higher than for other countries. Things that you would say about the US or Europe without making much fuss are dismissed as “hostile”. That is why this blog should be renamed “China is always right”.

    @Allen

    And one last thing – I agree with you that overseas Tibetans and Uighurs are rarely considered overseas Chinese. There is a simple reason for that though – they don’t consider themselves part of the Chinese family!!

    That’s circular reasoning. If the Chinese government did mean business with making Tibetans and Uighurs feel part of the Chinese family, they would go the extra mile to accommodate exiles and not put up a number of preconditions that they know makes any dialogue impossible. In fact the Chinese government badly needs “external enemies” to justify its methods of rule in its Western regions and if they didn’t have Dalai Lama as the bogeyman, they would have to invent him.

  110. foobar Says:

    The Chinese government has been courting former running dog capitalists of Chinese origin while holding exile Uighurs and Tibetans at arms length.

    I do know about the first part. I even hear the like of Chai Ling and Li Lu are doing business in/with China (not before they vow to pursue nothing against the government though).

    Anyone knows what the second part is about though? Are there Uigher/Tibetan exiles with money that are desperate to invest in Xinjiang/Tibet (or anywhere else in China) but were turned away by the Chinese government?

    By the way for the Han Chinese on the forum, do you regard the Harry Wu’s and Gordon Chang’s as part of “the family” any more or less than the Uigher/Tibetan exiles?

  111. Shane9219 Says:

    @Hemulen #109

    I see it often comes down to whether people have geniune understanding and respect on China. The difference on their attitude has a huge impact on their views on China. You may find out yourself on this forum. Comparing those traveled or lived in China and those have not, their POVs are often quite different.

    It is my own perceiption that things got a lot improvement on the West’s opinions towards Tibet issue as well as China’s economy model since last year. Still, more needs to be done.

  112. Khechog Says:

    # 71 may Says:

    “May 1st, 2009 at 4:37 pm
    Khechog, I am very concerned about the case your mentioned in your comment. I heard that a Lhasa young man was tortured in police custody and died soon after he got out of the prison. Do you mind say a bit more about the case? And your source of information? Is your informant related to the young man’s family? I know probably every Tibetans in Lhasa know the story and have their own version of what happened. But I think it is important to hear from the family itself.
    And how are the young man’s parents doing now?”

    May, Thanks very much for your concern, which I can feel from your note that you do care about this and wanting to know more about it.

    I wasn’t going to go in the the details of grave human rights violations in Tibet in this forum but since you asked and can tell that you are deeply concerned, I am going share this in this forum for the first time.

    You are absolutely right, this case is quite well-known amongst the Tibetans in Lhasa. I had the opportunity to know a little more detail the background information from a relative who is a close friend of the family of this boy. To be honest, even I was bit incredulous when I heard this in Tibet but then after coming back I saw the video which must have been smuggled out. It was exactly how I heard it. Below is my account, which has NOT appeared on any blogs or newswire but will be soon. So I am sharing my personal account in this blog for the first time. After the video was released, I heard his parents have disappeared. My accounts were from 3-4 months ago. Obviously with the safety of those concerned living there, I have not released any of the names. I know many Chinese will again deny and support the govt and I know only the folks in Falun Gong will believe this as they have documented torture to their followers by PRC which looks quite similar.

    Below was the newswire of this article and there was a horrific video of this boy Tendar that was very disturbing that I couldn’t even find it now Youtube but should be in http://www.tibet.net. Keep in mind that Beijing has denied this and accused the Tibetan exiles of fabrication as if Tendar the boy never existed. Quite amazing but that’s the government we are dealing with.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/tibet/5023967/New-video-of-torture-exposes-Chinese-brutality-in-Tibet.html

    So here goes and again you are seeing this for the first time in any blog or Internet of my own account:

    “Personal and family information of Tendar

    -Tendar was 28 years old and he worked in one of the China Telecommunications companies
    -Tendar’s father’s nick name is ‘Mao Tushi’ (Chairman Mao in Chinese) as he resemblance Mao Tse Tung and is widely known by his nick name in Lhasa. He worked in the Lhasa cement factory below Drepung monastery and is now retired. He is in his early 60’s.
    -Tendar’s mother is a retired pensioner and in her 50s
    -Tendar’s parent has a house and live in the old town of Dampa which is located below Drepung monastery

    Tendar’s accounts from March 14th

    I heard about Tendar’s case from a first hand source during my recent trip to Tibet and his case is widely known in Lhasa.

    The following account is from a relative who is a very good friend of Tendar’s father.

    On March 14th, 2009 on the 4th day of the Tibetan uprising where the situation turned violent on the streets of Lhasa, Tendar witnessed a monk being beaten by a Chinese security force. Tendar tried to help the monk. At that time, the details were sketchy but while he was trying to assist the monk, the situation became extremely tense as there were massive Chinese security forces deployed on the ground.

    The Tibetan protestors on ground zero were getting shot at by Chinese sharp shooters positioned on the rooftops. Tendar got shot at and he fell on the ground from the injury. Other Tibetans who were there tried to help Tendar. They discovered a bullet wound and some bleeding from his body but he was conscious and the injury didn’t appear to be life threatening. He was immediately hauled away by the Security forces in their vehicle. He was later found to be admitted to the Lhasa General hospital which is run by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). This facility is located in the North West part of the city on Nyare road.

    While he was at this PLA run hospital, a team of 4-5 Chinese security personnel visited him every 4-6 hours. During those times they were taking turns beating him while interrogating for his involvement. They were using iron rods, cigarettes butts. He was tortured repeatedly. He experienced extreme physical and emotional abuses during his stay at this facility and his condition deteriorated rapidly.

    None of Tendar’s family members and friends knew his whereabouts nor what had happened to him. After a few days of his disappearance, they went about searching for him and through constant effort and using all of their connections (called Guangxi in Chinese or Tago in Tibetan) and resources at their disposal, they were able to locate him in this facility run by PLA.

    Then the parents had to again use all of their resources and connections for approval to visit him in the hospital. Tendar’s father asked my relative and a couple of their friends to accompany him to the hospital.

    When the family and friends first saw Tendar at this PLA hospital, he was in extremely poor condition both emotionally and physically but conscious and could talk and move his hands. He was in shock and in excruciating pain and every little movement in his body would cause him to scream with pain. Tendar told his father that he was tortured during the interrogation sessions and showed many wounds inflicted throughout his body. They also found out that he was paralyzed on the lower part of his body and was unable to walk. According to Tendar, he sustained most of his injury from the torture sessions at this facility and looked physically very weak.

    Tendar said, while he was there, he witnessed a Tibetan monk being beaten to death with iron sticks by Security forces. Tendar told his father in the presence of my relative, “please take me home as I would be killed if I spend more time in this place.’

    My relative also heard Tendar telling his father, he tried to kill himself twice by jumping off the window from his room at the hospital by dragging his body close to the window but was unable to get himself over the window since he couldn’t use the lower section of his body. He also told them that he was beaten severely during these interrogation sessions and did not receive any medical care.

    The family immediately tried to have him discharged from this facility. Soon thereafter with repeated torture, no medical treatment and total neglect, his conditions deteriorated rapidly. Then with hardly any hope of recovery, the authorities decided to release Tendar back in his parent’s care and responsibility. The relative and a few other friends assisted Tendar’s parents to bring him back to his home.

    By the time, he was home, his lower back and hips were all rotten and smelly. Both kidneys were exposed and could see the kidney beating. The family then tried all their means to get proper medical care for him.

    Due to his record of being involved during the March 14th uprising, the hospital administration were extremely fearful as they had received instructions from authorities not to take any patients from March 14th incident. So there were no hospitals in Lhasa who were willing to take him. Again the family had to use all of their connections and resources to have him admit to a hospital to get proper medical care.

    After a lot of pleading the Peoples’ Hospital located on the Lingkor Road near Potala agreed to admit him to their hospital. On day three at home, he was taken to the People’s hospital.

    The Tibetan doctors and nursing staff who cared for him during his stay had tears in their eyes upon seeing the brutality and seriousness of the injuring inflicted on him and the subsequent lack of medical care. He was admitted to the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and was given IV etc.

    Tendar condition continue to deteriorate and he became unconscious. The medical staff at the hospital told Tendar’s parents that there was no hope of recovery.

    Tendar ended up spending 20 days at the People’s hospital mostly in the ICU department and the total costs incurred was Rinminbi 90,000 or about US$13,000, which is about 4 years salary of an average office worker in Lhasa. The family had to pay the full amount before they were able to take Tendar home. The family took photos of him at the hospital.

    The parents decided to take him to their home to spend the last few days of his life. Tendar lived for another 15 days at his home in Dampa before he died with his family next to him.

    As is custom and tradition in Tibet, the funeral was done at one of Lhasa’s ‘sky burial’ or ‘Dhotoe’ sites at Tolung, east of Lhasa. When his body was brought at ‘Dhotoe’ he was bone and skin and his lower body was in three pieces. One could see on his body marks of iron rods.

    The practice required the offering of the dead body to the vultures. While his body was being prepared for the vultures (i.e. Jhador in Tibetan) into smaller pieces, the funeral staff discovered a slender metal bar or long nail about one-third meter length inserted through bottom of his leg. They took pictures and video at the ‘Dhotoe’. This appeared to be a torture instruments used during the interrogation session.

    As is custom of the Tibetan post funeral process and tradition, the 1st, 4th and 7th weeks after the death were the most important dates, the family would host prayer sessions and invite family and friends to pay respect to the deceased and offer donations for the prayers.

    Hundreds of people turned-out for all three events and many were strangers who heard of this case and wanted to pay respect to Tendar. Those who were fearful of attending due to being seen at this event by Security force, sent money and ‘Khata’.

    Post script:

    The authorities had withdrawn and denied the pensionable income for Tendar’s mother. As it’s a well-known practice in Tibet that the authorities would hold parents accountable for the action of their children. In this case, Tendar’s crime of defending the monk during the March 14th unrest was considered a very serious crime of counter-revolutionary charges which carries a heavy penalty.

    Notes:

    -Security forces definition above consist of PLA, PAP and Police forces. According to all the sources, the PLA and PAP were the worst and consist almost entirely of Chinese personnel that were brought in from outside the city.

    -Any Tibetans who had bullet wound were interrogated by the Chinese security forces and taken to secret location and was not given any medical treatment. If the injury was sustained from the protests and if there was evidence of bullet wounds, the patient is taken to another location where they were subjected to interrogation and torture sessions to extract forced confession.

    -The hospital staff nurses and doctors were extremely upset of this practice where a patient with serious
    injuries who had evidence of injury sustained by Security forces such as bullet wounds were told not to give any medical treatment and taken elsewhere. Chinese security forces comes to the hospitals and instructed the hospital staff to report any patients who had suspecting injury such as bullet wounds and not to give any treatment. While in the hospital, the patient was under constant surveillance by the security guards.

    -From the accounts, there appears to be many cases like Tendar where an initial injury that was not life threatening quickly deteriorated into one and some died after being held in the custody of the Security forces.

    -As reported by many accounts, Tibetan protestors who were tortured and sustained serious injury to the point of no hope of recovery were returned back to the family. The reason given was that the authorities didn’t want to be held responsible for person’s death while they are under their responsibility.”

  113. Hemulen Says:

    @Shane9219

    I see it often come down to whether people have geniune understanding and respect on China.

    This is priceless. Here we have a country whose government has periodic outbursts of hate campaigns towards real and perceived enemies. Yesterday it was Chris Patten and Lee Teng-hui. Today it is Dalai Lama and Nicolas Sarkozy. And these campaigns have a tremendous impact on popular Chinese culture. For a moment last year, any French person in China had to be very careful. These semi-official hate campaigns have done much more to tarnish China’s reputation than all the Harry Wus and Dalai Lamas put together. But what are we discussing? Foreign “attitudes”! Laughable.

  114. Lime Says:

    @Shane9219
    My apologies, my memory failed me. I just wanted to sympathise with Khechog’s complaint of personal disrespect that sometimes happens on this blog, without confirming or denying his accusation of you in particular, as I didn’t remember you saying anything personally disrespectful to me.

    You wrote:
    “Nations in Asia, Africa and Latin American sufferred tremendously from European colonism and exploitation, thus people from those areas are always firm on territory integrity issues. This is an important yet often missed aspect in dialogues between the West and China on the Tibet issue.”

    I basically agree with you. My personal interpretation is that both PRC supporters and detractors have been reading the same kinds of post-colonial historical narratives that set-up this imperialist-victim dichotomy, and both have been superimposing these narratives on their understanding of the Tibet-PRC-Western Europe & the Anglosphere relationship. The difference is that the detractors see the the PRC playing the role of the white ex-colonial powers, and the Tibetans playing the role of the poor colonised victims. The supporters, though, see the same white ex-colonial powers stilling playing the role of the aggressor, and the PRC Chinese still playing the role of the poor victimised state struggling to fend off neo-imperialist attacks on its sovereignty. I don’t really like either interpretation, as they both rely on the historical frame-work of past events that don’t really parrallel the current situation. Should the Dalai Lama be seen as a Ghandi figure or as a Ixtlilxochitl figure? Neither really makes sense to me.

    Where I really disagree with you, though, is your statement about “geniune historical facts”. History, as an academic discipline has more or less completely given up on Leopold von Ranke’s idea that history can be done empirically, and that we can learn absolute truths about the past. There are stronger and weaker narratives, true, but the strength depends on how well the the narrative’s structure and component parts can be understood in the same way by different people. So if I tell you that I went to a certain bar last weekend because I wanted to meet my friend there, that’s probably a strong narrative, because the components, though not objectively defined categories, are usually understood across people; me, the bar, my friend, going from my home to the bar, and the desire to meet my friend, right?

    Buta historical narrative that uses around big, nebulous concepts, like civilsations, religions, peoples, etc., like you did in #14- “Tibet, as an independent political/dynastic entity, faded away quickly during its early civilization, and never materialized after.”- will never be as strong. What’s a political/dynastic entity? What’s early civilisation? What do you mean by ‘faded away’? What’s Tibet? All of these things can be, and are, understood differently by different people, and equally valid counter-narratives can be created based on the same sources you looked at to make that one. There’s nothing wrong with your interpretation, but if somebody disagrees with it, that is not necessarily a sign of ignorance.

    If you have a chance, look at Hayden White’s ‘Content of the Form’. He has a rather elegant discussion on narratology in that book.

  115. Shane9219 Says:

    @Lime

    It is wrong to compare European’s colonism with China’s historical control of Tibet. This is another important misunderstanding by people in the West.

    I mentioned many times on this forum that China was formed over thousands of her history through a nature process of human migration, race inter-mix, culture influcence and terrertorial consolidation. There were good times and bad times. However, it is a nature process. In Ming Dynasty, General ZheHe led 7 oversea trips with a power armada all the way to the coast of western Africa, yet China did not proclaim its rule over any indigenous population.

    European colonism, on the hand, driven basically by the greed of white Europeans and their monarchies, with no regard of indigenous population. It was not a nature process, but pure display of brutal power and greed.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonialism

  116. Shane9219 Says:

    @Khechog #112

    I remember read the related news event regarding to that YouTube video. The whole matter got calm down quickly though initially was made quite noisy by western media and TIE. Below is a link to a related BBC News report.

    “Slashed policeman”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7962717.stm

    “… In its first response to the video’s release, an unnamed government official from China’s Tibetan Autonomous Region said it was a lie.

    He was speaking to the official Xinhua News Agency in a report that was released late on Tuesday.

    “Technology experts found that video and audio was edited to piece together different places, times and people,” Xinhua said, quoting the official.

    China also rejected the claims about Tendar.

    “Tendar died from a disease at home awaiting court trial,” the official said, adding that he had used a knife to “slash” a policeman.

    The official added that the injured person in the video was not Tendar and the wounds were fake.

    “The Dalai Lama group is used to fabricating lies to deceive the international community, and the aim of this video is to hide the truth of the 14 March riot,” Xinhua quoted the official as saying.

    The Tibetan government-in-exile says that about 220 Tibetans were killed and nearly 1,300 seriously injured following the unrest last year.

    The Chinese government says at least 18 civilians and one policeman were killed, mostly in riots in Lhasa on 14 March.

  117. Allen Says:

    @Lime #101,

    You wrote:

    So yeah, I’m asking you to justify your belief in Chinese nationalism, or explain how your understanding of nationalism (and the other social theories) differs from mine.

    I am not sure what your belief in nationalism is … so I will defer from comparing.

    But I will justify my belief in the Chinese Nation this way. China had once been a great, prosperous civilization. There is no reason to believe it cannot re-capture its place as the pinnacle of civilization in the future.

    The last two hundred years of disunity, civil strife, foreign invasions and conquest have brought tremendous pain and suffering to the Chinese people. With unity today, the Chinese nation has achieved a semblance of a respected power.

    I look forward to the day when the Chinese society becomes fully confident, open, prosperous and free – in all sense of the word – economically, socially, culturally, politically…

    This vision is what grounds my faith in Chinese nationalism.

    Hemulen – if you want to make some snide remarks about this – there is really no need to. This is just my personal thought – and attacking this would not give you that much mileage…

  118. Shane9219 Says:

    @Hemulen #113

    There is no doubt that there has been a quite tense and testy relation between some in China and some in the West. But by looking at the bright side, let’s say things have gotten a lot better in recent years. Mutual understanding is often a two-way street.

    The relation between people in China and Japan is another exmaple of a tense and testy relation. There is still a long way to go, however. If you ever watched recent movies on Nanjin Massacre, “John Robe” (by a film by Germany) and “Nanjin! Nanjin!” (a local Chinese movie),

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/24/world/asia/24china.html?_r=1&em=&pagewanted=print

    as well as somewhat rosy one 《非诚勿扰》, you can see the love-and-hate relation between the two people.

    麻生首相会见冯小刚 感谢《非诚勿扰》宣传日本
    http://news.ifeng.com/photo/news/200905/0501_1397_1135207.shtml

    I have been saying that, with a long view of history, Chinese are geniunely fair-minded people with love and respect to others.

  119. JXie Says:

    @Hemulen Says:
    China is always right.

    There you were barking at the wrong tree. Nobody is arguing China is always right — I wouldn’t even argue that China is more right than the others. However, at this very junction of time, it’s China’s interest to hold on to Tibet.

  120. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To JXie:
    “However, at this very junction of time, it’s China’s interest to hold on to Tibet.” – that’s the most succinct, honest, and respectable statement I’ve read on this subject in a long time, whether on this thread or the countless others pertaining to Tibet.

    All this talk about tradition, history, inheritance…is just fluff. Tibet isn’t a vase, a bank account, or your grandpa’s mint-condition Stingray. Tradition and history documents how we arrived at today’s circumstance, but should in no way dictate tomorrow’s path.

    So the only meaningful reason why China is in TIbet is because she wants to be, and presumably she wants to be because it furthers her interests. Whether a portion of that interest is in appeasing the Chinese public’s ego is debatable.

    Lots of talk about colonialism. I’m not suggesting that Tibet is a colony. But it seems to me that colonies were no longer in part because that was the native peoples’ will, and in part because the colonizers recognized/accepted that reality.

    The difference is that Tibetans aren’t allowed to express their will; and even if they were, China doesn’t seem motivated to recognize it. Until those things change or evolve, people can continue to pretend that Tibet is a vase, or a bank account, or a Stingray.

  121. William Huang Says:

    @ Hemulen,

    “That is why this blog should be renamed “China is always right”.”

    If you don’t like this blog, why don’t you go someplace else? I hope nobody is putting a gun on your head to stay here. If you enjoyed this blog, I hope this is a positive experience for you to realize something that there are a lot of people who don’t share your point of view.

    “This is priceless. Here we have a country whose government has periodic outbursts of hate campaigns towards real and perceived enemies. Yesterday it was Chris Patten and Lee Teng-hui. Today it is Dalai Lama and Nicolas Sarkozy. And these campaigns have a tremendous impact on popular Chinese culture.”

    What’s wrong with hate your enemy? One can hate but at the same time understand and respect ones enemy. By this logic, China is only hoping to be understood and respected from people like you. But if you don’t, I can assure you, nobody really cares. If you don’t believe me, just ask your friends if they give a dame whether or not you respect a country like China.

  122. Nimrod Says:

    Khechog #112,

    Thank you for the account and condolences to the family. You seem to be saying that your relative has actually seen Tendar’s injuries in person and has gone to his home. Can you confirm for us whether the video shows Tendar or not, and whether that is a hospital or his home?

  123. shane9219 Says:

    @S.K. Cheung

    “All this talk about tradition, history, inheritance…is just fluff. Tibet isn’t a vase, a bank account, or your grandpa’s mint-condition Stingray. Tradition and history documents how we arrived at today’s circumstance, but should in no way dictate tomorrow’s path.”

    I have to say you are dead-wrong on the above statement. The sovergnty and territorial integrity of a nation are collective rights that are both sacred and inheritable among generations of a population (though the mix of such population may change time to time), and governed under common international laws. Otherwise, there is no such notion of state succession. Your grandma’s bank account or your granpa’s inheritance have no mere importance in comparison to a state’s sovergnty

  124. Khechog Says:

    Nimrod, Thanks so much for your comments. I do appreciate your interest and concern. Yes my relative was with Tendar and his father throughout this ordeal from the first hospital visit, right to his funeral a few months later. I had an opportunity to see his father in Lhasa but unable to do so which I regret. My accounts were were from notes I had taken a few months ago. Then I saw the video just a month ago like everyone else, it was exactly how this relative explained to me. The after-math of this vidoe is that the father has gone missing and feared to be detained which I imagine is the authorities are now carrying out a witch-hunt on how the video was able to smuggle outside.

    Here is the complete video. I warn everyone for the gruesome injuries which starts at about 3:30 minutes of Tendar. I am not happy that this video was done very poorly and really does not do justice to people who sacrifized their lives. This video sounds like a propaganda with tacky music background. Just the raw video with caption would have suffice. Part of the reason this video didn’t get as much attention and news coverage. If PRC hadn’t blocked Youtube in China due to this video release, this wouldn’t have made a world news. So you wonder why are the authorities blocking this video being shown in China.

    There were few different videos collages and these you won’t see in CCTV and on any TV news in China and Tibet on March 14th event: 1) March 14th protests in Lhasa 2) Security forces beating and arresting protestors in Lhasa on Marh 14th; 3) old footages of Chinese forces beating/kung-fu moves on the monks in the main cathedral which is footages from 1988 which was gratuitous and not requires. This gave the PRC to accuse of manipulation; 4) videos of Tibetan protests in Amdo (Qinghai province) courageously showing the bannedTibetan flag and last the most horrific 5) photo of Tendar and then his injuries. I just watched this video and as per my account, it shows when he was in the People’s hospital and then also looks like at home when his body is just rotting.

    Let’s take a moment and reflect the brutalities inflicted by the Security forces. I heard of hundreds of cases of Tibetan tortured, imprisonment, missing where I wouldn’t doubt others met the same fate. Again these are all hidden from the Chinese public and also from top officials. There is so much cover-up, repression, fear in Tibet. Tibetans in Tibet know these cases, so imagine how they would feel … so it’s not the March 14th riot videos that Chinese public were shown on CCTV and print media that enraged the Chines population. So who is doing the propaganda …

    Here is the complete video I found and it would make me feel better if everyone who is concern about the Tibet issue watch this video and let me know so that you will understand how Tibetans felt of last year’s March protests. Take a moment and watch this video, you don’t have to agree but hope you get some sense of how Tibetans felt from last year’s March protest.

    After you all watch it and perhaps if your re-read HH Dalai Lama March 10th 50th year speech (www.dalailama.com), you might have some empathy when he says ‘hell on earth’ comments and others which captured the sentiment of the Tibetan people especially in Tibet. Tibet is not all rosy and no serious problem to solve as what PRC CCP make you believe. That’s the official line from the PRC leadership.

    A different POV if you will than the PRC CCTV and Xinhua’s account. I think due to gruesome nature, Youtube delete the full version which I understand.

    http://media.phayul.com/

  125. pug_ster Says:

    @Khechog

    While it is extremely sad to see tendar to be injured that way, I didn’t see any proof that he was actually beaten by Han Chinese. Who knows, maybe he was mistaken for a Chinese and thus the reason why he is beaten. Also the video which shows the Tibetans beaten by the Chinese police, why are some of the police wearing green and black uniforms? Shouldn’t they be wearing blue uniforms?

    Edit: also I notice the camera show was low to the ground, barely showing the Chinese police’ faces or any buildings around for that matter. How do we know that it was not some video made by actors? This incident happened more than a year ago yet the video just came out in the middle of the blue? Sounds fishy to me.

  126. shane9219 Says:

    @Khechog #124

    There are more ‘brutal” videos from Falun Gong sect than you think. I saw their “brutal” display often outside Chinese Consulates.

    I am in no way of condone any brutality. And if it did occur, it will be addressed sooner or later. The real issue is which side is making up stuff and doing a propaganda.

  127. Khechog Says:

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5j5TkGFGg64ve6J_qbEz_LAlVrxWA

    Dalai Lama part of solution for China: Obama aide
    2 hours ago

    WASHINGTON (AFP) — China should see the Dalai Lama as “part of the solution” on Tibet instead of trying to isolate him, US President Barack Obama’s top Asia adviser said.

    Jeff Bader, senior director for Asia on the White House’s National Security Council, told the Committee of 100, a Chinese-American group, that it should use its influence in Beijing to encourage a different view of the Dalai Lama.

    “I hope that you will use that credibility and those relationships to help persuade Chinese officials that the Dalai Lama is not part of their problem but rather part of the solution to the situation in Tibet,” Bader said.

    Beijing brands the Dalai Lama a separatist and has stepped up pressure on world leaders, including Obama, not to meet with him. The Buddhist leader fled to India 50 years ago as China crushed an abortive uprising in Tibet.

    The Dalai Lama, an advocate of non-violence, says he is only seeking greater rights for Tibetans under Chinese rule. The Nobel Peace laureate is currently touring the United States, but he does not plan to visit Washington.

    Bader acknowledged that human rights have become an irritant in US-China relations — “unsurprisingly, because China’s human rights record, as we know, is poor.”

    But he said Obama believed the most effective way to persuade China was to lead by example, citing the president’s decision to shut down the widely condemned “war on terror” detention camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

    “President Obama does not believe in lecturing. He believes in leading by example, not finger-pointing,” Bader said.

    Obama has called for a broader relationship with China that includes cooperation on pressing global issues such as climate change and the economic crisis. The US leader is due to visit China later this year.

    “President Obama, with his unique gifts in communication and popularity, will be looking for ways to reach out to Chinese audiences and connect,” Bader said.

    Before his appointment, Bader served at the Brookings Institution think-tank where he led a project encouraging Chinese academics to make contact with the Dalai Lama. He said he was pleasantly surprised at the response.

    “It suggested to me that there is an openness to discussion among non-official Chinese on this subject and I hope that one of these days officials will catch up,” Bader said.

    But Ken Lieberthal, who held Bader’s position at the end of Bill Clinton’s presidency, said there was a “total disconnect” between the way the US public and the Chinese government viewed the Dalai Lama.

    “So long as the Chinese refuse to understand that to most of the world this is a revered religious figure — someone who has extraordinary ethics and is deserving of great respect … I don’t see a good future here,” Lieberthal told the same forum.

    “Once he passes from the scene, if there has been no progress, I think the next generation of Tibetans have the possibility to be China’s worst nightmare,” he said.

    The Dalai Lama, 73, has frequently said he wants to retire but has kept a frenetic travel schedule. His current visit to the United States has included serving food to the homeless in San Francisco and opening an ethics center named after him at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    He is expected to return to the United States in October, when he hopes to meet with Obama.

    Asked this week in Boston whether he expected to return to Tibet, the Dalai Lama said with a smile: “Oh yes, every Tibetan feels like that.”

    “If the leadership in Beijing thinks in a more wider way … within a few days can solve,” he said in English.

  128. shane9219 Says:

    @Khechog #127

    Thanks for posting this article. Given Tibet’s recent history, US was partially responsbile for Tibet’s current situation, and still owe a big apology to China. Like 14th DL used to say about the days leading to his exile — he was told by CIA that everything would be there for him if he chose to exile to India.

    Solving complicated issue like Tibet needs both sides to become partners. This is a well-regarded Chinese-way of solving problem. However, It has been a two-way street on this issue from the beginning. Remember that Premier Zhou made three separate trips to India years ago, yet failed to persuade 14th DL to return.

    Mainland and Taiwan are now working together to solve a different historical problem, without any direct involvment from US.

  129. shane9219 Says:

    China wants closer US relation, but not G2-official

    By Reuters

    http://www.reuters.com/article/vcCandidateFeed1/idUSN0140788620090501

    WASHINGTON, May 1 (Reuters) – China has gotten off to a good start with the Obama administration and wants deeper bilateral cooperation, but is not interested in a “G2″ arrangement by which Beijing and Washington shape the global economy, a senior Chinese spokesman said on Friday.

    Wu Jianmin, president emeritus of China’s Foreign affairs University and a former top Foreign Ministry official, said the “the Chinese are very pleased” at a relatively hiccup-free relationship with Washington 100 days into the Obama era.

    “The Obama administration succeeded in avoiding some uncertainties (like) at the beginning of the past administrations,” he said, referring to Barack Obama’s predecessor’s spats with Beijing over Taiwan and other issues.

    Although the two powers had a brief naval confrontation near China in March, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited China early this year, and Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao met in London last month and launched a senior dialogue forum.

    The G2 idea floated by some U.S. scholars as a way for the two important economies to tackle the global economic crisis does not appeal to China, which sees the concept mainly as a “wish to strengthen U.S.-China cooperation,” said Wu.

    “We look for a sort of a multilateral world, based on the international rule of law,” he said.

    “When you mention leadership, you scare Chinese, because in the eyes of the Chinese, leadership equates (with) hegemony,” Wu told reporters in Washington.

    China however welcomes the increased role it and other big developing countries enjoy in global economic affairs through the G20 gathering of industrialized and emerging economies, Wu said.

    “Today the G7 is irrelevant. We need a larger grouping, a larger architecture,” he said of the traditional seven-power industrialized grouping that met to manage the world economy.

  130. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Shane #123:
    My entire #120 makes no mention of sovereignty. I brought up inheritance and the like simply because others have used such phrases to justify Tibet being a part of China, for reasons beyond me. To me, those are all just excuses. JXie gave the most plausible reason I’ve heard in a while. But since you bring it up…

    “The sovergnty and territorial integrity of a nation are collective rights that are both sacred and inheritable among generations of a population” – oh really? Why is that?

    a) these are man-made constructs. They are as “sacred” as the men who partake in them choose to make them…or not.
    b) you inherit your grandpa’s Stingray cuz the Stingray can’t say otherwise; you inherit a territory in its previous form only if its current occupants allow you to do so. Is there a physical, chemical, mathematical, or metaphysical reason why the China of the next generation must have the same geographic footprint of the current one? Nope. The same, btw, would apply to any nation.

    “Your grandma’s bank account or your granpa’s inheritance have no mere importance in comparison to a state’s sovergnty” – do you mean the same degree of importance, or lack thereof, China bestowed upon Tibet’s sovereignty in 1959?

    I understand sovereignty as the justification for repelling incursions into your territory from outside forces. I don’t understand sovereignty as a rebuttal for those who MIGHT choose to sever ties with you.

  131. Otto Kerner Says:

    @Shane #111,

    I’m not really sure what you’re getting at. Does a person’s favorable impression of China tend to improve while living there?

  132. Khechog Says:

    @Shane #128,

    I am curious what is yours and like-minded primary source of information on Tibet. Never heard of Zhu Rongji’s account and your accounts of history which you call ‘facts’.

    What I know is that PRC-CCP used to claim that Tibet became part of China in the 7th century when Tibetan powerful King took on one of his wifes as a Chinese emperor’s daughter Wenchen (Tibetans adore her along with the Nepalese Princess) during the Tang dynasty. Then starting in early 1980′s the PRC-CCP changed their claim to the 13th century, Mongol Yuan dynasty when Tibet and many other countries including Korea, Vietnam came under influence of the Mongols but Tibetans had an upper hand as Mongol emperor and ruling class were converted to Tibetan buddhists. Then during the Manchu, Qing dynasty, it’s quite similar where most of the Manchus ruling class also become Tibetan buddhists. Of course Manchus were not as sincere as the Mongols in their respect for Tibetan culture and religion.

    It’s also interesting that the father of modern China Sun Yatsen and perhaps Mao later initially labelled Manchus as foreign power ruling China, along with Mongols Yuan. This attitude changed later as PRC-CCP felt themselves a successor of Qing dynasty wanting to legitimize the Manchus Qing empire and its influence over Tibet etc. So why are these historical claims and justification change during CCP depending on what they feel works in their favour. Sun Yatsen came up with this five nationalities of PRC (Han, Hui, Manchu, Mongol, Tibetans) Huis are practically Han that are muslims. Manchus are 100% assimilated. Mongols are also non-issue as 80% of inner-Mongolia is Han Chinese and the remaining are almost assimilated. So Tibetans are the last hope to be non-sincised and only one from the original five that are fighting to save their identity.

    Also it is also the only one that Moa had signed this 17 point agreement. What DL is asking for is not too different than the original 17 point agreement. So what more compromise does Tibetans have to make?. DL has accepted PRC’s soveriegnty and now only asking to save the identify and cultural autonomy. Before 1950′s there was perhaps half a dozen Chinese in entire Tibet. Sure there was a Manchu Amban rep but so is Britist and Nepales rep and embassy.

    As I have said a lot of Chinese just woke up to Tibet issue after last year’s March 14th ‘riot’ ( I showed you the Tibetan version of March 14th ‘uprising), so in a way it’s like Tibetans are from Venus and Chinese are from Jupiter interms of the understanding and feelings on the same problem. Since the information on Tibet is strictly controlled in PRC (media, Internet filtering etc), there is no hope for better understanding until PRC becomes open society and there is no fear to talk about it.

    I assume the primary source for lot of Chinese on Tibet in English medium ( I am sure there are Chinese language sources but again tend to be CCP version of Tibet) tend to be quote Michael Parenti, who is definitely not considered a scholar or leading Tibetologists. I don’t see The PRC version of Tibet supported by any leading Tibetologists in the world and Parenti is not one of them. If you want to read others, below is a link from Tibetan independence activist/writer Jamyang Norbu on his take on Parenti and others expounding the Chinese version of Tibet.

    @Wahaha #62
    ” There are at least 10 times more Han chinese who have been to Tibet than Westerner, and you claim “So the West or the people in the free world had known Tibetan issue much earlier than the Chinese “, this is ridiculous.”

    Just looking at this blog I see western guys like Hemulen, Otto Kerner etc having quite indepth knowledge on the Tibetan issue and making rational and compelling discussions with many of you guys. I believe these folks have been exposed to lot more unfiltered information from all sources and lot more years on the Tibet issue and they are intelligent enough to form their own conclusion and that’s no different from majority of the outsiders. I don’t think they have any personal agenda and definitely don’t see them to be anti-China, anti-Chinese and I don’t even consider them pro-Tibet or Tibetan but any decent human beings who believe in fairness, justice and truth.

    Tibetan exiles are such a small number that there is simple not a number and resources to make our case in every forum especially against a truly super-power like PRC-CCP with a billion population that were brought up in this version but the issue doesn’t go away because the concerned/caring people in the free world believe and support these ideals.

    Wahaha, You asked me what does the Tibetans in Tibet want. Tell me what do you think?. If you agree that Dalai Lama is key person and solution to the problem, then we are on the right track.

    Let’s make a deal and move on. It’s not as complicated as it seems while DL is alive if CCP top leaders in Beijing wants it. After DL dies, then it becomes complicated because no Tibetan can fill his shoe in a short term who can rally behind this compromised proposal. Also Tibetans are not the type people of holding grudges such as what we see now PRC making huge deals on Japanese Nanjing massacre 60-80 years ago, Israel on Jewish Holocaust during WWII and Natives on wrongs done on Aboriginal in the west 100 years ago. Of course, you don’t forget so that it doesn’t happen again but we have to move on, but Tibet oppression, assimilation, cultural genocide is happening now not 50, 100 years ago.

    Khechog

    http://www.jamyangnorbu.com/blog/2008/07/13/running-dog-propagandists/

    “Parenti is a residual American radical leftist, a throwback to the sixties. He characteristically describes himself as a “progressive”, the word being for leftists as sought-after a designation as “compassionate” is for Tibetan Buddhists. From Parenti’s website: “one of the nation’s leading progressive political analysts … unrivaled among fellow progressive activists and thinkers… etc etc.” His subscribes to the Leninist dictum that Western democracies are “bourgeois democracies,” a charade to mislead the people into thinking that they were free and self-governing. Since the late 80s though, he is said to have noticeably modified his position. He also strongly argues that western accounts of Stalins’s great purges are exaggerated, and like the former Trotskyist, Christopher Hitchens, has attacked mother Theresa as a fraud and “fast-track saint.” On a more bizarre level he has attacked US intervention in Yugoslavia, and now heads the United States chapter of the International Committee to Defend Slobodan Milošević.

    His main anti-Tibet screed is Frendly Feudalism: The Tibet Myth, which he last expanded and updated in 2007. Starting off with this dramatic line “Along with the blood-drenched landscape of religious conflict…” Parenti embarks on a general smear of Buddhist societies throughout history and then settles on Tibet in particular, where he essentially regurgitates official Chinese propaganda, received through the writings of Anna Louise Strong, and Stuart and Roma Gelder, to which he provides a cover of scholarship by citing Tom Grunfeld and Melvin Goldstein.

    He is so unbelievably ill-informed on Tibet that it would be laughable, if a generation of Chinese students in the US did not seem to regard him as the leading authority on Tibet. He writes that Kublai Khan (1215-1294) created the first “Grand Lama” or Dalai Lama (1391-1474) and a century later the third in line gave himself the title “Dalai” and then decided to “retroactively” recognize his two predecessors as Dalai Lamas. This would be on the level of nonsensical drivel as someone claiming that Napoleon Bonaparte appointed George Washington president of the United States, but that only till John Adams was elected did the title become official – or any claptrap along those lines. A more in-depth critique of Parenti, A Lie Repeated – The Far Left’s Flawed History of Tibet by Joshua Michael Schrei, appeared some years ago, and is well recommended.”

  133. Allen Says:

    @SKC #130,

    You wrote:

    “The sovergnty and territorial integrity of a nation are collective rights that are both sacred and inheritable among generations of a population” – oh really? Why is that?

    a) these are man-made constructs. They are as “sacred” as the men who partake in them choose to make them…or not.

    Well … if we want call sovereignty, national identity, etc. as mere man-made constructs and hence not really real … then we can equally call Tibetan sense of ethnic identity man-made and equally ethereal.

    In fact, in many ways I do agree with you SKC. We are talking about politics – using political constructs – nothing more. Sure some political constructs are shared by a billion people – others by perhaps a few hundred thousand. Don’t know if that really makes a difference. But politics is politics – whether we talk about nationalism, democracy, capitalism, human rights. In the end – the proof is in the pudding. Are people’s lives being improved? The rest – as you and Steve and many others here have mentioned – is just fluff.

    The CCP would probably agree with all these… That’s why its rhetoric is so focused on national development, reform, etc.

  134. pug_ster Says:

    @132 Khechog,

    Just because you believe that Hemulen and Otto Kerner made pro-Tibetan arguments they are rational? Maybe rational to you while others who make counterstatements are just irrational. You are entitled to your opinion, but not to your own fact.

    You article about Michael Parenti is nothing but if you don’t like the message, kill the messager; calling him names like American Radical leftist, and such.

    I doubt the Tibetans in Exile will stop what they are doing unless US stop funding and just forgets them.

  135. shane9219 Says:

    @S.K. Cheung #130

    ” oh really? Why is that?”

    A nation’s sovergnty and territorial integrity has no meaning to anyone who has no binding or affinity of any kind to that nation. I don’t know where you live, but try to image in a place where you could unilaterally declare publicly yourself a citizen of your own state, you are independent to any rule of laws, taxation etc … then what kind of reaction you would get from your environment?

    @Otto Kerner #131

    Living or frequent traveling to China do make a major difference on people’s view on China, that is my personal observation. I would contribute that into 2 factors, 1) the social-economical changing undergoing in China during recent years are tremendous, you don’t have a clue without seeing and sensing those changes by yourself. This is even true to my friends from mainland, they are sometimes shocked to see the pace of changes after living abroad for several years; and 2) the deep divide on culture and social tradtion that makes it hard for people with western mindset to understand and appreciate China.

  136. Otto Kerner Says:

    @Shane #126,

    “I am in no way of condone any brutality. And if it did occur, it will be addressed sooner or later. ”

    What does this mean? You’re saying that if security forces in Tibet used any brutality against Tibetans or other people, that it is going to be addressed? Addressed how? Security officers will be brought to trial? The government will send a formal letter of apology to the victims?

  137. Lime Says:

    @Allen, #133

    You said:
    “In the end – the proof is in the pudding. Are people’s lives being improved? The rest – as you and Steve and many others here have mentioned – is just fluff.”

    So, does this statement of yours have any relevance to your ROC-PRC unity position, or is that a separate issue?

  138. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Allen #133:
    “Well … if we want call sovereignty, national identity, etc. as mere man-made constructs and hence not really real” – wait a sec. I didn’t say they weren’t real; I just said they weren’t sacred, in the eternally unassailable sense. So yes, sovereignty, national identity, Tibetan ethnicity, yada yada, are all very real. But there’s nothing preventing them from evolving, to the extent that those who subscribe to each of those traits will allow.

    “Sure some political constructs are shared by a billion people” – I’d rather say some political constructs are imposed on a billion people, who are offered no alternative.

    And so Tibet remains a part of CHina because it serves China’s political (and whatever other type of) interest, as JXie said. Any other justification is fluff. And so too that the current basis for her mandate is hardly eternally unassailable.

    To Pugster #134:
    if we don’t agree with your “facts”, and you don’t agree with ours, it makes a supposed “factual” discussion fairly unattainable. It’d be nice if everyone so stipulated, and recognized this is merely an exchange of opinions.

    To Shane #135:
    it seems you are no longer talking about sovereignty being sacrosanct or inheritable…which is a good thing.

    My guess is that China’s sovereignty over Tibet has very real meaning for Tibetans. But how does that sovereignty apply IF Tibetans no longer want it?

    THe logistics of separation are presumably complex, and Allen and I have gone over it many a time. Which is why it shouldn’t be sought lightly. Which is also why Tibetans may not even want it. But that’s not the same as not asking them the question, or not allowing them to answer.

  139. shane9219 Says:

    @Khechog #132

    Well, the troubled history of Tibet with relation to China really started from 13th DL, a lot of Chinese understood that, and what’s more, the well-known story of Tang’s Princess Wencheng who was married to the founding king of Tibet, Songzan Ganbu or Songtsen Gampo, and made signifciant contribution to Tibet’s development. Please do give some fair thoughts about how people in China see Tibet’s history.

    14th DL accepted the 17-Article Agreement in 1951 which acknowledged China’s soveignty over Tibet.

    In 1956, the DL and 10th Panchen Lama received an invitation to attend 2,500th anniversary of the nirvana of Sakyamuni, founder of Buddhism. The Central Government decided to let the 14th Dalai Lama make his own decision as to whether he should go or not. They both went, but only the 10th Penchen Lama returned later.

    While in India, 14th Dalai Lama’s position on Tibet wavered, thanks to influence from Tibet-in-exiles as well as India and West (mainly the US). Premier Zhou Enlai went to India in three separate trips to pursude him. 14th DL still did not return immediately.

    Although he returned relunctantly later by himself, the fate of 14th DL’s exile has emerged during that trip to India …

  140. shane9219 Says:

    @S.K. Cheung

    “it seems you are no longer talking about sovereignty being sacrosanct or inheritable…which is a good thing”

    No, I never said that. I just asked you to try for yourself on an utopian idea. I just don’t want to get into a lengthy topic on sovereignty and self-determination stuff

  141. shane9219 Says:

    @Otto Kerner #136

    We have to find out what really happened first before going any further ..

  142. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Shane:
    “I just don’t want to get into a lengthy topic on sovereignty and self-determination stuff” – suit yourself. I’ve been there and done that.

    Nothing utopian about it. These are man-made constructs of which we speak. Nothing sacred about it. And you know what people say about what rules are made for.

    And if challenging man-made constructs is what utopia is made for, I wonder how you classify China (where challenging CCP-made constructs is…how you say…discouraged).

  143. Otto Kerner Says:

    @Shane #141,

    “We have to find out what really happened first before going any further ..”

    What you said was, “if it did occur, it will be addressed sooner or later. ” I can’t tell if you are now changing your mind. You said if it happened, it would be addressed, so I am asking you: really?

  144. raffiaflower Says:

    Khecog, Tibetan Buddhism has a following among overseas Chinese. If there’s serial evidence of human rights abuses and religious suppression (above china’s existing record), sympathy will be for the Tibetans.
    But for myself, i have not seen it. All I see is Dalai Lama’s flip flops – he addresses Chinese brothers and sisters, but now he is contemplating Indian citizenship – the unsubstantiated claims, staged protests, videos, etc.
    Some of my frens certainly believe all that. The Chinese shopowner from whom I bought dzi beads (tho i am not of tibetan fllwg) gave a sales pitch about Tibetan poverty under govt oppression.
    Compassion for all sentient beings, no race or species, is a core belief of all Buddhism, right? ( i cut that man short.)
    What do Tibetans want, at least those who are part of China? (I emphasize this point, just as you make the point about 0.25 per cent of the country should belong to Greater Tibet).
    More development opportunities are partly the answer, but they also want better governance. If you are 30 and below, you aren’t like 60somethings happy not to be treated like cattle anymore, like they were before 1959.
    You feel marginalised and angry bcos you perceive the corruption between the mixed elite getting the best for themselves.
    You are hostile bcos you feel 2nd class where you live, while the other side, out of historic stereotype and recent prejudice, thinks you have a “subsidy mentality”.
    Affirmative action policies are good on the drawing board, but flawed in execution; they breed corruption and self-entitlement in a small group, resentment in both majorities.
    Multi-ethnic societies can be like chalk and cheese, but the differences can be worked out if politicians don’t exploit the situation.
    In Tibet’s case, the exiles and foreign supporters are hyping a “siege mentality’’ about religious oppression, cultural desecration, economic domination etc, to rile up those who haven’t benefited from the economic reforms. I live in a country where politicians do that.
    But time is on china’s side, to work things through. What about dalai lama have?
    A little dignity is all that Chinese in that country want, including Tibetans. Your advocacy of independence? Not likely to have major support; countries in Asia or elsewhere that have gone through colonisation will, at least, remain neutral on the issue, imo.
    Admittedly, dalai lama and tgie had a headstart pressing their “cultural genocide’’ case in the West. But that will change in the coming years as more companies and people go abroad and a different image of China appears.
    Tibet will continue to develop and prosper. The independence movement will do the same?

  145. JXie Says:

    Kheckog,

    Sun Yatsen came up with this five nationalities of PRC (Han, Hui, Manchu, Mongol, Tibetans) Huis are practically Han that are muslims. Manchus are 100% assimilated. Mongols are also non-issue as 80% of inner-Mongolia is Han Chinese and the remaining are almost assimilated. So Tibetans are the last hope to be non-sincised and only one from the original five that are fighting to save their identity.

    You speak as if sinicization is such a bad thing. Aren’t we all being anglicized given that we are in an English forum? Huis mostly were Persians and Arabs who migrated to China centuries ago. They married local Hans, and took up Han names. However, many of them have maintained their own religion and customs such as dietary preference, clothings, wedding and burial rituals, etc. The process of infusion by any large was peaceful and a 2-way street, unlike the “infusion” process of European settlement in the Continental America. In a long lasting civilization, people tend to believe live and let live, since they have seen ups and downs in their own history and are less likely to be drunk on their own invincibility and superiority.

    After the American-Spanish War, there were many Mexicans who were left at the north side of the border. As time goes by, most have taken up English and become bilingual, but some still speak Spanish exclusively. Either way, those northern Mexicans today tend to be better educated, earn far more and are desirable mates in cross-border marriages.

    As of today, TAR’s per capita GDP is at near 14000 yuans, i.e. US$2000+. Sure TAR is poorer than say Shenzhen, which is at shouting distance away from South Korea and Taiwan, but TAR is about twice as rich as the richest state in India. If you look at the actions of the TGIE, and the Tibetans around it, the strategy seems to be waiting for the outright collapse of the Chinese center. This is getting less and less likely. If the history is any indication, China is in a secular upswing of its typical dynastic cycles that will peak at a time of peerless peace and prosperity. The legendary investor Jim Rogers said the best investment idea he recommended to others is learning Chinese, and he is willfully sinicizing his daughters — they are both learning Chinese (and English) at the same time as they learn to speak.

    Here is a travel idea: go to the east side of China and see. Look at the infrastructure: roads, airports and seaports. Look at the scientists and engineers coming out of the Chinese educational pipeline. Look at the Chinese enterprises… Choices are being made in Dharamsala, I just hope that they’re informed ones.

  146. Allen Says:

    @SKC #142,

    You wrote:

    These are man-made constructs of which we speak. Nothing sacred about it. And you know what people say about what rules are made for.

    No … the concept of sacredness is a man-made construct. If you want to attack ideals that Chinese nationalist hold as sacred merely as man-made construct – I can attack any thoughts anyone ever has – including all the ideals held by any man anywhere at anytime – as man-made construct – and hence allegedly arbitrary and not really important…

  147. Otto Kerner Says:

    Allen,

    So you are basically admitting that this is a religious issue for you? Can you see how that would be alarming to your neighbors?

  148. Hemulen Says:

    @JXie

    The process of infusion by any large was peaceful and a 2-way street, unlike the “infusion” process of European settlement in the Continental America. In a long lasting civilization, people tend to believe live and let live, since they have seen ups and downs in their own history and are less likely to be drunk on their own invincibility and superiority.

    I have said it before and I’m saying it again: historically, Han expansion has been no less and no more peaceful that European expansion.

  149. Khechog Says:

    Not sure the gist of some of these postings to me … so have time to respond to one. Again as I have said, it would help if Chinese side would study, research the points of the Tibetans and outsiders views on the Tibetan situation instead of this narrow, well-crafted version of CCP on the Tibetan issue and Sun Yatsten’s history of Tibet. Otherwise, it’s going to be we are from different planets.

    If this forum is for better understanding of the issue instead of expounding the propaganda from established interest groups, then the first step is that we have to be open minded to see the other side. That’s from both sides. Again in any mediated solution to a problem one tries to end up with a win-win solution. I am not sure if CCP believes in win-win when there are not willing to give in anything and expect the other side to capitulate. Tibetans and outsiders believe that DL is one figure who sees from this POV but he can’t give in all and that’s what PRC leaders expect. So we will see how it turns out …

    #145 JXie :

    Thanks for your candor, although I don’t agree with most of your points. However let me respond to your point about sinicization. If you mean what’s wrong with the policy of assimilation for China to be one homogenized melting pot, which is exactly what I believe is the intend of the current policy of PRC-CCP policy. I am sure that’s how many Chinese and the PRC would like to solve the Tibet problem but again the reality is that things don’t always turn out the you wish for. Tibetans have demonstrated in the last 50 years of CCP occupation of Tibet, where CCP tried everything to achieve this objective and Tibetans in Tibet have demonstrated that they will not give in and don’t expect this will change and it doesn’t matter whether outsiders support or not. Tibetans feel they have the truth and on the right path so they will keep on with steadfast non-violence methods and will take the higher moral ground and show the world how to fight for something non-violently.

    Tibetan exiles are Tibetans who have escaped from Tibet in the last 50 years, which they are still continuing to flee. I have not met one Tibetan after they have left Tibet believing in this Chinese version of Tibet. To that matter, I also haven’t met any Tibetan in Tibet who also believe in this CCP views. You can live on this dream that Tibetans in Tibet are different than exile Tibetans and therefore not understand the true feelings of the Tibetans in Tibet. If you don’t understand their feelings, then how can you solve the problem. So Tibetan exiles have much stronger connections to Tibet than Chinese from Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia to China (as we see in this blog as well), who tend to be quite nationalistic even though they have not experienced life in China and especially under the brutal CCP’s rule in the last 60 years.

    Below is quote from a senior statement of Singapore which is not different from how you see it. If the PRC leadership and policy is just as succinct as you and Lee Kuan Yew stated, then we know where we stand instead of so much misinformation and propaganda.

    Yes that’s the battle line of Tibetans fighting to keep their unique identity, their culture in their own indigenous land against this unrelenting onslaught. This doesn’t mean Tibetans don’t want progress, modernization and even learn Chinese and English languages. I teach my kids Chinese and Tibetan but the most important trait that I want them to have is this Tibetan identity, so that they grow up to be successful and well-grounded. Sure teaching them Chinese, English, other languages is for them to be successful in this world but teaching them Tibetan is so that they are Tibetan by heart.

    Here is the senior statesman:

    “They need time to bring up a new generation [of Tibetans]: speaking Chinese, thinking like them and integrating … into China.” Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s elder statesman.

    Only if PRC would admit as clear and direct as Singapore’s elder statesman and Minister mentor Lee Kuan Yew on PRC’s Tibet policy in succinct and unambiguous terms, we would have much less problems dealing with the Tibet issue.

    To further corroborate this statement, any expression of Tibetan identity in Tibet is considered a threat and looked upon with great suspicion by the PRC.

    As some of you may know, the elder statesmen and founder of Singapore has huge influence on the PRC leadership from the Deng Xiaoping to Jiang Zemin. In fact at one time there was discussion that PRC is studying one of the models for future China to follow the Singapore (i.e. developed but one party dictatorship). So this statement coming from him is significant.

    Khechog

  150. JXie Says:

    Hemulen,

    I have said it before and I’m saying it again: historically, Han expansion has been no less and no more peaceful that European expansion.

    First, it’s a whole process of Sinicization (not just Han expansion), which roughly half of the time actually involved in a reserve process of outside tribes entering in the China Proper, taking up the Han culture, and enriching it during the process.

    Second, I probably missed quite some posts of yours. Care to elaborate your point? Bear in mind, the burden of the proof to you is A LOT more than pointing out that the Sinicization process was not totally peaceful, but rather intelligently categorizing it as violent as practically wiping out almost all tribes in a whole continent. FWIW, I am all ears and eagerly waiting for your answer. I would love to be wrong and learn something new.

  151. shane9219 Says:

    @Khechog #149

    I read an article on Lee Kuan Yew’s forum speech. His view should be considered his personal opinion. By looking deep into what he said, his remarks imply that those people living inside Tibet region are better integrated and connected with the rest of China.

    The reality is such it will be a huge challenge on many aspects to re-integrate a large community of people, like tibetan-in-exile community. After all, they have been away from a society for a long period of time. Taking the example of Tibetan currently living in Taiwan, I was told once by a friend from Taiwan that they are largely living at the edge of Taiwan society and have a hard time to communicate with people in their surrounding environment.

    Once you got a large number of people living on the edge of a society, it could create a situation that is both unstable and dangereous. People could easily feel discontent for being marginalized, for having less or no job, for having low income or for getting less public services from society. When that happens, it creates a perfect environment for social unrest … Knowing these potential uncomfortable scenarios, we should, however, not be discouraged by them. It just means lots of hard work ahead.

    First things first, there needs a trust building process for both sides. I would agree with Mr. Deng said years ago, “There is only one pre-condition for 14th Dalai Lama to return to Tibet — it is for him to be patriotic again, and it is never too late to be partriotic.”

  152. Otto Kerner Says:

    I am reminded of the stories I’ve heard from American friends of mine whose parents or grandparents are immigrants, how their parents or grandparents would often remind them as children, “Don’t be too much like the Americans; never forget that you are Chinese” or “never forget that you are Greek”, etc. And these are people who willingly moved to a foreign country, instead of having that country move to them, but they still had the desire to maintain their descendants’ separate identity.

  153. Allen Says:

    @Otto Kerner #147,

    You write:

    So you are basically admitting that this is a religious issue for you? Can you see how that would be alarming to your neighbors?

    Every belief – when viewed at its most essence – will seem like a religion to people who do not hold the belief.

    The thread of discussion with which I am having with Lime is at the philosophical level. At that level – we are almost at the Descartes where I have but my thoughts to back myself up. So yes – at the individual thought level, my belief (and yours or anyone elses) are no more different than the beliefs religious people may hold.

    This admission is out of philosophical humility. The fact that Lime and I have to talk at this level shows how little in common we have.

  154. JXie Says:

    Khechog,

    One gratuitous advice, this is an Internet forum. Speak for youself, and yourself only and pay attention to what others actually said. There are a lot of nuances between different forum members. Stop this madness of dividing all viewpoints to “the points of the Tibetans and outsiders views”, and the “narrow, well-crafted version of CCP.”

    Zhu Rongji and Jiang Zemin have retired for a few years already, now they are Wen and Hu, and they seem to be quite a bit different from Zhu and Jiang. Huis are not Hans with Islamic belief — believing that will piss off many Huis.

    I teach my kids Chinese and Tibetan but the most important trait that I want them to have is this Tibetan identity.

    FWIW, I respect your choice, which is your right. We all make choices and bear the consequences of those choices — that in a nutshell makes what’s called life.

  155. shane9219 Says:

    @Otto Kerner

    Tibetan in Tibet are not in minority, their identity is vivid. So I would think Tibetan-in-exile will not feel isolated there. The challenge is how they can integrate themselves into a unfamilar society, and that some of them had developed a hostility with.

  156. pug_ster Says:

    @152 Otto Kerner

    I just find it funny of how immigrants are assimilated as Americans referred as melting pot as a positive term, while how Tibetans are assimilated into Chinese society as cultural genocide. When Blacks in the US fought so hard against segregation, TIE’s wants forced segregation against their Chinese counterparts.

  157. Hemulen Says:

    @JXie

    Sure, I can elaborate. First of all, the whole narrative of peaceful Sinicization, whereby “barbarians” voluntarily submit to Chinese culture is an act of imperial propaganda, that has taken different shape in different periods of Chinese history. In the early republican period, when Han Chinese chauvinism peaked, a number of authors popularized this propaganda and made it part of modern Chinese nationalism. The narrative almost completely relies on selective use of Chinese language textual evidence, and says little or nothing of how barbarians actually perceived this process of Sinicization. For instance, what imperial records portray as “pacification of rebellious tribes” can be read as acts of invasion and aggression from the other side of the fence. Ask a Vietnamese or a Burmese about their version of history and you will have enough material to start thinking about these things. (Not that a nationalist Vietnamese history is inherently “better” than a Chinese one.)

    In recent years, an increasing number of historians, who have culled both Chinese language and non-Chinese language sources have cast doubt on the narrative of peaceful expansion. The histories of what are today Guizhou, Yunnan and Guangxi are important cases in point, where Han Chinese settlers seized land from indigenous tribes, often using violent means. In Amid the Clouds and Mist: China’s Colonization of Guizhou, 1200-1700, John E. Herman has shown that Ming expansion onto Guizhou was far from peaceful and that the “minorities” in these areas were never regarded as fully Chinese after the incorporation. In a similar vein, David G. Atwill has shown in his book the <i<Chinese sultanate than Han Chinese expansion into Yunnan province in the Qing even had genocidal aspects.

    If we move into the PRC era, a number of campaigns such as land reform, the anti-rightist campaign (1957-58) and the campaign to cleanse the class ranks (1968-1973) targeted minorities disproportionately. In Sichuan, land reform led to large scale looting of monasteries and a number of artefacts ended up in galleries in Hong Kong. The anti-rightist campaign had a strong slant against “local nationalism”, which wiped out entire generations of would-be minority cadres. The campaign to cleanse class-ranks led to de facto pogroms of ethnic Mongols in Inner Mongolia. We are often told that June 4 was the first time the PLA used guns against its own people. That is not the experience in many “minority areas”. Tibetans and Hui have born the brunt of very cruel attacks from the PLA. On the balance sheet, events such as these led to the expansion of Han Chinese administration into areas that had never been firmly controlled by Chinese officials.

    My point here is not to portray Chinese expansion as more brutal than other expansionisms, neither do I wish to whitewash acts of violence against Han Chinese at the hands of Mongols or Manchus, for instance. I do regard myself as a friend of China and in other forum, I resist any attempt to portray China as the source of all evil. But the Chinese people need to come to terms with cruel aspects of their own history that they are not been taught about in school. Only then can there be any hope of resolving intractable problems such as Tibet or Xinjiang. Some Han Chinese may not feel that there is any need to talk about past atrocities, but many of these episodes are part and parcel of living memory among many ethnic minorities and many Han Chinese as well.

    I hope that my remarks here have clarified some of my points.

  158. shane9219 Says:

    @Hemulen #148

    “I have said it before and I’m saying it again: historically, Han expansion has been no less and no more peaceful that European expansion”

    You are entitled to have your own POV. However, the above statement is incorrect if you have a good understanding of both Chinese history and European history. China’s dynasties demonstrated vast difference on characteristics and had different views on expansion. The main objective by ancient Chinese dynasties was to defend and achieve interior peace and stability. It was for that goal that ancient emperors spent vast amount from nation’s wealth to construct the Great Wall.

    The construction of Great Wall started in Qin Dynasty, lasted till Ming and Qing. Great Wall had been a strategic defense facility. When a dynasty was strong, it may push out a bit like what early Han dynasty and early Qing Dynasty did.

    China’s emperors also did not show too much interests towards Vietnam and Korea.

  159. Hemulen Says:

    @pug_ster

    I just find it funny of how immigrants are assimilated as Americans referred as melting pot as a positive term, while how Tibetans are assimilated into Chinese society as cultural genocide. When Blacks in the US fought so hard against segregation, TIE’s wants forced segregation against their Chinese counterparts.

    Do I have to address this point? Well, here is an attempt. You are mixing up to entirely different categories here. As a rule, voluntary immigrants in a new society fight very hard to fit into their new environment. Similarly, African Americans fight to become part of a society where they were born. In contrast, Tibetans are being treated as foreigners in their own country by immigrants that control all aspects of society and have no intention to fit in or learn the language. Many Germans have assimilated into US society and forgotten the language. But there is still a Germany back in Europe. If Tibetans are assimilated into the waves of Han Chinese immigration, there no Tibet anymore. That’s a loss both to the Tibetans and to the rest of us.

  160. Allen Says:

    @Shane9219 #158,

    Don’t bother too much about Hemulen when Hemulen discusses Chinese history. This is a person who once cited the chaos of the Revolution to overthrow the Qing as evidence that China does not have a tolerant, multi-cultural history!

    Going by Hemulen’s standards, we might as argue French are a nation of beheaders since they used the guillotine during the French revolution!

    We can argue all we want about history if we want … but to argue history at such superficial levels is really not worthwhile …. unless of course, you just want to have fun for the sake of bickering… ;-)

  161. Hemulen Says:

    @Allen Yu

    Thanks for giving me an opportunity to bring this up again. This is what I quoted, in response to your point that genocide has never happened in Chinese history, a summary of the fate that befell Manchus in the cities of Xi’an, Taiyuan, Zhenjiang, Nanjing and Wuchang during the 1911 revolution:

    “Whatever the provocation, if any, the Manchus in those five places were slaughtered, driven to commit suicide, or expelled and their residential quarters looted and destroyed. The slaughter was indiscriminate and was directed at not only the soldiers but also their dependents, including women and chlidren. They were essentially victims of genocide. It is thus clear that for many revolutionaries, the anti-Manchu elemtn of their ideology was no mere rhetorical flourish.”

    Edward Rhoads, Manchu & Han, p. 204.

    If you care to read the book, you will realize that this was not mere chaos, but an attempt to kill Manchus because they were Manchus – not because they supported the Qing. As for the trope of “chaos”, that is the standard smoke screen of any act of genocide, be it the Balkans, Armenia or the Eastern Front in WWII. You don’t want to go there, Allen.

  162. JXie Says:

    I hope that my remarks here have clarified some of my points.

    Actually, no, far from it. Remember your point was that “Han expansion [or rather sinicization] has been no less and no more peaceful that European expansion.” You certainly debunked the myth of peaceful sinicization, which nowadays very few Chinese historian subscribe to. At a scale of 1 to 10, you seem to put everything in the middle as 5, so long as one is not at 1 or 10.

    Let me give you an example. Han Wudi was credited as the one who defeated Xiongnu (Huns) and secured the northeastern part of the Chinese defense in Han. There were many Huns defected and surrendered to Han, one of which was a Hun prince named 金日蝉. Get this, he rose all the way to the top. When Han Wudi died, he named this former Hun prince and another as the co-chancellors to his son (the next emperor). Han Dynasty, mind you, was the first long-lasting and truly unified Chinese dynasty that all subsequent dynasties were compared to.

    Another example, in Tang, there were many minority premiers, which in an empire was the highest one could go.

    A tendency of many Western historians studying Chinese history is viewing a foreign culture strictly through their own lens (which is probably more a human tendency). To me they are not unlike some Chinese historians seeking an answer in the history to a what-if question: what if China never got in touch with the West, would China have developed modern science on its own? They go back and search evidents in Tang/Song/Ming and want to prove their preconceived notion that the answer is yes — yes there were pockets of excellencies in predicting earthquakes, astronomy, etc. To me, no, China wouldn’t have developed modern science on its own; and the answer to a parallel what-if question would be, if Chinese had first discovered and settled in the New Continent, there would’ve been a lot of native Americans left — all assuming the Chinese culture has stayed in the same course.

    My personal view is that there are some essential differences between cultures. To deny the differences between us, if to deny the great benefit of this East-meet-West infusion.

  163. Allen Says:

    @Hemulen #161,

    Thanks for again accusing China of committing genocide against the Manchus again. ;-)

    I am sure your likes’ accusation of genocide against Tibetans stand on equally firm footing.

    What other genocides will you unearth?

  164. Otto Kerner Says:

    @Allen,

    In view of the various historical errors which have crept into your writings on this blog, why don’t you refrain from criticising others’ historical acumen and be more polite to the other commenters? Adding smiley faces doesn’t make you sound any less nasty.

  165. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Allen #146:
    “I can attack any thoughts anyone ever has – including all the ideals held by any man anywhere at anytime – as man-made construct” – by all means, be my guest. But hopefully those attacks will be logical and reasonable.

    “…and hence allegedly arbitrary…” – they’re not “allegedly” arbitrary; they’re completely arbitrary.

    “…and not really important…” – well, those constructs may or may not be important. Depends on your perspective, or where you sit on an issue. My point is not that any such construct is “fake” and “unimportant”; my point is that they are arbitrary, and need not necessarily be cast in stone and held in perpetuity. One’s manifestation of nationalism, or China’s regard for Tibet, would be two constructs of such variety.

    So going back to what JXie said, China wants to keep Tibet because it serves her interest to do so (whatever those interests might be). Doesn’t make it “right”; doesn’t make it “just”. But going around and around about various versions of history, or inheritance of sovereignty, or like-minded fluff, serves no other purpose than to make folks like you feel better. That may also be important, depending on your perspective.

  166. pug_ster Says:

    @159 Hemulen

    How are Tibetans are ‘treated’ as foreigners in their country? Perhaps they think it is their right to overthrow the government when it is illegal. Perhaps they think that it is their right to kick out Hans out of Tibet when it is illegal. Perhaps when think it is their right to preach a splittist like Dalai Lama but it is illegal. Unfortunately, laws is laws that some Tibetans disagree that they don’t like. Laws are laws. In the US there are many laws that many people don’t agree either. They protest, they complain. Unfortunately that’s life.

  167. Nimrod Says:

    Khechog,

    (1) I am not so sure the claim that Tibetan identity itself is being suppressed in China can be substantiated. It’s true that the economic reality makes Chinese culture and language the dominant lingua franca of living in China (and increasingly in surrounding regions), but under these circumstances, there is substantial support for the Tibetan identity. To begin with, Tibetan is categorized as an ethnic minority — it’s on your ID card… talk about being reminded daily of your identity. Contrast this with Japan which steadfastly refuses to recognize there is any ethnicity in Japan other than Japanese. Then there is Tibetan language media, Tibetan schools, Tibetan literature collections, required signage in Tibetan, and Tibetan state workers in TAR, etc. If anything, the Chinese government has done more to promote a unified Tibetan identity in all ethnic Tibetan regions (even though they speak mutually unintelligible dialects) by even lumping in many groups of people. Again, contrast this to the former USSR, whose divide-and-conquer method carved up Central Asia into a half dozen Turkic republics even though they are really the same people.

    While I don’t think Tibetans can be categorized as one type, who all see history and Tibet’s position in China in the way you describe, at least for those who do see it your way, the issue seems to be not Tibetan identity. It’s whether the they truly accept living within a multi-ethnic state with Han Chinese. Han can do a lot more to uphold the true meaning of such a state, being the super-majority, but minorities including Tibetans need to believe in it, too. If they believed in such a system, they would not waste their energy with the siege or antagonistic mentality, and instead spend energy to stake out their space in the identities of Chinese citizens. They will train their own teachers, start their own businesses, write their own literature, modernize their own culture, and indeed spread it to the rest of China and the world. If there is the will, this can happen without any government subsidy. You can’t change the dominance of Han Chinese culture — even the world must deal with it, even an putative independent Tibet must deal with it, so yes, the reality is it is quite difficult for minorities, but I don’t agree it is impossible for minorities to retain their identity in China. The blame doesn’t always lie with other people or circumstances.

    (2) On the issue of DL’s proposal of getting back to the 17-Point Agreement, I have two issues with it, so please address this. One, DL repudiated it in 1959, and conducted an armed insurrection with the CIA against China. Even after that failed has he has wanted independence for decades afterwards. Maybe he has seen the light about the 17-Point Agreement after all, but you know in Chess, this is called a “do-over” or “take-back”, which is means the side asking doesn’t have a strong position. At least you can understand why DL’s claim that the 17-Point is “all he’s asking” as if he only ever wanted that, is not very compelling. This is doubly complicated by the fact that the TAR was set up after he left in 1965 and is an existing structure that cannot just be dismantled willy nilly. These are practical issues, not just an inflexible negotiation posture by China.

    Nevertheless, for the sake of argument, let’s wipe the slate clean and forget that he did repudiate the 17-Point Agreement before asking for it again. Now does he actually ask for the 17-Point Agreement? He does not. Remember the 17-Point Agreement only covered the areas under DL’s administration at the time of its signing, which is the current TAR. He is asking for more than that, including an unverified post-agreement verbal quip by Mao or Zhou that it wouldn’t be a bad idea to combine the ethnic Tibetan areas. Actually I agree it wouldn’t be a bad idea — provided it’s in a framework of a fully multi-ethnic state, not some patchwork of segregated fiefdoms where ethnicities live in their own gated autonomous republics. Still, it’s disingenuous to claim he wants the 17-Point Agreement when he wants a lot more.

    The last issue is his sincerity. Suppose for the sake of argument that DL does not advocate independence, and there is no scheme for hidden independence or independence by steps — a big assumption, then the issue is his view of the current situation. It’s clear that he does not believe Tibet is a part of the PRC currently. He has made it very clear. He says he is negotiating for Tibet in PRC, but he denies not only that Tibet has ever been a part of China, but that Tibet is even legally in the PRC right this moment. That is why China repeatedly wants him to enunciate clearly that Tibet is a part of China (as in, right now). He has never been willing to say that, even saying once that it is not true, so how can China be satisfied? At best he is entangling legal and moral right to rule and believes it is his authority to confer this entangled moral/legal right onto China — a rather presumptuous position! Morally: maybe it can be argued, even if it seems a bit dictatorial; legally: absolutely not! At worst, he is just playing word games to be able to repudiate any agreement he might make — as long as at some point he feels dissatisfied, he can just claim things go back to status quo before agreement which according to him is “Tibet is not part of China”. Again, these are serious concerns that China has about where he stands, not some personal grudge against DL.

  168. Hemulen Says:

    @JXie

    Really, I don’t see where you are going with your points about “minority” generals or ministers going all the way to the top during the Han and the Tang dynasty. If you go as far back as the 8th century or beyond, you’d be hard-pressed to find ethnic prejudice anywhere in the world in the sense we give the word today. That’s a point beyond which few comparisons really make any sense, for dearth of historical record and meaningful contexts. I mean, you gave a few examples of Huns becoming generals in the Han empire. You could make laundry lists of kings, emperors, ministers and generals in Europe that served in countries other than the one of their birth.

    The context of my comments was Han expansion not being more or less peaceful than European expansion, which is something that really starts in the 16th century. That is a century where we have enough surviving records both in China and in Europe about the methods of expansion and so on. And many of those records indicate that powerful, violent, processes of expansion and assimilation were at work.

  169. Hemulen Says:

    @pug_ster

    Might is right.

  170. Hemulen Says:

    @Nimrod

    Han can do a lot more to uphold the true meaning of such a state, being the super-majority, but minorities including Tibetans need to believe in it, too. If they believed in such a system, they would not waste their energy with the siege or antagonistic mentality, and instead spend energy to stake out their space in the identities of Chinese citizens. They will train their own teachers, start their own businesses, write their own literature, modernize their own culture, and indeed spread it to the rest of China and the world.

    You know that I know that you know that not even the CCP would allow that. The PRC has very nice laws on the books that give Tibetans every right they would like – forget about DL. The problem is that none of those laws are justiciable. You try to make an argument even on the basis of official laws in favor of Tibetan laws, you will land yourself a handsome prison sentence for “splittism”.

  171. Allen Says:

    @Otto Kerner #164,

    You wrote:

    In view of the various historical errors which have crept into your writings on this blog, why don’t you refrain from criticising others’ historical acumen and be more polite to the other commenters? Adding smiley faces doesn’t make you sound any less nasty

    Perhaps you can help to address the “various historical errors”… If you have no time to dig back, no problem. I welcome you to point things out in the future. Many times, people have misinterpreted what I wrote – or picked on minor details that have little to do with my overall argument … but I still always welcome people pointing out my genuine mistakes.

    As for the nasty part – I apologize. I will end this current thread of not really meaningful exchanges with Hemulen for now. But I still stand by my comment that taking history out of context and merely dressing up arguments in historical fact does not in general move the discussion forward – in my humble opinion.

  172. Hemulen Says:

    @Allen

    Perhaps you can help to address the “various historical errors”… If you have no time to dig back, no problem. I welcome you to point things out in the future.

    Well, I have addressed several historical errors of yours and you still have not responded in any substantive sense.

  173. JXie Says:

    The context of my comments was Han expansion not being more or less peaceful than European expansion, which is something that really starts in the 16th century. That is a century where we have enough surviving records both in China and in Europe about the methods of expansion and so on. And many of those records indicate that powerful, violent, processes of expansion and assimilation were at work.

    First if you must stick with “Han expansion”, since the 16th century, any sort of Han-driven expansion was only really limited to in the 20th century, no matter how you argue it.

    You do realize the irony in this, don’t you? What surviving records? I grant you that the records by the likes of Xiongnu, Xianbei, Qidan, etc. 500+ to 2000 years ago are practically non-existent now. Since the 1500s, in the case of China, at least you mostly still have the records of the “other sides”, so to speak. How are the records of “other sides” in the expansion of European settlement in the Continental America?

  174. Nimrod Says:

    Hemulen wrote:

    “You know that I know that you know that not even the CCP would allow that. The PRC has very nice laws on the books that give Tibetans every right they would like – forget about DL. The problem is that none of those laws are justiciable. You try to make an argument even on the basis of official laws in favor of Tibetan laws, you will land yourself a handsome prison sentence for ‘splittism’.”
    +++++
    Hold on a second, you are talking about bringing lawsuits? Are we even talking about the same thing? Or are you seriously saying Tibetans cannot train to be teachers who teach in Tibet (in Tibetan or otherwise), start their own businesses, write their own literature, modernize their own culture, and spread it to the rest of China and the world? Because many already do that.

  175. Allen Says:

    @Hemulen #172,

    Not sure you are talking about … we’ve had extended discussions on our differences – and if you still feel I have “have not responded in any substantive sense” – all I can say perhaps it’s best for us to leave it. I can say the same about so many problems with what you have written also, but I won’t persist.

    Even the devil can quote the scriptures, as they say. I’m sure that’s something both of us can appreciate.

    But going over things ad nausea over and over again … when we are obviously not getting through … is not necessarily what is best for this forum.

  176. pug_ster Says:

    @169 Hemulen,

    While might is right, the majority is right also. Unfortunately, Han majority does have more say than Tibetan minority. Tibetans make unrealistic demands from the Chinese government, although the Dalai Lama thinks it is reasonable. The TIE’s can work with the Chinese government and maybe they can work out a compromise, or fight against the Chinese government and get nothing.

  177. pug_ster Says:

    The problem with TGIE is that it thinks the Chinese government is the enemy. As long as there is mistrust toward the Chinese government, the Chinese government won’t budge. The Dalai Lama can go to all the western countries and court all the politicans he wants, but he is hardly in the position to make any realistic demands from the Chinese government.

  178. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Nimrod #167:
    “Han can do a lot more to uphold the true meaning of such a state, being the super-majority, but minorities including Tibetans need to believe in it, too.” – I think Tibetans have to want to believe in it, before they need to. Or maybe the “want” and the “need” could be simultaneous.

    To Pugster #176:
    “While might is right, the majority is right also” – the reference to a majority is ironic in regards to a society with no official way of ascertaining it, or a penchant for honoring its wishes.

  179. may Says:

    Hemulen # 157,
    Thanks, this is an excellent post. I noticed the Guizhou example covered a large span of history – entire Yuan Dynasty, Ming Dynasty, and the beginning of Qing Dynasty. And the Yunnan Hui Rebellion (Atwill) was late Qing. It seems when you say Chinese expansion you mean China ruled by Mongols, Han Chinese, or the Manchus. Just curious – have you compared dynasties ruled by Han Chinese with those ruled by non-Hans? Which ones were more expansionist?

    [just add an example during the PRC, in the so-called Three Years of Natural Disaster (1959-61), although in general the ethnic autonomous regions were not the worse hit provinces, some ethnic groups did suffer. The situation was so bad that they were forced into exile in the neighboring countries. They did not have the good fortune of having an exile leader like DL, so they did not get much international attention.]

  180. raffiaflower Says:

    Khecog, the same old chestnut: any Chinese that disagrees with Tibetan independence is a nationalist, and any others that agree are objective. Michael Parenti is a charlatan, but here’s an excerpt from an editorial by Patrick French, formerly Free Tibet director:

    “The European and American pro-Tibet organizations are the tail that wags the dog of the Tibetan government-in-exile.

    These groups hate criticism almost as much as the Chinese government does. Some use questionable information. For example, the Free Tibet Campaign in London (of which I am a former director) and other groups have long claimed that 1.2 million Tibetans have been killed by the Chinese since they invaded in 1950. However, after scouring the archives in Dharamsala while researching my book on Tibet, I found that there was no evidence to support that figure. The question that Nancy Pelosi and celebrity advocates like Richard Gere ought to answer is this: Have the actions of the Western pro-Tibet lobby over the last 20 years brought a single benefit to the Tibetans who live inside ?”
    Your take on Patrick French would be interesting.
    Que sera sera: what children become is sometimes what is already in them. You cannot “teach” someone to be Tibetan or Chinese “by heart” – that becomes the blind faith that you claim prevents Chinese from seeing the “truth” about Tibet.

  181. Lime Says:

    @Hemulen & JXie

    I’m trying to follow your discussion, but I’m really lost. Are you really comparing the relationship between the Han State and the Xiongnu, and the ROC state and Manchus with the Spanish conquest of Mesoamerica and the British colonisation of the thirteen colonies? And do you really believe that these events can be used to compare ‘Chinese culture’ with ‘European culture’, which I guess you’re representing as persistent and unified concepts? I think it might be a good idea for JXie to go back and explain in detail what he or she meant in #145 if you want to keep discussing this. And I can’t tell if Hemulen’s statement about the alleged Manchu genocide in #161 is being disputed as inaccurate or irrelevant.

    @Allen

    Alright, I want to see if my understanding of your perspective is correct. I see what you’re saying about man-made ideals. We can leave aside religion, as among believers, there is nothing man-made about those ideals. If you believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ, that’s a God-made truth, and is not a product of man-made understanding. Belief in capitalism, democracy, socialism, and (I believe) nationalism of one kind or another, are all man-made concepts, that all appeal to man-made ideals, as you say. In the case of democracy, the ideal might be the dispersion of political power throughout society, and socialism it might be the dispersion of economic power. In the case of your Chinese nationalism, you said in #117;

    “The last two hundred years of disunity, civil strife, foreign invasions and conquest have brought tremendous pain and suffering to the Chinese people. With unity today, the Chinese nation has achieved a semblance of a respected power.

    “I look forward to the day when the Chinese society becomes fully confident, open, prosperous and free – in all sense of the word – economically, socially, culturally, politically…

    “This vision is what grounds my faith in Chinese nationalism.”

    So, your ideal for the territorial construction of the Chinese state is the territory of the pre-1895 Qing state, minus the modern Republic of Mongolia and the territory once controlled by the Qing that is now controlled by the Russian Federation. If I understood you correctly, you agree with me that a person’s ideal construction territorially, legally, or politically of a state is not the greater ideal itself, but an attempt to achieve a greater ideal, what I am calling a real world benefit (greater liberty, greater prosperity, greater equality, greater security, etc.).

    So your ideal territorial construction of the Chinese state, which is one aspect of your ideal of Chinese nationalism, is because you believe that this particular construction will help recover the past glory and prosperity of what you believe are earlier political incarnations of the current Chinese state(s), and achieve the less historically-based ideals of economic, political, social, and cultural freedom.

    So, specifically with the ROC-PRC unity issue, you believe that political unity is more likely to help the people’s of both states achieve these ideals than separation would, with the same being true of the PRC inclusion of Tibet. But the PRC or ROC unifying with, say Korea, or Vietnam, would not help to achieve these ideals.

    Have I understood you more or less correctly?

  182. Otto Kerner Says:

    raffiaflower,

    It can hardly be disputed that there are some Chinese nationalists around here. cf the Allen and Lime thread. As for Parenti and French, they deserve to be judged on their merits, case by case. Patrick French is one of the good guys.

  183. Allen Says:

    @Lime #181,

    Quickly about the genocide bit – please see this thread http://blog.foolsmountain.com/2009/01/12/on-the-mind-numbing-sensationalistic-use-of-emotionally-charged-words-in-international-politics/ in general and comments made by Hemulen and I in http://blog.foolsmountain.com/2008/11/06/is-china-an-inclusive-society/.

    There are a lot to read there, meaning different things to various people, so I won’t try to summarize.

    Now regarding my view of nationalism – I again think you are falsely trying to make a connection between optimal good and national unity (as zepplin and I touched on in the smurf’s thread).

    My faith in national unity is motivated by my vision of optimal good. National unity however is not a proxy to carry out optimal good throughout the world. What do I mean? There are many ways by which I would want to make the world a better ways – and they are not just through Chinese nationalism! Also Chinese nationalism at any one moment in time may not necessarily product optimal good – but over the long time it will. That’s the vision I presented, and that’s the vision I stand by.

    If you want me to parse through whether Vietnam and Korea and Mongolia for that matter would be better united under one China, however – who knows? Maybe, maybe not. I never claimed to be a sage. I only believe for sure the World would have been a better place had China industrialized first rather than the West…

    China today has a sense of distinct territorial boundary. China needs to be allowed to exercise self determination within that boundary. I believe interference into China’s domestic affairs is harmful to the interest of the Chinese people as a whole. I believe a weak China and a China in turmoil is bad for the world. That’s all I am saying.

    One last thing – it seems you would like me to justify Chinese nationalism for every single event – real and imaginary. In some ways – that’s fair, it’s a way to try to understand where I am coming from. But in so many ways, it’s not fair.

    Do we talk about every decision the U.S. or Europe makes – every Western ideal – every religious belief – based on maximal good – optimal happiness? The world is too complex for that … I think. But if you must push – yes my faith on Chinese nationalism is based on a belief it is a force for good. If you must have me prove it – for every scenario and hypothetical – I can’t without repeating what I have written already. If that’s where you are coming from, please allow me to defer and move to something else.

  184. Hemulen Says:

    @JXie

    ????

    @may

    Sorry, but referring to the fact that the Yuan was Mongol and the Qing a Manchu dynasty is yet another smoke screen. First, Han Chinese settlement in Guizhou did not start in earnest until the Ming dynasty, and it is a known fact that the Qing dynasty selectively encouraged Han Chinese migration into some areas inhabited by non-Han Chinese peoples. A number of Han Chinese officials were behind these policies, Wei Yuan being one of them. The further you move into the nineteenth century, the stronger these policies become. We can’t blame the Manchus for everything that was bad during the Qing.

    Second, many of the late Qing “minority” rebellions were provoked by these policies. If you read Atwill’s book, you will find out that the Hui rebellion in Yunnan was provoked by the Hui population behind squeezed out of the area and intimidated by atrocities such as the Kunming massacre in 1856.

    although in general the ethnic autonomous regions were not the worse hit provinces, some ethnic groups did suffer.

    Well, I can’t paste any links here, but do a Google Image search the term 曹树基《大饥荒:1959-1961年的中国人口》 and click on the map. Look at the two darkest areas, which is where the famine hit the worst. One of the areas is Western Sichuan, also known as Kham, where you have a huge Tibetan population. What you have in front of you is one of the causes of the Tibetan rebellion 1959.

    @Nimrod

    Hold on a second, you are talking about bringing lawsuits? Are we even talking about the same thing? Or are you seriously saying Tibetans cannot train to be teachers who teach in Tibet (in Tibetan or otherwise), start their own businesses, write their own literature, modernize their own culture, and spread it to the rest of China and the world? Because many already do that.

    OK, let’s not talk about lawsuits but about culture proper. Tibetans are trying to modernize their culture, but the are subject to constraints that Han Chinese are subject to. You may be aware of the fact that a number of Tibetan signers have been detained and their music confiscated. Every single word of what is published or sung by Tibetans is scrutinized and even very vague metaphors of dissatisfaction – things that a Chinese singer would get away with – can be branded as separatist. This is what happens in a totalitarian society: when you are not allowed to talk politics, everything becomes political.

  185. pug_ster Says:

    @SK Cheung 176

    To Pugster #176:
    “While might is right, the majority is right also” – the reference to a majority is ironic in regards to a society with no official way of ascertaining it, or a penchant for honoring its wishes.

    Oh yes there is. If ordinary Han Chinese are upset at the way that the Tibetans are treated, they would’ve protested about it. They protested on social, economic, and even political issues, why they didn’t protest the way the Tibetans are treated, maybe they considered as a non-issue.

  186. raffiaflower Says:

    Otto kerner. i think khecog and other independence-minded activists do not understand you cannot (or should not) get from Point A to C, without going through B, ie, from the present state of affairs in Tibet to independence.
    It is more pragmatic, imo, to work on improving the situation, if truly so bad, for the tibetans, as a package of overall improvement in that country. the chinese government, for better or worse, is committed to this objective.
    China’s development today has been compared with 19th century America, when that was still considered a developing country. The Monroe doctrine was declared over the southern continent to fend off any European influence or threat to American peace and safety.
    No less that Tibet, at least today, is central to China’s sense of security, fragile through history and especially in the last 200 years.
    What the West regards as colonisation is national reconstitution in the Chinese mind. Many mistakes have been made, but much also achieved in 60 years. Some patience is needed about Tibet’s future, as for China.
    Independence in the near future is not an option, though never say no forever. If a canary in a gilded cage truly wants its freedom, it will rather bang itself to death rather than remain imprisoned, no?
    Political maturity is requisite, all around. Tibetans should realise that one day when and if they get “genuine autonomy”/autonomy/independence/whatever, they act thereafter not only to their own advantage, but have to priotise the interests of others physically closest to them.
    At the moment, the TIEs desire for independence, with foreign support, is seen from the pro-China side as largely an effort to undermine China’s sovereignty.

  187. JXie Says:

    @Lime #181

    It’s a he. If nothing else, the bragging of the personal porn collection should’ve been the give-away.

    Is Kaifeng is Chinese city? Sure it is, right? How can it not be? Quite possibly the most famous ancient Chinese painting, 清明上河图, was the portrait of the city. But it was under Japanese control between 1938 and 1945. If you believe Yuan and Qing were 2 foreign dynasties, then Kaifeng in those 400 years or so weren’t a Chinese city. Further back, other than Northern Song, Kaifeng was controlled by Liao and Jin, which I believe were one largely sinicized and one sinicizing Chinese dynasties. But many Chinese historians of Western origins believe otherwise — Liao and Jin weren’t Chinese. Holy molly, in the last 1000 years or so, Kaifeng wasn’t a Chinese city most of the time! So it can’t be a Chinese city, right?

    “Chinese culture”, “European culture”, and “China” are multi-dimensionally fluid concepts. They differ at different times, and between different people, but there have to be some “cores” in those concepts that remain largely constant. If you want to be argumentative, so long as the same style of arguments can derive a conclusion such as “Kaifeng is not a Chinese city,” then to me what’s the point of continuing the discussion?

    BTW, it’s a lot more than those… We’re talking about most of the tribes once roamed in a whole continent now just practically disappear.

  188. JXie Says:

    Hemulen #184

    The question marks kind of tell where the discussion has gone awry… I thought it was fairly clear. Allow me the try again:

    Go by your limitations though personally still have reservations (how can you truly understand a culture without looking further back?): the past 500 years. In China, it’s been late Ming, Qing, ROC, PRC. Let’s assume what you meant Han expansion actually is Han/Manchu expansion, as if they’re fundamentally and culturally consistent. Let’s call Han/Manchu as the oppressor and the others (Huis, Tibetans, Miaos, Mongols, etc.) as oppressees.

    In the European expansion in the Continental America, during which some believe between 100 to 200 million native Americans died unnaturally, the oppressor would be European settlers, and the oppressees would be various native American tribes.

    Here is where the rubber meets the road: as of today, you still can get the surviving records of the oppressees in the “Han expansion”, but where the heck are the surviving records of the oppressees (without being retold by European settlers or third-parties) in the European expansion?

  189. JXie Says:

    Well, I can’t paste any links here, but do a Google Image search the term 曹树基《大饥荒:1959-1961年的中国人口》 and click on the map. Look at the two darkest areas, which is where the famine hit the worst. One of the areas is Western Sichuan, also known as Kham, where you have a huge Tibetan population. What you have in front of you is one of the causes of the Tibetan rebellion 1959.

    The nationwide famine didn’t really start until well into 1959, and the Tibetan uprising in Western Sichuan and Qinghai started as early as 1957. Famine wasn’t the cause of the uprising — land reform was. One caution is that virtually all of those studies base on some sort of demographical projection — comparing the census data before and after the famine, and making certain birth rate assumptions. In the case of the areas with large Tibetan population, bear in mind that some were killed during the uprising, and some left the country altogether. That would certainly skew the demographical projection.

  190. may Says:

    Hemulen #184
    About the 1959-1961 man-made disaster, my source of information is 楊繼繩: 墓碑—— 中國六十年代大饑荒紀實. It is the latest study of the tragedy in the field. And I think you are referring to the map on 张三’s blog here http://zhang3.blogspirit.com/archive/2008/02/14/1622.html.

    1. just by looking at the map, it seems 楊繼繩’s assessment of the situation is similar to 曹树基’s. That is, ethnic autonomous regions like Xinjiang, Tibet, and Mongolia were much less affected regions.

    2. It seems the Kham areas in Sichuan had two drastically different situations. The map is kind of small and can not be enlarged. But as far as I can tell from the map, here were the two situations. The part that sticks out to Qinghai was not affected at all. And it does look like the majority of the Kham areas under Sichuan was in this “unaffected” category. A small part that is close to heartland Sichuan seemed to be affected (??). But I am not sure. There are not location names marked on the map. If this was indeed the case, did 曹树基 explain in his book why Kham areas in Sichuan were treated so differently? That’s quite puzzling.

  191. Wahaha Says:

    Khechog

    Your comment :
    “Tibetan exiles are Tibetans who have escaped from Tibet in the last 50 years, which they are still continuing to flee.”

    That is why I ask you the question (3), they fleed for what ? To my knowledge, simply cuz they wanted bless from DL, nothing more. If DL had been in China, they wouldnt have fleed.

    ________________________________________________

    Your comment :
    Just looking at this blog I see western guys like Hemulen, Otto Kerner etc having quite indepth knowledge on the Tibetan issue and making rational and compelling discussions

    Really?

    Otto Kerner still called what happened on 3.14 last year as peaceful protest,

    Rational ? light year away from the truth.

  192. Hemulen Says:

    @JXie

    Here is where the rubber meets the road: as of today, you still can get the surviving records of the oppressees in the “Han expansion”, but where the heck are the surviving records of the oppressees (without being retold by European settlers or third-parties) in the European expansion?

    I’m not disputing that. Neither am I disputing that nationality are fluid concepts. All I’m saying is that Han Chinese and Europeans have expanded at the expense of other peoples.

    I agree that land reform was the major cause of the rebellion, but the deprivations of the Great Leap exacerbated the situation. Again, all that I’m saying is that minorities did suffer these deprivations too and we often forget that the unequal power-relationship between Han and other ethnic groups exacerbated the suffering of the former.

    @may

    I don’t quite read the map that way. Look at where Tibetan-majority Ganzi prefecture is located, most of that area is almost black on the map. Furthermore, white on the map should be interpreted as lack of data, not lack of famine. Tibet was of course not directly affected, but Qinghai, Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia and the Northeast certainly were, but for various reasons prof. Cao may not have been able to obtain that information. Any information regarding minority areas are still highly sensitive in the PRC today and publicizing any data about the CR or the GLF can get you into a lot of trouble.

  193. Wahaha Says:

    Otto,

    “It can hardly be disputed that there are some Chinese nationalists around here…”

    It can hardly be disputed why west makes Tibet an issue for their evil purpose, and obviously someone around here are actively engaged into this ‘ cause ‘.

  194. Wahaha Says:

    “I don’t quite read the map that way…”

    Hemulen,

    Read the map of Canada in 1860s.

    ________________________________________

    “The PRC has very nice laws on the books that give Tibetans every right they would like – forget about DL. The problem is that none of those laws are justiciable…”

    The PRC has very nice laws on the books that give Tibetans every right they would like – forget about DL. The problem is that none of those laws are justiciable when it is about separatism.

    Dont mix human right with separatism.

  195. may Says:

    Hemulen #184
    About Han aggressions against other ethnic groups, I agree with you in general. That is, 1) Han Chinese did commit acts of violence against other ethnic groups 2) denying them are not going to help China move forward. But I do think you need to be more careful when stating your cases. For example:

    “it is a known fact that the Qing dynasty selectively encouraged Han Chinese migration into some areas inhabited by non-Han Chinese peoples.” (emphasis added)
    I think this is a much fairer statement than simply saying how Han Chinese forcefully settled into the areas of non-Han people.

    “A number of Han Chinese officials were behind these policies, Wei Yuan being one of them.”
    Would Wei Yuan (or other Han Chinese officials) be able to implement these policies without financial/military support and political approval from the Qing court?

    “We can’t blame the Manchus for everything that was bad during the Qing.”
    I have never blame (or try to blame) everything on the Manchus. I stated my position in the beginning of the post. But if I may, I do hope you give some context when stating your cases (such as those happened under the Qing).

  196. raventhorn4000 Says:

    1st, on the issue of Tibet, who is a real “Tibetan”?

    What we currently call “Tibetan” are not even from the region of Tibet. They are descendants of nomads who are related to the Mongolian People, according to Sir Charles Bell. Several “proto-Tibetan” cultures existed in the region of Tibet.

    What we currently call the “Tibetans” are descendants of conquerers who conquered their way across the Tibetan region.

    In that sense, they are not “Native”/indigenous to the region of Tibet.

    2nd, any time I hear the DL talk about “Genuine autonomy” followed by ” for Greater/historical Tibet”, I lose all interest in his notion of “peace”.

    What is “Greater/historical Tibet”? It’s a dream of military conquest. It’s the territory held by Tibet at the height of its military power. It hasn’t existed since the 800′s AD. None of the Dalai Lamas were ever able to control all of “historical Tibet”. “Han” migration into “historical Tibet” had nothing to do with that fact.

    3rd, the claim of “historical Tibet” also lumps ethnic groups like the Sherpas into the “Tibetan” category, a notion rejected by other nations like Nepal.

    These groups were conquered by the Tibetans. One can hardly justify claims over their lands by historical military conquests. If that’s the case, then I don’t see the problem with China’s claim over Tibet by “military conquest” justification alone.

    “Genuine autonomy”, I would suggest, is a scheme similar to the current provincial divisions in China. TAR is the traditional region of political control exercised by previous DL’s in power. I have no idea why the current DL has such gross appetite to want to increase it.

  197. raventhorn4000 Says:

    On Western Media bias,

    They continue to harp on DL’s “Genuine autonomy for Greater Tibet” without an ounce of curiosity to ask what is “Greater Tibet” and where it came from.

    They, and DL’s favorite students/actors, don’t bother to tell the public that “Greater Tibet” is the territory the Tibetans conquered by military force at the height of their military empire. An empire that disintegrated LONG time ago.

    Yeah, and by the same token, the British can ask for “Genuine autonomy for Historical British Empire”.

  198. Lime Says:

    @JXie
    Well, in my mind, if you want to talk about China as a geographic term (generally the eastern hump of Eurasia) then, you could say Kaifeng is a Chinese city. But if you want to talk about it in political or social terms, I would say, first it was a Wei city, then a Qin, then a Han, then a Sui, then a Tang, then a Song, then a Jin (I don’t think it was ever a Liao city, but I could be wrong), then a Yuan, then a Ming, then a Qing, then a ROC, then a East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere City, (or a Japanese Empire colonial city on the Asian mainland), and now a PRC city. Tomorrow, God willing, it may be a Republic of Henan city. That’s just me, and the way I like to construct history though.

    To your question about records from native American cultures; there are Aztec Codex’s that have survived. The Aztecs were one of the very few peoples in the Americas to have a written language prior to the coming of the Europeans. Many other people’s did develop a Romanisation system, or a unique writing system with the help of Europeans afterwards though. Not saying this proves the conquests were any more or less brutal, but it is something to bear in mind. I don’t know about all of the PRC’s minorities, but the Miao people, for example, didn’t have a written language either until the 19th century when one was developed by Samuel Pollard, a British Methodist missionary. So it’s probably going to be tough to find any pre-19th century records of the Miao that were not recorded by Han (or Mongol, or Manchu) people.

    I really don’t think you’re going to able to prove that all the so-called ‘Chinese’ states in east Asia were any more or less generally violent towards the minorities than all the states in Europe over the last 2200 years. There were so many different states, so many different political systems, so many different minorities, so many different situations…

    @Allen
    Thanks, I think that did answer my question. I don’t particularly like it, but I think I can appreciate where you’re coming from. I do think that social ideals, western or otherwise, should be talked about and justified. If I want my state to go socialist, or bail out it’s auto-industry, or invade another country, those views are going to conflict with the views of others, and I would have to appeal to the greater ideals behind them that are presumably shared.

    So your belief in what the Chinese nation’s territorial constitution should be, and your belief that the territory should have political unity, is going to come into direct conflict with the beliefs of a Taiwanian nationalist, or a Tibetan nationalist, who will have their own ideas of what the Chinese nation is and where it’s territorial boundaries begin and end, and, in objective terms, their beliefs will be no less valid than yours. So, before you and the Taiwanian nationalist have to resort to a ‘might is right’ determination, it’s worth trying to justify your beliefs to one another and see if there is any idealistic common ground you can appeal to. That’s where I’m coming from.

  199. Allen Says:

    @Lime #198,

    Ok – now I think it’s clearer where you are coming from. Let me try this short take – and if you think it’s useful, we can continue further.

    I definitely like the idea of appealing to higher ideals. If that’s all it is – most Chinese nationalists should have no problem. How do we proceed and go about making China the open, confident, prosperous, stable society that I talked about…?

    How should economic development be carried out? How do we address environmental and social issues that result from fast paced economic developments? How do we ensure peoples’ needs are satisfied in a fast changing world? Can religion play a constructive role? How can we further spread eduction to the masses? How should education be conducted that prepares people for a competitive modern world while still maintaining as much ties to the cultural roots of the various peoples within China? How should government be set up to avoid bad people from hijacking it for private gain – to reduce corruption as much as possible? What type of social welfare should be implemented? What type of healthcare do people need? Should bad behaviors like smoking be outlawed to qualify for basic gov’t services? Should foreign companies like McDonald’s, Coke, and Starbucks be regulated since their products presumptively caused bad health habits for the Chinese people? Should China move to a more innovations based economy? What type of IP system should China have to best develop an innovations based economy?

    If we want to talk ideals and their associated policies – there are many we can talk about – all of which in the context of China.

    The issue of sovereignty is different though – especially given recent history. When the American Civil War was fought – it was not a righteous war fought to end slavery – it was simply a war to maintain the Union. That by itself is a perfectly legitimate war.

    If we want change in China – there are legitimate channels. There is a functioning government. There are many non-profit organizations on the ground. If change is too slow for some people, redouble your efforts. You don’t fight civil rights movements in China by inviting cavalry from the West. These attacks on Chinese sovereignty to me is a non-starter.

  200. Khechog Says:

    Wow! I miss a day and it’s getting lively which is always the case when we talk about Tibet. It’s fitting that this blog started from the last Tibetan March uprising.

    So got an hour to respond to few which will be brief and hopefully to the point:

    First did you all watch the video link and my accounts of one incident of March 14th from last year. This is very important and if you start dismissing these we won’t have much room for dialogue. All of you have heard is the PRC-CCP propaganda of last year’s March protests in Tibet as called ‘March14th riot in Lhasa’ which was made into China’s 9/11. Again to reiterate there were Tibetan protests (mostly peaceful except Lhasa) at over 100 locations throughout the Tibetan inhabited regions and Lhasa is only one which I admit turned violent after 4 days of peaceful protests. As always Tibetans got brunt of the repression, torture, deaths etc at the hands of the Chinese security forces thugs (PLA, PAP, Police).

    I didn’t want to be drawn into the Tibetan history quagmire but this is also critical to understand the past and then use it for any solution to this protracted Tibetan problem. As I have mentioned in my first post, Tibetan Nationalists and Chinese Nationalists can work together under one China as it’s pragmatic and they need each other. HHDL is the key person based on the compromised proposal to solve this problem.

    Most of the Chinese having brought up with this Sun Yatsen’s distorted one-sided history of Tibet from the middle-kingdom, that you won’t see much compromised from the Tibetan side. This is precisely due to this narrow-minded history and not looking at the wider history of the world to believe that Tibet was always part of China.

    Tibetans never felt and nor believed this version of history. If you read non-Chinese version of Tibetan history, Tibet had always enjoyed independence and governed themselves. Sure there was influence from China and sometimes meddling in the Tibetan affairs but that doesn’t lose ones nationhood. If Tibet wasn’t independent, I can argue 80% of the countries you find in the list of United Nation have fewer claims for nationhood. I can show you equal number of historical basis and maps to show that Tibet was distinct from China (check http://www.savetibet.org and search for old maps).

    If you understand this history of Tibet, HHDL’s middle-way proposal is a huge compromise of accepting Chinese rule over Tibet for the first time in the history. However two conditions:

    1) Tibetans will not and cannot accept this lie shove down the throat and say ‘Tibet was always part of China’, which is simply NOT true but for the first time in the history will accept that Tibet is part of China and will willingly become part of China as it’s in the interest of the Tibetans to be part of China if given genuine autonomy for protection of Tibetan identity

    2) in return for this legitimacy, Tibetans want all Tibetan inhabited regions to be incorporated into one administration inorder to protect Tibetan culture when the entire population is less than 6 million Tibetans. This is so important to understand and until you understand the history of Tibet, you will not see the compromise that HHDL and Tibetans are making. So any labelling of independence and in-disguise are just excuses and I will not accept.

    I will share one more anecdote from my travels. I was travelling in Lijiang in Yunnan province, a few years ago and went on the Naxi kingdom’s tour of their palace. The Naxi tour-guide mentioned that the Naxi King accepted both Tibetan and Chinese cultures and adopted both religions since they felt that living between two large and powerful nations i.e. Tibet and China, the King was very smart to accept both cultures in order to survive.

    #150 On sinicization. One word I tell people how Tibetans are different from Chinese. Tibetans have absolutely no influence from the great sage Confucius in the Tibetan culture. So Tibetan culture is less similar to the Han Chinese culture than Koreans, Japanese, Vietnamese to the Chinese. So this middle-kingdom Han sincization never reached or accepted by the Tibetans. Infact Tibetans converted Mongols and some Manchus as Tibetan buddhists.

    I still stand by my assertion that Huis are Han Chinese that are Muslims. In Tibet we have Muslims in Tibet called ‘Khachi’. We call them Tibetan Muslim and not a different race. They are of similar background as Chinese Muslims of merchants from Kashmir marrying Tibetans but more importantly adopting Tibetan language and culture. So tell me what if a Han Chinese becomes Muslim, is he/she Han or Hui?

    #Shane – You seem so concern about Tibetan exile population’s plight. Don’t worry they are very successful in wherever they live. UN labelled Tibetans the most successful refugees in the world. If you can afford it, go visit Tibetan communities in India and you will be amazed at this incredible success story of flourishing Tibetan culture, providing best education and heath facilities. As I have said I have travelled both in Tibet and Tibetan diasporas and Tibetans in-exile have done much better in everyway than Tibetans in Tibet.

    In terms of your worry about integrating back to Tibet, well they are only about 120,000 Tibetans in exile. Out of that about 30,000 to 40,000 live in the west in the developed countries so you can imagine there is no problem with their livelihood.

    If there was a solution to Tibet, I can estimate no more than half would go back which is about 60K. 60,000 going back to this huge land is going to be drop in the bucket and they will be going back with lots of money and skills from outside and would be productive, contributing member of the society.

    #166 – I don’t consider PRC to be governed by rule of law. It’s one party totalitarian regime with CCP at the top and laws don’t have the meat as CCP is above the law.

    #163, Allen – Yes I would term the demise of Manchu as cultural genocide whether intentionally or unintentional, there is no Manchu culture left. So Tibetan culture is following the same path and we term it ‘cultural genocide’ intentionally or unintentionally is happening.

    #167 – Ditto with above. Make Tibetan language an official language along with Chinese. The ball is entirely in the PRC-CCP’s court. Look at Quebec as part of Canada. You don’t have to speak a word of English to make an excellent living in Quebec and most political leaders and civil servants are bilingual in entire Canada.

    #180 – Ditto. I suggest to read history of Tibet from other sources than Chinese to understand Tibetan viewpoints.

    # 191- Did you read my account of one on March 14th and did you watch the video? My point is that PRC-CCP is perhaps the best propagandist in the world. Tibet is locked-down, with fear and repression continuing so how can you believe in this regime who is intent on telling their side of the story and silence any dissenting vioces. Let’s hear from the Tibetans in Tibet their views without fear.

    Read this article from one of the top ex-officials in CCP about PRC. So absolutely I don’t have much hope for settlement on the Tibet issue with the PRC-CCP as I have mentioned I don’t think they understand a win-win solution. It’s not entirely the case that PRC has the upperhand on Tibet issue.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20090504.CHINA04ART2249/TPStory/?query=china

    A revolutionary forgotten, a remembrance repressed

    “…”I think this is proof of the efficiency of the government’s policy. They are very successful at brainwashing. Young people below 20 know nothing about [Tiananmen Square]. Even 30 to 40 year olds may not know exactly what happened because they were teens and schoolchildren at the time,” he said.
    “But I believe that as long as society is unfair, as long as there is inequality, people will chase freedom and democracy.””

  201. Otto Kerner Says:

    “Otto Kerner still called what happened on 3.14 last year as peaceful protest”

    That’s a lie.

  202. Nimrod Says:

    Khechog,

    I would still appreciate it if you could address the points raised in my #167, if you find the time later. No hurry. I’ll respond to your new post though.

    “#163, Allen – Yes I would term the demise of Manchu as cultural genocide whether intentionally or unintentional, there is no Manchu culture left. So Tibetan culture is following the same path and we term it ‘cultural genocide’ intentionally or unintentionally is happening.”
    +++++
    I think you have the agent of action mixed up here. It isn’t intentional or unintentional genocide. Maybe it’s unintentional cultural suicide. It’s what Manchu’s did. They assimilated themselves, but nobody forced them to.

    “#167 – Ditto with above. Make Tibetan language an official language along with Chinese. The ball is entirely in the PRC-CCP’s court. Look at Quebec as part of Canada. You don’t have to speak a word of English to make an excellent living in Quebec and most political leaders and civil servants are bilingual in entire Canada.”
    +++++
    Canada (and Switzerland) are somewhat unique in having deeply entrenched multiple official languages. However, note its limitations, it doesn’t guarantee the official language status of any American Indian tribes living there, or of other immigrant groups to Canada. In China, Tibetans are not even the largest minority group. If it were to make a policy like that it would be like the European Union spending all the time just translating stuff without getting anything done.

    Anyway, the autonomous regions already have bilingualism. You can get around with Tibetan in TAR though it is to your advantage to learn putonghua (which by the way is not native to Southern Han Chinese, either. Neither is standard Tibetan native to Qinghai Tibetans). I also think people who live and work in the autonomous regions should find it advantageous to learn to speak the local language. If that’s not already the case then it should be. Going beyond that smacks of imposition and a level of artificial segregation and social engineering that I find distasteful. I say this about Quebec and I say this about people who are into language purity (notably the French). Culture and language can’t be boxed and standardized. It just doesn’t work that way. And being bilingual is never a disadvantage. Having said that, if you insist on monolingualism in autonomous regions, I can entertain that idea. But on a national level, I feel very strongly about one common language of communication, whatever it is, otherwise the country may as well be separated. To me, putonghua is that language of common communication between different groups of China who all speak different mother tongues, minorities included. In fact the more people using it and enriching it, being the common language, the more it becomes capable of conveying any culture’s ideas, just as English has become a global language. Common language of communication is what you make of it, it doesn’t need to have an ethnicity marker.

    On historical perspectives, while I understand your interpretation of Tibetan history as one of a state equal to “China”, it is simply not true after the Yuan Dynasty. I know you can find maps that label Tibet, Tibet, but that’s not a contra-indication. Most maps since the 19th century write two meanings for China. They put China for what Westerners invented as “China proper”, and they also put China for the whole imperial domain. Tibet is labeled parallel to the former “China proper” but also labled under the imperial domain of the latter dynastic China. Here is an example of such a map.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/62/Qing_china.jpg

    Even this is wrong, since in Qing administration itself, there was always some kind of near-far hierarchy of political organization. It was not a union of five equal republics. Instead, Tibet or Mongolia were subordinate un-incorporated territories (called 地方), which the Qing Dynasty was continually in the process of converting to provinces. This concept is like US creating states from its territorial holdings. The thirteen original colonies as a unit (US proper, but nobody calls it that) were not co-equal to, say, the Oregon Country, in any sense. At the end of Qing, when modern statecraft was imported, this concept became very clear and Qing encouraged settlers to go to Inner Mongolia and Manchuria, totally defeating any notion that there is such a unit called “China proper”. Places like Xinjiang and Manchuria were already fully converted to provinces. Inner Mongolia, Qinghai, and what Tibetans call Eastern Kham were getting close to that process when Qing fell. Tibet and Mongolia were just pieces of territory to Qing, that’s all. Sucks to be Tibetans who dream of a unified nation-state, but history is history. Imagined history is not history.

    I don’t deny Tibetans are entitled to an imagined national consciousness despite history, but in real negotiations, you’ve got to get serious. The fact of the matter is, after the Yuan Dynasty, there has never been a unified Tibetan state of the kind that DL is asking for. The question is why is such imagined entity that never existed (Greater Tibet that is monolingual Tibetan, in loose federation with an imagined unit called “China proper”) and a never realized nation-building process now on the negotiation table with China? Rarely is a nation-state negotiated into existence, but I suppose one can try. Then again, you don’t say to be a part of China while trying to conjure up a nation-state at the same time.

  203. Otto Kerner Says:

    @Khechog,

    “I still stand by my assertion that Huis are Han Chinese that are Muslims. In Tibet we have Muslims in Tibet called ‘Khachi’. We call them Tibetan Muslim and not a different race. They are of similar background as Chinese Muslims of merchants from Kashmir marrying Tibetans but more importantly adopting Tibetan language and culture. So tell me what if a Han Chinese becomes Muslim, is he/she Han or Hui?”

    Well, for one thing, I think that “Hui” is a category that includes some different groups who are fairly different from each other. Some Hui subgroups may be more or less different from the Hans. Since “Han” and “Hui” are modern concepts which are designed to be mutually exclusive, I would say that Hui are Huaxia Muslims (people from traditionally Muslim families, that is — obviously not necessarily practicing Muslims themselves). From the Tibetan perspective, both Han and Hui are Gyanag people.

    I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that a Han person who converts to Islam will remain a Han and not become a Hui on official documents.

  204. William Huang Says:

    @ Khechog #200

    Thanks for the information on your experience about Tibet and Tibet history. My concern is the following:
    If your view is the representative opinion of majority of Tibetans, it is my opinion that the gap of mutual understanding between Tibetan and Han Chinese are so large that there will be no agreement to be reached.

    I am just wondering:

    1) Do you believe two conditions you stated are achievable given the current Chinese government (CCP) position and geopolitical atmosphere? If not, is there any short term solution to improve? If the ball is at Chinese government’s court, what should they do? Is there anything Dalai Lama/TGIE could propose?

    2) Do you believe or expect that a different government other than CCP (e.g. a democratically elected) will accept these conditions? If yes, why do you think it’s possible?

    3) Do you think majority of Tibetan people will accept anything less than the two conditions you stated? If no, and your answer in 2) is also no. What do you think Tibetan people should do?

    These are not tricky question to get you into an argument about history and self-determination. We have done enough on FM blog. I just have an impression that Tibetans in exile (or Tibetans in generally) seemed aiming too high and not being realistic. I could be wrong and very curious to know your point of view.

  205. Hemulen Says:

    @Nimrod

    I say this about Quebec and I say this about people who are into language purity (notably the French). Culture and language can’t be boxed and standardized. It just doesn’t work that way. And being bilingual is never a disadvantage.

    Valid point. Yet as things stand today, it is the PRC that is one of the main promoters of linguistic purity in the world today. The TGIE is but a minor actor in the game. It is the PRC that closed down almost the entire Uighur faculty of Xinjiang University in 2002 and has made proficiency in Mandarin a requirement for most jobs in Xinjiang and Tibet. It is the PRC government that mandates the use of pure Chinese in today’s China. If Tibet becomes more autonomous or even independent, and the Tibetan government tries to push out Chinese, that’s a conversation we can have then and there. But as things stand now, the de facto monolingual policy of the PRC is threatening the survival of many local languages. And that provokes counter-reactions on the part of Uighurs and Tibetans.

    Places like Xinjiang and Manchuria were already fully converted to provinces. Inner Mongolia, Qinghai, and what Tibetans call Eastern Kham were getting close to that process when Qing fell. Tibet and Mongolia were just pieces of territory to Qing, that’s all. Sucks to be Tibetans who dream of a unified nation-state, but history is history. Imagined history is not history.

    Your not very generous here. What you have outlined is one form of imagined history, whereby PRC occupation of Tibet is the inevitable consequence of Qing state building. The fact that Outer Mongolia is an independent state and Tibet is part of the PRC are products of historical contingency, not historical necessity. If you want to argue that it is the victors that write history, that is fine, but no state that exists today is the inevitable outcome of some objective “history”. All histories are imagined, while states are made.

    I don’t deny Tibetans are entitled to an imagined national consciousness despite history, but in real negotiations, you’ve got to get serious. The fact of the matter is, after the Yuan Dynasty, there has never been a unified Tibetan state of the kind that DL is asking for. The question is why is such imagined entity that never existed (Greater Tibet that is monolingual Tibetan, in loose federation with an imagined unit called “China proper”) and a never realized nation-building process now on the negotiation table with China? Rarely is a nation-state negotiated into existence, but I suppose one can try. Then again, you don’t say to be a part of China while trying to conjure up a nation-state at the same time.

    What you are doing here is projecting the current strong Chinese state back into the Yuan or Qing dynasties, when imperial control was nowhere as strong as it is today. At the same time, you are using the fact that DL never exercised full control over all Tibetan areas as an argument that no Tibetan state existed and thus was part of China. If you want to be consistent, you should recognize that both imperial China and Lamaist Tibet were premodern states that are not easily shoehorned into modern categories such as the sovereign nation state.

  206. JXie Says:

    At the risk of diverting attention from the central issues, I will keep it short. No, Huis ARE NOT Hans with Islamic belief. Most Huis can trace their family trees back to migrants from Persia & Arabia at different times as early as 600s AD. For instance, Most Huis named Ma are descended from Mohammad. A Han taking up Islam, other than in some extreme individual cases, at least in the last several centuries, wouldn’t make him a Hui.

  207. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Pugster #185:
    “They protested on social, economic, and even political issues, why they didn’t protest the way the Tibetans are treated, maybe they considered as a non-issue.” – that’s a scary thought process you’ve got going on here. So if the majority doesn’t see a problem, then there isn’t one, regardless of the minority’s perspective? I thought only cross-burners clad in pointy white hats perceived the world that way.

    To Allen #199:
    most of this sounds reasonable, except…
    Minor objection with paragraph 2: Chinese nationalists (at least the internet variety) don’t seem to cope well when others don’t necessarily share all of their ideals
    Paragraph 6: why are complaints by “outside forces” about how China conducts herself an “attack on Chinese sovereignty”? Is Chinese sovereignty such that she needs to also exercise control over where criticisms come from?

  208. pug_ster Says:

    Khechog

    #166 – I don’t consider PRC to be governed by rule of law. It’s one party totalitarian regime with CCP at the top and laws don’t have the meat as CCP is above the law.

    The Dalai Lama goes to his worldwide tour to shame the Chinese government. Making unrealistic demands over and over again and expecting China to have a sympathetic ear is just plain unrealistic. One thing that I have to give a hand to the Tibetans in Exile is that they are persistent. Unfortunately, their persistence is making things worse between China and the TGIE. You can blame the Chinese government, but it is the Dalai Lama’s failing in his unrealistic goal.

  209. Khechog Says:

    To all: I will respond to your postings of my views if you don’t mind first answer my questions on the March 14th, 2008 ‘riot’. Did you watch the video and read my account as I have requested?

    Did you believe and do you still believe in what the PRC media propaganda departments CCTV, People’s daily, Xinhua reporting of last year’s March 14th to be the truth : 1) bunch of Tibetans hooligan, like the English football fans or anarchist, for no reason start attacking Han Chinese with no real grievances; 2) it was all incited by outsiders; 3) there was only the violent riot in Lhasa and the rest of the Tibetan areas were peaceful; 4) 17 Chinese and 1 Tibetan girl were killed by protesters but the Chinese security force did not kill a single Tibetan nor responsible for any of the deaths; 5) there was no clampdown, repression, torture, fear, struggle sessions, criticism sessions post-3/14 in Tibet which is continuing; 6) and what the western media and Tibetans say are all lies, propaganda, and biases? Let me know what you think as I think it’s important that we discuss 3/14 event as it was a major milestone between Chinese and Tibetan relationship and understanding. I won’t get offended as long as it’s sincere and honest responses.

    Then we can continue to have a dialogue in this forum and I will share what I know so that we continue to have a better understanding of each other. BTW, I do sincerely appreciate your interest on the Tibetan issue whether it’s positive or negative, it’s a good thing.

    Otto,

    Thanks for your explanation on Hui and Han. To be honest I know nothing of the Hui except have eaten their wonderful ‘Lanzhou Lamian’ noodles at their restaurants in my travels in China and Tibet.

    I was just trying to be sarcastic with my arrogance of knowing about something that I am really ignorant of. I then proceeded to draw hyperbole and conjecture based on my understanding of the Tibetan and its Muslim community. Obviously they are different that I simply cannot equate to be same when I know very little of the Hui people.

    The point I am trying to make is that you can not draw a conclusion to another culture and its history based on what you know of your own culture and its history. That’s what I see repeatedly that many are so sure of knowing the Tibetan history from the Chinese version and have the audacity to tell the Tibetans that’s the fact of your history instead of listening the views of the Tibetans on their history and their grievances under the Chinese rule.

  210. Nimrod Says:

    Hemulen wrote:

    Valid point. Yet as things stand today, it is the PRC that is one of the main promoters of linguistic purity in the world today. The TGIE is but a minor actor in the game. It is the PRC that closed down almost the entire Uighur faculty of Xinjiang University in 2002 and has made proficiency in Mandarin a requirement for most jobs in Xinjiang and Tibet. It is the PRC government that mandates the use of pure Chinese in today’s China. If Tibet becomes more autonomous or even independent, and the Tibetan government tries to push out Chinese, that’s a conversation we can have then and there. But as things stand now, the de facto monolingual policy of the PRC is threatening the survival of many local languages. And that provokes counter-reactions on the part of Uighurs and Tibetans.

    Language policy is not very kind to Chinese dialects but minority languages have a lot more support. The true “culprit”, which you’ve identified, is that due to China’s modern economy, Chinese has become important to get jobs and conduct commerce other than traditional jobs that anybody could continue to practice if they so wish (farming, herding, whatever else). There is that pressure to use the national language. I don’t know there is any solution to that. You can’t complain about people offering you to learn Chinese and then complain about not getting good jobs. It’s not the fault of Chinese that they developed most of the productive jobs in Xinjiang as elsewhere, or that the minorities themselves didn’t. Han Chinese developed their own settlements, (including Urumqi which was founded by Han over the centuries), and conduct their own businesses. Nobody “stole” any jobs, they created brand new ones. To learn to be as successful, Uighurs can learn the ways and then start their own businesses and hire whomever they want and placing whatever condition on language ability they want in the local economy. Some did pretty well doing that, like that woman Rabiya Kadeer. Others do cross border trade that require special language abilities. But even in the independent Central Asian republics, you need to know the “big” language there, which happens to be Russian.

    Don’t know the details of Xinjiaing University 2002, but you can imagine there is some desires for getting good Chinese language abilities. First of all do we even know this anything other than a decision by the school itself? The only complaints seem to be from Epoch Times and independence groups. Also it’s just for school wide basic courses, not major subjects, especially not the Uighur studies subjects. In short, suck it up, like Chinese learn English to get ahead. Some Chinese universities even teach classes in English.

    Your not very generous here. What you have outlined is one form of imagined history, whereby PRC occupation of Tibet is the inevitable consequence of Qing state building. The fact that Outer Mongolia is an independent state and Tibet is part of the PRC are products of historical contingency, not historical necessity. If you want to argue that it is the victors that write history, that is fine, but no state that exists today is the inevitable outcome of some objective “history”. All histories are imagined, while states are made.

    Wasn’t talking about the outcome, which of course wasn’t inevitable by any means. If Tibet had become independent like Mongolia, its imagined history would be in its textbooks as canonical history. That doesn’t make it any less imagined just like Qing era Mongolia history, whatever Mongolia likes to say about it, is still what it is.

    What you are doing here is projecting the current strong Chinese state back into the Yuan or Qing dynasties, when imperial control was nowhere as strong as it is today. At the same time, you are using the fact that DL never exercised full control over all Tibetan areas as an argument that no Tibetan state existed and thus was part of China. If you want to be consistent, you should recognize that both imperial China and Lamaist Tibet were premodern states that are not easily shoehorned into modern categories such as the sovereign nation state.

    I do recognize that neither fit into modern categories. So that’s a good point. However, I also recognize that imperial China was much closer to a modern state than Tibet, to the extent that the inventors of such modern concepts — Westerners — thought so. If you look at maps of Europeans through the ages, the first time “Tibet” appears as part of a state is in the “Chinese Empire”. Before that it was lumped into “independent Tartary” with a wide swath of Central Asia, meaning basically “tribes”.

  211. raventhorn4000 Says:

    As early as 1990, TGIE and the DL had known of bombings done to Chinese government buildings in TAR. DL admitted so in a NY Times interview. 5 occurred in 1990 to DL’s knowledge. Indeed, I would suggest that TGIE was actively supporting such bombings, since lay Tibetans in TAR cannot get explosives.

    the TGIE official line at the time, however, excused it as merely “targetting buildings”, not people.

    However, after 9/11, the TGIE retreated from that official line completely, realizing that their “collateral damage” argument simply will not cut it. That if they were linked with bombings of “buildings”, it would be too close to 9/11, and TGIE might be labeled as a “terrorists” organization.

    However, after the riot in Tibet, that was precisely how 1 TGIE spokesman explained their position on the rioters, that the rioters were only “targetting the buildings”, not the people. And if the People were somehow killed/injured by the burning of the buildings, then it’s not the rioters’ fault.

    *My point would be, who cares if “majority” of the Seattle protesters were “non-violent”? Or “majority” of the LA people were “non-violent”? Once there is enough violence in a city, curfew and martial law is inevitable and LEGAL.

    What’s “enough violence in a city”? Hundreds of buildings on fire. Rioters burning, looting, to the point that even firefighters and medical vehicles were targetted. That’s enough for me and enough for most cities in the world.

    If you want to make a black/white judgment as far as was the Protest in Tibet “peaceful” or “violent”, I would analogize to LA. No one would call the LA riot a peaceful demonstration, even if the injustice was great.

  212. Nimrod Says:

    Khechog,

    I’ll answer for myself:

    Did you believe and do you still believe in what the PRC media propaganda departments CCTV, People’s daily, Xinhua reporting of last year’s March 14th to be the truth :

    I never watched those, but I read some foreign tourist accounts, watched their videos and foreign TV footages, including from Australia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. They were pretty sympathatic to Tibetans and the underlying causes, too, and had definitely choice words for Chinese policies, but they were enough to show me unambiguously the incident for what it was: a riot.

    1) bunch of Tibetans hooligan, like the English football fans or anarchist, for no reason start attacking Han Chinese with no real grievances;

    Of course there were real grievances. Of course they had their own reasons for doing this.

    The question asked is did these grievances justify destroying a swath of Lhasa and assaulting people based on their ethnic association. By the way, I’m sure there were some less violent protests at various temples on 3/10 as happens every year. People who have gone to Lhasa frequently say it’s all expected, the grievances and whatever else are nothing new. No Western tourists who were there noted anything strange then, either. That says a lot. I don’t think 2008 was any different, but the escalation on 3/14 was certainly completely different.

    2) it was all incited by outsiders;

    There is ample evidence that it was pre-planned coordinated action by people inside and outside together. I think we even posted some jihadist videos here. These alternative tactics of making Tibet “expensive” to control have been studied and analyzed by Tibet writers for many years so at least it wasn’t exactly a surprise to me, especially with the Olympics with added PR opportunities.

    3) there was only the violent riot in Lhasa and the rest of the Tibetan areas were peaceful;

    No, there were violent riots in many places. Lhasa was the worst, but there were raids on government buildings and monks beating riot police with sticks (again there are videos of these things) elsewhere. Even overseas with attacks on torch carriers, etc., if you want to count that, too.

    4) 17 Chinese and 1 Tibetan girl were killed by protesters but the Chinese security force did not kill a single Tibetan nor responsible for any of the deaths;

    In fact, there were probably more random people killed. Hui and Tibetans in Lhasa were said to be clashing and subsequent written accounts by Chinese tourists on Tianya seemed to report people being beaten unconscious right on the street. For ethnic harmony, the Chinese government is probably not reporting these. In terms of the security response later, I’m sure it was very serious and it’s completely imaginable there were people killed or injured. But we have very little information on this. I don’t believe the TGIE numbers and names, if that’s what you’re asking.

    5) there was no clampdown, repression, torture, fear, struggle sessions, criticism sessions post-3/14 in Tibet which is continuing;

    With the exception of torture, I’m sure there were all of these. There was probably some beating and neglect of suspects, which can be counted as torture too, but I find the more exotic claims of torture by TGIE unconvincing. There has been a history of exaggeration on this front.

    6) and what the western media and Tibetans say are all lies, propaganda, and biases?

    Not all, but mostly they take TGIE propaganda, their own pre-conceived sympathies for Tibetans in general, and anti-Communist biases to make misleading and unbalanced reports, mostly in the beginning few days. Once the true information started coming out from Western tourists, they toned it down. I think the most serious issue was you could not find one — not a single one — photograph of Chinese police doing anything harmful to Tibetans in the days after 3/14. All the photos in the press supposedly of Chinese police brutality were of Nepali, Indian, British, and even New York police beating Tibetans to the ground to keep their protests in order. I find that to be shocking, as did many Chinese people everywhere.

  213. raventhorn4000 Says:

    I would like to point out that according to several Western reporters and even Tibetans in Exile, that many of the police in Tibet are actually ethnic Tibetans cadres.

    Several Tibetans in Exile, who reported torture after escaping into exile, reported that their torturers and prison guards with Tibetan names, who also spoke Tibetan.

    While I do not condone any torture tactics, but I would say some of these practices were overzealousness on the part of the guards, and also reflective of traditional Tibetan methods of torture, including whipping, and caning, etc.

    I think historically speaking, there have always been pro and anti-China Tibetan factions in Tibetan regions, going back to the Ming dynasty, when Mongolia and Ming China separately sought to bring Tibet to their side.

    Inter-sect violence between the various sects of Tibetan buddhism often were based upon pro- or anti-China stances.

    Today, one can hardly claim that this history is no longer true, that all Tibetans are behind DL. Frankly that’s absurd. DL’s were never able to control all the regions of Tibet beyond TAR.

    Certainly today, with the exile of the DL for the last 50 years or so, Some Tibetan sects have become more popular and gained more government support than others.

    Hey, if the CIA can fund money to DL, so can the Chinese government fund money to other Tibetan Buddhists.

    Money talks, even to Buddhists.

  214. Otto Kerner Says:

    “There is ample evidence that it was pre-planned coordinated action by people inside and outside together. I think we even posted some jihadist videos here.”

    Okay, what is the evidence? If it is ample, you should have no trouble listing some of it. Some videos made by somebody outside of Tibet doesn’t prove anything other than the motivation to do something (they didn’t say specifically what they were going to do, did they? I could easily make a video saying I’m going to “resist China”, but that hardly proves that I organised the next anti-government protest in China.)

  215. Otto Kerner Says:

    “I do recognize that neither fit into modern categories. So that’s a good point. However, I also recognize that imperial China was much closer to a modern state than Tibet”

    That’s a completely subjective opinion. You recognise that Tibet and China’s history does not actually fit into modern categories, and yet you insist on continuing to try to fit it into modern categories. Apparently, your subjective opinion about history is “reality” and anyone else’s is “imaginary”.

  216. Wahaha Says:

    Tibetans never felt and nor believed this version of history. If you read non-Chinese version of Tibetan history, Tibet had always enjoyed independence and governed themselves. Sure there was influence from China and sometimes meddling in the Tibetan affairs but that doesn’t lose ones nationhood. If Tibet wasn’t independent, I can argue 80% of the countries you find in the list of United Nation have fewer claims for nationhood. I can show you equal number of historical basis and maps to show that Tibet was distinct from China (check http://www.savetibet.org and search for old maps).

    Khechog ,

    Didnt you say that Han chinese in general dont like Tibetans, then why do they insist rule Tibet, IN YOUR OPINION ?

    Also, according to what you claimed above, Westerners should have their mouths zipped about Tibet, IF they know what self-esteem is.

  217. pug_ster Says:

    Khechog,

    The problem with Dalai Lama’s teachings is that he thinks he is the ‘spiritual leader’ and thinks all other Buddhists faiths are inferior. Doesn’t the Dalai Lama preach non violence? Then why those Tibetan thugs and hooligans use knives and stones, and set fires instead of protesting peacefully? Why do they have to set fires to Hui Mosques and stores owned by Hans? Why doesn’t the Dalai Lama denounce those Tibetans who resort to violence?

    As I said, that video of the supposing Tibetans dragged by the Chinese police is probably doctored. You barely see the police faces. There are police wearing green and black uniforms. Why do they have 2 different colors? They don’t show important buildings or fires that happened during the lhasa protest.

    And the guy tendar who was beaten up and burned, there was no proof that it was done by the Chinese police. For all we know, he might be mistaken by the Tibetan rioters as a Han instead and that’s why he was targeted.

  218. Hemulen Says:

    Via High Peaks Pure Earth

    =================================================================

    A Day of Pain

    April 12, 2009 is a day I’ll never be able to forget. This was one of the most painful days of my life, a day that made me realize how small and insignificant I am and how wretched my Tibetan compatriots are.

    On April 12, my girlfriend from my hometown came to see me and we went to Beijing. By the time we got to Beijing it was already gone six in the evening and so we went to find somewhere to stay. As soon as we got to the hotel, their service was extremely friendly and I said at the time to my girlfriend: “This is the capital city of the motherland, and so of course the levels of service are going to be high.” But as we were registering, the receptionist said something that pained me deeply. She said, “Tibetans can’t stay here.” At the time I didn’t want to believe my ears and so I picked up my student’s ID and showed it to them again but they still wouldn’t let me stay, saying that they needed certification from the local police. I went to seven or eight different hotels but they all gave the same answer. Angry and disappointed, the only question going round my head was “why?”

    On October 1, 1949, the People’s Republic of China was declared to have been established, and from then on there was an historic and qualitative change brought about in relations between China’s nationalities, and the era of ethnic oppression progressed to the era of ethnic equality.

    But sixty years later and we can still be confronted with the tragic reality of “Tibetans can’t stay here.”

    Sixty years later and Tibetans still live in the shackles of apartheid and chained by racism, every step an ordeal and misery.

    Sixty year later, amidst a vast ocean of material glory, Tibetans still live on an island of poverty.

    Sixty years later, Tibetans are withering and fading in the corners of Chinese society.

    Why?

    Why?

    Qiaga Tashi Tsering
    April 16, 2009, Nankai University

    痛苦的一天
    [ 2009-4-16 16:14:00 | By: 恰嘎巴 ]

    2009年4月12日,我无法忘记的一天,这一天是我人生中最痛苦的一天,这一天让我意识到自己是多么的渺小,我的藏族同胞是多么的可怜.

    4月12日我与从故乡来看我的女朋友去北京,到北京时已是下午六点多时,于是去找住宿之地,刚到一家宾馆时,他们的服务态度非常友好,当时我还跟女朋友说:“不愧是祖国的首都,服务员的素质都这么高”当登记时看到的我的身份证,服务员说了一句话,使我痛苦万分.她说:“藏族人不可以住”当时我不敢相信自己的耳朵,我又拿出自己的学生证让他们看,他们还是不让我住,说要当地警察局的证明.我接连去了七八家都是一样的回答.又气愤又悲哀.脑子只有问号”为什么呢?”

    1949年10月1日,中华人民共和国宣告成立,从此,中国的民族关系在历史上产生了质的根本性变化,即由民族压迫时代进入民族平等时代。

    但是六十年过去了,我们却仍然不得不面对一个悲惨的现实”藏族人不可以住”.

    六十年过去了,藏族人仍然生活在种族隔离的镣铐和种族歧视的锁链之下,寸步难行,悲苦难当.

    六十年过去了,在一个物质繁荣的广阔海洋中,藏族人仍然生活在贫穷的孤岛上.

    六十年过去了,藏族人仍然在中国社会的角落里枯萎憔悴.

    为什么?

    为什么?

    恰嘎扎西才让于2009/4/16在南开大学

  219. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Otto,

    Regarding the pre-planning, there are much evidence in support of that assertion.

    Direct evidence, if any, would of course come from confessions, but you would probably assert that such confessions are coerced and thus unreliable. And of course, TGIE members would never directly admit it. So direct evidence is in any case out of question, at least to your satisfactions.

    Indirect evidence are plenty:

    (1) 1 HK news report that someone in the Western nations ordered a whole bunch of Independent Tibet Flags from a Chinese factory. Planning/coordination? I think so.

    (2) Even the TGIE youtube videos show that all of the “protesters” carried the same sized flags in the march. Given that this particular flag is not allowed in China, it would have taken them months to smuggle in all of those flags into China. (which was probably why they ordered a whole bunch from a Chinese factory, thinking that they could get them made inside China and shipped to TAR with little problem.)

    Planning/coordination? I think so.

    (3) Well known to Western media that TGIE was using cell phones and satellite phones to coordinate activities within TAR.

    (4) Online video was merely a signal to coordinate the activities. TGIE’s affiliated “Tibetan People’s Uprising” movement video was well broadcasted on YouTube, AND it announced specific dates for the “Uprising”.

    Planning/coordination? I think so.

    Even if not quite sophisticated planning or organized coordination, one could easily call it at least NOT “spontaneous”.

    Lack of organization, of course, suggest a degree of wanton reckless disregard for the violent consequences.

    One cannot help but to note that in the videos, none or very little mentioning of “peaceful” was done by the Tibetan inciters.

    Of course, when one blatantly brand the words “People’s Uprising” on their website, it hardly suggests a “peaceful movement”.

  220. Wahaha Says:

    Hemulen,

    Qiaga Tashi Tsering said ” …不愧是祖国的首都,服务员的素质都这么高….” ?

    Hahahahahaha, not even a Han Chinese would speak like that.

    Where did you get such cheap lie ?

  221. raventhorn4000 Says:

    There was a very interesting report from a Western journalist talking about ordinary life in Lhasa.

    But even that was inevitably infused with ethnic tension and politics.

    The Western Journalist observed, that most Tibetan owned hotels do not serve Han Chinese or even Hui Chinese, and on the other side, the Han/Hui Chinese owned businesses do not serve Tibetans. In the late 1990′s, ethnic violence broke out between Tibetans and Huis in Lhasa, sometimes over arguments that Hui businesses were cheating the Tibetans or serving them bad food.

    I do not think these are the results of any Chinese policies. (Of course, some would blame every thing wrong in Tibet to the Chinese Migration policies, the same old argument that if the Chinese were NOT there, there would be no problems.)

    But in any case, tension between Tibetans and Huis can hardly be attributed to Han Chinese chauvinism.

    1 last interesting observation from the Western Journalist: He was welcomed into a Tibetan house, when they noted that he was white. Inevitably the conversation turned to politics. But when the White Western Journalist began to suggest to his Tibetan hosts that not all Chinese policies in Tibet were bad, and perhaps a compromise can be reached (a position of “Middle Road” much publicized by DL himself), his Tibetan hosts became rather angry, to the point that 1 of the more friendly among the hosts suggested to the White Western Journalist that he’d better leave and find lodging elsewhere.

    The point of my story is: if anecdotes are any indication, it depends on the circumstances. All People have their own unique brand of paranoia and chauvinism.

    But if Tibetans under DL have the supposed “spiritual solution” to the worldly problems, then I have not yet seen them get along too well with other people of different opinions.

    Sounds more to me that the DL’s “spiritual solutions” come in a similar theocratic package as his old ones.

    Of course, everyone would be happy if DL gets his way.

    That would also explain why in TGIE communities in India, there are graffiti of “Long Live Dalai Lama” in English on Walls.

    And why a small sect called Shugden was banned by DL, and Shugden followers were stoned in the Exile Community.

    But no one cries for the Shugden followers in TGIE, except to accuse them of collaborating with China.

    Is this the “spiritual solution” for Tibet?

    God knows what would happen to all the Han/Hui Chinese in Tibet when DL is back in charge.

  222. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “Sixty years later and Tibetans still live in the shackles of apartheid and chained by racism, every step an ordeal and misery.”

    I don’t think Beijing had this policy until recently, after the riots in Tibet.

    One can hardly call it apartheid and racism, nor “island of poverty”.

    The author himself seems wealthy enough to afford hotels and attends school near Beijing.

    That’s far better off than most Chinese farmers in the countryside my father came from.

    I mean, let the author explain, who pays for his schooling, how did he get the money for his hotel? Scholarships? Jobs?

    *Every time I go back to China I have to pay $130 (now) for a Chinese visa, because I have US citizenship, more than other countries’ citizens.

    Do I also get to complain about “Apartheid”, or “island of poverty”??

  223. William Huang Says:

    @ Khechog #209

    Below are my answer to your questions:

    “Did you watch the video and read my account as I have requested?”
    Yes, I did.

    “1) bunch of Tibetans hooligan, like the English football fans or anarchist, for no reason start attacking Han Chinese with no real grievances”
    I don’t think Tibetans are hooligans like English football fans but I do believe they attacked Han and Hui Chinese for no reason.

    “2) it was all incited by outsiders”
    I don’t know about outsiders but I won’t be surprised that TGIE organized protest (not necessary the violence).

    “3) there was only the violent riot in Lhasa and the rest of the Tibetan areas were peaceful;”
    Yes, I believe that. To be precise, violence here means violence against Han or Hui Chinese.

    “4) 17 Chinese and 1 Tibetan girl were killed by protesters but the Chinese security force did not kill a single Tibetan nor responsible for any of the deaths;”
    No I don’t think so. To be precise, I do believe Chinese security force killed some Tibetans but I don’t know the number.

    “5) there was no clampdown, repression, torture, fear, struggle sessions, criticism sessions post-3/14 in Tibet which is continuing;”
    Yes, I believe these things exist and continue to exist.

    “6) and what the western media and Tibetans say are all lies, propaganda, and biases?”
    No, not all are lies, propaganda and biases. However, many of them do including TGIE and Dalai Lama.

  224. Nimrod Says:

    pug_ster Says:

    “Why doesn’t the Dalai Lama denounce those Tibetans who resort to violence?”

    +++++
    You know, I don’t want to harp on DL too much, but even a Yasser Arafat or Mahmoud Abbas would at least half-heartedly (but still categorically) denounce “both sides” when it came to specific Palestinian violence. I recall DL always denouncing violence in general, but whenever it came to specifc violence whether it was the Iraq War or 3/14 violence, he was incredibly equivocal.

  225. raventhorn4000 Says:

    To be fair,

    DL has said “criminals should be punished” when asked about the prosecution of Tibetans for the riot.

    But he followed, by questioning the judicial system of China.

    *All I can say is, at least he’s not saying that those Tibetans were in any fashion justified. Essentially, DL has admitted that there were criminals who should be punished.

    On the other hand, the complain about the judicial system is an excuse.

    DL, don’t be like Johnny Cochran. China would not acquit on technicalities of laws according to DL.

  226. Allen Says:

    Hemulen wrote in #205,

    What you are doing here is projecting the current strong Chinese state back into the Yuan or Qing dynasties, when imperial control was nowhere as strong as it is today. At the same time, you are using the fact that DL never exercised full control over all Tibetan areas as an argument that no Tibetan state existed and thus was part of China. If you want to be consistent, you should recognize that both imperial China and Lamaist Tibet were premodern states that are not easily shoehorned into modern categories such as the sovereign nation state.

    What the heck is a modern state?

    Statehood is a concept created in the West. A state is defined as the atomic stakesholder in international law. To make things simple, statehood is created in association with the concept of sovereignty – statehood is the traditional atomic unit through which to actuate international law.

    Now – it is true that one can say Imperial China was a “premodern state” in the sense that it had the characteristics of a loose federation. Industrialization had yet to hit China – and China was not as tightly governed as a nation that had railroads, or a network of modern electromagnetic communication systems – whose economy was more tightly integrated with the additional movement of goods and services that came with industrialization. In addition, the language of China was not yet unified. People spoke dialects galore. The Chinese people also had not been unified to hold the concept that external threats exist that can destroy their way of life – i.e. Chinese nationalism had not yet developed. China could not be “modern” also because Chinese gov’t was also continually weakened with incessant meddling from the West (e.g. Opium Wars, etc.).

    But to say that China somehow was a premodern state and hence did not have full right to sovereignty – that smacks of chauvinism or ignorance or simply of being a revisionist. Every power that mattered in the late 1800′s and early 1900′s recognized China to include the regions known as Tibet, Xinjian, Mongolia, and Manchuria – despite the weakness of the central government. No state ever recognized Tibet to be a state. Within the Qing, the central gov’t was set up to exercise final jurisdiction over all its territories. The fact that some regions in China were more loosely governed than others does not change the fact that under International law, China – even as a “premodern state” – was recognized to possess a territory and a boundary within which it held sovereignty.

    Now – within the sovereign influence of China – one may make the argument that given that certain regions were given more autonomy than others, perhaps it would be good to continue having certain regions of the China enjoying more autonomy than others. Perhaps that would be better for the nation – perhaps not. But it’s an argument that needs to be made within China. It’s not an international question.

    Some people also have sense that what is fair w.r.t. Tibet must be a compromise between the DL and CCP. In my view, that cannot be. If I make a offer of $0 for a house that has a market value of $1 million, is the fair thing for the owner to meet me half way and sell me the house for $.5 million? If someone wants to commit genocide, is it the right thing for me to pursue the middle way to compromise on committing half a genocide?

    The DL can hold his version of history. I can hold mine. The fair thing is not necessarily to compromise the two. I am who I am. The DL can be what he wants to be.

  227. Nimrod Says:

    “raventhorn4000 Says:

    To be fair, DL has said “criminals should be punished” when asked about the prosecution of Tibetans for the riot.”

    DL is a consummate rhetorician. You see how that is not the same thing as denouncing violence, merely a general statement on accepting consequences.

  228. Hemulen Says:

    @Allen

    You are a scary person. And this is a scary blog. That’s all I can say.

  229. William Huang Says:

    @ Allen #226

    As always, very well said.

  230. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Nimrod,

    Yep, I agree. DL is quite a double talker. That’s that doctorate in Buddhist Philosophy.

    Incidentally, DL has also said that he won’t sign any agreement in negotiating with China, because his signature doesn’t matter.

    If that’s the case, I don’t why TGIE whine about China not wanting negotiate with DL. I mean, come on, what’s the point if the man has no authority or is unwilling to sign any agreement?

    *Yes, DL, it is all empty promises, because you don’t want to sign anything.

  231. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To R4000 #225:
    I think raising concerns about the CHinese judicial system is a pretty reasonable thing to do.

    To Allen #226:
    by your example, there can be no compromise on anything. That seems a fairly consistent posture among CHinese nationalists of the internet variety.

  232. Allen Says:

    @SKC #231,

    You wrote:

    by your example, there can be no compromise on anything. That seems a fairly consistent posture among CHinese nationalists of the internet variety.

    There are certain things you should compromise and certain things you shouldn’t. There should be no norm that one must compromise on everything – which is all I am saying.

    W.r.t. China – there should not be any compromise on sovereignty. Period.

    As for the substance of internal governance – sure a lot of compromises – between different groups of peoples within China – may be undertaken – all w/in the context of Chinese sovereignty. I’ve never had any issue w/ that type of “compromise.”

  233. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Allen:
    That’s fair enough. I guess we disagree on what should and should not be open to compromise.

    I guess we also disagree on whether sovereignty is only to be applied outwardly, or inwardly as well.

  234. raffiaflower Says:

    Just curious – why didn’t that person then go to the police and confirm whether such a permit is really needed, instead of running to all those hotels and then bitching about it??
    Since documentation is done on the spot, details can be transmitted to computerised system at police hq at once.
    On Khecog, his pro-independence arguments seem to be based on little more than the “race card” – magnify the differences (no Confucian influence, etc) and play the bogey about erosion of language, culture, etc, Chinese, to scare the
    This device was commonly used in SEA countries, but falling out of favour.
    Chinese officially recognised as minority in Indonesia so that tactic is frowned on; in Malaysia, voters are demanding performance-based governance rather than race-based, so any attempt to divide has become less effective.
    Dharamsala is not what he makes out. Two frens went for pilgrimage few months ago and it was grubby and some refugee parts dirty. The Guardian ran an article a few years ago, abt Brit girls lured by the Shangri-la myth to Dharamsala and hook up with Tibetan guys with nothing to do but smoke pot. Shangri-la is so nice.

  235. Wukailong Says:

    Personally, I’ve tried the thing about going to the police and ask if a certain permit is necessary. These days it would probably be different, but back in 2001 you would get mixed answers. It depended very much on what the police wanted or not, as well as on what the hotel wanted. If any hotel claimed it was necessary, it probably was. Back then, there were a lot of places I couldn’t stay just because I’m a foreigner. I’m surprised to hear that something similar would be needed for minority people, but things like this don’t surprise me anymore.

    The residence permit handling at police stations (along with hukou etc) is usually closed after 6 pm, at least in Beijing.

    As for the Shangri-la myth, a lot of people here seem to think that Tibet is Shangri-la now, thanks to CCP. There really isn’t much difference in propaganda pictures from the West or China.

  236. raffiaflower Says:

    the rules have probably changed – or they change them as they like. I stayed in Shanghai last year in a small hotel booked by a fren, and nobody asked for a permit. Same thing in Beijing, though this one was for a working trip with a big group and the hotel was new and claimed to be five-star.
    If such a thing is true, it’s not right to treat anyone, minority or not, this way.

  237. raventhorn4000 Says:

    SKC,

    “I think raising concerns about the CHinese judicial system is a pretty reasonable thing to do.”

    Anyone can “raise concerns” about any government’s judicial system. DL is welcome to it.

    But that’s not a defense to halt any wheels of justice in any country.

    I would like to “raise concerns” about the injustice of US courts in allowing the murderers of Vincent Chang to get only light sentences of 2 or so years in prison for racially motivated beating death of Vincent Chang in 1980′s Detroit.

    Maybe DL just can’t deal with reality.

  238. raventhorn4000 Says:

    I had a similar situation in Shanghai years ago, but only for a small hotel, where because I had US citiznship, they wanted a local “sponsor” or police certification. But big hotels didn’t ask for it, if I booked ahead of time.

    But I think that was mostly for security concerns.

    Of course, in HK, mainlanders and foreigners needs to carry a valid passport at all times, and police will occasionally stop people and check for ID’s and passport. And they will haul you to jail if you don’t have ID or valid visa on passport.

    Taiwan has a similar situation but more discriminatory to mainland Chinese. All mainland Chinese visitors must be vouched for by a local “sponsor” and escorted at all times while in Taiwan. My wife, who has a US Greencard but mainland citizenship, couldn’t book any flights or hotels to Taiwan. The Taiwanese travel agency told her that she must have a local “sponsor” or a Taiwanese tour guide to vouch for her and escort her at all times.

    The Taiwanese rule applies only to mainland Chinese, and no one else.

    Frankly, I find this rule extremely discriminatory and far more racist than anything I have seen.

    Taiwan’s treatment of mainlanders is highly prejudicial. Mainland Chinese wives of Taiwanese men are treated terribly. They are denied access to most jobs and public services like employment help and social security type benefits.

    *Of course, China should let Taiwan have its security tantrum rules to make it feel better.

  239. William Huang Says:

    @raventhorn4000

    Not long ago, for a mainland Chinese who would like to visit Taiwan, he/she also had to meet a minimum of 5 years resident in a “democratic” country requirement in order to get a visa in addition to local sponsorship with some monior exceptions, for instance, scientific/technical conferences.

  240. raventhorn4000 Says:

    William,

    Yes, that was the case for my wife too. 5 years in US, as a requirement. Otherwise, she couldn’t even go, even if she had “sponsor”.

    When I heard about it, let’s just say it was the first time in many years that I cursed out loud.

  241. MatthewTan Says:

    The issue of whether Tibet was an independent nation-state or not, before the PLA “invasion”, is not on the discussion table for debate. It was not for debate in the United Nations in 1950 when the Tibetan local government first made complaints against Chinese invasion. It was not for debate in 1959 when the Dalai Lama repudiated the 17-point Agreement. It was not for debate in every subsequent UN discussion on Tibet (1961, 1965, 1989).

    It was also not for debate in 1946 when the Tibetan local government sent a delegation to the Chinese National Assembly to discuss about Tibet’s politcal status and to make a weak attempt to win independence.

    It was also not for debate in 1940 when the Dalai Lama was confirmed in the sitting-on-the-bed (or enthronement) ceremony. Approval by the Chinese government was sought so that selection by divine lottery can be dispensed with. Contemporary Western news commentator Alastair Lamb noted that it appeared that the Chinese government’s approval was necessary for legitimization of the Dalai Lama. Similarly, it was not for debate when the 10th Panchen Lama was likewise confirmed and installed by the Chinese Nationalist government in 1949.

    It was not for debate in 1934 when Huang Musong put up posters all over Lhasa signifying that Tibet was part of China. What was debated was the boundary, extent and the kind of autonomy for Tibet as part of China. The issue remained in lingo since the Simla Convention in 1914, and continued till the Communist takeover. Much of this time, the 9th Panchen Lama was serving in his capacity as the Pacification Minister for the Western Regions under the Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek. It was not for debate when Tibet made its first half-hearted attempt to assert its “independence” in 1942 by establishing the Foreign Affairs Office, when Chiang Kai-shek ordered the Tibetan government to liaise with the Central Government ONLY through the Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission (MTAC), and this they complied until July 1949 just before the Communist takeover of China. The MTAC office in Lhasa was physical evidence that Tibetan affairs were domestic and not international affairs of China.

    According to Tsering Shakya in his article “Tibet and the League of Nations”, the 13th Dalai Lama made several secret inquiries about Tibet gaining admission to the League of Nations. He said that that Tibet’s “independent” political status will settled if Tibet was a member of the League of Nations. But, the 13th Dalai Lama did not pursue it, and there was LACK OF POLITICAL WILL on the part of Tibetan local government to assert political independence. (Tsering Shakya did not discuss the possibility that China would block Tibet’s admission just like the PRC block ROC/Taiwan today. Most probably Tibet would never be successful in gaining admission since China claimed all Tibetan territories).

    So, what was the political status of Tibet? It was defined by a series of international treaties after British invasion of Tibet in 1904, viz. the 1904 Lhasa Convention, 1906 Peking Convention and 1907 Anglo-Russia Convention; and before 1904 China signed international treaties on behalf of Tibet as its sovereign/suzerain master in the year 1876, 1886, 1890 and 1893.

    Read the Catholic Encyclopedia of 1912 for all the international treaties China signed on behalf of Tibet,
    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14718a.htm.

    The issue is as clear as daylight.

    There is no debate, and there was no debate, in government circles.

    All these silly debates came from Dharamsalem and its NGO support groups, and private individuals.

    What count is not what these people say, but what Governments of the world say, and what the United Nations’ stand is. So, wake up and ask the the Dalai Lama to wake up.

    And get REAL if you do not know what is REAL yet !

    The fact that the Chinese Central Government was weak and not able to enforce its rule by military outreach in the midst of competing warlord regimes, civil wars and Sino-Japanese wars does not nullify the legal status and historical fact that Tibet was part of China. From the perspective of China, the Tibetan local government was just another warlord among the many warlords.

    And if rule by military outreach was what you asked for, you already had it in October 1950, when the PLA took over Chamdo and marched towards Lhasa. ( I said here that Tibet had asked for it, because they killed their peace envoy the Living Buddha Geda Lama, and they refused or procrastinated when asked to come to Beijing for negotiation).

    And if rule by the iron fist is what you ask for today by instigating protests and riots, you will certainly receive what you ask for. This is real politics. Not Mother Theresa missionary outreach.

    I repeat: The political status of Tibet is not for debate, and the United Nations has effectively closed all debates by not even discussing it in 1950, 1959, 1961, 1965, 1989. Tibet was and is part of China, period.

    The type and form and extent of autonomy or no-autonomy is negotiable, but China will have the final say. If the Dalai Lama wants to make demands and negotiate, he has better know his own limitations. Otherwise he will get nothing and make his resting place outside Tibet. And he has better appreciate it that the door for dialogue with China is still open, and make the best use of it and not waste time.

    [All the above information can be found in Western-sourced historical writings. No use making allegations that people who are pro-China on Tibet issue are brainwashed by the Chinese government. I am born and bred and educated and worked in Singapore, not China. ]

  242. Wahaha Says:

    “The type and form and extent of autonomy or no-autonomy is negotiable,….”

    Matthew,

    Thx for the information.

    The politics here is very simple: the less influence the west has over Tibet, the more control China will give Tibetans. It is really disgraceful that West makes the issue in Tibet as an issue of human right, and masterfully stirred the hatred between Tibetans and Han Chinese.

  243. Khechog Says:

    I agree with Hemulen. This is a pretty scary blog forum. Might is right is the motto …

    Nimrod, Thanks for your responses to my questions. So you don’t find any fault in the PRC-CCP Tibet policies and its all Tibetan side making big issue out of nothing. So it’s the Tibetans fault for its predicament. I really don’t have anything more to add than what Hemulen responded to your questions to me.

    No offence, generally I find your knowledge on Tibetan issue and history quite limited/shallow and it appears like many others just woke up to the Tibet problem just last March. Then ofcourse the history of Tibet that you were taught in China growing up. The problem with you is that you think you know it all and it’s way one communication. I could only imagine how the Tibetan delegations got sitting across the officials of the PRC’s United Front during these talks.

    If I may, one book I would recommend you to read is Melvyn Goldsten’s Bapa Phunwang political biography revolultionary. Bapa Phunwang was the founder of Tibetan Communist Party who firmly believes in Marxist ideals but later ran afoul with Moa and CCP, so he ended up in prison for 18 years of which 9 years in complete isolation. He was in the late 1950′s also highest ranking Tibetan official and was closest in becoming the first ever Tibetan CCP leader for TAR (so far still none). It’s a fascinating read. If you get adventurous, then try Tsering Shakya’s critically acclaimed history of Tibet in the last 50 years is pretty good.

    If you think I am the ‘separatist or splittest’ then I am not sure who you going to have a dialogue from the Tibetan side to try to understand the Tibetan problem. Demanding for Tibetan identity and cultural protection is considered a separatist, then sure I am one. I don’t find any Tibetans who believe in complete assimilation or sinicization as one person in this forum puts it as the final solution to the problem.

    Otherwise, our dialogue is coming to an end. I don’t think you still believe I am Tibetan and have visited Tibet. So good luck in finding a Tibetan who believe in your views.

    Besides, most of you guys seem to hold foreign passports and seem well settled in the west as I thought I was having dialogue with the mainland Chinese living in China or studying abroad.

    Then there those Chinese from Malaysia, Taiwan, Hongkong who have never lived under CCP and for various reasons feel deeply nationalistic and will ‘defend’ China to anyone who is critical.

    I am going to paste this again from my previous post of a view from one of the top ex-officials of PRC-CCP.

    “…”I think this is proof of the efficiency of the government’s policy. They are very successful at brainwashing. Young people below 20 know nothing about [Tiananmen Square]. Even 30 to 40 year olds may not know exactly what happened because they were teens and schoolchildren at the time,” he said.
    “But I believe that as long as society is unfair, as long as there is inequality, people will chase freedom and democracy.””

    Wahaha # 216, Ditto as Otto. You have either poor comprehension, listening skills or just lying. I never said those things.

    That leaves William Huang, who seems curious to find out the Tibetan issue and seems willing to listen and atleast haven’t lectured me the Tibetan history.

    # 223 William Huang Says:

    Below are my answer to your questions:

    “Did you watch the video and read my account as I have requested?”
    Yes, I did.

    K: Thanks very much.

    “1) bunch of Tibetans hooligan, like the English football fans or anarchist, for no reason start attacking Han Chinese with no real grievances”
    I don’t think Tibetans are hooligans like English football fans but I do believe they attacked Han and Hui Chinese for no reason.

    K: Yes some attacked after 4 days of peaceful protests on March 10,11,12,13 where the protestors were brutally put down by the Chinese security forces. Then March 14th it got completely out of control.

    What’s puzzling is with that much Chinese security forces deployed in Tibet on a normal day and the fact that every March10th is Tibetan uprising day and it’s a Olympic year, why was there no Security forces for the entire 6 hours when the riot happened. The biggest land-owners in the City of Lhasa is the PLA. I’d estimate, as much as 1/3 of Lhasa city limit is owned and occupied by PLA, PAP, Police forces.

    There is a theory, I am sure you have heard, this was deliberately incited by the Chinese secret police with a motivation to find out who is getting involved but then went out of control. At a minimum isn’t it a complete failure of the Fire department, Police to control the crowd.

    “2) it was all incited by outsiders”
    I don’t know about outsiders but I won’t be surprised that TGIE organized protest (not necessary the violence).

    K- There is not a shred of evidence that this was incited by TGIE or any outside organizations. If you remember HHDL went as far as to offer the Chinese authorities to come to Dharamsala for any investigation that they wanted to carry-out to interview and find any documents. There was no response from the PRC. There is an article written by Tsering Shakya on Far Eastern Economic Review (feer.com or org) of the contacts between Tibetans in Tibet and outside. Search for that doc and read it.

    The reason that this was random and not organized from outside is the fact that there was not a single videos or photos of the March events in Lhasa that Tibetan side were able to release outside. Eg. the recent torture video just came out a month ago. have been saying that if this was organized from outside. The only photos that came out were from a few foreigners and then of-course it was shown on CCTV only on March 16/17, 2-3 days after. I heard that Tibetans especially in Amdo Qinghai province were printing in Xiling the Tibetan flag which are easy to make. Besides how many Chinese would recognize Tibetan flags. If you remember, there was news that a factory in Senzhen got a contract to make Tibetan flags and they made thousands until very late some one recognized the banned flag.

    “3) there was only the violent riot in Lhasa and the rest of the Tibetan areas were peaceful;”
    Yes, I believe that. To be precise, violence here means violence against Han or Hui Chinese.

    K – Agreed there was violence against Chinese and Tibetan officials where Police departments were burned but the clampdown and repression on the Tibetans were worse which is still continuing including torture, deaths of hudreds and imprionment of thousands. The entire Tibetan people had to participate in the struggle, critcism session to attack HHDL and the Tibetan employees had to write 5000 to 10000 character essays criticising Dalai Lama and the causes of March 14th.

    “4) 17 Chinese and 1 Tibetan girl were killed by protesters but the Chinese security force did not kill a single Tibetan nor responsible for any of the deaths;”
    No I don’t think so. To be precise, I do believe Chinese security force killed some Tibetans but I don’t know the number.

    K – Tibetans told me and we believe hundreds were killed and thousands imprisoned. The Tibetan inhabited areas (1/4 of China) has been locked down since last March with no foreginers and media allowed in. Tibetans visiting China and living there were subjected to discrimination and humiliation.

    “5) there was no clampdown, repression, torture, fear, struggle sessions, criticism sessions post-3/14 in Tibet which is continuing;”
    Yes, I believe these things exist and continue to exist.

    ‘K – Yes, thanks for your understanding’

    “6) and what the western media and Tibetans say are all lies, propaganda, and biases?”
    No, not all are lies, propaganda and biases. However, many of them do including TGIE and Dalai Lama.

    ‘K – Sure as I have said from the beginning, Tibetans outside feel an obligation to act as a spokesperson when their relatives and compatriots don’t have voices and freedom to speak up and are suffering in Tibet.

    If PRC has nothing to hide in Tibet, let these reporters and international monitors from UN or others visit Tibet and grant them un-restricted access to report, interview Tibetans. Also give Tibetans freedom to speak without fear and repurcussion. Have a referendum in Tibet to see what they want. In the absence of these, the media listens to accounts of Tibetans have fled Tibet or ones courageous enough to speak up like Woeser. That way TGIE and guys like me don’t have to speak on-behalf of them, then they can speak for themselves.’

    I will respond to your #204 later when I have time.

    For those who still don’t believe Tibetan exiles have been successful, just as I have done travelling in China and Tibet, if you can afford it and have the time, go to India and Nepal and check out the Tibetan communities there and report it back to us.

  244. Allen Says:

    @Khechog #243,

    You wrote:

    Demanding for Tibetan identity and cultural protection is considered a separatist, then sure I am one. I don’t find any Tibetans who believe in complete assimilation or sinicization.

    Perhaps we should have a blog entry on whether it is possible to have a country of multi-cultural, multi-ethnic communities? Whether it is possible to have multi-cultural, multi-ethnic mix of communities co-existing side by side? Or whether we must have them segregated? Whether the Tibetan plateau should be reserved for “ethnic Tibetans” (however defined) only and where other areas of China – say the Eastern seacoast – should be reserved for “ethnic Hans” (however defined) only? Whether the government should be actively involved in setting up barriers within the country to preserve previously segregated communities? Whether the exile’s vision of an ethnically pure Tibet is compatible with the concept of a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic state at all?

    P.S. If you or anyone else wants to take a shot – please submit it. We’ll post it.

  245. Nimrod Says:

    Khechog,

    I find it not helpful to pigeonhole people (and maybe there were lapses, if so I apologize), but I hope you do the same.

    So you don’t find any fault in the PRC-CCP Tibet policies and its all Tibetan side making big issue out of nothing. So it’s the Tibetans fault for its predicament. I really don’t have anything more to add than what Hemulen responded to your questions to me.

    I never said Tibet policy has no fault. In fact I find many faults with it. Some I have pointed out specifically as such, but anything that we even discuss are all problems, otherwise there would be no disagreement. But what I try to do is point out some explanations for these problems because not every problem is the result of ideological or political struggle. Tibetans should rightfully claim their rights as citizens of China as should all Chinese, but burning down shops is not acceptable even if I can perfectly “understand” the motivation behind it. Likewise police brutality and beatings are not legitimate.

    No offence, generally I find your knowledge on Tibetan issue and history quite limited/shallow and it appears like many others just woke up to the Tibet problem just last March. Then ofcourse the history of Tibet that you were taught in China growing up. The problem with you is that you think you know it all and it’s way one communication. I could only imagine how the Tibetan delegations got sitting across the officials of the PRC’s United Front during these talks.

    In reality Tibet history (or any local history) is not really taught in China. That’s a problem of the education system. So that’s not where I learned about Tibet history anyway.

    If I may, one book I would recommend you to read is Melvyn Goldsten’s Bapa Phunwang political biography revolultionary. Bapa Phunwang was the founder of Tibetan Communist Party who firmly believes in Marxist ideals but later ran afoul with Moa and CCP, so he ended up in prison for 18 years of which 9 years in complete isolation. He was in the late 1950’s also highest ranking Tibetan official and was closest in becoming the first ever Tibetan CCP leader for TAR (so far still none). It’s a fascinating read. If you get adventurous, then try Tsering Shakya’s critically acclaimed history of Tibet in the last 50 years is pretty good.

    I’ve read both and have recommended both to others. In fact, Phunwang is a fascinating character study, and if you want to discuss his Tibetan nationalism, we can. I for one think it perfectly characterizes the state of pan-Tibetan nationalism among Khampas pre-1951, which was in an infant stage.

    If you think I am the ’separatist or splittest’ then I am not sure who you going to have a dialogue from the Tibetan side to try to understand the Tibetan problem. Demanding for Tibetan identity and cultural protection is considered a separatist, then sure I am one. I don’t find any Tibetans who believe in complete assimilation or sinicization as one person in this forum puts it as the final solution to the problem.

    I never called you a separatist or splittist. These labels don’t matter on this blog anyway. I never even argued that the Tibetan identity and culture should not be protected or that Tibetans should be assimilated or Sinicized. I never set down anything so prescriptive. It would be a very good thing for Tibetans to retain their unique culture and I encourage it and have nothing against it. Indeed I well understand the differences between us on these matters, which relate to the assessment of the current state of affairs and methods going forward. I don’t know why you should feel so insulted by an honest debate on these issues.

  246. Otto Kerner Says:

    @Matthew Tan,

    “The issue of whether Tibet was an independent nation-state or not, before the PLA ‘invasion’, is not on the discussion table for debate.”

    I’m not sure what you mean, or, if I do have the correct sense of it, you are quite wrong. The question of whether or not Tibet was an independent state prior to 1951 is one that the Chinese government takes a keen interest in. That it was not is an argument frequently made in favor of continued Chinese rule in Tibet. Various private parties have often found it an interesting topic about which to palaver. You yourself seem to have wasted quite a bit of breath discussing something which is not on the table. Is it that you think we are too stupid to notice this?

    “It was also not for debate in 1940 when the Dalai Lama was confirmed in the sitting-on-the-bed (or enthronement) ceremony. Approval by the Chinese government was sought so that selection by divine lottery can be dispensed with.”

    Melvyn Goldstein (a famous historian who writes about Tibet in the 20th century) has said that the opposite is true, and I believe I will trust his account over yours.

    “So, what was the political status of Tibet? It was defined by a series of international treaties after British invasion of Tibet in 1904, viz. the 1904 Lhasa Convention, 1906 Peking Convention and 1907 Anglo-Russia Convention; and before 1904 China signed international treaties on behalf of Tibet as its sovereign/suzerain master in the year 1876, 1886, 1890 and 1893.”

    I suppose you believe that all of the treaties China made with Britain at around that time are valid and binding?

  247. Otto Kerner Says:

    “Perhaps we should have a blog entry on whether it is possible to have a country of multi-cultural, multi-ethnic communities? Whether it is possible to have multi-cultural, multi-ethnic mix of communities co-existing side by side? Or whether we must have them segregated?”

    Although the word segregation literally means simply to keep things separate, in this sense of racial or ethnic segregation, it is normally used with a more specific connotation. As Wikipedia puts it, “Racial segregation is the separation of different racial groups in daily life, such as eating in a restaurant, drinking from a water fountain, using a rest room, attending school, going to the movies, or in the rental or purchase of a home.” In other words, it means that the people in question are already near each other in society, but an artificial arrangement prevents them meeting directly as equals, despite proximity. The strong implication is usually made that this policy of segregation is intended for the disadvantage of the less politically influential group. This has no resemblance to any policies that are suggested for Tibet. Therefore, you are using the word incorrectly.

    “Whether the exile’s vision of an ethnically pure Tibet is compatible with the concept of a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic state at all?”

    Can you document the existence of a “vision of an ethnically pure Tibet”? As far as I’m aware, no Tibetans have expressed such a desire any moreso than China as a whole has expressed a vision of an “ethnically pure China”. I don’t suppose you are suggesting to allow people from anywhere in the world to settle peacefully in Tibet? Or is it only allowable for people of the Zhonghua minzu ethnicity?

  248. William Huang Says:

    @ Khechog #243

    Thanks for the reply and look forward to your response to my questions in #204.

  249. Otto Kerner Says:

    Khechog,

    Would you mind expanding on your comment in #200 that, “in return for this legitimacy, Tibetans want all Tibetan inhabited regions to be incorporated into one administration inorder to protect Tibetan culture when the entire population is less than 6 million Tibetans”? I fear that this will always be a major obstacle to an agreement even if a relatively reasonable government appears in Beijing, because the Chinese will always be afraid to have such a large land area under a single autonomous government. The formula that I have suggested is that the same pro-Tibetan reforms should be enacted in the TAR and all of the Tibetan autonomous prefectures separately, rather than combined into one big autonomous region. Is there a fatal flaw in this idea?

  250. Wahaha Says:

    Khechog ,

    I simply ask you a question.

    Is it you or other Tibetans who claim that there is discrimination agianst Tibetans by han chinese ?

    I was asking if you said, and if you did, why did we spend billions of moneys in Tibet ?

    and I have said, Tibet is not an issue of human right, it is an issue of politics and how we survive, I wish you understand that. Chinese government wouldnt mind giving power to the people in Tibet, like in Hong Kong (as part of China), but Tibet is different, the so called “rule by Tibetans” is actually ” controled by West”. If British, France, German and India send 3000 troops in Tibet, or build a small missile base there like US did in Poland, the 60% of China’s land would be under the attack range.

    THAT IS WHY THOSE WEST POLITICIANS AND MEDIA SO CARE ABOUT TIBET. You think they give a damn about your freedom and living?

  251. Otto Kerner Says:

    @Nimrod #212,

    “No, there were violent riots in many places. Lhasa was the worst, but there were raids on government buildings and monks beating riot police with sticks (again there are videos of these things) elsewhere.”

    That’s a fair point, I think. There were a lot peaceful protests in Lhasa and various other places in March and April, but there were also cases, especially in remote areas, where there were uprisings against the government. As far as I’m aware, in the areas outside of Lhasa, there were no attacks on civilian targets, except by the security forces.

  252. Wahaha Says:

    and about Tibet culture, what is Tibet culture besides some religions books, will you kindly explain ?

    No offense, but I couldnt find a good book by Tibetans talking about Tibet family, their love, their marriage.

  253. Otto Kerner Says:

    @Nimrod #202,

    “At the end of Qing, when modern statecraft was imported, this concept became very clear and Qing encouraged settlers to go to Inner Mongolia and Manchuria, totally defeating any notion that there is such a unit called ‘China proper’.”

    See to my mind, this shows the opposite. The fact that the government encouraged settlers to from the core area to move to the periphery shows that there was a core area, and we can be term that “China proper”. What makes this even notable is that people from one cultural area moved into a different cultural area and that had political consequences.

  254. Otto Kerner Says:

    @raventhorn #219,

    I’m not really all that interested in pursuing this much further, because I don’t think it’s actually important whether or not Tibetan exiles were involved in helping to organise the protests. Helping people inside Tibet organise to express themselves is a good thing, so kudos to the Tibetan exiles if they are guilty as charged (I mean the protests, not the violence — I’m sure you’d have told me if you had evidence that the Tibetan exiles planned that). The word “incited” and other similar phrases which are tossed about seem to imply that the protests were supported by people in Tibet, which hardly seems to be the case.

    That said, I still think the evidence you’ve presented seems pretty circumstantial. Someone ordered Tibetan flags right before Uprising Day? You don’t say! As for “cell phones and satellite phones”, it would be surprising, with all this chaos going on in Tibet, if the Tibetan emigres didn’t try to call their friends and relatives inside Tibet to see how they were doing.

    It is sort of amusing to think that even Tibetan independence flags are made in China. I will say that I have always wondered where the Tibetan protestors get their flags. Obviously, they are either smuggling them into the country somehow or else they are very dedicated and skilled underground flag-makers. In either case, I have to salute their courage and ingenuity.

  255. Nimrod Says:

    Otto Kerner Says:

    That’s a fair point, I think. There were a lot peaceful protests in Lhasa and various other places in March and April, but there were also cases, especially in remote areas, where there were uprisings against the government. As far as I’m aware, in the areas outside of Lhasa, there were no attacks on civilian targets, except by the security forces.

    +++++
    Yes, there were peaceful protests as well. Every March in Lhasa itself there are protests. So what is different in 2008 is what happened after March 10.

  256. Otto Kerner Says:

    @Allen #226,

    “But to say that China somehow was a premodern state and hence did not have full right to sovereignty – that smacks of chauvinism or ignorance or simply of being a revisionist.”

    It’s funny how people can look at the same facts and draw such different conclusions. During the Qing period, there were two powers which held different kinds of authority over Tibet, neither of which was quite what we would call a normal state in the modern sense. The relationship between these powers was different from anything that exists under the modern state system. From these facts, you draw the conclusion that it would be chauvinistic not to recognise China’s sovereignty over Tibet. But, to me, it seems deeply chauvinistic to assume that this ambiguous history means that Tibet must automatically be converted into sovereign Chinese territory with no particular responsibilities owed to the Tibetans in return.

  257. Otto Kerner Says:

    “The Dalai Lama goes to his worldwide tour to shame the Chinese government.”

    Insofar as you act on the basis of “might makes right”, shame is the natural result of your own actions and is well deserved. Blaming someone else for the result of your actions is simply childish.

  258. Nimrod Says:

    Otto Kerner,

    I’ve posted these videos before. They are from months before the violence. You tell me if there is no coordination and no planning for violence, or as Khechog incredibly still tries to suggest, that the Chinese police faked this:
    http://www.youtube.com/v/lDoEHW75FCM
    http://www.youtube.com/v/5pJeKsN5S1c
    (ignore the titles and extraneous commentary… just watch it for what it is)

    Khechog,

    There is not a shred of evidence that this was incited by TGIE or any outside organizations. If you remember HHDL went as far as to offer the Chinese authorities to come to Dharamsala for any investigation that they wanted to carry-out to interview and find any documents. There was no response from the PRC.

    Yes, DL offered China the opportunity to check his stool, I shit you not. (Pun very intended.) Hmm, I wonder why China didn’t take him up on the offer. Also China only ever says things about the “DL clique” which basically refers to the entire Dharamsala establishment, not DL personally, but he is the head and desires to be the spiritual leader, so sorry, the buck stops with him.

    The reason that this was random and not organized from outside is the fact that there was not a single videos or photos of the March events in Lhasa that Tibetan side were able to release outside.

    Yah, because there is absolutely nothing favorable to the Tibetans to be shown. It paints them in a very bad light, howling and beating up innocent people. It would be like negative PR. Now that you bring this up, there was nothing released of any peaceful protests from 3/10 – 3/13 or of any terrible crackdown pre-3/14, either, further showing it was pretty routine stuff up to 3/14.

  259. Nimrod Says:

    Otto Kerner,

    See to my mind, this shows the opposite. The fact that the government encouraged settlers to from the core area to move to the periphery shows that there was a core area, and we can be term that “China proper”. What makes this even notable is that people from one cultural area moved into a different cultural area and that had political consequences.

    Sure, there was a core area, namely the settled agriculturalist area, but that’s a dynamic conception. As I pointed out, you can say the same about US government encouraging people to move West from the original 13 colonies. But the original 13 colonies is not “US proper” in any sense. It was always a gradual process. The only political consequence is the formation or conversion of land to provinces once the settlements have saturated enough to merit sufficient direct resources of the central government. When I say there is no “China proper” I mean there is no “China proper” that is some fixed area as if it were some unit republic within Qing. No, there were provinces, and there was land. There was never a “China proper” administrative unit.

  260. Allen Says:

    @Otto Kerner #256,

    As I have explained before – there were various degrees of autonomy within the Qing. The emperor / central government of Qing remain the supreme gov’t in all lands within the Qing empire. The Qing also always stipulated it was the sole authority to deal with outside powers. That was the case with the ROC and PRC.

  261. William Huang Says:

    @ Otto Kerner #256

    “During the Qing period, there were two powers which held different kinds of authority over Tibet, neither of which was quite what we would call a normal state in the modern sense. The relationship between these powers was different from anything that exists under the modern state system.”

    You are paraphrasing what Hemulen already said in the last paragraph of his post #205. So, please allow me to quote Allen’s response (#226) to Hemulen as my question to you:

    What the heck is a modern state?

  262. Nimrod Says:

    Khechog and others,

    We’re getting off track into surface symptoms like protests and academic discussions on Qing Dynasty.

    I am still more interested in the root causes and how Tibetans live, since that seems more relevant for the purpose of “exchange”.

    For example, today I read this, written by a Canadian Tibetan who taught English in Qinghai:

    “My Year in Amdo”
    http://www.shambhalasun.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1661

    I like that she gives details on things. Khechog, I remember you said you met many Tibetan students in your travels, too. What are they thinking, what do they say to you. Could you give us some first-hand accounts?

  263. Otto Kerner Says:

    William Huang,

    (I wouldn’t say I’m paraphrasing — it’s not like one can only learn about these things from Hemulen).

    For our purposes, the main salient feature of the modern state system is that sovereignty is that it treats sovereignty as a yes-or-no question, belonging to an abstract state entity. Outside of these constraints, it’s normal for people to divide authority between multiple parties in various ways.

  264. Wahaha Says:

    shame is the natural result of your own actions and is well deserved…..

    _______________________________________________________

    Some people are shameless, like complain the smells while he himself never wipe his own @$$ clear.

    In chinese words, such people should look down at their own urine to see what they themselves look like.

    What is more disgusting is that they never really care about other people, but PRETEND they have higher moral standard.

    By the way, did west earn the respect of russian people after what they have done to them ? funny, Stalin now is well respected by Russian people, pretty much tell us how much Russian people ‘ appreciate’ West.

    and now some of them shamelessly demand chinese to follow their instructions to ‘ earn ‘ their respect, WTF ?

  265. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Otto,

    “I’m not really all that interested in pursuing this much further, because I don’t think it’s actually important whether or not Tibetan exiles were involved in helping to organise the protests. Helping people inside Tibet organise to express themselves is a good thing, so kudos to the Tibetan exiles if they are guilty as charged (I mean the protests, not the violence — I’m sure you’d have told me if you had evidence that the Tibetan exiles planned that). The word “incited” and other similar phrases which are tossed about seem to imply that the protests were supported by people in Tibet, which hardly seems to be the case.”

    One can hardly logically separate out the “protest” from the resulting “violence”. Such a suggestion is contrary to even Western legal definitions. The TGIE organized the “protests” knowing full well that violence was very much likely, GIVEN that there have been bombings since the 1990′s. “Incitement” doesn’t have imply any “support” for the protests. There are enough criminals and mobs anywhere in the world that would respond easily to “incitement”. G8 protests don’t imply that France or UK people hate the G8 or supported the protests.

    “That said, I still think the evidence you’ve presented seems pretty circumstantial. Someone ordered Tibetan flags right before Uprising Day? You don’t say! As for “cell phones and satellite phones”, it would be surprising, with all this chaos going on in Tibet, if the Tibetan emigres didn’t try to call their friends and relatives inside Tibet to see how they were doing.”

    Circumstantial? The flags are direct evidence of PLANNING and MATERIAL SUPPORT by the TGIE, and direct evidence that the “protest” was NOT spontaneous from within Tibet.

    “It is sort of amusing to think that even Tibetan independence flags are made in China. I will say that I have always wondered where the Tibetan protestors get their flags. Obviously, they are either smuggling them into the country somehow or else they are very dedicated and skilled underground flag-makers. In either case, I have to salute their courage and ingenuity.”

    You do know that the Tibetan Independence Flag was actually designed by a Imperial Japanese soldier??!! The entire flag design was based upon the rising sun Motif of the Japanese Imperial flag.

    Too bad you seem to attribute much “courage and ingenuity” to a flag, when the flag’s history indicates that Imperial Japan was actually coordinating to take over Tibet as a military base, and provided weapons and training to organize Tibetans into a branch of the Imperial Japanese military.

    Of course, Japan gave up that plan, but This “flag” is the evidence of history of past “submissions” and “incitement”.

    Once again, history unlearned is history doomed to repeat itself.

    “Ingenuity and courage” indeed, LAUGHABLE!!!

    TGIE and DL could have at least tried to come up with a new design for a flag.

  266. Otto Kerner Says:

    Well, I certainly don’t agree that no one can plan a protest without taking full responsibility for everything that anyone else does afterwards, so there’s no point in us continuing this.

    “You do know that the Tibetan Independence Flag was actually designed by a Imperial Japanese soldier??!!”

    I assume you are mistaken, but I’m not going to research to find out because it seems so completely irrelevant.

  267. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To R4000 #237:
    “But that’s not a defense to halt any wheels of justice in any country.” – based on what you said in #225, the Dalai lama never asked for that either.

  268. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Otto:
    “I certainly don’t agree that no one can plan a protest without taking full responsibility for everything that anyone else does afterwards” – that’s a good point. I think the legal concept is proximate cause, maybe Allen should tell us. But we would need a Chinese/Tibetan lawyer to tell us how the same concept would apply in Tibet.
    I think Nimrod even said that there are protests in Lhasa every March. So if you did organize a protest every year, and it’s been peaceful, are you responsible when protest v.2008 turns violent? I think that’s a question of law, and I doubt anyone here is qualified to answer it as it pertains to China/TIbet.

  269. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “based on what you said in #225, the Dalai lama never asked for that either.”

    That’s fine, let him denounce it openly. But he doesn’t.

    now we know where he stands.

  270. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “I assume you are mistaken, but I’m not going to research to find out because it seems so completely irrelevant.”

    If history is irrelevant, so it shall be repeated.

  271. Nimrod Says:

    I see #262 got highlighted.

    Have you guys read the linked article “My Year in Amdo” in #262? It’s also the view of a teacher who taught Tibetan students. A different take. And it even manages to cover a few other topics we’ve been discussing here. I highly recommend it. (Can we contact this author?)

    The occasional sight of Tibetan nomads in their conspicuous clothing, ambling along the congested, bustling streets, would elicit rude stares and whispers among pedestrians. I wanted to scream at them, “You’re the ones who don’t belong!”

    Abstracting away the ethnic differences, this part reminds me of strains of Taiwan circa 1980, and Lo Tayu’s song “Lukang Town”, where he describes the culture shock and feelings of loss due to modernization.

  272. Otto Kerner Says:

    That’s an interesting article, but the title is misleading. As the author says in the second paragraph, Xining is not in Amdo.

  273. Allen Says:

    @SKC #268,

    About “proximate cause” – I can sound lawyerly and give a complex answer – or give the short thrift. The short thrift is that it’s an “arbitrary” concept.

    When you cook indoors – and accidentally causes a fire – are you liable for burning down your neighbor’s house?

    How about 10 houses down the block if your neighbor also negligently stored some firecrackers in his house – and the fire you caused also caused the firecrackers explode – causing houses on the entire block to go?

    Eventually – the society has to put a value on how much burden to place on people who cook indoors… Should that be considered inherently dangerous? Etc.

    Now regarding whether one of the dangers people planning a rally should foresee is people dying in a riot? Well – in some sense, of course you should foresee that. We’ve seen that happen in history, why should you not foresee it? But the real question is not whether you can foresee it but whether that’s the kind of burden we want to place on organizers of protests – even if you could theoretically “foresee” it.

    In some societies – you don’t want to impose that liability because freedom of speech is considered very important and you don’t want to chill free speech. In others, you might care more about public safety and want to do all you can to try ensure that people are very responsible in organizing protests.

    Anyways – it’s just another policy line that every society needs to draw – in context of its circumstances. I personally don’t think there is a right or wrong answer…but others could disagree.

  274. William Huang Says:

    @ Otto Kerner #266 and S. K. Cheung #268

    “I certainly don’t agree that no one can plan a protest without taking full responsibility for everything that anyone else does afterwards” – that’s a good point. I think the legal concept is proximate cause, maybe Allen should tell us. But we would need a Chinese/Tibetan lawyer to tell us how the same concept would apply in Tibet.”

    If whoever organized protest is not responsible for the violence, would be fair to say that these individual who committed crime should be held accountable? Someone has to be, no? If the answer is yes, what’s wrong with these criminals got arrested, sentenced to jail or even executed if it’s all within the full context of the law? If these were actually what happened, will you two be happy that the justice is done considering the organizer is off the hook and criminals are locked up?

  275. Wukailong Says:

    @William Huang (#274): I agree with your assessment. I think it’s right holding violent individuals responsible, rather than the organizers… at least from the outset, and given that it wasn’t the organizers themselves that did the violence, directly. :)

  276. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Allen #273:
    thanks for the explanation, and especially for holding the legalese. If I understand what you said, I guess the question comes down to how proximate is proximate. And I certainly agree that the line would vary from one society to the next.

    To William #274:
    “If whoever organized protest is not responsible for the violence, would be fair to say that these individual who committed crime should be held accountable? Someone has to be, no?” – yes, absolutely agree.

    “If these were actually what happened” – I think that’s the rub. Can we be sure that those who are accused and are convicted are actually the guilty ones? I dunno. I have no problem with the guilty ones being punished. After all, if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime. But what’s the safety mechanism in Chinese law to reasonably ensure that? Furthermore, in a politically charged scenario as that one, what’s preventing the local authorities from railroading someone and offering up a few sacrificial lambs to appease the public, and more importantly, the Party masters.

    There’s also the secondary issue of whether the punishment befits the crime. Ultimately, that’s a judgment that should belong to the people. The people should determine what punishment is warranted for certain transgressions of the law. However, in China’s case, the law may not reflect the people’s desire for deterrence and punishment, but may only reflect that of the Party. Whether that is just is probably in the eyes of the beholder.

  277. raventhorn4000 Says:

    ““If these were actually what happened” – I think that’s the rub. Can we be sure that those who are accused and are convicted are actually the guilty ones? I dunno. I have no problem with the guilty ones being punished. After all, if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime. But what’s the safety mechanism in Chinese law to reasonably ensure that? Furthermore, in a politically charged scenario as that one, what’s preventing the local authorities from railroading someone and offering up a few sacrificial lambs to appease the public, and more importantly, the Party masters.

    There’s also the secondary issue of whether the punishment befits the crime. Ultimately, that’s a judgment that should belong to the people. The people should determine what punishment is warranted for certain transgressions of the law. However, in China’s case, the law may not reflect the people’s desire for deterrence and punishment, but may only reflect that of the Party. Whether that is just is probably in the eyes of the beholder.”

    That sort of criticism of Chinese criminal justice system is hardly unbiased.

    Japanese and Taiwanese and Singaporean and South Korean criminal justice systems are comparatively harsh and lacking in appeal systems as the Chinese system.

    And in US and Canada, non-elected judges get to decide whether punishments are too harsh. It’s hardly the People.

  278. William Huang Says:

    @ S. K. Cheung #276

    “But what’s the safety mechanism in Chinese law to reasonably ensure that? Furthermore, in a politically charged scenario as that one, what’s preventing the local authorities from railroading someone and offering up a few sacrificial lambs to appease the public, and more importantly, the Party masters.”

    Fair enough. But such question can be raised to any legal system, say US. If innocent by-stands can be locked up indefinitely without any evidence and charge, what’s the safety mechanism for US citizen? It hasn’t stopped US from prosecuting criminals.

    “There’s also the secondary issue of whether the punishment befits the crime. Ultimately, that’s a judgment that should belong to the people. The people should determine what punishment is warranted for certain transgressions of the law. However, in China’s case, the law may not reflect the people’s desire for deterrence and punishment, but may only reflect that of the Party. Whether that is just is probably in the eyes of the beholder.”

    I am not sure what do you mean by people. In US, the penal code is proposed by legislature not referendum. If you imply that since China is not democratic, somehow the criminal system doesn’t count, how do you expect Chinese government to keep law and order? If you visit China and got attacked on the street for no reason, do you want Chinese government to catch and punish the criminal or you prefer to let him go because you don’t trust Chinese criminal system?

    Also, let’s say if Roe v. Wade is overturned because Republican got enough conservative judges in the US Supermen Court, is this a reflection of the party or people even though majority of American support legalized abortion?

  279. raventhorn4000 Says:

    William,

    the US Penal code as far as DEFINING the crimes, are passed by legislature.

    But, the SENTENCING are generally determined by non-elected judges for Constitutionality. And judges have great amount of discretion in that.

    The legislature can imposed some “guidelines” on sentencing, but even the guidelines are subject to judicial review.

    The Canadian system is very similar to US.

    *SKC is quite wrong about the US system. the People do not get to decide on SENTENCING. The Ultimate authority is in the Judges.

  280. William Huang Says:

    @ raventhorn4000 #279

    I agree with you to a point at Federal level. At state level, there are varying degrees of control on judge’s power for sentencing. But your points are well taken that judicial system by itself is not a “democracy” per se. Look at Supreme Court judges, it’s life time appointment. You don’t get to “re-elect” just because you don’t like their rulings.

    And I agree with you 100% that the actual term of the sentencing is in judge’s hand.

  281. raventhorn4000 Says:

    William,

    Point taken about the State level judges.

    But even State judges’ decisions on sentencing are ultimately only reviewable by the Federal Judges.

  282. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To R4000 and William:
    “That sort of criticism of Chinese criminal justice system is hardly unbiased.” – I don’t think I’ve ever said on this blog that I am unbiased. I also didn’t realize being unbiased was a stipulation for hanging around here. But if it is, i think this would be a fairly deserted place.

    I also thought this was a blog on China. I didn’t realize that it was a blog on China compared to Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, not to mention US/Canada. I don’t think I’ve ever said that the US/Canadian system is perfect, and that China should employ a replica of it. I think I’ve kept my comments to how I would like to see China’s system change.

    “But such question can be raised to any legal system, say US.” – absolutely. And a blog on the US would be a fantastic place to raise that point. Whether that question exists anywhere else has no relevance on the fact that it exists in China, which is what I thought we were talking about.

    It was my mistake for not being sufficiently clear in my point about punishment fitting crime, as determined by the people. I did not mean to imply that people have a direct say in sentencing, but in retrospect what I wrote could certainly have been interpreted that way. What I should have said is that the people, through their elected representatives, determine the range of punishment for any given crime. Judges are of course free to sentence those convicted based on their judgment, but within the parameters set by the people. So the people determine the range of deterrence required for any given crime, from which the judge chooses to apply to each individual offender. But in China’s case, the range of deterrence is not determined by the people, but by the Party. Whether that is just, I would still submit, rests in the eyes of the beholder.

    “If you imply that since China is not democratic, somehow the criminal system doesn’t count” – I certainly don’t mean to imply that. I’m only saying that, since the party prescribes the range of punishment, and not the people, is the peoples’ wish for deterrence mirrored by that of the Party? And this is particularly true of “political” issues, where I would submit that the Party’s desire for deterrence may well exceed that of the people. But the rules of the system, however they are derived, should be applied equally and without prejudice to all. That I certainly have no quarrel with.

    I don’t know what the majority of people in the US want in terms of legalized abortion and Roe v Wade. If that is the premier issue for a person, then that person should vote in a way to best allow appointment of like-minded judges to the Supreme Court. It’s all in how you choose to exercise your right to vote, and assuming the responsibilities thereof.

    “SKC is quite wrong about the US system. the People do not get to decide on SENTENCING. The Ultimate authority is in the Judges.” – as I said, my mistake, which I hope to have corrected above.

  283. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “- I don’t think I’ve ever said on this blog that I am unbiased. I also didn’t realize being unbiased was a stipulation for hanging around here. But if it is, i think this would be a fairly deserted place.”

    Nope, but we are just pointing out the obvious for EACH of your biased comments, as due.

    “I also thought this was a blog on China. I didn’t realize that it was a blog on China compared to Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, not to mention US/Canada. I don’t think I’ve ever said that the US/Canadian system is perfect, and that China should employ a replica of it. I think I’ve kept my comments to how I would like to see China’s system change.”

    Unlike your assumptions, we don’t assume China exists in a vacuum, and should be held up to idealized standards that others can’t achieve.

    “But in China’s case, the range of deterrence is not determined by the people, but by the Party. Whether that is just, I would still submit, rests in the eyes of the beholder.”

    The Party is a political forum. Its membership is not restricted, any citizen can apply. It’s hardly a requirement that EVERY member must agree with leadership in decisions or philosophy. Deng, Jiang, Hu all had very different ideas about reforms of economy and the Chinese legal systems.

    I think it’s a mistake to assume that just because there is only 1 party, there must be an autocracy. Every historian knows that the CCP had many factions since its beginning to the current day.

    As for the laws, Chinese legal system is very similar to German legal system, since much of the Chinese legal codes were Germanic codes imported during ROC days. Every year, Chinese judicial committees on legal reforms consult German, US, UK, HK legal experts on legal reforms. Even the American Bar Association write commentaries to be considered by the committees.

    (I have actually helped to write 1 such commentary).

    Chinese government is very receptive of foreign legal opinions on everything from property laws to patent laws. (Far more so than the US government about “foreign laws”.)

    I think SKC have too many far off assumptions about China.

  284. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To R4000:
    “Nope, but we are just pointing out the obvious for EACH of your biased comments, as due.” – seriously, are you gonna be done with this “pot calling kettle black” business sometime in the foreseeable future? While it’s immensely entertaining, it is becoming less so.

    “we don’t assume China exists in a vacuum, and should be held up to idealized standards that others can’t achieve.” – well, okay then. I suggest trying to emulate a North American standard, in that case. And I read today that there were over 30,000 corruption cases in China in 2008. So let’s try for fewer of those this year, for starters.

    “Its membership is not restricted, any citizen can apply.” – and is every application accepted? If it’s that open, then why not confer membership to everybody? Problem solved.

    I can accept that China/CCP is not a dictatorship. Seems a bit much to say it’s not an autocracy. But I guess at the end of the day, it’s a label. We all have our own idea of what it is, and isn’t.

    “Even the American Bar Association write commentaries to be considered by the committees.” – now that, I did not know. Interesting. What kind of commentaries?

  285. a/typical Says:

    Wow, 280+ mostly constructive discussion posts after a controversial topic. My hats to the admin for running a blog that can achieve this. The typical discussion on Tibet on the typical blog or forum gets ugly so fast.

    Having said that, I come from a POV of extreme cynicism. That is, cynicism of cross-national understanding when it comes to these deeply geopolitical subjects. From the things I read (and I don’t mean MSM), I have come to a deeply regrettable conclusion. On matters of geopolitical importance, might makes right, leaving all arguments (moral, academic, good natured, or otherwise) as propaganda. Again, on matters of geopolitical importance (I’m not saying issues in one’s personal life are governed by such a sad, iron rule). And my understand is that the Tibet “issue” is of core geopolitical importance to China. I’m sorry that this POV actually stifles debate and understanding, ironic.

    A nice consequence of the semi-anonymity of the internet allows me not to mince words in the following. I would never speak like this on a personal level in the US with these views, as it can only bring trouble. I’m sorry if what I write is stale or discussed to death in the many threads here, this is my 2nd post and I have not read all of the above (280+! posts), so bear with me.

    My understanding is that holding Tibet (and preserving territorial sovereignty in general) is a core interest of China (and of any country with respect to its territories). Like any organism which hopes to survive, a nation must preserve its body. The analogy of a body for a nation is its territory. We only see nations successful at maintaining their territory, because those who fail no longer exist. Just like the principle that everyone’s parents and ancestors were successful at preserving their body (at least until reproduction). As a consequence, nations which hope to survive (which is their only real purpose, like all other emergent organisms), must strive to maintain its territory. And we see the design of international conventions to make this a rules based endeavor (though, I don’t see a point arguing in terms of these conventions). For example, it is within the core mission of every nation to suppress rebellion and loss of territory. A nation without these capabilities soon disappears. This, and many other reasons, is why China wants to keep Tibet. Whether China is entitled to or not, whether China was in the right when it sent the PLA to exert physical control of the territory, is really irrelevant, because we are talking about a nation, not a person. Nations (and corporations, but that’s another matter) tend not to be governed by the same standards as people. Geopolitics is basically amoral. This is a sad state of things, but leaders of nations who do not operate like this will soon not have a nation to lead. As an aside, one can argue that moral distinctions to matter, in terms of public relations, soft power, and international relations, but I think that can be all bunched into propaganda or manipulating soft power.

    Besides the core interest of preserving territorial integrity, what interests does China have in Tibet? At least three I can name offhand: security, resources, land. Tibet has traditionally acted as buffer state between the 2 civilizations with the largest GDP for the large part of the last two thousand years. As Chinese and Indian civilizations recover from their colonial dark ages, there will probably be a good deal of friction (seen in the latest ADB bickering). Having a vast, mountainous buffer zone to separate the industrial and economic heartland of China from India is a huge security plus for China. Both the alternatives of an independent but neutral or Indian influenced (or US influenced) Tibet are hugely detrimental to China’s security interests.

    On resources, Tibet is largely unexplored and untapped. It probably contains plenty of resources, for example copper, but I’m not an expert on this. Chinese leaders would be fools not to hold on to this precious resource.

    Last, the vast land is useful for obvious reasons. Sure one may cry “Lebensraum!” and verify Godwin’s law, but again, Chinese leaders would be fools not to take this into consideration.

    Now, an interesting point was made early in the comments about why Allen himself supports maintaining China’s (greater China, ROC, PRC, whatever) territorial integrity. (With the insinuation that how can a nice person support an evil regime that does so many nasty things to nice people.) Perhaps Allen really didn’t have an explicit reason in mind or perhaps, due to having to maintain a nice person reputation, had to mince words, but I found the “just is” answer unsatisfying. If I were to answer the question, this is my answer (disclosure: I’m Chinese, though not currently living in China): it is in my personal interests that China be safe, stable, and most of all, prosperous. It is in my interest because I plan to live there someday, my relatives and people I care about live there (gene-ism if you will, but wholly natural), and the ethnic group which considers me as an insider is the core constituent of that country. I think the first two are pretty easy to understand. The last reason is somewhat like the fundamental principle of Zionism– to have an ethnic homeland where one will not be persecuted because of ethnicity because one is part of the major ethnicity there (Zionists be not offended, this is just my interpretation and I don’t know that much about Zionism). Following this line of argument, it is in my personal interests that China, as a nation, fares well, because it increases the likelihood of my personal prosperity. Furthermore, it is in my interests that
    China be strong relative to its neighbors, so that it is not bullied, like so many poor 3rd world countries have been. Subjected to everything from foreign sponsored narcotics production to trigger happy mercenaries above the law, to unaccountable missile strikes from UAVs. A strong China means that the likelihood of my loved ones being napalmed is lower.

    Now I will give my poor keyboard a rest. Thanks for reading.

  286. a/typical Says:

    I can’t resist elaborating on a few points, sorry keyboard.

    On might makes right: the reason I bring this up is that Allen brought up an excellent point earlier. Continuing the line of thought above, I want a safe, stable, prosperous, and strong China. Territorial integrity contributes to this goal. Thus, China’s territorial sovereignty is orthogonal to its governance. If China’s government is doing a bad job, I certainly hope it will improve or, if the costs are not great, be replaced. These are all reasonable consequences of my core interests. If the overthrow of the current government leads to such chaos as seen in the early 20th century, then I would rather keep the current government and tolerate its faults and work towards their resolution. I believe this line of reasoning, though not often made explicit, is shared by many Chinese. But hey, I may be a typical Chinese or atypical.

    My support of a strong China is based on my core interest of safety and prosperity. Without strength China cannot have reliable and fair access to the requirements of prosperity–resources and unfettered trade. Without strength, a nation depends on the goodwill of others, which shift like the wind as national interests shift.

    My support for the territorial integrity of China also comes from a recognition that foreign powers (Britain, US, lesser extent, Germany) have sought to weaken China and harm the security interests of China through fomenting rebellion in Tibet. This is well documented in the past and not even open to questioning, in my mind. Whether it continues today is unproven, but only a fool would risk something so important to the goodwill of others. My opinion is that this is occurring. We see continued funding of TIE groups and HHDL by CIA admitted front organizations such as the NED, which were the funding and training sources behind multiple “color revolutions” in former Soviet republics and the attempted Saffron revolution in Myanmar. These are, in my perspective, bold and largely successful geopolitical power plays masked behind thin veils of “democracy”, putting into “legitimate” power regimes very favorable to US and NATO security interests, at the great cost of the security interests of Russia. Democracy is very convenient, not only as a banner, but as an institution, because buying votes, rigging votes, manipulating the media, crying foul after an inconvenient result, and affecting public opinion is so easy with money, and much less bloody and much less traceable (very easy to have plausible deniability). All perfect ingredients to make these events easy sells to Western domestic audiences. What a wonderful 2nd line tool the PNAC had found to use before the clumsy and ugly military interventions of the past. Here’s the point of my rant: foreign powers seek to weaken China through Tibet, because it is not in their core interests for China to re-establish its position as a world power. Foreign powers have malicious intent when advocating democracy in China — they want to manipulate Chinese governance for their own interests, and democracy is easier to manipulate than consultative merito-oligarchy. I am not saying that the average Westerner has malicious intent when advocating democracy and better governance in China. The average person is generally nice. Nations play by different rules.

    Many Westerners have taken up the banner of democracy and freedom (and their governments applaud them on, injecting their poison along with the sweet) and endeavor to cram it down Chinese throats. These advocates are mostly sincere, good-hearted people, but they have been drafted unwittingly by their governments, through the spin of their MSM, to act as moral foot soldiers in the geopolitical war of soft power. You may fairly accuse me of unwittingly being an intellectual foot-soldier for China, since, as I said before, geopolitics is amoral and justifications given by either side is just soft power propaganda. But at least, I hope, I have a understanding of what I supporting. I find it peculiar that after so many years of trying to export their values, by force if necessary, many Westerners still have not understood that other people don’t appreciate it. It strikes me as arrogant to believe one’s own values as universal and quite condescending to force it upon others. Ironic that people have accused this of Chinese with respect to ethnic Tibetans.

    Some may throw me in with the lot of “misguided”, or heh, “brain-washed” (what a quaint verb from the Korean war) fenqing, but I would be proud to hold that label, as fenqing are typically intellectual, well-informed, and socially responsible. Some may throw me in with the crackpot conspiracy theorists, but I would assert that geopolitical goings-on happen under the radar of the MSM, unless a proper PR campaign is needed (see 3-14, justification for the invasion of Iraq), so it’s not that I’m a conspiracy theorist, I’m just better informed.

    I don’t deny there are problems in Tibet, just as there are in the other areas of China. There are many ugly problems which make me sad, and which motivate me and the heroic generations of fenqing before me (like my grandparents) to make China a better place to live. Talking about splitting Tibet from China will go nowhere, because the conversation will stop or devolve into rancor. Constructive ideas for improving the lives of Tibetans (and other Chinese too) may help, if by some remote chance they reach someone who is in a position to implement them, but this is the internets, and we all know it is serious business. A bit of understanding of the Chinese perspective may help, and I guess this blog is for just that, which, despite my cynicism, I can say is at least a pleasant change of things.

    Having mentioned “lebensraum” last time I will discuss “blame the victim” this time. In my view, there is no reason for the Chinese authorities in the Tibetan region to use heavy handed tactics, unless there was need. It is imperative for a nation’s survival to suppress rebellion, and an international norm, really. I doubt the government authorities find it fun or entertaining to patrol and stop riots and perhaps do all those ugly things TIE accuses them of doing. It probably costs a lot of money and effort and distracts from more productive/reproductive tasks. So my conclusion is that there really is a nascent rebellion in Tibet. I support the goal of stopping the rebellion and stopping those who support it. I think brutal tactics may not be the best way to go, certainly not the prettiest, and perhaps losing hearts and minds in the long run. Good PR is a skill Chinese authorities can learn from Westerners. But, while I may not support the methods, I support the goal. Perhaps, in a nicer world, the Tibetans who want fewer controls would realize that by making the government paranoid of separatism, it only promotes clamping down on their daily lives. If they would buy in to the Chinese nation (of course, they can keep their Tibetan ethnic heritage, I don’t think Han Chinese endeavor to deny them that), there would be more peace and prosperity for all. A virtuous cycle of less paranoia by the government, less strict restrictions, more allocation to social programs, and less resentment by the populace. Isn’t the US founded on the melting pot of assimilation? I guess it’s only cultural genocide if China does it.

  287. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To atypical:
    interesting read. I hadn’t seen it verbalized the way you have, but it seems well-put. At its core, your point (if I understood correctly) is that it is in China’s interests to maintain Tibet in the status quo. I think that’s quite reasonable. I can’t remember if it was this thread, but JXie essentially said the same thing: it’s because of China’s self-interest. To me, that’s an honest answer. It’s when people start getting into the “well, historically, so many centuries ago, in this or that dynasty, Tibet was in effect a part of China, so hence ergo therefore, she should remain so today”, or nonsense about “inheritance”, that makes my stomach turn.

    One question though. If a “buffer” between China and India might be of strategic importance, wouldn’t it make more sense to have a buffer outside of China rather than within it? Currently, if Tibet is China, then there really is no buffer at all.

  288. MatthewTan Says:

    Tibetan (army) flag and Japanese army flag

    Maybe not so “relevant”, but interesting. Anyway most of the discussion here ” not relevant”.

    http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/images/global/japan_navy_army_ww2_flag.gif

    http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/images/global/tibet_flag.gif

    And its origin according to scholar Alexander Berzin:

    http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/archives/advanced/kalachakra/shambhala/russian_japanese_shambhala.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Tibet

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Berzin_(scholar)

  289. MatthewTan Says:

    @ 287, S.K. Cheung Says:

    “it is in China’s interests to maintain Tibet in the status quo. I think that’s quite reasonable…It’s when people start getting into the “well, historically, so many centuries ago, in this or that dynasty, Tibet was in effect a part of China…”

    (1) it is in China’s interest to keep Tibet
    (2) Tibet was part of China (at least in 1950-1951)

    These two are NOT mutually exclusive propositions.

    I have outlined above @241 in some details that Tibet’s independence was not for discussion from 1914 (actually 1911) to 1989 (and all the way until China’s breakup).

    This elementary truth should be obvious to every government, and to everyone who is patriotic : if you own a piece of territory, you do not give it up – until and unless you are defeated.

    This is politics, not Mother Theresa mission. And even though some of the things China did were evil, there there are a lot of good deeds and Mother Theresa’s spirit in it also.

    Moreover, China has made great effort to liberate Tibet peacefully. It was the Tibetan local government that was not forthcoming in negotiation, even killing the peace envoy, the Living Buddha Geda Lama. Before that, it conducted ethnic cleansing – expelling all Han Chinese. These resulted in the brief two-week battle of Qamdo.

    Other than that, the liberation of Tibet was largely peaceful.

    ===
    “if you own a piece of territory, you do not give it up ”

    – there was an exception. Malaysia let Singapore become independent in 1965, because Singapore’s Chinese population and Chinese leader was a threat to Malay rule in Malaysia. So, it was not in Malaysian Malay’s interest for Singapore to be part of Malaysia.

    And Singapore is only a little dot in S.E. Asia. Whereas Tibet is real BIG.

    So? sure! If it is not in China’s interest to keep Tibet, China would give it up!!!

    (I am a Singaporean).

  290. MatthewTan Says:

    A/typical,

    I read yours only after posting mine. Good essays!

    Surely you did not mean to say Tibet was not part of China?

    “Isn’t the US founded on the melting pot of assimilation? I guess it’s only cultural genocide if China does it.”

    Chinese leaders have spoken on this. There might be “fusion” of Han and Tibetan cultures. For example, many Hans are adopting Tibetan Buddhism – given the miserable state of Han Buddhism. But “fusion” of cultures on a “voluntary” basis is GOOD THING. It is not necessarily “assimilating” the Tibetans into Han culture, given the regional demographics. Except for the Chinese language – which is necessary for economic survival. Even if Tibet is independent, it still faces the language challenge – they have to either lean on to Chinese or English.

    The Chinese in Singapore have been leaning on to the English language since and even before independence (1965)!

  291. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Matthew:
    “(1) it is in China’s interest to keep Tibet
    (2) Tibet was part of China (at least in 1950-1951) ”

    As I said, (1) is an honest answer. (2) is irrelevant, assuming it’s no longer 1950-51. Just because Tibet may have “effectively” been a part of China at some historical point in the past doesn’t mean she ought to be today, if the people there prefer otherwise. As I said, the whole “historical”/”inheritance” justification isn’t one at all.

    “If it is not in China’s interest to keep Tibet, China would give it up!!!” – that’s a refreshing statement. Seldomly hear something like that from someone with your point of view.

  292. Wukailong Says:

    @atypical: You really put the nail on the head. Thanks too for verbalizing this:

    “Many Westerners have taken up the banner of democracy and freedom (and their governments applaud them on, injecting their poison along with the sweet) and endeavor to cram it down Chinese throats. These advocates are mostly sincere, good-hearted people, but they have been drafted unwittingly by their governments, through the spin of their MSM, to act as moral foot soldiers in the geopolitical war of soft power.”

    I want to reiterate this point because I don’t know how many times I’ve heard that Westerners, including ordinary people, have an interest in splitting China. I’ve also tried to tell people many times that aggressive democracy advocates actually believe in their points and think China would become great if it turned into a democracy.

    Of course, I am a democracy advocate myself, but I don’t believe in forcing it on people (that’s not democratic) or failing to see the success of reform in China just because it lacks these democratic credentials.

  293. MatthewTan Says:

    S.K. Cheung Says: As I said, (1) is an honest answer. (2) is irrelevant, assuming it’s no longer 1950-51. Just because Tibet may have “effectively” been a part of China at some historical point in the past doesn’t mean she ought to be today, if the people there prefer otherwise. As I said, the whole “historical”/”inheritance” justification isn’t one at all.

    Maybe one day 1 million Taiwanese go to the street to protest against China. Sounds like the whole of Taiwan is demanding independence!? But public opinion polls swing up and down, just like the popularity of Ma Ying-jeou and Chen Shui-bian.

    There is no convincing evidence that Tibet or Tibetans (elsewhere in China) are demanding independence.

    Wait for another 20 to 30 years and see! I am betting that Tibetans will overwhelmingly choose to remain in China! And Tibetans outside will go back!

  294. MatthewTan Says:

    S.K. Cheung Says: “If it is not in China’s interest to keep Tibet, China would give it up!!!” – that’s a refreshing statement. Seldomly hear something like that from someone with your point of view.

    I should make it clearer by saying “If it is COUNTER TO China’s interest to keep Tibet, China would give it up!!!”

    For example, if there is earthquake everyday – take an extreme case.

    China will still keep Tibet if the cost is about equal to the benefits – I think that is the prevailing sentiment of the Chinese people.

  295. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Matthew:
    “There is no convincing evidence that Tibet or Tibetans (elsewhere in China) are demanding independence.” – agreed. That may be because they don’t actually want it. Or it may be because China has never asked in any systematic fashion (just as China under the CCP has not asked for the input of PRC citizens in any systematic fashion on anything).

    “China will still keep Tibet if the cost is about equal to the benefits – I think that is the prevailing sentiment of the Chinese people.” – hey, if it came down to a cost/benefit analysis, that would make perfect sense to me. As I said, you’re fairly unique here; most people with your POV seem to argue that Tibet will be a part of China until the cows come home, just because….

  296. Shane9219 Says:

    @MatthewTan / SKC

    You guys’ POV on Tibet is totally wrong. No one inside China will agree with you. Tibet is not a car or house. Territorial claim is sacred.

  297. barny chan Says:

    Shane gets to the heart of the matter. The fact that he, and others, see China’s territorial claims as “sacred” explains the absurd level of emotion that attaches to the issue. You simply can’t rationally engage those whose fervour borders on the religious…

  298. S.K. Cheung Says:

    “Territorial claim is sacred.” – man alive, it’s deja vu all over again.

    Well said, barny. Sometimes I wonder myself…

  299. Allen Says:

    @barny chan #297,

    Not much time to write since I’m travelling, but you wrote:

    Shane gets to the heart of the matter. The fact that he, and others, see China’s territorial claims as “sacred” explains the absurd level of emotion that attaches to the issue. You simply can’t rationally engage those whose fervour borders on the religious…

    Well – the heart of the matter is that when you look at the DL, you can’t rationally engage with someone whose fervor regarding purity of “ethnicity” and “culture” and sense of “history” and “territory” borders on the religious either…

  300. barny chan Says:

    Allen, you appear to be falling into the simplistic trap of imagining that a discomfort with China’s conduct in Tibet automatically stems from a romantic support of the Dalai Lama. For the record, I have the same jaundiced view of the DL as I have of all other religious leaders.

  301. Allen Says:

    @barny chan #300,

    You seem to be a little too presumptuous. I never said you were a romantic supporter of the DL. I just want to make sure your view is applied fairly to both sides of the coin. But now you clarified your position, I will agree with you this issue seem to have strong emotional pulls on both sides.

  302. barny chan Says:

    Allen Says: “I never said you were a romantic supporter of the DL. I just want to make sure your view is applied fairly to both sides of the coin.”

    Thanks for the clarification of your motivation. In that case I guess I can look forward to you challenging others here, regardless of their individual stance, to the same consistent and fair standards…

  303. barny chan Says:

    …or maybe not.

  304. Shane9219 Says:

    @barny chan

    Sounds like you like to soften issues on a nation’s territorial claims. You may be able to do that if you have no business with it. Just keep in mind, the basic function of a nation’ defense is to keep its own territory under control.

    “You simply can’t rationally engage those whose fervour borders on the religious”

    That is not a correct assumption.

  305. S.K. Cheung Says:

    “the basic function of a nation’ defense is to keep its own territory under control”…against outside intrusion. It’s much different if a chunk of that nation no longer wants to play. Granted, wrt Tibet, that is a ginormous “if”.

    ““You simply can’t rationally engage those whose fervour borders on the religious”…That is not a correct assumption.” – that’s a good point. You can rationally engage them, but it’s what you get back in return that is at times a little dicey.

  306. barny chan Says:

    Shane, I’ve no idea what point you’re attempting to make to me, but given the chance I’ll go for soft over spiky any time.

  307. Charles Liu Says:

    Barny, why don’t we set a good example with our own “Tibet” and give back the land we stolen from the Native Americans?

    How’s your emotional attachment doing?

  308. barny chan Says:

    Charley, I personally haven’t stolen land from anybody but I’m always open to the idea of self-determination and/or reparations for wrongdoing.

  309. Charles Liu Says:

    Neither did vast majority of the Chinese born after 1300′s. I find it interesting you are no longer talking about reliniquishing sovereignty or giving up land.

    And I was so impressed by your “emotional attahcment” bit.

    I’d be okay if y’all would settle for the Chinese merely being “open to the idea”. But noooo, them god damn Chinks have to give back their stolen land right?

    While our long, complicated history with our own “Tibet” is “existing sovereignty”, “current states”, and requires no more than lip service of “open to the idea’.

    Did I get the jist of it?

  310. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Charles:
    “Neither did vast majority of the Chinese born after 1300’s”…assuming you discount 1959….but also assuming that you subscribe to that “China inherited Tibet” nonsense.

    Why is it that you are a one trick pony. “anything you can do, I can do too” seems to be your fight song. Is this a blog for China, or a blog for China as she compares to the US in every respect? And what happened to the line that precedes your favourite line: “anything you can do I can do better”? Where’s China’s “aiming high”?

    “them god damn Chinks have to give back their stolen land right?” – colourful language aside, my answer is “nope” (not sure what Barny’s would be). But it’d be nice if they asked the people whose land China took/stole/insert your favourite verb, what they wanted from time to time. Since one of your favourite pastimes is comparing China to the US, how is the good ol CCP doing with that whole representation/democracy thing anyhow?

    I can’t speak for the US; but in Canada, our native peoples seem content with the land claims treaties that many bands have signed in recent years. And again, it’s not us forcing them into demanding “independence”; it’s about what they want, after weighing the pros and cons.

  311. MatthewTan Says:

    @296 Shane9219 Says: You guys’ POV on Tibet is totally wrong. No one inside China will agree with you. Tibet is not a car or house. Territorial claim is sacred.

    I may be wrong, Shane9219.

    When I try to get a sense of how much China is willing to “pay” to keep Tibet, I realize that China is willing to
    “pay” and has in fact “paid” a very, very, very high price. (And same goes with Taiwan.)

    If there is earthquake in Tibet everyday, China may give up the territory, but will still absorb all the Tibetans into its inland provinces.

  312. Shane9219 Says:

    @MatthewTan

    Nosense, period.

    Tibet is priceless to all Chinese.

  313. S.K. Cheung Says:

    “Tibet is priceless to all Chinese” – now you’re sounding like a Mastercard commercial, maybe with a little Hallmark sentimentality thrown in for good measure.

  314. barny chan Says:

    Charles Liu Says: “And I was so impressed by your “emotional attahcment” bit.”

    Not for the first time Charles, you seem a little confused. Or is this directed at somebody else?

    Shane9219 Says: “Tibet is priceless to all Chinese.”

    All Chinese? You’re now speaking on behalf of all Chinese? Hmm, delusions of omnipotence, the apparent ability to see into and read the minds of others, violent mood swings…Is their a doctor in the house? Somebody (maybe a couple of people) would appear to need help.

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