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(Letter from Otto Kerner, Opposing Viewpoint) Tibet: A Way Forward?

September 1st, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

In the comments to an earlier post related to Tibet, I found it striking that, although by different routes, bianxiangbianqiao and wuming and I have reached roughly the same conclusion, viz that there’s no logical reason why Tibet should remain part of China, but, at the same time, it is completely impossible for China to let it become independent, since that would invariably be seen as China giving up 19% of its land area (or even 13%, which is what the TAR is). Particularly so since, as bxbq points out, the boundaries of “Tibet” are quite fuzzy. I could draw a border that I think would be a fair delimitation of “where Tibetans traditionally predominated and still do”, but obviously there would be a lot of people who would disagree with any given attempt.

My suggested solution then, is that Tibet should remain within PRC sovereign territory, but it should be cordoned off into a separate “nation within a nation”. This would effectively recreate the traditional arrangement in which Chinese empire had suzerainty over Tibet; except that, because there is no concept of suzerainty in modern international law, China would never describe the situation as suzerainty, but would continue to insist on legal sovereignty in order to avoid challenges to its sovereignty in the future. When I say “cordoned off”, I do not mean that Tibet would be isolated from the world like a hermit. It would continue to have extensive links through tourism and media, but a) immigration into Tibet would be restricted and b) it would not necessarily be governed under exactly the same legal system as the provinces. Technically, both of these are already true: the former under the Regional Autonomy for Minority Nationalities Act of 1984; and the latter under the basic law of the PRC, because the TAR is an autonomous entity. It is not autonomous of CCP rule, of course, but it is autonomous of the provincial legal structure.

I would suggest that the CCP could implement this change as part of a deal with the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan exiles by keeping the Tibetan CCP in control of Tibet but radically altering its personnel. This would allow Beijing the following advantages: 1) it would not directly undermine CCP rule in the rest of the country; 2) there would relatively less risk of losing face, as the change would be described positively as “reform” or as an affirmative action measure; 3) there would be an easy way to back out of the deal in the future, simply by altering the party leadership again. I have heard it said the #1 obstacle to detante between Beijing and Dharamsala is the TAR party leadership, which contains a lot of holdovers from the bad old days. Party central in Beijing should get rid of the entire TAR party leadership: the Han members would be re-assigned to positions in the provinces and the Tibetan members of the party leadership (of whom I think there are not many) would be encouraged to retire with full pension. The party leadership would be replaced with Tibetan CCP members who are amenable to conciliation with the Dalai Lama and autonomy for Tibet. The exact membership of the new leadership would be agreed to as part of the agreement with the government-in-exile. The only restriction would be that the individuals chosen should be existing CCP members living in the TAR. The exiles probably don’t trust most the Tibetan CCP cadres, but surely they must be able to find a few party members in Tibet who can be relied upon to implement the agreement if it has Beijing’s imprimatur.

High-level government (as opposed to party) offices would also be reformed, but not as dramatically. Jhampa Phüntshog could remain as governor of the TAR for a couple years as a gesture toward continuity. A few of the Dalai Lama’s cronies from Dharamsala – but mid-level ones, not the elite cronies like Lodi Gyari – could be given mid-level positions in the government, but it would otherwise continue to be staffed by current party members. As the political system of PRC reforms itself and opens up in the future, the same could be implemented at the same time in Tibet, gradually leading to a more democratic and genuinely autonomous status.

Ideally, after everything else was settled, the Dalai Lama would sit down with me and a representative from the Bureau of Religious Affairs to discuss reforms of the monastic system to prevent the type of abuses that have rightfully enraged bianxiangbianqiao from ever happening again. While, it is somewhat unlikely that I would actually be invited to such a meeting, hopefully the results would nevertheless satisfy bxbq.

This agreement would not necessarily be applied only to the Tibet Autonomous Region; nor would it necessarily be applied in every Tibetan autonomous area. The second most important Tibetan area in China is Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan, which is historically the heart of the Kham region. Perhaps the same deal could replace not only the TAR party leadership but also the Garzê TAP party leadership, while other areas continue to be governed as they currently are. In the future, if the new arrangement is considered a success, both sides might find it agreeable to expand it into other Tibetan autonomous prefectures.

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  1. S.K. Cheung
    September 1st, 2008 at 06:50 | #1

    To Otto:
    you’re sticking yourself out there for some punishment, but kudos to you for the attempt. I don’t know the history of past reconciliation attempts, but you’ve laid out a plan with specifics, which to me is impressive.

    “nation within a nation” sounds almost Canadian, since our prime minister has now recognized Quebec as a “unique nation within Canada”. As far as I’m concerned, Quebec could become a separate nation outside of Canada tomorrow, and I wouldn’t care less. But I’ve come to understand that the Chinese emotional attachment to Tibet is much much stronger than mine to Quebec (though i still fail to see why).

    I think one of the stumbling blocks will be determining the borders. Tangentially, this was discussed in a thread a few months back on self-determination, and one of the disagreements, among many, was how to define the “Tibetan” region.

    I can’t wait to hear what others have to say.

  2. Karma
    September 1st, 2008 at 07:19 | #2

    This is a non-starter for me. I think the way forward is to work on better governance within China – not redefining China. In Tibet, we can work on relieving the substantive grudges Tibetans may have. If it is language preservation – let’s work on language preservation. If it’s cultural respect – let’s work on that. If it’s economical development – let’s work on that, too.

    When China becomes even stronger – perhaps the gov’t will allow more local elections. In the context of the TAR – that means there will be official democratic processes to elect local leaders. The average Tibetans – as the average Chinese elsewhere – will then be given a concrete process to participate in the political process.

    I don’t know if there is necessarily a need for the Dalai Lama to ever come back. I don’t think Tibet is as big a tinderbox as the Dalai Lama makes out to the West.

    I wish the Dalai Lama will join his Chinese brothers in building a new China. But if history is cruel enough to lock him out, the Tibetan Chinese and Han Chinese are ready to build a new Tibet ourselves – minus the Dalai Lama.

  3. Michelle
    September 1st, 2008 at 07:32 | #3

    3) there would be an easy way to back out of the deal in the future, simply by altering the party leadership again.

    Not sure this would go as simply as suggested….

  4. Shahid
    September 1st, 2008 at 07:40 | #4

    Interesting suggestion but unnecessary. “Tibet problem” is not exactly a major separatist movement (compared to Chechnya, Darfur, Quebec). It seems big because Western media really focus on reporting the issue. That kind of suggestion above will complicate the situation. Simple long-term political maneuvre by the Chinese government will make the “problem” disappear eventually, like many other small-scale separatist movements in the world.

  5. Nimrod
    September 1st, 2008 at 07:45 | #5

    Shahid, that’s a good point and along the lines of my view. At the end of the day, the Dharamsala guys really don’t have that much leverage. Their only leverage as is seems to be PR not hard knuckles real power, and that only takes you so far. For a government that runs on realpolitik principles and less and less idealism (maybe that’ll change), China is doing the Dalai Lama a pretty large favor by even continuing to talk to him off and on over the years.

  6. Wukailong
    September 1st, 2008 at 08:22 | #6

    @Shahid, @Nimrod: Hmm, this reminds me about reading this Taiwanese newspaper who referred to the “so-called Taiwan problem” and said it’s only in the mind of the mainlanders, whipped up by the mainland media…

    Certainly something must be wrong when you can get demonstrations like the ones 1989 and 2008, but I agree with what Karma said about getting a better political process in the country as a whole. Then local residents can get more of a say.

  7. Tom
    September 1st, 2008 at 09:16 | #7

    I agreed with Shahid. There are problems in Tibet but it is not as great as suggested by the western medias nor are they so singular. These problems will be solved through gradual economic, social, religious and political changes. It worked with virtually with all other ethnic groups and there are no unsurmountable reasons why these won’t work in the Tibetan area. Segregation between ethnic groups/regions is definitely not an acceptable the way to solve anyway.

  8. Nimrod
    September 1st, 2008 at 09:32 | #8

    Wukailong, blacks are 12% of the US population and everywhere. Tibetans are what, 0.5% of the China population and all in one region. The 1992 LA riot and periodic race riots in major US cities before that were surely indicative of problems, but hardly something that ever threatened the country’s existence. Changes were made gradually and they helped. There is no reason not to believe the same would happen in China.

    With regard to Taiwan newspapers, I think that was simply a backhanded way to express “none of your business”. Mainlanders don’t generally care about Taiwan, but they do care about Taiwan independence, especially if its actualization involves Japan or the US.

  9. Netizen K
    September 1st, 2008 at 11:41 | #9

    China is a nation-state. There is no nation within nation separatist spin. The Western anti-Chinese spinners always come up some supposedly new ideas for undermining China’s sovereignty. They won’t stop until China breaks apart, which is never.

  10. Otto Kerner
    September 1st, 2008 at 12:30 | #10

    S. K. Cheung: I think that changing any borders is a non-starter right now. In the future, it might be possible, if and when both sides have earned the trust of the other. For the moment, I am suggesting to work within the existing boundaries of the T.A.R. and Garzê TAP.

  11. Otto Kerner
    September 1st, 2008 at 12:46 | #11

    Shahid, Nimrod: how do you go about judging the importance of a secessionist movement? What I mean is, from what evidence that the situation in Tibet is not “major”? Simply the fact that there is no guerilla war ongoing? The small proportion of the Tibetan population in China as a whole? Obviously, the Han are a lot more numerous than the Tibetans, which is the only and sole reason China is able to occupy Tibet in the first place. But the PRC still has to deal with the fact that Tibetans are a majority in a very large geographical area, and it has got to be a drag to have to worry about an area like this where the population sees the government as an enemy. You might think that “simple long-term political maneuvres” by the Chinese government will make everybody happy, but the central government has fooled themselves into thinking that a couple times in the past and been surprised at the result.

    I don’t think the Dharamsala people and their supporters in Tibet have very much leverage, which is why I’m suggesting something that is a pretty poor deal for them. I have no don’t that the PRC can continue to rule the area by force indefinitely, but the question is whether they necessarily want to, or whether they will be able to find a more harmonious arrangement.

  12. Otto Kerner
    September 1st, 2008 at 12:55 | #12

    Nimrod, I don’t recall that the U.S. actually changed any policies toward black people in the time since 1992, and I don’t recall anybody saying that the condition of average black American has changed very much since then. I also don’t recall there being “periodic” race riots in the U.S. prior to 1992, although there were the Crown Heights riots in 1991, and, of course, there were a lot of riots back in the 1960s.

    Moreover, the dynamics of black people in America vs. Tibetans in China could hardly be more completely different, starting with the fact, which you mention, that black Americans constitute a much larger percentage of the overall population, but they are spread out. There are very few significant chunks of land in the U.S. that have a black majority, and quite few cities that do, either. On the other hand, Tibetans are concentrated living in the places where Tibetans live. I don’t see how any useful comparison can be made between the two situations.

  13. wuming
    September 1st, 2008 at 13:32 | #13

    @Karma

    “In Tibet, we can work on relieving the substantive grudges Tibetans may have. If it is language preservation – let’s work on language preservation. If it’s cultural respect – let’s work on that. If it’s economical development – let’s work on that, too”

    I am not convinced that so called “language preservation”, “cultural respect”, “religious prosecution” and “economic fairness” are genuine concerns for Dalai Lama and TGIE. Their main concern is political power, other things are but weapons. However, some of these are genuine problems in Tibet and are genuine concerns for the Chinese government.

    Sitting outside, it is very easy for us to point out this and that policy should be improved. After thinking ponder on these problems for a while, I have come to the conclusion that there is no other realistic alternatives to the current policy in Tibet. The people whose opinions really mattered are the Tibetans in Tibet and the Chinese in China. The Tibetans are trapped in a vicious cycle of unmet expectations and unwillingness to take full advantage of exiting opportunities. In such a circumstance, providing more opportunities and hoping something will eventually stick is as good an idea as any giving the constrains.

  14. Wukailong
    September 1st, 2008 at 15:19 | #14

    @Wuming: Surely everybody in the conflict is interested in political power, don’t you think? :)

  15. starlight
    September 1st, 2008 at 15:29 | #15

    The general thinking here based on the posts above, seem to be quite similar to China’s current policy, i.e. put your head in the sand and believe the ethnic problems will disappear.

    Well, you do that at your own peril. You cannot compare Tibet, Xingjiang to other minorities, Tibetans and Uighurs have strong national indentity, common religious bonds, and memories of de facto independence in recent history.

    History has shown that the longer you wait to deal with these ethnic questions, the stronger you suppress national indentity, religion and culture, unfortunately the stronger the explosion will be one day. In his book about Xingjiang, Wang Lixiong warns that if the Chinese government doesn’t address the Xingjiang issue through dialogue soon, there will be bloodshed, and ethnic animosity, perhaps even some sort of comparison to Jugoslavia.

  16. eddy
    September 1st, 2008 at 18:39 | #16

    First of all, let me say that Tibetans know Tibet and what is good for Tibet. Sorry but there were few Chinese in Tibet prior to the invasion and occupation. China is in Tibet for the resources, lumber, water, minerals such as borax, copper, gold and silver.. The destruction of over 6,000 monasteries has already done irreparable damages to Tibet and the Tibetan people.

    Renaming streets in Chinese and erecting Chinese monuments in order to remove the Tibetan footprint in Tibet and make it look like Tibet has always been part of China does not fool those who know the truth. Pointing to other issues, the old Tibet and demonizing the Dalai Lama is a popular diversion attempt but it does not change the reality of the multi-level genocide taking place in Tibet.

    In Tibet we have something called common vision and uncommon vision, both are reality to us but not everyone is able to see with uncommon vision. The Chinese moving into Tibet by the thousands have no comprehension of Tibet, Tibetan people and Tibetan culture other than the lies they’ve been indoctrinated with by the Chinese government. The same reeducation distortion of facts they try again and again to brainwash into our people, our monks and nuns.

    We Tibetans know the facts, we’ve seen the torture, we’ve seen and experienced the oppression and dismantling of our culture and our land. We’ve seen Chinese troops shooting the beautiful swans on our lakes out of boredom, many of us have missing father’s and mother’s who were tortured in prison with cattle prods and we’ve seen the scares from the beatings. We can forgive all of this but we will not forget, ever!

    Chinese, you are committing a great crime against my people. You are stealing our land, our space, our silence, you have done massive damage and committed great crimes against my people and that I will never forget. It continues on today, the lies, the distortions, the stories of how Tibet has always been part of China. It’s all complete nonsense, a complete fraud to cover up what the Chinese government is doing in Tibet, doing to Tibet. The fact is that all countries have come under the influence of outside forces in their history, even China, but Tibet never lost her independence. Just because our system was focused more on spirituality than concern over borders and obsessive nationalism does not mean we Tibetans do not love our sacred homeland.

    For those who speak of Tibetan Chinese. Let me be very clear. There is no such person. We are Tibetans and distinctively different from Chinese. Our language, our script, our features, our rituals and traditions, our very way of living and our priorities are astoundingly different from the average Chinese.

    If we were always a part of China then we wouldn’t be having this discussion would we? We are a distinct people and we love our sacred homeland that is right now being raped, exploited and destroyed. For all those who talk about the investment China has made in Tibet. Most of that money came from resources in Tibet. In fact, much more has been taken our of Tibet and taken to mainland China. Please, I’ve seen artifacts for sale in Beijing that I know came directly from Tibet.

    All these posters talk like they know the situation, like they know what should be done. It is a Tibetan from Tibet, with family in Tibet for centuries that knows. My family has no stories of being ruled by Chinese that date back prior to the invasion and current occupation. My grandparents, my parents left no writings, no journals talking about the Chinese rulers in Tibet. Why? Because there were none.

    There’s a difference between what should be done and what will be done. People generally put their wallets before their heart. My Tibet suffers, my people suffer. Yes, Tibet is remote, our culture is beautiful and unique. This is why the Chinese have relentlessly devalued us and our culture over the last 6 decades. it makes it more acceptable to move in and take our country, to take our land, to kill our wildlife, to exploit our people and oppress our people, after all. we are less valuable. This is the Chinese rationalization and the justification.

    If the world has a soul then Tibet is that soul. People who cling obsessively to materialism know nothing of this. They only know more, more, more, bigger, bigger, bigger, and thus they know nothing, only empty dreams, and mindless pursuits. So rationalize away, justify away, as this will not eliminate or even reduce your complicity. We offer kindness, love and compassion, positive thoughts and a paradigm where the “other” always comes first. We know the planet can survive only by starting from this perspective. We do not desire this loving way of life for our own selfish reasons but for all of humanity!

  17. Tom
    September 1st, 2008 at 19:02 | #17

    This Uyghur lady have “strong national indentity, common religious bonds, and memories of de facto independence in recent history” and yet somehow the Chinese government was able to ‘corrupt’ her and ‘force’ her to work for the betterment of the country.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9jrmR9LUCU&feature=related&fmt=18
    (I dont’ know exactly what she said but I did get the guise of it from the English comments.)

    There are a lot of Uyghurs and Tibetans are working in the chinese government, social groups, and organizations that are helping the lives of people in these two region.

    The precedent from segregating ethnic groups might later lead to segregations between different region, religion and economic groups.(Tajiks, Kazhaks, Hui muslims, Shanghai area, Uyghur Muslims,Zhuangs, Miaos, Mongolians, Koreans, Guangzhou…etc probably wants a “nation in a nation” thing too. Now, wouldn’t that be fun)

    Integration, with the help of people to people contact, is the only way for the future of China.

  18. S.K. Cheung
    September 1st, 2008 at 19:07 | #18

    To Otto:
    just as I thought. Most of the “regulars” around these parts have no interest in a solution that involves anything other than the status quo. The next question is, do some of the opinions expressed here reflect the prevalent sentiments of PRC Chinese…and the sad thing is, it might. So that’s going to be a tough road to till.

    The irony, of course, is that while many espouse the view that Tibetans will be acquiesced as long as China improves her governance within its current framework, it’s not as though she hasn’t had a decent kick at the can. As they say, the definition of stupidity is to do the same thing over and over, and expecting different results.

  19. Karma
    September 1st, 2008 at 19:10 | #19

    @S.K. Cheung,

    just as I thought. Most of the “regulars” around these parts have no interest in a solution that involves anything other than the status quo.

    I completely disagree with that characterization. The only status quo upon which I see we agree is national unity – but there are a lot of solutions and frameworks being proposed within that framework.

  20. September 1st, 2008 at 19:27 | #20

    @Karma – What I object to is this idea that if things simply continue as they are Tibetans will simply ‘see the light’ one day and run out of their houses waving red flags and singing ‘你是谁?(为了谁?)’ – it’s just not going to happen. What will happen is they become a minority in their own area, which is the very thing which – as much as we can trust any reports coming out of Tibet – is making Tibetans so angry. At this point someone usually interjects to say that they are not angry – but they obviously are, satisfied people don’t riot. At this point someone says that rioters were paid agents, that the whole thing is a plot, that we are deceived by the western media – but Xinhua carried the same pictures.

    Anyway, it is madness to expect change in Tibet when Chinese policies do not change.

  21. S.K. Cheung
    September 1st, 2008 at 19:30 | #21

    To Karma:
    “The only status quo upon which I see we agree is national unity ” – but I don’t think Otto’s suggestions threaten that on its face. He’s only put forth some tangible suggestions for recognizing Tibet’s unique situation. And if China is willing to put in the A of the TAR, it seems she’s willing to recognize same, at least on its face. Of course, the question comes down to how much A does China REALLY want to allow, underneath the facade.

    “there are a lot of solutions and frameworks being proposed within that framework.” … from which the sum effect and net benefit over 6 decades has been….?

  22. S.K. Cheung
    September 1st, 2008 at 19:32 | #22

    Oh, and I think my earlier definition in #18 could also be for insanity.

  23. Manifest
    September 1st, 2008 at 19:52 | #23

    China should take notes on how America expanded itself westwards through manifest destiny. Perhaps that is the answer.

  24. wuming
    September 1st, 2008 at 20:38 | #24

    The status quo government policy that I am defending is to stimulating economic development in Tibet through investment. It is base on the belief that ultimately it is people’s daily lives that mattered. Is the Tibetan situation so unique that it resists such simple solutions? I don’t know. I don’t think enough time has past and enough methods have been tried. Talking about the 60 years of the same strategy is just nonsense, since the current Chinese economic recovery is but 30 years old. Tibet is not industrialized, its economic future will probably lie with service industry and indigenous farming and herding. In this context, I think two points are important
    1. Tibet can not sustain a large population, therefore restriction on long term migration into the region is necessary. I don’t know what are the current government policies on migration, but I don’t think the policies should be based on ethic distinctions. Is there a restriction on English speaking Canadians migrating into Quebec?
    2. Government can only build infrastructure and provide financial assistance. Ultimately it is up Tibetans to start their own businesses and develop their own markets like people in other parts of China are doing. Again, I think applying different economic models to different regions as a government policy is counterproductive

  25. Nimrod
    September 1st, 2008 at 20:53 | #25

    Natural/cultural resources of Tibet (i.e. tourism and water power), along with some ranch agriculture are becoming Tibet’s economy. This the local Tibetans can benefit a lot from. It needs time to develop, but driving Hans away by rioting is not the way to do it. Tibetans (like anybody) are bewildered at the pace of change, not angry at change itself. The first clashes are always between those who resist change and the agents of change. Nothing new so far.

    What is new though, is the ethnic factor. In this dimension, the Dalai Lama could play a very constructive role, but so far he has chosen not to, but instead has turned ethnicity into a political trump card. He has his political concerns, so it’s perfectly understandable.

  26. Karma
    September 1st, 2008 at 20:59 | #26

    @FOARP,

    What I object to is this idea that if things simply continue as they are Tibetans will simply ’see the light’ one day and run out of their houses waving red flags and singing ‘你是谁?(为了谁?)’ – it’s just not going to happen. What will happen is they become a minority in their own area, which is the very thing which – as much as we can trust any reports coming out of Tibet – is making Tibetans so angry. … satisfied people don’t riot. …

    Anyway, it is madness to expect change in Tibet when Chinese policies do not change.

    First of all – there was a riot – by a few trouble makers. The Chinese security were clearly caught flat-footed because there was little risk of wholesale riot…

    Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with what I just aid, I with a bunch of bloggers are proposing concrete policy changes – albeit none related to breaking up the country or kowtowing to the Dalai Lama.

    It’s absurd to think that the ethnic Tibetans would stake their whole future on one personality – the Dalai Lama. We will advocate for the Chinese gov’t to address the substantive interest of the Tibetan People. But I will not go so far as to push the Chinese gov’t to kowtow to the Dalai Lama or to divide up the country in any way…

  27. wuming
    September 1st, 2008 at 21:01 | #27

    For those exile Tibetan who made it, it is high time to invest money back to Tibet and start business there. After all, that is exactly how Chinese economy got kicked into next gear after thriving township enterprises got the whole thing started.

  28. S.K. Cheung
    September 1st, 2008 at 21:01 | #28

    To Wuming:
    I certainly agree with #2. But I don’t think Otto (recognizing that he’s more than capable of speaking for himself; I’m just guessing based on my interpretation of his points) is advocating a unique economic model for Tibet. I think he’s just suggesting a unique model of governance.

    Your point about China’s economic boom is well taken. I’m happy to recalibrate my question to: from which the sum effect and net benefit over the last 3 decades has been…?

    I also agree that, when basic human needs are not yet readily met, the task at hand is to first satisfy those, before worrying about more philosophical pursuits. But my interpretation of this is opposite yours. If, when people are poor and underfed, they still have time to worry about the future of their culture and heritage, then when their economic lot improves, would they not be devoting even more time and effort to the latter? I could similarly ask, are Chinese more concerned about their culture and heritage today, or 30 years ago?

  29. S.K. Cheung
    September 1st, 2008 at 21:08 | #29

    To Karma:
    you don’t get “several” without at least 3; so how many is a “few”? :-)

    I don’t think Otto was advocating the break up of anything; nor did he suggest the kissing of anyone’s feet. His suggestions would simply improve upon the currently nominal nature of the so-called TAR.

  30. wuming
    September 1st, 2008 at 21:26 | #30

    S.K. Cheung — ” If, when people are poor and underfed, they still have time to worry about the future of their culture and heritage, then when their economic lot improves, would they not be devoting even more time and effort to the latter? ”

    I maybe repeating myself from other threads, but here is my view on that: people complain when their expectations are unmet. Many Tibetans’ lives are miserable, like people in many other part of China even now. The difference is that too many Tibetans believe in a miracle in the person of Dalai Lama, who is not only a spiritual savior with possible links to heaven (Nirvana?), but more importantly he represent a link to all those rich western nations that will surely come to rescue with wads of money the moment Tibet become independent. While a poor non-Tibetan Chinese does not have such a miracle to look forward to, so he will try to take advantage of the next opportunity offered to him to pull himself out of poverty. The problem is the expectation gap.

  31. S.K. Cheung
    September 1st, 2008 at 21:46 | #31

    To Wuming:
    not sure it’s fair to characterize Tibetans as sitting on their hands, waiting for a miracle to hit them. Besides, if such a miracle is predicated on independence, it would stand to reason that Tibetans would want independence. And that’s something I’m not even prepared to say categorically. I would’ve been satisfied if someone just went around and asked them.

    But your point doesn’t address mine, which is that, if and when Tibetans are more prosperous, they will be even more interested in preserving their culture and heritage than they are now, IMO.

  32. wuming
    September 1st, 2008 at 21:55 | #32

    S.K. Cheung

    What are the concrete examples the current Chinese government’s policy that destroys Tibetan cultures and heritages? I though we had the “cultural genocide” discussion many times before.

  33. MoneyBall
    September 1st, 2008 at 22:05 | #33

    No chance in hell, not in a million yrs. CCP holds all the cards, Dalai has nothing.
    CCP could careless Dalai and the west ‘s rambling mambling.
    You want CCP put so much on the table, what Dalai has to offer? praise CCP to hollywood?
    Either Dalai comes back as it is now, or die wandering.

  34. S.K. Cheung
    September 1st, 2008 at 22:15 | #34

    To MoneyBall:
    nice to see that your positions are so negotiable :-)

  35. S.K. Cheung
    September 1st, 2008 at 22:16 | #35

    BTW, why “no chance in hell”. What are your material objections to Otto’s suggestions?

  36. S.K. Cheung
    September 1st, 2008 at 22:24 | #36

    To Wuming:
    I wasn’t talking about cultural genocide. The Chinese government doesn’t have to destroy; she can simply not actively and effectively help to preserve. And I think providing an autonomous governance model may be one way to assist in said preservation.

  37. wuming
    September 1st, 2008 at 22:35 | #37

    Then the dynamics you suggested would work. Once Tibetans got on track with economic development, they will start to send their children to schools, participate in culture activities and contributing more to the monasteries. Culture is much better preserved through its natural practices.

    I had a discussion with BXBQ in another thread, where he pointed out that the biggest problem is the centrality of Lamaism in the old Tibetan culture. Which may mean in order to preserve that culture, some form of theocracy is necessary. I don’t have a good answer for that

  38. Otto Kerner
    September 1st, 2008 at 22:35 | #38

    I think I agree with MoneyBall that, from his perspective, the CCP holds all the cards and makes no deals. I’m sure they can continue to control Tibet by force, but I don’t know for certain that they will never consider other methods.

  39. TommyBahamas
    September 1st, 2008 at 23:42 | #39

    As someone who grew up in a couple of British colonies myself, I sorta undertand Eddy’s sentiments, but only superficially.

    I AGREE with SK Cheung’s “when Tibetans are more prosperous, they will be even more interested in preserving their culture and heritage than they are now”

    China has being WESTERNIZED since Dr. Sun’s time and as we speak. And which seems like a good thing. I personally don’t like to give so much credit to the West, or perhaps I misunderstand the term “westernization.” In any case, in spite radical attempts to revolutionize China, what are quintessential Chinese nevertheless remained intact and getting more and more appreciation and respect worldwide — in fact, in pace with the cadence of China’s prosperity..

    Actually, I have NOT given much thought to this, only now as I write, that with an increasingly Westernized rich and strong China protecting its economical, political and tactical strategic interests in Tibet, Tibet too will be westernized and hence benefit — such as improved living condition and living standard, right?

    Please don’t be angry with me for what I am about to say, for this is my observation – BUT I COULD BE WAY WRONG, but here it goes anyway: The reality is this, the way forward for all concern it seems, so far as history has played out —i.e. the solution to historical injustices is for the victims to forgive and reconcil with their aggressors –for example, the Native American nations, the descendants of African slaves, the Oborigins etc with their occupiers. No, it is NOT FAIR, but it is the only way to break the chain of curses of generational bad-blood. What can the Chinese learn from the WEST in settling & in clearing all the bad-blood within their respective countries?

  40. S.K. Cheung
    September 1st, 2008 at 23:58 | #40

    To Wuming:
    I agree, Tibetans given the opportunity to actively preserve their own culture and heritage would be a good thing. Having said that, I think while heritage is more historical, a culture can evolve. So all the rituals of Lamaism may not fly today, and Tibetans may have to adapt to that. I don’t think that would be too much to ask. Nor would I think something like that to be a deal breaker.

  41. S.K. Cheung
    September 2nd, 2008 at 00:00 | #41

    To Tommy Bahamas:
    I agree some form of reconciliation is required, cuz no one wants to go to war over Tibet, nor will they. It would be nice to see such reconciliation on an amicable and bilateral basis, rather than the alternative.

  42. wukong
    September 2nd, 2008 at 00:48 | #42

    While the whole China is moving toward abolishing the two-tiered urban-rural residence and Hukou system, how is racially segregating TAR from the rest China “a way forward”? However you spin it, it’s not gonna fly with the increasing mobile Chinese population.

  43. Charles Liu
    September 2nd, 2008 at 02:49 | #43

    Otto, us Americans will never agree to such arrangement for restoration of the Hawaii Kingdom. And Hawaii is an insignificant portion of our “established sovereignty” and “existing states”, albeit with a “long, complicated history”.

    I think it’s quite appropriate to mention the Chinese proverb “measure others heart with ones heart”.

  44. Otto Kerner
    September 2nd, 2008 at 03:30 | #44

    The difference between Hawaii and Tibet is that the demographic conquest of Hawaii is a fait accompli since a long time. Americans live there. Americans have no trouble with the idea of cordoning off the pre-American populations as “nations within a nation”, but I don’t expect anyone to be impressed with our great example, since we first reduced them to living in very small territories.

    There’s no kind of way that making a comparison to the U.S. is going to be enlightening. On the one hand, the U.S. has done way worse things to some of its neighbors than China has ever done to Tibet (well, worse than what was usually done to Tibet; cf the Zhao Erfeng episode). On the other hand, the U.S. today doesn’t need to, for example, make a deal with hypothetical “Puerto Rican exiles”, because Puerto Ricans can just vote democratically for whatever leaders they want, and Puerto Rican secessionists don’t have to go into exile in the first place. There’s no “party leadership” in Puerto Rico that is holding back detante, because, for one thing, there are multiple political parties in Puerto Rico.

    I’d be happy to suggest a solution of simply holding democratic elections in Tibet and seeing what happens, but I think the CCP would hate that worse than having the Dalai Lama back in charge (which is not what I’m suggesting here). So, I came up with a different suggestion that maybe Beijing would find a little less distasteful.

  45. S.K. Cheung
    September 2nd, 2008 at 03:44 | #45

    To Otto:
    so glad you took up #43. I was going to add that there is no great popular move afoot in Hawaii to ask for what Charles Liu suggests, so to compare a hypothetical with Tibet seems a stretch.

    As I said at the outset, I appreciate your points in the post. But Wukong #42 also brings up a good point. It was a single statement in your post. But the need to restrict immigration, though perhaps logical for the purposes of preservation of Tibetan culture etc, does seem to stretch the concept of autonomy. Having said that, if Tibet is the backward and desolate place people here make it out to seem, I can’t imagine too many of these mobile Chinese wanting to go there. Nevertheless, if that was their prerogative, seems to me they should be free to do so (or at least as free as any Chinese citizen can be yada yada yada).

  46. Otto Kerner
    September 2nd, 2008 at 04:29 | #46

    In fact, it’s funny that this has come up a few times in the thread, since just a couple days ago I read a short essay by Andrew M. Fischer on the subject of migration and population in the book Authenticating Tibet. Fischer argues that it is a misconception that Tibetans are in any danger of becoming a minority in their own areas, provided that one excludes a few large urban areas near the edges of the Tibetan area, in particular Xining (no sensible person would insist on trying to transfer Xining, of all places, into some kind of Free Tibetan zone). He says that we’re used to thinking of this sort of migration as Han, etc. people moving into an area as farmers, using the land more efficiently, and thus supporting a larger population than the earlier minority population. That’s what happened in Inner Mongolia and to some extent in Xinjiang. However, a) few people in 21st century China see farming as the path to a better life and b) most of Tibet is bad land for farming anyway.

    When you come down to it, very few Han, etc. people are interested in moving to Tibet. The ones that do go there, Fischer argues, are almost all seeking seasonal employment, meaning that they go home periodically and aren’t really settling in Tibet. The real “problem”, or, rather, what causes grievances, is that Tibetans are mostly not urbanised and Han people in Tibet almost all live in the cities. Consequently, most urban areas in Tibet are or will be majority-Han/Hui, at least part of the year. This, however, is a more complicated issue.

    (Fischer also points out that the Mongolian population of Inner Mongolia has remained about the same since the PRC was founded, i.e. they were already a small minority in 1949. That was something I didn’t know. Also, the Han and Hui population of Xinjiang did increase a lot after 1949, but that increase was almost all before and during the Cultural Revolution. It hasn’t increased much since the 1970s.)

    Personally, I think people are a little too simplistic when it comes to this “freedom of movement” issue. As an American, if somebody told me I couldn’t move to, say, San Francisco, I’d be pretty pissed off. On the other hand, if I wanted to move to an Indian reservation, and the people there didn’t want me, but I insisted on moving there anyway, I would be a pretty big jackass. To me, that just falls into the category of common sense.

  47. S.K. Cheung
    September 2nd, 2008 at 04:51 | #47

    To Otto:
    so based on Fischer’s assertions, restriction of immigration may not even be necessary. But I am loathe to start qualifying certain freedoms as “common sense freedoms”, or freedoms whose execution are governed by common sense. I think freedom of movement should encompass freedom to be a jackass. Lord knows lots of people utilize the latter freedom regularly as it is.

  48. Charles Liu
    September 2nd, 2008 at 07:55 | #48

    So are you two okay are with the Chinese doing what we’ve done ourselves? I guess they too can just shrug their shoulder and say “hey, what’s done is done”.

  49. Netizen K
    September 2nd, 2008 at 09:12 | #49

    If the Chinese learn from the Americans, the tibetans will be in big trouble. Think about that.

  50. Charles Liu
    September 2nd, 2008 at 10:54 | #50

    Hey, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Isn’t that the basis of “there is no great popular move afoot in Hawaii” claim?

    How about “simply holding democratic elections”? How about let China hold such election after they too have claimed “manifest destiny”, and stuffed Tibet full of Hans (while putting Tibetans in tiny pockets of desolate parcels called “reservations”?

    Is that okay? If not then may I ask why are we Americans still at it TODAY???

  51. Otto Kerner
    September 2nd, 2008 at 11:08 | #51

    Perhaps you misread the title of this post. It says, “Tibet: A Way Forward?”, not “America: A Way Forward?” Let me know when you’re ready to discuss the topic at hand.

  52. Netizen K
    September 2nd, 2008 at 11:34 | #52

    Otto,
    Didn’t CIA support the Dalai Lama before? Doesn’t NED support the Dalai Lama now? The US is the picture all the time in terms of how it deals with its own natives. Don’t tell me do as the US says but not as it does.

    You may get away with crap like discussing “the topic at hand” in the US or wherever but not in China. You’re not the only one who defines the topic or its scope.

  53. Wukailong
    September 2nd, 2008 at 12:09 | #53

    ‘You may get away with crap like discussing “the topic at hand” in the US or wherever but not in China. You’re not the only one who defines the topic or its scope.’

    Come on now, no need to be this prickly. You mentioned above why you think the US is always part of the discussion, so you can use that as an argument.

    Personally I would be happy not to always see the US mentioned, because 1) I’ve only been there for a total of four months in my life, 2) I’m more interested in China, 3) I know less about the US than I do about China and 4) I do think it is possible to discuss China without always bringing up the US.

  54. Charles Liu
    September 2nd, 2008 at 17:16 | #54

    Otto, I’m asking if it’s okay for the Chinese to copy us as a way forward for Tibet.

    I mean if the Chinese see us get away with it, maybe they’ll say “hey, let’s round up the Tibetans and put them in desolate pockets of land, and give away the primo Tibetan land free to the Hans to intice them to move westward. Once it’s “fait accompli”, we can hold election and claim there’s no majority movement…”

    I’m sorry, as an American who’s spent limited amount of time in Mainland China, my own country is the reference I compare and contrast.

    Speaking of compare and contrast, is there any Chinese GO/NGO like “Friends of the Cherokee”, “Cherokee House”, “Cherokee Government In Exile” that they are spending millions to sustain, for the purpose of weakening our sovereignty?

  55. September 2nd, 2008 at 17:27 | #55

    Seriously, when are you guys going to realise that:

    1) Not everyone here is American, lives in America, supports American policies, or has even ever been to America.

    2) “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander” is an argument that most people get over in primary school.

    3) America is not a gold standard for the rest of the world.

  56. Karma
    September 2nd, 2008 at 19:15 | #56

    @FOARP,

    America is not a gold standard for the rest of the world.

    How dare you say that!!??

  57. September 2nd, 2008 at 19:34 | #57

    @Karma – Let me count the ways –

    1) Guns

    2) Racial dis-harmony

    3) A secular constitution that has failed to keep religious fundamentalism out of power

    4) A problematic electoral system – elections happen every four years, not when they are most needed.

    5) A dis-satisfactory division of power, one which has resulted in the president exercising powers (such as the power to make war) that he was never supposed to exercise under the constitution

    My question is, what is Charles Liu’s response to say, Austrian, Icelandic, Finnish, Irish, Swedish or Swiss criticism of the Chinese government? Or does he simply assume that all western critics of the PRC rulers are directed by the shadowy NED?

  58. Charles Liu
    September 2nd, 2008 at 19:38 | #58

    Foarp, not being an American doesn’t preclude you from knowing weither the Chinese or American materially support indigenous asperations abroad, and for what purpose.

    BTW, hypocrisy is something most people can discern in primary school also.

  59. Charles Liu
    September 2nd, 2008 at 19:42 | #59

    Okay, here’s the question – why can’t the Chinese move forward on Tibet using the US/Native American model?

  60. S.K. Cheung
    September 2nd, 2008 at 19:51 | #60

    To Netizen K #52:
    why does it always circle back to CIA, NED, and conspiracy theories for you? If you want to define a topic or its scope, go write a post like Otto did.

  61. S.K. Cheung
    September 2nd, 2008 at 19:52 | #61

    To Charles Liu #50:
    that would be “Tibet-3 steps backwards”

  62. S.K. Cheung
    September 2nd, 2008 at 19:58 | #62

    To Charles Liu #59:
    a. because that model is from a 100 years ago.
    b. because then they would have to deal with “Tibetan land claims” the way the US and Canada are dealing with native land claims now
    c. because you can’t spend your life going, see, they did it, so we’re gonna do it too. That’s what kindergarteners do.

  63. S.K. Cheung
    September 2nd, 2008 at 19:59 | #63

    To Charles Liu:
    “is there any Chinese GO/NGO like “Friends of the Cherokee”, “Cherokee House”, “Cherokee Government In Exile” that they are spending millions to sustain” – fly at’er, I say. Whatever floats your boat. But don’t see how that advances the current topic.

  64. September 2nd, 2008 at 20:01 | #64

    @Charles Liu – If you support the signing of treaties between the PRC government and the tribal leadership of the indigenous peoples of Tibet (and I’m guessing that would include the DL) establishing a large Tibet-wide reservation in which native peoples would be free within reason to enact their own laws, choose their own leaders, and manage their land in the way they see fit, I’m pretty sure that many people in Dharamsala and Tibet would be happy to see this. If you mean simply that you would like the PRC government to expropriate the best land in Tibet and give it over to Han settlement, that a policy of ‘civilisation’ – i.e., the annihilation of local religion and culture – should be conducted by the central government, and that self-government should be used as a a screen for the disenfranchisement of the native peoples, well, this is only a more extreme version of what is happening now.

    I tire of this silly ‘America does/did X’ argument, even American policy towards it native population has changed over the years, but PRC policy remains the same, and is not improving the situation. The situation which occurred this year will happen again and again so long as this policy remains the same.

  65. S.K. Cheung
    September 2nd, 2008 at 20:05 | #65

    To FOARP:
    word up.

  66. Charles Liu
    September 2nd, 2008 at 20:28 | #66

    TO SK, “because that model is from a 100 years ago” – no, it is still the model TODAY.

    TO Foarp, do you support all those “good things” within the Chinese sovereignty (like what we have in America”? It is no more extereme than what is really happening in America TODAY.

    It’s not about what we American did, but a framework for comparison – why can’t they do it?

  67. Charles Liu
    September 2nd, 2008 at 20:29 | #67

    You don’t see the hypocrisy in “we can do it but you can’t”?

  68. September 2nd, 2008 at 20:39 | #68

    “why can’t they do it?”

    @Charles Liu – Wikipedia has a nice little article on the Indian reservations: I suggest you read it. Then let me ask you – do you support the policies of the US federal government towards the indigenous population? Do you wish to see those exact policies repeated in Tibet? Would you agree than the events at Wounded Knee in 1973 were a result of these policies? Do you think that an event like Wounded Knee will happen again in the future?

    Then let me ask – why are we talking about America on a China-centric blog?

  69. Charles Liu
    September 2nd, 2008 at 20:39 | #69

    I beg to differ Foarp. If the Chinese adopt our model that militarily/politically/economically/goegraphically pacified the subjugated population, there would be no revolt like what happened this year.

    If anything else the revolt shows the Chinese are much too kind (as compared to what we do to the Native Americans, or what you all did to the Northern Irish.)

  70. Charles Liu
    September 2nd, 2008 at 20:43 | #70

    Foarp, all I see is refusal to answer the question, or refusal to draw the comparison. I think it’s obvious you all don’t care for the direction of such reasoning, and the why is also very obvious.

    Now, given that, why do you make such proposal to “move forward” for Tibet, when the same “proposal” will never fly in our own back yard, when it comes to our own “established sovereignty”, “current “states”?

  71. Charles Liu
    September 2nd, 2008 at 20:44 | #71

    As the old Chinese proverb says “measure others heart with ones own heart”…

  72. Karma
    September 2nd, 2008 at 20:46 | #72

    Ok – I am going to try to build a bridge between Charles Liu and S.K. Cheung/FOARP.

    When Charles Liu asks – why can’t the Chinese follow the Native American model – and you keep on retorting why dig through history and go backward instead of forward – the problem is that it seems kind of disingenuous.

    It is disingenuous for the West to tell the Chinese that the West has reformed and would not commit any more atrocities based on the “native american model” because the West has already passed that stage of its development – it has decimated all native populations and are reaping great benefits (including political stability) as a result of those actions.

    Based on the expansionist actions of the U.S. (the leader of the West), a cynical Chinese would say the West is not reformed at all. It would attack and expand again if it could. The West is “acting nice” because it is CONVENIENT for the West to act reformed and to lecture the Chinese at this stage – when the West has already decimated all location populations and when it works to the benefit of the West to stir up ethnic rivalries across the globe. The West just want to keep us Chinese down…

    Anyways – at least that is the feeling many Chinese get when the West lectures to China about its internal policies when the policies the West pursued in the past has run so counter against its current rhetoric and when the West continue to reap the benefits of those past policies.

  73. wuming
    September 2nd, 2008 at 20:51 | #73

    Before we get too deep into this Indian reservation business, here is a map (pdf file, pink area being the reservations) that should put the matter into perspective. Keep in mind that Native Americans by definition used to own all of the land of the United States.

    China’s annexation of Tibet was based on cold-hearted geopolitical calculation, which is not very different from what many other nations would do (and did) in similar circumstances. I think Otto in his post recognized this fact and is seeking a more humane way to resolve the problem within this framework. We have argued past the histories of annexations. We should argue about the present, because I don’t think we have a consensus picture of Tibet. We should certainly argue about its future, which is what Otto’s post is about.

  74. Charles Liu
    September 2nd, 2008 at 21:02 | #74

    Karma, it’s not even history – it’s still happening TODAY. I think the white elephant in the room, to me at least, is this hypocrisy of not measuring ourselves with what we demand of the Chinese.

    Take Otto’s “reforms of the monastic system” for example. Sounds nice but was that ever practiced in America? No, we outlawed Native American religious ceremony, and the natives were forced to change their religion to some Christian-hybrid “Native American Church”:

    http://www.kzoo.edu/pfolio/archive/example/vasas/Native_American.htm

    And no, that is not history, but reality TODAY.

  75. S.K. Cheung
    September 2nd, 2008 at 21:09 | #75

    To Charles Liu and Karma:
    hypocrisy is doing one thing and saying another. So when the US supports Kosovo independence (with which I agree) but opposes South Ossetia and Abkhazia independence (a stance I disagree with), that to me is hypocrisy. If you want to harp on that, be my guest. I’d probably even join you. But those are contemporaneous events where, IMO, there is a reasonably direct parallel.
    Charles is speculating on current and future policies, and trying to justify it by 100 years-old (or more) historical perspective. That to me is apples and oranges.
    Both of you justify your POV because the US “continues to reap” rewards from those past actions. So if we go back 1000 years, or whatever the historical perspectives are in whatever dynasty, can we equally claim that, had China not done such and such way back when, she would never even have a legitimate territorial claim on Tibet today, and this whole discussion would be moot. Better yet, were it not for 1949, we still wouldn’t be having this discussion. But it is what it is. Deal with it. You can’t change history. You could, however, if you were so inclined, learn from it. So if Charles is so bent out of shape about what the US did way back yonder, maybe the perspective should be that that wasn’t such a great way to behave, and maybe China should learn from that and not go down that same road. Not the tired old “they did it, so why the heck can’t/shouldn’t we” business.
    BTW Karma, that’s not much of a bridge…more like a downward sloping ramp with a wobbly foundation, IMO. And “The West just want to keep us Chinese down…”? C’mon, dude, that’s a cheap bumper sticker. Hope that was your hypothetical “cynical Chinese” voice, and not your day-to-day one.

  76. S.K. Cheung
    September 2nd, 2008 at 21:15 | #76

    To Charles Liu #74:
    ok, so China should do what Americans did, and China shouldn’t do what Americans didn’t. So please tell me when there will be free elections in China. I’d love to know. You guys are having one in November; any chance China could ramp up her electoral machinery to have one…say…second Tuesday of November?

  77. Charles Liu
    September 2nd, 2008 at 21:15 | #77

    SK, it’s not history – it’s happening RIGHT NOW. For example Native American religious ceremoney TODAY continue to be illegal in US (Google “Employment Division v. Smith”).

    To make demand of the Chinese while we continue to oppress and subjugate the Native Americans IS hypocrisy.

  78. Karma
    September 2nd, 2008 at 21:24 | #78

    @S.K. Cheung,

    BTW Karma, that’s not much of a bridge…more like a downward sloping ramp with a wobbly foundation, IMO. And “The West just want to keep us Chinese down…”? C’mon, dude, that’s a cheap bumper sticker. Hope that was your hypothetical “cynical Chinese” voice, and not your day-to-day one.

    Ok – maybe not much of a bridge in terms of creating harmony – but it was a bridge in attempt to be blunt and get to the central issues…

    As for the “keep us Chinese down” language – well, I definitely meant it as part of the post/discussion. But you are right, when I walk in the streets of America, I don’t think the average Joe American is trying to keep down the average Joe Chinese.

  79. S.K. Cheung
    September 2nd, 2008 at 21:28 | #79

    Charles,
    you have got to be kidding me. You would’ve been WAY better off not citing that feeble example. Smith could’ve done whatever religious ritual he wanted. The Supreme Court did not make the ritual illegal. However, this ritual involved ingestion of an illegal substance, and that substance is illegal irrespective of its religious significance. Not to mention the guy worked at a drug rehab place. If the ritual involved killing another human being, that wouldn’t be kosher either. Would you have a problem with that?
    What are you ingesting to consider this oppression and subjugation of Native Americans? Jeez louise, dude, if your argument was taking on water before, you’re now in full on Titanic mode.

  80. S.K. Cheung
    September 2nd, 2008 at 21:32 | #80

    To Karma:
    “I don’t think the average Joe American is trying to keep down the average Joe Chinese.” – that’s what I thought, which is why I was surprised earlier.

  81. September 2nd, 2008 at 21:32 | #81

    @Charles Liu – Since neither I nor SK Cheung are Americans or involved with the US government in any way, and since this website is about China, I really don’t see what your point is. If you object to US policy – well, bully for you – but it doesn’t tell us anything about what way the situation in Tibet could be improved.

    As for Otto’s plan, well, I think that any plan which does not keep the CCP in charge is bound to fail. Perhaps some policy of return for the exiles, including the DL, so long as he keeps himself above politics, and of the formation of a Tibetan communist party under Beijing tutelage might be more in line as a temporary solution. A more final solution would require the advent of genuine democracy in China

  82. S.K. Cheung
    September 2nd, 2008 at 21:35 | #82

    To Charles #77:
    BTW, 1990 does not equal 2008. You and I have different definitions of “RIGHT NOW” (in caps, no less)

  83. Karma
    September 2nd, 2008 at 21:41 | #83

    @S.K. Cheung,

    What are you ingesting to consider this oppression and subjugation of Native Americans? Jeez louise, dude, if your argument was taking on water before, you’re now in full on Titanic mode.

    Hmm…

    The case was actually closely observed by many in the legal community for its impact on religious freedom.

    It’s a “trick of the legal trade” to righteously regulate one set of rights in the name of another set of rights. In this case, the Court clearly de-emphasized the religious aspect of the case and emphasized the issues of importance to the federal drug enforcement agency. It is really a matter of perspectives. Language – in the name of a trained judge – is just a tool.

    If you really think what the Supreme Court did was proper regulation, what is wrong with the official Chinese policy in Tibet?

    The Chinese did a similar balance in Tibet: religious freedom v. social stability/economic development, and social stability and economic development came out winning. But instead of applauding the CCP for promoting progress, the media in the west kept complaining about the limitations on the freedom to worship the DL.

  84. S.K. Cheung
    September 2nd, 2008 at 22:03 | #84

    To Karma:
    well, we should petition Scalia to know his intent on the matter. Without such, its speculation piled on top of more speculation.
    The point is, and as FOARP has tried to emphasize with surprisingly limited success, this blog is about China, and Otto’s post is a suggestion on a way forward for Tibet. It’s his suggestion, and it’s rightfully open to criticism. But Charles seems bent on comparisons to the US, and to me, that’s just a diversionary tactic to obscure the discussion and avoid the actual topic at hand. If you or Charles want to draw parallels, save it for another post. If you have issues with the specifics of what Otto said, say that. But comparing apples and oranges is not constructive.
    BTW, what’s wrong with official Chinese policy in Tibet was on display in March. Not sure how CCP has promoted progress, at least on this issue, in the interim. Which is why, way earlier on this thread, I lamented about the voices for the status quo. I recall you took issue with that characterization, but I’m not sure how comparing the US and CHina advances the status quo.

  85. Karma
    September 2nd, 2008 at 22:09 | #85

    I know this is off topic – but the Smith case is dissented by three justices.

    Very quickly, the dissent wrote:

    This Court over the years painstakingly has developed a consistent and exacting standard to test the constitutionality of a state statute that burdens the free exercise of religion. Such a statute may stand only if the law in general, and the State’s refusal to allow a religious exemption in particular, are justified by a compelling interest that cannot be served by less restrictive means.

    Until today, I thought this was a settled and inviolate principle of this Court’s First Amendment jurisprudence. The majority, however, perfunctorily dismisses it as a “constitutional anomaly.”

    This distorted view of our precedents leads the majority to conclude that strict scrutiny of a state law burdening the free exercise of religion is a “luxury” that a well-ordered society cannot afford, and that the repression of minority religions is an “unavoidable consequence of democratic government.”

    In weighing respondents’ clear interest in the free exercise of their religion against Oregon’s asserted interest in enforcing its drug laws, it is important to articulate in precise terms the state interest involved. It is not the State’s broad interest [p910] in fighting the critical “war on drugs” that must be weighed against respondents’ claim, but the State’s narrow interest in refusing to make an exception for the religious, ceremonial use of peyote.

    The carefully circumscribed ritual context in which respondents used peyote is far removed from the irresponsible and unrestricted recreational use of unlawful drugs. [n6] The Native American Church’s internal restrictions on, and supervision of, its members’ use of peyote substantially obviate the State’s health and safety concerns.

    If Oregon can constitutionally prosecute them for this act of worship, they, like the Amish, may be “forced to migrate to some other and more tolerant region.” This potentially devastating impact must be viewed in light of the federal policy — reached in reaction to many years of religious persecution and intolerance — of protecting the religious freedom of Native Americans.

  86. S.K. Cheung
    September 2nd, 2008 at 22:58 | #86

    To Karma:
    well, lord knows I’m no lawyer. And lord also knows that I’m no fan of Scalia’s conservatism. But I was ok in math at school. And 3 dissenting voices is less than 6 for the majority.
    Being a non-lawyer and a Canadian, I feel particularly well-equipped to criticize a Supreme on his/her interpretation of the US Constitution :-) But here goes anyway.

    “the State’s narrow interest in refusing to make an exception for the religious, ceremonial use of peyote” – to me, the law’s the law. I don’t think the States are duty-bound to make exceptions. Can’t see how a Supreme can fault a State for NOT making an exception, because making an exception means a law is not being applied equally to all, and that would seem to be a far greater constitutional grievance.

    “If Oregon can constitutionally prosecute them for this act of worship” – Oregon didn’t throw the guy in jail for blazing up some peyote. They simply agreed it was ok for the drug rehab center to terminate the guy’s employment. To me, two very different things. Not sure how a Supreme can draw that parallel….but that’s why they’re a Supreme, and I’m just me.

    And having said all that, what’s any of this got to do with the price of tea in China, or at least to do with moving forward on Tibet. Does a guy canned in 1990 over some peyote in Oregon mean that China’s Tibet policies are hunky-dory in 2008? This is beyond apples and oranges; this is apples…and motorcycles (or anything you want that has absolutely bupkiss to do with apples).

  87. NMBWhat
    September 2nd, 2008 at 23:17 | #87

    It’s all good if you think ‘the law is the law.” But what happens when the law entity does not uphold the law? The law breaks the law then turn around and damn you for breaking it (e.g. Iran-Contra). What is the meaning then?

    None of these discussions really mean anything anymore. We’re just jibber jabbing while the law is laughing at all of you.

    The LAW.. THE LAW>> HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH HAHAHAHAHAH

    Pffftt, get real.

  88. Charles Liu
    September 2nd, 2008 at 23:18 | #88

    SK, it has everything to do with Otto’s proposal. If we won’t do it ourselves, what right do we have to demand the Chinese? And America’s oppression and subjugation of Native Americans continues TODAY. Smith case was judicated in 1990 – that’s not 100 years ago is it?

    Saying “apples and oranges” won’t make the hypocrisy go away.

  89. NMBWhat
    September 2nd, 2008 at 23:20 | #89

    The same thing in China. Supposedly you have all these rights guaranteed in the Chinese Constitution. But then the State makes exceptions for itself.

    What does it mean then?

    What is the point of law?

    What is the point of state?

  90. Wahaha
    September 2nd, 2008 at 23:41 | #90

    To FOARP & SKC

    Give us a reason why Britain refused to give the beard of Sphinx back to Egypt.

  91. Charles Liu
    September 2nd, 2008 at 23:56 | #91

    NMB, thank you for the intellectual honesty. The Chinese is just as bad as us, and the Tibetan is just as screwed as the Native Americans.

    The sooner people realize China’s “established sovereignty” is as inviolable as ours, their “current states” is as touchy and complicated as ours, the sooner we can stop funding/fueling Tibetan asperations and let them move forward as part of China.

    It’s completely hypocritical to give “word up” over the fact our conquered population has been, and continued to be, brutally pacified (how did “fait accompli”, “no popular movement” come about?), while lamenting the Chinese for wanting to brutally pacify theirs.

    Seriousely, anything we can’t measure up shouldn’t be put on the Chinese.

  92. S.K. Cheung
    September 3rd, 2008 at 00:20 | #92

    To Wahaha:
    and your point has to do with moving Tibet forward how?

  93. Wahaha
    September 3rd, 2008 at 00:28 | #93

    SKC,

    Taking from your comment : “Deal with it. You can’t change history. You could, however, if you were so inclined, learn from it. So if Charles is so bent out of shape about what the US did way back yonder, maybe the perspective should be that that wasn’t such a great way to behave,…”

    Isnt it a great way to behave by returning the beard of Sphnix ?

  94. S.K. Cheung
    September 3rd, 2008 at 00:29 | #94

    To Charles #91:
    “let them move forward as part of China” – and that seems precisely to be what Otto is talking about, and of all the superfluous stuff you’ve been talking about, you’ve yet to address that.

    And #88:
    “And America’s oppression and subjugation of Native Americans continues TODAY. Smith case was judicated in 1990 – that’s not 100 years ago is it?” – ok, so let’s stipulate that 1990 is neither 100 years ago nor is it today (again with the caps). Did you not read #79 and #86…you’re a long way away from making any cogent argument that the Smith case makes your point. And as I said, you’re way past apples and oranges…you’re onto fruits and motorcycles.

    “while lamenting the Chinese for wanting to brutally pacify theirs.” – #62 “you can’t spend your life going, see, they did it, so we’re gonna do it too. That’s what kindergarteners do.”

  95. S.K. Cheung
    September 3rd, 2008 at 00:30 | #95

    To Wahaha:
    read #92 again please.

  96. Karma
    September 3rd, 2008 at 00:34 | #96

    S.K. Cheung,

    The dissent was written by Blackmun. The point was not necessarily for us to argue with Blackmun (partly because many of the terms used had special meaning in Constitutional law) – it’s to point out that the case was not as black and white as you might have made out in #79.

  97. Wahaha
    September 3rd, 2008 at 00:38 | #97

    SKC,

    I am talking about the way West try to teach us, dont you think they should teach themselves first ?

  98. S.K. Cheung
    September 3rd, 2008 at 00:44 | #98

    To Karma:
    well, me + Supreme court dissenting opinion = me way outta my league and depth. So I’m ill-equipped to discuss the nuances of legal interpretation and the shades of legal gray-scale. But the bottom line seems pretty clear. And I don’t see how it even comes within an order of magnitude of supporting Charles Liu’s assertions. Some native American grievances are real. But he’ll have to bring much better examples. And still none of it will have the slightest thing to do with moving Tibet forward.

  99. Wahaha
    September 3rd, 2008 at 00:49 | #99

    SKC,

    We Chinese dont believe West (politicians and media) has any ounce of good intention on Tibet issue, the involvement of CIA and West reports on 3.14 riots clearly proved that. As a result, We dont believe West (politicians and media) even care Tibetans.

    So West has no right to talk about Tibet.

  100. S.K. Cheung
    September 3rd, 2008 at 00:51 | #100

    To Wahaha:
    yes, we’ve got lots to learn. But I don’t think Otto was giving a lecture; he was making some constructive suggestions, IMO. Ancient Egyptian artifacts seem a ways removed from those suggestions. And I don’t think Otto aims to represent the entirety of western culture and civilization. You should ask him. While you’re at it, I think he’d also welcome and appreciate any on-point criticism of his suggestions you might have.

  101. S.K. Cheung
    September 3rd, 2008 at 00:57 | #101

    To Wahaha #99:
    a. as pointed out previously, I think I can safely assume you don’t speak for all Chinese
    b. as for caring for Tibetans, one could reasonably harbour similar suspicions about the CCP, and as far as I’m concerned, your opinion matters not; I’d be way more interested in the Tibetan perspective anyhow.
    c. Otto is a westerner, but let’s not generalize
    d. all of us have the right to talk about anything we please. If Tibetans were afforded such rights, then this would be a much shorter conversation.

  102. Wahaha
    September 3rd, 2008 at 00:59 | #102

    SKC,

    I didnt comment on Otto’s suggestion, I was commenting on the comments by you and FOARP that “comparison is not allowed”.

  103. S.K. Cheung
    September 3rd, 2008 at 00:59 | #103

    Have any of you even bothered to read what Otto wrote? It just the same old tired retread stereotypes over and over again.

  104. Wahaha
    September 3rd, 2008 at 01:00 | #104

    SKC,

    Tibetan perspective ? or exiled tibetan perspective ?

  105. S.K. Cheung
    September 3rd, 2008 at 01:01 | #105

    Comparison is fine, if you’re comparing something comparable. But I don’t see how comparison to serve as an excuse for inaction accomplishes anything.

  106. S.K. Cheung
    September 3rd, 2008 at 01:02 | #106

    The former. Got some?

  107. Wahaha
    September 3rd, 2008 at 01:06 | #107

    SKC, “The former. Got some?”

    Ok, let me repeat the question I asked before :

    Why were almost all the harsh complains (about human right ) made by monks ?

  108. Wahaha
    September 3rd, 2008 at 01:09 | #108

    “Comparison is fine.”

    So If British government and US government believe Chinese government shouldnt follow the track of what they did centuries ago, that means they concede they did wrong before.

    Why dont they correct their mistakes now ?

    Doesnt that imply Tibet is just a tool used by Tibet to weak China ?

  109. Wahaha
    September 3rd, 2008 at 01:20 | #109

    Otto,

    cuz of the question in #107, I dont think the problems in Tibet are cuz of “freedom”, the problem is the economical dominacy by Han chinese in Tibet.

  110. S.K. Cheung
    September 3rd, 2008 at 01:37 | #110

    To Wahaha:
    “Why were almost all the harsh complains (about human right ) made by monks ?” Monks are people too. But c’mon, man. Did you see #103 about the retread stuff? This has been talked about ad nauseum. It might be comfortable, it might be familiar; but it has nothing to do with what Otto suggests, and I don’t see how it advances the discussion.

    “Why dont they correct their mistakes now ?” – that’s a good point. If you want to pursue it, i suggest you find a “blogging for the USA” site, and submit a post with your suggestions for correcting them.

    BTW, I’d like to hear your suggestions about how to truly gauge Tibetan sentiment.

  111. Charles Liu
    September 3rd, 2008 at 01:43 | #111

    SK, 1990 is closer to TODAY or “way back yonder”? The Smith case is in effect TODAY, and there’s further legal decision in 1997 affirming it.

    And the result is TODAY the Native Americans no longer practice their religion, but some form of Christianity.

  112. Wahaha
    September 3rd, 2008 at 01:45 | #112

    SKC,

    1) “Monks are people” who lost their privilege under CCP, doesnt that make any difference ?

    2) West politicians have evil agenda against China, that is the point of my question “Why dont they correct their mistakes now ?”

    3) Tibet is part of China. Accept that, then we have a common base to talk about what chinese government did improper in Tibet.

  113. The Trapped!
    September 3rd, 2008 at 02:32 | #113

    Blabla… Blabla…. Tibet blabla…. China blala…. America blala…. Where are we going?

  114. Karma
    September 3rd, 2008 at 02:47 | #114

    @S.K. Cheung,

    well, me + Supreme court dissenting opinion = me way outta my league and depth. So I’m ill-equipped to discuss the nuances of legal interpretation and the shades of legal gray-scale. But the bottom line seems pretty clear. And I don’t see how it even comes within an order of magnitude of supporting Charles Liu’s assertions. Some native American grievances are real.

    The case is VERY IMPORTANT because it shows how in America – land of the purported free – regulation of religious activities can be carried out in the name of social stability. The lines may be drawn differently in China – which is expected. But instead of understanding why line drawing is always important in any society, we hear only cries of foul from the Western press…

  115. NMBWhat
    September 3rd, 2008 at 03:04 | #115

    #113

    Hell is where we’re all going.

    Truth of this world: Satan is really God. God is really Satan. Satan is the thing that keeps us from the real God. End of story.

    Let’s all drink the koolaid shall we… 3.. 2…1… GO!!!

  116. S.K. Cheung
    September 3rd, 2008 at 03:34 | #116

    To Charles Liu #111:
    yes, thanks for the timeline lesson. But whether the Smith case is the precedent-setting reference yesterday, today, and tomorrow doesn’t alter the fact that it does not even support your point. And that’s not even to mention that your point doesn’t address moving Tibet forward one iota.

    “Native Americans no longer practice their religion, but some form of Christianity.” – I don’t know if that’s true or not. Let’s say it is. Isn’t that exactly the reason why China should try something different, assuming she was truly interested in preserving Tibetan culture and religion? Or is it back to the childish “well, the Americans messed up the Natives, so we’re gonna screw with the Tibetans”.

  117. S.K. Cheung
    September 3rd, 2008 at 03:38 | #117

    To Wahaha #112:
    you haven’t proved any political “evil” agenda, so what’s to correct?

    Focus on the post (this is where I should have said it; not the other thread; sorry about that). Otto is talking about Tibet within China. Who cares what China did wrong before (except maybe taking away some lessons)? He’s got some ideas about what to do today and tomorrow. Focus on that!

  118. BMY
    September 3rd, 2008 at 03:46 | #118

    @The Trapped,

    Would you like to share your opinions as a Tibetan who lives in ChengDu(?) . I am pretty sure many of us ( overseas Tibetans, han and foreign friends ) would like to hear.

  119. S.K. Cheung
    September 3rd, 2008 at 03:52 | #119

    To Karma:
    well, of course there is some regulation of religious freedom. If a ritual involved murder, wouldn’t you have to regulate that?
    So yes, one draws the line somewhere, and that may vary from society to society. That still has nothing to do with what Otto said. He’s talking about how to put some meat to the A of the TAR. I don’t think the degree of religious freedom is the crux of his point here.

  120. Wahaha
    September 3rd, 2008 at 03:56 | #120

    SKC,

    Dont you get it ?

    As long as West government support the independence of Tibet, there is no “good” solution for Tibet.

    If China and US had supported the seperatists in UK, Northern Ireland wouldve never had peace, for god sake.

  121. S.K. Cheung
    September 3rd, 2008 at 03:59 | #121

    To Wahaha:
    I’m speechless. Read Otto’s post. It’s some ideas about how to create a level of autonomy for Tibet that might satisfy China and Tibetans. Why are you so darn fixated about western governments?

  122. Wahaha
    September 3rd, 2008 at 04:03 | #122

    SKC,

    Cuz the current big trouble was caused by Western government.

    There are 55 ethnic minority in China, 52 of them have ABSOLUTELY no trouble with Han Chinese.

  123. S.K. Cheung
    September 3rd, 2008 at 04:32 | #123

    To Wahaha:
    That’s great. So let’s just ignore the Tibet issue then? Or maybe try something different, perhaps even something akin to what Otto suggests, so that somewhere down the road, 52 will become 53. I don’t see how fixating with the West allows you to achieve that.

  124. S.K. Cheung
    September 3rd, 2008 at 04:41 | #124

    So Charles, going back to your goose and gander bit, if elections are good enough for Americans, when do you figure the Chinese government will giv’er a go? Cuz based on your reasoning, if the Americans do something, the Chinese should too.

  125. Wahaha
    September 3rd, 2008 at 05:15 | #125

    Ok, SKC,

    Here is the link provided by admin :

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122005956740185361.html

    DARJEELING, India — Chodak, an 83-year-old former monk, fled Tibet in the wake of a bloody Chinese invasion more than 50 years ago. …..

    You see that, “bloody Chinese invasion” ?

    Do you think there will be a peaceful solution after “bloody invasion” ?

    Did you ever hear any reports about a country invading a territory (other than Tibet) which was internationally accepted as part of the country ?

    Tibet will be always an issue UNTIL West are willing to accept that Tibet is part of China, which will not happen in next 50 years, maybe next 100 years.

    So you want to help Tibetans in Tibet, let us talk about how to get more Tibetans involved in the economic development.

  126. NMBWhat
    September 3rd, 2008 at 05:46 | #126

    See why do you keep on saying that Tibet ‘s part of China??? It is now because the PRC send troops in.

    And don’t tell me you are going to white-wash the atrocities done to the monks and the people. I dont’ care really about the religious aspects of it, since I believe that Tibet was ruled by an elitist religious class. But still, that gives no right to the PRC for doing what they did. The PRC did bastardly things, just admit it and I will be happy.

  127. NMBWhat
    September 3rd, 2008 at 05:48 | #127

    And no matter what you say, Tibet is the home to native Tibetans. Why are the Han Chinese (I’m Han Chinese btw) invading their home-land???

    Just admit it, Chinese people are invaders to Tibet.

  128. NMBWhat
    September 3rd, 2008 at 05:50 | #128

    It’s up to the Tibeteans themselves to decide what goes on in their home land. You have no right to go there and now claim it’s part of China… Tibet in history has always be separate from China proper. Sure, it was involved in relations with “China proper”, but it was never “china proper.”

  129. S.K. Cheung
    September 3rd, 2008 at 06:00 | #129

    To Wahaha:
    why can’t a bloody invasion be followed by a peaceful solution? Those 2 aren’t mutually exclusive. I’d go so far to suggest that most invasions are bloody, and the whole point of finding a solution is to achieve resultant peace.
    Again, going over the history is like a broken record. Even IF Tibet was considered by some to be part of China before 1949 (and that’s a big if), the fact is at least some Tibetans are still agitating in 2008. So rather than harping on water under the bridge, address that. If you think economic development is more essential than Otto’s suggestion of more defined autonomy, then make that point. But to repeatedly fixate on what the big bad West may or may not have done in years gone by is pointless.

  130. NMBWhat
    September 3rd, 2008 at 06:00 | #130

    The problem I have is with Han Chinese cultural hegemony in Tibet. With the influx of Han Chinese into Tibet, with common sense you know we Han Chinese is going to look out for ourselves first, and not really giving a damn about Tibetans. That’s just common sense on human nature. So now you create this problem there.

  131. S.K. Cheung
    September 3rd, 2008 at 06:03 | #131

    To NMBWhat:
    brave of you to say that, in this neck of the woods.

  132. NMBWhat
    September 3rd, 2008 at 06:13 | #132

    The problem is I just don’t care. I’m not a hypocrite. I don’t see any good with the concept of the State, anywhere. The State is nothing but a tool for the elite.

    Chinese always love to say stop interfering in others internal affairs. But that’s exactly what they did in Tibet.

    Now I’m not saying the West is somehow better, since they has tried to meddle in Tibet.

  133. NMBWhat
    September 3rd, 2008 at 06:16 | #133

    I bet in a second someone will point at me at go “SELF HATER, SELF HATER.”

    Blah blaah blah, I don’t give a rat’s ass.

  134. September 3rd, 2008 at 10:21 | #134

    @Wahaha –

    “Did you ever hear any reports about a country invading a territory (other than Tibet) which was internationally accepted as part of the country ?”

    We’ve been over this. The liberation of France, the Falkland Islands, and Kuwait were all referred to as invasions in western media. Likewise, the Soviet and American involvement in Afghanistan have both been referred to as invasions in western media, despite both these powers having been invited into Afghanistan by political factions in that country. The Russia assault on Chechnya was also referred to as an invasion. As for ‘bloody’ – well, there is an element of censure there, but you cannot deny that plenty of blood was shed. Finally, the PRC was not the ‘internationally accepted’ government of China in 1950 – that was Chiang Kai-Shek’s ROC government.

  135. Wahaha
    September 3rd, 2008 at 14:06 | #135

    @FOARP,

    Oh, come on, UK invaded Falkland Islands or Argentina invaded ? Who invaded Kuwait ? Kuwait government ?

    @SKC, ….”why can’t a bloody invasion be followed by a peaceful solution? ”

    Are we talking about politics or about going to Disney Land ? chinese think it was liberation, so Chinese government did no wrong in 1950s; West think it was bloody invasion, so chinese government is illegal in Tibet.

    Compromise ? how ?

  136. September 3rd, 2008 at 14:43 | #136

    @Wahaha – Both. The task force involved in Operation Corporate was termed an ‘invasion force’ by the BBC amongst others. Likewise, Operation Overlord is often described as an ‘invasion’ (even to the extent that the striped pattern on the wings of allied planes is still known as ‘invasion markings). I presume you are not disputing my other references? Oh – and here’s a headline from The Telegraph from a few weeks ago:

    “Georgia Invades Rebel Region”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/georgia/2519908/Caucasus-in-crisis-Georgia-invades-rebel-region.html

    I do not believe in being snobby towards people for misunderstanding the meaning of words, especially not people for whom English is not their mother tongue. I myself used to think that the word ‘invade’ implies that the territory thus invaded is not the rightful territory of the military force conducting the invasion, but it quite simply is not the case. ‘Invade’ simply means something along the lines of ‘forcefully enter’ – and you cannot deny that force was used in the case of Tibet.

  137. Wahaha
    September 3rd, 2008 at 14:46 | #137

    @FOARP,

    Please, dont play with me on English, I m not good at it. UK considered Falkland their territory.

  138. Ted
    September 3rd, 2008 at 15:48 | #138

    I’m sure this idea was thrown out long ago, but why hasn’t the Vatican City been looked to as a model? If Tibet is the seat of the religion, carve out a little hole where the religion can be the religion. Potala Palace and the site of the original city at the base of the palace for example (currently a park and monument to the PLA). China can acknowledge Buddhism’s influence on its culture and clearly define the separation of state and religion.

    Someone has probably suggested this before so please have at me for putting it out there again.

  139. Charles Liu
    September 3rd, 2008 at 15:50 | #139

    SK, “Isn’t that exactly the reason why China should try something different, assuming she was truly interested in preserving Tibetan culture and religion?”

    Absolutly not, the Chinese are under no obligation to learn from our mistakes, especially when we ourselve are still making the same mistakes TODAY. The Native Americans remain oppressed and subjugated TODAY, do you disagree? What right do we have to demand the Chinese, when we fail to measure up ourselves? If anything intrspection calls for us to try something different ourselve FIRST.

    I’m going to ignored your “do they vote” obfusification – my understanding is they alread do.

  140. September 3rd, 2008 at 15:58 | #140

    @Wahaha – Yes, we do, but ‘invasion’ does not mean entry into territory which does not belong to you, it means “forceful entry”. Likewise, ‘liberation’ does not mean that the territory belongs to you, it just means the removal of oppression. So if I say “The PLA invaded Tibet”, this is simply a matter of fact, whether that invasion was a liberation or not is a matter of dispute, but there is no doubt that the CCP imposed its rule on Tibet through force.

  141. Chen
    September 3rd, 2008 at 17:41 | #141

    So the US imposed its rule on Iraq through force. Majority of Americans truly believed they brought democracy to Iraq.

    I am as proud as Americans as we Chinese brought the freedom to Tibet. We liberated the slaves from the slave-masters.

  142. Karma
    September 3rd, 2008 at 18:08 | #142

    @FOARP,

    I myself used to think that the word ‘invade’ implies that the territory thus invaded is not the rightful territory of the military force conducting the invasion, but it quite simply is not the case. ‘Invade’ simply means something along the lines of ‘forcefully enter’.

    Huh??

    Ok – so LA was invaded by federal agents in the aftermath of the LA riots? France was invaded by the Brits and Americans during WWII? Shanghai was invaded by the Chinese force when they tried to clear out the ragtag of Japanese remnant forces in the aftermath of WWII?

    but there is no doubt that the CCP imposed its rule on Tibet through force.

    If so – then why not focus also on the rule of the Dalai Lama through force over the last 3-4 centuries.

  143. wukong
    September 3rd, 2008 at 18:32 | #143

    To Ted # 138:

    … why hasn’t the Vatican City been looked to as a model? If Tibet is the seat of the religion, carve out a little hole where the religion can be the religion. Potala Palace and the site of the original city at the base of the palace for example (currently a park and monument to the PLA). China can acknowledge Buddhism’s influence on its culture and clearly define the separation of state and religion.

    This is first time I ever heard of such a proposal but I see too many problems with it

    Fist of all, by the way you framed your proposal, may I assume you consider Dalai Lama the head of Buddhism? But he isn’t the head of Buddhism and there is no global leader of Buddhism, not only that, he isn’t even the head of Tibetan Buddhism. There are four competing schools of Tibetan Buddhism, Dalai is just the head of one school, albeit the biggest one. Ever since his failed uprising and consequent exile, he has successfully cast himself as the “Pope of Buddhism” and leader of all Tibetan people, but that’s just successful branding. Potala is no “seat of the religion”.

    Secondly, unlike the Pope who understands and accepts his religious role and largely stays away from politics, Dalai Lama willingly and actively engages in politics. He sometimes claims he’s “merely a simple monk”, but come on, who’s he kidding? This isn’t entirely the fault of his own though. Before his exile, Tibet was a theocracy like medieval Europe, Dalai Lama was both the political and religious leader of his domain. The Papacy didn’t go from head of the Holy Roman empire to a mere head of Vatican overnight, surely it will take some time for the Dalai Lama to catch up with the 21st century. Okay that was uncalled for, but what I really mean is old traditions die hard, it will take time for some Tibetans to not look for a godking for political leadership.

    Also China proper has more Han Buddhists than the whole population of Tibetans. Buddhism is the largest religion in China, I’d say most Chinese are at least Buddhist minded somewhat. The philosophical and religious aspects of Chinese culture are defined by Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism. If you had watched the amazing Opening Ceremony for Beijing Olympics, you’d have gotten a taste of it. So to ask China to “acknowledge Buddhism’s influence on its culture”, is like asking Vatican to acknowledge Jesus Christ’s influence on its religion, it is ignorance and arrogance rolled into one. There wouldn’t be Chinese culture as it is now without Buddhism.

    Last, separation of state and religion is required by today’s law and rigidly enforced by PRC government. Shouting “free Tibet” or any other political slogan is no religious duty, especially for a Buddhist monk. Most Mainland Chinese would have heard or said “四大皆空”“六根清净” “七情六欲” one time or another, I’d be very surprised if you can find one who has never heard it before.

  144. wukong
    September 3rd, 2008 at 18:46 | #144

    @FOARP:

    ‘invasion’ does not mean entry into territory which does not belong to you, it means “forceful entry”

    you are such a funny guy!

    O’Reilly: We didn’t invaded Iraq

    time to get a job at Foxnews! lol

  145. September 3rd, 2008 at 19:04 | #145

    @Wukong – I hope you’re not using Bill O’Reilly as a serious source!

  146. September 3rd, 2008 at 19:05 | #146

    @Wukong – “France was invaded by the Brits and Americans during WWII? ”

    Yes, this is why it was called ‘the invasion of Europe’, please learn some history!

  147. wukong
    September 3rd, 2008 at 19:26 | #147

    @F:

    Just to make sure. I was laughing at O’Reilly’s absurdity, I wasn’t quoting him as a “serious source”.

  148. wuming
    September 3rd, 2008 at 19:34 | #148

    @Ted

    I have proposed the Vaticanization of Tibetan Buddhism several times before. I still think it is workable. As for Wukong’s concerns

    1. In exchange for the Vatincanization, make the position of Dalai Lama strictly religious
    2. Make the same offer to Panchen Lama
    3. They are only the heads of their own sects of Tibetan Buddhism. If they end up having wider influence than their sects, so be it.
    4. While not all Chinese law applies there, there should be a supervisory entity that monitors those laws that do apply.

  149. September 3rd, 2008 at 19:52 | #149

    Ooops – comment #146 was for Karma.

  150. Karma
    September 3rd, 2008 at 20:05 | #150

    @FOARP,

    “France was invaded by the Brits and Americans during WWII? ”

    Yes, this is why it was called ‘the invasion of Europe’, please learn some history!

    Fair enough. But most French would probably consider the so-called invasion more as liberation than invasion… I am sure you appreciate the nuanced difference between those two terms – both of which involve the use of force.

  151. September 3rd, 2008 at 20:49 | #151

    @Karma – Not according to the CCP, which still insists of the term ‘peaceful liberation’ being used in relation to Tibet – and in truth it is quite possible for liberation to be peaceful. The end of communist rule in eastern Europe has been called a ‘liberation’ by many, but only in the case of Romania can it be said that the government was removed through armed force.

    My point was that the term ‘invasion’ does not actually imply any lack of ownership, it is quite possible for an invasion to be a liberation, but I would not believe that an invasion was a liberation unless I could see that oppression was removed without equal or greater oppression being imposed by the victors. Hence – it is hard for me to think that the victory of Soviet forces in eastern Europe in 1945 was much of a liberation except for the inmates of the extermination camps, nor do I (or the majority of Chinese-speaking foreigners I have met) feel comfortable using the term ‘liberation’ to describe the communist victory in 1949, nor do I use the term when talking about the invasion of Iraq. In all these cases ideologically-laden phrasing is used to influence attitudes towards one point of view, and in all these cases it was the government responsible for the ‘liberation’ in question that insisted on using the term.

  152. Karma
    September 3rd, 2008 at 21:32 | #152

    @FOARP,

    In all these cases ideologically-laden phrasing is used to influence attitudes towards one point of view, and in all these cases it was the government responsible for the ‘liberation’ in question that insisted on using the term.

    Good point. Except we apply this differently to different issues to different political entities… This explains part of the frustration many Chinese people feel about the West’s ideological rhetoric today.

  153. Wahaha
    September 3rd, 2008 at 22:26 | #153

    To my knowledge,

    1) PLA entered Tibet in 1950 without resistence from nobles from Tibet.

    2) The uprising in 1958 and 1959 was by Tibetan nobles cuz CCP started distributing lands to poor and abolishing the serf system, which was welcomed by all poor tibetans.

    I went to Tibet in 1986. As a Han Chinese, I didnt feel Tibetans treated me differently, they just treat me like other tourists and truck drivers. I even went to temples alone. What has happened in last 20 years in Tibet ?

    I took a truck from Qi Hai to Lhasa (by giving him two packs of cigarette and 10 yuans), 3 days and two nights. There was no restroom, even in the “motel” along the road. We had to find big rocks to hide to take a dump (no need to hide if just pee). The highest point along the road is 5231 meters, the condition of road was so poor that I had to help the driver to dig.

    There was only one main street in Lhasa, plus a business street called “Ba Jiao Jie”, with less than 20 stores, lot of beggars there. You couldnt find much to buy except Tibetan daggers, there was no business there. I didnt see a hospital along the main street, maybe in a remote corner of Lhasa; the Lhasa University was no bigger than a middle school in New York, couldnt find high school or elementary school.

    My understanding is that the flood of Han business into Tibet made some tibetans unhappy, cuz it made them feel their losing their ownership of Tibet, but it is ridiculous to describe it as genocide. Discrimination against Tibetans in Tibet, BS!!!

    If West talks about human right problem in Tibet, let us first make it clear it is a human right problem or a problem of seperatism.

  154. skylight
    September 3rd, 2008 at 22:30 | #154

    Why is there so much focus on Dalai Lama in our discussions? Tibetans outside Tibet will elect a new prime minister soon in 2011. The Tibetans is looking for someone that can create the “Obama” effect of excitement among the youth (75% of tibetans in exile are under 45 years)…

    Decisive Role of the Next Prime Minister

    The next Kalon Tripa’s term, five years in duration, will prove a
    decisive one. His Holiness will be turning 81 by the end of the next
    Kalon Tripa’s term, making the role of the next Prime Minister all
    the more crucial. “This new candidate must assume a greater load,”
    said Samdup. “The next Kalon Tripa must be someone with strong
    leadership skills, capable of leading the government, and bringing a
    clear vision that is bold and vibrant enough to also seize the
    interest and imagination of the young.”

    They will soon open up a new website where Tibetans can put forward candidates and hear the views/debates between candidates.

    http://www.tibet.ca/en/newsroom/wtn/4012

    And also several interesting discussions on youtube on Tibet, here are two different chinese views:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zwaTUAZ-ms

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lese49IwMcE

  155. Xiao
    September 3rd, 2008 at 23:57 | #155

    How the ‘Tibet exile government’ is funded at the moment?

  156. NMBWhat
    September 4th, 2008 at 00:00 | #156

    OMG, that second video pisses me off…

  157. S.K. Cheung
    September 4th, 2008 at 00:50 | #157

    To Wahaha #135:
    so by your logic, and I’m using that term extremely loosely here, a bloody invasion followed by a bloody solution is the only sensible scenario? Are you on glue or something?

    “chinese think it was liberation, so Chinese government did no wrong in 1950s” – who cares what the Chinese think. Where’s that Tibetan perspective I was asking you about? Is that in the mail?

  158. S.K. Cheung
    September 4th, 2008 at 01:05 | #158

    To Charles #139:
    “Chinese are under no obligation to learn from our mistakes” – an enlightened forward-looking perspective on life if there ever was one. You’ve have GOT to be kidding me (was that a good use of caps; you seem to be the local expert)

    The Chinese already vote the same way the Americans do? That’s got to be the most surprising piece of news the 1.3B PRC Chinese have heard today. Could you tell me when their last election was? Who ran and lost to Hu Jintao? I’d love to know.

    Native Americans (and Canadian First Nations) are still disadvantaged. Their average life expectancy is lower than the population. Their income and education are lower. Drug use is higher. Many other specifics. By the way, some specifics would be better than the standard “oppressed and subjugated”. Anyhow, there’s lots of work to be done, no question. But these problems are (at least in Canada) less pronounced than they were 10 years ago. And many provinces are going through substantial land claim treaties now which will eventually improve the financial position of many tribes. So some solutions are being put in place. Is it perfect? No. Is it getting better slowly? I think yes. Now, it completely blows my mind that, in your logic, it’s fine and dandy for China to copy all things Yankee, knowing what the consequences are, and what the future problems might be. It might serve to engage a couple of synapses before you spout off on “oppressed and subjugated TODAY” AGAIN.(and can you lose the caps…we get it, and I heard you the last 5 times.)

    And not to repeat myself, your solution (if one can liberally call it that), does not move Tibet forward one iota.

  159. Wahaha
    September 4th, 2008 at 01:06 | #159

    Where’s that Tibetan perspective I was asking you about?

    I asked the question :

    Why were there no harsh complains (on human right issue) by ordinary tibetans ?

    Your answer :

    Monks are people too.

    My question :

    Monks are people who lost their privilege and power under CCP, doesnt that tell you something ?

    What is your answer ?

  160. S.K. Cheung
    September 4th, 2008 at 01:08 | #160

    To Chen #141:
    and just as some Iraqis are now agitating at the continued US presence, so too are some Tibetans perhaps no longer enamored with your Chinese largesse.

  161. S.K. Cheung
    September 4th, 2008 at 01:19 | #161

    To Wahaha:
    Me, from #101:”b. as for caring for Tibetans, one could reasonably harbour similar suspicions about the CCP, and as far as I’m concerned, your opinion matters not; I’d be way more interested in the Tibetan perspective anyhow.”
    If you want to play 20 questions, fly at’er. But you don’t answer a question with a question. So give me the Tibetan perspective, then you get to ask questions. BTW, I don’t want to see another one of your wing-nut examples as part of the answer.
    The whole point of getting a Tibetan perspective is to hear from ordinary Tibetans. So if China has stones (and sometimes I wonder), she’d allow access to some.
    Oh, and you still need to focus on the topic at hand, which is moving Tibet forward. You have many things you seemingly need to focus on.

  162. Wahaha
    September 4th, 2008 at 01:24 | #162

    “So give me the Tibetan perspective, ”

    I used LOGIC to give you their perspective ABOUT HUMAN RIGHT ISSUE, which is not an issue in Tibet for ordinary Tibetans who consists of 97+% of Tibetans in Tibet, otherwise they wouldve complained.

    About Han presense in tibet, my impression is that business dominacy by han Chinese makes some Tibetans not happy. If you criticize han chinese or chinese government for that, I will agree.

  163. Wahaha
    September 4th, 2008 at 01:29 | #163

    If you are talking about Tibetans are not allowed to show Dalai Lama’s picture publicly , that is cuz his picture is used by those monks as symbol of independence of Tibet..

    The woman who lost her son in Iraq war protested in front of white house for several months , her picture was never showed on any newpapers or TV, Will Americans tolerate anyone showing off Bin Laden’s picture in public ?

  164. S.K. Cheung
    September 4th, 2008 at 03:14 | #164

    To Wahaha:
    your “logic” is only logical if China is a democracy, and Tibetans can freely air their complaints, and media can freely report on them. China isn’t, Tibetans can’t, the media can’t or won’t, so therefore, your’s isn’t.

    Don’t forget, this is the same country that doesn’t discuss T-square publicly. So don’t tell me that the absence of apparent Tibetan dissent means that such dissent doesn’t exist.

    The woman’s Cindy Sheehan, and you’re nuts if you think her picture was never shown…unless you’ve never watched a day of US TV news in your 10 years in NYC.

    And once again, this post, to my understanding, is not focusing on religion. It’s about establishing a framework for actual autonomy in a region that is only nominally autonomous today. And religion will have to be dealt with as well. But it certainly isn’t dealt with via your form of fear-mongering…showing the Dalai Lama’s picture will incite this and that. Come on already!

  165. Wahaha
    September 4th, 2008 at 03:26 | #165

    SKC,

    It has nothing to do with China or China’s media, The logic result is from the fact that you cant find harsh complains by ordinary tibetans FROM WEST MEDIA.

  166. S.K. Cheung
    September 4th, 2008 at 03:38 | #166

    And that’s because the West’s media is expelled anytime Tibetans do complain, like 3/14.

  167. Wahaha
    September 4th, 2008 at 03:42 | #167

    I was talking about human right issue. Tibetans had tons of chance complaining to Westerners before 3/14.

  168. S.K. Cheung
    September 4th, 2008 at 03:42 | #168

    To Karma #142:
    Operation Overlord = invasion of Normandy. France wasn’t France at that time; you could’ve called it French Germany.

  169. Wahaha
    September 4th, 2008 at 03:43 | #169

    and sorry, I never saw pictures of protesting by Cindy Sheehan in front of White house on newspaper or media.

  170. Wahaha
    September 4th, 2008 at 03:54 | #170

    Here is the report by New york time, no picture.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/21/opinion/21rich.html

    here is the only report I can find about Cindy Sheehan on New York post, which is pro-Bush.

    http://www.nypost.com/seven/06042007/postopinion/letters/good_bye__cindy__a_lib_we_love_to_hate_letters_.htm

    Here is from WSJ,

    http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110007122

    Look at the picture, miles from a mother in misery, and the first sentence is “I lost a son in Iraq and Cindy Sheehan does not speak for me”

    Then please google the image of Cindy Sheehan.

  171. S.K. Cheung
    September 4th, 2008 at 04:25 | #171

    To Wahaha #167:
    that’s a good point. I don’t know why complaints weren’t more publicized before 3/14. Maybe they weren’t complaining. Or maybe western media wasn’t making a big fuss about it at the time.

  172. Wahaha
    September 4th, 2008 at 05:01 | #172

    SKC,

    Please, dont twist, it is impossible that complaints by ordinary tibetans in TIbet would be denied.

  173. S.K. Cheung
    September 4th, 2008 at 05:47 | #173

    dude, not making a big fuss does not equal denied.

    And once again, how does any of this mumbo-jumbo have to do with moving Tibet forward. You’re spending your entire blog existence complaining about what the big bad west has or has not done; or you’re complaining about Tibetan monks agitating for independence. What does that achieve, exactly? Don’t you get tired of saying the same stuff over and over; I certainly get bored reading it.

  174. The Trapped!
    September 4th, 2008 at 08:18 | #174

    To Wahaha,
    Don’t tread on the bodies of dead ones! Show little bit humanity! Do you have any idea what it is like for a Tibetan to travel in Tibet these days? Do you have any idea how many Gaza Strip style checking points in a matter of 100km travel in Tibet areas these days? Do you have any idea how they check your ID by looking at your face in Tibetan areas these days? Do you have any idea how how Tibetans have to get off the buses and line for ID checking while Hans can sit in the bus and watching them in Tibetan areas these days? Do you haven any idea that the army trucks in Tibetan area these days do not hang number plates and why? I often pleaded on this forum for everybody not to pretend to know something while you don’t have any idea about the facts. And don’t make a story out of imagination! Please please, you might be joking, but this very sentimental for those who are concerned! When CNN host used such ugly words against Chinese, that might look kind of joke to westerners, but how sentimental it was and is for a Chinese? Bystanders never understand the fear of the one who is drowning.

  175. The Trapped!
    September 4th, 2008 at 08:25 | #175

    And to Wahaha again,
    You are talking about westerners not caring about Tibetans, but do you? Don’t try to make this issue little and put on western, that won’t solve any problem. If westerns have bad intention, where is your good intention?

  176. Wahaha
    September 4th, 2008 at 14:25 | #176

    The Trapped,

    I went to Tibet, You ask me so many “Do you..”, I can counter by equal number of “Do you..” about their misery life 20 years ago, cuz I went there.

    For all of your “Do you..” questions, my understanding is that those are used to prevent riots and protests. and I can know the situation in Tibet was very tight before Olympic, do you know how ? Let me explain to you :

    I watch Torch relay in Lhasa on CCTV program in New York, the program didnt show the streets in Lhasa where people cheered, why ? simple, those views were not pretty. What was not pretty ? maybe too many PLA, maybe people were not allowed to gather, etc. and I can imagine that those monks were not allowed to leave the temple during that period.

    You see, I know the situation you described. Now, if Lhasa stayed that away even after Tibet, say, for next 12 months, then something is wrong. But I also see pictures on CCTV in other area that Tibetans and Han chinese together cheered for the Torch, even this forum showed some picture, so tell me how I should interpret the situation in Lhasa.

  177. Wahaha
    September 4th, 2008 at 14:34 | #177

    The Trapped,

    Yes, West politicians dont care Tibetans in Tibet, They never really care.

    Last night before I went to bed, I turned on the TV, the program was that 3 west tourists went to poorest area of India to visit the ancient site and palace of India.

    Though the whole program, I saw hundreds of indians who lived in extreme poverty, and all those tourists talked about beautiful view, beautiful palace …… beautiful culture… beautiful people …

    Maybe that is What kind of Tibetan culture West has been talking about, that China should not destory such beautiful culture and people..

    You know what ? twenty years ago, I saw at least 100 beggars in Tibet, on the road and in the cities of Tibet, so far, no matter how West media twist the story, I havent seen a single Tibetan beggar on their newspaper. They did show a picture of beggars in Beijing.

    You tell me how I should interpret the situation in Lhasa.

  178. Wahaha
    September 4th, 2008 at 14:48 | #178

    SKC,

    Dont educate me ABOUT TIBET until you can give me a better way to improve the life of those poor people.

    Let me tell you, 20 year ago when I went to Tibet, I couldnt even find place to buy tissue, and I had to use papers from my diary, get it ?

    If you have chance going to the poorest area in Tibet, go ask those people who they wipe their @$$, I can bet that some of them cant even afford tissue.

    Oh, yeah, they care so much about human right before they can afford using clear tissue, give me a break !!!

  179. Oli
    September 4th, 2008 at 15:33 | #179

    @Trapped #174, SKC, Otto Kerner et al.

    Pardon my lack of sentiment, but boohoo that’s what happens when there has been riots and killings of ordinary people, whether Han, Hui or Tibetan. While my heart is not made of stone, no government, society or nation will tolerate or accept that kind of behaviour, whether its in Tibet or Los Angeles (the Rodney King riots), however justified by the failures of government policies, social ills or inadequate local law enforcement.

    Ultimately, Otto Kerner’s brief “suggestions” are not only politically naïve with regards to the political motivations of not only TAR officials, both Tibetans and non-Tibetans, but also of those of Overseas Tibetan “leaders”. As they are, these “suggestions” are practically, administratively, socially and politically neither feasible nor acceptable to the Chinese or the TAR government on so many different levels, not least of which is an ignorance of the political/social power dynamics within China and within and between the Overseas Tibetan and Chinese Tibetan community.

    In today’s China, there are no lawfully sanctioned legal discrimination against Tibetans or any other ethnic groups. What discrimination there are have its origin in the individual or from regional prejudice that have always existed and will likely always exist; and it does not always necessarily come from the majority Han against a minority, but can be vice versa as well.

    Consequently, what has the non-Tibetans done to deserve death and the destruction of their property and livelihood other than being of a non-Tibetan ethnic group, trying to make a living in a perceived Tibetan area, within a country where ALL its peoples, irrespective of ethnicity are relatively free to pursue opportunities wherever they wish. This includes the many Tibetans, Uyghurs, Miaos, Zhangs and Mongolians etc. who are now creating a future for themselves and their family in the coastal regions of China.

    Historically, China in all its imperial and dynastic incarnations have always being multi-cultural/ethnic and its peoples relatively tolerant of each other. And this was long before such modern terms were coined by the British Empire, the US of A and Globalisation. This was not because of any ideological or political enforced tolerance or correctness, but simply due to the Confucian ethics, balanced by Taoism and the adopted Buddhism of the “Han” majority as they came into contact with neighbouring tribes and its many wars of unification.

    Because of this adopted shared Buddhist tradition and sentiment, imperial China has pretty much left Tibet alone to govern itself for much of the past. This is in spite of the centuries of misrule by a theocratic nobility that was primarily interested in maintaining an “ignorant” society in order to preserve its Buddhist theological monoploy and thus by extension, its political/social power, despite the preponderance of printing, books and learning in both next door imperial China and India. Such misrule was documented not only Ming dynasty “Han” officials, but also by Yuan Mongols and Qing Manchurian Ambans who were themselves horrified by the degree of misrule. These missives can today be found in the historical records of the Forbidden City and at the history department of Tsinghua and Beijing University.

    It is also precisely due to this misrule that Tibet was invaded on numerous occasions by non-Chinese powers, necessitating its ruling class, both the nobles and the theocracy to call on various Chinese dynastic governments to “bail them out”, the last being the British invasion from India (or was it the ever popular the world over CI of A). As China has always been conscious of history and the consequences of history, it is frankly tired of having a weak and underdeveloped Tibet on its borders that is a danger not only to itself, but also to its neighbours. China will no longer allow the Tibetan “ruling class” to have it both ways and shared “Buddhism” be damned.

    So for better or worse, whether Overseas Tibetans, both descendants of the old order and the monastic elite, their Western governments backers and Western hippies like it or not, Tibet will join the 21st Century. Its people, irrespective of ethnicity will have modern amenities, medicines and economic and social opportunities that are only limited by their own labour, talent, imagination and audacity, rather than by the monopolised teachings and interpretations of the theocratic few or by the consequences of the lottery of birth of a caste system.

    As for Tibetan “culture” and language, they too will continue and be remade as with all “cultures”. Except that it will be independent of the monastic orders and will be continuously molded by ordinary Tibetans as well as non-Tibetans living in China and who has a stake in China. No longer will Tibetan culture be the sole determinant of the few, for with prosperity all Tibetans whether by place of birth or by “ethnicity” can and will have a say through their interactions and the choices they make everyday.

    By the very fact that Tibet is now part of a China that is transforming, it will neither be a hidebound culture that is frozen by Hollywood celluloid nor the fantastic ruminations of Westerners disaffected by globalisation. It will belong to its peoples and will be for the benefit of its peoples, irrespective of whether they follow the Vajrayāna/ Nālandā tradition or believe in Dorje Shugden, whether they practice polyandry or become monogamists. Welcome to a brave new world.

  180. Charles Liu
    September 4th, 2008 at 16:52 | #180

    Thank you Oli, that’s why I asked “would it world for the Native Americans?”, and I think I got my answer – the long way – but I got my answer.

    If we can’t find it in our hearts to “do the right thing” for our own “Tibet”, what right do we have to demand the Chinese? 將心比心, no?

  181. September 4th, 2008 at 19:34 | #181

    @Oli #179,

    Articulate and well put. Thank you.

  182. wukong
    September 4th, 2008 at 22:00 | #182

    @Oil

    My sentiment exactly! Thanks!

  183. Xiao
    September 4th, 2008 at 23:15 | #183

    @Oil, #179

    经典好文! 太有才了! Can I recommend it to other blogs?

    @admin, #179 should always be ‘sticky’ .

  184. RMBWhat
    September 5th, 2008 at 00:19 | #184

    You people are slowly chipping away my complete ignorance…

  185. BMY
    September 5th, 2008 at 00:46 | #185

    @The Trapped #174

    I fully understand your feelings about the check points and ID checking.

    I am thinking why those check points were not there (or most of them were not there) before 3.14 and why they were not there 25 years ago? Is it because there are more PLA soldiers today can do the checking job while 30 years ago there were no enough soldiers ?

    I am not here to blame anyone in particular but I think it’s more than one parties who have made the situation worse.

    also a side note: less emotional and less personal attacking might be a better way for a discussion. You might know more on the ground but not necessarily look down others who might know less on the ground. I am pretty sure everyone knows something others don’t know. That’s why we are here.

  186. The Trapped!
    September 5th, 2008 at 02:46 | #186

    To Wahaha,
    When you choose to compare what you yourself saw 20 years ago and what you see now on CCTV, then I have nothing to say.

    And to BMY,
    The reason I put those questions is that Wahaha was kind of trying to say that Tib issue (or precisely 3/14 or events from 3/10) is nothing more than some monks who lost their privilege under CCP crying with their dissatisfaction. My point is that if it is so, then why should such measures be taken against all Tibetans instead of those “few unsatisfied monks”? However, you can still justify your point with Collective Punishment if you are pro to this.
    And again, I am not insulting anybody. I can just not bear those who pretend to know something and talk it in public. People who do this are insulting themselves by lining themselves along with western-biased media and ordinary liars, not me who insult them. When we fight against western, it seems we are talking more about morale, but when we return to inside discussion, most of us prefer to choose a strong nation and patriotic people rather than morale. In my mind, national interest should not rob the interest of a certain group of its own people as well as the interest of a certain group of people should not hurt the national interest as well. When the interests are crossed, then we should consider carefully and then make a line that is fair for both sides. We should not be ready to rob the interests of a certain group of people when it comes to national interests and so is the other way around. Only a handful Chinese intellectuals are looking for this middle ground. “The beauty of democracy is that while majority voice is heard, minority voice is not ignored!” I think this line is what we should keep in mind when we talk about Tib issue.

  187. Wahaha
    September 5th, 2008 at 02:59 | #187

    The trapped,

    May I ask you where those check points were ?

  188. BMY
    September 5th, 2008 at 03:20 | #188

    @The Trapped,

    Thanks for your reply.

    I totally agree with you that the issue is not simply among few monks. And I don’t see wahaha means that either from what I’ve read in the past few months.

    I am no fan of Collective Punishment . I beleive those check points will be removed soon if we look back the history.

    I can’t agree more about your saying “In my mind, national interest should not rob the interest of a certain group of its own people as well as the interest of a certain group of people should not hurt the national interest as well. When the interests are crossed, then we should consider carefully and then make a line that is fair for both sides.”

  189. Wahaha
    September 5th, 2008 at 03:26 | #189

    The trapped,

    I dont believe those monks care others, cuz of western shudgen society, cuz I never saw them helping Tibetan people like monks in inland China (did you notice that?)

    Now, plus those monks are the ones who lost privilege under CCP, who has benefited least from the economic development in Tibet.

    so what humanity are you talking about ? what did I pretend by asking the question that almost all the harsh complains were by west media ?

  190. Wahaha
    September 5th, 2008 at 03:29 | #190

    “In my mind, national interest should not rob the interest of a certain group of its own people as well as the interest of a certain group of people should not hurt the national interest as well. When the interests are crossed, then we should consider carefully and then make a line that is fair for both sides.”

    What interest ?

    Political power they lost under CCP ? or power of maintaining “ignorant” society ?

  191. The Trapped!
    September 5th, 2008 at 03:39 | #191

    I am working in Chengdu and my home town is in Gansu Province. When I go home I have to go via Deyang, Mianyang, Pingwu and then Chuanzhousi. This is new routine due to the Wenchuan quake. Old routine is, Chengdu, Doujiangyan, Wenchuan, Songpan and Chuanzhousi. The first check point is just at the end of valley that leads to Galitai. Even though Chuanzhousi is the diverting place for Ruoergai and Jiuzhaigou, you can not see the check point if you go to Jiuzhaigou. However, when I went to home for holiday, my ID was not checked because I stayed in Chengdu for long time now and therefore my facial look is more or less like Han by complexion. They came on bus and asked two Tibs to show their ID. Only two of them were asked. This is the first time I encountered this and felt very unhappy. I thought, if they check, why not check for everybody? That at least would not make Tibs feel bad and that only takes few minutes. And I had to stay in Ruoergai because the new routine takes 13 hours. And check point at the entrance of county which is from east. Then next point is at exit of the county which is to west. However the biggest one is in Redangba. There they check for everybody, which I felt good even though it’s sign of tightening security. See, how you deal with things makes things so different. And I then went to Langmusi. There is point of course as this is one site for unrest. Taking picture is banned. One Han lady who came from Jiangsu didn’t understand the rule and took a picture of the army garrison and she was immediately taken away for investigation. Actually she was innocent because there was no sign saying “no photo”. But maybe because of this incident, there are signs saying “no photo” when I came back to Chengdu. And then my travel continued to my home county. There is one point at entrance. Here I had to register with my ID. Then to my village. The last one on my way to home is at our Xiang (township). See, from Chuanzhousi to my home town is just a distance of 150km and there are 7 points. In Ruoergai, I saw a funny thing. Wujin, actually I didn’t see much difference with PLA, patrolling the county on a open truck with heavy machine guns pointing to pedestrians, but the banner hang along the side of the truck reads, “Hexie Shehui, Ping’an O’yun”, or “Harmonious Society and Safe Olympics”.
    Well, the reason why I give these details to this forum is instead of some hungry-ghost-like western media that I really hope that everyone here talk seriously and think carefully. My action may risk my job and even my own safety, but as I earlier mentioned, I would be satisfied if only a handful of Han brothers and sisterrs can hear my inner voice because this is the voice of thousands of other young Tibetans like me. I always think that Tibetan issue is in the hands of Hans and Tibetans, not in the hands of westerners.

  192. S.K. Cheung
    September 5th, 2008 at 03:41 | #192

    To Oli:
    That was the best entry I’ve read in a long long time. At last someone who took a position on Otto’s ideas, without invoking Native Americans, US Supreme Court decisions, evil Western governments, and geese. Where were you 3 days ago? :-)

    There is increasing movement of people, and in Tibet’s case, no doubt to be enhanced by the railway. So should the entire concept of the TAR now be made defunct, since, as you suggest, native Tibetans will increasingly become a minority within it?

    Certainly, cultures evolve over time. I don’t think anyone advocates preventing Tibetans and their culture from entering the 21st century. In this age, such evolution is further accelerated by the realities of communication. I dare say Chinese culture (at least the pop subsection) is more western than it’s ever been owing to such influences. Against this backdrop, which I agree is the modern reality, do you think there is anything unique about Tibetan culture that deserves special consideration. Such consideration, if deserving, would allow evolution, but in a more protected form. Somewhat akin to a “protected species” designation, for lack of a better example off hand.

    Thanks again.

  193. Wahaha
    September 5th, 2008 at 03:49 | #193

    The trapped,

    “They came on bus and asked two Tibs to show their ID. Only two of them were asked. ”

    That is the stupidity of this government. They shouldve, as you said, checked all the passengers. but as you stayed in China for a period, you know that is the way how they do business everywehre in China. Just like in airport in US, people from mideast were checked more carefully after 911. So I dont understand what you try to prove.

  194. The Trapped!
    September 5th, 2008 at 03:53 | #194

    Hi Wahaha,
    Seeing your question in 187, I thought you are asking seriously, so I gave you a long answer, But while I was writing answer, you again posted some comments. These make me feel sad and make me feel that I am talking a with shadowy creature who is just playing with me. I really don’t understand you, I really don’t know what you want, really. If you are hurt by some of my earlier comments and you are kind of taking revenge, then be my guest!

  195. The Trapped!
    September 5th, 2008 at 04:00 | #195

    I never think that American discrimination against Middle East makes our government ok to do the same. You and I know that what American is doing is wrong, then why you take this as a justification. It’s not only you. When people talk about Tibet and China, they immediately bring native American issue. Why? Why? We think what Whites did to native American is right and so we can do so? Your friend shit in his bed does not make you ok to shit in your bed. Bot should condemned both are wrong.

  196. The Trapped!
    September 5th, 2008 at 04:02 | #196

    Correction:
    Both should be condemned when both are wrong.

  197. The Trapped!
    September 5th, 2008 at 04:08 | #197

    Otherwise you hide under my mistake and I hide under your mistake and no body can point at anybody’s mistake. Is there any bench mark for this kind of judgment? Actually, this is kind of culture here and which brings more and more corruption. Here If you sit in lift, there are big signs read, “No Smoking”. But lifts are always foggy because no point at any body’s mistake, fearing that one day I may make the same. The absence of cross-check culture from such low level goes up to central and that brings down our every value.

  198. September 5th, 2008 at 04:18 | #198

    @Oil, #179

    Great job!

    @ Xiao #183

    Good idea. I added a “Highlighted Comments” section under the “recommended readings” tab to highlight Oli’s comments.

    We may also consider a practice to add best comments as a section of the post itself.

  199. The Trapped!
    September 5th, 2008 at 04:25 | #199

    To S.K. Chueng,

    “do you think there is anything unique about Tibetan culture that deserves special consideration.”
    This is Tibetan culture, when Tibetans want to keep it alive, why not let us keep it? Is it Hans’ business to eras our culture because you think it’s too old for modern society? If you do not want, then don’t practice it, but let those who value it keep it!

  200. The Trapped!
    September 5th, 2008 at 04:39 | #200

    To Oli and Admin,
    Oli has exerted some text from government’s White Paper. Leave some thoughtful and philosophical foot print here if you have time to think and materials to search!

  201. S.K. Cheung
    September 5th, 2008 at 05:20 | #201

    To The Trapped:
    well, if I were to answer my own question, the answer would be that there is. But i was interested in Oli’s perspective.
    Hey, I have no problem with Tibetans keeping their culture, as you should have deduced by my comments to date. However, even if you keep it, it still has to evolve. Culture is a bridge to the past, but the other end of that bridge should connect to the present. So keeping it doesn’t mean it can’t, or shouldn’t, acquire modern day relevance. I don’t practice it. But I share your desire for it to be maintained. My only caveat is that it should be in a relevant form. Hence my question, which aims to see if there’s a way to allow it to remain relevant, without excessive dilution or contamination.

    Now, if you’re going to accuse a guy of plagarism, you should have some specifics to back that up. I’d be interested to see it (and disappointed if it were true). I’m normally no big fan of links (because all a link shows is that at least one other human might share the writer’s POV, and 2 is not that much more persuasive than 1), but this is one case where I’d like one.

  202. Wahaha
    September 5th, 2008 at 05:27 | #202

    The Trapped,

    I appreciate your answer, I 100% believe you are telling the truth. If that is case now or in the future, please let us know if you can.

    What I have been saying are :

    1) On one side, what West and Tibet exile claim Tibet is not part of China, ask is that Chinese government give power back to Tibetans, ACTUALLY GIVE POWER BACK TO THOSE PRO-WEST MONKS; on the other side, no way on earth would chinese government will let a pro-west government in Tibet, it claims that Tibet is part of China.

    So both sides have no common ground, any negotiaion or talk are fruitless.

    2) Those monks want political powers, not human right, THEY NEVER HELP ORDINARY TIBETANS. Human right is just an excuse for them. (that doesnt mean there is no human right problem in Tibet.)

    98% of Tibetans in Tibet are not monks, I dont see how they would be better off under the control of those monks who have little to none knowledge of modern science and technology, more likely Tibet would become another Afghanstan under them.

    So what do I want ? I want to talk about those 98% of tibetans, not ony their human right, but their daily life, how they can live better. I really dont care those 2% of monks who dont care other 98% of ordinary Tibetans.

    Culture genocide ? nonsense, when in human history did people gradually lose their culture while their financial situation was getting better and better ?

    _________________________________________

    On your comment “You and I know that what American is doing is wrong,”

    No, I dont think Ameica is doing wrong, IT IS NOT A PLEASANT THING TO DO, BUT THERE IS NO OTHER CHOICE.

    There is the big difference between how Westerners think and how Chinese think :

    Westerners say : you cant do that, it is wrong.

    Chinese ask : do we have other choices ?

  203. Jerry
    September 5th, 2008 at 06:12 | #203

    As usual, lots to digest, learn, and contemplate.

    As a Russian Jewish American, I do not believe that the US or the West has a moral high ground. I think that slavery, manifest destiny, the treatment of Native American Indians, the high rate of poverty in the US (poverty is economic slavery), 10s of millions Americans with no health care, and the treatment of Arab-Americans after 9/11 are abominable legacies. I am equally appalled at the treatment of Palestinians in Israel (Palestinians are Semites, just like us Jews. They are our brothers.), and the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Thus, the American government demanding Tibetan reforms is hypocritical and specious. I myself do not have a clear picture in my head of what is going on in Tibet.

    That said, I don’t believe that the China has a moral high ground either. I will criticize injustice, unfairness and mistreatment where I see it, whether in the US, Israel, Iraq, Georgia, Russia, China, Burma, India or wherever. Because of the centuries-long persecution of the Jewish people, I am very sensitive to the treatment of minorities and the down-trodden.

    In spite of the emotional content in this blog, the emotion was handled in a much better manner than I have seen on so many American blogs and forums. Thank you. I do not wish to exclude emotion from our discussions.

    BTW, I was amazed to see the Smith peyote Supreme Court Case mentioned here. I was born and raised in Oregon. I remember it long before it ever got to the Oregon State Supreme Court.

  204. HereComesSunshineReally!
    September 5th, 2008 at 06:53 | #204

    Right, I would have no problem with the so called “liberation” if it were really that. However, atrocities were committed, and I really have a problem with that.

    So what do you guys propose as a solution to the problem?

    Life is suffering…

  205. Jerry
    September 5th, 2008 at 06:55 | #205

    @Wahaha,

    #202

    On one side, what West and Tibet exile claim Tibet is not part of China, ask is that Chinese government give power back to Tibetans, ACTUALLY GIVE POWER BACK TO THOSE PRO-WEST MONKS; on the other side, no way on earth would chinese government will let a pro-west government in Tibet, it claims that Tibet is part of China.

    So both sides have no common ground, any negotiaion or talk are fruitless.

    You may be right in the long run, but it is a little harsh for me to accept.

    Let me tell you a little bit how my people got (or got back) their homeland. Jewish people were disenfranchised and basically homeless for a long time (I believe God was mad at us. ::smile::). Zionists and non-Zionists pushed for Israel as a homeland. The Haganah and Irgun were militant organizations which took up arms against the Arabs and British to further the cause. In 1946, Menachem Begin (future Israeli PM) blew up the King David Hotel and killed 90 people. The Irgun later blew up the British Embassy in Rome. In early 1948, there were many reprisal killings of Arabs and Jews. The British lost their taste for the killing of their soldiers and Israel became an independent nation in May of 1948. It was messily handled and continues to be a mess.

    Nonetheless, many Israelis and Arabs are struggling to make it work. In spite of the violence and craziness, we don’t give up on peace.

    Point #2: I know nothing about how the Dalai Lamas ruled in Tibet. What I do know is that I generally distrust people in power (and that includes powerful rabbis and the Vatican). I also know that I want the Tibetan people to have happy, long and prosperous lives. They are all entitled to basic human rights. If the Tibetan monks or Chinese government subjugate the Tibetan people, fie on the monks or Chinese government who tread on the Tibetan people.

    Wahaha, thanks for all your contributions on this blog. You make me think.

  206. Jerry
    September 5th, 2008 at 07:12 | #206

    @S.K. Cheung,

    #201

    Thanks for your comments, S.K.

    Like you, I sure hope that the Tibetan culture evolves. If it is anything like the Jewish culture, there are parts of the culture that need improvement.

    Regarding plagiarism, I agree. That is a serious charge (Even Joe Biden was charged with plagiarism in one of his speeches in 1987.) and needs some corroboration or proof.

  207. BMY
    September 5th, 2008 at 07:42 | #207

    @wahaha #202

    I think I have to defend “The Trapped” this time. He is living in Chengdu and he is not a monk in exile who is calling for “Free Tibet ” or “evil Chinese” . But it seems you thought he was one. He is one of the you called %98 Tibetans in Tibet you would like to talk to .He is just not happy with so many check points and some policies from the he called “our government” . I can see he feels sad about the situation like we all feel sad.

  208. The Trapped!
    September 5th, 2008 at 09:28 | #208

    To BMY,
    Thanks for your morale support. It’s so encouraging!

  209. The Trapped!
    September 5th, 2008 at 09:42 | #209

    And to BMY again,

    “He is just not happy with so many check points and some policies from the he called “our government” .”

    Actually my current dissatisfaction will disappear by more than 80% if the local governments really practice the central government policies and the rights given by the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China.

    I don’t know why it is so difficult for China to clear those officials who always turn everything in to politics and ethnic issues when actually most of them concern only their own personal gains. This is the main reason why the people sometimes had to take law in their own hands and lose trust in government. If the local governments really have practiced what I mentioned above then I am 90% sure that 3/14 could have been avoided. No matter how religious Tibetans are and how abundant CIA’s money is, still, Tibetans are not a remote-controlled gadget that jumps with a single click.

  210. demin
    September 5th, 2008 at 10:43 | #210

    @The Trapped
    As a Han Chinese citizen, my heart goes with you. Yes, it seems extremely difficult for China to clear those corrupt officials who care only about their personal gains and makes everything worse just in name of beautiful slogans like ‘harmonious society”. And that is just one indication that China is far from being modernized yet, no matter what GDP figures say.

  211. BMY
    September 5th, 2008 at 11:50 | #211

    @The Trapped,

    I agree with you about #209.”Actually my current dissatisfaction will disappear by more than 80% ……. given by the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China.”

    Regarding “I don’t know why it is so difficult for China to clear those officials who always turn everything in to politics and ethnic issues when actually most of them concern only their own personal gains.”

    I think that’s another big topic. It need things like the balance of power, independent media,freedom of speech,independent judiciary, the awareness of the law, the rule of the law, better education etc .

    I am living in the democratic west and I see generally the western politician are the same with the Chinese politicians in terms of ” actually most of them concern only their own personal gains”. There are just more means to regulate power in some countries than in China.

    If you read the article 季卫东谈中国政治改革 on the recommended readings area on the right hand side of this page you will find something very encouraging. I beleive we’ll get there.

  212. Wahaha
    September 5th, 2008 at 17:06 | #212

    “Actually my current dissatisfaction will disappear by more than 80% if the local governments really practice the central government policies and the rights given by the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China.”

    and to Jerry and BMY :

    In 80s, when Hu YaoBang was the leader, he suggested “Tibetans rule Tibet”, the result was snowflags on Lhasa streets by those monks, this abruptly stopped any possible process of giving the power back to Tibetans, even now. In the next 20 years, the policy of central government was to develop economy, no politic. That is the policy all over China, not only Tibet. As one Indiian scholar said : Chinese government is legitmated by economic development, India’s government is legitimated by voting system.

    I will have no problem if Tibet is ruled by a group of people or elite who really care Tibetans, economically and politically, just like I wish that China can be ruled by a new party or system that really care Chinese people economically and politically.

    I dont deny this government dont respect’s ” people’s feeling”, in Tibet or in inland China. As I said before, if this government keep ignoring “people’s feeling” in the future, they will lose power like Suharto of Indonesia, sooner or later. Currently, I dont see any party or system couldve done better than this party and system.

    So like I said, “Do we have another choice ? ” or “Do Tibetans have another choice ?” The Tibet Exile government is not a choice for Tibetans, I have explained why, cuz it will be economical disaster for Tibetans. Like US and Russia to their neighbors, China wont allow a pro-west governement in Tibet (or they cant let West control Tibet), whether Tibet is part of China or a colony. Currently, there is no thrid group of political force or (pro-China) Tibetans that rule Tibet.

    So what is the solution for Tibet ? we have to come down from morally high ground, try to find practical solutions. We have to start from little things, for example, ask chinese government providing job opportunities and training programs for Tibetans, that will greatly increase the chances of promoting tibetans into manager-level positions; produce regular TV programs and media about Tibetan culture in Tibetan language, etc. The process must be like YangTse river, starts with small streams. At current stage, we should not ask for the goal, rather, we should design a practical and reasonable PROCESS that will lead to the goal.

  213. S.K. Cheung
    September 6th, 2008 at 22:28 | #213

    To THe Trapped,

    do you have any proof of your plagiarism claim?

  214. MoneyBall
    September 7th, 2008 at 00:17 | #214

    To #179 Oli

    this is the best essay I’ ve read from internet in a long long time, hats off.

  215. Otto Kerner
    September 7th, 2008 at 03:45 | #215

    Wahaha,

    “1) PLA entered Tibet in 1950 without resistence from nobles from Tibet.” There was resistance, although it was not very effectual. The battle at Chamdo in October of 1950 resulted in a devastating rout of the Tibetan forces, after which they had little choice but to try to negotiate.

    “2) The uprising in 1958 and 1959 was by Tibetan nobles cuz CCP started distributing lands to poor and abolishing the serf system, which was welcomed by all poor tibetans.”

    The uprising started in 1956. What makes you think that it was only the nobles who rose? You know, in the old days, they described everything as class conflict. 不要太CCTV。 The uprising began in eastern Kham (which is now part of Sichuan), so it obviously wasn’t led by aristocrats of the Dalai Lama’s regime. Tsering Shakya, the most respected English-language Tibetan historian, writes (The Dragon in the Land of Snow, pg. 143) “The Communists’ claim that the revolt was organised by Guomindang agents and a few reactionary landlords cannot account for the popularity of the uprising. It is true that the leaders of the revolt were all drawn from the traditional élite, but it nonetheless cannot be explained purely in terms of vested interests nor by the class composition of the leaders.” Gönpo Tashi, the head of Chushi Gangdrug (四水六岗卫藏志愿军), which was founded later, was wealthy and undoubtedly a member of the élite, but he was neither a monk nor a serf-owner; he was a merchant.

    Refugees from Kham later spread the rebellion into central and southern Tibet. In 1959, the situation came to a head in Lhasa when, after a period of increasing tensions, a mob of local people surrounded the Dalai Lama’s summer palace in response to a rumour that he was going to be kidnapped or otherwise harmed. Tsering Shakya writes, “Many people who took part in the demonstration told me that their initial anger was against the aristocracy and this is clear from the slogans that they used. When Tibetan officials drove or rode past the crowd outside the Norbulingka, the demonstrators shouted, ‘Do not sell the Dalai Lama for Da Yuan [大圆, the silver coin used as payment by the PRC in Tibet at the time],’ and ‘The Dalai Lama is more precious than a sack full of Da Yuan.'” Is this rebellion of nobles that you’re referring to?

    I’m sure that policies by which the CCP redistributed land from nobles to poor peasants were often quite popular, but it pissed people off when the reforms disrupted the traditional monastic system.

  216. Otto Kerner
    September 7th, 2008 at 03:54 | #216

    Wahaha,

    “On one side, what West and Tibet exile claim Tibet is not part of China, ask is that Chinese government give power back to Tibetans, ACTUALLY GIVE POWER BACK TO THOSE PRO-WEST MONKS.”

    Who proposes this? Even the pro-west monks themselves might be thinking this in their hearts, but they don’t say it out loud. You are not only treating “West” as a giant monolithic entity with one opinion (in fact, Western governments do not claim that Tibet is not part of China; they all support the “one China” principle), but you are ascribing to it a position which I have never heard anyone advocate. I think Robert Thurman, the Dalai Lama’s most hardcore American supporter, may have gotten close to this position from time to time, but everyone else I’ve ever talking about “Free Tibet” is asking for democracy. In this thread, you are responding to a post I made in which I suggested neither democracy nor monk rule, but continued Chinese Communist Party rule in Tibet.

    “on the other side, no way on earth would chinese government will let a pro-west government in Tibet, it claims that Tibet is part of China.”

    I agree. In terms of realpolitik, China would never accept an American satellite in Tibet, just as the U.S. would not accept a communist government in Mexico (or in Cuba, if they had a choice), and Russia will do its best to avoid seeing countries like Georgia join NATO. What I’m interested in is a solution which achieves something resembling a “free Tibet” without it becoming an American political ally, and that’s what I was trying to get at in my suggestion.

  217. Otto Kerner
    September 7th, 2008 at 04:04 | #217

    “I’m sure this idea was thrown out long ago, but why hasn’t the Vatican City been looked to as a model?” Regardless of whether that is a good idea or not, it is not a solution to the problem that I’m interested in here. I’m talking about the Tibet Problem. If creating a little “Vatican City” like area around the Potala Palace (the village was called Banak Shöl) would help improve things, then I’m for it, but I don’t really see why that would be the case. The Dalai Lama already has his own private domain in McLeod Ganj in India. Making Potala City his new private domain wouldn’t address the grievances of anybody living outside of it.

  218. S.K. Cheung
    September 7th, 2008 at 05:27 | #218

    To Otto:
    good luck trying to get Wahaha to focus on your post. I’ve been trying, but dude’s got a one-track mind, and it revolves around evil western governments encouraging monks to agitate for independence.

    BTW, what is your reaction to Oli’s #179?

  219. snow
    September 7th, 2008 at 09:59 | #219

    an interesting article:
    Scholar tells skeptical audience that claims by Tibetan exiles of Chinese cultural discrimination are greatly exaggerated
    http://www.international.ucla.edu/article.asp?parentid=2732

  220. Jerry
    September 7th, 2008 at 11:11 | #220

    @snow

    #219

    Snow, thanks for pointing this out. I noticed that this thesis defense by Barry Sautman of HK University occurred almost 6 years ago. I am not sure how much has changed in 6 years. Nonetheless, the report is a recap of his thesis defense with highlights of said defense and challenges to his thesis. It was interesting. It would be great to lay our hands on a complete transcript.

    I googled his name and saw some current news articles quoting his work. On quick perusal, I did not see any hits which might hint at a current academic debate on the topic.

    I did see some youtube defenses of China’s position on Tibet. Some were good, though nationalistic. Some dropped the f-bomb and mf-bomb. Very easy to dismiss those. I did not see anything as well done as Oli’s essay #179 or Otto’s original proposal.

  221. S.K. Cheung
    September 7th, 2008 at 16:01 | #221

    To Jerry:
    in another thread, someone referred to him as “Professor Sautman” while referencing his work (although there was no link), so I guess his thesis defense went well.

    Ah F-bombs, I thought those were the foundations of any compelling argument… :-)

  222. demin
    September 7th, 2008 at 16:39 | #222

    @S.K. Cheung,
    I assume you are talking about me. Sorry if I am wrong. But here is the link of Sautman’s CV, I guess “Professor Sautman” is a correct title. :ttp://www.sosc.ust.hk/faculty/detail/sautman.html
    As for the link, I point out the title of the article that I cited, “Tibet and the (mis)representation of cultural genocide”. And in an earlier comment, I give the source of this article: , Gordonsville, VA, Usa: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. I didn’t find any internet link of this article. I also cited Professor Goldstein’s book, do you need the information of this book?

    No one is dropping F-bombs here, but let’s also show some honesty, show we?

  223. S.K. Cheung
    September 7th, 2008 at 17:20 | #223

    To Demin:

    I wasn’t trying to disparage you. Just making the observation that he went from thesis defender 6 years ago to professor now.
    In the other thread, you’ll see my general opinion of links anyhow.
    I certainly wasn’t suggesting you use F-bombs; and I was being dishonest how exactly?

  224. September 7th, 2008 at 23:31 | #224

    @The Trapped! #200

    Could you please provide a link to government’s White Paper? Thank you.

  225. Wahaha
    September 7th, 2008 at 23:49 | #225

    Otto,

    (in fact, Western governments do not claim that Tibet is not part of China; they all support the “one China” principle),

    No offense, but West also support “one Soviet Union” principle.

  226. Wahaha
    September 7th, 2008 at 23:53 | #226

    “The uprising started in 1956. What makes you think that it was only the nobles who rose? You know, in the old days, they described everything as class conflict.不要太CCTV”

    Simple, CCP claimed 95 % of Tibetans lived extreme poverty or be slaved.

    Uprsing by them ? uprising by a group of people who had absolutely no right in the society ?

  227. Wahaha
    September 7th, 2008 at 23:56 | #227

    and I went to Tibet skins and skulls in tibet museume in Beijing,

    I like to hear comment by SKC about that.

  228. Wahaha
    September 8th, 2008 at 00:12 | #228

    BTW, Otto,

    If you read #4 and #11 of 17 points, you know sometimes between 1951 and 1959, CCP started to take power away from Tibetan nobles, SiChuan was in SiChuan, so it makes sense the reform in Sichuan started early, reform started in Tibet started later, like in 1957 and 1958, then Dalai Lama and his followers fleed to 1959.

    Do any of above not make sense ?

    If it makes sense, then why did the uprising happen right when CCP tried to take the power back ?

  229. Wahaha
    September 8th, 2008 at 00:45 | #229

    and I went to Tibet museum in Beijing, I saw those human skins, skull and documents.

    I like SKC’s opinions about that, did CCP forge those “artifacts” ?

  230. S.K. Cheung
    September 8th, 2008 at 01:23 | #230

    To Wahaha:
    you went to the museum, so that’s for you to decide. Nice to see you’re now discussing the late 1950’s. Let me know when you arrive at 2008…I wonder what year it will be by then.

  231. Jerry
    September 8th, 2008 at 01:25 | #231

    @demin, @S.K. Cheung, @snow, @Allen, @wukong

    #221,

    Thanks S.K., for your witty reply.

    #222

    Thanks for your reply to S.K. Cheung, demin. S.K. was merely replying to my comments in #220. In #219, snow had directed us to an article about Professor Sautman’s thesis defense at UCLA in December of 2002. I had asked if there was a transcript of the defense and if there any links to academic debates on the topic of Tibet. I had seen some links to news agencies interviewing him this year.

    Regarding the f-bomb remark: In googling Sautman, I had found numerous youtube videos regarding Tibet. Some of the videos used the f-bomb and mf-bomb. I believe that S.K. was referring to my comments. Furthermore, I don’t believe S.K. was being dishonest.

    You seem to be quite knowledgeable about Tibet, along with others like S.K., Hemulen, Allen, Wukailong, wuming, Wahaha, et al. If you would be so good as to provide links to any interesting articles which could help someone like myself, who knows very little about Tibet other than what I see in the media, I would be most appreciative. Thanks.

    This blog topic has been very enlightening to me. Thanks.

    BTW, I went out to http://blog.hiddenharmonies.org/2008/09/05/pocketbook-references-for-tibet/ after googling demin. This looks like it will be a good starting reference for me.

    Allen, thanks, for the links to both Drs. Sautman and Goldstein. Thanks, wukong, for your link to Jones and “China from the Inside”. I do remember watching the PBS series, “China from the Inside” when I still lived in Seattle. Little did I know that I would end up living in Taipei? At that time, I was just going to go to Taiwan in May for a tea farm tour. I had never been to Asia at that point. Life is pretty amazing.

    Allen, would you please consider putting a trackback to http://blog.hiddenharmonies.org/2008/09/05/pocketbook-references-for-tibet/. Thanks.

  232. Otto Kerner
    September 8th, 2008 at 01:47 | #232

    “No offense, but West also support ‘one Soviet Union’ principle.”

    Yeah, well, some bad things have happened in Russia since they lost the Cold War, but losing Kazakhstan seems like the least of their worries. But, let’s assume that it’s true the U.S. government plans for China the same awful fate that Russia suffered when Kyrgyzstan was sundered from its motherland. You still haven’t named a single party who publically says that they want monks to rule again in Tibet. We are left to rely exclusively upon your powers of telepathy or simple assumption.

  233. Otto Kerner
    September 8th, 2008 at 02:16 | #233

    Wahaha,

    “and I went to Tibet skins and skulls in tibet museume in Beijing”

    Seriously? You’re citing the propaganda museum? You know they opened that in the middle of the Cultural Revolution, right? You don’t suppose they might have just plain made some stuff up for that, I take it. Robbie Barnett writes (Authenticating Tibet, pg. 83), “There seems to be limited evidence of the systematic savagery described by Chinese writers, at least since the nineteenth century. There was a famous case of mutilation as punishment in 1924, but the officials involved were themselves punished by the 13th Dalai Lama for this action; he had banned all such punishments in a proclamation in 1913. A case of judicial eye gouging in 1934 as a punishment for treason was clearly exceptional, since no one living knew how to carry it out.” He continues, “On the other hand, there are hundreds of reports, many of them firsthand accounts, of Tibetan political prisoners being severely tortured in Chinese prisons during the early 1990s, as well as almost ninety cases of suspicious deaths in custody, none of which have been independently investigated.” Perhaps they should build another museum across from Drapchi to remember those victims.

  234. Jerry
    September 8th, 2008 at 02:17 | #234

    @S.K. Cheung

    #230

    Come on, S.K. If you would like to discuss this off-line, S.K., please feel free to email me at gzimel at yahoo.com (leaving out the @ sign here because it seems to generate spam).

  235. Otto Kerner
    September 8th, 2008 at 02:24 | #235

    Wahaha,

    “If you read #4 and #11 of 17 points, you know sometimes between 1951 and 1959, CCP started to take power away from Tibetan nobles, SiChuan was in SiChuan, so it makes sense the reform in Sichuan started early, reform started in Tibet started later, like in 1957 and 1958, then Dalai Lama and his followers fleed to 1959.

    Do any of above not make sense ?

    If it makes sense, then why did the uprising happen right when CCP tried to take the power back ?”

    Obviously, everyone agrees that the uprising happened as a result of CCP “reforms”. You are quite correct that collectivisation began first in eastern Kham, and so that’s where the rebellion started (I brought this up just because the party line blames the Dalai clique for the uprising, but in fact it began outside of their bailiwick, and they refused requests to assist it). That the rebellion happened because the reforms is a fact which cuts both ways: I’m suggesting a hypothesis in which the populace rose up against the PRC government because they were upset with reforms disrupting their traditional way of life so dramatically, and, in particularly, disrupting the monastic system which was the basis of popular religion. So, naturally, people became upset sooner in places where the reforms were enacted sooner.

  236. Otto Kerner
    September 8th, 2008 at 02:32 | #236

    Wahaha, your last post reminded me of something you wrote earlier, “In 80s, when Hu YaoBang was the leader, he suggested ‘Tibetans rule Tibet’, the result was snowflags on Lhasa streets by those monks, this abruptly stopped any possible process of giving the power back to Tibetans, even now.”

    Did you notice that this reaction only makes sense if the monks’ actions were popular with the people in general? If someone starts waving a flag for an unpopular cause, it doesn’t threaten anybody. Maybe the government arrests them, maybe they don’t. Either way, people think the flag-waver is ridiculous and maybe even offensive.

    On the other hand, if you start waving a flag for something that the government doesn’t want (in this case, Tibetan independence), but the people do want, then the government has a big problem. That sort of thing could inspire active resistance. It’s naturally, in that case, for the government to want to stamp that out before it catches on.

  237. Netizen K
    September 8th, 2008 at 03:35 | #237

    The government has stamped riotings and handled foreign protests in the last few months. And people deserve a rest from all the talk of Tibetan independence again. This blog should give a rest too. When the Dalai Lama passed on, there should be a new look at the situation.

  238. Wukailong
    September 8th, 2008 at 04:00 | #238

    @Netizen K: Couldn’t agree more that the Tibetan case could rest for a while. It’s a bit like the thread that just became a shooting match between a FLG:er and some mainlanders. However, as long as a thread is truly about the subject matter at hand, the discussions can of course continue.

  239. Wukailong
    September 8th, 2008 at 04:07 | #239

    @NK: On the other hand, it isn’t all about “independence”. And what do you mean by Dalai Lama “passing on”?

  240. The Trapped!
    September 8th, 2008 at 04:39 | #240

    Have you guys ever noticed why I do not talk historically when I talk about Tibet?

    The reason is the gap is too wide between Tibetan people’s version of Peaceful Liberation and that of Chinese government and historical sovereignty and so on. In Tibetan there is a phrase, which goes, “Both the mountain and the mist over it are in your hands”. Inside Tibet the government giant hands cover everything, so no wise man believe in it. And outside Tibet the histories are considered illegitimate. So, why still sticking on history?
    When I talk on issue, I rather prefer on what I need than what I want. And what I can get rather than what I need. To make this point clear, I want to talk as realistically as possible.
    If put a small history; my grandfather was killed by PLA when my father was just a kid. And my grandfather was neither noble or monk, but just a normal villager. Old people said that almost all the village men in fighting ages (in Tibet it’s 15 years old) were killed in the three-year long Resisting Chinese War or later captured and put in prisons where they ended their lives. When old villagers give us some advice, they would say they are not in the position to give us advice because they say they are the coward ones who could not give up their lives for the land and religions the Snowland. And my home town is no where near Lhasa, but on the border of ancient Tibet and China.
    See, this is a piece of forbidden history. But what’s point of retelling story and hurting each others’ feeling? Past is past, no returning. All we should do is trying to find a common ground in the fast-developing world and China. If we talk about who is wrong and who is right in history, then I we can not reach anywhere because everyone has his own history that can not be acceptable to the others. Instead we should study the nature of the problem carefully and holistically and then find way to handle it without repeating past mistakes.
    I am sorry if I offend anybody, I have no other ways to put this in better way.

  241. raffiaflower
    September 8th, 2008 at 05:14 | #241

    Jerry, i am sure your post is well-intended, but you may have inadvertently left out something.
    israeli state terrorists targeted not only the brits, but also conducted a campaign of “ethnic cleansing” using terror bombing, coercion and outright eviction that forced 700,000 arabs out between 1947/48.
    This is documented by “modern’’ israeli historians such as benny morris. The israeli government of course remains in denial. (The same political doublespeak applies to Western governments that deny supporting Tibetan independence.)
    I will only say that the Zionist behaviour is inconsistent with a people who should understand the agony of rootlessness.
    you may know that the so-called tibetan govt in exile – if not His Holiness- has pledged a similar policy of ethnic cleansing for an independent state, and this applies to claimed areas settled by other ethnicities for generations. (SK, we are now talking about China 2008, not Israel 1948. :-p )
    china has so far maintained the status quo of the tibetan majority, and maintained tibetan culture and customs (albeit in circumsrcibed form) while pushing a policy of development that provides for all.
    Unlike (for eg) the Malay Muslims in Singapore, who were earlier settlers than Chinese but chose to embrace the forward and inclusive policy of the majority government, Tibetans have been reluctant, partly due to external reasons.
    economic development, including tibet, is china’s biggest story, as tony blair has noted, that will benefit not only the country but also its partners.
    The complexities of China are infinite and getting rich is the fastest way through the Gordian knot. Other kinks in the plot can be worked out as things move along, in theory.
    Not everything can or will meet Western expectations. But, as Blair also noted, China’s path may not follow the road already travelled by others.
    Certainly, as a country with great power ambitions, its actions and behaviour should be under global watch.
    But the West should also respect China’s priorities. To have a say in where China is going, it should understand where China is coming from.
    for more than a century, the country has struggled, without much help (unlike Israel) to define its place and identity in the modern world. Re-asserting (or asserting, p.o.v) itself over Tibet, during national consolidation, was part of that formative process. The future of Tibet, whose people deserve much better as do those in the rest of the country, will continue to be defined along with China’s evolution.
    I would agree with Zhu Rui that there are contending voices about Tibet in China, but they are likely part of the overall debate about better governance for a nation in transition.
    I would say that the government itself is aware of the hard task of reform, and has allowed debate in a limited environment to help feel its way.
    But much of that plurality of voices – even those that disagreed with the awkward handling of the March riots – rejects the Western agenda that uses the Tibetan issue as a stalking horse against Chinese sovereignty.
    A strong, united China will not allow an independent Tibet (even a Vatican-like solution) that is a Western proxy, as Israel is in West Asia, and vice-versa.
    His Holiness is well aware of this point, and usually reiterates that he seeks only “meaningful autonomy’’ (without a clear definition).
    The Dalai Lama plans to have a Southeast Asian study/lecture tour in Dharamsala later this year. ( I am not a follower, as my own deity is the Kannon at Asakusa).
    He has his own following as a spiritual leader in the Chinese diaspora. A friend of mine, who was to host some arriving lamas in her home, and I nearly came to blows over tea in a “conversation” about Tibet.
    But even for such followers and many others who simply disagree with China’s political system and believe that it can improve its overall human rights record, the belief is that the Tibetan issue should be resolved within the Chinese context.

  242. S.K. Cheung
    September 8th, 2008 at 05:34 | #242

    To raffiaflower:

    talking about China 2008 is excellent. Tibet 1958…not so much.

    I agree with almost the entirety of your post, save for the Western agenda/ trojan horse bit.

    But you know, after 241 entries, this thread comes full circle to how this Chinese-based resolution might look. And I think that was what Otto was driving at to begin with. So either Otto is an awesome chess player, to be able to anticipate 241 moves, or we’ve done a bad job staying on point.

  243. S.K. Cheung
    September 8th, 2008 at 05:39 | #243

    To The Trapped:
    also agree with you. As I was suggesting, you have your history, and the Chinese have theirs, and those 2 things will likely remain disparate. Arguing about it is pointless. Moving forward is the key, though obviously easier said than done.

  244. S.K. Cheung
    September 8th, 2008 at 05:57 | #244

    So while we carry on with all this idle chit-chat, does anyone know if the main characters are actually talking? I know they had some big powwow a few months ago. Where did that lead? And since we’re no longer communicating via pigeons or pony express, why does the song and dance have to be so protracted. Why can’t they set up a video link, and get on with it?

  245. Michelle
    September 8th, 2008 at 06:44 | #245

    Wahaha says: and I went to Tibet museum in Beijing, I saw those human skins, skull and documents.

    The skins and skulls always seem to come up in Tibet discussions, but I’m not always sure why. Is it an argument for ’58 or for continued rule by China? Is it along the lines of “Tibetans can’t rule themselves?”, is it “we come to the aid of the suffering?” These are genuine questions, btw.

    Can’t help wondering what a ‘great leap forward’ or ‘cultural revolution’ museum might look like if presented objectively. And more than that – can’t help wondering if artifacts from those (imagined?) museums would be brought up in an argument about modern day China. (probably not that much, huh?)

    I know this probably sounds like a loaded comment, but it’s not. I just want to know what’s really the statement behind the skin and skulls.

  246. BMY
    September 8th, 2008 at 07:16 | #246

    @The Trapped #240

    I agree with you about the argument of the history and I commented the same thing on the very first article about Tibet on this blog. It’s a never ending argument and won’t help much with today’s problem.

    I am sorry to hear about your grandfather’s story.

    CCP and KMT had much more bloodshed before the 50s than what happened in Tibet in the 50s. But look at them now.

  247. Jerry
    September 8th, 2008 at 07:32 | #247

    @raffiaflower

    #241

    Thanks for bringing up the exodus/expelling/killing of Palestinians from their homelands. As I mentioned, the Irgun and Haganah were paramilitary Zionist groups/organizations who were bent on providing Jews with a homeland, namely what Jews consider “The Promised Land”. Unfortunately, many Arabs were killed in, expelled from or fled from their homelands. I abbreviated/compressed the history to emphasize that the messy, brutal, violent state of affairs started long before Israel gained statehood and continues to this day. Many Palestinians (who as fellow Semites are brothers and sisters to Jews who are also Semites) have suffered and continue to suffer. There was no intent to conceal. If you have read my posts, I believe I have made it very clear that I find the situation in Israel untenable and cruel.

    There is a great book about the personal tragedy of what you and I describe. It is “The Lemon Tree” by Sandy Tolan. It details the lives of 2 young people, one an Arab boy and the other a Jewish girl. The Arab boy and his family are forced out of their home in Ramla in 1948. The house was given to the Jewish girl’s family. The two met in 1967 and built a troubled, uncomfortable but amazing friendship.

    BTW, I also have friendships with Palestinians I worked with at Microsoft. The friendships are troubled and uncomfortable at times. But they are very worthwhile, long-lasting friendships. These friendships have created problems in my friendships with Israelis. Some of my Israeli friends are much more accepting than others. Such is life.

    I would like to take issue with the term “Israeli State terrorists”. I believe that “broad brushes” create bad generalizations. The State of Israel is not a terrorist state. There are Israelis who commit terrorist acts: Menachem Begin and cohorts blew up the King David Hotel; Ariel Sharon’s and Bibi Netanyahu’s involvement in the Sabra Massacre, and Ehud Olmert’s use of cluster bombs in the 2006 Lebanon War, just to name a few. There are also Palestinian terrorists. But most Palestinians and Israelis want to live a good, safe life in peace.

    Now, if you want to continue with that term for the State of Israel, I could just as easily use a similar term for the State of China. I could also just as easily use that to describe the Americans when they took up arms against the British in 1776 and before. Of course that would be silly. But silliness and excessive nationalism have killed a lot of people. So I would advise against using rhetoric which inflames. Terms like “ethnic cleansing”, and “terrorists” are too easily bandied about nowadays and used to demonize so-called enemies. Let us speak more judiciously.

    You also wrote, “I will only say that the Zionist behaviour is inconsistent with a people who should understand the agony of rootlessness.” I believe that many paranoid Zionist actions are sad and wrong. Hatred and violence are hatred and violence, no matter the reason. But, to me, it was not inconsistent or surprising that Zionism came about. A number of the abused and persecuted finally say, “Enough is enough. I will not tolerate this abuse anymore.”

    Throughout their existence and during many earlier generations, they had become inured to violence, abuse and persecution. They had developed various forms of paranoia and some are even have psychoses. It is perfectly normal for some to use the same methods of abuse, persecution and violence which were used on them and their families. The abused become abusers; the persecuted become persecutors. How many and to what degree, I cannot say. To me, it is a perfectly normal, paranoid reaction (if you consider paranoia normal; normal paranoid sounds like an oxymoron; I use normal in a statistical sense here). It takes a lot of self-awareness and reflection to step out of these patterns.

    My family has suffered from this “Jewish paranoia” for generations. I have worked and continue to work through my own issues, as well as my father and late grandfather. The most paranoid, as far as I know, was my great-grandfather. Life is a “work in progress”.

  248. Jerry
    September 8th, 2008 at 07:53 | #248

    @S.K. Cheung

    #244

    S.K., you wrote:

    And since we’re no longer communicating via pigeons or pony express, why does the song and dance have to be so protracted. Why can’t they set up a video link, and get on with it?

    Look at the issues between the Jews and Palestinians in Israel. This song and dance has been protracted over decades. And they are in the same country. There are very many reasonable Jews and Palestinians. So what is the hang-up? May I suggest paranoia, hatred, suspicion, insecurity, and lack of political will? Sometimes it takes a lot of guts to solve problems. And it takes the willingness to give your life in the cause of peace and justice. Anwar Sadat was murdered by activist/fundamentalists in Egypt. Itzhak Rabin was assassinated by a hard-line ultra-Orthodox Jew who may have been in cahoots with others.

    So we continue to chit-chat idly. ::big smile:: Oy vey, what do you expect? Solutions? ::ROFL:: You got something against pigeons and horses? ::smirk::

    Mazel tov. A bi gezunt.

  249. Zickyy
    September 8th, 2008 at 20:34 | #249

    Naive

    Nothing is as simple as that.
    Any so-called solution will bring end-less conflicts, there have lots of examples in the world

    Unfortunately, it is still a world that is controlled by power
    Dalai and his muppet government have nothing but dreams

  250. Wahaha
    September 8th, 2008 at 21:03 | #250

    Otto and Michelle,

    It is funny you guys try to deny the story behind Skull and skins, while no monks ever tried to deny that. Sound like you believe any thing by CCP is lie.

    Maybe you should ask yourselves how PLA defeated KMT’s army, an army with the best weapons provided by United States, How an army with only 30,000 left in 1935 become an army of millions ? BTW China had about 500 million people before 1949, CCP and PLA were limited to a very small territory, and they won the civil war in only 4 years.

    __________________________________________

    The trapped!,

    About your story that “Old people said that almost all the village men in fighting ages (in Tibet it’s 15 years old) were killed in the three-year long Resisting Chinese War .” This would be an excellent story for West media and Tibet Exile government, please provide link or links of simliar story. Besides, it was claimed that China bloody invaded Tibet, I didnt find any stories about conflict between 1952 to 1956, what happened during that period?

  251. BMY
    September 9th, 2008 at 00:48 | #251

    @wahaha #250

    I am with you about pro-China.

    But I think I agree with Otto and Michelle’s argument re Skull and skins. It might be very true or it might be little true but it’s not important for now. We all had barbarian times. We Han had 凌迟处死,株连九族 etc.

    Regarding the story of “The Trapped” , I would beleive so . When PLA troops were advancing everywhere in China, there were resistance either by KMT or by some local militias . The local militias could be Han,couild be Tibetan ,could be Miao etc. whether the battle “The Trapped”‘s old villigers involved happened in 1951 or 1952 or 1959 or 1960 is not important now. The important thing is there should no more violence between any people.

  252. michelle
    September 9th, 2008 at 01:40 | #252

    Wahaha: “It is funny you guys try to deny the story behind Skull and skins”

    Dude, I never denied it, I just asked a question….

  253. Otto Kerner
    September 9th, 2008 at 01:49 | #253

    Wahaha,

    What makes you think that no monks ever denied it? Just an assumption based on the fact that they more often write about other things? This is truly a bizarre standard of proof: not even “Silence means approval” but “Relatively infrequent denial means an admission of guilt”. I would assume they just found other topics more worthy of discussion.

  254. Jerry
    September 9th, 2008 at 01:51 | #254

    @Wahaha

    #250

    Wahaha, you wrote:

    Maybe you should ask yourselves how PLA defeated KMT’s army, an army with the best weapons provided by United States, How an army with only 30,000 left in 1935 become an army of millions ? BTW China had about 500 million people before 1949, CCP and PLA were limited to a very small territory, and they won the civil war in only 4 years.

    Since we are dredging up the past, I would like to dredge up how the Romans treated the Jews in Israel, in pre-Christian times. I would like to rehash Masada.

    While we are doing that, I would like to ask how you feel about the numerous Chinese dominations/occupations of Vietnam. These dominations/occupations extended over many centuries. I would like you to explain why the PRC supported Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. Why did the PRC (and the US) support the Khmer Rouge and their “Killing Fields”? Why did the PRC allow the Khmer Rouge (with Chinese advisors) to raid and invade Vietnam in 1975 and 1977, massacring innocent Vietnamese civilians? Why did the PRC attack Vietnam in 1979? Why did the PRC lose, or at least, not win the war they started? How did the PRC lose to a small country which had been devastated by a long, violent war with the US, in which Vietnam lost 3 million people? Why do my Vietnamese friends have an underlying distrust of the PRC, which surfaced when they learned I was moving to Taipei? They seem to distrust all Chinese, whether PRC or ROC or wherever. You should have heard some of the comments.

    You see, Wahaha, two or more can play this game. We can play “Dredge up the Past” forever. To the point of silliness. What a waste of time. And nobody ever wins this game. Now, I have nothing against remembering the past and history. We can learn a lot from the past and history. I just do not want to wallow and live in the past. I am more concerned about what is happening now and what I would like to see in the future. I want all people to be truly happy, content, prosperous, and healthy. Now and in the future. I want to spend my time helping to make that happen. I think that Fool’s Mountain is a tool for building a better future for everybody.

    Wahaha, being Jewish, I could wallow in the abominable treatment of Jews over many centuries. I could hate the Romans, the Assyrians, the Persians, the Egyptians, the Russians, the Germans,
    American-Germans in Cincinnati, etc., etc., ad nauseum. I could demand redress for all of the egregious persecution of the many generations of my family and all Jews. But why be miserable? I can’t change the past. Sure, I can learn from the past. I want to be happy and at peace. Bitterness and hate would probably destroy me and make me miserable. So, I move on, for my own good. I have had to deal with periods in my life in which I have been angry, and sometimes bitter. Such is life. But I found a way to move past those periods and to move on. I forgave whoever, whatever. I did not forget it, but I stopped wallowing in the past. In my head, I can hear my grandfather reminding me, “You’re here, boy. Make the best of it!” Pretty good advice.

  255. Wahaha
    September 9th, 2008 at 02:34 | #255

    Jerry,

    My comment is about “Seriously? You’re citing the propaganda museum?” in #233.

    Chinese have been tired of the propaganda about Tibet by West.

    __________________________________

    Otto :

    there are some pictures about Tibet.

    http://www.anti-cnn.com/forum/en/thread-890-1-1.html

    http://www.anti-cnn.com/forum/cn/thread-44793-1-1.html

    Maybe some of you think I am morally retarded, but please read the following, I think I care Tibetan people more than any of you,

    http://tibetanwishes.tibetcul.com/45737.html

  256. Wahaha
    September 9th, 2008 at 03:03 | #256

    Jerry,

    I dont know why you think I hate someone on this board, I dont. It is not hate, it is annoy. read the follwoing :

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Editorial/Look_Whos_Talking/articleshow/3409074.cms

    And who should stand in judgment over China’s actions vis-a-vis Darfur and Myanmar or Russia’s in the Balkans and the Caucasus? Why, the West, self-evidently.

    The last two words : SELF-EVIDENTLY.

  257. The Trapped!
    September 9th, 2008 at 03:28 | #257

    @Wahaha,

    1. “This would be an excellent story for West media and Tibet Exile government, please provide link or links of simliar story. ”
    Looking at this sentence, I am not sure how sincere and how serious you are on the issue we are talking about. If you I am puppet of western media attention, I would not waste my time here to discuss with my Han brothers and sisters. If I have wish to publicize myself, I would not be here on this forum and be so alienated, instead I can go on overseas Tibetan forums and show how patriotic Tibetan I am like you are doing on this forum. When I say, I have the sudden suspicion that you might just be publicizing yourself as a patriotic. But real patriotic will have broader mind and longer vision, not like you and me. You can treat all the voices similar to West media or TGIE as anti-China or anti-Wahaha projection as you like, because your extreme suspicion on Tibetans and westerners already made you kind of blind and directionless when it comes to Tibet issue. So, I would rather choose to ignore you for the moment, and you can take it as victory if you feel like doing so.
    And this might be my last message to you, so I want to raise some other issues that you yourself raised. Considering 1987–89 events as Hu Yaobang’s failure political initiative seems not that logically right. Well, as you yourself said, the government since then took economic development, not political development, as a mean to achieve silencing Tibet issue goal. However, the uprising restarted again just after 20 years. The question now is, whose failure political initiative is this one? Ding’s? Jiang’s? Or Hu’s? I don’t know if you are capable of tracing back your own logic, it does not matter anyway because I don’t care if you are or you are not.

    2. “Besides, it was claimed that China bloody invaded Tibet, I didnt find any stories about conflict between 1952 to 1956, what happened during that period?”

    As I earlier mentioned, I am not sure how far you sincerity on this issue is going, nevertheless I want to answer because there might be some other fellows who are also interested in the same question and are more sincere.

    Well, in my hometown new China officials came as early as 1950. When first they came, they came as doctors who provide free medicine, teachers who provide free education. So, locales even provided them shelters and other facilities. There was no troop. According to old people’s story, at that time, local Tibetans and those Han officials were very friendly to each other. This harmony continued to until additional officials with bodyguard-style soldiers came. It seems that the saying, “When they have pens, they talk through nose. When they have guns, they talk through.” Meaning as one can guess is that, when they came they only got pens and papers and talk very calmly and politely, but when they got bodyguards with guns, they started roaring.
    However, this was not the worst part. Late 1955, the respected old people and other influential people were invited to a meeting in Lanzhou. It seems that only then these people really understood why these Hans came to us and help. These people were asked to take control of their people so that they can get high position in new China. They were also showed the might of PLA. Finally they were taken tour to some advanced cities. However, for a Tibetan, this means selling your own people to outsiders. So, most of them didn’t agree and came back to home.
    After their returning, a man called A-tee who is also one of those who joined the Lanzhou meeting, called tribe meeting. On the meeting he said, “The Hans have iron birds (meaning fighter jets) that shower metal rains. The Hans have iron houses (trains) that move block after block….” And so on. He told the locales how mighty then Hans are. However, some villagers believed and some didn’t, even made fun of it. Finally he said, “Seeing this might, there is no chance for life if challenge this, but I, A-tee, will never put my head under Hans forever. Whoever follows me are be ready to die, whoever want to try the merciless Hans’ mercy, then wait there.”
    They started their war by killing those Han officials and their bodyguards and declared that they were doing to fight for the religion and the land of the Snowland.
    Some time after that, in a morning when they woke up and got out their house, they saw hundreds of PLA army trucks lined the other side of the river like a monk’s rosary. There was no road for vehicles before that and suddenly there was. Old people still remember how hard working those soldiers were. They say that the soldiers making road and the trucks moving slowly. The trucks didn’t have to stop as the army’s building road speed was so quick.
    It was early 1956. Our Shogkha (Shogkha is a community unit which is more less like Xiang or Zhen in Chinese) fought for 1956, 1957 and 1958. In 1958 the PLA finally defeated the locales. Even these days, the old people shed tears when they hear the word “58” because most of the brave people were killed in this year. A-tee, the war leader was finally surrounded in a cave on a rocky mountain along with his son. He didn’t want them die in the hands of Hans. So, he first shot his son and then shot himself. However, the bullet shot his son went through some less important area and the son survived. The son is still alive and has a forbidden scar on his neck. The PLA took A-tee’s body to the villages and displayed it upside down from a pole and called to the villagers that they killed their hero.
    Well, lets story stop here.
    As my all the time, I really do not want to offend any body. I wrote this because Wahaha asked me to.

  258. The Trapped!
    September 9th, 2008 at 03:36 | #258

    Correction:
    It seems that the saying, “When they have pens, they talk through nose. When they have guns, they talk through.”

    It seems that the saying, “When they have pens, they talk through nose. When they have guns, they talk through.” came some time this time.

  259. Jerry
    September 9th, 2008 at 03:37 | #259

    @Wahaha

    #255, 256

    Ok. I did not say you hate. I was talking my personal issues.

    IMHO, we all have prejudices. Seems to me to be human nature. The question to me is whether or not we allow our prejudices to become self-prisons.

    Wahaha, I do not condone standing in judgment of anyone by anyone. At the very least until we have walked a mile in their shoes. I am sure (actually, I know) that Americans, Chinese, Russians, Westerners, etc. have all fallen into the trap, at one time or the other, of “standing in judgment of others”. Shame on us! Hey, I have done it, and lived to regret doing so. I have learned that I am not omniscient. Shame on me! At least I learned. I guess I am not perfect. Shucks.

    I get tired of propaganda, too. So why don’t we change the discussion here.

    What would you like to see happen in Tibet? How should the people of Tibet be treated? What is the fair thing to do? What is the right thing to do? Do the people of Tibet deserve peaceful and happy lives? I am curious as to your opinions.

  260. The Trapped!
    September 9th, 2008 at 03:46 | #260

    Correction”
    “….when they have guns, they talk through throat”.

  261. BMY
    September 9th, 2008 at 04:07 | #261

    @The Trapped,

    Thanks for telling the story of your home town. It’s no surprise to me. As I said before, there were resistance from many fronts when PLA was taking over. There are many similar stories happened in Han area as well then. I don’t see them as ethnic conflicts(I see them as political conflicts which of course is just my personal view). I am not here to judge who was right or who was wrong during that war time. Any war is wrong in my eyes.

  262. The Trapped!
    September 9th, 2008 at 04:15 | #262

    You are right, BMY. That is exactly what I want. And I know all those at end were outcomes of power struggle. But I have to defend my people when people talk about them unfairly, especially when people say that these were done for our people’s own good. I have nothing to say if anybody admits that this is no more than power struggle in political conflicts.

  263. raffiaflower
    September 9th, 2008 at 04:24 | #263

    Jerry, my mistake with semantics that may have given rise to offence. Haganah and Stern were hardline organisations. But the record stands that their provocations led to the exodus of Arabs who had lived peacefully with their Jewish relatives for centuries in the same land, and the Israeli govt maintains the position that the departures were voluntary.
    I appreciate your point that Israelis are now working with the Arabs at last to work out a framework for mutual co-existence and prosperity. Everyone, especially the Palestinians, deserve to live long and prosperous lives.

  264. BMY
    September 9th, 2008 at 05:02 | #264

    @The Trapped

    I guess in the old days your home town folks called the Qing Manchurian officials “the Hans”, called the Muslim warlord 马步芳 ‘s men “the Hans”, called the KMT “the Hans” , then the CCP “the Hans”.

  265. Jerry
    September 9th, 2008 at 05:57 | #265

    @raffiaflower

    #263

    Thanks, raffiaflower. You are so right that the Israeli government position (and seemingly the official position of the Kadima and Likud parties) is that the Arabs left voluntarily. Such BS. Fortunately, many Jews know differently. They left because they were killed, forced out at gunpoint or left out of fear for their lives. Hardly what I would call “voluntarily”.

    I am not sure how peacefully they coexisted. But they found ways to coexist and cooperate. Most people just wanted peace; how much they got, I don’t know. Unfortunately, there were some bumps along the way during the reign of the Ottoman Empire, in which Jews were massacred. But that was engineered by the Turks. The beginning of the British Mandate after World War I is marked by Arab riots and pogroms against Jews. The Arabs feared losing their homeland. This was followed by an increase in Zionist violence and Arab retaliation. The Zionists were not going to back down to Arab demands. This violence and retaliation escalated from 1920 to 1948. All hell broke loose in late 1947 and 1948, just around the time Israel gained statehood. And the mess continues.

    Mazel tov and a bi gezunt!

  266. skylight
    September 9th, 2008 at 06:32 | #266

    @bmv

    I would think most Tibetans refered to them as Chinese (Tib: “Gyami”) or Chinese race (Tib:”Gyarik”),
    not Han (I am not sure if Tibetan language has a term which translate to “Han”).

    And, of course if they were familiar with the affiliation of the Chinese (KMT, CCP etc.),
    they would mention that as well.

  267. The Trapped!
    September 9th, 2008 at 06:33 | #267

    @BMY
    Our home town didn’t have any contact with Qing Manchurian officials as we had our own mini-king with mini-kingdom. The first king of this kingdom was a tax collector sent by Trisong Detsen, the 38th Tibetan Emperor. His descendants since then ruled this region until he saw PLA’s might and Mao’s vision and gave himself in and asked his people to do so, which was bluntly rejected by the people and treated him as a traitor. This mini-kingdom didn’t have direct administrative influence from Lhasa since the Great Tibetan Empire collapsed with internal conflicts.
    Now I know he was not traitor, he just wanted to save his people’s lives because he knew that his kingdom didn’t have the power to fight against PLA.
    Anyway, we didn’t have any direct contacts with Manchus, maybe our then king did. However, we call Machu Empire and any other empires of China “Gya-nak”. We call Muslim “Khache”. Ma Bufang invaded other Tibetan areas, but not ours. So, it seems we didn’t have much knowledge about this. And both KMT and CCP are also called “Gya-nak” for the country and “Gya-mi” for the people. Even though we do call Manchu Empire “Gya-nak” we do not call Machu people “Gya-mi”, instead we call them “Manju” or “Manchu”.
    Anyway, before PLA’s intervention, our only contact with Hans was opium business because we got vast land to grow them and sell them to Han businessmen.

  268. The Trapped!
    September 9th, 2008 at 06:52 | #268

    @ Skylight,

    You are right, we do not have a term which translate to Han. No, it’s not the way, it’s the other way around. Actually, we do not have term for China or Zhonguo. So, politically we had to adopt Zhonguo, because if we use traditional Tibetan term for China (Gya or Gya-nak), then this will exclude Tibet from that meaning because we are not “Gya-mi” and we are not from “Gya-nak”. So, political new definition of Gya-nak has to be understood as “the land of Hans” and Gya-mi as “the Han people”, not as China and Chinese which was the traditional definition. Thanks CCP for liberating our language, hehe….!

  269. BMY
    September 9th, 2008 at 07:41 | #269

    @skylight and The Trapped

    It’s very interesting. I think the sounds of “Gya-nak” is the same with “China” which is a term from the west. Tubo and Tang had contact long time ago before we contacted the west.

    My theory is : more than two thousands years ago during Qin dynasty, there were a group of Qin people went to the west. the locals asked them: where are you from? they said”Qin na(秦哪“) the locals asked” who are you people?” they replied”Qin Min(秦民). were that “Gya-nak” and “Gya-mi”

    “our only contact with Hans was opium business because we got vast land to grow them and sell them to Han businessmen.” hahaha , was that the reason PLA came to stop the growing of opium?

  270. The Trapped!
    September 9th, 2008 at 08:26 | #270

    @ BMY,

    “hahaha , was that the reason PLA came to stop the growing of opium?”

    Hahaha…I really wish it was the reason, but it wasn’t. Opium war was already a history for China at that time.

    And your logic of retracing the source of these words are very impressive. I will suggest other Tibetan friends to find such clue in Tibetan history.
    But in Tibetan definition, there was another story behind this. In Tibetan it was originally “Dgra” which means enemy. This word later abbreviated to “Rgya” or in English as “Gya”. During and even before Tubo and Tang era, China (of course ancient term of land and people) and Tibet fought so many wars. As a result of generations of war enemy to each other, Tibetan adopted “Gya” or enemy when they refer to China or Chinese. Nak in Tibetan means black. As Chinese traditionally wear mostly black colored dress, “Black Dress Enemy” was thus became name for China and Chinese. Similarly, in Tibetan language the name for India is “Gya-kar” or “White Dress Enemy” because of Indian dress color. Both China and India were greatest challenges and thus considered the enemy of Tibet. To west Tibet fought war up to the banks of River Ganges and to east to Chang’an, the then capital city of China. So, there is no wonder why Tibetans termed them as enemies.

    No offense, please!

  271. BMY
    September 9th, 2008 at 11:21 | #271

    @The Trapped

    Thanks for the explanation of those words. It’s interesting to know. They are something similar with the terms like 红番. I don’t know in which dynasty people were wearing black. It might be just army uniforms.

    I don’t feel offended. Every one was fighting everyone in the old days. I am a Han from the north. My ancestors might be the Turkic tribes men came to in land for a better life during 五胡乱汉era. Han has always been a race melting-pot

  272. Wukailong
    September 9th, 2008 at 12:46 | #272

    @BMY, The Trapped:

    The same thing applies in parts of Europe too. Finland was originally somewhat of a derogatory Swedish term. “Finn” meant “stranger” or “foreigner” in old Swedish, and it later found its way into English. It’s like some country would forever be called “Yiguo” in English because Chinese dubbed it “异国”… (The Finnish people have their own name, Suomi)

    Also, the words “bugger” and “ogre” originally came from “Bulgarian” and “Hungarian”, respectively. It shows some of the ideas people had. Finally, the Russian word for German, “Nemets”, originally comes from “mute” – somebody who can’t speak one’s own language is as good as mute.

  273. Wahaha
    September 9th, 2008 at 14:02 | #273

    The Trapped!

    Read the last paragraph of #212 and the last link in 255, I dont see how you can doubt my sincerity.

    About the detailed story by you, I dont believe, sorry about that. Not saying that CCP and PLA didnt kill Tibetans in 1958, they did. I believe the story about A-tee. but I dont believe “After their returning, a man called A-tee who is also one of those who joined the Lanzhou meeting, called tribe meeting.” That is a democratic process. To my knowledge, ordinary poor Tibetans had no rights.

    So I believe part of your story and I dont believe other part.

    I dont know what is wrong with my question “This would be an excellent story for West media and Tibet Exile government, please provide link or links of simliar story. ”

    Tibet Exile government would use this story to prove how bloody the invasion was, why such story never appear on any anti-China media ? I dont see why that makes me a western media puppet.

  274. Wahaha
    September 9th, 2008 at 14:30 | #274

    @Jerry — What would you like to see happen in Tibet?

    I want to see Tibet were ruled by well educated Tibetans, those educated know not only their religion, but most importantly know science and technology, know the outside world besides their religion.

    But the stats shows only 13% of Tibetan women and only 35% of tibetan men (including monks) can read, so they NEED outside help, for their future. Who can provide such help ?

    This doesnt legitimate the current government in Tibet, but China will become more and more democratic, the process may take 10 years or 30 years. and Tibet will become more and more democratic.

    So let us come down from morally high ground, finds some way to help them live better, as a result, more and more of them will have better education, and education of Tibetan language and Tibetan culture.

  275. Wahaha
    September 9th, 2008 at 14:49 | #275

    For example, Tibetans on this board are very well educated. I hope that they can write some stories about the daily life of ordinary Tibetan people. I cant even find an article about Tibetan festivals.

    Are Han Chinese supposed to write about Tibetan’s daily life ? Why is everything in Tibet about politics ?

  276. BMY
    September 10th, 2008 at 00:18 | #276

    @wukailong #272

    All very interesting. When a group of Huns went to Scandinavia from north Asian they must be very strange to the ancient Swedish people.

  277. BMY
    September 10th, 2008 at 00:53 | #277

    @wahaha #273

    the tribe system did co-exist with the self-system not only in Tibetan area . It’s often common for people in tribe area to have tribe meeting or clan meeting or family meeting even people don’t know the word and concept of “democracy”

    I think the whole story of “The Trapped” said was about the “land reform” era. The officials came with pen and paper were “基层土改工作组“. The Lan Zhou meeting was to inform the “land reform” policies and plans of implementation to the tribe or local leaders- Tibetans/Hans and others. Because Tibetan’s were not disarmed not like in Han area the land lords/tribe/clan militias had been disarmed. Then there were officers with hand guns and bodyguards came to show force. The poor Tibetans resisted the “land reform” and PLA could be they were just following the tribe/clan leaders who normally were land lords or self-masters if we want to say. Or they simply didn’t want any change from out side. Or they were fanned by rumors or .. then the killings happened between each other. sad story for both

  278. Wahaha
    September 10th, 2008 at 01:08 | #278

    @BMY,

    I agree everything you said ……except The poor Tibetans resisted the “land reform” ?

  279. Wahaha
    September 10th, 2008 at 02:15 | #279

    Infant mortality in Tibet by West

    http://onehearttibet.org/About%20Us/Background.html

    By CCP report, infant mortality in 1951 was 430 per 1000.

    What can we do to help them ?

  280. Wukailong
    September 10th, 2008 at 02:42 | #280

    @BMY: “All very interesting. When a group of Huns went to Scandinavia from north Asian they must be very strange to the ancient Swedish people.”

    Isn’t it funny, too, that the Huns seemed to be hated wherever they went? :) I wasn’t entirely sure whether Huns and 匈奴 were the same, but according to Wikipedia there is some evidence:

    “One recent line of reasoning favors a political and cultural link between the Huns and the Xiongnu. The Central Asian (Sogdian and Bactrian) sources of the 4th century translate “Huns” as “Xiongnu”, and “Xiongnu” as “Huns”; also, Xiongnu and Hunnic cauldrons are virtually identical, and were buried on the same spots (river banks) in Hungary and in the Ordos.[9]”

    “The presence of an ancient genetic substratum of European origin in West Asia may be related to the discovery of ancient Mummies from Xinjiang with European features and to the existence of an extinct Indo-European language, Tocharian.[10]”

  281. BMY
    September 10th, 2008 at 02:44 | #281

    @wahaha #278

    I should have said” some of the poor Tibetans resisted the “land reform” along with their land loards “

  282. Wahaha
    September 10th, 2008 at 02:49 | #282

    BMY,

    Then they are cheated to believe that PLA would kill all of them, take away their wives, etc.

    Even so, I still dont believe that PLA killed almost all the males of the village, cuz the only way to do that is to line the prisoners up and execute them.

    The standard way to gain power by CCP is to help the poor and brutalize the riches.

  283. The Trapped!
    September 10th, 2008 at 02:59 | #283

    @ Wahaha,

    First of all, I want to express my gratitude towards you for making your position clear, which shows you are also as sincere as others are. I am very glad to see that. And thanks others as well, especially BMY, for your time contribution for the issue that concerns the fate of 6million Tibetans directly and the rest of Chinese indirectly.

    “but I dont believe “After their returning, a man called A-tee who is also one of those who joined the Lanzhou meeting, called tribe meeting.” That is a democratic process. To my knowledge, ordinary poor Tibetans had no rights.”

    You can totally believe me in this. Unlike Lhasa area, in self-ruled regions like ours, the mini-kings, or in Tibetan “Ponbo” which sometimes translate into English as chieftain, are really just nominal in terms of power. The power is really in the hands of old people. If Ponbo decide something and old people do not agree, then he has to give up his proposal. Ponbo is family line style, but whether one new Ponbo can become popular among people totally depends on how brave he is in war with other tribes and how honest he is in the matter of tribe issue. Some Ponbos were rich and some Ponbos were poor. They have only their family livestock or lands, and can not take away others’. And most of them didn’t collect tax, but some did, they collect only a bunch of grass from each family for horses when the tribes go war.
    Because of this influence, in rural area these days, if someone murder someone, no matter whether police caught the criminal and put him in prison, the inside case is still open. So, unless tribe elderly people led by Ponbo (after reform and opening policy, Tibetans restarted to respect their Ponbos and in Tibetan community they are more influential than government officials) will decide the the matter and conclude by letting criminal’s family pay compensation to the victim’s family. When this is done, then the case is really closed and no taking revenge is allowed. Otherwise taking revenge is open. These are traditional ways of dealing with problems which is still continued.
    So, in this sense I would dare to say that most of old Tibetan communities were democratic than one can imagine. People tend to concentrate on aristocratic system of Lhasa (actually Tibetan intellectuals complain of old Tibetan government copying Chinese imperial court system of punishments. They say that our government didn’t import anything good and useful of Chinese imperial court, but only those bad ones like chopping criminals’ limbs or taking eyes or bamboo nails behind nails) only when they talk about old Tibet. But there were more than that and that was why rebellions against Chinese direct rule were first started from far northeast and southeast and then slowly went to Lhasa. When uprising in Lhasa in 1959 happenened, that was the last region of Tibet rebel the new rule. Actually I think most of aristocrats and other privileged Tibetans were more cooperative to CCP than general people. You can see this by looking at the backgrounds of current highest level Tibetan officials starting from Ngapo Ngawang Jigme and Phakpa Lha Gelek Namgyal.
    Some western writers describe old Tibet as Shangri-la and the Chinese government and Chinese writers describe it as a living hell on earth. The reality is somewhere in between.

  284. The Trapped!
    September 10th, 2008 at 03:16 | #284

    @Wahaha

    1. “The standard way to gain power by CCP is to help the poor and brutalize the riches.”

    It seems this was true on before October 1 of 1949, before they have gun-barrel power in their hands.

    2. “Even so, I still dont believe that PLA killed almost all the males of the village, cuz the only way to do that is to line the prisoners up and execute them.”

    The war was three-year long and the local population I am referring to was just few thousands. With full force war with machine guns and canoes and river of PLA soldiers, I think one can understand the result. I also mentioned clear that not everyone was killed in the war. The ones who finally gave in took to jails somewhere nobody then knew. When they were convinced to give up, they were promised for light punishment. This light punishment promise faced with change of policy on the enemies of the people and the state and nobody therefore could ever return to villages again. And again understandable….
    And these were the stories of wars and fights.

    About execution, well, let not talking about letting children dance on the executed parents’ tombs. These were the Gang of Fours’ of mistake, weren’t they? Change of policies and shift of leaderships, all are bullshits that hide the brutality of a regime.

  285. BMY
    September 10th, 2008 at 03:19 | #285

    @wukailong “Isn’t it funny, too, that the Huns seemed to be hated wherever they went?”

    hehe, they raided everywhere from east asia to Rome.

    From my understanding the Huns(xiongnu) were Asian featured people like the original Turkic and TarTar. We can see that from some discovered ancient Chinese records in some museums. When the huns controlled central asia the central Asia had been populated by more civilized Persian tribes with all the city states. That’s probably why ancient Mummies from Xinjiang with European features. In the 8th century , the Asia looking Turkic uyghurs moved to now XianJiang from north Asia grass land and mixed with local Persians and also Persian refugees fleet from their home land to middle Asia to escape the Arab mujaheddins. during Mongols(a group of Turkic Tartar ) occupation, the whole middle Asia finally Turkicnized.

    I am not a historian. just read some history books in high school and might be outdated already.

  286. Wahaha
    September 10th, 2008 at 03:31 | #286

    The Trapped!

    I am down-to-earth person. I will not insist ” I dont believe” any more. It is towards West media about Tibet.

    I think Tibetans people (not monks) must face :

    1) China will not allow a pro-west government in Tibet.

    2) Tibet will be more democratic in the future, when the power of CCP is weakened in inland China, sooner or later. There is no way a party can control a country like that forever. How the “democracy” will be like in China in the future ? I dont know. but I dont want to see west democracy in China, read the following :

    http://businessandmedia.org/articles/2008/20080908171808.aspx

    3) Tibetan people must realize that if their Tibet is dominated by religion, their tibet has no future. As history has shown that. So for their future, Tibet need economy improved 10 fold at least, so most Tibetans can get educated.

    4) To achieve the goal of economic improvement, Tibetan people need help. Though chinese government is not democratic, it is no doubt that this government try to help Tibet improve their economy. Tibetan people must fully take the advantage of this opportunity, such thing never happens before anywhere or anytime in human histroy, and it maybe gone anytime.

    5) About culture, as long as most Tibetan society exist, Tibetan culture will never die. When more and more ordinary Tibetans get educated, they will write about their daily life, their wedding, their TV program, their own movies, Tibetan scientists, Tibetan doctors, Tibetans professors.

  287. Wahaha
    September 10th, 2008 at 03:32 | #287

    “The standard way to gain power by CCP is to help the poor and brutalize the riches.”

    It seems this was true on before October 1 of 1949, before they have gun-barrel power in their hands

    This is also true during the land reform in early 1950s in inland China.

  288. Wahaha
    September 10th, 2008 at 03:35 | #288

    In Shanghai, they “communized” the private properties in between 1950 and 1955, there was even a famous movie about that by actor Sun DaoLin, very famous for old chinese. The movie showed how “happy” those capitalists were when they lost their companys.

  289. BMY
    September 10th, 2008 at 03:40 | #289

    @The Trapped

    There are many more similar stories and much more deaths in Han populated area during the same time-war time,the great leap forward, the Land Reform ,the culture revolution. I am not trying to deny the brutality because it also happened in inland China. What I am trying to say is if we forever focus on what happened in those days then we only get hatred -ethnic hatred or political hatred which would only make situation worse.

  290. The Trapped!
    September 10th, 2008 at 04:07 | #290

    @BMY

    You are right. I am for you. I have just raised this issue because there are some misunderstanding going on around here and thus making it as a reality. I don’t mean all those brutalities were aimed at Tibetans or only true in Tibet. When some one say my neighbor killed my father in order to make me free, I can not remain silent.

    Chinese people had been looking at future instead of focusing on past over Sino-Japanese relationship until Japanese started to rewrite the history of their role in World War II and Sino-Japanese War. Because of this, Chinese people came on streets and showed their disappointment by storming at Japanese Consulates and Embassy.
    See, people can forgive. But that forgiveness has a limit. When they try to deny what they have done to you, then you can no longer forgive. This is human nature.
    Even two enemies can become good friends if each side admit their mistakes and apologize for it. This is also our human nature and divine part our human race. Lets worship this part and make it have ever-lasting victory!
    .

  291. The Trapped!
    September 10th, 2008 at 04:15 | #291

    I know our Mianzi (saving face) culture is making it very difficult to admit one’s mistake and thus give further chance for more mistakes. But hey, we are living in 21st century. Haven’t you guys lots of times suggested giving up bad parts of Tibetan culture? Maybe it’s time to revise our cultures as well…

  292. The Trapped!
    September 10th, 2008 at 04:21 | #292

    Explanation:

    “Maybe it’s time to revise our cultures as well…”
    I mean both Hanzu culture and Tibetan culture that is inappropriate for modern life and modern ideology.

    Correction:
    “…divine part our human race.”
    …divine part of our human race.

  293. Jerry
    September 10th, 2008 at 06:19 | #293

    @Wahaha, @The Trapped!

    #274, 279

    I appreciate your comments. I agree that a good education, proper nutrition and good medical care are vital to Tibetans, just as they are to all people. Tibetan literacy rates and rates of infant/maternal mortality are abominable in today’s world.

    Wahaha and The Trapped!, I appreciate your discussion of Tibetan history. Very good points.

    Wahaha, I laughed to myself when you wrote, in #286 2), “How the “democracy” will be like in China in the future ? I dont know. but I dont want to see west democracy in China, read the following: http://businessandmedia.org/articles/2008/20080908171808.aspx”. The reason that I laughed is I don’t want see that kind of democracy either. Actually, it is not democracy. It is corruption of democracy. What we have is a government by ruling elites who use the government’s resources (which are provided for and owned by all US taxpayers, myself included) to bail out Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Bear Stearns, and soon Lehman Brothers. Those companies are run by those in the ruling elite. Thus you have the ruling elite using US taxpayers money to bail out fellow ruling elite members.

    I disagree with Rogers’ labeling the bailout as Communist. The bailout is corporate welfare and stealing from the American taxpayers. Out and out corruption.

    I agree with you on point 3: religious domination is dangerous to Tibetan’s people’s future, just as it was for the Jews. Any domination, in general, chokes the very necks of those people it dominates.

    I agree with you, The Trapped!, in #291 and #292. I believe that culture should serve the people, not people serve the culture. What you, Wahaha and others want to change about your cultures, that is up to you.

    I know that we Jews have done a lot of cultural transformation in the last 150-200 years. It wasn’t easy. It was often painful. But I am glad that we did it and continue to transform.

    Good luck. Mazel tov. A bi gezunt.

  294. TommyBahamas
    September 10th, 2008 at 13:24 | #294

    Jerry,
    Yes, US tax-payers money are being used to bail out Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and more of their cronies. So, What can the American tax-payers do?
    On the lighter side, this evening, I just finished watching an inspiring interview with the only 8 times champion in Boston Marathon’s history, Jean Driscoll, ending the show by singing the Star Spangled Banner on CCTV 9 ! What an amazing woman, an American and a champion paralympian.
    I wonder if a Mainstream American TV channel would be so gracious as to let a Chinese athelete sing the Chinese national anthem on their shows?

    http://www.jeandriscoll.com/jeanfacts.htm

    In previous posts you mentioned Naom Chomsky a couple of times. I remember what eye-openers his works are, from his new linguistic theory to the dirty politics, tricks and acts of the US gov’t in domestic policies and particularly vicious in it’s foreign policy schemes. Then I happened upon articles on the allegations of Pearl Harbor attack being an inside job just as the WTC 911 attack was. The Federal Reserves being the greatest scam in history though being an established fact, yet so what?
    Then there are the literal movers and shakers of the world, the real-life evil protagonists and producers of produced history, the king-makers and the real powers behind the showbiz of democracy that remote control the US gov’t., namely the Rockefellas, the Rothchilds, the European Royal families, etc. Then of course there is the Freemason agenda and symbolic architectural legacy of the founding fathers of America, the occultic Bohemian Groove annual gathering of the present day global ruling elites, the secrecy of the Bilderberg group meetings, the NWO agenda, all and more of which are being scorned at and brushed off by the MSM, the gov’t (of course); relegating bona fide findings as the paranoia of a minority of Conspiracy theorists’ of prominent professors, scientists, military personels, historians, eyewitnesses etc to be ridiculed, treated as public nuisance, clowns and laughing stocks.
    And here we are talking about Tibet and the PRC. I think I will take back what I said earlier about what China can learn from the West about making peace with their historical victims. I hear what The Trapped, Eddy, Skylight, Wahaha and others are saying and admire their graciousness and humanity. Peace and prosperity in this China’s Century!

  295. Jerry
    September 10th, 2008 at 14:13 | #295

    @TommyBahamas

    #294

    Hi, Tommy.

    Yes, US tax-payers money are being used to bail out Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and more of their cronies. So, What can the American tax-payers do?

    I don’t know what to do except talk to people about it and kvetch. All forms of government have corruption. The more people who demand some change, the better off we will be.

    Good for Jean. “I wonder if a Mainstream American TV channel would be so gracious as to let a Chinese athelete sing the Chinese national anthem on their shows?” I wonder if Americans cringe at NHL games when they hear, “O Canada” sung? That brings up an interesting question: is there a Chinese NHL professional hockey player? I have never checked.

    God bless Noam Chomsky.

    “Then I happened upon articles on the allegations of Pearl Harbor attack being an inside job”. Isn’t it amazing that the USN moved our most important battleships and all the aircraft carriers away from Pearl Harbor? Robert Stinnett wrote a great book, “Day of Deceit”. My dad, who was a USN officer during WWII believes that is exactly what Roosevelt did, for all sorts of reason, including getting America out of its isolation and into the war.

    And here we are talking about Tibet and the PRC. I think I will take back what I said earlier about what China can learn from the West about making peace with their historical victims. I hear what The Trapped, Eddy, Skylight, Wahaha and others are saying and admire their graciousness and humanity. Peace and prosperity in this China’s Century!

    Hear, hear!!

    I will talk about the rest, CFR and NED when I get back from HK. Unfortunately, I am out of time.

    Good luck. Mazel tov. A bi gezunt.

  296. Wahaha
    September 10th, 2008 at 17:39 | #296

    Jerry,

    Here is how I make judgement on political system :

    I think It is dangerous and naive for people to make assumption when they talk about political system that If people can vote or protest, the government is people’s government and will work for people.

    Rather, I focus on

    1) if the government is just a puppet of riches or military, (unless it is one-person dictatorship) or just 光緒帝 under 慈禧太后.

    2) If there is certain tools in the system that can prevent the LARGE SCALE abuse of power by government, like big corporations buy favorite policys. (this largely determines if the government is people’s government or not.)

    3) If there is certain tools in the system that can prevent the SMALL SCALE abuse of power by government (usually local government), the so called human right, like police violence and information control in China.

    4) if the government is effective and efficient at doing what is necessary during economic developement, which is extremely important when the country needs economic reform.

    5) If the government is driven by idealism (China under Mao) or religion (Iran) or hatred (Hamas), then the people under such government is hopeless, economically.

    I believe those 5 points (maybe I miss some) determine what kind of political system is and how it works.

  297. Wahaha
    September 10th, 2008 at 18:06 | #297

    Sorry, I forgot one point :

    (6) How they make economic policy and planing.

    BTW, (4) usually conflict with (3).

  298. TommyBahamas
    September 11th, 2008 at 01:35 | #298

    We adore titles and heredities in our hearts and ridicule them with our mouths. This is our democratic privilege. – Mark Twain

  299. TommyBahamas
    September 11th, 2008 at 02:10 | #299

    If the man doesn’t believe as we do, we say he is a crank and that settles it. I mean it does nowadays, because we can’t burn him. All the talk about tolerance, in anything or anywhere, is plainly a gentle lie. It does not exist. It is in no man’s heart; but it unconsciously, and by moss-grown inherited habit, drivels and slobbers from all men’s lips.

    LOL~ I love it when we admit and confess the ugly inner most thoughts of our hearts! I really can’t decide if the heart-of-man are really evil beyond measure or pure as gold that’s buried and hidden which needs be discovered, melted and having the right precious metals and stones for accompaniments and occassional polishing to make it shine? And if so, how can it be done enmass if not through education and cultivation?
    Religion is a part of cultivation, but by god, like fresh flowers stuck in cow dung, there are just too much crap in religions., get rid of as much of them Bses in religion, aren’t they all more than harmless, they in fact are good for societies, don’t y’all think?

  300. TommyBahamas
    September 11th, 2008 at 02:17 | #300

    Sorry, , I forgot to add, Mark Twain said that: If the man doesn’t believe as we do, we say he is a crank and that settles it. I mean it does nowadays, because we can’t burn him. All the talk about tolerance, in anything or anywhere, is plainly a gentle lie. It does not exist. It is in no man’s heart; but it unconsciously, and by moss-grown inherited habit, drivels and slobbers from all men’s lips.

  301. tontp4
    September 11th, 2008 at 18:09 | #301

    The water resource is so critical to China that she will not give it up – 100% sure. All the efforts including foreign demonstrations only lead to more bloodshed to Tibetan folks that I would not like to see. Tibetans get more from China than giving it back (the train is one example) except the strategic water resource. It is one of the 56 minorities and at least 2 ruled China for a long while. Just keep it as it is now, self-governing region. It will be happier for all. Allow more freedom, esp. religion, in the foreseeable future.

  302. tontp4
    September 11th, 2008 at 20:35 | #302

    Eddy, sorry about how the Tibetans suffer. Chinese culture has been destroyed in the “cultural revolution”. Many Chinese suffered in the last 300 years until recently. To be realistic, integration to China could be the best, peaceful way.

  303. Wahaha
    September 11th, 2008 at 20:40 | #303

    tontp4,

    Do you know how native suffer in Canada and Australia ?

  304. tontp4
    September 11th, 2008 at 20:51 | #304

    I do not. I know how the US Indians suffer by receiving too many welfare from the US government to encourage them not to work and drink all day long if they do not break out from the reservation.

  305. Wahaha
    September 11th, 2008 at 20:53 | #305

    tontp4,

    Search on the internet.

  306. NMBWhat
    September 11th, 2008 at 22:59 | #306

    I leave you with: The adventures of Mark Twain…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AV2xURtTqgY

  307. BMY
    September 12th, 2008 at 00:12 | #307

    @tontp4 #304

    I dare to say the same thing of indigents in Australia from what I can see just cross the street from where I am typing now.

  308. The Trapped!
    September 12th, 2008 at 02:03 | #308

    @tontp4

    “Tibetans get more from China than giving it back (the train is one example) except the strategic water resource.”

    Do you have some implicit meaning behind this sentence? If not, then I think you should recalculate. Do you know since when Geermu–Xining railway exist? What these trains have been transporting since that railway construction?

  309. The Trapped!
    September 12th, 2008 at 02:13 | #309

    @Wahaha,

    “Though chinese government is not democratic, it is no doubt that this government try to help Tibet improve their economy.”

    Well, there is a folk joke in Beijing about Zhongnanhai internal conversation, which goes, “If Inner-Mongolia comes and ask for money, don’t give them. If Xinjiang comes, give them as much as they need. If Tibet comes, give them money by force even if they don’t want.”

    Can you see anything from this joke?

  310. BMY
    September 12th, 2008 at 02:45 | #310

    @The Trapped

    That’s a good one.

    I remember there was another joke some years ago when Li Peng was the prime minister.

    One day Li Peng came home after work.

    Zhu Lin(his wife) asked: what did you do today?
    Li Peng: we had a all day Politburo meeting
    Zhu Lin: what’s the meeting about?
    Li Peng: I don’t know
    Zhu Lin: how come you don’t know while you were in the meeting?
    Li Peng: Because everyone else was talking in Shanghainese.

  311. Wahaha
    September 12th, 2008 at 03:00 | #311

    The Trapped!

    Sorry If I had offended you before.

    One thing you must keep in mind : lot of Tibetan kids died before age 5, ( CCP claimed 430 per 1000 of kids died before age 5 in 1951,) put that issue above your dignity.

    I will not talk about Tibet anymore.

  312. Wukailong
    September 12th, 2008 at 03:17 | #312

    @Wahaha: Personally, I’m interested in reading these discussions. No need to stop.

    @+all others: On the other hand, this thread has grown very long (>300). I tend to think that’s when discussions should stop, or at least move to a newer thread. Any ideas?

  313. The Trapped!
    September 12th, 2008 at 03:47 | #313

    @Wahaha # 311

    I agree with about life expectancy issue. It is very true that maternal and child health care situation was very bad before 1950s.
    Sorry to put a “but”, but I want to. But, life expectancy and maternal and child health care situation has been improved dramatically over the last 50 years all over the world, not just in Tibet. I do not think it’s too realistic if you point that Tibetan life expectancy and maternal and child health care situation of today will be same as 50 years ago if there was no the Chinese intervention. The world is moving forwards, Tibetans won’t be stuck in the ice of Himalayan Mountains with or without Chinese help. Post Word War II economic development of the world is unprecedented, Mao kept China away from that fast trend of development for around 30 years.
    Anyway, it would be foolish to think that 21st century would not have come to Tibet without Chinese help.

  314. Wahaha
    September 12th, 2008 at 03:59 | #314

    The Trapped!

    # 279.

  315. Wahaha
    September 12th, 2008 at 04:12 | #315

    WKL,

    My father loved literature since he was a child, but he studied engineering in a university in 50s, cuz China at that time needed engineers. He often complained to us about that, and one day (when I was 19), I told him that he would be dead had he studied literature cuz of culture revolution, and he hasnt complained anymore since then.

  316. Jerry
    September 12th, 2008 at 04:14 | #316

    @Wahaha,

    #296, 297

    Wahaha, those are pretty good guidelines.

    I think It is dangerous and naive for people to make assumption when they talk about political system that If people can vote or protest, the government is people’s government and will work for people.

    I could not agree with you more. Appearance/illusion and reality can be totally different. The use of appearance to “keep the rabble in line” happens frequently in the US (As Noam Chomsky has so eloquently and articulately often pointed out).

    5) If the government is driven by idealism (China under Mao) or religion (Iran) or hatred (Hamas), then the people under such government is hopeless, economically.

    Several comments.

    I am not sure China would be where it is now if Mao had not pushed “government is driven by idealism”. Who knows? I do not espouse how Mao ruled. Transformation is a strange process.

    Iran (Persia), the mullahs and ayatollahs rule the people via religious authority and cold-eyed pragmatism. President Ahmadinejad is a powerless figurehead, a situation from which the previous president, Khatami, also suffered. I think that Iranians are better off with the present form of government than being ruled by the CIA, MI5/MI6 and their proxy, the Shah of Iran.

    Hamas is a very complex group. They have their militaristic “terrorist” and political elements, for sure. But it also has social welfare and education elements. This may explain why they are so popular and won the 2006 Palestinian legislative elections with a majority of members. Furthermore, Hamas is more flexible than the US and Israel will admit. They dismiss Hamas out of hand. The US is trying to bully Hamas into extinction.

  317. Wahaha
    September 12th, 2008 at 04:19 | #317

    I am not sure China would be where it is now if Mao had not pushed “government is driven by idealism”.

    China would be better, but not much, maybe the economy would be like India during the same period cuz there were both central controled economy, the reason is cuz of #4.

  318. Michelle
    September 12th, 2008 at 05:12 | #318

    “I think It is dangerous and naive for people to make assumption when they talk about political system that If people can vote or protest, the government is people’s government and will work for people.”

    Perhaps not, but if your aim is a government which works for people, the ability to vote and protest is a step in the right direction. The fact that some countries where people can vote and protest have governments that do not work for the people does not mean that voting and right to protest are disposable notions.

  319. Wukailong
    September 12th, 2008 at 05:31 | #319

    @Wahaha: “China would be better, but not much, maybe the economy would be like India during the same period cuz there were both central controled economy, the reason is cuz of #4.”

    That might be true. In the 50s, socialism had a much better name and India created their own form of heavily government-controlled economy. Later they, like China, moved on with the times.

  320. TonyP4
    September 13th, 2008 at 02:54 | #320

    I wrote the following for fun. 10% true.

    —-

    Free Tibet, my ass

    Please do not liberate my country. I understand you energy, your good nature, and your idealism. I was the same when I was your age.

    First, thanks you all. Now, I’m a naturalized US citizen collecting generous welfare benefits. You do not understand how my life has been improved staying here. Just imagine living in the tallest mountain in your country year round.

    There are always folks want to be kings and queens. They have their ambitions and revolutionary ideas. The last ones went to India. They do not speak for the common folks who just want a peaceful life.

    The Chinese will not give up Tibet. It is the major water source for most of Asia. We get more from the Chinese than giving back. The new train is a recent gift. It is the same as opening a casino in an Indian reservation. The benefits outnumber the drawbacks.

    China had been ruled by Mongolians and Manchurians. We’re one of the 50 or so minorities, same as the blacks in your country or the Quebec French in Canada.

    Unless you can convince your congress to send soldiers to ‘liberate’ us, please do not stir up our rebellious sentiment towards the Chinese. The more you do, the more our folks suffer.

    Spend your energy elsewhere. The choices are unlimited. It sounds like propaganda. I want you to know that I have no connection with the Chinese government. I just want to be realistic and the world will be more peaceful without your demonstrations.

  321. Michael
    November 19th, 2008 at 11:40 | #321

    Why should we give tibetans anything?

    Do you think we are investing billions in tibet just for fun, to stroke our fantasy on how great and compassionate we are? No! Nobody wastes so much money just for that, even if western countries like to do that very thing.

    Tibet is rich in natural resources and serves as a security buffer against other countries. More importantly it gives us control over the water supplies to China and rest of asia. From here we can expand China and our unemployed population into central asia and southern tibet which is occulpied by india and lying unused- that region alone is far richer in resources than rest of tibet. We must continue our expansion as population pressures requires greater farm lands outside China.

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