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Tibet: Turning over a new page

I’ve been resisting writing anything on Tibet recently because I think we’ve had more than our shares.  But I think the time may be right on this board for one small, limited discussion.

In case you have missed it, the Chinese government and representatives of the Dalai Lama met last week for a ninth round of talks since 2002.

The Dalai Lama made some news in the week leading up to the meeting making statements such as he has “given up” on the talks.

The response from the Chinese government last week confirmed the Dalai Lama’s prognosis of the negotiations.  In a report from Xin Hua, Zhu Weiqun, executive vice minister of the United Front Work Department (UFWD) of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, stated that [t]he unification of the motherland, territorial integrity and the national dignity are the greatest interests of the Chinese people. We will never make a concession.”

The Dalai Lama said on many occasions that when the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) entered Tibet, Tibet was an independent country and now Tibet is still an independent country, which was illegally occupied.  But by denying China’s sovereignty over Tibet, the Dalai Lama is seeking a legal basis for his activities of ‘Tibet independence’, ‘semi-independence and ‘independence in a disguised form’,” Zhu stated.

I personally am relieved about the impasse.  I always knew the calls for continued “talks” earlier this year was more theatrics than anything substantive.  The exiles lobbied Western governments to pressure the Chinese government to agree to continue negotiate against all reasons, hoping the limelight of the Olympics would give them one last leverage.

Now that the Olympics spotlight is over, even the Dalai Lama concedes there is not much more point in continuing.

Given the clarification now that, barring an about-face in political stance by the Dalai Lama, the current Dalai Lama will not play any role in the further development of Tibet, how will the hand of the current secular government in Tibet be freed in its governance of Tibet?  How might the hand of the current government be constrained?

On the flipside, the Dalai Lama has called for a meeting next week for exiles to congregate to discuss the future of Tibet – where all options allegedly will be on the table.  What should the exiles do?  Prepare to settle in the West and/or India for the long term?  Call for full independence?  Form a terrorist organization?  Form a “democractically elected” exile government?

  1. Wukailong
    November 14th, 2008 at 09:41 | #1

    Allen, you are igniting a flamewar again with this topic. 😉

    I’m not sure the process has stopped and everyone except the group of exiles are all happy and cheerful. There was a discussion before about whether the DL is necessary or not; it seemed that a lot of people thought he was and that he was one of the few persons who could make anything to move negotiations further.

    I think one of the reasons people believe DL’s demise would be positive is because they seriously believe he orchestrated the 3/14 riots. But if he didn’t, there might be more of the same in the future (and think about 2009 – it’s even more symbolical than this year). It’s a bit like this other big country that goes around the world and “liberates” other countries… When not successful, it faces all sorts of problems. China could do better.

  2. bt
    November 14th, 2008 at 10:33 | #2

    Yeah, sensitive topic again 🙂

    I think this is just the beginning. The calculation of waiting for the death of the Dalai Lama can be a terrible mistake. That might be opening the Pandora box.

  3. Yantao
    November 14th, 2008 at 13:50 | #3

    Hi, there! Have you noticed that Zhu Wenqun expressed full confidence in the post-the DL era?

  4. Steve
    November 14th, 2008 at 14:32 | #4

    I’m certainly no expert when it comes to the DL and the exiled Tibetans. I just know what I read in the media so I’m going more by human nature and gut instinct here. There are two entities staring at each other over an abyss, the Chinese government (and a relatively united Chinese people with them) on one side and a relatively united Tibetan people and Tibetan exiles on the other.

    It’s been known for awhile that the Chinese government had no intention of negotiating with the DL and was waiting for his demise. My guess is when that happens, the government will appoint a new DL of their choosing and try to use that to keep a lid on the discontent in that province. Their aim would be to split the Tibetans and exiles apart. In many ways, it is similar to their Taiwan strategy; wait out the Chen administration and do business with a KMT regime while splitting the KMT and DPP apart. To them the DL is a political manipulator using his people for his own selfish aims and cleverly using western media to further his cause. This would be a good strategy provided two things; one, that the problem from their POV was the DL himself and without him, the Tibetans would lose their desire for independence or autonomy and two, that after the DL, the resolve of the exiles to maintain their current position would fade and they would be more amenable in negotiations and the possibility of return to their homeland as an integral part of China based on the current system. However, I cannot see the Tibetans or exiles accepting any DL appointed by a Chinese government. If anything, I’d think that would radicalize the people even more.

    From the Tibetans POV, the DL seems to have been the calming voice when tempers flared. From everything I’ve read, he is revered as a saint among his people. If indeed he has kept the lid on violence and terrorism against the local Han population in places like Lhasa, his demise might blow that lid off and radicalism could take hold in Tibet. The longer China holds on to their hard line, the further the populace radicalizes. Tibet is a powderkeg ready to explode if not for the DL. The exiles are potentially more radicalized than the Tibetans living in their homeland, since the possibility for them to return home to an autonomous Tibet is sliding out of their reach with every passing year.

    Two point of views that are radically different. I agree with Allen that the talks were a farce, and better to just admit they were and move on. Even if the DL did an about face, it wouldn’t matter since the Chinese government would not admit to believing his new position. He’s effectively out of any future bargaining talks. Then who does the Chinese government talk to? The leaders in Tibet proper are either Central government cadres or Tibetans who have no standing with the people themselves. Is there someone in the exiled government that currently stands just below the DL? If there is I’m not aware of him.

    Normally, in these situations the group splits among itself. The radicals will begin to instigate radicalism with both the exiles and the locals. The peacemakers will have their followers. There will be no one to represent the people as a whole. That is the value of the DL; one person who everyone listens to. But even the DL has said that lately he is finding it harder and harder to keep everyone on the same path. As bt said, this might be the opening of a Pandora’s Box. Have I framed the opposing arguments correctly? I’m curious to hear everyone’s opinion on this subject. I have a feeling I’ll be learning a lot about the situation there over the next few days. 😉

    Flame wars only start when people stop listening. Hopefully everyone will listen and realize there are two POV and we’ll definitely hear from both of them.

    Yantao, who is Zhu Wenqun? I haven’t run across his name before.

  5. Wukailong
    November 14th, 2008 at 14:35 | #5

    Funny thing from the article:

    “In that case, feudal serfdom would be re-established over one-fourth of the Chinese territory, he said.”

    That is to say, DL has been meditating on evil since 1959, and if he has a chance to return to power, everything will just be like it was then. It is as if the communists would make a cultural revolution on Taiwan, were the two parts to reunite.

  6. jc
    November 14th, 2008 at 15:40 | #6

    I think many people who believe that Tibet won’t accept a Chinese appointed DL ignored an important fact is that, Tibetans are not as unified as most people thinks. Essentially there are two Tibet communities: One with people who lives in Tibet, and one with people in the exile community.

    For people who live in Tibet, it might be over estimate to say that 30% of ethnic Tibetans really want independent. No doubts it’s a huge number and they are capable to do a lot things or causing a lot of troubles as China views it, but 30% is still a minority. Exiled Tibetans on the other hand, are much more united. But that’s within the exile community.

    There is a huge difference between the exile community and Tibetans who still live in Tibet. For people who still live in Tibet, the Chinese ruling benefits them economically dearly, so when they pursue independence, they have a lot of lose. For people in the exile community, the Chinese ruling obviously has everything they against and nothing that benefits them. So these people got nothing to lose and that’s one important reason why they are so much more unified than people who still live in Tibet.

    The 3/14 riots highlighted this difference. China has spent years to invest heavily to build Tibet’s economy, mostly the tourism industry. And the whole industry was badly hurt by the riot. The exile community staged many events, got plenty of spotlights, even though they didn’t get much else but their everyday lives were not much affected afterwards. This is not the case for people who live in Tibet. For many people who live in Tibet, their livelihoods have been destroyed because the local economy has tanked.

    Culture identify, spiritual life are all very important for a lot of people. Material lives, on the other hand, are equally or even more important for a whole lot of other people. If you ask those whose livelihoods have been destroyed by those who makes noise for nothing, there will be a very different answer. If you ask, how the hell these people can ignore their culture identiy and spiritual life in favor of material lives? Just take a look of the recent economy downturn and see how people around you feels — people all around are saying it feels horrible when the economy dropped just a few percents. Now think what you will do if somebody made your economy to drop 50%?

  7. Lei Kong
    November 14th, 2008 at 15:46 | #7

    india and china both can play a proactive role of peace in the world and for tibetan issues. i think the diversity of india and their freedom of expression and thought are interesting. i wish the same applies to china as well. however, in most situations, chinese citizens are ignorant about many issues in their country apart from the need of boosting their nationalistic feeling.. this is partly related to the govt’s policies of blocking information and not providing any transparancy in the system. so, it is not amazing when some chinese nationals come up with the statement that tibetans and other minorities are not being marginalized in the western china. it may not be surprising if many chinese feel that dalai lama is “terrorist or splittest” rather than a leader for peace, genuine autonomy in Tibet and universal responsibility.

    the choice to inform remains in the hand of the govt as well as its people.

    May truth and peace prevail in China!

  8. Ted
    November 14th, 2008 at 15:47 | #8

    How much of what the two sides are setting forth in the negotiations is available to the public?

  9. wuming
    November 14th, 2008 at 16:01 | #9

    @Lei Kong

    Some of us Chinese living abroad are as well informed as you are on Tibet, yet we can’t like you take for granted that Dalai Lama is “a leader for peace, genuine autonomy in Tibet and universal responsibility” and we can’t dismiss as easily that “tibetans and other minorities are not being marginalized in the western china”. Therefore the answer can’t be as simple as “May truth and peace prevail in China!”, desirable though that may be.

  10. tenzin
    November 14th, 2008 at 16:03 | #10

    I think the premise of the Dalai Lama having given up is little misleading. I listened to his speech and what he said was that his trust in the sincerity of the Chinese government is “thinning”. And he said that he has to accept that the ‘Middle Way’ approach of asking for genuine autonomy has failed. Yet he said he continues to believe in common chinese people whose support he said is important.

    I believe that it is good that things came out in the open from the Chinese officials too recently. It is clear now that they are not interested in talking about anything except the status of the Dalai Lama. I think that will help.

    And there is already a democratically elected Tibetan government in exile in Dharamsala, though not recognised by anyone else but the Tibetans.

  11. Wukailong
    November 14th, 2008 at 16:09 | #11

    I think wuming takes up an interesting thing here. What struck me, in the aftermaths of 3-14, was how many Chinese said that they had previously been very sympathetic to the West but that this sentiment changed considerably afterwards. In the same vein, I was much less of a believer in the importance of democracy before going to China. Part of this is experience and pondering, of course, but it also shows the importance of our education – when in doubt or under pressure, we seem to go back to our original education and believe it even more.

    A lot of things are difficult to know, of course. What do Tibetans feel about the education they receive?

  12. Wukailong
    November 14th, 2008 at 16:10 | #12

    @tenzin: What do you think would be the most ideal solution in the future? What do you think DL should do? Just curious.

  13. pug_ster
    November 14th, 2008 at 16:11 | #13

    #4 Good point Steve,

    I might just want to add that the talks started in 2002 probably because of Beijing got the nod for the Olympics games in 2001. China made some promises regarding Tibet and in some ways things have stayed in the status quo over the years. Now the Olympics games came and went and Western countries have other problems to worry about like the economy, the issue with Tibet went to the sidelines. China has time on their side considering the DL as their aging diplomat and stalling talks puts China as their advantage.

    Personally I don’t know what is going to happen to the Tibetan Radicals once DL pass away. Perhaps the Western Countries will think that aiding the Tibetan Radicals is a fruitless effort and they will go away because they no longer have the political and financial support that they used to have. Perhaps that China will have some diplomatic relations with India that force them to cut off support for Dharmsalia. In any case, China has won and I just hope that the DL will just accept China’s terms because there are little options for the Tibetans.

  14. Steve
    November 14th, 2008 at 16:15 | #14

    @jc #6: jc, it was my understanding that neither the Tibetans in Xizang nor the exiles outside are pushing for independence from China but rather for various degrees of autonomy for Tibetans in all provinces where they form a large portion of the population. Am I misunderstanding the current positions?

  15. Minz
    November 14th, 2008 at 16:39 | #15

    Hi, in your last paragraph.. (“democractically elected” exile government? ) Exiled govt is already a public elected government. Its been like that for while. Samdong Rinpoche is current Prime Minister. He won the majority back in 2002 (year check). But people still consider HHDL as head and his title is irreplaceable. Officially, HHDL is now a semi retired advisor.

    to Wukailong : have you read the terms of ‘Genuine Autonomous for Tibet’? Read that first. You will understand Tibet’s future plans, rules, etc. You will not find reestablishment of feudal system. Good luck.

  16. jc
    November 14th, 2008 at 17:29 | #16

    @Steve #4:

    It is true that neither Tibetan’s in Xizhang nor the DL’s government is pushing for independence. But that’s only their “compromised” position. The exile government would have wanted independence if that wasn’t a problem for PRC or any other world powers. Straightly advocating independence could be political suicide for the exile government because that risks losing support from other nations.

    I guess a more appropriate way to say the current situation might be, most Tibetans in exile wants PRC out of Xizhang because in their view, it’s their land and they wanted to save their identify, culture and religion; while much less Tibetans in Xizhang want so because in their view, PRC is the one who steadily improves their living standards, while exile Tibetans are the one who destroys their livelihood.

    In any case, It’s not as simple as some people like Lei Kong proclaimed. For people like him, I would really hope they are willing to humble themselves and go there to take a look of regular people’s everyday life. Religious matters, culture matters, economy matters, social orders matters, ethnic relations matters, a lot of things matters. If it were as easy as a simple yes or no choice, world peace would have been achieved a long time ago.

  17. wuming
    November 14th, 2008 at 17:50 | #17

    @jc

    Do you have any data that back up your claims about the sentiments of Tibetans in Xizang? I would have liked to believe that a substantial number of Tibetans actually have realistic expectations (OK, “realistic” in my view) and put their economic interest ahead of other more esoteric ones, but I am not holding my breath for such a reality

  18. Steve
    November 14th, 2008 at 18:54 | #18

    @jc: Per wuming #17, I also have a question along the same lines. A common argument by the Chinese government is that living conditions have improved immensely in Tibet, especially in recent years. As far as I’m aware, no one is disputing this, including Tibetan exiles in India.

    I know a few Chinese Americans who have visited Tibet on holiday. When I have questioned them about their experiences (I’m always interested in new destinations to visit), one point I have heard several times is that the hotels, restaurants and tourist shops they visited were run by non-Tibetans. If so, how much of the economic benefit is actually trickling down to the Tibetans themselves? I know there are statistics showing economic numbers for the province but I haven’t seen it separated out by Tibetans and non-Tibetans in terms of median wages, ownership of tourist businesses, etc.

    If my friends’ experiences were not indicative of the relative economic prosperity, then I would agree that the majority of Tibetans would value the economic benefits they are currently receiving and would want to work within the system to solve religious and other perceived problems between the Tibetans and the central government. But if those numbers show a huge disparity, then I would think the sentiments of the Tibetans would be disproportionately anti-government. By knowing those numbers, we can better understand the true situation currently in the province. Can anyone provide them?

  19. jc
    November 14th, 2008 at 22:05 | #19

    @Steve:

    The basic view at here is the economy is an interconnected whole. When there is a hotel in the city that employees people and get tourist into town to spend money, it benefits the whole city, not just the hotel owner. Political freedom aside, today’s China, including Tibet, does have a free labor market. That means if one ethnic Tibetan decides to run a hotel, it’s perfectly fine with everybody. Not only that, Tibetans are given additional benefits/incentives over Han Chinese to do so (I am not sure if that’s good because it also cause tension the other way around). If they do it well, they will probably make much more money than Han hotel —- I bet many people might prefer a Tibetan run hotel when they go to Tibet, not to mentioning other related services such as food, culture sites, souvenirs, etc. After all it is “Tibet” that most people are interested. So basically when the economy is good, it benefits everybody. A prospering economy provides opportunities for everyone. On the other hand, when the economy suffers, everybody suffers. The Han hotel owner suffers, the Tibetan street vendors also suffers. Everybody is on the same ship. One thing that’s for sure is that having Han Chinese flourishing in Tibet while still leaving ethnical Tibetans far behind is surely a recipe of disaster and there is no reason for PRC to aim for that, they are not that stupid nowadays. Also giving the relatively small population of Tibetans, I would imagine that PRC is well capable of gapping any disparity between them and Han Chinese through subsidiary/social welfare if nothing else really works out.

    Having that said, there are still a lot of problems that needs to be addressed even just for the economy, China as a whole is still rather poor, even it is huge. Corruption, power abuse, and the hope that ethnic Tibetans can catch up on their skill and education levels (on international scale, Han Chinese is already pretty lousy, but Tibetans are worse), a lot of them did, many many more are still far behind, while a whole lot of them do care much more about religion and don’t care much about economy and all these further complicated the situation. Many of those problems are common to everywhere inside China, and many of those problems are unique Tibet problems. In any case, solving these problems will take time.

    And the mother of all problems is, there is no solution that will satisfy everybody.

    As to statistics (also to wuming), unfortunately there are plenty of numbers, but whether they are trustworthy is the problem. For instance, you can Google “Tibet farmer income” and get plenty of information, but it would be difficult to independently verify them. Things were relatively “normal” before the riot, now after the riot, you might get “official” statistics from PRC government claiming 99% of ethnic Tibetans live happily but 1% are not, and also get the “true” statistics from the exile government claiming completely the opposite. The problem for now is that people who release the numbers all have their side chosen before hand. Hopefully eventually the tension will ease and the situation can be more transparent. Till then I guess we all have to wait.

  20. Raj
    November 14th, 2008 at 22:56 | #20

    I personally am relieved about the impasse.

    How are you relieved that the best way of finding a long-term resolution to this problem has hit a wall?

    how will the hand of the current secular government in Tibet be freed in its governance of Tibet

    Freed to supress Tibetans even further I suppose and turn their culture into a Chinese Disneyland.

    I’m probably being overly cynical, but like with other nationalistic topics too many Chinese have allowed themselves to be tricked into thinking it is always the foreigners/non-Chinese who are the cause of all the trouble. In this case the Dalai Lama is the best chance for a peaceful settlement because he advocates non-violent resistence.

    Allen, you demonstrated a somewhat limited understanding of this matter when you asked whether the exiles would consider terrorism. What you would know if you really knew both sides of the story is that the older generation are the peaceful ones. Those who would commit violence are the younger Tibetans who aren’t willing to spend their whole lives under the Chinese boot. When the Dalai Lama dies and the older generation loses influence no one will stop them resorting to bombings and the like. The riots at the start of the year are just an “omen” if you like. Those young people still respect the Dalai Lama, so if their anger can get the better of them now what do you think will happen when he dies or maybe even just gives up?

    +++++

    jc

    Hopefully eventually the tension will ease and the situation can be more transparent.

    The Chinese government is never going to allow figures that show a majority of Tibetans are unhappy to be released, so such transparency is a pipe-dream.

  21. Hemulen
    November 15th, 2008 at 01:30 | #21

    @jc

    I agree with you that allowing Tibetans to lag behind is a recipe for disaster. But the way the game is set up, it favors Han Chinese over Tibetans, because Han Chinese are in charge. The whole reward structure is set you to favor Han Chinese and sinicized Tibetans. Han Chinese are not expected to learn Tibetan, and can set up shop in Tibet and do just fine, whereas Tibetans are treated as foreigners in their own country. If the Tibetan language was made the language of government and Han Chinese settlers made an effort to blend in and learn the language, I think a lot of Tibetan resentment would go away. But that is not what is happening right now and within our lifetime, ethnic Tibetans will probably be a minority in their own region and Tibetan language will turn into a kitchen-language, not the language of culture, government and administration that it used to be for 1000 years.

  22. WW
    November 15th, 2008 at 02:48 | #22

    It really beats the hell out of me as to why so many people (mostly westerners and Tibetans) were so mesmerized and charmed by this guy who has been known as DL. The guy can’t even articulate himself coherently and intelligently that sometimes I wonder the level of his education and intelligence. Whenever I see his picture online or on TV, I think of the saying “ If it walks like duck and quacks like duck, then it must be a duck”, except this guy look like rat, behaves like a rat,…. On the other hand, I’ve got hand it to him for his deviousness and his ability to deceive – just look at the havoc he and his followers wreaked around the world before the Olympic Games.

  23. November 15th, 2008 at 03:01 | #23

    Interesting piece (plus video) from the BBC.

    In some ways, judging from the article and listening to the rhetoric used in the video (Tibet was invaded, Tibet is suppressed) – I wonder if China’s “Tibet problem” really is simply a PR problem with the West.

  24. November 15th, 2008 at 03:03 | #24

    Here is a BBC Documentary on Tibet produced earlier this year that people might be interested. It is not meant to be political (at least as far as BBC can be) – but to show the daily life of regular Tibetans as it is today…

  25. pug_ster
    November 15th, 2008 at 03:07 | #25

    #20 Raj,

    The issue with the Tibetans is that they are being helped by the Western countries financially and politically. Western countries tells us that China are the bad guys and the Tibetans as well as the peace loving Dalai Lama are the good guys as easy as black and white. Those who believe that truly naive. It is true that in general Han Chinese treats the Tibetans as 2nd class citizens very much like how Americans treats Native Indians. However, it is also true that these Tibetans are protesting violently like the Lhasa incident. Also the Dalai Lama believes in the ends justifying the means, even thru violence to kick out the Han Chinese.

    The main complaint by the Tibetans is ‘Cultural genocide’ by the Han Chinese. Maybe the easy solution is to put all these Tibetans in some kind of reservation like how US treats Native Indians. If China does that, I’m sure that the Western Nations will condemn them also.

  26. Hemulen
    November 15th, 2008 at 04:28 | #26

    @Allen

    This is a recent comment to this blog:

    The main complaint by the Tibetans is ‘Cultural genocide’ by the Han Chinese. Maybe the easy solution is to put all these Tibetans in some kind of reservation like how US treats Native Indians. If China does that, I’m sure that the Western Nations will condemn them also.

    Could you, for once, distance yourself from this kind of rhetoric?

  27. November 15th, 2008 at 05:08 | #27

    Oh look, another Han-Laowai wankfest about Tibet. A discussion about Tibet without Tibetan voices is a bit like two bald men arguing about the best shampoo.

  28. Steve
    November 15th, 2008 at 05:14 | #28

    @Michael #27
    Fallacy: Appeal to Ridicule
    Also Known as: Appeal to Mockery, The Horse Laugh.
    Description of Appeal to Ridicule
    The Appeal to Ridicule is a fallacy in which ridicule or mockery is substituted for evidence in an “argument.” This line of “reasoning” has the following form:
    X, which is some form of ridicule is presented (typically directed at the claim).
    Therefore claim C is false.
    This sort of “reasoning” is fallacious because mocking a claim does not show that it is false. This is especially clear in the following example: “1+1=2! That’s the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard!”

    michael, is that really the best you can do? At least come up with something original next time…

  29. Wukailong
    November 15th, 2008 at 06:25 | #29

    @WW: It beats the hell out of you, because your education has told you that DL is the devil incarnate. I’m not saying that the idea that he is a saint is more objective, just that you’re looking into propaganda that is upside down your own, and then naturally you just believe in your own.

    @pug_ster: “Western countries tells us that China are the bad guys and the Tibetans as well as the peace loving Dalai Lama are the good guys as easy as black and white.”

    And what does education say in China? That the situation is complex, or perhaps that Tibetans aided by West are the bad guys, that DL is a lying warmonger and that the good Chinese guys do everything to help the poor people up there?

    I think one of the problems with these discussions is that they never get above this level. On the other hand, there are a couple of people here (and elsewhere) who actually try to understand the complexity of the situation. Admittedly, they are not many.

  30. Wukailong
    November 15th, 2008 at 06:27 | #30

    @Steve: Michael does have a point, although I guess he could have made it in a nicer way… Tibetan voices are quite lacking in the discussion, except Tenzin’s note above.

  31. Frank
    November 15th, 2008 at 07:47 | #31

    I am a Malaysian never to India and China, I have indian and chinsese and mind you even friends practicing tibetan buddhism. So may be my voice is refreshing to weterners as well as chinese and indian nationals. I felt Dalai Lama is telling lies all the while about genocide of this and that to get influence, and his followers, tibetan, Indian or western hippies are worst offender in telling lies.
    Most of my Tibetan buddhism practicing friends visit china and tibet regulary, their answer on Dalai Lama is he will be the last one after his demise, I don’t understand what they mean. May be they are trying to tell me that there is no future for telling lies.

  32. November 15th, 2008 at 07:53 | #32

    Just a thought… People here know me that I will always stand with the CCP when it comes to protecting the Chinese nation. But I also wonder if time has come when “the only thing we [the Chinese people] have to fear is fear itself”?

    When the torch relay protests occurred earlier this year, I admit that what pug_star wrote actually resonated with me.

    The main complaint by the Tibetans is ‘Cultural genocide’ by the Han Chinese. Maybe the easy solution is to put all these Tibetans in some kind of reservation like how US treats Native Indians. If China does that, I’m sure that the Western Nations will condemn them also.

    If our Tibetan brothers and sisters are going to betray us, I would be willing to sacrifice our Tibetan brothers and sisters if need be – no questions asked.

    But what a tragedy this would be if our Tibetan brothers and sisters were never traitors or conspirators and that we end up bringing about a self-fulfilling prophesy (destroying the Tibetan culture – which we all agree is an integral part of Chinese culture) on account of our fears?

    We know fear drove many individuals to unthinkable madness during the Cultural Revolution. To the extent that we as a nation are afraid, we may be unwittingly destroying an important aspect of our own culture.

    So my question to patriotic Chinese everywhere is are we shooting ourselves in the foot by being afraid or are we only being prudent to be cautious?

    To be honest, I personally despise the DL and the exiles. I feel they will only opportunistically invite Western nations to meddle in China’s internal affairs when the chance present themselves.

    But I also sometimes wonder whether our “fear” may unwittingly lead us to betray our own Tibetan brothers and sisters and blind us from building a glorious China that we all want – a China that is prosperous, stable, cosmopolitan, and multicultural in a way that is inclusive of all her citizens…?

  33. tenzin
    November 15th, 2008 at 09:04 | #33

    Thanks Allen for letting us know where you stand when it comes to any discussion on Tibet and Tibetans. So why this show of having a discussion at all. That is exactly the attitude of the CCP with regard to contacts with the Tibetans in exile. I think G W Bush put it best when he said, “You are with us or against us”. – a total lack of respect for different opinion.

    It is good to know that you personally despise (i hope you truly understand the meaning of this term and are not using it lightly) the Dalai Lama and Tibetans in exile like me. Inspite of that you have to agree that we have the right to decide what we want for ourselves. We dont have to follow what CCP decides for us.

    Dalai Lama is a friend and someone to be feared. He said before the Olympics that he supports it and people should not protest against it. Imagine the scale of protest if he had stood against the Beijing Olympics.

    I have said this few times before too. The problem here, still is not between common Chinese people and the Tibetans. Even though we have lived as neighbours for thousands of years, we are not sworn enemies. Even though in our long history we have fought against each other many times, still the general relationship between us are not bad. Today there are many Chinese buddhist who visit Tibet and who treat Tibetans with respect. Yet I see that the CCP have succeeded in converting few with personal animosity towards Tibetans. That is sad. The Dalai Lama has always warned us against having hatred for Chinese.

    Anyway, I am waiting anxiously to see the outcome of the Special Meeting next week. the Dalai Lama has asked the Tibetans to decided what we can do about the future of Tibet and i am hearing reports about lots of interest in Tibetans inside Tibet and they are trying their best to share their opinion.

  34. Lerclair
    November 15th, 2008 at 09:26 | #34

    First off, I do not like Dalia Lama, this guy’s a fraud, financed by a foriegn govt. Some actual practises of his brand of buddhism don’t conform to Buddhist scriptures that I know – like slavery, torture and sex.

    Second – His version of “meaningful autonomy” are exactly the points that his exiles group are claiming independence from China between 1912 to 1959 (while half the time technically being occupied by the British).

    Third – His “automony” demands include other chinese provinces into “Greater Tibet” just because Tibetian are living there. (Can the Chinese claim cultural genocide, and start a pogom like in the “Lhsas riot” ?) If one should look at the Chinese Map. It can be concluded that these were steps to cut China practically in half – seperating XinKiang too.

    Thus, Xinkiang can claim to want Independence too. This is nothing short of the British Tactic of introducing the McMahon Line, to cut the Chinese off from Tibet. Thus opportunity to seizing it. In this case an American missile defense. Mind you, the American are tacitly supporting the Uighur’s independence too, which terrorist activities took a nose-dive in 2001, when China kicked those “Nice sounding NGOs” out. (Russia followed later, and color revolution stopped)

    I can’t help to think that Dalia Lama is just a political tool used by a foriegn entity. It seemed like the whole thing was planned as a comprehensive strategic goal.

    Just to relate, A childhood friend of mine who have been practicing Tibetian Buddhist since 10yr old. He is 38 yrs old now, and he has given it up. Just two weeks ago, he exclaimed “It’s Fvcking BS religion”. He’s with main stream Buddhism now.. and goes to Thailand afew times a year. OHH.. He also said that DL cannot appoint a Panchen Lama, never have in history, the Panchen lama choses him. I had a good laugh.

    Now, something more personal – my Father. He was practising “Tibetan Buddhism” too. I had allot of bad experience at those times. He became nothing short of a cult member. everything he says are about peace, happinese etc. He even claims he can meditate in a afew seconds, and can read our mind. Knows what I wanted to do and foresee the future, levitaion. In short, My family got physically abuse for years. Much of our family wealth went to donation to monks and visiting high monks from Taiwan, India and USA. So that they can be fetched by Mercedes, wear Rolex, lived in lavish temples and always out shopping.

    WTF

  35. S.K. Cheung
    November 15th, 2008 at 09:47 | #35

    Sounds like the CCP’s negotiating position (and I’m using that term extremely loosely) is akin to Henry Ford and his Model T’s (you can have it any colour you want, as long as it’s black…). Given such a smorgasbord of choices, it’s no wonder that the talks went nowhere. But talking and listening still seem far better activities than any other possible alternatives.

  36. Raj
    November 15th, 2008 at 10:43 | #36

    @ Pugster (25)

    The issue with the Tibetans is that they are being helped by the Western countries financially and politically.

    So? You complain that they say Tibetans are good and Chinese are bad. Aren’t you guilty of the same thing by implying if “western” countries back someone then it’s automatically a bad thing? Let’s remember other people who were supported like Mandela – was he a bad guy because he had outside support?

    However, it is also true that these Tibetans are protesting violently like the Lhasa incident.

    Some Tibetans, not all of them. And they’re doing so because of how they’re treated – one supposed reason behind the riots was that a number of monks were beaten or something and that set people off. Please do not imply there is some sort of international conspiracy.

    Also the Dalai Lama believes in the ends justifying the means, even thru violence to kick out the Han Chinese.

    I’m sorry but that’s complete nonsense. He has said many a time non-violence is the way forward. If you can’t accept that’s his position then there’s no point in talking to you.

    Maybe the easy solution is to put all these Tibetans in some kind of reservation like how US treats Native Indians.

    And perhaps the US could respond to problems with Chinese spying on them by rounding up all Han in the US and doing the same…..

    ++++

    @ Allen (32)

    People here know me that I will always stand with the CCP when it comes to protecting the Chinese nation.

    How do you know when they’re protecting China or protecting themselves? It sounds like you give them a blank cheque.

    If our Tibetan brothers and sisters are going to betray us, I would be willing to sacrifice our Tibetan brothers and sisters if need be – no questions asked.

    Ok, Allen, that’s a horrible comment. I cannot think of a case where an entire population has engaged in war or terrorism. It’s always just a number. So why are you implying you would be willing to engage in brutal suppression or mass murder against people who had not done anything wrong?

    I might as well say that if “Chinese” people living in the UK ever betrayed us I would be willing to sacrifice them. If I said that on another thread I would probably be screamed at by half the people here and maybe even banned. So why is it ok for you to say similar things against Tibetans – because they’re hate-figures in China?

    You may want to clarify your comments. I’d hate to think you’d support genocide under any circumstances.

    ++++

    S.K. Cheung

    Yes, or the CCP’s idea of ‘open’ elections.

    “This year the candidates are a Communist, a Communist and a Commuist in a sharp Italian suit. The independents are ‘out-of-town’ at the moment.”

    I hoped something would come of them but it only looks like talks were held by China to try to moderate international criticism earlier in the year. When will they ever take them seriously – when Tibet’s on fire?

  37. wuming
    November 15th, 2008 at 11:18 | #37

    However you think you are justified in sneering at whatever latest fallacies of CCP, they are not the ones that drive this world into a f*cking ditch, ruins the lives of millions all over. Pardon me for straying off the topics

  38. Wukailong
    November 15th, 2008 at 13:35 | #38

    “If our Tibetan brothers and sisters are going to betray us, I would be willing to sacrifice our Tibetan brothers and sisters if need be – no questions asked.”

    Wow. Nationalism must be the best thing mankind has ever created. That gives the word “inclusive” a completely new meaning… I’m stunned, to say the least.

  39. Hemulen
    November 15th, 2008 at 13:48 | #39

    @Allen

    I’m stunned by your comment. Honestly, all along these debates, I really thought that you were above this kind of rhetoric.

    If our Tibetan brothers and sisters are going to betray us, I would be willing to sacrifice our Tibetan brothers and sisters if need be – no questions asked.

    I know that you add all kinds of qualifications and reservations to this, but what you are essentially saying is that if the Tibetan minority do not want to be part of China, and thus “betray” you, the Han Chinese have the right to “sacrifice” them. This is the genocidal impulse in a sentence.

    I don’t know if I want to contribute to this discussion anymore.

  40. TonyP4
    November 15th, 2008 at 14:31 | #40

    I wish all Tibetans, Hans and all minorities will live peacefully and happily after. DL is a wise guy to me.

    ———-

    Free Tibet, my ass

    Please do not liberate my country. I understand your energy, good nature and 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 highest 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.

    News on Tibet must feed a lot of reporters in the west but hurt their conscience. Some are not true. The recent Tibetan riot was started when Han Chinese were murdered but was reported wrongly with photos that were bought and modified to indicate it was the other way round.

    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 and 750 small dams to generate electricity are recent gifts. 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.

  41. TonyP4
    November 15th, 2008 at 14:36 | #41

    I cannot find the original web page. Sorry. It is all you want to know about Tibet but are afraid to ask. Haha.

    —————————————————————

    For your reading pleasure, try PokZin and Wikipedia.

    Tibet – Myth and Reality

    by Foster Stockwell

    Western concepts of Tibet embrace more myth than reality. The idea that
    Tibet is an oppressed nation composed of peaceful Buddhists who never did
    anyone any harm distorts history. In fact the belief that the Dalai Lama is
    the leader of world Buddhism rather than being just the leader of one sect
    among more than 1,700 “Living Buddhas” of this unique Tibetan form of the
    faith displays a parochial view of world religions.

    The myth, of course, is an outgrowth of Tibet’s former inaccessibility,
    which has fostered illusions about this mysterious land in the midst of the
    Himalayan Mountains — illusions that have been skillfully promoted for
    political purposes by the Dalai Lama’s advocates. The myth will inevitably
    die, as all myths do, but until this happens, it would be wise to learn a
    few useful facts about this area of China.

    First, Tibet has been a part of China ever since it was merged into that
    country in 1239, when the Mongols began creating the Yuan Dynasty
    (1271-1368). This was before Marco Polo reached China from Europe and more
    than two centuries before Columbus sailed to the New World. True, China’s
    hold on this area sometimes appeared somewhat loose, but neither the Chinese
    nor many Tibetans have ever denied that Tibet has been a part of China from
    the Yuan Dynasty to this very day.

    The early Tibetans evolved into a number of competing nomadic tribes and
    developed a religion known as Bon that was led by shamans who conducted
    rituals that involved the sacrifice of many animals and some humans. These
    tribes fought battles with each other for better grazing lands, battles in
    which they killed or made slaves of those they conquered. They roamed far
    beyond the borders of Tibet into areas of China’s Sichuan and Yunnan
    provinces, Xinjiang, Gansu, and Qinghai. Eventually one of these tribes, the
    Tubo, became the most powerful and took control of all Tibet. (The name
    Tibet comes from Tubo.) During China’s Tang Dynasty (618-907), Emperor
    Taizong improved relations with the Tubo king, Songtsen Gampo, by giving him
    one of his daughters, Princess Wenzheng, in marriage. The Tubos, in response
    to this cementing of relations, developed close fraternal ties with the Tang
    court, and the two ruling powers regularly exchanged gifts.

    The princess arrived in Tibet with an entourage of hundreds of servants,
    skilled craftspeople, and scribes. She was a Buddhist, as were all of the
    Tang emperors, and so Buddhism entered Tibet mainly through her influence,
    only to be suppressed later by resentful Bon shamans. Some years later
    another Tang princess was married to another Tubo king, again to cement
    relations between the two rulers. The fact that the Tibetans and the Chinese
    had united royal families and engaged actively in trade (Tibetan horses for
    tea of the Central Plain) didn’t mean an absence of conflict between them.
    Battles occasionally occurred between Tang and Tubo troops, mostly over
    territorial issues. At one point in the 750s, the Tubos, taking advantage of
    a rebellion against the Tangs by other armed groups in China, raced on
    horseback across China to enter the Tang capital of Chang’an. But, they
    couldn’t hold the city.

    In 838, the Tubo king was assassinated by two pro-Bon ministers, and the Bon
    religion was re- established as the only acceptable religion in Tibet.
    Buddhists were widely persecuted and forced into hiding.

    Trade between Tibet and the interior areas continued during the Five
    Dynasties (907-960) and the Song Dynasty (960-1279) that followed the
    collapse of the Tang, although relations between the two ruling powers were
    limited. During this time Buddhism revived in Tibet as a result of the
    Buddhists’ willingness to accommodate some Bon practices. The form of
    Buddhism that resulted from this merging of the two religions was quite
    different from that of China and other countries in Southeast Asia, as well
    as from the form that had been practiced previously in Tibet.

    Tibetan Buddhism, often called Lamaism, appealed to the Mongols, who
    conquered most of Russia, parts of Europe, and all of China under the
    leadership of Genghis Khan. The Mongols, like the Tibetans, were tribal
    herders who had a religion of animism similar to Bon.

    When Kublai Khan, the first Yuan emperor, appointed administrators to Tibet,
    he elevated the head of the Tibetan Buddhist Sakya sect to the post of
    leader of all Buddhists in China, thus giving this monk greater power than
    any Buddhist had ever held before – and probably since. Needless to say, the
    appointment irritated the leaders of the other Buddhist sects in Tibet and
    the much larger group of non-Tibetan Buddhists in China. But, they couldn’t
    do anything to counter the wishes of the emperor.

    The Yuan Dynasty divided Tibet into a series of administrative areas and put
    these areas under the charge of an imperial preceptor. Furthermore, the Yuan
    court encouraged the growth of feudal estates in Tibet as a way to maintain
    control there.

    Then the Yuan Dynasty collapsed, it was replaced by the Ming Dynasty
    (1368-1644), which wasn’t composed of persons of Mongolian heritage. Tibet
    then became splintered because the Ming court adopted a policy of granting
    hereditary titles to many nobles and a policy of divide and rule.

    Although the Ming court conferred the honorific title of Desi (ruling lama)
    to the head of one of Tibet’s most powerful families, the Rinpung family,
    they also bestowed enough official titles to his subordinates to encourage
    separatist trends within the local Tibetan society. One of these titles was
    given to the head of the newly founded Gelugpa sect, better known as the
    Yellow sect. He later took on the title “Dalai Lama.”

    Tibet During the Qing Dynasty The next and last dynasty, the Qing, came to
    power in 1644 and lasted until 1911. At the time of its founding, the most
    prominent Tibetan religious and secular leaders were the fifth Dalai Lama,
    the fourth Panchen Lama, and Gushri Khan. They formed a delegation that
    arrived at the Chinese capital, Beijing, in 1652.

    Before they returned to Tibet the following year, the emperor officially
    conferred upon Lozang Gyatso (the then Dalai Lama), the honorific title “The
    Dalai Lama, Buddha of Great Compassion in the West, Leader of the Buddhist
    Faith Beneath the Sky, Holder of the Vajra.” (Dalai is Mongolian for
    “ocean”; lama is a Tibetan word that means “guru.”) The fifth Dalai Lama
    pledged his allegiance to the Qing government and in return, received enough
    gold and silver to build 13 new monasteries of the Yellow sect in Tibet. All
    successive reincarnations of the Dalai Lama have been confirmed by the
    central government in China, and this has become a historical convention
    practiced to this very day.

    A later Qing emperor suspected the intentions of the seventh Dalai Lama, so
    he increased the power of the Panchen Lama (also of the Yellow sect). In
    1713 the Qing court granted the title “Panchen Erdeni” to the fifth Panchen
    Lama, thus elevating him to a status similar to that given to the Dalai Lama
    (Panchen means “great scholar” in Sanskrit, and Erdeni means “treasure” in
    Manchu.)

    The largest part of the Tibetan population (more than 90 percent) at that
    time was composed of serfs, who were treated harshly by the landlords and
    ruling monks. All monasteries had large tracts of land as well as a great
    number of serfs under their control. The ruling monks’ exploitation of these
    serfs was just as severe as that of the aristocratic landlords. Serfs had no
    personal freedom from birth to death. They and their children were given
    freely as gifts or donations, sold or bartered for goods. They were, in
    fact, viewed by landlords as “livestock that can speak.” As late as 1943, a
    high-ranking aristocrat named Tsemon Norbu Wangyal sold 100 serfs to a monk
    in the Drigung area for only four silver dollars per serf. If serfs lost
    their ability to work, the lord confiscated all their property, including
    livestock and farm tools. If they ran away and subsequently were captured,
    half their personal belongings were given to the captors while the other
    half went to the lords for whom they worked. The runaways then were flogged
    or even condemned to death.

    The lords used such inhuman tortures as gouging out eyes, cutting off feet
    or hands, pushing the condemned person over a cliff, drowning and beheading.
    Numerous rebellions occurred over the years against this harsh treatment,
    and in 1347 alone (the seventh year of Yuan Emperor Shundi’s reign), more
    than 200 serf rebellions occurred in Tibet.

    Foreign Aggression

    Foreign nations made numerous attempts to invade Tibet and take it away from
    China. These were repulsed by Chinese troops and Tibetan fighters. The first
    such invasion took place in 1337 when Mohammed Tugluk of Delhi (in what is
    now India) sent 100,000 troops into the Himalayan area.

    During the second half of the 18th century, troops from the Kingdom of Nepal
    invaded Tibet twice in an attempt to expand Nepal’s territory.

    During the 19th century, Britain competed with Russia in pouring large sums
    of money and many spies into a struggle to see which of the two might
    eventually occupy and control Tibet. When the British finally invaded Tibet,
    first in 1888 and again in 1903, the Russians were so involved in conflicts
    at home that they couldn’t stop the British troops from pushing all the way
    to Lhasa. And the Qing government, having recently lost the Opium War to the
    British, did nothing either.

    The Tibetans, using spears, arrows, catapults and homemade guns, fought
    valiantly but to no avail against the invading British army and its big
    cannons and machine guns. The British withdrew after imposing “peace” terms
    and before the harsh winter began because they feared the Tibetan resistance
    would prevent supplies from getting through to the occupying troops, thereby
    causing them to starve to death.

    The British signed a Convention with China in 1906, the second article of
    which stipulated that the British would no longer interfere with the
    administration of Tibet and that China had sovereignty over Tibet. But, they
    conveniently forgot the terms of this agreement when, the very next year,
    they signed a Convention with Russia that specified British “special
    interests” in Tibet. It would probably fill a book to detail the many ways
    the British from that point on tried to take over Tibet and make it a part
    of their colony of India.

    Yet, something needs to be said about the conference held at Simla, India,
    in 1914. Conference participants included representatives of the new
    Nationalist government of China that had overthrown the Qing Dynasty just
    two years before, plus Tibetans, and British-Indians. The British had
    blackmailed the Chinese into attending by threatening to withdraw their
    recognition of the new nationalist government and by saying they would work
    out an agreement with the Tibetans alone if the Chinese didn’t participate.

    The Simla Conference failed because the Chinese and the 13th Dalai Lama both
    opposed the British plan to divide Tibet into two parts (Inner and Outer
    Tibet). The conference, however, did produce one document that since has
    caused dissension — a map drawn by the British representative Arthur H.
    McMahon that never was shown to the Chinese, although it was revealed
    secretly to the Tibetan delegates.

    McMahon’s map showed a new boundary line that included three districts of
    Tibet — Monyul, Loyul, and Lower Zayul — within the territory of
    British-India. This so-called “McMahon Line” first became public 23 years
    later when it appeared in a printed set of British documents related to the
    conference and other diplomatic matters. The McMahon Line became the basis
    for India’s failed attempt to take over this part of Tibet in 1962. The
    British, who made a great show of their desire to have “independence for
    Tibet” at the Simla Conference, in drawing this map were adding 90,000
    square kilometers (an area three times the size of Belgium) from Tibet’s
    natural territory to their own Indian colony.

    During and after World War II and shortly before Britain’s departure from
    India, the American Office of Strategic Services (O.S.S., the forerunner of
    the C.I.A.), operating under Cold War guidelines, joined the British Foreign
    Office as the instigator of the Tibetan “freedom movement.”

    Much of what the O.S.S. did in Tibet remains hidden in secret files at C.I.A
    headquarters near Washington, D.C., but one of their plots has been widely
    reported. It involved a smear campaign launched against the regent who had
    been appointed to act for the young 14th Dalai Lama after the 13th Dalai
    died in 1933. The regent was hostile to U.S.-British intrigues in Tibet, so
    the O.S.S. spread rumors about his alleged incompetence and criminal
    activities. Eventually these charges led to the regent’s arrest and murder
    in a Tibetan prison. The 14th Dalai Lama’s father subsequently was poisoned
    because he was a friend and supporter of the regent.

    Tibetan Buddhism

    Before considering Tibet today, some words should be said about Tibetan
    Buddhism as a religion. The accommodations it made with Bon resulted in its
    becoming very different from other forms of Buddhism, particularly from the
    more common and much larger Chan Buddhism of China (called Zen in Japan).

    Images found in Tibetan Buddhist temples are much fiercer than those found
    in other Buddhist temples, and some Tibetan ceremonies that once used human
    skulls, human skin, and fresh human intestines clearly reflect the animistic
    elements of Bon.

    Also, Tibetan Buddhists rely a great deal on prayer wheels, which most other
    Buddhists scorn. These are mechanical devices with prayers written on them
    that are constantly turned by water or wind so the forces of nature do the
    work of sending prayers to heaven. The reincarnation of Living Buddhas,
    which is unique to this form of Buddhism, began as early as 1294 with the
    Karma Kagyu sect, a sub-sect of the Kagyu sect (known as the black hats). It
    then spread to all of Tibetan Buddhism’s other sects and monasteries, but it
    didn’t reach the Gelugpa sect (the one that includes the Dalai and Panchen
    Lama lines) until after 1419.

    From the beginning, the system of selecting Living Buddhas was open to abuse
    because it was easy for clever members of the monk selection committee to
    manipulate the objects presented to potential child candidates in order to
    make sure a particular child was chosen. In the case of the fourth Dalai
    Lama, the child selected was the great-grandson of the Mongolian chief Altan
    Khan. He was chosen at a time when the Gelugpa sect badly needed the
    protection of the Altan Khan’s followers because the Gelugpa were being
    persecuted by the older Tibetan sects, who were jealous of the Yellow sect’s
    rapid growth.

    Tibet Since 1949

    In 1949, the Chinese Communists won the revolution and overthrew the
    Nationalist government. But they didn’t send their army into Tibet until
    October 1951, after they and Tibetan representatives of the 14th Dalai Lama
    and 10th Panchen Lama had signed an agreement to liberate Tibet peacefully.
    The Dalai Lama expressed his support for this 17-point agreement in a
    telegraphed message to Chairman Mao on October 24, 1951. Three years later
    the Dalai and Panchen Lamas went together to Beijing to attend the first
    National People’s Congress at which the Dalai Lama was elected vice-chairman
    of the Standing Committee and the Panchen Lama was elected a member of that
    committee. After the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) entered Tibet, they took
    steps to protect the rights of the serfs but didn’t, at first, try to
    reorganize Tibetan society along socialist or democratic lines. Yet, the
    landlords and ruling monks knew that in time, their land would be
    redistributed, just as the landlords’ property in the rest of China had been
    confiscated and divided among the peasants.

    The Tibetan landlords did all they could to frighten the serfs away from
    associating with the PLA. But, as the serfs increasingly ignored their
    landlords’ wishes and called on the Communists to eliminate the oppressive
    system of serfdom, some leaders of the “three great monasteries” (Ganden,
    Sera, and Drepung) issued a statement, in the latter half of 1956, demanding
    the feudal system be maintained. At this point, the PLA decided the time had
    come to confiscate the landlords’ property and redistribute it among the
    serfs. The landlords and top-level monks retaliated by announcing, in March
    1959, the founding of a “Tibet Independent State,” and about 7,000 of them
    assembled in Lhasa to stage a revolt. Included were more than 170 “Khampa
    guerrillas” who had been trained overseas by the O.S.S. and air-dropped into
    Tibet, according to a former C.I.A. agent. The O.S.S. also gave them machine
    guns, mortars, rifles and ammunition.

    The PLA put down the revolt in Lhasa within two days, capturing some 4,000
    rebels. The rebellion had the support of the Dalai Lama, but not of the
    Panchen Lama. After it failed, the Dalai Lama, along with a group of rebel
    leaders, fled to India.

    The most disruptive event of recent years was the “cultural revolution,”
    which lasted from 1966 to 1976. It turned most of Tibet’s farm and herding
    areas into giant communes and closed or destroyed many monasteries and
    temples, just as it did elsewhere in China. At its end, the communes were
    disbanded and the temples and monasteries were repaired and reopened at
    government expense.

    The idea that most Tibetans are unhappy about what has happened in Tibet and
    want independence from China is a product manufactured in the West and
    promoted by the dispossessed landlords who fled to India. Indeed, to believe
    it is true stretches logic to its breaking point. Who really can believe
    that a million former serfs – more than 90% of the population – are unhappy
    about having the shackles of serfdom removed? They now care for their own
    herds and farmland, marry whomever they wish without first getting their
    landlord’s permission, aren’t punished for disrespecting these same
    landlords, own their own homes, attend school, and have relatively modern
    hospitals, paved roads, airports and modern industries.

    An objective measure of this progress is found in the population statistics.
    The Tibetan population has doubled since 1950, and the average Tibetan’s
    life span has risen from 36 years at that time to 65 years at present. Of
    course some Tibetans are unhappy with their lot, but a little investigation
    soon shows that they are, for the most part, people from families who lost
    their landlord privileges. There is plenty of evidence that the former serfs
    tell a quite different story.

    You will find some Tibetans who hate the Hans (the majority nationality of
    China) and some Hans who hate the Tibetans, a matter of ordinary ethnic
    prejudice – something any American should be able to understand. But, this
    doesn’t represent a desire for an independent Tibet any more than
    black-white hostilities in Washington, D.C., Detroit, or Boston represent a
    desire on the part of most African-Americans to form a separate nation.

    Tibetan Culture Today

    The final part of the Tibetan myth has to do with Tibetan culture, which the
    Dalai Lama’s supporters say has been crushed by “the Chinese takeover of
    Tibet.” Culture is an area that requires great care because it is fraught
    with biases and self-fulfilling judgments. The growth of television in
    America, for example, is cited as killing American culture by some and as
    enhancing it by others.

    Regarding the field of literature, prior to 1950 Tibetans could point with
    pride to only a few fine epics that had been passed down through the
    centuries. Now that serfs can become authors, many new writers are producing
    works of great quality; persons such as the poet Yedam Tsering and the
    fiction writers Jampel Gyatso, Tashi Dawa, and Dondru Wangbum. As for art,
    Tibet for centuries had produced nothing but repetitious religious designs
    for temples. Now there are many fine artists, such as Bama Tashi, who has
    been hailed in both France and Canada as a great modern artist who combines
    Tibetan religious themes with modern pastoral images. Tibet now has more
    than 30 professional song and dance ensembles, Tibetan opera groups, and
    other theatrical troupes where none existed before 1950. No, Tibetan culture
    is not dead; it is flourishing as never before.

  42. Wukailong
    November 15th, 2008 at 16:01 | #42

    Tony P4: Who wrote the second part of the text in #40 above?

    The original web page quoted in #41 is here:
    http://my.telegraph.co.uk/elle/blog/2008/03/06/myth_and_reality_of_tibet

    I think he gives a good description of the Chinese perspective. I will of course doubt that as much as I doubt DL’s (I have a book about Tibet’s history coauthored by him, but I haven’t read it yet), especially because he too closely follows some Chinese narratives (even putting the words cultural revolution between quotation marks, a silly practice if you ask me) and seems very intent to shoot down Western ideas about Tibet (the descriptions of which I, frankly speaking, think are exaggerated).

    I mean – how many people seriously believe DL is the leader of _world buddhism_? (Alright, if there are, then I’m… well… flabbergasted).

    As for who gets help from what countries (Western or not), all contributions Soviet gave to China should be accounted for too, shouldn’t they? Was China a lackey of a foreign power? Is it a shameful part of China’s history?

  43. Wukailong
    November 15th, 2008 at 16:06 | #43

    @wuming: “However you think you are justified in sneering at whatever latest fallacies of CCP, they are not the ones that drive this world into a f*cking ditch, ruins the lives of millions all over. Pardon me for straying off the topics”

    No problem. I’ve always had faith in the CCP’s economic policies since Deng. This is the one area where I think they’ve basically been doing the right thing the whole time, which is pretty amazing, considering how experts in other countries have told them to make the RMB freely convertible, etc. Maybe there is something to the 科学发展观 , after all. 😉

  44. TonyP4
    November 15th, 2008 at 16:33 | #44

    There are major flaws in the economical policy that I posted before.

    1. Quality control. Problems with toys to start, food, and what’s next. Without the government inspection and punishment, every one is trying to make a quick buck. That’s the major reason besides global recession why thousands of factories are closing down.

    2. Air/water pollution. Same as above. The price of jobs and making a buck is too high.

    3. Corruption. Related as above. Hope it is local only. With one-party system it is hard to fix if the central government were involved extensively.

    There are many, many other problems… Hope they will fix the problems before they rise. The system has to be tweaked extensively.

  45. TonyP4
    November 15th, 2008 at 16:38 | #45

    I wrote the second part for fun.

  46. pug_ster
    November 15th, 2008 at 17:29 | #46

    #36 Raj,

    You should check out the BBC documentary Shadow Circus CIA in Tibet. In the documentary he says that violence is justified if it brings peace. We heard the same story from Bush in terms of Iraq.

    Comparing the situation with Tibet with Apartheid in South Africa are 2 different things. So you can’t compare the 2. I don’t think you should describe about the Tibetans are the good guys while China are the bad guys regarding the Tibet situation. One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter is probably the best way to describe the Dalai Lama. Unfortunately you only think things of black and white.

  47. November 15th, 2008 at 17:31 | #47

    @Tenzin #33,

    I personally respect everything you wrote. In fact, I even agree with the spirit of most things you wrote. On my end, I was just being honest in my post in #32 – making it clear that I truly distrust the DL and the exiles.

    You asked “So why this show of having a discussion at all. That is exactly the attitude of the CCP with regard to contacts with the Tibetans in exile.”

    First, the discussion is not for me per se – it’s for everyone who happen to come by this board. For now, I think it’s timely for people to voice their opinions on what options each side has in moving forward … given the current negotiations stalemate. I also did not write this post necessarily to resolve the differences between the exiles and CCP (that’s too hard for now…). I just want people (on both sides) to take a breath and evaluate where we all stand.

    I wrote #31 to show that fear can produce hatred which can in turn end up hurting we Chinese – Hans and Tibetans together – as a family. I wrote about fear and hate – so we can ruminate on it to see if it’s worth having fear and hate – whether we might be “shooting ourselves in the foot.” I warned about letting our love of country become a cause for “betraying our Tibetan brothers and sisters….”

    I had hoped my message to be interpreted as a page turner – a mix of hope and fear – one that turns from fear to trust … and perhaps more understanding… but I guess that didn’t come out…

  48. November 15th, 2008 at 17:41 | #48

    @Raj #36, Hemulen #39,

    You both quoted me writing:

    If our Tibetan brothers and sisters are going to betray us, I would be willing to sacrifice our Tibetan brothers and sisters if need be – no questions asked.

    And cited this type of sentiment as root of mass terrorism or even genocide.

    I guess I need to be much much more careful in what I write. I wrote this in the context of the “concentration camp” quote from pug_star – not mass killing.

    In WWII, it was fear (under the guise of national security) that drove the Americans to isolate and “quarantine” the Japanese. The internment was authorized by executive order and sanctioned by the US Supreme Court. Such “sacrifice” of a minority turned out one of the most tragic and shameful periods in American history. Not only was it not justified in terms of civil rights, the Japanese Americans would also turn out to be among the most patriotic of Americans…

    By aligning myself with that awful episode, I was really trying to show everyone that – yes I love my country – but what if our love of country is becoming a cause for smothering the country’s multicultural identity to death?

    China is more about dynamic multiculturalism than monolithic police state.

    (note: I’m not saying China is a police state today, but our fear can definitely make it one someday)

    As long as the exiles are a threat to Chinese unity, I will strike my hardline stance (I’m just being honest). But there is also this creepy feeling (I admit) that such hardline stance is not what “Chineseness” is all about – that “fear” – if uncontrolled – may destroy at many levels basic fabrics of our society.

    That was in essence what my post was supposed to be about…

    P.S. Hemulen, whatever you think of me personally, please don’t let that stop you from joining the conversation. Regardless of my opinions, there are a lot of truly good people contributing – and even more good people reading – on this board…

    As Jerry has mentioned before, my writing has no more standing than anyone else’s. I try to take a clear stance whenever possible so it can be attacked if need be. I don’t hedge myself unless I am truly confused…

    If we do believe in free speech, when all opinions are expressed, we should have faith that “truth” and “understanding” will eventually emerge … .

  49. jc
    November 15th, 2008 at 17:50 | #49

    @Raj:

    “…..turn their culture into a Chinese Disneyland.”

    If it has to be a Disneyland, whether there is one that’s well managed and making money matters much more than it’s a Chinese Disney or a Tibet Disney land or a Walt Disney land or whatever you want to call it.

    A society as whole always moves forward, not backward. Political advance is one part, economy advance is another part. Money matters.

    A lot of people outside of China who have a much better living standard than people inside China often ignore the importance of economy situation. Many remote moutain areas in the province of Yunnan have been relatively left behind of the economy boom in recent years. Many west people who went there were so excited to see how well their cultures are preserved and feel those people are SO LUCKY compare with the rest of the China. However, these people themselves, many still living on less than $1 a day, feel completely the opposite. They feel they are so UNLUCKY because they are left out of the economy boom.

    Why the difference? Because you never had to live on $1 a day. Culture is important. Freedom of speech is very important. However for a lot these people who live on $1 a day, whether they can get $2 a day tomorrow, whether they have a road to prosperity that can eventually lead them to $10 a day and more is much more important. Poverty itself is a big problem, and that is the mother of a whole row of other problems. For many people who in the west that wish to help, especially for those who have never experienced poverty themselves, understand and respect that is very crucial for improving the situation.

    “The Chinese government is never going to allow figures that show a majority of Tibetans are unhappy to be released, so such transparency is a pipe-dream.”

    I am not asking you to take the PRC’s number. 10 years ago many would have not believed that PRC will ever allow foreign journalist into China to conduct interview/survey independently. 10 years later, that is happening. You can now get impendent numbers about how average Chinese feels about their government. Tibet is still off limits now. But things move forward most of the time. So give it some time.

    @Hemulen:

    I can’t agree more. Two additional points that I want to make:

    1. China itself is still a very poor nation on a per capital base. So it is not practical for the Chinese government to give everything to Tibetan and while not affording the same to Han Chinese. Tibetans already have many benefits over Han Chinese. In recently years, there have been many frauds where Han Chinese try to claim themselves as Tibetans in order to claim those benefits. In short, such benefits cause tensions the other way around;
    2. Policy is one thing. Execution is another thing. You have to get both right to make it work. China has made numerous mistakes on both levels. But execution is a much larger problem for developing country because they are carried out by low level officials, most of which are not well educated (or they would be living in the rich cities!). Usually what they should do is a much clearer issue than the real problem, which is whether it’s doable giving the circumstance and whether it causes more problems than it solves.

  50. tenzin
    November 15th, 2008 at 18:03 | #50

    Sorry, I do not consider myself Chinese. Let me make that very, very clear. I hope I have that much right to decide. If you are saying that we are all part of a family in the sense of human family, I have absolutely no problem. I am not Chinese just like you are not Japanese.

  51. Hemulen
    November 15th, 2008 at 19:13 | #51

    @Allen

    As long as the exiles are a threat to Chinese unity, I will strike my hardline stance (I’m just being honest). But there is also this creepy feeling (I admit) that such hardline stance is not what “Chineseness” is all about – that “fear” – if uncontrolled – may destroy at many levels basic fabrics of our society.

    I thank you for being honest with us about your feelings and fears, but I wonder if it ever crossed your mind that if the worst comes to the worst, and Tibetans are not willing to be part of China, perhaps the only decent thing for a true Chinese patriot to do is to allow them their right to self-determination. If a relationship has turned abusive – despite good efforts to mediate – a peaceful divorce may be the only solution.

    The mentality that you have evinced here – that you rather see the destruction of Tibet or the internment of all Tibetans, than allowing it to go independent – is a recipe for disaster. You are playing with the idea of internment of Tibetans – should the fail to comply to the idea of Chineseness that you have allotted them – and think that things would just stop there. This is a slippery slope and when you lock people up because of their ethnicity, you are enabling outright genocide or what ever you like to call it. You may not have the stomach to do it, but there are other people out there who may be willing to take over the keys to the camp and finish the process. Just read what people say here and on other blogs. Just take a look at the unbelievable levels of violence that the CCP has sponsored – both before and after the Cultural Revolution.

    The Japanese-Americans were lucky to be interned by a government that actually had a constitution that empowered them to seek legal recourse. Tibetans in China do not have that luxury. If things in China would go so bad that Tibetans get interned, it is very likely that this is end of Tibetans as a people. The paroxysms of physical, psychological and verbal violence that have been unleashed by the CCP in China since 1949 has given birth to a very toxic form of nationalism. If you are concerned by the fate of Tibetans – as human beings and not just as pawns in your imaginary Chinese family – you should consider the possibility that they may have to be protected from that nationalism. You should consider the possibility that you parroting this nationalism may do China more harm than good, from a human perspective, not a nationalistic perspective.

    I don’t know what I think of you as a person, I’m only responding to the words on this panel and it’s not fun anymore. I’m fed up reading people thinking aloud about mass persecution completely unprovoked and then saying “Ooops!” You are a grown up and just a minute of reflection before hitting the “post” button should give you the time to realize what kind of impact that kind of rhetoric would have on a Tibetan – or a Jew for that matter. I don’t question your right to voice your opinion, but when this blog is turning into platform that plays with the idea of concentration camps or genocide for the umpteenth time, I think it is time calling it quits.

  52. November 15th, 2008 at 19:31 | #52

    @tenzin #50, point taken. I have nothing to add …

  53. November 15th, 2008 at 19:34 | #53

    @Hemulen, #51, sorry … I guess I just don’t express myself well. I don’t think I have ever advocated mass persecution. About self determination, I assume you have read the ample comments I’ve written on the subject but simply disagree?

    Regarding nationalism, this is as succinctly as I can put it. If we have issues of competing nationalism – we can only solve it through a civil war (if you want to call that mass persecution, or genocide, then so be it). If we have issues of cultural preservation, of course, there are a lot we can discuss.

  54. Hemulen
    November 15th, 2008 at 19:43 | #54

    @Allen

    If we have issues of competing nationalism – we can only solve it through a civil war (if you want to call that mass persecution, or genocide, then so be it).

    You did it again. First you apologize for being misunderstood and then you rephrase essentially the same idea in the next paragraph. There are numerous examples of nations achieving independence through other methods than civil war. War doesn’t just happen, it is willed. But you have made very clear where you stand in this matter. Over and out.

  55. Jane
    November 15th, 2008 at 19:47 | #55

    @Allen

    “I wonder if China’s “Tibet problem” really is simply a PR problem with the West.”

    I think your statement is partially correct. I’ve noticed that European immigrants use different verbiage when describing European invasion of other people’s land. For instance, European immigrants are almost always called “settlers”, as if the land was unoccupied and they were there to settle down, to cultivate it, to make it better, whereas I rarely see the term “settler” apply to non-Europeans and for Han-Chinese in Tibet, they are more or less always described in the western Press as illegal invaders.

    The terms people of European descent use to describe their own conquest of land tend to be benign terms (for example: settlers, pioneers, westward expansion) whereas the terms used to describe Chinese conquest of land are almost without exception very negative (illegal invaders, destroyers of culture). Not that there has not been soul searching within European immigrant communities of the impact of their invasion on native populations, but even so, there is an overwhelming sense that they are “Australians”, they are “Americans”, they are the pioneers and it is THEIR land.

  56. Raj
    November 15th, 2008 at 20:17 | #56

    Pug @46

    In the documentary he says that violence is justified if it brings peace.

    In theory that is correct – which is why we went to war with Germany in 1939. But that doesn’t mean he is saying Tibetans should resort to violence. His official stance is still that they should give peace a chance. Who knows – maybe he will change his stance if he thinks there is no hope or will let other people push for it and not overrule them. But currently he is a break on violence, whatever his detractors may like to think.

    Comparing the situation with Tibet with Apartheid in South Africa are 2 different things. So you can’t compare the 2.

    I wasn’t comparing them directly, I was saying that international support for someone does not make them a bad person. You were implying that the Dalai Lama should be regarded with suspicion by Chinese because foreign governments give him their support, when clearly that’s not a logical position to take.

    I don’t think you should describe about the Tibetans are the good guys while China are the bad guys regarding the Tibet situation.

    I think I’ve already made it clear that isn’t what I think. Just because I say that Tibetans are treated poorly doesn’t mean they’re right and you’re wrong in every respect.

    One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter is probably the best way to describe the Dalai Lama.

    If you can show me that the Dalai Lama has orchestrated violence in the last, I don’t know, 20 years then fine. Otherwise that’s just a way of trying to justify Chinese painting him as the anti-Christ.

    Unfortunately you only think things of black and white.

    Quite the reverse, I’m the one trying to get Chinese to realise that he is their best hope at resolving this peacefully. The only one seeing things in black and white appears to be you because you assume that if I say anything good about him and criticise China’s handling of the situation it means I have a 100-0 view of things.

    ++++

    Allen @48

    Yes, Chinese do let their fear of Tibetans affect them. But for some I think it’s also a deliberate attempt to shift the blame on to non-Chinese. I don’t understand why but I often think there’s a severe lack of introspection in China, or perhaps that they get so single-minded about things that they refuse to accept they could be wrong (maybe they’re the same thing). Why is this? Indoctrination at school? Censorship? Xenophobia? A collective mentality? Answers on a postcard….

    I think one problem about people’s fears is that people like yourself who are concerned about this sort of thing don’t challenge the nationalists either in real life or on the internet. They prefer to keep their heads down and not draw attention to themselves. Well they’d better hope the mob doesn’t turn their attention on them one day.

  57. Lobsang
    November 15th, 2008 at 21:26 | #57

    I just came across this blog and to #51 Hemulen, Thank you for your eloquent and moving piece. As a Tibetan who has lived and have relatives in Tibet and now living in-exile, you expressed so well how perilous the minority Tibetans are against the Han Chinese rule in Tibet. Not just the CCP government but also the majority of ultra-nationalistic, Han chauvinistic citizens.

    I also want to thank Allen for his candour in expressing his feelings that ironically generated this beutiful piece by Hemulen. This sentiment by Allen is so common amongst the Chinese including the ‘moderate’ like Allen who have been brought up with the Chinese version of the history of China/Tibet in their education system that produced citizens that are so dangerously nationalistic in China and in Tibet’s case so one-sided information/history that many are simply not true. I don’t mean to be sarcastic but I truly believe that Allen is a moderate but the majority of the Chinese population are far more nationalistic and less tolerant then Allen’s views on Tibet especially the younger Chinese under 30 generation. It’s not hard to get sense from other blogs such as ‘kill all Tibetans’ and recent pro-China protests that happened around the world and in China.

    It’s very very scary times for the Tibetans in Tibet. At a whim, the PRC CCP with support from their citizens could punish the Tibetans without any recourse and knowledge from outside. Tibet is still lock-down with heavy repression and police presence which is even admitted by one of the top officials last week.

    I don’t want share too much of my personal experience but one of my cousins, who I met last year in Lhasa who is a monk at Ramoche Temple was arrested in April after the March protests and along with five other monks have literally disappeared. My aunt and relatives have searched at all the nearby prisons in Lhasa and could not locate him. I am not making this up and no need to in this forum but that’s a personal experience of one Tibetan living in-exile who has directly in-touch with family members in Tibetan and in this case being directly affected. They are hundreds of cases like him in the vast Tibetan plateau since the March protests that Tibetans have disappeared.

    So I am NEVER been so fearful of the Tibetan people in Tibet as now. Knowing that Tibetan people to be generally stubborn, courageous, fiercely independent that they will continue to resist and will meet the wrath of this incredible powerful CCP govt. This more dangerous for the fact of it being one-party, non-transparent, repressive with a long history and absolutely no-hesitation of using force and brutality to suppress dissent or anyone who is considered a threat to ‘national sovereignty’.

    I had truly believed in the ‘middle-way’ solution as proposed by HH Dalai Lama to resolve the Tibet-China problem but now come to the conclusion like Dalai Lama that China is not sincere and will not make any concession. The hardliners within the PRC have won over and control the Tibet policy. This is further corroborated by a an article by forement Tibet-China expert Wang Lixiong that PRC CCP will not make any concession and these discussions are just meant to be end of itself with no solution. HH Dalai Lama is the hope for every Tibetans and he is only person who can convince Tibetans to become citizens of China willingly. Any other person would be considered a traitor. I am afraid to say this reality when a person like Allen and as mentioned millions of other greater nationalist will simple NOT accept this reality. With the collapse of this dialogue for a peaceful solution due to hardline police of PRC, it’s scary times for Tibet.

    Once again, thanks to Hemulen and other like minded for your support for freedom, democracy, truth, individual rights, decency …

    Regards, Lobsang

    Here is Wang Lixiong’s article. They are many more others he wrote.

    [This essay was written in January 2007. This is not to say that he is
    prophetic, but that the facts speak for themselves: “Beijing sees the
    talks as an end in themselves. They do not need any resolution, and
    do not want any resolution, just the process is enough. From the
    start, their objective was to prolong the process as long as
    possible.”]

    Tibet-China Talks Dead-End
    by Wang Lixiong

    In 2000, when I met Mr. Lodi Gyari in the United States, he asked me
    what I thought about the possibility of Tibet and China resuming
    dialogue. I expressed pessimism. I said that face-to-face talks are
    not so simple, first there must be an agreed agenda, what are you
    trying to achieve, and can this objective be achieved? If the Beijing
    side is in no position to make any concessions, then it is clear that
    the talks will be for talking’s sake and reach a dead end. Because I
    don’t see the Communist Party’s intention or ability to make
    concessions, I don’t believe that the basic prerequisites for
    fruitful dialogue exist.

    But subsequent developments proved me wrong. The dialogue resumed,
    and are into their fifth round. But the outcome is just as I
    suspected. Beijing has made no concessions, and will not make any
    concessions. When I predicted that the talks would not even begin, I
    mistakenly believed that the intention of both sides would be to
    resolve the outstanding problems. The Tibet side of course has this
    hope. What I was not anticipating is that Beijing sees the talks as
    an end in themselves. They do not need any resolution, and do not
    want any resolution, just the process is enough. From the start,
    their objective was to prolong the process as long as possible.

    This is a clever strategy. It can delay more sanctions from the
    international community, and quiet the criticism from other countries
    accusing China of refusing to even talk. Aren’t we talking now? We
    just have not reached a consensus. And this consensus will never be
    reached. Round after round of talks, on the surface things look much
    better than before, I listen to whatever you have to say, but we
    don’t reach any agreement on concrete action. In any case Tibet is in
    our possession, talking once or twice a year is no skin off our
    backs, we can talk endlessly. What is not endless is the Dalai Lama’s
    lifespan and the Tibetan people’s patience.

    I believe that this is the present state of affairs in the
    Tibet-China talks. The Tibetan side should have no illusions. Under
    these circumstances, except for time passing, these talks will
    accomplish nothing. The old cliche: “Tibetans will eventually lose
    hope” may finally come true under these circumstances.

    But if you ask me if talking is better than not talking, I say that
    talking is better because there is always hope that sudden political
    change can take place in China. Although there are no overt signs of
    this at present, history often surpasses our expectations. At least
    if the Tibetan side keeps talking it will maintain the moral high
    ground in the eyes of the international community, and preserve for
    Tibet’s future the potential for a justly deserved outcome.

    Just as hope should never all be placed on one pillar, other options
    should always be explored.

    What Beijing should note clearly is that the strategy it is utilizing
    toward Tibet is exactly the one that Taiwan is using toward it.
    Taiwan can continue delaying any substantive resolution to their
    talks until its independence is a de facto reality.

    What Beijing does not like being done to it in its talks with Taiwan,
    it conversely should not do to Tibet in its talks with them.

    Beijing January 2007

  58. Cuddly Jewish Gayboy
    November 15th, 2008 at 22:32 | #58

    @Jane55

    Ahh. . . the problem is one of racism and lack of introspection by people of European descent.

    Glad we’ve sorted that one out.

  59. TonyP4
    November 15th, 2008 at 22:34 | #59

    When no citizen ‘disappears’, we have an acceptable democracy in China. We’ve a long way to go.

  60. tenzin
    November 15th, 2008 at 23:06 | #60

    Allen, you are not the first majority to make such threats towards a smaller group. What you forget is that Tibetans have resisted and will continue to resist and fight for our freedom. For the past five decades, China has still not been able to completely stifle the hope of freedom in Tibet. If that goes against your nationalistic/jingoistic fervour, so be it. China and Chinese people talk about humiliation and colonisation by foreign powers yet it continues to do the same to another nation.

    The protest across Tibet, not just in Lhasa but also outside “TAR”, by monks and nuns, men and women, youth and even by Tibetans in Beijing showed that Tibetans are not happy inside Tibet. This is not due to some PR problem. Tibetans have genuine issues with the Chinese government and unless that is resolved, no amount of spin doctoring will work. What the reaction of the Chinese govt made clear to many Tibetans is that solution will not come with PRC but without the PRC. Before anyone jump the gun here, the issue is not just economics but the Tibetans having no say in their own future which can be seen quite clearly by the attitude of many Chinese here.

    The present Dalai Lama will pass away some day but the Tibetan issue will remain unless Tibetans get what we believe is our right. It will be foolish to think that the Tibetan people will stop when the present Dalai Lama passes away. And then there will surely be a 15th Dalai Lama.

  61. m.wolfe68
    November 15th, 2008 at 23:31 | #61

    @Lobsang / #57

    A Chinese co-worker asked me to visit this site. I really don’t know much about China or Tibet. Pardon my ignorance, but I read U.S. papers always with a grain of salt.

    The average American knows – the 3.14 Lahsa riot was coordinated to coincide with the Olympic torch relay protests to generate maximum PR for the Tibet issue. I believe the Dalai Lama is responsible because he is the leader of the exhiles. You might argue that it is the more extreme exhiles who were responsible – but that only means the Dalai Lama is not as representative. If the Dalai Lama secretly condoned all these activities, that makes it all the worst – he is hypocritical.

    The Dalai Lama has being on a path to build international pressure against China for a long time, so I believe both sides have given up on the talks for just as long.

    I read an article a ways back by some guy in London – Patrick French or something – arguing the Dalai Lama’s cause has been hijacked by NGO’s like the Campaign for Tibet etc.. The Dalai Lama will need to reign these groups back in. To me, that’d be the best use of his energy.

    Sorry to say, but if your cousin was involved in the looting, burning, or even in the killings of innocent people on 3.14, its likely he is locked up some where. My take is that the Chinese police made sure enough evidence was collected before they moved in.

    Anyways, the only reason India continues providing shelter to the exhiles is because China supports Pakistan. But if relation between India and Pakistan normalizes, I think the exhiles will get an even tougher time. Peace between India and China – 1/2 the people on this planet – is actually very important – lot more so than the few of you – sorry to say.

  62. pug_ster
    November 16th, 2008 at 00:09 | #62

    @Raj 56

    If you are comparing Dalai Lama to someone of the stature of the likes of Ghandi or MLK, you are wrong. Someone like MLK would condemn violence from anyone including the black panthers. However, the Dalai Lama doesn’t come out and condemn violent actions from the Tibetans, either in the Lhasa voilence at 3/14 and he even encourged the 1959 uprising. If the Dalai Lama wants to work out a deal with the Chinese, why not work with them directly (not just with envoys) instead of pandering to foreign leaders to point out the China as the bad guy? People like MLK or Ghandi work in a grass roots level, whereas the Dalai Lama never talk directly to the Chinese about his ‘peace’ message. So he is not the best Ambassador to represent to Tibetans or to this so called ‘peace’ process.

    Comparing the Chinese to the Nazi Germany is totally false, comparing to how the Tibetans treat its citizens before the Chinese ‘invasion’ in 1951.

  63. Wukailong
    November 16th, 2008 at 01:11 | #63

    @m.wolfe68: “Sorry to say, but if your cousin was involved in the looting, burning, or even in the killings of innocent people on 3.14, its likely he is locked up some where. My take is that the Chinese police made sure enough evidence was collected before they moved in.”

    Maybe they did, but my personal take is (shouldn’t it be about what happens to be true, not opinions?) is that authorities here take people on the slightest suspicion, and it’s not like you can sue them for it. I know this guy who got into a lot of trouble before because police suspected him to be a member of FLG, and it took him almost a year to be cleared of charges. It wasn’t that the investigation was done professionally, either.

    Another thing worth notice is that demonstrations began at 3.10, not 3.14. There you have four more days to count on, during which there was no burning, looting or killing. It’s because Chinese media didn’t report this that it looked like everything suddenly erupted that day.

  64. jc
    November 16th, 2008 at 02:23 | #64

    @tenzin

    I agree with you that a lot of Tibetans are not happy with the Chinese rule. But I wish you can belive that not everybody, not every Tibetans are like you that put your ideology/religious issue above all others. And while you pursue your goals, you are damaging others, many of your Tibetans brothers and sisters’ goal to take a road to material prosperity. Obviously the root of the problem is not the economy here. But economy is one of the important factors that I wish you would not ignore when making up your choices.

    I also agree with you that the attitude of a lot of Chinese does indicate a problem and changes are indeed needed. But taking the street with a goal of being independent is unfortunately not a workable solution here, let alone that even if you made it, you still have to figure out how to feed all your Tibetan people, assuming that you won’t be a puppy state that lives on west aid. The road to independence is economically not doable and politically not doable. You have tried for 50 years and it went nowhere. You can continue trying 100 years and I doubt anything else will come out of it. Give it a few decades of peace and China, along with Tibet will progress into a much more matured society and only then both sides can learn how to better understand and respect each other.

    @Wukailong:

    You are asking China to conduct “professional investigation”. China could not give professional investigation to whole lot of issues, not just to Tibetans. You need to understand the whole situation there. China can not afford its average citizen a life like the west, it can not afford that to Tibetans either. The country as a whole is making a lot of progress, but it’s still a very poor country. Why? Ultimiately it comes down to the people. In another word, people there are not as well educated or skilled as you are. President Hu can declare “no one is above the law” while the local police officer still doesn’t even have a clue about what laws are out there. Will it be good if the country is ruled by law? Absolutely. Will the country ruled by law tomorrow with so many such “unprofessional” police officers? Absolutely not. It will take time for them to be educated or die out. In the mean time, injustice, I might add a lot of them, will happen.

    So many of you believe that you have a better way to run the country. Just like a seed can not grow into a tree and bear you fruit overnight, no country can change from a developing country into a developed country overnight either. In the mean time, you just have to stop hoping the tree will give you fruit now. While the tree is also silently hoping you won’t chop it down because it doesn’t have any fruit yet.

    Peaceful demonstration has been very well reported by media all over the world. Nobody is trying to hide that part. But just because you went through a few peaceful days before you went violent does not excuse your violence. When you go the street killing, burning and looting, you will have to be stopped and locked up.

  65. November 16th, 2008 at 02:45 | #65

    I know some will slam me again for this … but I will say what I think is the truth.

    Some people here would like to compare the DL to Martin Luther King or Nelson Mandela or Gandhi. But in reality, the DL cannot hold a candle to any of these giants of peace and justice.

    All of the three above mentioned are leaders of peace who lived within the society they are trying to promote justice. They lived side by side with the people they claim to be oppressed and preached message of peace in the face of actual dangers.

    The DL is none of this. Instead helping his Tibetan brothers and sisters achieve peace and justice, he prefers to play geopolitical games on the international stage. Instead of helping to build a more open and better China, he jets around the world drumming up anti-China feelings using Western rhetoric, flying false flags of “genocide” and then when disproved, “cultural genocide.”

    I wish to welcome DL back to China as a true brother some day. But I know I am only living in my own fantasy. The DL does not care about China. He does not care about coming together to build a better society together.

  66. pug_ster
    November 16th, 2008 at 02:52 | #66

    @tenzin 60

    Maybe you are thinking of the perspective from a nationalistic Tibetian. Perhaps there are alot of Tibetans who are arrested but China does have a policy that they go after people who wants to destabilize the government; that includes Tibetans, Muslims and even Han Chinese. Muslims get arrested for talking to foreign reporters. Han Chinese get arrested if they want to protest about some factory producing pollutants. While most Westerners thinks Tibetans are repressed by the Chinese government, most Chinese citizens are less sympathetic because Tibetans want to get ‘special treatment.’

    Another thing, if you think that there is prejudice of Tibetans could not leave China, you are wrong. In the documentary that Allen provided, he explains of a wealthy Tibetan Hotel owner who was able to go to Nepal legally. It is true for the Han Chinese, I know some people whom my wife works with who has gotten grief in the visa process to the US. The Chinese government wants to make sure that these Han Chinese citizens are not intending to leave China permanently. Some of these people have to show that they actually have their bank account still in China, if you know what I mean.

  67. Steve
    November 16th, 2008 at 02:56 | #67

    Wow, this thread had gotten completely out of hand. 🙁
    I’m glad to see it’s starting to calm down again.

    Lobsang, tenzin, thanks for your posts. I really appreciate hearing your perspective. I’m sure I’ll have a lot of questions for both of you.

    jc, I think most of what you said was quite reasonable and you put forth a fair argument. I just wanted to comment on one thing you mentioned.

    When you said that with an increased economy, everyone benefits; I thought back to the 1950s in America when the economy was booming. Did African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans or Native Americans benefit? I think if you asked them, they would say no. The “system” might make it seem like they could but unlike most here, I’ve actually done business in China.

    If a Tibetan wants to build a hotel, he needs financing from the banks; he needs all sorts of government approvals, etc. And to get those, he would need to hand out “hong bao” to a variety of officials, he would need to have guanxi with various authorities, he would need to host elaborate banquets for government officials, etc. Where does he get the initial funding to do this? How does he develop those contacts? China’s system might seem complex if you’re new to it but once you get used to the procedures, it’s pretty consistent no matter where you go. When dealing with the non-Tibetans there, I’m pretty sure the Tibetans are at a distinct disadvantage in these matters. Lobsang, can you add your thoughts to this since you lived there?

    Only a Republican like Reagan could have made peace with the Soviets; a Democrat would have been labeled “soft on communism”. Only a Democrat like Clinton could have balanced the budget and reformed welfare; a Republican would have been “pandering to the rich”. That is why only someone like the DL can negotiate for the Tibetans. From everything I’ve heard, the vast majority of Tibetans both in and outside Tibet believe in him. Many people on this thread have said that China should not negotiate with the DL or his representatives. Isn’t who represents the Tibetans for the Tibetans themselves to decide? If not, how can that person have any legitimacy?

    It’s a very old technique for governments to promote an outside “bogeyman” to its people as the prime instigator of their troubles and their true enemy. It makes the government indispensable to the people to “solve” their problems or “destroy” the enemy. Hitler did it with the Jews, Gipsies and Slavs; the Japanese did it with the “west” that held their development down, the States and the Soviets did it with each other in the cold war, the Arabs do it with the Jews, Hindus with Moslems, etc. Is China promoting the DL as this outside “bogeyman” so they have someone in particular to blame for any difficulties there?

    I’ve seen the Tibetans referred to in this blog as our “brothers and sisters” and that most of them want to live in peace inside China, and appreciate the economic development and benefits that China has given them in the last 20 years. If that is so, then why does Lobsang write “Tibet is still lock-down with heavy repression and police presence which is even admitted by one of the top officials last week.”? Why do you need this if almost everyone sides with the government? There is a disconnect here…

    If the exiles are completely separated from the Tibetans themselves, how can they have so much control over them? It seems many on this thread blame the DL, other exiles and foreign governments for whatever takes place in Tibet. But then I hear that most Tibetans like being part of China. Why would people who like being part of China rebel against the government? That doesn’t make any sense to me.

    Tibet is referred to as an “autonomous” region. I looked up the definition of autonomous and it said, “Self-governing with respect to local or internal affairs: an autonomous region of a country.” So my question is, how can you call Tibet an autonomous region if Tibetans don’t govern their own region? How can Tibet be an autonomous region if people from other regions are allowed to emigrate there without the approval of the Tibetans themselves? Who is the party chief for Xizang province, a Tibetan or a non-Tibetan? If you agree to give a region their autonomy but don’t follow through on your agreement, how can they trust you?

    The DL has said many times he wants real autonomy for Tibet within China. Many on this thread have referred to statements he made in 1959. That’s almost 50 years ago! Outside of Jerry and I, most of you weren’t even born back then. Are the Chinese saying they can’t trust a guy because he changed his mind from a statement he made almost 50 years ago? Would they put the same onus on their own government? If I remember correctly, in 1959 China was smack dab in the middle of the “Great Leap Forward”. Are some of you telling me you can’t understand why someone back then would not want to be a part of a country with that policy?

    As we are wont to say on this blog, maybe both sides ought to chill a bit. Yes, some people rioted earlier this year. If I remember correctly, some people rioted in Guizhou recently because of the rape and death of a high school student whose supposed perpetrators were let go by the police because two of them were related to police officials. There were burning vehicles and government buildings, etc. Does that mean that all the people living in that city need to be rounded up and live on reservations? Doesn’t it sound absurd when put this way?

    Allen, I’ve finished three of the six BBC episodes on Tibet. I thought the incident with the taxi driver was interesting, and also the two approaches used by the pregnant wife. That incident with the hotel sign and how it was handled reminded me of my time in China. I want to finish all of them before I comment or ask questions. Thanks for posting them. Oh, and I have to say I’m glad you explained that comment. The way you wrote it definitely had an extremely negative connotation. It just didn’t sound like you so I figured you’d explain it and glad you did.

    I read Foster Stockwell’s article but when I got to the part when he said, “The landlords and top-level monks retaliated by announcing, in March 1959, the founding of a “Tibet Independent State,” and about 7,000 of them assembled in Lhasa to stage a revolt. Included were more than 170 “Khampa guerrillas” who had been trained overseas by the O.S.S. and air-dropped into Tibet, according to a former C.I.A. agent. The O.S.S. also gave them machine guns, mortars, rifles and ammunition.”

    The O.S.S was disbanded in 1945, a month and a half after the end of the war. He also makes mention of the O.S.S. operating in Tibet after WWII, which again is impossible. If he can’t get this right, how can I trust the rest of his research?

    @Wukailong #30: I hear you, but the way he put it used an illogical fallacy. If this blog was not open to Tibetans then a complaint would be justified, but since it is open to all it is not really valid. I’m very glad we have a few commenting now and I’ve love to hear from more. What michael could have done was let his Tibetan friends know about the thread and encouraged them to join. That would have been the responsible action and contributed a lot more to everyone’s understanding.

  68. Otto Kerner
    November 16th, 2008 at 03:26 | #68

    Allen, #65:

    Mandela? This man was, to quote Wikipedia, “the leader of the ANC’s armed wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (translated as Spear of the Nation, also abbreviated as MK), which he co-founded.” I am not a pacifist, so I would look at the context before condemning him, but I’m sure that if Mandela had been resisting the Chinese government, you would tell us that he’s the devil in the flesh.

  69. Shane9219
    November 16th, 2008 at 03:57 | #69

    Dalai Lama and his followers should get over it. It’s time for them to come out and recorgnize China’s soverignty over Tibet. Dalai lost two wars since 1950s (one with the help from CIA). It’s time for them to put aside their utopia and move forward to 21th century.

  70. Lobsang
    November 16th, 2008 at 03:57 | #70

    For #61, I suggest you learn more about Tibet as you admitted you are seriously lacking some knowledge and not just obtain information about Tibet and history from Xinhua, CCTV sources, especially the root causes of the March protests and Tibetan grievances. CCTV showed wonderful footages of riots in Lhasa as if it’s English football hoolganism but discussing the root cause is banned just as grievances of Tianneman Squre, Earthquake victims etc. Lhasa was one of over 100 protests that occurred across the Tibetan plateau. Again my friends, need to have some critical thinking skills and don’t be afraid to listen and learn the Tibetan side.

    For the record, my cousin did not participate in any of the violence that you saw on CCTV. He like thousands others engaged in the peaceful protests and calling for ‘return of Dalai Lama’ and freedom for Tibet. At Ramoche Temple they were also calling for the release the monks of Sera and Drepung monasteries who were arrested a day earlier. As # 63 correctly mentioned, the protests started on March 10. You know why as every Tibetan knows that’s the Tibetan uprising day when China invaded Tibet and Tibetans rose on March 10, 1959. Then PLA shelled Potala and killed 86,000 Tibetans according to the Chinese source. So every March 10 is time-bomb that don’t have to be planned as Tibetans from all over know that date. For detail accounts of the March 10th protests in Lhasa, read Robbie Barnett’s excellent article (search google) which was also in NYTimes Kristoff’s blog.

    I see this monolithic views by majority of the Chinese on Tibet, which many are consistent with the PRC’s propaganda departments and Xinhua’s editorial. Of course the standard views on Tibet as always part of China, old Tibet was slavery and the PRC CCP liberated the Tibetans, Tibetans are ingratitude people despite all the fovourable polices and billions of grant from the central govt.

    One fact I will mention is that Tibet had lived side-by-side peacefully for thousands of years and seen many emperors and rulers of China. At no time in the history, that Tibet was under direct, absolute rule by China as now, which means Tibetans had always been governed themselves and had the freedom. Sure they were influences from the Mongol (Yuan dynasty) and Manchus (Qing dynasty) but it was peaceful and coexisted quite well, where the ruling Mongol and Manchu emperors became Tibetan buddhist converts. That’s huge influence of Tibetan culture on the Chinese ruling class. Unfortunately the Han Chinese never had much interactions with Tibetans as the Han Ming dynasty never showed much interest in Tibet. Since 1950 it’s ruled by the Han athiest communist who were absolutely intent from day one to destroy this culture and assimilate the people. That’s basically the clash. Simple as that of the rise of this conflict.

    Now this blog tries to be little more intelligent and here are more of the ‘moderate’ and ‘more knowledgeable’ Chinese. Let me list a few and my comments in bracket:

    -Tibetan issue has been used by outside anti-China forces and not representing the will of the Tibetans.
    (If this was true – why are Tibetans in Tibet risking their lives to express their feelings at every opportunity)
    -Dalai Lama and Tibetan-exiles don’t represent the majority Tibetans in Tibet who have mostly benefitted and supportive of China
    (I don’t need to comment on this as results speak volume and the fact that no foreign media is allowed in Tibet and Tibet is the most restrictive province in China)
    -Dalai Lama has not done anything for Tibet and Tibetans and if he was courageous why he left and not fight in Tibet
    (If DL was in Tibet, he would be dead just as the second highest Panchen Lama who stayed back who paid heavy price of 10 years of imprisonment and then mysterious death. Majority of the Tibetans in Tibet believe that PRC agents poisoned Panchen Lama)
    -Tibet issue is well financed and financially supported by the US government and even CIA
    (Last time I checked CIA funded Tibetan guerallas until 1970 with such a small budget that it must be one of the smallest operation of CIA in their history but Tibetan Khampas fought hard with some success such as the escape of Dalai Lama)
    -The March riots were orchrestrated by outsiders
    (Laughable – Tibet is under military police rule with unbelievable restrictions and control with so much fear).
    -Why are exile Tibetans write so well in English and educated.
    (well Tibetans in Tibet don’t have voices and obviously exile Tibetans got better education)

    Allen, Keep in mind that Tibetans are fighting for their cultural survival and carrying on a struggle peacefully. Gandhi, ML King were far more critical of the British and the American policies than Dalai Lama was against the PRC. Gandhi fought this within the British law and in their own land. He even went to Britain to fight using the British laws and leave India and won so many English influential supporters in the UK. Can we expect that the mainland Chinese for support on Tibet? You know damn well if PRC will tolerate this type of dissent in Tibet if DL was there and ruled far more harshly. So don’t give me your han chauvinistic views and bs about hurting Chinese image in the world when a nation is trying survive with real people suffering and dying in Tibet.

    Someone mentioned to hear the Tibetan voices, well I am one representing the Tibetans in Tibet. I have lived there and been there talking with the locals. I know you guys are incredulous. If you don’t believe why is China so afraid of letting the Tibetans in Tibet voices heard with so much restrictions and repression.

    I am not sure the purpose of these blogs but if you truly want to learn the Tibetan grievances, listen and find out the root cause of the March protests and not come with preconceived views and conditions.

    I don’t see too much value in engaging in these discussions with people who have been fed so much one-sided and false information by this regime and now is incredibly difficult to learn some truth. For majority of the Chinese it seems so much easier to believe in the points I raised (blame others and there are no serious problem in Tibet) and live in delusion which is what this regime wanted. Then try not to understand the root cause of the problem and trying to find long lasting solutions.

    So I hope the participants in this blog are not in this category and have some critical thinking, pragmatism, intelligence to engage in meaningful discussions, which I would be willing to spend some time to contribute.

  71. Otto Kerner
    November 16th, 2008 at 04:03 | #71

    Jane #55,

    And yet the fact remains that the settlers of North America were illegal invaders and the westward expansion was a conquest that destroyed whole societies. Given that it so thoroughly merits opprobrium, we aren’t doing anybody any favours by failing to call a spade a spade and an invasion an invasion in other cases. The problem here is the euphemistic description of American history, and if you want to see more public discussion of that, I wholeheartedly agree. I wish there were a venue for discussion of American Indian politics with as high a quality level as this blog.

    To my ear, “settler” has an aggressive sound; I would not like to be described as one. I’m not sure if it sounds that way to other people. Talk of “brave pioneers” sounds like something out of a children’s book, and, yes, I think it is pretty sick that we still teach American children that stuff.

  72. pug_ster
    November 16th, 2008 at 04:07 | #72

    @Steve 67

    What you said about the Tibet-China situation reminds me of Mexico-US situation.

    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=27941

    58% of the Mexicans believe that Southwest US belongs to Mexico and most of them believe that they don’t need permission to come to the US. This is all because of the Mexican-American War which happened more than 150 years ago. I’m sure that alot of Tibetans think they can freely go to and from Tibet and Dharmsalia as they want. I’m sure that most Mexicans who ‘made it’ to the US are content that Southwest US belong to the US. That being said, I am not surprised that there are significant number of Tibetans who live outside of China believe that Tibet is not part of China.

  73. cephaloless
    November 16th, 2008 at 04:34 | #73

    @Lobsang Don’t give up on us. I think most posters here are quite reasonable, as willing to listen as give our stubborn opinion. We would be missing a voice on this and other topics if you actually get tired of the stubborn voices on the other side and stop posting.

    Ok, my turn to play with fire.
    I see some parallels between Arafat-palestinians-israel and DL-tibetans-PRC. With the relationship A-B-C, A is the unifying voice that goes around and grabs international support for B. B listens/follows A but live on territory controlled by C. A and B claim oppression by C, C does not negotiate with A.

    I think Arafat pushed for more violence to gain an edge at the cusp of peace. That or he’s not in control of his more radical followers and is no longer the one to negotiate with. After Arafat is gone, the palestinians turned into two factions, one more violent than the other.

    One of the posts up there mention DL either instigated the violence or is not in control of the radical elements who did. In other words, DL is no longer the one to negotiate with. I think DL might actually be the voice that’s restraining the more radical elements of the movement but is slowly loosing control as they lose patience. Now I’m not saying the tibetans would go militant but I also wouldn’t be surprised to read about qassam rockets in tibet in the future.

    Hope those in charge can see the wisdom of negotiating with someone before there’s no one to negotiate with, just attacks.

  74. Shane9219
    November 16th, 2008 at 04:45 | #74

    Tibet is not a case like small East Europe countries, nor Palestinians and Israel situation, nor HongKong or Taiwan situation. The only meaningful way out of this historical mess is for Dalai Lama and his followers to get OVER it, by dropping their utopa and recorgnize China’s sovereignty over Tibet.

  75. Steve
    November 16th, 2008 at 05:02 | #75

    @pug_ster #72: Good point. That’s why I’m always asking about Tibetan opinion in Tibet itself. Allen’s BBC link was one way to see at least a small slice of life there.

    One thing I noticed when living in Taiwan. Before we went, living in San Diego we knew many Taiwanese, and naturally they loved to discuss politics at parties and dinners, etc. But when I actually lived in Taiwan, I discovered that all their political opinions were based on the time they lived in Taiwan, not on the present day conditions. I think that is true of any culture. When an expat, I followed news from the States very closely, but when I got home I realized I really had no idea what was going on politically. I just couldn’t get a feel for the mood of the country.

    Quite a few times in Taiwan, locals there would complain about Taiwanese Americans coming to Taiwan to vote in their elections, contributing money to candidates and then go back to the States. They would say, “Why don’t they worry about American politics? They don’t even live here.” It seemed absurd to them that someone no longer living in Taiwan would get involved in their political process.

    That’s why I would take the opinions of people not living in Tibet or who have never lived in Tibet with a grain of salt. Because Lobsang lived there at one time, to me that gives his viewpoint more credibility. If a non-Tibetan posted on this board who had lived or was living in Tibet, I’d also like to hear his take.

    Incidentally, I don’t think the issue is independence. Tibet isn’t going to be indepedent no matter what happens. I don’t believe there is any international conspiracy to “free Tibet” except among Hollywood actors. For me, the question is the autonomy of Tibet; how to continue the political incorporation while allowing greater autonomy to the people so they can maintain their culture while lifting themselves into the modern world.

    When the argument on China’s side talks about conditions in Tibet in the 1800s or even in the post war era, I feel that is misleading. If I apply those same conditions to China, it would be hard to justify the current CCP government. No one can say what conditions would have been like in Tibet today if China had not taken over the province; that’s pure speculation. Projecting a condition from one time to a future era isn’t accurate; how can you compare the pre and post Deng eras? China’s economy has been absolutely roaring for the last 20 years but there was no indication it would do so in 1975.

    Lobsang brings up a good point. How can a Tibetan living in Tibet represent the Tibetan people with the Chinese government? He would have no autonomy to voice their sentiments. Sorry, but the nature of the Chinese government to anyone who doesn’t toe the party line is very harsh, whether Tibetan or non-Tibetan. So doesn’t it fall to a Tibetan outside China’s control to represent their interests? Who else but the DL could do that? Who else but the DL has the trust of the people there? Everyone who states the DL does not represent the Tibetan people is non-Tibetan. Every Tibetan I’ve read says he represents them. Again, there’s a major disconnect here… can someone explain this to me?

  76. Steve
    November 16th, 2008 at 05:05 | #76

    @Shane9219: I’ve read several times that the DL recognizes China’s sovereignty over Tibet and is negotiating for autonomy. If that is true, why do you keep asking him to do what he’s already done? If you don’t think it is true, why not?

  77. Otto Kerner
    November 16th, 2008 at 05:05 | #77

    Shane9219,

    The Dalai Lama did that already. I suspect you have additional conditions in mind.

  78. Shane9219
    November 16th, 2008 at 05:23 | #78

    @steve #75

    The core of current Tibet issue is precisely whether China’s sovereignty over Tibet is being recorgnized.

    It is true for members of United Nations, and British is the latest one (a few days ago). But it is NOT true for Dalai Lama and Tibetan-in-exile community, as well as those support “Free Tibet” causes. Organizations from Tibetan-in-exile community, like Tibet Youth Congress, Student For Free Tibet, and International Compaign for Tibet etc, dedicate their causes to achieve some form of Tibet independence. The core position for these organizations is to dispute China’s sovereignty over Tibet.

    Unless Dalai Lama and Tibet-in-excile community step out and truely acccept China’s sovereignty over Tibet, no meaningful result can come out of any dialog or talk.

  79. Lobsang
    November 16th, 2008 at 05:34 | #79

    I will contribute while I have some time. Thank you for the points on Steve # 67.

    I am not going to regurgitate. The middle-way as proposed by Dalai Lama and pursued sincerely by the Tibetans, accepts China’s sovereignt over Tibet. Tibetans agree to forget the past history as history is for historians to judge and cannot be changed but we are willing to forgive the atrocities committed against the Tibetans during the rule (water under the bridge) but Tibetans will become part of China willingly since it’s win-win for both as Tibet will gain economically and China can still have Tibet. In return Tibetans be given a right to govern themselves to look after the domestic affairs.

    I know with the stature and devotion of Dalai Lama, he can sell this proposal to the Tibetans. I wholeheartedly supported along with majority of the exile Tibetans (I believe 90% based on a referendum).

    What baffles me and many Tibet/China experts is why is PRC not willing to make a deal on this proposal.

    Again this is NOT taking quarter of PRC; This is not ethnic cleansing of asking non-Tibetans to leave Tibet; This is not asking PLA to leave Tibet; This is not restoration of old Tibet govt; This is not even two systems one country like Hongkong. As per interview with Nicholas Kristoff on NYTimes recently, Dalai Lama is even willing to accept socialist govt in Tibet.

    This is simply practice what’s in the Chinese consitution and protection of minority rights which was originally conceived by the Soviet Leninst policy on the minority rights with the ‘autonomous region’. This following the 17 point agreement as proposed by Moa that was signed under duress by the Tibetans. Read 17 points agreement and tell me if middle-way proposal is unreasonable. This is also crafted by DL based on promised by Deng Xiaopeng to Dalai Lama in 1979 that except Independence anything else can be discussed on Tibet.

    What Tibetans will NOT accept is current policy of repressions, assimilation and unrestricted migration of non-Tibetans in Tibet.

    So post # 74 and many others, don’t spread false information as Dalai Lama and the Tibetans were supportive of the middle-way proposal of accepting Chinese sovergnty over Tibet. Again I wouldn’t believe all the PRC CCP propaganda lies on Tibet.

    So PRC CCP doesn’t want compromise deal, so the struggle continues and will go on as the spirit and will is strong. I tell other Tibetans to lower expecatations and think of long struggle but never give up. I agree with Wang Lixiong that CCP will never make concession. So CCP is 60 years old and perhaps they have perhaps 10, 20, 50 years more to go, we will be patient for better understanding from the future government and people. Not sure China will follow and become western liberal democracy like Taiwan, Korea, Japan but they will be more open, democratic and will have more freedom. With tolerance for dissenting views, free press and information, hopefully Tibetan views will be heard by the majority Chinese and more enlightened and confident future China.

    Also the majority of the protestors in Tibet and outside Tibet early this year were younger generation, educated Tibetans in both China and outside. So it’s a long struggle but will go on as the younger generation will take-on, they will be 15th Dalai Lama to carry-on the struggle since the current PRC doesn’t have the courage and poltical will to make a deal. I surely hope and pray it remains non-violent.

  80. Shane9219
    November 16th, 2008 at 05:35 | #80

    @steve #76

    Dalai Lama did mentioned in several occassion his intention to accept China’s rule over Tibet. But if you look into the key points in his middle-way proposal, you can see his true intention is to accept it by name only, in exchange for his covert independence status. He wants China to pull all troops out of Tibet, he also wants all non-Tibetan to move out of, not only Tibet, but the “greater” Tibet region.

    The argument from Dalai Lama and Tibetan-in-exile have been consistently dispute the legitimacy of China’s soverignty over Tibet. They said Tibet are currently being occupied, thus give a proper cause for their independence movement.

  81. cephaloless
    November 16th, 2008 at 05:50 | #81

    @Shane9219

    And the TAR is autonomous in name only right now. Must the tibetans unconditionally surrender to all PRC demands (and be unautonomous)? I thought these were negotiations.

  82. Steve
    November 16th, 2008 at 05:54 | #82

    @Lobsang #79 & Shane9219 #80: Your statements contradict each other. Is it possible for either or both of you to document the Dalai Lama’s position regarding PRC troops in Tibet and the future status of non-Tibetans in Tibet?

    Shane9219: I believe the “occupation” status you might be referring to pertains to the autonomous agreement that Lobsang mentioned. If this agreement is not being observed by the current PRC regime, then it would be understandable for Tibetans to feel their land was occupied. Again, I think the key word is “autonomy”. What does that mean? Is it being followed? I don’t know the answer to that question and am not willing to assume anything. I think I need to hunt for the 17 points to see what the present agreement is, then it would be easier to understand these arguments. But at this stage, if you say the DL said this or that, you might want to document where he said it so your argument has legs.

  83. Shane9219
    November 16th, 2008 at 05:56 | #83

    @Lobsang 79

    Although Dalai Lama and Tibetan-in-exile are entitled to hold their own belief, it is against Buddhism teaching to take a violent approach. Every country has strict laws to safe-guard its border and territorial integrity.

    Some people in Hawaii favors the causes of Hawaii independence from US. But their actions have to be withtin the laws.

    On the other hand, if the current leadership of Tibetan-in-exile truely wanted to lead its people out of wilderness, fully accepting and embracing China’s sovereignty over Tibet is the most important step to take.

  84. cephaloless
    November 16th, 2008 at 06:07 | #84

    Ya, I know, sovereignty cannot be compromised, blah blah blah.

    But what happened to “大国的作风” big nation attitude. Accusing the other side of “not being sincere” doesn’t sound all that big. Sounds more like bad blood and unwillingness to find a solution.

    Looks like the only thing keeping qassam workshops out of a future tibet will more security forces which makes tibetans less happy and more likely to secure weapons like running qassam workshop which begs for more security forces …

  85. Steve
    November 16th, 2008 at 06:09 | #85

    Shane9129, you’ve slipped into a circular argument. Unless you can document what you keep saying, your argument isn’t valid.

  86. Lobsang
    November 16th, 2008 at 06:10 | #86

    Steve # 82, sorry I don’t have all time to cite all the sources and answer all the questions but you or anyone else can check to corroborate or refute. I just write on the fly and for those interested to dig-up the source and reference.

    # 73 Thank you for the encouragement and I know Tibet has many friends and supporters all over the world including many sensible Chinese people. It is truly a David and Goliath struggle and that’s how we see it (sorry for the rhetoric).

    #83, are you trying to provoke me or you can’t read or don’t have the reasoning skills that you learned in the PRC education system. Yes now I am being sarcastic.

    Has Tibetan struggle been violent so far despite all the grievances and injustices. NO. You know why. Dalai Lama and the Buddhist believe of non-violence.

    But again never know they might be young Tibetan athiest or even communist educated in PRC but deeply Tibetan nationalist that might stage violent struggles against China .

  87. cephaloless
    November 16th, 2008 at 06:20 | #87

    17 point agreement:

    In english:
    http://www.friends-of-tibet.org.nz/17-point-agreement.html

    In chinese(simplified):
    http://www.fyjs.cn/viewarticle.php?id=134971

    Looks like they match (no hinky translation). Enjoy all you lazy bums 😛 Actually, not that lazy if you open it up to read and not lazy at all if you found it on your own.

  88. Shane9219
    November 16th, 2008 at 06:23 | #88

    @Lobsang #86

    I just try to comment on your own statement, like “I surely hope and pray it remains non-violent.”

    We all saw what happened during recent torch relay in London, Paris and SFO. I just hope and pray things won’t get nastier than that.

  89. Steve
    November 16th, 2008 at 06:25 | #89

    Thanks, cephaloless, you just saved me the trouble to find it, so I guess I’m only partially lazy. 🙂

    But it’s time to sleep so I’ll read it manana…

  90. Lobsang
    November 16th, 2008 at 06:43 | #90

    #88 – Are you serious or you are joking. This is getting rediculous and funny. You are concerned about the ‘violence’ during the Olympic torch relay.

    Tibetan in Tibet are getting shot for staging peaceful protests with live ammuniation as in March protests and thousands getting incarcerated and even disappearing for staging peaceful protests in Tibet. Police and army are everywhere on the rooftop in Lhasa and spies all over. (Read an Australian reporter article last week from Lhasa in the Australian newspaper (first western reporter since the Olympics).

    If you are caught with having a photo of Dalai Lama in your home or in your possession you are breaking a law and will be subjected to interrogation and arrest.

    If you are caught discussing about your devotion to Dalai Lama you are breaking Chinese law of.

    The Internet is completely filtered and if you are caught with news on Tibetan activities outside and listen to religious discourse or speeches by Dalai Lama you are breaking law and put in jail.

    The phones are tapped, the Voice of America or Radio Free Asia are jammed. Tibetans in monasteries and schools are subjected to daily patriotic education of having to attack Dalai Lama and write critisism letter and if you don’t you will be tortured and jailed.

    This list goes on of basic human rights being denied in Tibet.

    Not sure if you have lived in China but you have and are Chinese you should ask your parents what is like during cultural revolution and it’s happening right now in Tibet.

    And you are concerned about the ‘violence’ at the Torch relay and hurting China’s image abroad.

    Some you say Dalai Lama and exile Tibetans are hurting China’s image, when DL is so mild and supportive of China on so many things including Beijing Olympics. Well tell PRC to treat Tibetans better, then image will get better.

    Are we living in different planets like Mars and Venus … sorry I am just amazed at the lack of understanding of the Tibetan situation by the majority of the Chinese population. Again good job being done by the PRC propaganda dept.

  91. November 16th, 2008 at 06:58 | #91

    I don’t understand what is the point of digging out the 17-point-agreement. I personally have nothing against it and don’t mind it being used as a starting point, but I don’t think it’s fruitful doing so when I’ve read many times that the DL has pronounced the agreement void and null.

    Here is an excerpt from the Dalai lama’s website:

    Soon after his arrival in Tezpur, India, His Holiness the Dalai Lama issued a statement on 18 April 1959, explaining that the 17-Point Agreement was signed under duress and that the Chinese government had deliberately violated the terms of the Agreement. Thus from that day onwards, he declared that the agreement would be considered null and void, and he would strive for the restoration of Tibet’s independence. Since then until 1979, the Central Tibetan Administration and the Tibetan people adopted a policy of seeking independence for Tibet.

    Has the DL changed his mind to consider the 17-point-agreement now good and valid?

  92. Shane9219
    November 16th, 2008 at 07:01 | #92

    @Lobsang #90

    Actually, what you said is not true. At personal level, I always felt for your own situation, for Dalai Lama (he is now over 70, has an urgent need to prepare his next life and to carry on Tibetan tradition), and Tibetan-in-exile community in India. I believe most Chinese , living either inside China or abroad, has the same view. Like an old saying, Tibtan and Han are brothers and sisters.

    But when coming to the issue of sovereignty and legitimacy of a nation, it is the collective belief and world reality that matters.

    There are so many tough historical issues on this world. From the scale of 1 to 10, I would rank Tibet issue as 5. I hope Tibet-in-exile community do NOT make it harder to solve. I als truely hope that one day both sides can soften their stance and embrace each other like brothers and sisters.

    However, Tibetan-in-exile community needs to reach its own sense of reality, that is, Tibet situation is not like HongKong or Taiwan or small countries in East Europe. It is also not helpful to dream that one day people inside China could have an up-rise and hand over a quarter of their homeland.

  93. Wukailong
    November 16th, 2008 at 09:14 | #93

    @jc: “You are asking China to conduct “professional investigation”. China could not give professional investigation to whole lot of issues, not just to Tibetans. You need to understand the whole situation there. China can not afford its average citizen a life like the west, it can not afford that to Tibetans either.”

    No, I didn’t ask for that. I just told somebody who thought too idealistically about the Chinese police force that he should think again.

    “So many of you believe that you have a better way to run the country. Just like a seed can not grow into a tree and bear you fruit overnight, no country can change from a developing country into a developed country overnight either. In the mean time, you just have to stop hoping the tree will give you fruit now. While the tree is also silently hoping you won’t chop it down because it doesn’t have any fruit yet.”

    I know very well that development takes time, but unlike you I don’t believe these things just happen because the economy as such gets better. That might be a contributing factor, but people who have more time and money to contribute their opinion will also do so, more and more. If all developing countries persecuted their people, I would be happy to agree with you, but I don’t think that’s true.

    Finally, the lack of ideals in modern China is due exactly to this fatalist idea that things will happen sometime in the future and there’s no idea to bitch now. People have learned to be helpless even though it sometimes spills over like in Weng’an.

    “Peaceful demonstration has been very well reported by media all over the world. Nobody is trying to hide that part. But just because you went through a few peaceful days before you went violent does not excuse your violence. When you go the street killing, burning and looting, you will have to be stopped and locked up.”

    Well, what about the level of development in ordinary Tibetan people, etc. Perhaps they will be better in 50 years and not stage any violent demonstrations?

  94. sophie
    November 16th, 2008 at 10:13 | #94

    A couple of month ago, I encountered an European who run travel business in China. One of his tour packages is driving tours in Tibet. He is based in Sicuan and has been in Tibet many times.

    Due to his very international background (European, studied in the US, worked everywhere in the world including many years in China and Hongkong) and first-hand experience in Tibet, I asked his view on this issue, he paused for a couple of seconds and said (not exactly his original sentences大意):

    Tibet has only 6 million people, a very small proportion of the Chinese population. The reason that they can attract so much attention world-wide is because they have a good PR person – DL.

    Actually, Chinese government doesn’t treat Tibetans particularly bad; The government treat the whole Chinese population like this. I understand the Chinese government putting down the riot. Since there are many unrests in the country, you have to control, otherwise it’s like fire spreading out.

    And, Tibetans are religious fanatic (this is the original word he used. i was thinking to put ‘deep religious’ instead, then finally decided to leave like this…)

  95. Jerry
    November 16th, 2008 at 10:37 | #95

    @Wukailong #93
    @jc #64

    Finally, the lack of ideals in modern China is due exactly to this fatalist idea that things will happen sometime in the future and there’s no idea to bitch now. People have learned to be helpless even though it sometimes spills over like in Weng’an.

    I see the fatalism and determinism in Chinese people here, in Taipei, too. Probably to a lesser degree than in da lu, but I don’t know, since I have never been there. Taiwanese seem resigned to their political situation here (amongst other issues to which they seem resigned), for the most part, in spite of angry demonstrations occasionally. One of my Taiwanese friends was telling me yesterday that she thought that Taiwanese people are boring and humorless. To which I sarcastically retorted, “Why would a fatalist have a good sense of humor? What’s to laugh?” How many Taiwanese comedians do you see in the the US compared to the many Jewish comedians? My crazy humor is one of the reasons she says she likes me. We Jews had to develop a sarcastic, introspective, self-effacing, cynical humor just to cope and survive. As my dad says, “It is better to laugh than to cry!”

    We Jews used to be fatalistic and deterministic. We slowly woke up to the lies of the Rabbis, the “angry” Yahweh, the promise of the messiah, etc. The Jews, at least in Russia, suffered internal repression and persecution as well as boatloads of external repression and persecution. We finally said we aren’t putting up with this crap anymore. And thank god that my grandfather, 100 years ago, broke with his immediate family and came to the US. Best thing that ever happened in my life, long before I was born.

    Yes, WKL, I just don’t understand why anybody would be fatalistic and/or deterministic. I would be depressed and helpless if I were fatalistic. Hence, I could never be Chinese. Never! The gulf between me and the Chinese here, save for a very few, is as Richard Bach titled it, “The Bridge Across Forever”.

    —————-

    JC, in #64, you said:

    Peaceful demonstration has been very well reported by media all over the world. Nobody is trying to hide that part. But just because you went through a few peaceful days before you went violent does not excuse your violence. When you go the street killing, burning and looting, you will have to be stopped and locked up.

    JC, what the hell do you expect? You’re surprised? That everybody is going to be docile lambs when subject to misery, oppression and persecution? I don’t think so. Why isn’t the CCP and PRC accountable for their part in causing the violence?

    In case you think I am just picking on China, I ask the same question of my Israeli brethren and fellow Americans. Why isn’t the Israeli government accountable for their part in the creation of terrorism in Lebanon, Gaza and the West Bank? Why isn’t the American government accountable for their part in creating terrorism against the US?

    WKL was way too nice to you in responding to your “stopped and locked up” comment. All I would say to you is, “JC, it is very easy to make such comments when you aren’t the subject of misery, oppression and persecution. I would love to see your reaction if the shoe was on your foot.”

    I hope you never become the subject/victim of misery, oppression and persecution.

  96. Wukailong
    November 16th, 2008 at 11:30 | #96

    @sophie: “Actually, Chinese government doesn’t treat Tibetans particularly bad; The government treat the whole Chinese population like this.”

    I think I made that point elsewhere; it’s just that the attitude of the majority (mostly Han) and Tibetans are different. If there was no Tibetan nationalism, I’m pretty sure the “fire would have been extinguished” a long time ago, but because of historical reasons, they react much stronger to the cons of being under one-party rule. It’s the difference between the feeling that your own government oppresses you, and that another government does. Also, I think Zang might be less fatalistic than their Han brethren. 😉

    Also, religion is definitely a factor. Religion and (formally) Communist governments have never been friends. Under a Nationalistic government, I guess there could have been a sort of uneasy balance, but under CCP rule you are going to have more uprisings. Perhaps that will change if the recent talks of giving more room to religious forces in the harmonic society is seriously meant.

  97. wuming
    November 16th, 2008 at 11:56 | #97

    @Jerry, WKL

    Most of the miseries in the world are not caused by governments’ suppression of citizens political rights; instead, economic stagnation and decline, collapsing or failing governments and revolutions caused most of the untimely deaths and unlivable lives. China has experience more than its share of that in the history.

    You maybe puzzled by Chinese incomprehension for other peoples’ desire for for independence and political rights. In fact the reason is very simple, 30 years ago, China turned over one of the darkest pages in its history, which happen also to be the most ideological with associated death and misery. The last 30 years China also had a taste of what’s it like to be freed from that ideological burden. There is almost no way to budge Chinese from their single-minded pursue of economic development.

    Look, everything can be said about Tibet has probably already been said — just on this blog. The full and complete sovereignty over Tibet is essential to China’s security and its future. In this light, other issues are but bargaining chips at the best, noises most likely. I believe the basic Chinese stand towards minority groups with nationalistic aspirations is this: give it up and join us in the pursued of better lives. This stand is narrow minded, near sighted, fatalistic and “lacking in ideals”; but it is the best thing happened to China for at least a thousand years.

  98. sophie
    November 16th, 2008 at 12:56 | #98

    An article from National Geographic published in 2002.

    Tibetan Moving Forward, Holding On
    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2002/04/tibetans/simons-text

    The article gives us a glimpse of what the Tibetans’ current life look like. The writer didn’t think Tibet is part of China, but he tried to present the situation in a balanced way.

    Some extraction:
    Beyond these individuals I was also surprised to find signs of the modern world spreading across Tibet: robed monks wearing sunglasses and riding motorcycles; nomads’ tents powered by solar panels; slopewalled adobe houses sprouting TV dishes. At Gonsar monastery on the eastern plateau, 20,000 people massed for a week in a sea of white tents to pay homage to a five-story-tall golden Buddha statue newly installed in a hilltop shrine.While some came on horseback, more drove in trucks, vans, SUVs, and wagons pulled by coughing tractors.

    The greatest shift taking place everywhere in China is that with economic freedom now a reality, people are becoming increasingly independent minded. Tibetans are beginning to follow, but slowly and fearfully. Initiative does not come easily to Tibetans, conditioned by Buddhism to be content with their lot—overwhelmingly as impoverished serfs and nomads—and to await happiness in the next life. Added to this, Beijing’s spending on agriculture, transportation, and other infrastructure has helped foster a culture of dependence.

    While Norbu is a devout Buddhist, rebellion is the furthest thing from his mind. He believes that he and others like him have the ability to improve their own lives and the welfare of Tibet. “We are taking our fate into our own hands,” he said. “By growing rich we’re able to support our religion and our language so that our children will be able to remain Tibetans.”

    Huadon and his family certainly seemed comfortably off. As is the custom each summer throughout rural Tibet, they and about 20 other families were spending three weeks relaxing, camped in a grassy field riotously spread with yellow and lavender wildflowers against a stunning backdrop of snow-streaked mountains. A hacking gas-powered generator, a sure indicator of rural prosperity, provided electric light and pumped Tibetan and Chinese pop tunes over the fancifully embroidered large white tents.

    People like Huadon and Norbu, who use their participation in the new economy to help preserve the old ways, represent the leading edge of change in Tibet. I spent my most comfortable night of the trip in a shiny new hotel in the burgeoning town of Jyekundo, a few hours drive from Huadon’s camp. Proud of his success, Gama Sera, the owner, was pleased to let me use his real name. “I was working for a state-owned bank and came to realize that because of this town’s location at the juncture of six counties, a decent hotel could do well here. So I proposed that the local government lease me the state guesthouse for 20 years. Very quickly, they agreed.”

    (the end)
    In these ways do the old and new, tradition and change, exist uneasily side by side. Among the Tibetans, even while those like Norbu, Huadon, and Gama Sera are embracing change, I found a people conflicted by that change. Some candidly acknowledge the hardships and inequities of life under the Dalai Lama. Others grudgingly concede economic progress under China. No one wants to return to the old, often abusive, theocracy. But no one wants the Chinese to remain in Tibet either. They don’t miss the old days and its old ways. They simply want their country back.

  99. Wukailong
    November 16th, 2008 at 13:24 | #99

    @Sophie: Thanks for the article!

    I hope more people would write articles like this, just about everyday life. That goes for most countries. It’s not like people understand China just because they know what political system it has – it’s time to move on.

    @Wuming: First of all, I know quite well what China went through and what momentous changes have happened since the Cultural Revolution. Very few people these days would say that what has happened economically and socially is anything but revolutionary.

    But please separate the process of reform from the way people think about it. It didn’t come to pass just because of the very fatalism and lack of ideals you seem to espouse. It happened very much because of the craziness of one man (I use that word in a positive sense here) who dared to brave the conservative forces of Soviet-era planning and go forward into uncharted territory. Hua Guofeng favored going back to 50’s state capitalism, which would surely have put China on the backburner for another half a century or so. Deng Xiaoping was a true visionary.

    In the same way, even economic reform isn’t helped by people who only want to shop. China is as helped by a more and more creative people that dares to take risks and take more part in the patterns of change unfurling in front of them. Remember, it’s been 30 years of reform. It’s not that it started yesterday. The idea that you only need to put the pedal to the metal on the economic car might have been feasible 10-15 years ago, but is outdated today.

    As ridiculed the concept has been, I still see the Harmonious Society as something very positive, a good ideal for this era. It might just be a start in the process of fixing the loopholes of single-minded economic reform, but it is an important step.

  100. Cuddly Jewish Gayboy
    November 16th, 2008 at 14:54 | #100

    I love how young 21st Century Chinese crap on about how the non-Chinese bits of the defunct Qing Empire (which the Qing certainly never considered ‘Chinese’) are part of ‘their homeland’.

    Then in the next breath they crap on about China’s history as a victim of imperialism.

    Reprehensible scum aren’t they?

  101. jc
    November 16th, 2008 at 16:03 | #101

    @Steve #67:

    I think you’ve touched an interesting topic here, which is the minority status.

    People who post here obviously do not have much problem with English. So let’s take that as an example. Let’s say you, who I assume can speak/write English without problem, and an ethnic Tibetans, who grew up with their native language, are competing for a top level executive position in Coke. Coke obviously requires whoever takes this position can speak and write perfectly in English because most of its other high level executives are English speaking people.

    The situation doesn’t look very fair for the Tibetans because he/she has to put out a lot of effort just to be able to complete with you on the same level. Is Coke to blame here? I guess not. The Tibetan candidate might just have to give up a number of other things such as his traditional attire in order to land the job. However the fact that the Tibetan candidate does have a shot for the position is a positive thing. This is the one opportunity for he/she to grab. Giving a lot of hard work, he/she might be able to grab it.

    China as a poor country itself doesn’t have many Coke executive level positions to offer to Tibetans. But things starts little and small. As some other people mentioned here, Tibet is changing. It’s those change that will progress and accumulate and eventually lift Tibet into the modern world. Those changes may not be enough, but it’s better than nothing. So a rational approach is to keep going on that road but keep trying to improve it.

    Being a minority, there are inherited disadvantage in today world and that can’t really be blamed on anybody else. Of course there are a lot of things the majority can do to make things easier for them. But it is always unreasonable to say it’s the majority’s fault just because of the existence of such disadvantages for the minorities.

    For China’s part, while there are obviously a lot of problems on its Tibet policy, it’s working very hard to make life easier for Tibetans. Please keep in mind that Tibet has an average elevation of 16,000ft. It’s a very challenging physical environment. China has been investing heavily on the infrastructure, road, rails, housing, etc for them. Those are very hard work and a lot of them are completed by PLA soldiers because the job is just so harsh. It will be very difficult for Tibetans to do those by themselves. Without those infrastructures, without the airport, the highway, the rail road, without people who actually knows how to do business actually doing some business there, how are Tibetans going to be able to lift themselves into the modern world?

    As to the lock down, I don’t think “almost everyone is happy there”. My view is that there are still a large portion of them that are obviously not happy. In a society of 1000 people, if you got 100 people (1/10) of them are very unhappy, you obviously got a very serious problem at hand because these 1/10 of the people is capable enough to causes enough trouble for the rest 900 people who are mostly fine with their current life. So that might be one reason that the lock down is still in effect. Another thing that might be worth mentioning is that the lock down wasn’t there before the riot. 2006 and 2007 was two relatively good years after Qingzang railway was built, the atmosphere wasn’t that bad then. So I would hope that eventually the tension can die down and return to that atmosphere. Of course, as someone else here pointed out, Beijing should be extremely cautious not to over react on “potential” troubles because such behavior creates new tensions. In any case, I would like to see the lock down to be gradually lifted.

  102. Steve
    November 16th, 2008 at 16:09 | #102

    @Lobsang #90: You bring up a good point; in Tibet, the DL is basically against the law. That’d be like having the Pope be against the law for Catholics in China. Oops, I forgot; the Pope IS against the law there. 🙁

    I think we can all agree that Tibetans are very religious people. Sophie’s friend labeled them “religious fanatics” but to many Europeans, anyone who goes to church is a religious fanatic. That is simply a matter of perception. When I think of “religious fanatic” I think of forced proselytization, holy wars, etc. I don’t think of someone spinning a prayer wheel in a religion that preaches non-violence. There is also a contradiction at work here. Because Tibetans are so religious, they would not follow a religious leader that preached violence. Isn’t non-violence is the first precept in Buddhism, straight from the Sakyamuni Buddha himself?

    I had friends in Shanghai who were members of the Communist Party there. They had to go to “patriotic lectures” and study the sleep inducing “Three Represents”, “Eight Honors and Disgraces”, etc. The only one that they paid any attention to was the “Deng Xiaoping Theory” because it actually accomplished something and Deng’s style was straightforward. Comparing that with monks in Tibet having to write DL criticism letters is “apples & oranges”.

    @Allen #91: You’re correct; the 17 Point Agreement was signed under coercion. Thanks for the link to the DL website. When I read the “Middle Way”, it said there was no issue with independence, just autonomy. I can understand China not accepting everything that was stated but if it was meant to be a starting point for negotiations, why should that matter? You don’t put your final position on paper as a starting point since you have to make concessions in negotiation. For instance, the CCP army will never withdraw its troops from Tibet, no matter how peaceful it becomes. The major reason for the incorporation of Tibet into China is strategic and without troops, it loses its strategic value.

    @Wukailong #93: For me, your position on this issue is pretty moderate and you are trying to understand both sides. You bring up a good point; just because many non-Tibetans have a fatalistic view of life, that doesn’t mean Tibetans have that same view or that view is necessarily the best view to have. Because cultures are different doesn’t make one “right” and the other “wrong”. Each culture has its own set of values that work within that culture. I believe the biggest mistake an expat can make, and one that most expats DO make, is to apply their own culture’s values to the culture they are living in. This usually happens because they mostly hang around with people from their own culture and constantly compare their cultural values to what they see around them. Of course, their culture always comes out ahead but it’s a stacked deck. I believe non-Tibetans living in Tibet are doing the same thing. That’s a hard one to change because human nature inclines most people to behave this way.

    @wuming #97: I understand what you’re saying and agree with you that this is a non-Tibetan perspective. Correct me if I misunderstand you, but it seems what you are saying is that because of the political and economic upheavals in China that finally ended 30 years ago, non-Tibetans believe the pursuit of economic gain should be the overriding goal of everyone and since China’s economy is very productive with no end in sight, why worry about the goals of spiritual or personal freedom? Let’s just work hard, make a lot of money and buy stuff, and we’ll all be happy.

    But aren’t the non-Tibetans making assumptions on behalf of the Tibetans themselves? First, they didn’t initiate the GLF or the CR; they had nothing to do with either but suffered the consequences of Mao’s stupidity. (sorry, I can’t put it any other way. Backyard furnaces to surpass England’s steel production? Are you kidding me? He had competent managers in Deng and Liu, but didn’t listen to anyone but himself) Second, for Tibetans, material wealth does not buy happiness, though lack of material wealth can buy misery. Once you can have the basic necessities plus a little more, you can concentrate on emotional and spiritual happiness. Life needs to be in balance. Isn’t the lack of ethics in the current Chinese business climate a lack of balance?

    @sophie #98: I’ll echo Wukailong and say again, thanks for the article! From what I get out of it, Huadon and Norbu are trying to create and preserve balance in their lives.

  103. Hemulen
    November 16th, 2008 at 16:24 | #103

    @sophie
    @WKL

    Actually, Chinese government doesn’t treat Tibetans particularly bad; The government treat the whole Chinese population like this.

    Both of you know that this is not true. You know better than that. Tibetans and Uighurs face serious discrimination in the labor market and many other areas. Recently there have been reports that hotels have been instructed not to accept Tibetan and Uighurs guests.

    It has been raised in this forum that Tibetans benefit from affirmative action when it comes to hiring and university admissions. What we forget is that this affirmative action disproportionately benefits Tibetans who speak perfect Chinese and that this is part and parcel of an incentive structure to Sinicize and assimilate minorities. A monolingual Han Chinese can prosper in Beijing and Lhasa. A monolingual Tibetan may have trouble finding a government job in his own home town! To speak Chinese with an Uighur accent is a stigma on the job market.

    Also, government regulation on religion also discriminates against minorities. I have heard that Chinese parents have been prevented from taking their kids to a local temple to burn some joss sticks and pray to the Buddha. But Uighurs under the age of 18 are not allowed to go to a Mosque. Tibetan religious practices are surrounded by red tape. There seem to be an assumption that Islam and Tibetan Buddhism are dangerous and have to be constrained, but what you forget is that this is a fool-proof way of turning lukewarm believers into devout religious activists.

    There is also a clear double standard when it comes to repression and violence. When local Chinese police shoot at Han Chinese demonstrators, Chinese cyberspace boils over with netizens clamoring for an inquest. I have yet to see the same thing happen when Tibetans are shot at.

    This is especially clear when it comes to everyday violence. When Han Chinese snap and go violent, people look for external explanations like pressure at work. Violent Uighurs and Tibetans are never get that kind of sympathy; “they are like that”. Just think of the guy who stormed into a police station and killed several police officers. He actually become sort of a hero. Several dissidents signed a petition in is favor and I have never heard that they haven gotten any heat from Chinese patriots. Coiuld imagine that happening to an Uighur or Tibetan doing the same thing? When the Chinese columnist Chang Ping called for an objective inquest into the March riots, he was hounded by cyber nationalist and denounced as a traitor.

  104. Steve
    November 16th, 2008 at 16:25 | #104

    @jc #101: I always enjoy reading your viewpoint because I think you are trying to be fair to both sides and have an open mind.

    About the Coke position, I think I can bring something to that discussion because when I was in China, my task and challenge was exactly what you describe; I had to start up a division from scratch of a multinational company. Speaking english was a prerequisite for employment since communication with divisions in other countries would take place in English, and training would also take place in English.

    However, I had no desire to hire the best English speaker. The most important job qualification was to understand and be a part of the local culture. I could teach the rest. Coke may “manufacture” in English but the buyers of Coke “drank” in Chinese, if you get my drift. If I’m working for Coke in Tibet, I’m definitely hiring a Tibetan, since that’s the market I want to penetrate. That Tibetan would need to speak the local language, but also speak putonghua and English. That way they could communicate along the entire supply chain.

    What’s the expression? “Think global, act local.” The whole goal of an overseas operation is to eventually have local management and eliminate the need for expats. That’s one reason we give them 2 year contracts.

    The ability to speak and write perfect English is not the most important factor. The ability to be understood in English is what matters.

    jc, why do you think there are a large portion of people in Tibet who are unhappy with the situation if all these economic advantages exist?

    Remember, I am not preaching Tibetan independence here. I’d hope that each side can find a peaceful way to allow autonomy for Tibetans while preserving Chinese sovereignty.

  105. Hemulen
    November 16th, 2008 at 16:30 | #105

    @jc

    I get your point that China is a developing country and that many problems in “minority” areas are a consequence of that. But I guess that from a Tibetan or Uighur perspective, that is actually a very strong argument against Tibet and Xinjiang being part of China. Forget about becoming a executive at Coke. If you are treated as a foreigner in your home town and the economy is taken over by people who refuse to learn the local language, you have to ask yourself what the raison d’etre is for a government that permits that to happen and imprisons those who speak up against that state of affairs.

  106. shane9219
    November 16th, 2008 at 16:39 | #106

    @Cuddly Jewish Gayboy #100

    Being sarcastic does not make your remark look cute or factual based.

    Manchu (Qing) Dynasty has been an integral part of Chinese history. Manchus were able to flourish in their time because of their ability to adopt Han culture. Manchus remains an ethnic minority in China today, but it is a lot easier to find someone who are both Manchus and Han in places like Beijing due to cross marriage.

    Your point of view has been popular among a small circle of western people. They intend to dissect Chinese history into fragments as a way to provide a legal basis for certain historical issues, and to escape the collective guilt of their colonialism and imperialism heritage.

  107. November 16th, 2008 at 18:10 | #107

    @Otto Kerner #68,
    You wrote:

    Mandela? This man was, to quote Wikipedia, “the leader of the ANC’s armed wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (translated as Spear of the Nation, also abbreviated as MK), which he co-founded.” I am not a pacifist, so I would look at the context before condemning him, but I’m sure that if Mandela had been resisting the Chinese government, you would tell us that he’s the devil in the flesh.

    And the DL was armed by the CIA – both when he was inside and outside Tibet. What’s the difference?

    And I don’t think I will call the DL “the devil in flesh” if he had stayed with us and worked within China to help promote Tibetan values and religion because he would at least not be trying to be splitting the country (promoting Tibetan values is not intrinsically traitorous, it is the manipulation of it to foment independence that is). I may have disagreements with his policies (same as I have disagreements with policies of CCP or KMT) – but it would be a lively, respectful disagreement, not one based on disdain and distrust.

  108. WW
    November 16th, 2008 at 18:31 | #108

    Suppose that an American Indian Chief/Medicine-man ( called Sitting Bull II) wanted all the former Indian lands to be combined to become one state (call it the Native American Autonomous State or NAAS); no US military personnel would be allowed to station in the NAAS; the mainstream American culture and language were not allowed to dominate (or to use his word “genocide”) the Native American Cultures and languages; American citizens were allowed to stay in the NAAS only with the approval of the tribal Council which were to be chaired by Sitting Bull II; those American citizens who wanted to stay in the NAAS would have to be proficient with one of the Native American languages; the NAAS would have the sovereign right to conduct its own state affairs including military affairs and diplomatic affairs, etc. etc. If above scenario were indeed happening, then the Sitting Bull II would be considered as so out it in the fantasy land that he would be laughed out of every living room and even every tepee in the world.

    Well, guess what? That is what basically what DL is demanding of China with his so called Tibetan autonomy or middle way, and yet no one is laughing or even snickering? Am I missing something? Or there is a hidden double standard when it comes to China?

  109. November 16th, 2008 at 18:41 | #109

    @Steve #102,
    Your wrote:

    When I think of “religious fanatic” I think of forced proselytization, holy wars, etc. I don’t think of someone spinning a prayer wheel in a religion that preaches non-violence. There is also a contradiction at work here. Because Tibetans are so religious, they would not follow a religious leader that preached violence. Isn’t non-violence is the first precept in Buddhism, straight from the Sakyamuni Buddha himself?

    Not to be condescending Steve (you know I’m not), but if you study up a little history of the Tibet even as recent as right before Tibet’s liberation, you will find your (unhappy) answer to all of your questions above…

    Nonviolence is not incompatible with Tibetan Buddhism per se – but unfortunately, Tibetan history under Tibetan Buddhism has been all to full of it.

    You also wrote:

    You’re correct; the 17 Point Agreement was signed under coercion. Thanks for the link to the DL website. When I read the “Middle Way”, it said there was no issue with independence, just autonomy. I can understand China not accepting everything that was stated but if it was meant to be a starting point for negotiations, why should that matter? You don’t put your final position on paper as a starting point since you have to make concessions in negotiation.

    Your comment smack of disingenuousness to me (sorry – that’s for effect). I mean … shall we call the surrender agreement of Japan and Germany void because they were signed under “coercion”?

    Please note that the agreement was signed in 1951. And the agreement was not allegedly repudiated until 1959, after the DL had fled to India. In the interim between 1951-1959, what do you think happend? The DL was held under house arrest?

    No, the DL actively participated with the CCP in carrying out reforms in Tibet. The DL and his cohorts tried to instigate an uprising and fled to India years later only when they realized reforms would curtail too many of their feudal powers and benefits.

    Regardless of history, about today’s “negotiations,” why can the DL demand his “initial” point for negotiation and CCP (presumably) not demand theirs? In my view, the DL can bring his “Middle Way” and whatever else he wants to the table, and so can the CCP bring their conditions and whatever else to the table also. But all parties need to be realistic. There is no “right” or “wrong” here. Each should realize that each has his walk away point. And thus far, I suppose neither side is willing to budge enough to truly negotiate. I don’t see any problems here…

    And as for your comments several times on this thread regarding that the DL is only fighting for autonomy not independence – those words do not ring true to me (based on my informed observation of the DL over the years) becasue of his past actions, current diplomatic acts, his rhetoric, his ideology, his association, his books, etc., etc. I do not intent to argue and hog up this thread – that’s not my point – but Steve, if you really believe that the DL is not fighting for independence, then we are worlds apart on this one issue.

  110. Lobsang
    November 16th, 2008 at 18:42 | #110

    #97 said everything about Tibet has been said in this forum. I don’t think so. Not the Tibetans voices. It’s like an arrogance of someone (an idiot in hindsight) who said 100 years ago, everything that has to be invented had been done. Well if this forum has discussed everything, why we don’t see it demonstration of this understanding. So sincerely believing in the middle-way is not acceptable to Chinese and continue label as separation then I don’t know what other concessions Tibetans can make.

    Well for one the lead author, Mr. Allen has put it so well the feelings of the majority Chinese. Empathy is so lacking and for a lot of them this Tibet problem started just since the March ‘riots’ and the subsequent world-wide condemnation. It was intense and the world’s conscience was on the Tibetan cause. It was complete shock to lot of the Chinese which was like a volcano or better the first earthquake to take them by surprise since the PRC propaganda did such a good job. Not knowing that Tibetans with the help from many friends/supporters have been waging this struggle for the last 50 years peacefully around the world and when uprising in Tibet happened, the world rose up against the mighty PRC.

    Sure the financial problem is taking the world’s attention now but Tibet issue will not be forgotten and in people’s conscience. Just read that President Sarkozy (current President of EU) is going out of his way to meet Dalai Lama in Poland next month, despite huge pressure, threat and bullying from PRC. Again don’t blame the DL and punish the Tibetans, blame PRC leaders for not resolving the Tibet problem peacefully at this perfect time. Well it’s good to know that as in this forum there are many Tibet supporters both Chinese and non-Chinese who stand for truth and not afraid to be muzzled. There is good in this world and it’s not all evil and hopeless.

    So the good effect from the March protests is that the majority Chinese woke up that there is a Tibet issue. Sure it’s not exactly what we wanted as PRC effectively stroke the ugly Han chauvinistic nationalism as us against them. Eg. Anti-China western imperialistic using Tibet issue and DL to hurt China.

    Also Tibetan side neglected educating the Chinese population on Tibetan grievances (not possible in China) but could have done better jobs to the large Chinese diaspora, especially the recent immigrants from China (difficult due to years of indoctrination but could have tried). We have done such a good job in educating the people in the free world but somehow did not target the Chinese population per se except our Taiwanese friends. So this forum is good if it helps educating our sensible Chinese brothers and sisters about Tibet.

    Tibet unlike any other parts of current China with deep civilization, history and geographic isolation and long years of ‘independence’ had formed a strong identity with strong culture. Like I mentioned no Chinese rulers had direct control over Tibet and its people as now by the CCP. No doubt CCP is the most powerful empire in the history of China.

    At the same time, we are living in a 20th century and old empire, colonial attitude by the government and its people is in line with current reality.

    I see future Tibet to be like Scotland within UK, Quebec within Canada, Basque within Spain and then I will proudly say I am a citizen of PRC and even Chinese. In a developing countries you can pick many states in India’s North east frontiers consisting of many ethnic tribes having so much autonomy, benefits. and more importantly freedom.

    I am not going to go into systemic discrimination, contempt, racism that Tibetans have to endure and more so since the March protests as mentioned by Steve and Hemulen.

    One point I am going to mention is that until a political solution is reached, others such as economic development will not solve the root cause of the problem. Until the root cause is tackled, looking at the symptoms will not see the reality. Unfortunately the PRC is adamant and don’t have the courage and confidence to solve the root cause.

    What I see PRC CCP policy is total integration and assimilation of Tibet just as they have done to other minorities such as Mongols, Manchus and the rest of the 55 minorities. Tibetan identity is strong and if not Tibetan issue would have been gone like the rest. So why not the PRC accept this reality and accept Tibet part of China of true autonomy.

    Until then, I am yet to meet a Tibetan in Tibet and outside who can say I am Chinese. Also Tibetan exiles consist of Tibetans from Tibet and born outside with strong connection to Tibet and people there and not some group disengaged from the Tibetans in Tibet. It’s proper to say Tibetans in the free world and Tibetans in Tibet as they don’t have voices due to unbelievable repression and fear.

    On the economic development, keep in mind that for Tibetans, Chinese language is a second language, and without mastering this language, Tibetans will not benefit from the economic development. So why not make Tibetans official language for Tibet. Look at Quebec, States in India as an example where it can be done if there is a will. Also language is the most important aspect of retention and protection of ones culture.

    So the Tibetan side eagerly awaits the results of the upcoming meeting of leading Tibetans on the future course of Tibet next week.

    DL said it best, he tried it best to propose a win-win solution and it takes two to make a deal. His faith in the Chinese people is strong but to the PRC CCP govt its thinning and worried about the future Tibet. For that some Chinese will call him expressing ‘anti-China’ and Tibetans will say he is not strong enough to express the outrage when Tibetans in Tibet are suffering right now.

    Also one more to some Chinese posters, don’t ever feel pity to the Tibetan exiles who are doing incredible well and respected around the world (most successful refugee as called by UN agency) on very little financial support from outside. Instead feel great pity to the Tibetans in Tibet who are suffering with deep mental anguish and don’t have freedom and can’t fulfill one wish in their life to see their beloved leader which is slipping away as the talks break down.

  111. pug_ster
    November 16th, 2008 at 19:21 | #111

    @Lobsang 110

    I’ve said it and I’m going to say it again. The problem with the Dalai Lama is that he is talking to his supporters pandering his ‘middle way’ solution but not his critics. Ultimately, the critics (the Han Chinese in China) are going to decide his ‘middle way’ solution and not his supporters (the foreign leaders) who are not going to deal with the local situation.

    It reminds me of the US presidential campaign where Barack Obama went to out of his comfort zone to go to in Republican states in order to get votes. As a result, he won states that are normally Republican states like Virgina, North Carolina, India, and Nevada. Imagine if Obama campaigned in Democratic states or worse, even pander to foreign leaders on why he should be the leader of the free world complaining about George Bush. Heck, GWB is very unpopular in the eyes of foreign countries, but ultimately the those Red Republican States, and not the Democratic states nor foreign influence will decide whether Obama will be president or not.

    Ghandi and MLK confronted his critics in order to get his message across. You can complain that most typical Chinese are brainwashed by the CCP propaganda. But the fact that the DL had never even try to reach out to them, even the overseas Chinese which leads most Chinese to think that the DL is nothing but a yellow-bellied chicken.

  112. November 16th, 2008 at 19:45 | #112

    @Steve #67,

    Hope you don’t mind the many terse (hopefully succinct) replies I am going to make to some of your many questions raised in #67:

    When you said that with an increased economy, everyone benefits; I thought back to the 1950s in America when the economy was booming. Did African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans or Native Americans benefit? I think if you asked them, they would say no. The “system” might make it seem like they could but unlike most here, I’ve actually done business in China.

    Of course not. It goes without saying that broad economic development alone is not sufficient for social justice. The fruits of the development must be somewhat equitable. We all know the gap between the rich and poor is wide in China (same goes for U.S., despite its much more developed status). It’s a good issue to discuss how to make China an economically more equitable country. It’s however not useful to cast it narrowly and strictly as a Tibetan-Han issue.

    Many people on this thread have said that China should not negotiate with the DL or his representatives. Isn’t who represents the Tibetans for the Tibetans themselves to decide? If not, how can that person have any legitimacy?

    You – like many Westerners – seem to start with the presumption that the CCP is not “legitimate.” You also presume (ok maybe not explicitly, but I think implicitly) that the DL (the former slave owner) is somehow the “legitimate” ruler of all ethnic Tibetans.

    I personally find such attitude disrespectful and condescending (even though I know you as a person are not so to the Chinese people). China today has a legitimate government. Treat it with the respect and legitimacy it deserves – or else we are back to square one.

    It’s a very old technique for governments to promote an outside “bogeyman” to its people as the prime instigator of their troubles and their true enemy. It makes the government indispensable to the people to “solve” their problems or “destroy” the enemy. Hitler did it with the Jews, Gipsies and Slavs; the Japanese did it with the “west” that held their development down, the States and the Soviets did it with each other in the cold war, the Arabs do it with the Jews, Hindus with Moslems, etc. Is China promoting the DL as this outside “bogeyman” so they have someone in particular to blame for any difficulties there?

    No. China is busy enough dealing with its domestic issues face on. The interference from outside is genuine and real. I hope you didn’t write the above hoping that someone can actually “disprove” the theory…. (if so, I can come up with 10 million theories for you to “disprove” also! 😉 )

    I’ve seen the Tibetans referred to in this blog as our “brothers and sisters” and that most of them want to live in peace inside China, and appreciate the economic development and benefits that China has given them in the last 20 years. If that is so, then why does Lobsang write “Tibet is still lock-down with heavy repression and police presence which is even admitted by one of the top officials last week.”? Why do you need this if almost everyone sides with the government? There is a disconnect here…

    I distrust many of what the exiles write (as you admit you do, too) – and of course, a lot of what the CCP promulgates (as you do, too). The reality is probably somewhere in between. In my view, Tibet is not a police state, but neither is it a “normal” state.

    So why is Tibet not “normal” after all these years? For me, the answer is not that hard to find. You only need a few bad apples to ruin a basket of fruit. After 911, the U.S. became a very different country because its security was threatened. People’s lives changed even though there were in actuality very few terrorists.

    The same principle works in Tibet. At the heart, China is still a weak country. The CIA has sponsored uprisings in Tibet and military training for exiled Tibetans. The West and the exiles has continued to apply geopolitical pressure on China with respect to Tibet. Given the strong media disinformation and harsh rhetoric in the West in the lead up to the Olympics, I certainly don’t expect Tibet to be “normal.”

    To be honest, I was actually surprised that the CCP had so few police ready for the March riots. They were obviously caught off-guard (despite people’s vision that Tibet is a police state). The current security arrangements sounds reasonable to me, given the March riots as well as the continued international pressure. I wish Tibet would return to being “normal” soon (and I believe it will), but I admit it is not “normal” for now – for understandable reasons.

    If the exiles are completely separated from the Tibetans themselves, how can they have so much control over them? It seems many on this thread blame the DL, other exiles and foreign governments for whatever takes place in Tibet. But then I hear that most Tibetans like being part of China. Why would people who like being part of China rebel against the government? That doesn’t make any sense to me.

    See above. It only takes a few bad apples to cause problems.

    Tibet is referred to as an “autonomous” region. I looked up the definition of autonomous and it said, “Self-governing with respect to local or internal affairs: an autonomous region of a country.” So my question is, how can you call Tibet an autonomous region if Tibetans don’t govern their own region? How can Tibet be an autonomous region if people from other regions are allowed to emigrate there without the approval of the Tibetans themselves? Who is the party chief for Xizang province, a Tibetan or a non-Tibetan? If you agree to give a region their autonomy but don’t follow through on your agreement, how can they trust you?

    We must read “autonomy” in context (I’m surprised you went to a dictionary to strictly construe the term! That’s not how diplomats, lawyers, political scientists interpret documents like these…). The CCP has always been willing to grant cultural and religious autonomy to Tibetans at all times, but it will not allow political autonomy (e.g., dictating deployment of military, restricting flow of people into and out of Tibet) in the guise of cultural and religious autonomy.

    Now the outlawing of the DL pictures is probably stupid … but as I mentioned above, Tibet is not strictly “normal” now in the way that the U.S. is not “normal” after the 911 attacks. In addition, what defines autonomy will probably be like the “commerce clause” or “freedom of speech” or federalism issues in the U.S. – it will surely flow with the time and develop in accordance with the needs of the moment. It is something to be taken internally over time…

    The DL has said many times he wants real autonomy for Tibet within China. Many on this thread have referred to statements he made in 1959. That’s almost 50 years ago! Outside of Jerry and I, most of you weren’t even born back then. Are the Chinese saying they can’t trust a guy because he changed his mind from a statement he made almost 50 years ago? Would they put the same onus on their own government? If I remember correctly, in 1959 China was smack dab in the middle of the “Great Leap Forward”. Are some of you telling me you can’t understand why someone back then would not want to be a part of a country with that policy?

    I don’t think the CCP (or I) has ever said the impasse today is due to actions the DL took 50 years ago. No – the impasse is due to acts, rhetoric, ideologies, etc. of the DL today. I refer to acts from 50 years ago to show context and continuity… not as basis for impasse today.

    As we are wont to say on this blog, maybe both sides ought to chill a bit. Yes, some people rioted earlier this year. If I remember correctly, some people rioted in Guizhou recently because of the rape and death of a high school student whose supposed perpetrators were let go by the police because two of them were related to police officials. There were burning vehicles and government buildings, etc. Does that mean that all the people living in that city need to be rounded up and live on reservations? Doesn’t it sound absurd when put this way?

    It does sound absurd. Where did you get the idea that Tibetans need to be rounded up solely because they rioted? If they are agents of the DL – they need to be rounded up – the same way terrorists in the U.S. need to be rounded up.

    But yes – I admit – to the extent that CCP is racially / ethnically profiling the general ethnic Tibetan population in the wake of the riots, the situation is sad. But the situation is not unprecedented or not understandable.

    We have discussed in other threads about the status of “Muslims” in the US after 911 also. Muslims have been targeted for racial profiling at airports, in sports stadiums, in concert halls, at police checkpoints, etc. In politics, even Pres. Elect Obama shuns questions about him being a “Muslim” as a political hot potato.

    I’ll be the first to agree that singling any ethnic group under any guise is definitely not conducive to a peaceful and harmonious society. However, please understand the reality of the world we live in. Please do not hold China to a higher standard than the U.S. – at least not just yet! 😉

  113. shane9219
    November 16th, 2008 at 20:23 | #113

    @Lobsang

    Tibetan have a strong culture and religious identity historically. This is still true in China today, even though some folks would dispute on the details. Tibetan are not forced to leave their land, change or disvow their religious beliefs and everyday practices. It is also factual that DL represents just one of the major Tibetan religious branches (Yellow Hat ?). His personal worship in TAR has been a taboo subject becasue of his political representation as the head of Tibetan-in-exile government.

    China itself is under transition and transformation. As China increases its standing, some western people or countries are alarmed either by what China represents, or by whether her prosperity comes at the expense of old establishment. As the result, resentment was developed and wide-spread before 2008 Olympics. But it is wrong to take a page out this by thinking the whole world supports Tibet independence causes. To me personally, it was just a convenience and will not last long. It was also not clear to me which side used the other side.

  114. shane9219
    November 16th, 2008 at 21:02 | #114

    @Lobsang #110

    DL and his followers chose a path to exile, and they fought a war with the help of CIA. Now this small community came back and asked China to cede a quater of her homeland. Not realising such utopian idea, they felt like a victim. Something wrong with this picture. Tibetan-in-exile community needs to step out of this self-victimhood and face the 21th century reality. Time passes on and reality should sit in.

    “.. total integration and assimilation of Tibet just as they have done to other minorities such as Mongols, Manchus and the rest of the 55 minorities ..” — such argument is more fear than fact. Why not take a trip around China and see for yourself. Manchus, in their time, chose a path to adopt Han culture, and became flourish. If Tibetan today chooses to stay true to its own root and culture, I don’t see anything wrong with this picture.

    Fear and hatred will not solve any historical issue.

  115. Lobsang
    November 16th, 2008 at 21:26 | #115

    # 112, Allen, I am absolutely disgusted by some of your writings of disseminating hate, intolerance and a lot of LIES and untrue statements on Tibet and situations. To put is simply you hate all Tibetans for embarassing China as it rises to become a super-power. Your purported ‘truth’ and ‘facts’ on Tibet are bunch of lies that Tibetans will not accept. You can keep on hating Tibetans. Good luck and hope you feel better.

    You can call it Tibetan exiles and Dalai Lama but it’s really all Tibetans you feel deep contempt. It’s dangerous views you hold as you have some interest in Tibet and some knowledge but with your strong han chauvinism you are totally misguided on what Tibetans want. This will be my last posting on this forum as I am not sure what the purpose is if you don’t want to listen to Tibetan views discussing about Tibet and start labeling and blaming others. Like I mentioned, Tibetans need to be patient and will just have to wait for the new generation of Chinese in the distant future who would have grown up in the future ‘free’ China (after CCP PRC dynasty) for better understanding. This is almost hopeless for the current group of Chinese generation grown up with this PRC education system with distorted history/conditions in Tibet and ultra-nationalism with han chauvinism to expect better understanding of Tibetan grievances and history. We are NOT asking for anyone’s sympathy but better understanding and seek truth from facts.

    PRC CCP unlike the old imperial British empire, Israel, South African, US, where Gandhi, MLK, Mandela, Arafet had some freedom within those countries to fight against the oppressors using their laws. That’s simply was not and is not the case in PRC. PRC will NOT tolerate any dissent. If DL was in Tibet, he would be dead by now. There were also large sympathizers from those people such as British supporting India’s right for freedom, white South African (mostly english decendents instead of Afrikanas) supporting Mandela, Jewish groups supporting Palestinian plight. The biggest difference is that PRC CCP rule in Tibet is far more repressive and tigher control than any of the others. Do we have hope from sensible Chinese for better understanding of Tibetan situation?

    You will not find that many true Tibetan Chinese as a model Chinese citizen that PRC and you wanted (assimilated and think like Chinese) and I am yet to meet one. Even the Tibetan officials cannot be trusted because they demonstrate strong identity, such as Bapa Phunwang (Tibetan communist party founder and top official in the 50’s during Moa and official translator between Mao and Dalai Lama who was imprisoned for 19 years). Anyone showing strong Tibetan identity is considered thread to national security and soverignty. For those interested I recommend, to read his political biography written by Tibet expert Melvyn Golstein (University California press is the publisher). My father-in-law was a high-official in Tibet and now retired and learned lots from him and his friends on Tibetan officials views and it’s definitely not what PRC wanted. Therefore so far there has not been any Tibetan as the top leader in Tibet, unlike all the other regions in China.

    #111, pugster, Agreed completely on your statement which I admitted on # 110. That Tibetan side has neglected reaching out to the Chinese people but it’s not easy. This has been the top priority of Dalai Lama in the last 5-6 years or longer. If you can find any Chinese people who are sincere in understanding the situation, I can guarantee you that you will have no problem having a one-to-one meeting with the Dalai Lama. With his busy schedules and large number of people who want to see him, he will set aside time for any Chinese audience who want to listen to what Tibetans want. This is not what Allen and many others long-held views that are hindrance to this understanding. I know during the Sichuan earthquake Tibetan exiles held prayers, raised funds and in some cases worked with local Chinese community. I would be willing to hear what Tibetans can do for better understanding from the mainland Chinese?

    #113, shane, not sure what you are saying but seems like you want to learn Tibetan grievances and curios but can easily be manipulated by Allen and many other like minded of us and against them, so my advise don’t fall into this if you are open minded. One correction DL was the spiritual and political head of Tibet and not just from one sect. He is from the Gelugpa lineage but is recognized as the spritual head of entire Tibetan buddhism (all four sects and one pre-Buddhist Bon tradition).

    Good discussion and good luck talking about Tibetan issues with your like-minded without Tibetan peoples input. Ironically this is exactly what’s going in PRC. Non-Tibetan, powerful Chinese people discussing and making decisions and implementing policies for Tibetans instead of truly listening to what the Tibetan people wanted. Anyone who raises Tibetan grievances and strong identity are muzzled and worse labeled as separatists.

  116. tenzin
    November 16th, 2008 at 21:50 | #116

    Many Chinese commentators seem to amplify the stereotype Chinese attitude towards Tibetans. If a Tibetan has a different view about what he/she wants for their future, they are either “slaveowners,” “CHina-hater” or “seperatist”. And baseless accusations are thrown at us without realising that DL is not asking for separation and he wants Tibet to be a part of CHina provided Tibetans have some say in their future. Please read the memorandum that was released today by the envoys of DL who was recently in BEijing that was rejected.

    Allen justifies the situation inside Tibet by bringing up sept 11. Two wrongs doesn’t make one right. There is such contempt for Tibetan thoughts and ideas. There is such deep-rooted ignorance about Tibetan history even amongst the educated ones.

  117. m.wolfe68
    November 16th, 2008 at 23:32 | #117

    @Steve / #102

    I have to agree with Allen’s positions (#112). I would simply say you are still a bit too self-righteous in your thinking.

    You said: “Isn’t the lack of ethics in the current Chinese business climate a lack of balance?”

    Which business climate is “ethical” in your standards?

    Is it correct to interpret you are saying that if the Chinese have ethics such as the Tibetan’s in exile’s devotion to non-violence and other ideals of Budhism, the business climate in China would then be ethical?

    I would argue Islam, Budhism, Christianity all have similar ethics. Confucianism – while not a religion – also has similar ethics.

    Not fair to say they (the Chinese) “lack a balance.” 🙂

  118. jc
    November 17th, 2008 at 00:24 | #118

    @Steve #104:

    I can’t agree more with you on “think global, act local”. There are a lot for Beijing and Han Chinese to learn about that. That might just be a business doctrine for you, but if they can made significant progress on that, I am sure it will be a very positive development both economically and politically.

    I do believe that there are a lot Tibetans that are unhappy because there are a lot of indicators. The 3.14 riot itself is an indicator. The attitude taking by a lot of Chinese, as some manifested in this blog, is surely another indicator. I also agree with Tibet exile that some of those problems they described, top among them are religious/culture issues, are very serious problems and deserve attention, even though I believe they have significantly exaggerated the situation for their own causes. In short, I do believe there are a lot of problems in Tibet, and every single of them can make a lot of people unhappy. My view differs from many people on the severity and scale of various problems, the priorities between different problems and what’s the best and most particle way of solving them.

    Political/religious/culture/ethnic issues definitely exist; those alone can make a lot of people unhappy. That’s nothing new and a lot has already been discussed on that. Economy situation, while greatly improved, can also cause a lot of trouble. When everybody in the village was making $1 a day and they knew nothing else better, everybody is happy. However when things are moving forward and most people are now make $2 a day, but one particular dude making as much as $5 a day, you might start to sense some problems. The problem becomes twice as worse when that dude is actually the son in law of the local party secretary. And when it is revealed that secretary and son in law are both Han Chinese, you know where it is going to get. These are serious problems that can make a lot of people unhappy.

    When you get such a situation at hand it’s very difficult to deal with. China itself got such problems all over. What are you going to do? Put everybody back to $1 a day? Well not to say that on every aspect that’s a step backwards, even if we put that aside, people has already seen $2 a day and they are not going to settle with $1. Put all wealth together and equally distributed to everybody? Well, nobody is going to work after that, not to mention that the all mighty “wealth distributor” will surely keep a good chunk before distributing it. Arrest the party secretary and hang him? There are a row of other problems — first of all, the party secretary might actually be one of the few guys that actually know how to get to $2 a day from $1 a day and made this happen at the very first place, not to mention that the persecutor might be one of his closest allies. Obviously this is not a simple economy issue.

    China itself has gone through such and is still going through such difficult times, it has only gradually getting better in recent years due to a growing middle class, implementing a row of reforms such as land/property reforms and a rudimentary social security system, and slow but steadily improving on law and order. Many people argued that a democratic system is going to solve the problem. I do not believe it will. No doubt it can fix a lot of problems, but it will cause a row of other problems for China. China today is able to do a lot of things that are not “popular” but necessary and acts much quicker on a lot of issues is largely attributed to its non-democratic political system. When it comes to Tibet, a democratic China won’t do Tibet any good simply because Han Chinese would be making up 95% of the votes. The current system can get a lot done and still keep that 95% under the lid.

    Given China’s economy and political environment today, it’s not practical to expect Tibet to have a Hong Kong style autonomy either. For one thing, who is going to take care of their infrastructures? You can’t tell the Han Chinese that they need to completely get out of your everyday life except that they should continue building road for you. This is not to mention that DL wants the autonomy region to cover all regions that Tibetan inhabits. Tibetan not only lives in Lasha, but also in neighboring Sichuan and Gansu province. That means China needs to fork out almost a quarter of its map (more than 2 million square km) and hand it over to a minority of 6 million people. As a comparison, Hong Kong has roughly the same amount of people living on a lit bit over 1000 square km. Countries like Indian probably would love to see that. But how would CCP be able to do that? Even if they had made such an honorable decision to do it, how are they going to sell this to over 1 billion Han Chinese? You might just get an PLA general in Sichuan decides to go against the central government and rolls his tanks into Lasha instead. From there on, everything goes down the toilet and worse. How many times has that happened in Africa?

    When it comes to Tibet, the fact that it is still a very poor, physically challenging, land-locked region needs to be considered; The fact that it is a very distinctively different but small minority ethnic group needs to be considered; The fact that they have their own very different religions/culture/history needs to be considered; The fact that China itself is what it is today and still have a lot of problems needs to be considered; The fact that many other countries would use Tibet as a bargain chip with China needs to be considered. And most important of all, the well being of Tibetans along with Han Chinese who have settled in the regions needs to be considered. When you consider all those, you would probably figure that it’s not as easy as many of you thought. Mr. Deng has said “to be rich is glorious”. Indeed that might be the easiest glory for now.

  119. November 17th, 2008 at 01:02 | #119

    @Lobsang #115,
    You wrote:

    # 112, Allen, I am absolutely disgusted by some of your writings of disseminating hate, intolerance and a lot of LIES and untrue statements on Tibet and situations. To put is simply you hate all Tibetans for embarassing China as it rises to become a super-power. Your purported ‘truth’ and ‘facts’ on Tibet are bunch of lies that Tibetans will not accept. You can keep on hating Tibetans. Good luck and hope you feel better.

    You can call it Tibetan exiles and Dalai Lama but it’s really all Tibetans you feel deep contempt. It’s dangerous views you hold as you have some interest in Tibet and some knowledge but with your strong han chauvinism you are totally misguided on what Tibetans want. This will be my last posting on this forum as I am not sure what the purpose is if you don’t want to listen to Tibetan views discussing about Tibet and start labeling and blaming others. Like I mentioned, Tibetans need to be patient and will just have to wait for the new generation of Chinese in the distant future who would have grown up in the future ‘free’ China (after CCP PRC dynasty) for better understanding. This is almost hopeless for the current group of Chinese generation grown up with this PRC education system with distorted history/conditions in Tibet and ultra-nationalism with han chauvinism to expect better understanding of Tibetan grievances and history. We are NOT asking for anyone’s sympathy but better understanding and seek truth from facts.

    To Lobsang, the admin and everyone else, I consider this my personal failure. I’ll gladly ban myself from writing and just listen for a while if anyone (including Lobsang) feel that will be helpful. I don’t want to mess up Foolsmountain because of my big mouth and “distorted” view.

    I do know some things about Tibet but admit I do not understand (on the emotional level) the exiles’ vision.

    And for Lobsang, in case you are curious: I was born in Taiwan and grew up detesting the CCP, knowing them only as communist bandits. My family and I moved to the U.S. when I was 10. I would subsequently go to graduate school (in Engineering) as well as law school (focusing on international law, human rights, and IP in developing countries) in the U.S. My view of Tibet is based on my independent research and study. Of course, that does not mean I cannot be grossly mistaken. But my mistake would not be due to CCP “propaganda.”

  120. November 17th, 2008 at 01:05 | #120

    @tenzin #116,
    You wrote:

    Allen justifies the situation inside Tibet by bringing up sept 11. Two wrongs doesn’t make one right. There is such contempt for Tibetan thoughts and ideas. There is such deep-rooted ignorance about Tibetan history even amongst the educated ones

    Please understand I am not comparing Tibetans/exiles/DL (whatever you want) to Al Queda; that’s an unfortunate effect of my example. My point was to compare China to the U.S. when two societies are faced with what they perceive as “external” threats.

    I see Tibetans as “terrorists” only to the extent (if it is ever proven to my liking) that the Mar riots were instigated by DL agents.

  121. pug_ster
    November 17th, 2008 at 01:16 | #121

    #Lobsang 115

    First of all, if you haven’t noticed, there were plenty of Chinese Nationalists overseas that the Dalai Lama could’ve reached. They were there in France, London, Sanfran, Australia, etc… who don’t like the way those Tibetan protesters acted. If you haven’t noticed already, every time when the Dalai Lama goes to some university to speak or see some foreign leader, there are always Chinese protesters who are going to greet them. Of course, the Western Media won’t report on those Chinese protesters because the Western Media wants you to think that Overseas Chinese are on Dalai Lama’s side when they are not. The fact that the Dalai Lama won’t even meet with those critics shows that he is indeed a yellow bellied chicken.

    If the Dalai Lama wants to do something about the Tibet-China situation, he should stop pandering with foreign leaders like Sarkozy this week. Dalai Lama should face those overseas Chinese critics who wants answers of why Lhasa attack on 3/14. The Dalai Lama should confront those Tibetian Youth league who thinks violence is the answer to Tibet-China problem. The fact that the Dalai Lama does nothing of that sort makes him unfit as a person who can fix this situation. Maybe it is better if he had passed on or let someone else to take over his job to deal with the Tibet-China situation.

  122. November 17th, 2008 at 01:18 | #122

    @Steve #67:

    One more point about your post #67.

    You wrote:

    I read Foster Stockwell’s article but when I got to the part when he said, “The landlords and top-level monks retaliated by announcing, in March 1959, the founding of a “Tibet Independent State,” and about 7,000 of them assembled in Lhasa to stage a revolt. Included were more than 170 “Khampa guerrillas” who had been trained overseas by the O.S.S. and air-dropped into Tibet, according to a former C.I.A. agent. The O.S.S. also gave them machine guns, mortars, rifles and ammunition.”

    The O.S.S was disbanded in 1945, a month and a half after the end of the war. He also makes mention of the O.S.S. operating in Tibet after WWII, which again is impossible. If he can’t get this right, how can I trust the rest of his research?

    Steve I am surprised by what you wrote here. I remember you writing in another thread that you pride yourself on reading widely and triangulating any given issues from different angles. You don’t trust any one source, and in fact, that is one reason you like to travel so much… getting different perspective from different people.

    Anyways, no one source is objective – especially in an issue as politicized as Tibet currently is. You will not find any one source that will be 100% objective, 100% true – not just because of the politics, but also because of the secrecy and lack of good open information on many events surrounding Tibet – after WWII, during the cold war, and even today.

    I hope you will approach Tibet by reading widely and considering all sources on Tibet – each with its warts and distortions – and not disregard any one source simply because of some imperfections you happen to see (they all have imperfections).

    Good luck on your journey! 🙂

  123. Otto Kerner
    November 17th, 2008 at 02:16 | #123

    Lobsang,

    Thanks for your comments so far. I really appreciate having your voice here. I do want to ask you about something you said in comment #115:

    “That Tibetan side has neglected reaching out to the Chinese people but it’s not easy. This has been the top priority of Dalai Lama in the last 5-6 years or longer. If you can find any Chinese people who are sincere in understanding the situation, I can guarantee you that you will have no problem having a one-to-one meeting with the Dalai Lama. With his busy schedules and large number of people who want to see him, he will set aside time for any Chinese audience who want to listen to what Tibetans want.”

    This topic has come up on Fool’s Mountain before a few months ago, and it does seem to be a shortcoming of the Tibetan exile effort. I will take your word for it that the Dalai Lama will meet with any Chinese person interested in sincere discussion; from what I’ve heard, he is quite generous with his time in giving personal audiences, especially for the purpose of outreach to non-Tibetans. On the other hand, what about outreach efforts in Chinese-language media? There must be print and television outlets in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore that are at liberty to cover the Dalai Lama’s point of view fairly. That seems like the best opportunity to communicate with the Chinese people in their own language. I’m not saying there has been no coverage at all, but has this really been made a priority? Regular appearances by the Dalai Lama and his spokespeople on Hong Kong’s Phoenix Television would be especially valuable, since it has some availability on the mainland. Of course, I have no idea what has gone on behind the scenes. Perhaps the Dalai Lama has offered to appear, and has been refused, or perhaps accepted only with unreasonable conditions that would have made it impossible for him to deliver his message?

    Although a lot of the specifics are unknown, it’s not clear to me that Chinese media outreach has really been sufficiently prioritised.

  124. Otto Kerner
    November 17th, 2008 at 02:43 | #124

    I wonder if there would be any interest from the main participants in Fool’s Mountain in creating sort of a spin-off blog/discussion site specifically for discussion about Tibet. I’ve noticed that Tibet posts tend to generate a lot of interest on this site, and yet they are sometimes seen as distracting attention from the wide range of other issues that relate to China. There have been several times when I’ve noticed commenters mention that they are holding back a bit from participating in threads about Tibet for fear of having too much Tibet discussion. I agree that there are a lot of other interesting things to say about China, but, if there is persistent interest in a high volume of Tibet talk, perhaps that calls for the creation of a separate forum for it.

    There are already a lot of websites out there dedicated to discussing the Tibet issue. And yet, of the ones I’ve seen, none are very satisfying for discussion, because they tend to attract only one kind of reader or commentator. To wit, most of the English-language sites tend to cater to the pro-liberalisation (autonomy or independence) side, while a few (such as the Tibet section of anti-cnn.com) are designed to cater to the pro-PRC side. Although I make no secret of being part of the former, I have very little interest in listening to a soliloquy from either side. The intriguing thing about Fool’s Mountain is that it attracts readership and comments with a dynamic variety of different opinions, and, although I am occasionally disappointed with the level of discourse, for the most part it does not degenerate into a flamewar.

    Anyone who is interested in discussing this idea with me can feel free to reach me at okerner2007 at yahoo.

  125. Lobsang
    November 17th, 2008 at 03:01 | #125

    Well the memorandum docuemnt presented to the PRC a couple of weeks ago is now public. This is the first time, any contents of these secretive talks have been published publically.

    Here it is:

    http://www.tibet.net/en/index.php?id=533&articletype=flash&rmenuid=morenews

    Here is more meat on what the middle-way means as starting point to start the serious negotiations to resolve the Tibet problem for good. Apparently the PRC representatives pretty much threw it away and the dialogue came to a grinding halt. This accompanies a press conference by the Tibetan envoys.

    I would ask all those who seriously want to understand the Tibet issue to please read this and tell me if it can be starting point for further discussions and negotiations. Please don’t make these hyperpole conclusions that you don’t trust what’s on the paper and it’s a cover for independence. Just read it face value and see if it’s reasonable. Now this is exactly what’s presented and every other allegations are just not true.

    Allen, Thanks for sharing your background. So you are one of those Taiwanese who wannabe Chinese citizens. Interestingly your background is not too different than mine on the age coming in the west and type of education received and now fortunate to make a successful living. The only difference is that I have strong roots in Tibet and travel to China and Tibet often and know first hand the Tibetan peoples’ feeling and psyche.

    I have seen some serious hate mondering on the Tibet issue and Dalai Lama from some Taiwanese ultra-nationalist on youtube from one of them in mandarin. Hope you are not associating with one of these. Some are extremely racists and almost like KKK views of Han chauvinism/superiority complex and against the barbaric Tibetan people to be eliminated …

    Let me be absolutely clear that this distorted history of Tibet was started not by Moa and the communist but the father of modern China, Sun Yat Tsen over 100 years ago. So the Kuomintang nationalists really started this whole myth of modern China of this vision of trying to be middle-kingdom consisting of five races and occupy Tibet and others as part of the motherland. It’s just that Moa realized the dream and the rest is history. Tibetans had huge problems with Kuomintang government policies and claim on Tibet from turn of the century to right until late 80’s until Teng Wei Lee’s government when he right the wrong policies and around the rise of DPP. So now Tibetan government in exile and Taiwanese govt get along just fine but as you know they are large number of serious ultra-nationalists wanne be Chinese in Taiwan.

    #121, pugster (btw I have pug dog; very loyal and devoted but little stubborn sometimes so as a Tibetan Khampa myself has some of the traits).

    Thanks for your comments. If you don’t know then don’t mention it’s not done. Just this year, I was in Seattle when Dalai Lama was there and met some of these Chinese students handing out the pamphlets to the 60,000 sold-out audience at the football staduim and other sold-out events. I challenged some of them their grievances and what they are handing out and their complaint has been ‘biased media’ on China. I said Tibetans are protesting in Tibet for freedom just like the Chinese students in Tianneman Square. Then I said don’t be hypocrite to support the Chinese students but not Tibetans. Also mentioned don’t believe in Xinhua and PRC on Tibet issues and use the freedom in this country to understand Tibetan side.

    Anyway during Dalai Lama’s visit in April to both Seattle and Mayo clinic area in mid-west, he held a closed press conference to only the Chinese media including Xinhua and explained the situation. In particular what he meant by ‘cultural genocide’ and answered any other questions. However, forget about Xinhua but even overseas Chinese language media didn’t report the press conference and the contents. I heard newspapers like SingTao, SingPao have been pressured by the PRC not to publish articles on Dalai Lama’s views and engagement to the Chinese audience. At Mayo clinic visit he walked to the Chinese students and talked with them that he is not seeking separation and then called five of them inside for a talk. According to his accounts three students were too emotional and wouldn’t listen and he jokingly mentioned that if it wasn’t for the long table and the US secret services they would have been physical, but he also said two listened quitely and seriously.

    So at every visit abroad he meets with Chinese people who want to listen. Now on the Chinese students protests by this summer visit of Dalai Lama to the US, there were none. I was in Madison in July (also heard other places as well) and didn’t see any of the Chinese students protesting so perhaps they learned a little more truth on the Tibetans are seeking which is freedom and not separation. BTW, The only protesters on his every visit were the the all western people Shugden cult followers but that’s different topic.

    Also what do you mean by control ‘radical or violent’ Tibetan youths. Like I said Tibetan struggle has been steadfast non-violent. If you call the Olympic torch relay protests as violent, well you ain’t seen any violence.

  126. Bob
    November 17th, 2008 at 03:21 | #126

    So, what is cultural genocide? Aren’t you tibetans-in-exile constantly practicing cultural suicide by posting in English?

    “all western people Shugden cult followers”

    Pot, meet kettle.

    “If you call the Olympic torch relay protests as violent, well you ain’t seen any violence.”

    Bring it on, brah.

  127. pug_ster
    November 17th, 2008 at 03:40 | #127

    #125 Lobsang,

    Anyway during both the Seattle and Mayo clinic area in mid-west, he held a closed press conference to only the Chinese media including Xinhua and explained the situation. In particular what he meant by ‘cultural genocide’ and answered any other questions. However, forget about Xinhua but even overseas Chinese language media didn’t report the press conference and the contents.

    and I see this article about the Mayo clinic visit if he had any ‘closed press conference’ and there are no indications of that.

    http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/17834639.html?elr=KArks:DCiUHc3E7_V_nDaycU9PhDcUU

    And yes, there are Tibetan ‘terrorists.’ The article explains that Tsewang Rigzin, president of the Tibetan Youth congress, one of the more militant activist groups.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/11/12/ap/asia/main4595701.shtml?source=search_story

    Today, the clearest divide is between those favoring Tibetan autonomy and those favoring independence. But there are also endless sub-permutations, with various factions urging more protests, angrier protests, boycotts, more pressure on Western nations and, among a small group, a push for sabotage of China’s infrastructure.

    Protests, angrier protests, boycotts, and pressure on Western Nations obviously didn’t work. These violent protesters will throw a monkey wrench on Tibet-China situation, as you can see on the Lhasa 3/14 incident. Never in the article mentioned that the Dalai Lama wants to actually talk to the Chinese people. No offense, I take your argument that the Dalai Lama actually want to talk to the Chinese with a grain of salt.

  128. November 17th, 2008 at 03:54 | #128

    @Lobsang,

    Let me know if you’d be interested to start a new thread using the memorandum as a starting point. One possibility is for you to write a “letter” with points you want to discuss. Another is to have one of us other more neutral editors (I think I’ll recluse myself for this project) to start a new thread using this as a thread.

    Another possibility is to leave the memorandum alone for now but, given the start of the exile meeting this week, to open a new thread for exiles to post notes giving us updates of the meeting. We’ll make it clear that the new thread is not for “flamming” or “debate” per se but for our exile “friends” to give us an eye regarding what is going on in the conference.

    If you or any of the exiles is wiling to do any of the above, I would greatly appreciate it. Of course, if this is too much to ask for, that’s ok. I hope you and/or others will be able to continue to make contributions in the future.

    The point of any discussion is not to convince me of anything. There are many other readers here who are more moderate than me, and I think it’d be more important for you and them to reach out to each other if possible…

    Best Regards,

    Allen

  129. Lobsang
    November 17th, 2008 at 03:59 | #129

    Let me first ignore # 126, sorry Mr. Bob, I don’t respond to threats, sarcasm and provocation. You did all three.

    #123, Otto Kerner, Thanks for your comments and your suggestions. I agree with DL that Tibetan movement priority and infact top priority should be to reach out to the Chinese population on what the future Tibet looks like within PRC. Even that’s not easy when PRC consulates and Chinese communities under the consulate advise and influence, see Tibetan diaspora communities with deep contempt.

    I tell my Chinese friends in China and they seemed surprised that Dalai Lama is amazingly accessible to anyone who is sincere and wants to see him. They seemed awed since they heard him from the 50’s meeting top PRC leadership and engaging with them until now. Especially I noticed to the Chinese audience and definitely any Chinese media and better it’s politics and not religious reasons. Sorry the western friends and Tibetans have to take a back seat behind the Chinese people who want to see him. It’s quite amazing with over 1 bilion population, he is determined to reach out one by one ( that’s going to take a long time and perhaps an indication of continuing in his next life). At this time the competition is not that great as over 1 billion in China are denied access.

    Also as I had mentioned the PRC consulates and others do pressure Chinese media overseas and Chinese communities and large businesses such as the Murdoch media empire etc that will willingly censor these things that the PRC doesn’t approve.

  130. Wukailong
    November 17th, 2008 at 04:00 | #130

    It would be interesting to collect statistics of these discussions. I noticed the following in this thread:

    * Only pro-PRC commenters have mentioned the concept of “cultural genocide”, and then only for the sake of ridicule.
    * Most pro-exile commenters think the main problem is the Chinese rule in Tibet, whereas most pro-PRC commenters think the main problem is Dalai Lama and the demonstrations against the torch relay.
    * Most pro-PRC commenters even deny there is a Tibetan problem at all.

    I guess the last point is really the most important one. In mainland China you used to see sayings such as “so-called human rights problems” or “so-called Tibet problem”, which has become much rarer these days. In Taiwanese media I once saw the saying “so-called Taiwan problem”. I guess the main strategy for the different camps are to put their head in the sand and say a problem doesn’t exist, and blame the first “foreign power” they can think of, to reduce the whole question to guilt by assocation.

  131. Wukailong
    November 17th, 2008 at 04:04 | #131

    @Allen: Thanks for a good idea! I think that would be better, because frankly speaking, the Tibet discussions usually get nowhere (though I’m always dumb enough to be an eager participator 😉 ).

  132. pug_ster
    November 17th, 2008 at 04:32 | #132

    #125 Lobsang,

    I dug thru another article regarding the Seattle visit from the Dalai Lama and have the article here. And yes there were Chinese protesters.

    http://articles.latimes.com/2008/apr/13/nation/na-dalailama13

    And I quote from the article:

    In an onstage conversation before his performance, Matthews, the Dalai Lama and NBC news anchor Ann Curry exchanged ideas on topics including war, peace, music and motherhood.

    Asked Matthews: “How can you know what your enemy understands if you don’t talk to them?”

    The Dalai Lama responded that enemies can become friends through respect and respectful dialogue. Compassion can be extended to enemies, he said.

    I personally don’t know how can you make friends of enemies by ‘respectful dialogue’ without talking to them. Sounds like more rhetoric from the Dalai Lama.

  133. November 17th, 2008 at 04:47 | #133

    @Otto Kerner #124

    Good idea, please let me know if I could be of any help.

    @ Allen #128

    You may not be a neutral editor, but you are definitely honest and fair. BTW, have a great vacation.

    @ Lobsang

    Like Allen said, we really appreciate your contributions and it would be great if you could take up Allen’s suggestions.

    We had a thread a few months ago on the Dalai Lama’s efforts to communicate with the Chinese
    ( http://blog.hiddenharmonies.org/2008/06/21/dalai-lama-tries-speaking-to-the-chinese/ )

    One thing I notice is that his official Chinese site ( http://chinese.dalailama.com/ ) is only in traditional Chinese. It would be nice if there is a simplified Chinese version.

  134. November 17th, 2008 at 04:51 | #134

    I will create a “place holder” thread soon for the conference in the hopes that people (such as Lobsang and Tensin and others) will update us on the conference throughout the week.

  135. Lobsang
    November 17th, 2008 at 04:59 | #135

    I don’t have a lot of time to contribute so sure you can start another forum and will contribute as I have time. It would be good to discuss the memorandum which should be the basis for any future discussions on China-Tibet problem and then interpret as you wish. Then for clarification from the Tibetans side on some specifics etc, I will try to obtain …

    Again this is the middle-way proposal that DL clearly admitted last week as failure with dozens of talks and no results to show for. Keep in mind that this is not acceptable to the PRC.

    So hopefully we will know by end of next week if middle-way is still going to be pursued or if it’s independence or self-determination as other options then I guess this may no longer be valid and will follow more hardline approach from the Tibetan side finally.

    On a personal note as I had mentioned earlier, my mind is filled with the conditions of one of my cousins in Lhasa who has disappeared in Tibet since April and I need to do something to first to try to get info on his whereabouts and if alive then try to find out if they are charges laid against him. I have photos of him and short bio that I know of. I could use any help, especially any Chinese who have contacts with authorities there. So I will be spending a lot of my alotted ‘Tibet’ time on this case.

  136. Steve
    November 17th, 2008 at 05:39 | #136

    My my… I figured I’d get a few interesting replies to my posts but ended up with more than I expected. I’ll answer as best I can.

    @WW #108: Your example is a good one and I agree with the conclusion at the bottom of your first paragraph if that was the final position. But for negotiating purposes, starting with that position isn’t laughable or even a double standard, it’s just a starting negotiating position. The Chinese government had one prerequisite for negotiation; no independence. If that is met, then negotiations can start and both starting positions get modified over time. China’s starting position would sound just as inflexible and that is also to be expected. The important thing is for there to be actual negotiations.

    I’ve negotiated contracts in China and no one starts anywhere near their final position. In fact, that’s true all over the world but there are variations in negotiating techniques depending on the culture. For instance, negotiations with the Japanese are very tough but once the agreement is signed, it’s ironclad. But when negotiating with the Koreans or Chinese, you have to leave something to be given after the contract is signed because negotiations don’t stop there. It’s the old story of “When in Rome…”

    @Allen #109: Allen, I always give you the benefit of the doubt. 🙂

    Are you saying the DL is preaching non-violence while encouraging violence behind the scenes? Tibetan history has been full of warfare; I’m aware of that. I wasn’t talking about Tibetan history; I was referring specifically to the DL. Later in your post, you seem to strongly indicate that you think he IS encouraging violence behind the scenes. If that is what you believe, then I can understand your position regarding the DL on all matters.

    On the 17 Point Agreement, my bad. You had linked to the DL’s website and the idea of coercion came from him, not from you. I misrepresented your position so my apologies. The lesson is: don’t write long posts before bedtime. 🙂

    I can’t confirm or deny your reasons for why the DL instigated an uprising in 1959 but since it was in the middle of the GLF, could that have influenced him? It was a crazy time in China, from what friends of mine who lived through it told me. I honestly don’t have any idea what truly happened back then, except what I’ve read in books. There are two sides to that story and I’ve never read anything that proves it one way or the other. I’ll put that in the “past history to be figured out by historians” department.

    About today’s negotiations, I’m sure the CCP can bring whatever they want to the table, and I would expect their initial position to be just as unreasonable as the DL’s side. That’s just the real world of negotiations. I think we are in agreement here.

    Per your last paragraph, it seems you are saying that if the former positions of a leader are incompatible with their present day positions, then you would be a fool to trust them. When Nixon met Mao in Beijing, both were changing past positions for the benefit of both countries. Should neither have trusted the other since those positions had changed? Both Mao and Nixon were ideologues in their time, and both had plenty of printed and spoken words to throw back in their faces to say they weren’t sincere and weren’t to be trusted.

    But in the end, if China is unwilling to negotiate with the DL because they believe he is not sincere and cannot be trusted, then the alternative is to wait for him to die (which seems to be their current strategy) and negotiate with some future person who they believe will be easier to work with. If that is so, shouldn’t they be doing everything they can between now and then to bring the Tibetan people into the fold? From what every Tibetan contributor has told us, they would not accept anyone but the DL to be their negotiator at this time. Isn’t China also taking a gamble that once the DL dies, things could get very, very ugly with no one to keep the radicals under control? I can’t see this not being a consideration with the CCP. They say over and over that the prime goal of the government is to create a harmonious society.

    @Allen #112: I wasn’t trying to cast it narrowly as a Tibetan/non-Tibetan issue. (I’ve decided to stop using the term “Han Chinese” because I think it is too narrow based on our other discussions). I used many minorities as an example and applied it in that sense.

    “You – like many Westerners – seem to start with the presumption that the CCP is not “legitimate.” You also presume (ok maybe not explicitly, but I think implicitly) that the DL (the former slave owner) is somehow the “legitimate” ruler of all ethnic Tibetans. “

    I gotta admit, this next part really threw me. I didn’t write either of those, so you must have assumed them. Is your viewpoint causing you to create assumptions on my behalf? I’ll make this as clear as I can.

    I don’t have any presumption that the CCP isn’t legitimate. I also don’t presume that the DL is the legitimate ruler of all ethnic Tibetans. First of all, he doesn’t rule anything. Second, every Tibetan who has contributed to this blog says he represents them and their interests. I was referring specifically to the Tibetans themselves in their negotiations for greater autonomy. Since the CCP has already negotiated with the DL’s representatives, that means they have given them legitimacy or they would not have negotiated with them in the first place.

    However, you didn’t answer my question. Who decides who negotiates for the Tibetans in their dealings with the CCP?

    Your next statement also confused me. “The interference from outside is genuine and real.” Are you referring to the DL as the source of outside interference? Since he lives in India, your statement is accurate. I asked the question, is China promoting the DL as a bogeyman regarding the situation in Tibet? Your answer sure looked like a big “no”. I didn’t say he was, I just asked if people thought he was. There are difficulties in Tibet, no? China has blamed the DL for causing them, haven’t they? Where do we disagree?

    Allen, I would not compare the situation in Tibet with 911. No one blew up thousands of people in a matter of minutes. Is the security of the non-Tibetans threatened anywhere outside of Tibet? I hope their security isn’t threatened inside or outside Tibet, but I’d feel much safer as a non-Tibetan if I were in another province. Wouldn’t you? From what I read, the major threat around the Olympics was coming from Xinjiang, not Tibet. I agree with you that the Lhasa riots were caused by just a few people. The riots in Weng’an were also caused by a few people as compared to the population in Guizhou. Aren’t most riots caused by a small percentage of the population? Isn’t most police brutality caused by a small percentage of policemen? Isn’t most corruption practiced by a small number of politicians? I’m sure there were a small number of police in Weng’an also. No one ever expects a riot.

    “At the heart, China is still a weak country.”

    I’ve been reading posts on different topics on the FM blog, and this sentence brings to mind a question I’ve been meaning to ask everyone. Is China weak or strong? I keep hearing both from the same people. If you want to be treated as a strong country, that’s fine. If you want to be treated as a weak country, that’s also fine. But you can’t keep changing your mind depending on the issue. I would say China is a reasonably strong country. I would not say she is weak at all. I would say she is on the rise. But my viewpoint doesn’t change from post to post. Maybe I’ll write that up as a new thread.

    “The CCP has always been willing to grant cultural and religious autonomy to Tibetans at all times, but it will not allow political autonomy (e.g., dictating deployment of military, restricting flow of people into and out of Tibet) in the guise of cultural and religious autonomy.”

    Fair enough, but are you saying they are willing to grant this after negotiation or have already granted it? I’m with you on the dictation of military; that can never be a provincial decision. As far as restricting the flow of people in and out of Tibet, from a tourist POV of course you are right. From a relocation point of view, can there be any restrictions or do you see that as off limits? Would cultural and religious autonomy, with more provincial leadership positions filled by Tibetans, be acceptable to most Tibetans?

    “I don’t think the CCP (or I) has ever said the impasse today is due to actions the DL took 50 years ago. No – the impasse is due to acts, rhetoric, ideologies, etc. of the DL today. I refer to acts from 50 years ago to show context and continuity… not as basis for impasse today.”

    I have read quite a few diatribes against trusting the DL where his position from 50 years ago is mentioned. What was the CCP’s position on issues 50 years ago? Context and continuity are fine if we’re talking about 5 or 10 years ago but that’s not been your argument. Your argument is that what the DL says is not what he means. You seem to feel what the DL’s initial negotiating position is would be his only position without the chance of compromise or modification.

    “Where did you get the idea that Tibetans need to be rounded up solely because they rioted?”

    I didn’t; someone else mentioned it earlier in this thread. I just thought the whole idea sounded absurd.

    If I seem annoyed on this thread it is because I am. Unlike other threads, even the Taiwan threads, too many see this topic as strictly black/white, with a few exceptions who have tried to empathize with both sides. I came into this thread (my first one commenting on Tibet) with the idea that independence is not an option for Tibet, China isn’t going to grant Tibet full autonomy (it’s just not realistic) but that with certain concessions, China can make the Tibetans feel more a part of the country, more a part of China and less willing to feel threatened or coerced in their everyday living. That would be a win/win situation for everyone. I would say that’s pretty much a realistic position, actually closer to the Chinese than Tibetan side. I have NEVER advocated independence for Tibet.

    So I asked a lot of questions and when people spouted propaganda without any facts to back them up (though I asked for those facts) and mostly didn’t even bother to answer or comment on any questions I posed, (Allen, you addressed some of them and I appreciate it), I called them on it. Don’t you want the situation in Tibet to get better? If so, how do you approach it? All I seem to hear is that the Tibetans better do what the Chinese government tells them; no compromise, no negotiations, no nothing. Opinions are offered as facts with nothing to back them up. Allen, you want me to take Foster Stockwell seriously, yet he didn’t footnote a thing and included such an obvious error, how can I take what he says seriously? If someone is writing an article about China and talks about how Mao started the economic reforms in 1990, what would you think? Would you give serious credence to the rest of that article? If Foster Stockwell was writing an article taking the Tibetan side and made a blatant error, would you be so quick to defend him? Bad scholarship is bad scholarship.

    Having spent so much time in China, I read either the China Daily or Shanghai Daily every morning at breakfast. I can assure you that there was an article about Tibet written from the Chinese government’s POV, every single day. I read every article. I bet I’ve read more of those articles than you have. In fact, I’d bet I’ve read 5 to 10 times more articles than you have. I was there for a long time. I’ve read surprisingly little from the Tibetan POV.

    If I ask a question that questions the Chinese government’s POV, everyone on that side seems to want to categorize me as “pro-Tibet”. Instead of answering the question, I get a statement assuming I have a certain position or belief, though all I did was ask a question. How can I learn more about this issue without asking questions? If you’re pro-China; fine. Back it up. Answer the question. Debate instead of insult. I went through the thread and also noticed that though everyone thinks it’s great to have Lobsang, Hemulen and Tenzin on the board, none of the China guys have asked them any questions. It’s been statements, statements, statements, all against his position. Lobsang lived there; why no questions? How can he participate in a discussion if no one wants his opinion? If no one asks them questions about their perspective, isn’t that being closed minded?

    I’ve spent my entire career finding solutions for my customer’s problems. Some of those solutions were complex, took a long time to solve and were industry firsts. Very few were easy. Why was I so good at it? I asked a lot of questions. Questions and finding the answers to those questions are the way to create solutions. Looking at a problem from my customer’s POV was not only necessary, it was imperative. Asking questions is the only way to truly define a problem. I hear a lot of insults being thrown around, but not many questions or solutions…

  137. Cissy
    November 17th, 2008 at 05:46 | #137

    @Lobsang

    Just out of curiosity, are you the Lobsang from Salt Lake City, UT, who was mistakenly identified as Jin Jing’s attacker back in April out of a google flesh search?

  138. Steve
    November 17th, 2008 at 06:14 | #138

    @m.wolfe68 #117: “I have to agree with Allen’s positions (#112). I would simply say you are still a bit too self-righteous in your thinking.
    You said: “Isn’t the lack of ethics in the current Chinese business climate a lack of balance?”
    Which business climate is “ethical” in your standards?
    Is it correct to interpret you are saying that if the Chinese have ethics such as the Tibetan’s in exile’s devotion to non-violence and other ideals of Budhism, the business climate in China would then be ethical?”

    m.wolfe, I owed you an answer and didn’t want to include it in that last long post. Your question is understandable and I wanted to give you a thorough answer. Maybe when I’m done you might not think I’m so self-righteous…

    I don’t know how much business you’ve done in China, but I’ve done a lot. Not only is the current ethical standard low, everyone acknowledges it. Ask a Chinese businessman who he’d rather do business with, a western corporation, a Taiwan company or a fellow Chinese. You’d hear the western corporation or the Taiwan company. Why? Because he knows he can trust that what is agreed to will happen the vast majority of the time. Ask a Chinese high tech professional if he’d rather work for a Chinese company or a multinational company. Virtually all would choose the multinational company. They even rank it by countries. There’s a joke that went around China about the good life and the bad life, listing countries for each area. In the good life you work for an American company and in the bad life you work for a Chinese company. It’s a Chinese joke, not a western joke.

    Colleagues of mine told me horror stories about working for Chinese companies. For non-Chinese, the Koreans and Japanese were considered the worst to work for.

    In Asia, the most ethical businesses are in Singapore and Hong Kong. The Japanese and Taiwanese are also very ethical. Koreans are ok but you have to be more careful. The Philippines are a step below. China, Vietnam and Indonesia are the ones you really need to watch.

    If you want to call me self-righteous for saying this, you’d also have to include virtually all highly educated young professionals working in China. I worked with the professional elite in the country; mostly Qinghua and Shanghai Jiaotong University engineers and managers. I was in the semiconductor manufacturing business, if that matters. I don’t want to waste blog space, but I could give manifold examples confirming what I’m saying.

    I’m not sure where this particular business trait comes from or what would cause it to happen. I have no idea whether it’s related to religion; I just know that’s the way it is at this time. Unfortunately, my colleagues didn’t have much hope of it changing anytime soon. Since it is not a problem in either Hong Kong or Singapore, it’s not inherent to the Chinese culture. Maybe you can tell me what causes it?

    Have you done business in China? If so, what type?

  139. Steve
    November 17th, 2008 at 06:18 | #139

    @ Allen: Hey, have a great vacation! We’ll miss you here… well, at least I shall. 🙂

  140. November 17th, 2008 at 06:24 | #140

    @Wukailong #130,

    To your observation:

    * Only pro-PRC commenters have mentioned the concept of “cultural genocide”, and then only for the sake of ridicule.
    * Most pro-exile commenters think the main problem is the Chinese rule in Tibet, whereas most pro-PRC commenters think the main problem is Dalai Lama and the demonstrations against the torch relay.
    * Most pro-PRC commenters even deny there is a Tibetan problem at all.

    I’d add:

    * Most pro-Exile commenters deny the Dalai Lama is seeking independence while most pro-PRC commentators swear the Dalai Lama is trying to seek independence under various guises.

  141. November 17th, 2008 at 06:26 | #141

    @Steve #139,

    Thanks! I won’t be leaving till Tuesday … but I’ll definitely be tapering down starting almost immediately … to get ready for the trip, tie up loose ends at work, etc.

    See you all when I get back…

  142. Hongkonger
    November 17th, 2008 at 07:06 | #142

    ” Since it is not a problem in either Hong Kong or Singapore, it’s not inherent to the Chinese culture. ”

    I think this has very little or nothing to do with ethnical / religious culture – Perhaps it’s to do with [adapting to] “Modern civic / Metropolitan culture.” And then there is the problem of the means and manpower to enforce established National ethical & civil laws within a province, district, city, town, village.

    IN HK/Singapore, for example, if you ran a red light, lit up a fag in some indoor public place, spit in public, litter, parked your car any which way you like, drove in the opposite direction or on bicycle lanes etc….the chance of the law coming hard on ones ass and wallet is probably 80+% – Beijing during and since the Olympics is a good example.

  143. shane9219
    November 17th, 2008 at 07:22 | #143

    @Lobsang

    Every perspective has its own limitation. There is no need for me to repeat how strongly Tibetan-in-exile community felt their historical grievance. How much of that is justified is a different subject for discussion. For the new generation with western education background, a mix of anguish with idealistic western ideology can be dangerous. Let me just caution you here the possibilty of leading Tibetan-in-exile community into strand. Both sides of Tibet issues need to take a long view on such complex problem.

    I have lived in both China and US long enough. Under drastically different social, economical and historical environments, things just work so differently at these two places. I do not dare to impose my own POV on China onto my kid when she asked me questions (a lot of them). Instead, I encourage her to get education there, to form her own POV on people in China and the future of China through her own interaction. She told me she has been enjoying her expereince so far .

    Good to know you traveled into China, please do not limit yourself to Tibet region only, go to see more places. China is still very much a developing land, but transformation does happen very fast. Even I have had a hard time to catch up through my own reading and traveling.

  144. Wahaha
    November 17th, 2008 at 07:47 | #144

    ,

  145. m.wolfe68
    November 17th, 2008 at 07:48 | #145

    @Steve / #138

    You indeed have extensive personal experiences to attest to.

    “Maybe you can tell me what causes it?”

    Hongkonger / #142 above essentially explained my position. I also think it has nothing to do with culture or religion. You are observing a China that is in the process of creating new laws and not all the participants are operating with a legal mind-set.

    I think China will get there as Singapore or Hongkong has.

    I manage an R&D organization for a large Japanese firm in the USA. If anything, I’d add that the Asian culture (Japanese/Chinese/Korean), makes them the genuinely most hard-working employees.

  146. Wahaha
    November 17th, 2008 at 07:51 | #146

    Lobsang,

    Do you know how native aborignals in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and USA live ?

    Do a little research before blaming Han chinese, please.

    Remember : you, Dalai Lama, Tibet exile government are just tools for those who hated China, whether you like it or not. You will sit when they tell you to sit, stand when they tell you to stand, bark when they tell you to bark. Didnt you see Hu JingTao standing next to Bush in G20 meeting ?

    Chinese troops out of Tibet ? are you a political moron ? you think West and India will leave Tibet alone after Chinese troops leave Tibet ?

    If, for some reason, you dont mind West and India put “peace keeping” troop in Tibet but mind China have troop in Tibet, it is because of your thirsty of political power and you can have power in Tibet by driving Chinese out. If so, please dont pretend you are fighting for Tibet people cuz you are fighting for your own ambitions.

    Also, 20 years ago, when I traveled to Tibet, I couldnt find a grocery store to buy tissue. do you know how poor your tibetan brothers and sisters are ?

    Tibet infants have very very very high mortality rate cuz tibetan pregnant women refuse to go to hospital.

    DID YOU AND YOUR EXILE GOVERNMENT EVER, I MEAN, EVER, THINK OF SOMETHING TO HELP THEM LIVE BETTER ?

    DID ANY SO CALLED HUMAN RIGHT ADVOCATES EVERY, I MEAN EVER, THINK OF SOMETHING TO HELP THEM LIVE BETTER ?

    DID YOU AND THOSE SO CALLED SHAMELESS HUMAN RIGHT FIGHTERS EVER, I MEAN, EVER, THINK OF SAVING THOSE INFANTS ?

  147. Wukailong
    November 17th, 2008 at 08:12 | #147

    @Allen: I agree completely.

    I think that we could add a group of common opinions Westerners and Chinese in general hold, but it would go outside the scope of the Tibet discussion. These opinions often appear in the discussions though (like “Chinese are brainwashed by their government”).

  148. Wukailong
    November 17th, 2008 at 08:14 | #148

    @Wahaha: “You will sit when they tell you to sit, stand when they tell you to stand, bark when they tell you to bark. Didnt you see Hu JingTao standing next to Bush in G20 meeting ?”

    Please explain – I don’t exactly understand how these two sentences are related.

  149. bt
    November 17th, 2008 at 10:52 | #149

    I am very happy that some Tibetans participate to this debate.
    It was sounding somewhat strange to see Chinese and ‘Westerners’ exchanging ideas without the principal characters, the Tibetans themselves.

    @ m.wolfe68
    Sorry, I stand with Steve on this point. The ethical standards are indeed very very low in the PRC these days. And, in my opinion, nothing to be justified with Confucianism.

    @ Allen
    We will miss you here … enjoy your holidays on the beautiful island 🙂

  150. Steve
    November 17th, 2008 at 13:23 | #150

    @m.wolfe #68: I’d like to add something to what I said last night, because it can affect the future of China. My colleagues over there were some of the nicest, kindest, finest people I’ve ever known; very intelligent and always tried to do their best. Their personal, moral and ethical standards were beyond reproach. They don’t like the current system any more than you or I do.

    I could see three “generations” by age group when working there. The oldest, people around my age, are running things now and quite honestly, have the lowest ethical standards overall. The next generation would be from 28-40. They are the ‘tweener generation and though they accept what’s going on, they don’t like it. The youngest generation, 27 and below, are the “one child” generation and they get very angry when dealing with this topic. Many criticize this generation as being selfish and spoiled and there is some truth to that, but I also see them as being more openminded and willing to think outside the box.

    Can they overcome an established way of doing business or will they succumb to finally accepting it since as the elite of their generation, they would be the beneficiaries of this low ethical standard? Only time will tell but I feel optimistic about their chances. I think many of them realize that for China to take that next step in her development, things need to change.

    The fish rots from the head and for China to truly change, the government has to change. By far the lowest ethics are when you need to deal with government officials. How the party can actually change this under the current system is something beyond my comprehension. They can put bandaids on specific blatant reported instances but at this time the problem is so endemic that I think it would take a complete change in the system. How do you create checks and balances within a one party authoritarian system to deal with this?

    From a productivity POV, the problem was never working hard; all my colleagues were very dedicated. The problem was more of a mindset of having to put in very long hours. You can’t work from 9 to 9 at a high productivity rate. You’ll burn out. So everyone slows down to get through such long days, which I completely understand. It’s no different in Taiwan. The other barrier to productivity is getting someone to actually make a decision, since everyone has been taught to keep bouncing the decision up the chain of command or else come up with a consensus decision. Meetings to make rather small decisions can drag on for a very long time. They were always amazed when I’d come in, ask what was going on, hear the alternatives and just say, “Do this at this margin, etc.” I could see the relief in their faces. I don’t think I was too successful in changing that particular mindset; it was just too deeply ingrained.

  151. sophie
    November 17th, 2008 at 17:06 | #151

    I took some information from an article written by an American writer – ‘Tibet through Chinese eyes’ published at the Atlantic in 1999 Feb. The article put the Tibet POV and Chinese POV side by side. The data is a bit old, but it gives some sense and scale of things.
    Seeing the end part of the article, Tibetans unrealistically believe that Americans will come to save them, I am wondering if this believe, a lost opportunity perhaps, make them more unhappy under Chinese government? This American sentimental is also mentioned in another article I recommended in this thread. I am asking where this idea comes from considering they are living in a remote area with limited English level?

    Source: http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/99feb/tibet.htm

    Info. from the article
    1. The Han migration
    ‘According to Beijing, Han make up only three percent of the population of the Tibet Autonomous Region, whereas some Tibetan exiles claim that the figure is in fact over 50 percent and growing’ (i look up online – in 2002, official data shows Tibetan accounts for 96% of the population in Tibet)

    ‘Tibetans see the influx of Han as yet another attempt to destroy their culture; Chinese see the issue as Deng Xiaoping did in 1987, when he said, “Tibet is sparsely populated. The two million Tibetans are not enough to handle the task of developing such a huge region. There is no harm in sending Han into Tibet to help…. The key issues are what is best for Tibetans and how can Tibet develop at a fast pace, and move ahead in the four modernizations in China.”

    2. The scale of investment
    ‘Foreign reports often refer to the exploitation of Tibetan resources as a classic colonial situation, which is misleading. Although Beijing is certainly doing what it can with Tibet’s timber and mineral reserves, China spends an enormous amount of money in the region, and if self-sufficiency ever comes, it will not come soon.

    In 1996 China spent some $600 million in Tibet. One foreign observer who has studied the region puts this in perspective: “For that same year the United States gave a total of eight hundred million dollars in aid to all of Africa. That’s all of Africa — we’re talking about hundreds of millions of people. In Tibet there are only two and a half million. So if they become independent, who’s going to be giving them that kind of money?”

    3. Special tax support in Tibet
    ‘Taxes in Tibet are virtually nonexistent; Tibetan farmers, unlike those in the interior, receive tax-free leases of land, and a preferential tax code has been established to encourage business. Low-interest loans are available, and business imports from Nepal are duty-free. ‘

    4. The education
    ‘Before they (CCP) arrived, in 1951, there were no public schools in Tibet, whereas now there are more than 4,000
    Likewise the schools I saw were impressive facilities with low student fees. In one town I toured the three local middle schools; two of them were newly built, with far better campuses than I was accustomed to seeing in China. The third school, whose grounds featured massive construction cranes fluttering with prayer flags, was being refurbished with the help of a $720,000 investment from the interior. Unlike students at most Chinese schools, those at the local No. 1 Middle School paid no tuition, and even high school students, who generally pay substantial amounts in China, had paid at most $70 a semester, including board.’

    5. Tibetans’ American dream
    ‘…less-educated Tibetans…invariably had great faith in American support and believed that President Clinton, who was then in China on last year’s state visit, had come in order to save Tibet. ‘

    ‘(In front of the Jokhang temple, the writer encountered) two Tibetans who were eager to speak with an American, and they had a great deal of faith in America’s ability to help solve the Tibet question.’

    ‘(Another Tibetan workers said to the writer) “You need to tell the people of America what it’s like here,” he said. “You need to tell them what needs to be done.” I nodded and shook his hand, but I realized I had no idea what I would recommend, or what the people of America could do. Perhaps we could build casinos.’

    For people want to have some insight of Tibetan-in-exile group.
    here is a blog by a Tibetan wrier Woeser: woeser.middle-way.net

    It’s in Chinese. Woeser is either pro-Tibetan-in-exile or part of them. Our Tibetan posters here posted Wang Lixiong’s article earlier. Wang Lixiong is her husband.

  152. Tenzin Mingyur
    November 17th, 2008 at 17:18 | #152

    (to Sophie ), speaking of population..

    When Tibetans refer to ‘Tibet’ they are talking about the entity comprising the three provinces of U-Tsang, Kham and Amdo. The two Tibetan provinces of Kham and Amdo are now largely incorporated into the Chinese provinces of Qinghai and Sichuan Tibet’s traditional territory now accounts for one quarter of the landmass of the People’s Republic of China.

    When the Chinese talk about ‘Tibet’, they are referring only to the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), an administrative region created by the Chinese occupiers in 1965.

    Check out last March uprising in Tibet. You can tell where Tibetans are located. Not just southern Lhasa area..

    http://www.columbia.edu/cu/news/08/03/images/tibet.jpg

  153. Steve
    November 17th, 2008 at 18:05 | #153

    Sophie, thanks for the link. That article seemed pretty fair to me. The writer tried to show both sides and how people on both sides just seem to be at cross purposes with each other while not trying to do so. Near the end the author wrote:

    “There were definite benefits of Chinese support, and I was impressed by the idealism and dedication of some of the young Han teachers I had met. But at the same time, most efforts to develop the region were badly planned, and it was frustrating to see so much money and work invested in a poor country and so much unhappiness returned. And often I felt that the common people, who knew little of Tibet’s complicated historical and cultural issues, were being manipulated by the government in ways they didn’t understand. But although I was certain that nobody was truly happy (most of the Han didn’t like being there, and most of the Tibetans certainly weren’t happy to have them), I wasn’t sure who was pulling the strings. One could go straight to the top and probably find the same helplessness, the same strings. It was mostly the irrevocable mistakes of history, but it was also money — simple economic pressure that drove a mother away from her son to a place where the people did not want her.”

    This reminds me so much of Peace Corps aid to Africa in the 1960s. Young, idealistic students went there to help the people. They had the best intentions. They built schools, bridges, showed better ways to farm, etc. But today, some of those same workers have gone back to the villages they lived in so many years ago, and discovered that the school they built hasn’t had any maintenance for 40 years and is falling apart, the bridge has no roads on either side, the farming methods have been abandoned. It all seems like such a waste and the conclusion many of them reach is that you can’t help people, they must help themselves. The best thing you can do is train the trainers.

    Tenzin, looking at that map you linked to, is the majority of the Tibetan population located in western Sichuan province? Are they getting the same level of investment as the TAR? I remember one of my Shanghai colleagues took a bus from Chengdu for a three day ride to the high plains and lived in a maikhan for a week. She just loved it! When I saw the photos, I hadn’t realized Tibetans were located in that part of China.

  154. pug_ster
    November 17th, 2008 at 19:07 | #154

    @Sophie 151

    I don’t think the problem is with the economic investment within the Tibetian region. In fact, the Dalai Lama actually thanked the Chinese government for doing that. The major problem as Tenzin or Lobsang says are Religious repression, Han Migration and assimilation.

    If the Dalai Lama want the Chinese and Tibetans to live together in ‘harmony,’ I see the reversing the Han Migration and assimilation is contradict as what he says. It seems to me that what he wants is segregation between the Han Chinese and Tibetans. Sounds that he wants to go back to the 1960’s segregation like in the Southern US and in South Africa.

    In the documentation that Allen provided, it seems to me that Tibetan’s culture is largely unchanged. What has changed is that economic prosperity has brought cultural changes. For example, the documentation shows the young monk in training who doesn’t seem to be interested in being a monk because of the galore of modern technology. Yet the Han Chinese are being blamed for not allowing enough monks in the monsterary. In HK, my Wife’s Aunt used to be a nun until she died a couple of years ago. In that monastery, there are very high demand for nuns and many wanna-be-nuns going thru nun-hood quit after they become adults.

    As someone mentions about Religious repression. Unfortunately, religion is heavily regulated in China for both the Hans and the Tibetans. Why else is there those underground Christian Churches and FLG being banned alltogether? I think the Tibetan exiles see what they want without looking at the current condition within China. They seriously don’t considered the current state within China or the ability to see things from the Chinese point of view.

  155. TonyP4
    November 17th, 2008 at 19:37 | #155

    @152. I wonder whether the Tibetans outside TAR have been assimilated to Chinese or local cultures. When I was in those areas as a tourist, the Tibetan culture/dance was shown to me many times.

    The Indians in US have a better life when they assimilate than those in reservation even with huge welfare benefits. Steve, can you verify that?

  156. sophie
    November 17th, 2008 at 20:29 | #156

    @Steve,

    I agree with you. Good intention doesn’t necessary lead to the good result. But, is the result really that bad? even the two articles I posted here written by the Western writers give a bit different pictures.
    When talking about unhappiness of Tibetans, considering there are unhappy people in any society, I would ask several questions: is it the majority of Tibetans who are unhappy? or the majority people are OK with current situation but they have no voice(‘silent majority’)? Are Tibetans unhappier than people in the rest of China? if it’s similar situation, then I assume it’s not an ethnic issue. Do people really believe if Han people leave Tibet then Tibetans will be happy?

    As well, I don’t know how to justify this huge investment in Tibet. There must be some political or security reasons? a colleague of mine coming from the Inner Mongolia jokingly said: look, our mongolians have never made troubles and therefore we got nothing from the central government. whereas look at Tibet, they got so much money…

    @Otto #123
    About your suggestion that DL reach out to the Chinese people, i can think of one potential barrier. Currently his talks can be accepted by the western audience who don’t know Chinese history. If he addresses to the Chinese people, he has to change his stories, since some of his talks won’t be accepted by Chinese. for instance, in the recent report, his official cited the disappearing of Manchu culture as an example of Chinese ‘culture genocide’. Westerners may accept this reasoning, Chinese can easily tell this is not true. It’s Manchu emperors who choose to become the master of Chinese culture in order to rule the big Han population (it’s a common knowledge among Chinese). So, how can DL present 2 versions of the story?

  157. Hemulen
    November 17th, 2008 at 21:05 | #157

    @sophie

    It’s Manchu emperors who choose to become the master of Chinese culture in order to rule the big Han population (it’s a common knowledge among Chinese).

    This is not accurate. While it is true that Manchu emperors sponsored Chinese culture and that the spoken Manchu language almost disappeared at the end of the 19th century, Manchus remained a distinct ethnic group right until the end of the Qing. The dressed differently from Han Chinese, they spoken different Chinese dialects, they lived in separate quarters and had different names. At the time of the Xinhai revolution 1911, Manchu men, women and children became the targets of nationalist mobs and tens of thousands of Manchus were massacred in cities such as Nanjing, Xi’an and Taiyuan. This is something that was widely reported at the time. After that, the pressure to assimilate was irresistible, and Manchus were forced to cover up their identities in order to pass as Han Chinese. The famous author Lao She was one of them and pretended to be Han Chinese for decades. This is something that almost any Manchu in China knows about and can relate to, but it is not surprising that most Han Chinese have basically no idea about it. Was this “cultural genocide”? Possibly, but the main problem here is that the self-perception of Han Chinese is out of tune with many “minorities” and it is very difficult to challenge that self-perception. Just look at some rather outlandish claims made at this blog.

  158. wuming
    November 17th, 2008 at 21:11 | #158

    @pug_ster

    “Unfortunately, religion is heavily regulated in China for both the Hans and the Tibetans. Why else is there those underground Christian Churches and FLG being banned alltogether?”

    The situation is not that simple, you happen to single out Christianity, which has a historical and political problem within China; and FLG which is widely viewed as a dangerous cult. On the other hand, Buddhism (including Tibetan Buddhism) is thriving in China with little or no restriction from the government.

    As for the complain of the prosecution of the Tibetan Buddhism, much of it is related to the (rather porous) restriction in worshiping of Dalai Lama, but it is often due to Dalai Lama’s political role instead of his religious one.

  159. Steve
    November 17th, 2008 at 21:14 | #159

    @pug_ster #154: I agree with you; without a doubt the Chinese government has tried to bring infrastructure to the TAR. Without infrastructure, you cannot build an economy. I think all the new roads and the new ultramodern train are a good thing; anything to tie the economy to the rest of China (and through China,the world) should help all Tibetans eventually. These days, being too isolated can really leave you high and dry.

    I wonder, though, about the religious repression. Christianity is a foreign religion and FLG is a new religion/philosophy/whatever (I’m not quite sure what it is, to be honest) but Tibetan Buddhism is very old and established. To be a Tibetan Buddhist is a conservative, traditional practice. Do the Tibetans look at the non-Tibetans and think, “Well, they can repress religion among Chinese since that’s their culture, but our culture is religious”? As long as the Tibetans don’t try to impress their religion on non-Tibetans, wouldn’t it make sense to allow them to worship? Or do you think the Chinese government is so worried about establishing a precedent for the rest of China that they have no choice but to heavily restrict it? The question becomes, does the restriction benefit China in the long run or would it benefit her more to remove it?

    @TonyP4 #155: I can’t say a better life, but a different life. Definitely a more materialistically successful life. Most of my experience with American Indians are with Navajo and Cherokee, but primarily with the Navajo. The guys I knew off the reservation made fun of reservation Navajo, saying they paid for all that welfare with their self respect. Also, don’t forget that most American Indians are not pure blood. Neither are most African Americans. There is already a mix in the culture. Tibetans might still be mostly pure blood, so they might have a different outlook about integration. My guess based on other areas in the world similar to the Tibetan plain is that life on the high plains is very unique, poor but spiritual, suited to some but not suited to many. I would expect the best option for a Tibetan is to have many options, to be able to live that life or to be able to live a life in a big city, or maybe even in Chengdu or Shanghai if that was desired.

    I have the feeling most who are posting to this blog, including me, live in somewhat decent sized cities. In city life, your mind is constantly occupied by the minutae of everyday life. Constant stimuli are bombarding us without us even being aware of it happening. But life in an isolated area is very different. When it’s mostly just you and nature, nature can be overwhelming. Religion seems much closer, always there, not only when you go to a temple or church. The need to fill that religious void can’t be un-taught, can’t be propagandized away, it’s just too powerful.

    My guess is that over time, the two cultures, Tibetan and non-Tibetan, will synchronize but not be the same. The synchronization factor will be modern life. When I was in Shanghai, in most ways life was just as modern as in San Diego. The cultural differences were there but nothing too hard to overcome, since we both shared a similar outlook. I think a person from the high plains of Tibet would feel at home in eastern New Mexico. The culture would be different but the general outlook would be the same. A strong country needs both urban and rural outlooks; one is not better than the other, just different. A strong and confident country can be united without everyone being similar or having the same culture or outlook. You just need to love your country and appreciate the differences rather than condemning them.

    @sophie #156: Those are good questions. I think that we need to look at the cause of unhappiness. The rest of China might not be happy but it is usually based on economic priorities and corruption issues. Outside of the FLG and maybe some Roman Catholics there, I don’t think religion is much of an issue in non-Tibetan China excepting the Muslims in Xinjiang. For Tibetans, their main cause of unhappiness is, IMO, that their culture is being superceded by what they perceive to be a foreign culture where they feel like strangers in their own land. I don’t think they want all Han to leave the TAR. For me, that is a bad idea anyway. They just don’t want to be overwhelmed by them. They don’t want to become a minority in their own ancient cities.

    The Mongolian observation is pretty interesting. Tibet is geopolitically important because it is the roof of the world and forms a strategic border with Nepal/India. Much of that new infrastructure has a dual purpose; to build up the economy but also to bring military assets to quickly bear in case of war or the threat of war. But Mongolia lies near the border with Russia, and Russia has historically been the greater threat. The Mongolians have a point.

    Sophie, I completely agree with you in terms of the history of the Manchus. Hundreds of years of integration with the non-Manchu population changed the Manchu identity forever. Also, non-Manchus had to observe certain Manchu rules so that also changed the non-Manchu identity.

  160. wuming
    November 17th, 2008 at 21:20 | #160

    @Hemulen

    “… Manchus remained a distinct ethnic group right until the end of the Qing. The dressed differently from Han Chinese, they spoken different Chinese dialects, they lived in separate quarters and had different names. … ”

    They dressed differently mostly to show their distinct higher ranking in the society. While their dialect is very well preserved in Beijing dialect to this day.

  161. Lobsang
    November 17th, 2008 at 21:31 | #161

    I don’t have a lot of time to respond to questions but read the postings with great interest.

    Since I haven’t been on this forum much and will be candid. Is this forum mostly consists of overseas Chinese instead of mainland Chinese from China and recent immigrants sucn as since June 4, 1989 thousands of students asylum seekers in the west and more recently lots of skilled immigrants to places like Canada, Australia etc.

    It appears from the posting, I get an impression they are more overseas Chinese such as from Taiwan, Singapore, Hongkong, Malaysia, Indonisia etc than China proper.

    Not that it makes much difference but good to know from experience sometimes overseas communities are more nationalistic and conservative than the the country proper. Just curios …

  162. zhihua
    November 17th, 2008 at 21:31 | #162

    @152

    “three provinces of U-Tsang, Kham and Amdo”

    It’s only in the fantasy land of the tibetan exiles that these three “provinces” exist, when in reality Kham and Amdo haven’t been under the rule of Lhasa since the collapse of the Tubo empire in 9th century AD.

  163. sophie
    November 17th, 2008 at 21:35 | #163

    Hemulen,

    I firstly learned Chinese history from my Chinese teachers. Then i didn’t stop there. I was curious to see our history from other point of view. So I read almost all books about China by Professor John King Fairbank who is the famous Chinese expert and the founder of the Fairbank Centre for Chinese Studies at the Harvard University, books by Chinese American Historian Huang Renyu and book ‘my country and my people’ by Lin Yutang written in 1930’s (Lin was nominated for Nobel Prize). None of the readings raise doubts to this part of history. If you can provide your reference, I will be happy to read.

  164. Steve
    November 17th, 2008 at 21:46 | #164

    @Tenzin #152 and zhihua #162: I found this in Wikipedia: “There are, however, significant differences in traditions and beliefs–even physical appearance–between the peoples of Kham and Lhasa. At least one-third of Kham residents are speakers of Qiangic languages, a family of twelve distinct but interrelated languages that are unrelated to the Tibetan language. Many Khampas are members of the Bön religion or ‘Black sect’ of Tibetan Buddhism, a group that had been largely marginalized and stigmatized by other Tibetan sects.”

    If this is true, then it would seem zhihua has a point. However, I’d like to ask zhihua why the people in this area protested and rioted last summer if they don’t feel a part of the rest of Tibet? Was it for religious reasons only? Or for something else?

    Tenzin, I think zhihua was referring to this: “Since the collapse of the Tibetan Empire in the mid-9th century, the peoples of Kham had aggressively maintained their independence from Lhasa. Local chieftains ruled their respective territories with hereditary titles bestowed by Chinese emperors. Chinese control was minimal, however, and chieftains were able to rule with a large degree of independence from both China and Tibet.”

    Does this area now want limited autonomy from both China and Tibet?

  165. Hemulen
    November 17th, 2008 at 21:50 | #165

    @wuming

    What can I say to you, but 顾左右而言他. I mention a couple of verifiable events and their possible impact on Chinese identity. You talk about dress code and dialect. Whatever. What-frigging-ever.

    @sophie

    I have the greatest respect for the names you mentioned, but they have not done primary research on this particular event. The standard account of the atrocities of 1911 is Edward Rhoads’ recent book. Manchu & Han. Take a look.

  166. Lobsang
    November 17th, 2008 at 21:57 | #166

    Allen,

    I heard you will be travelling to Yunnan on holidays. I was there a couple of times and one of my best holidays and had a great tiem. I am sure you will travel to Kunming, Dali and Lijiang. Then you have an option take 3 hours drive to a Tibetan aread called Gyalthang or now renamed ‘Shangri-la’ (quite silly but that’s what’s the real name’). Then if you are adventurous you will take another 3-4 hours to Dechen to see Mount Kawa Karpo (the current Tibetan Prime Minister for the Tibetanan Govt in-exile Samdhong Rinpoche is from that area). So you might get to the Tibetan areas which is like 2000 miles from Lhasa but they are 100% pure Khampa Tibetans and look up to Lhasa as the spiritual and cultural capital instead of Kunming.

    Below is an article from NYTimes on this trips to that area and reporting on Tibetan sentiments.

    I would suggest to check if other minorities have really kept the culture or they are mostly assimilated. I thought the latter as they speak Mandarin and dress native for tourists only. Naxi have kept some identity and then for sure Tibetans have kept strong identity (so far).

    Now my request to you, knowing your love for China and PRC, if you tell to the Tibetans that you are from the US, they might trust you and say things that are breaking the country law such as their devotion to the Dalai Lama or if you have photos of him as mentioned below or worse something else. I could tell the NYTimes reporter is ethnic Chinese and some Tibetans have confided some sensitive stuff to him. Now my request to you, I trust you won’t do it but will you PLEASE not turn them in by mentioning to the tour-guide (informants to the Public Security Bureau). They trust you because you are American and that’s not fair for breaking this trust to them. As you might know this will get them in serious trouble and ruin their lives. I am not being sarcastic nor trying to offend you but since you are going there and knowing your deep feelings, I just had to say this sincerely. Sorry no offence.

    Have a great holiday and Yunnan is just beautiful. I could live in any of these towns.

    Regards, Lobsang

    Now here is excerpt from the article.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/18/world/asia/18tibet.html

    Perhaps nowhere is there a better example of the “middle way” attitude promoted by the Dalai Lama, the exiled Buddhist avatar who advocates a nonviolent movement for Tibetan autonomy within China but not outright independence.

    “Whatever he does, we do,” said Tashi, a driver who keeps a portrait of the Dalai Lama on his dashboard even though such images are banned in China. “We don’t want to make trouble.”

    In this remote area, pilgrims flocking to the sacred snow mountain of Kawa Karpo carry photos of the Dalai Lama. Farther south, in a sprawling monastery outside the town that Tibetans call Gyalthang, known to the Chinese as Shangri-La, a monk’s eyes lighted up when he learned a visitor was from the United States.

    “Have you seen the Dalai Lama?” he asked.

  167. wuming
    November 17th, 2008 at 22:11 | #167

    @Hemulen,

    Cool down please. I may have been 避重就轻, but they were parts of your statement, and I particularly put in “…” before and after to show that I am not addressing all you points. I am speaking as an old Beijinger where the mixed Han and Manchu cultures formed its unique character that is very different from the Putonghua culture. More importantly though the newer generation is adopting the Taiwanese/Hong Kong accents, the old Beijing culture is still carrying its weight in arts and literature of China.

    You may have threads of arguments going with other people, but I am not part of them, you are free to dump this shitload on me only when I join those.

  168. Hemulen
    November 17th, 2008 at 22:28 | #168

    @wuming

    Whatever.

  169. bt
    November 17th, 2008 at 22:28 | #169

    @ Steve and Lobsang

    Alexandra David-Néel is a woman who has traveled (sometimes illegally, I have to say) all around Tibet in the 20’s-30’s (Kham, Amdo, Po country, even in Lhasa), and she was truly in love with the Tibetan culture.
    Fascinating travel books for me (I don’t know if it has been translated in English, Chinese, or Tibetan).
    According to her (from my memory, the books are still in Beijing), the Khampas and Amdopas were traditionally quite reluctant to the rule from Central Tibet / Lhasa (U and Tsang provinces).
    That does not necessary means that they don’t feel Tibetans.
    Lobsang, what is your opinion about what she wrote?

    “Me and my brothers against my cousins, me and my cousins against my village, me and my village against the world”, as they say in Kabylia.

    ps: as for the bons, which is a ‘pre-buddhist’ religion, she said that it had been mixed with Buddhism to create another branch of Tibetan Buddhism. She didn’t mentioned real tensions between bons and other Buddhists. At least, not more than between ‘Red Hats’ and ‘Yellow Hats’.

  170. Hemulen
    November 17th, 2008 at 22:32 | #170

    @wuming

    You may have threads of arguments going with other people, but I am not part of them, you are free to dump this shitload on me only when I join those.

    Whatever. Whatever.

    Look, everything can be said about Tibet has probably already been said — just on this blog. The full and complete sovereignty over Tibet is essential to China’s security and its future. In this light, other issues are but bargaining chips at the best, noises most likely. I believe the basic Chinese stand towards minority groups with nationalistic aspirations is this: give it up and join us in the pursued of better lives. This stand is narrow minded, near sighted, fatalistic and “lacking in ideals”; but it is the best thing happened to China for at least a thousand years.

    Whatever.

  171. Steve
    November 17th, 2008 at 22:52 | #171

    @Hemulen #165 and sophie #163: The book that Hemulen recommends can be found in its entirety on the net: http://books.google.com/books?id=QiM2pF5PDR8C&pg=PA3&lpg=PA3&dq=manchu+and+han&source=web&ots=xUz58GJQiC&sig=J7fk4RIsFNINKqJmDZAxEweFLAk&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=3&ct=result#PPP1,M1

    Hemulen, this looks like a well researched book and I intend to read it. However, I must point out that John K. Fairbank went to Beijing in 1932 when the Qing imperial archives were opened, so he also worked from primary sources. I have no doubt that Edward Rhoads worked from those same sources and might have had other newly discovered sources to aid his research, but that is just my guess.

    Sophie, that brought back memories. We used one of Dr. Fairbank’s books in a college class I took many years ago. Like you, I’ve since read most of his work. It was always Fairbank on China and Reischauer on Japan.

  172. pug_ster
    November 17th, 2008 at 22:59 | #172

    @159 Steve

    Bringing in infrastructure improvements to Tibet is mostly positive and like what Sophie says, it is a thankless job for the Han Chinese who did it. However, it seems that the Tibetans in exile don’t understand that Han Migration is necessary in order to do it. I don’t know what do the Tibetans in exile think when they expect Han Chinese to pour time and money to build a Shangra-la that Tibetans would expect, hand over the keys to the Tibetans and leave. There is no such thing as a free lunch.

    As for Cult and religion. I think China sees the Dalai Lama seen as a threat almost (but not quite) at the same level as Jim Jones or David Koresh. The Dalai Lama seems to be acting more like a Pat Robertson. Still people like that in China’s eyes is considered a threat. Heck the Pope is harmless compared to the Dalai Lama yet China don’t recognize the Pope as a Christian Leader.

    As the way I see it, this whole 1 week pow-wow by the Tibetans in exile is useless as they seem to be scheming on how to make China look their way. When I check out wowser’s ‘middle way’ website about Tibetan in Exile’s demands, I would not help but to shake my head. They think they can convince the world’s leaders to carve up China like how they can carve up East Timor or Yugoslavia. These guys should focus on what they can realistically do rather than what idealistically they want to do.

  173. sophie
    November 17th, 2008 at 23:03 | #173

    @Hemulen,

    I don’t challenge what is described in your post, but this needs to be put into historical context. I wouldn’t interpret it as a forced assimilation by Han People (not mention an example of ‘culture genocide’). It was in the middle of revolution throwing the ruling class (manchu) and transferring China into a modern country. Some revolutionaries used anti-manchu to get support from the majority people.
    Furthermore, this assimilation had happened long before 1911 and it’s initiated by Manchu court.

    Below is from wiki:
    During the Qing Dynasty, the Manchu government made efforts to preserve Manchu culture and the language. These efforts were largely unsuccessful in that Manchus gradually adopted the customs and language of the surrounding Han Chinese and, by the nineteenth century, spoken Manchu was rarely used even in the Imperial court…

    Near the end of the Qing Dynasty, Manchus were portrayed as outside colonizers by Chinese nationalists such as Sun Yat-Sen, even though the Republican revolution he brought about was supported by many reform-minded Manchu officials and military officers. This portrayal quickly dissipated after the 1911 revolution as the new Republic of China now sought to include Manchus within its national identity.

  174. Steve
    November 17th, 2008 at 23:14 | #174

    @bt #169: I hadn’t heard of Alexandra David-Néel before but found her official website here: http://www.alexandra-david-neel.org/anglais/acca.htm I read her biography; she was certainly a unique individual!

    I also checked amazon.com and her books are available in English.

  175. bt
    November 17th, 2008 at 23:58 | #175

    @ Steve

    Ah, Steve, you might be elected one day ‘the most curious poster’ of the FM blog 🙂

    Alexandra David Néel is somewhat special for me: she is ‘responsible’ of my travels in Asia.
    If you are interested in her writings, I might advise you to start with:
    – Tibetan Journey (org. title “Au Pays des Brigands Gentilshommes”)
    – My Journey to Lhassa (org. title “Voyage d’une parisienne à Lhassa”)

    “The Superhuman life of Gésar of Ling” is also very interesting.
    There are some books about her life in China before and during the WWII, but the link you provided says it is only available in French or German. The other books are related to some aspects of Tibetan Buddhism, or her life in India.

  176. Steve
    November 18th, 2008 at 00:09 | #176

    @ bt: They have “My Journey to Lhasa” over at amazon.com. Here’s the list of books they have in English: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw_1_15?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=alexandra+david-n%E9el&sprefix=alexandra+david

    No luck in finding “Tibetan Journey” or “The Superhuman Life of Gésar of Ling”.

    My wife is responsible for my travels in Asia. She said “time to meet the family” and off I went. 🙂

  177. November 18th, 2008 at 00:12 | #177

    @Lobsang #166,

    Thanks for your thoughts in #166. I will see if I can visit some of the more ethnic Tibetan areas.

    However since I am traveling with my wife (who is not really adventurous; she is “scared” enough as it is that we are going to the “Mainland”!), I probably will not get too far out alone myself to the remote areas this time … but definitely next time when I get a chance to travel in the area.

    And regarding your comment about me turning Tibetans in – I understand where you are coming from, but I also feel a little indignant that you think that is the purpose of my trip…. In any case, I will definitely look out for the abundant spirit of the various people and land that is Yunnan ….

  178. bt
    November 18th, 2008 at 00:25 | #178

    @ Steve

    Hahaha, we all have women shaping our lives 🙂

    * Tibet Land of Gentlemen Brigands: Retracing the Steps of Alexandra David-Neel (Journey Through the World & Nature) (http://www.amazon.com/Tibet-Land-Gentlemen-Brigands-David-Neel/dp/8854400599/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1226967503&sr=8-14) is “Tibetan Journey” (might be several English editions). This one is the travel in Kham and Amdo. “My Journey to Lhassa” is the most famous however, cos’ of the hype around the trip (‘wow, first Western woman to enter Lhassa’).

  179. wuming
    November 18th, 2008 at 00:41 | #179

    @Hemulen

    Your whole argument in this thread is about history, which is distinctly not part of my argument. I don’t hold the view that Chinese civilization has been particularly peaceful or tolerant. Instead, I am holding the view that China is finally on a right path where it will broke no distraction. It offers the same formula of economic development to all Chinese citizens, Han or otherwise.

    It is extremely convenient and tempting to laugh at such simplicity, but what are the alternatives? We, the intellectuals of the world are in the habit of believing that if we were in the position of making these decisions, things would turn out much better, particularly in the case of China. But even a cursory inspection of the world reality should have shaken us out of these day dreams. The failing financial institutions of the West were, until several months ago, the crown jewels of the post-industrial western civilization, the failing automakers of US were the crown jewels of the industrial western civilization. These institutions can become shells of themselves within mere fraction of time through massive institutionalized fraud and incompetence with the full complicity of democratic governments should have make us all question many of the basic premises of our moral and intellectual stands. The fact that a democratic country like US can keep the criminal regime of the Bush government in power for eight long years should suspend most of arguments for the superiority of democracy until further review.

    The historical research you quoted in your argument would have been much more valuable if it was not selectively sited to justify an intrinsic distaste with everything that is the modern China. Your writing now typifies the perfect marriage of the spiritually corrupt political correctness of the Western Utopia with the hollowed out pseudo-spirituality of the Eastern Shangri-La. What a waste.

    I am writing all these just so I deserve all the bile that got dumped on me. I am sure it does not deserve your further response. But as you so eloquently put it – whatever

  180. November 18th, 2008 at 01:12 | #180

    hi mr wuming
    you say that china is on the right path finally.

    what about all those thousands of young chinese who were killed on the tainamen square in 1989.
    they stood up against the brutal and corrupted regime. todays leaders are all part of this masacre.
    you know that no one talks about it because its a hot potato that burns all there hands. honestly, you must be a son of one of these chinese leaders who benifited from the results of killing your brothers and sister.

    also what about all these contaminated milk products that killed your own han siblings and others.

  181. November 18th, 2008 at 01:31 | #181

    i personally think that the title of this blog is out dated.
    moving a mountain today no fools thought. we can do it.
    we can blow up the whole china mountain in tibet.

  182. wuming
    November 18th, 2008 at 01:55 | #182

    @loten namling

    It is only sad that you still believe in the Utopia/Shangri-La, where it is corruption free and nobody dies before his/her time. I will not assume anything about you ancestry, but it would be nice to get real for the sake of our siblings, Han or Tibetan.

    You know very well that the Tibetan Buddhism that Dalai Lama preaches to his western converts is but the hollowed out New Age mumble jumble. The real thing is the old world one that is demanding and brutal, requires much more than the monetary sacrifices those Hollywood stars can easily afford. This particular picture painted by his defenders like you where the simple but holy monk fighting against corrupt dehumanized cyborgs can only serve to radicalize yourselves. I see as I am writing this you already worked yourself up into the fantasies of blow up mountains.

    To borrow a phrase from our newly elected president, stop clinging your gods, guns and grandiose fantasies. Was it that Buddha himself said that “苦海无边,回头是岸”?

  183. Jerry
    November 18th, 2008 at 02:08 | #183

    @Lobsang #115

    Lobsand, you wrote, and, let me add, perniciously, pathologically so:

    # 112, Allen, I am absolutely disgusted by some of your writings of disseminating hate, intolerance and a lot of LIES and untrue statements on Tibet and situations. To put is simply you hate all Tibetans for embarassing China as it rises to become a super-power. Your purported ‘truth’ and ‘facts’ on Tibet are bunch of lies that Tibetans will not accept. You can keep on hating Tibetans. Good luck and hope you feel better.

    You can call it Tibetan exiles and Dalai Lama but it’s really all Tibetans you feel deep contempt. It’s dangerous views you hold as you have some interest in Tibet and some knowledge but with your strong han chauvinism you are totally misguided on what Tibetans want. This will be my last posting on this forum as I am not sure what the purpose is if you don’t want to listen to Tibetan views discussing about Tibet and start labeling and blaming others. Like I mentioned, Tibetans need to be patient and will just have to wait for the new generation of Chinese in the distant future who would have grown up in the future ‘free’ China (after CCP PRC dynasty) for better understanding. This is almost hopeless for the current group of Chinese generation grown up with this PRC education system with distorted history/conditions in Tibet and ultra-nationalism with han chauvinism to expect better understanding of Tibetan grievances and history. We are NOT asking for anyone’s sympathy but better understanding and seek truth from facts.

    If this were an Israeli or Jewish blog, you would fit right in. And that is not a compliment. Methinks that the hatred lies within you. It seems that any opposition or criticism is an invitation for berserk, hateful diatribes and invective. They are off-putting on a major-league basis. I immediately dismiss your comments and future comments as seemingly wacko. Why should I waste my time reading your hateful comments? That is why I have taken so long to respond. I seriously considered not responding on this topic, ever. But I changed my mind.

    Lobsang, I am Russian Jewish American. I am very troubled by the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, and Lebanese Arabs. Arabs are our Semitic brothers and sisters. There are many Jews who will discuss these subjects in a rational manner. Unfortunately, there are too many who wish to hurl the hyper-charged term, “anti-Semitism” at any who challenge them, disagree or merely want to engage in a discussion. If a Jew wants to challenge them, they call the Jew a “self-loathing Jew”. Even my father is an “Israel Firster”. So is one of my aunts. I know many Jews who are members of AIPAC, who tend to be very rabid and irrational in their support of Israel. So when I read your comments, I felt like I was in a “flashback” or déjà vu. Oy vey.

    First of all, you are free to do what you will. That said, I have a suggestion. IMHO, I would tone down the rhetoric, and cut out the clownish, ad hominem attacks. You are not helping your cause, whatever that is. Straightforward is ok; I for one appreciate it. It’s the hyper-charged, loaded words which cause me to be dismissive of your remarks and your credibility, words like, “disseminating hate, intolerance and a lot of LIES and untrue statements on Tibet and situations.”, “To put is simply you hate all Tibetans for embarassing China as it rises to become a super-power.”, and “dangerous views you hold”.

    I responded in #64 to JC. I felt JC’s comments were inappropriate and trivialized the suffering of the Tibetan people. I will say what I feel and believe. I try to stay away from ad hominem attacks and diatribes. I will speak to the issue.

    You wrote, “We are NOT asking for anyone’s sympathy but better understanding and seek truth from facts.” Lobsang, what are “truth” and “facts”? Lobsang, isn’t everything pretty subjective? I don’t know what “empirical truth” is. I don’t know what “objective” is. Even eyewitness is questionable. I think each of us humans is “self-referential”. Maybe “truth” and “facts” are loaded words to encourage others to submit to your views? Much like the use of the hyper-charged term, “anti-Semitism” is for certain Jews trying to bring some gentiles into line with his/her views.

    All that said, I don’t blame you for being angry and hurt. Nonetheless, anger and hurt can become toxic. They can become bitterness and hatred. And those toxins can eat you up alive.

    Take care. I wish you the best, Lobsang.

  184. Coolcat
    November 18th, 2008 at 02:27 | #184

    @Steve, #136

    I am glad that you agree that the DL’s so called “meaningful autonomy” or “the middle way” is “laughable” (you are a wise man, Steve. :-)). Actually, there are plenty of models in our world as to how governments have been dealing with unreasonable (or “laughable” as you put it) minority demands or minority problems. We have Spain’s model in dealing with Basque separatist problem. We have Russia’s model in dealing with Chechen secessionist problem. We have American model for its “Indian” problem (Oops, I mean “Native American” Issues). We have French model in dealing its Muslim population problem. We have German model for its Turkish population problem. And we have British model in dealing with IRA terrorist problem. We even have the model of how the little Georgia was dealing with its Ossetian Separatist problem. As far as I am concerned, any one of these models would be fine with me. What do you think? If China’s way in dealing with its Tibetan problem is so “unethical” to you, do you think the countries mentioned above are “ethical” enough for your taste in handling their respective problem-minority(ies)? My question to you is, Steve, aren’t you just little bit unfair to the country in which you have been making your living? Maybe just a little bit?

  185. cephaloless
    November 18th, 2008 at 02:45 | #185

    All,

    Consider who you stand with. How well do you know them? What dark secrets could they be hiding that you trust aren’t there? Are you putting your hopes in those who don’t deserve your trust? Now decide how firmly you want to make your statements.

    And finally, do your words make them wish you wouldn’t speak on their behalf.

  186. Lobsang
    November 18th, 2008 at 03:15 | #186

    It took a while but Jerry # 183 gave me some real whipping, lecturing my conduct.

    Don’t worry despite many hardships and suffering, Tibetans in general are very cheerful people and will not get ‘ toxins can eat you alive’. So don’t worry. That’s perhaps the inner strength of the Tibetans who are able to withstand huge suffering and pain in stride.

    Sure I was upset with Allen’s comments on # 112 a lot more than his earlier on #32 about sacrificing Tibetans. I was never angry or hateful to eat me inside. I guess you just don’t know Tibetan psyche.

    Let’s look at his #112 . Subjective or not it’s simply untrue and I repeat bunch of lies. Empirical or subjective truth or not, I am not going to let this get away and have a right to express my feelings, right.

    “the DL (the former slave owner)”

    The old Tibet never had slaves, sure there were servants for the few aristocratic families but never slaves. Some have called it serfs but never slaves. There is a book written by a European expert on medieval kingdom and concluded that in old Tibet was not feudal like old China and medieval Europe with rigid structure. In the old Tibetan society there is freedom of mobility of structure. The best case is join the monastery and everyone is treated equally and you are promoted by your academic qualifications and spiritual standings. He calls DL slave owner. The beauty of DL system is that he could be reincarnated in any family. In this case, he was from a poor peasant family. If he was truly slave owner, why you don’t find any Tibetans especially the liberated slaves attacking him to say mildly. Instead the devotion and love is unbelievable despite 50 years of absence from all Tibetans. If old Tibet was so bad, why are Tibetans not embracing this liberation and continues to resist and wants their beloved leader DL back. How can they be so stupid? Think!

    “You only need a few bad apples to ruin a basket of fruit. After 911, the U.S. became a very different country because its security was threatened. People’s lives changed even though there were in actuality very few terrorists.”

    “The current security arrangements sounds reasonable to me, given the March riots as well as the continued international pressure. ..but as I mentioned above, Tibet is not strictly “normal” now in the way that the U.S. is not “normal” after the 911 attacks. …It does sound absurd. Where did you get the idea that Tibetans need to be rounded up solely because they rioted? If they are agents of the DL – they need to be rounded up – the same way terrorists in the U.S. need to be rounded up.”

    “We have discussed in other threads about the status of “Muslims” in the US after 911 also. Muslims have been targeted for racial profiling at airports, in sports stadiums, in concert halls, at police checkpoints, etc. In politics, even Pres. Elect Obama shuns questions about him being a “Muslim” as a political hot potato.”

    He is comparing Tibetan uprising (mostly peaceful) in March in over 100 different places by over 30,000 (Chinese source and check Robbie Barnett’s detail accounts) incredibly courageous Tibetans to the terrorists attack on 9/11. It’s unbelievable. Is he equating Tibetan uprising as terrorist attack equal to 9/11. All these protesters were asking is ‘return of Dalai Lama’ ‘freedom for the Tibetans’. This peaceful except one riot in Lhasa were met with live ammunition and brutally suppressed. As I had mentioned one of my cousins had been arrested and disappeared along with thousands of others. I am afraid he is dead. I don’t need to tell you that torture is rampant in Chinese prison. So is Allen suggesting that these Tibetans are terrorist like the 9/11 Al-Queda.

    You should know as a Jew if Tibetans are terrorists. Also I had thought you would know the pain and suffering your ancestors endured dreaming of a homeland for hundreds of years. So I didn’t expect a lecture from you perhaps a Chinese but not with your background.

    I have so much to express the pain and sufferings every Tibetan had undergone under the Chinese rule but let’s leave it at that for now.

  187. Otto Kerner
    November 18th, 2008 at 03:21 | #187

    Cissy #137,

    FYI, Lobsang is an extremely common name. Tibetans often make use of a very small set of names, usually with religious meanings. I think we can also safely suppose that the Tenzin who has commented in this thread is not Tenzin Gyatso!

  188. Lobsang
    November 18th, 2008 at 03:25 | #188

    #177, Allen,

    Thank you for responding and reading my note before your trip. This makes me feel lot better knowing that my message got through. I would higly, highly recommend you visit Gyalthang (Chinese name Zongdian and renamed Shangrila) which is beautiful and really in Tibet for all intent and purpose. This has an airport with many flights from Kunming. Once you are in Lijiang it’s only 3-4 hours drive but on 9,000 feet altitude.

  189. shane9219
    November 18th, 2008 at 03:49 | #189

    @loten namling #181

    Be careful about what you are saying. You can not even match to the border, let alone trying to take over Tibet by force. With the past history involving CIA, do you think you can get any serious support from people outside China.

    Chinese people as a whole, I think, are sincere to solve all these historical issues. They are also resolve, patient and creative. No need for me to mention the good situation in HongKong, Machu and Taiwain. Many border issues are also resolved peacefully over the years.

  190. Otto Kerner
    November 18th, 2008 at 03:57 | #190

    Steve #136,

    I’m afraid I can’t agree with you that WW’s analogy in #108 is a good one. It’s certainly not that I think that American Indian issues in North America are not important or worth discussing. They are very important, and I am happy to discuss them. However, in order to draw a meaningful analogy, we also need for two issues to be similar, and the situation in the United States today is just not very similar to the situation in Tibet today. WW’s analogy ends up becoming ridiculous as he struggles to point out similarities that aren’t there.

    I want to see Tibet become a more free place without anybody being forced to leave their homes, and especially not being forced out of places where they were born and raised, rather than having moved there as adults. If an American Indian group wants to talk about independence in lands where they are actually still the majority, hell no, I don’t think that’s laughable; I think it would be great. Now maybe you do or don’t think that’s fair, but it’s beside the point regarding Tibet, since Tibet is a place where mostly Tibetans still live, and all they need in order to have a free Tibet is just to be left alone.

    I think it’s kind of bitterly ironic when pro-PRC types try to make an analogy with historical U.S. treatment of indigenous peoples, since the obvious conclusion to take from that is that they admit that they are following the same sort of genocidal policies. In defense of the Chinese people’s honour, allow me to point out that, in fact, the PRC’s policy, while atrocious, is not as bad as that was, WW’s inadvertent implications notwithstanding.

  191. Otto Kerner
    November 18th, 2008 at 04:07 | #191

    @ 172 pug_ster

    “There is no such thing as a free lunch.”

    That is very well said. Everything comes with a price tag, and, I suppose that’s the reason why the Tibetans don’t seem as thankful as you’d like toward their big brothers. Nobody doesn’t want a railroad, but they probably realise that it’s not a gift — it’s a down payment.

  192. Steve
    November 18th, 2008 at 04:56 | #192

    @Coolcat #184: I have no idea what you’re talking about. What I said in the first paragraph was “But for negotiating purposes, starting with that position ISN’T laughable or even a double standard, it’s just a starting negotiating position.” I highlighted the word “isn’t” because it seems you never noticed it. Since you continued to quote me on “laughable” throughout your post, none of it made any sense to me and I have no idea on what I should base my reply. Then you highlight the words “ethical” and “unethical”, but don’t give them any context. I’m happy to discuss this with you but you have to write coherently, not take single words out of context and not misquote me.

  193. Jerry
    November 18th, 2008 at 05:04 | #193

    #186 Lobsang

    Thanks for your comments, Lobsang. My remarks are not so much lecture as expressing my feelings, experiences and views. When I feel it necessary to say something, I do. Sometimes not very sweetly. Sometimes pretty rough.

    Lobsang, I have no problem with you expressing your views, beliefs and feelings. I encourage you to speak out. What triggered my reaction was the way in which you couched your remarks. Trust me on this one. I have seen enough of that kind of response to fill several lifetimes. I just don’t like ad hominem, personal attacks. Feel free to dispute issues, views, beliefs, definitions, descriptions, etc. I have no problem with that. Honest disagreement and arguments do not trouble me.

    Thanks for your comments about the DL and Tibetans. I will reflect. I know very little about Tibet. I have never been there. I have seen movies about Tibet, but they are movies. I see articles in the media. It is so hard for me to make any sense of Tibet, and what is “fact” and what is “fiction”. So I tend to stay out of those discussions. I tend to be more reflective and contemplative when I am trying to figure out something.

    Some comments. I don’t believe that Tibetans, in general, are terrorists. Call me incredulous, if you would like, because I am. Further, terrorism is a political, hyper-charged word which I think is vastly overused in too many contexts. I don’t like its indiscriminate use. I do not believe everything I read, see or hear; in fact, I believe a whole lot less. I like to sift, ponder and reflect. When I see ad hominem, personal attacks, forget the sifting, pondering and reflecting. I am more than incredulous at that point. I will just flat out discard/disregard the remark and the author.

    Now, Lobsang, these are just my opinions, views, beliefs, prejudices, whatever. I am not representing Jews, Americans, American expats in Taipei, Jews in Taipei or any group. I am just speaking for me.

    I went back to Allen’s remarks in #112. He used the following analogy, “Tibet is not strictly “normal” now in the way that the U.S. is not “normal” after the 911 attacks.” I don’t like that analogy. It does seem to be equating the Tibet protests to terrorist actions. Maybe not intentionally, either. And I don’t know exactly what Allen is implying by his term, “agents of the DL”. It is just way too ambiguous for my taste.

    You should know as a Jew if Tibetans are terrorists. Also I had thought you would know the pain and suffering your ancestors endured dreaming of a homeland for hundreds of years. So I didn’t expect a lecture from you perhaps a Chinese but not with your background.

    I have so much to express the pain and sufferings every Tibetan had undergone under the Chinese rule but let’s leave it at that for now.

    I know less and less, at least with certainty, as I get older. As I said, I don’t believe that Tibetans are terrorists. Yes, there may be a few Tibetan terrorists; the same goes for Americans, Israelis, Chinese, Taiwanese, etc. There will always be some criminals and some terrorists. It is not the exclusive territory of any people, country or continent. BTW, I don’t know what being a Jew has to do with determining if someone is a terrorist. I don’t have any special powers of observation, wisdom, omniscience or credibility, as far as I know. I am just me. I don’t even have a cape or special superhero’s costume. Sorry. 😀 ::LOL::

    I am well aware of the suffering of my people and have written much about it. I am well aware of my people’s overarching desire for a “homeland”, for centuries and millenia. My lecture, if you want to call it that, was not about the substance of your feelings, views, beliefs, pain, etc. It was about the way you expressed it via ad hominem attacks. I will just as easily criticize an American, a Jew, an Israeli or whoever for engaging in ad hominem attacks. I am not a prisoner of my background, culture or my family. And I do empathize with your suffering and your pain.

  194. Steve
    November 18th, 2008 at 05:08 | #194

    @Otto Kerner #190: Your point is well taken. I read WW’s analogy as a very hypothetical situation rather than as anything that could ever come about, the “ridiculousness” that you mention. I should have been more critical of the setting. Thanks for pointing it out. But again, I didn’t say it was “laughable”, I said it “isn’t laughable”. Your reaction to that part confuses me.

    American Indian history is a great topic that is wrapped up in a lot of myth and misunderstanding. It could make for a long and fascinating discussion but it unfortunately wouldn’t fit this blog’s theme. My oldest son is 1/4 American Indian and I’ve spent a lot of time studying his background and the overall history.

  195. Monk
    November 18th, 2008 at 05:13 | #195

    @ Jerry #183
    @ Lobsang #186

    Jerry said:

    “…, I don’t blame you for being angry and hurt. Nonetheless, anger and hurt can become toxic. They can become bitterness and hatred. And those toxins can eat you up alive.”

    I agree with Jerry 100%. Lobsang, speaking as a fellow human being if not as a compatriot, you should heed Jerry’s advice – Life is too short to be “angry and hurt” and be consumed with “bitterness and hatred” the way you are. For the sake of your own mental and physical well being, you should get over it and get a life. Please don’t let “those toxins eat you up alive.”

    I, too, “I wish you the best, Lobsang.”

    By the way, please don’t kid yourself, Lobsang, DL and his followers are mostly a bunch of priest/aristocratic slave owners or the descendents of priest/aristocratic slave owners who have turned terrorists and criminal felons in trying to grab their land back and put the slavery yokes back over the necks and shoulders of the liberated Tibetan slaves and their children. I suggest that you should give up such hopeless dreams for your own sake and for the sake of most Tibetan people, , as well as for the love of God.

    Aigain, I, too, “I wish you the best, Lobsang.”

  196. TommyBahamas
    November 18th, 2008 at 05:24 | #196

    “all they need in order to have a free Tibet is just to be left alone.”

    Well, as long as the evil imperialistic Chinese Commie aethiests leave, we’ll be left alone. The rulers of Christendom and the operators of the global military-complex will leave us alone because they have fought and financed our cause out of compassion and altruism. Oh no, the Capitalists would dare not JV with us and set up base here because we are a resiliant, tolerant, cheerfully longsuffering, brave and peace-loving people.

    Hmm…An intereting idea:

    Tibetan Serfdom is in fact not real slavery.

    The long tradition & history of Tibetan’s feudal servitude where the practice of working for someone for no pay, given minuscule human rights, afforded no free-will or career choice, is at any moment’s notice be transferable from one lord to another at the owner’s pleasure, and so on, is and was in fact a free-to-serve-and leave-at-will serf system unique to this particular theocracy, whereupon the neigboring and outside secular evil infidels prey and seek to spread lies about.

    In Capitalist ruled plutocracy/Oligarchy pseudo-democracies, they call it white-collar, blue collar slavery, even white-slavery. In China today, some are willing, voluntary salves to money. In the bible, only the slave masters can free his slaves, um, or is it serf….or maybe simply a bond servant? A salesman is now an Account Executive, a General Manager is now a Chief Embezzelment Officer (CEO), a lunatic is sadly someone who is mentally challenged under the influence of the moon. A serial killer is innocent for suffering fits of temporary insanity, a rapist is a really a poor victim of incest. A rich flamboyant nut-case is just wonderfully eccentric, a wealthy debauched sex-maniac is a dashing charming playboy who misses his abscentee mother or parents, etc etc etc, Talk about euphemism ad nauseam.

  197. Steve
    November 18th, 2008 at 05:25 | #197

    @Monk #195: You said, “DL and his followers are mostly a bunch of priest/aristocratic slave owners or the descendents of priest/aristocratic slave owners who have turned terrorists and criminal felons”. I don’t care about the descendants of slave owners since no one has control over their ancestor’s lifestyle, but I do care about present slave ownership, which is abhorrent. I also care about terrorists and criminal felons.

    I didn’t realize it still existed. Can you please document exactly who currently owns slaves in this priest/aristocratic class? Can you also document the terrorists and criminal felons in said organization? These people need to be spotlighted and it would certainly make your argument much more credible if you named names.

  198. Otto Kerner
    November 18th, 2008 at 05:34 | #198

    Steve, thanks for you comment #194. Actually, I did get a little confused between what you actually said and what some other guy said that you said, and that was sloppy of me. Sorry about that.

  199. November 18th, 2008 at 05:48 | #199

    mr.shane and other chinese chauvunists,

    this is exactly what we tibetans wanted to resolve. for almost fifty years we have tried to negotiate for a peaceful solution. for that reason whole world of peaceful people supports us, morally.
    taiwan ,honkong etc that you mentioned are chinese origins. we tibetans are tibetans and have nothing to do with chinese habits at all, by race,culture…way of life.

    .only money has given the chinese the power to buy the support of business community.but that will not last long. world economy is anyway crumbling because of these same greedy business people who deal with the chinese govt for sheer money.

    i have no problems with the chinese people as such. only unfortunate thing isthat many of them are still blinded by the residues of last hang over of the communist propaganda. i hope they open thier eyes soon.

    cia may have supported tibet for some time but thats normal. america was at the time supporting any nation that had problems with communists. but that stopped any way when president nixon of usa slept with mao in blooded bed of chinas cultural revolutuion.

    in the end we dont need support from anyone. we will march to tibet eventually and get it what ever method it takes. dont think we are afraid of guns. there are thousand out there tibetans who can fight.

    frreeee tibeeeeetettttttttt

  200. Wukailong
    November 18th, 2008 at 06:28 | #200

    @Jerry (#183): I don’t like ad hominem attacks either, but I wonder if Lobsang is particularly guilty of it? Some of the other postings on this thread are pretty extreme (and I’m happy to see that the worst one seems to have been completely ignored. Not mentioning any names, the one with all the capital letters at the end 😉 ) and they should heed your advice too.

    @cephaloless (#185): I think you’re basically saying the same thing I’ve tried to express a couple of times: people believe in what they’ve heard, and mostly it’s their education or the media. Chinese education begins with patriotism at an early age (like cute children’s stories about the love between the mainland and Taiwan) and how evil the DL and his slave owning fellows were/are. It’s on the level of mythology. As a contrast, I received no patriotic education, but we were taught the greatness of democracy at school and how other countries don’t care about their inhabitants. There was an illustration in a textbook I had at the age of 14, showing the difference between democracy and dictatorship. In the first picture, you saw small blue, green and red figures (representing the population) and how these small arrows pointed up to the government. In the other picture you saw a huge, brown arrow pointing from the government towards a bunch of gray figures (oppressed people).

    DL is a bit like a Che Guevara figure, and I have to say, one that I respect even though I also understand he’s a complex political figure. I’m happy to listen to other versions and I believe there were a lot of problems in Tibet, but I just don’t believe in the mythology of a “wolf in monk’s clothing” and the 95% serf thing. The latter sounds too Soviet and cold war to me. And considering how everyone who is critical against the PRC government in any way, like Martin Lee, Chris Patten, Chen Shuibian or Harry Wu is labelled “traitor” and lambasted in the official press just makes it incredulous. The mainland press has been crying wolf too many times to be taken seriously. It just can’t accept any viewpoint that’s not pro-CCP.

    @Jerry (#193): I think one of the most important things to come out of this thread was what Allen mentioned, the state of fear that seems to be permeating China and the US. I wonder if there is a psychological need to always have an outer enemy in these two countries. This fear can also explain the extreme anger displayed by the angry nationalist youth here and elsewhere…

  201. WW
    November 18th, 2008 at 08:09 | #201

    @ Otto Kerner #190

    Although time-wise or by demography the analogy is a bit stretched, the hypothetical analogy is valid by substance.

    To characterize the Manifestation of the destiny of the American Nation and its westward push of the West as “genocidal”, I think most American people would not agree nor appreciate that kind of fringe PC nonsense. Without the guiding and pioneering spirits of the Manifestation of the destiny of the American Nation and its westward push of the West, America would not have been a great nation as we know it today (the evil Nazi Regime and the Japanese Empire would have prevailed in the WW2, to say the least). Now I can tell that you must be a bleeding heart liberal. 🙂 No wonder China’s leaders preferred to deal with conservatives such as Dick Nixon or Henry Kissinger.

    @ Steve

    I understand perfectly what Coolcat was talking about; in fact I think he (or she)’s got a point. I happen to agree that some Tibetans do have problems of assimilating into the mainstream society (not unlike Muslim population in France or the Turkish population of Germany) and some of them even have various degrees of terroristic tendency (not unlike the IRA terrorists and the Basque terrorists of Spain…). Claiming not knowing what the other was talking about is most common ploy people use for various reasons, but hey, this is a free country and you are a free human being, right? 🙂 Anyway, I think that I am a little too presumptuous to speak for Coolcat; I am sure that he/she can speak on his/her own behalf.

  202. Jerry
    November 18th, 2008 at 13:11 | #202

    @Wukailong #200

    I don’t like ad hominem attacks either, but I wonder if Lobsang is particularly guilty of it? Some of the other postings on this thread are pretty extreme (and I’m happy to see that the worst one seems to have been completely ignored. Not mentioning any names, the one with all the capital letters at the end 😉 ) and they should heed your advice too.

    I am not picking on Lobsang; he is not particulary guilty of it. I just happened to catch Lobsang and Allen’s discourse. I had read some of Lobsang’s previous posts, and honestly was surprised. Then I saw Allen’s response. Then I started to contemplate. I got motivated this morning. Actually, I felt a connection with Lobsang and just started to write. I sensed that he was hurt and confused, thus he lashed out.

    If you are referring to our friend with the appended supernumerary numbers, his/her comments were sarcastic, provocative and engaging in absurdism. I should also add, very fatalistic and deterministic. I just did not feel like responding. I am sure glad that my Russian Jewish predecessors did not follow such advice as “get OVER it” or “accept the sovereignty of the Russian tsars.” The acceptance of persecution, oppression and imposed collective misery, as a way of life ad infinitum, does not sit well me. Thankfully, it did not sit well with my grandfather and grandmother, who came over to the US as young adults. It changed my life forever, and I was not born until 43 years later.

    I think one of the most important things to come out of this thread was what Allen mentioned, the state of fear that seems to be permeating China and the US. I wonder if there is a psychological need to always have an outer enemy in these two countries. This fear can also explain the extreme anger displayed by the angry nationalist youth here and elsewhere…

    Several comments. Fear of the bogeyman has been used by leaders to keep people in line and distract them from the real issues and social unrest. During the Cold War, fear of Russia was prevalent in the US. US leaders also use fear of Muslims and Iranians. They also used shock and fear to get Patriot Act I and II passed. They used it to get the FISA law rewrite. Might also be that exploitation of that fear makes certain defense contractors a lot of money. I bet you that Eric Prince of Blackwater, Halliburton/Cheney, Boeing, and other major players really enjoy all those huge military contracts. Just think of the bogeyman as Santa Claus to the super rich. Look how easily they pried, from American taxpayers, nearly $2 trillion ($2,000,000,000,000) for the Wall Street and bank bailouts. Fear of the economy collapsing!! 😀 In the words of a C&W song which Ray Charles sang so well, “Here we go, again!” When will we ever learn?

    Naomi Klein has written about this in “Shock Doctrine”. BTW, she is a Quebecois and Jewish.

  203. jc
    November 18th, 2008 at 14:27 | #203

    This blog has provided all of us a wonderful platform to exchange views. I can see a lot of different viewpoints all evolve around the notion that the Tibetans claims they are hurt and everybody else either claim they are not, or they should not, or they deserve it or they are truly the victim and why etc, etc.

    I do have a lot of questions to people like Hemulen, who are obviously very frustrated. I would appreciate if him, or any one else in a similar position can provide their point of views on the following questions:

    1. Hemulen mentioned “The whole reward structure is set you to favor Han Chinese and sinicized Tibetans. Han Chinese are not expected to learn Tibetan, and can set up shop in Tibet and do just fine, whereas Tibetans are treated as foreigners in their own country. If the Tibetan language was made the language of government and Han Chinese settlers made an effort to blend in and learn the language, I think a lot of Tibetan resentment would go away.”

    What do you think would be the best way to lift Tibet out of poverty? Tibet as a poor minority has many inherited disadvantages, how would you overcome these disadvantages? Or do you care about providing them a road to the modern world at all? I ask because I would imagine if Tibet started to mandate Han Chinese to learn their language, then I don’t know how many Han Chinese will do business with them. And that doesn’t seem to go well with lifting them out of poverty.

    2. Assume that China agrees that Tibetan to be self-ruled, how would you resettle Han Chinese inside TAR? Do you expect them to happily live under a Tibet government? Or do you plan to drive them out? If you expect them to stay, what if they showed more skills and hold more resources than Tibetans and continue to marginize Tibetans? If you drive them out, what’s your plan to resettle them or you do not think you have to care about that at all? What’s your plan for Tibetans outside of TAR such as Neighboring Sichuan and Gansu province? I ask because those appear to be things that obviously need to be addressed if “true autonomous” or independence is to be achieved;

    3. Do you live inside or outside of TAR? Have you ever set foot on TAR and have real life experience on how most Tibetan there thinks about your cause? Do you believe the government in exile, who is not only not being officially recognized by world powers, but also only represents a fraction of all Tibetans, have the right to represents the whole Tibetan population and should determine all Tibetan’s future? And Why? I ask because I notice that a lot NGO around the world, especially in developed countries, are among the most furious supporters. Thus I sense a disconnection between these well educated, English speaking, living a high living standard Tibetans and those remote, poor, not having much formal education at all Tibetans;

    4. Giving the obvious problems between Han Chinese and Tibetans as evident even in this bog, how would your own government get along with them well and gain their respect and support? Or do you think that you do not need them at all? I ask because I would expect for Tibet to thrive, they do need China’s help. To the least extend, you don’t want a very hostile neighbor next door. What Tibet in exile is doing now and what DL preaches goes well with the west powers, but it obviously does not go well with Han Chinese;

    5. Finally from a negotiation point of view, what do you plan to offer in order to get something as return? If you do not plan to offer any, what makes you believe that you can win the game by getting all you want and your opponent, in this case, a huge China, gets nothing? I ask not only because it doesn’t sound very promising to me if you are not ready to give up anything, but also China’s experience soundly points to the opposite. China itself has gone through a lot of humiliation from foreign powers. For decades even till now most Chinese still felt so. Yet China made English a mandate course for all school kids a long time ago. China welcomed foreign investors and business mans and supplied its own hard working citizens as cheap labors to sweat shops set up by them. At times, “Korean boss”, “Japanese boss” were almost identical to “mean” and “cruel” in mainland China. Yet that is largely what enabled China to gradually rise to where it is today. So China paid a heavy price. So my question is, is there anything DL and the exile government, or all Tibetans in general, are willing to pay?

  204. Steve
    November 18th, 2008 at 14:52 | #204

    @WW #201: WW, I wasn’t trying to avoid Coolcat’s question, I just couldn’t figure out what he/she was asking in reference to anything I said. I said “isn’t laughable” while I kept getting quoted as saying “laughable”, thus the confusion. I claimed to not know because I didn’t know; what’s so hard to understand about that? I invited Coolcat to be more specific in referencing what I said to a specific question and I’d be happy to answer it. Based on what was written, my guess was that Coolcat didn’t see the word “isn’t” and just misunderstood what I had written.

    Yours was clearer so I’m happy to reply. Do some Tibetans have problems assimilating into the mainstream society? I’m sure they do if they happen to live there, but the mainstream society in the TAR is Tibetan, so what do they have to assimilate into? If I’m driving through the Navajo nation, the culture is Navajo and I’m the one who has to adjust. If that Navajo moves to Albuquerque, then he/she has to adjust. I’m sure some don’t adjust very well. Turks are not native to Germany and Muslims are not native to France; both have had problems assimilating. Tibetans are native to Tibet. Per Sophie’s article, the mostly Sichuan Chinese living in Lhasa dont’ like being there and have no desire to assimilate; they just want to make a living and go home to Sichuan. Being they are temporary, why assimilate? That’s understandable to me.

    Do some have varying degrees of terrorist tendencies? I have no idea, since I can’t see into the minds and hearts of the people there. I’d only know that if terrorist acts were actually committed. The IRA and the Basque have committed and threatened to commit terrorist acts in the past, so wouldn’t they fall into a different category?

    WW, do you think Tibetans have varying degrees of terrorist tendencies? If so, why? What have they done that makes you think this? I’ve been asking a lot of questions on this thread because there is plenty that I don’t know about the situation there. I’ve read about riots but not about terrorism. Did I miss something?

    I’ve read the arguments on this post so far. They seem to fall into several repeating categories:

    1) Pro-China argument: The DL is not an acceptable representative of the Tibetan people. The vast majority of the Tibetan people are satisfied with life under the China government. There are a few troublemakers inside the Tibetan areas, but the vast majority are located outside China. They have used a sophisticated propaganda campaign led by the DL to discredit China’s huge investments in the Tibetan zones. The DL and his people have planned the demonstrations and riots that took place in Tibet. Local GDP has increased exponentially since China reannexed Tibet in 1950 with increased lifestyle benefits to the Tibetan people. Educational opportunities are much better than before. Under the DL, there would still be slavery/serfdom and rule by an elite religious oligarchy. If Tibet was allowed to become autonomous or independent, this style of government would return and oppress the Tibetan people. Tibet is part of China; it has been a part of China for centuries and China would go to war in order to maintain the unity of the country. All China wants is a harmonious society where Chinese and their compatriot Tibetans live in peace and prosperity.

    2) Pro-Tibet argument: The DL is a holy, religious man who represents the hopes, dreams and aspirations of the Tibetan people. He has given up any hope for independence years ago and has stated this many times. He wants true autonomy for the Tibetan people so they can maintain their cultural and religious traditions. He is a man of peace, without whom the situation there would probably have already descended into violence and rebellion. The vast majority of Tibetans both in and out of Tibet believe in him and his leadership. He has tried to negotiate with the Chinese government but they refuse to take him seriously and are trying to delay any negotiation until after he dies. Tibet has been allied with China in the past but has never been a part of China and has always had autonomy. The people there, while appreciating the investments China has made in their infrastructure, have not received the job benefits from that construction. The jobs have gone to non-Tibetans so unemployment and underemployment is rampant. Tibetan should be the main language of business and government. Non-Tibetans should be required to be bi-lingual. The playing field in the job market is not level; a non-Tibetan who speaks fluent putonghua has a huge advantage.

    3) Pro-Tibet argument: Tibet has never been and will never be a part ot China. Tibet needs to be independent and get her freedom. Autonomy is not enough. The DL has tried to compromise but this has achieved nothing. There will be a war for independence and the Tibetans will fight to the death in order to break free. The world is with Tibet and against China.

    4) Compromise argument: The current situation has problems and needs to be tweaked. Tibet is a part of China; this has been achieved both de facto and de jure. Tibet is too strategically important for China to give up. The dilemma is how to give more autonomy to the Tibetans without compromising China’s sovereignty. China should conduct serious negotiations with the DL as his status with Tibetans is valid. Each side has certain arguments in its favor and certain arguments against it. Compromise is possible where the Tibetans can gain more autonomy; not to the degree they would prefer but more than they currently have. The worry is that once the DL dies, rebellious forces both inside and out will cause the situation to deteriorate and innocent people will die.

    Those seem to be the four positions I’ve read so far. The first three are not willing to compromise or even entertain any aspect of another position. The fourth position is discredited by the other three, who try to fit the compromisers into one of the other three categories, since they feel you are either “with us or against us”. They feel any position besides their own is extreme.

    Does this make sense? Are there any other positions anyone can add? Rather than hurl invective at each other, we can just say which position we support with any adjustments we might want to make.

    Since almost everyone who has commented is in one of the first three positions, there isn’t much to discuss from my POV. None of those positions have much wiggle room or compromise built into them.

  205. Steve
    November 18th, 2008 at 15:00 | #205

    admin, I thnk jc’s comments in #203 should be highlighted.

  206. pug_ster
    November 18th, 2008 at 16:08 | #206

    @Wukailong 200

    DL is a bit like a Che Guevara figure, and I have to say, one that I respect even though I also understand he’s a complex political figure. I’m happy to listen to other versions and I believe there were a lot of problems in Tibet, but I just don’t believe in the mythology of a “wolf in monk’s clothing” and the 95% serf thing. The latter sounds too Soviet and cold war to me. And considering how everyone who is critical against the PRC government in any way, like Martin Lee, Chris Patten, Chen Shuibian or Harry Wu is labelled “traitor” and lambasted in the official press just makes it incredulous. The mainland press has been crying wolf too many times to be taken seriously. It just can’t accept any viewpoint that’s not pro-CCP.

    Many people would romanticize the Dalai Lama as Che Guevara figure but his deeds does not match his rhetoric. He says that he is a peace loving and compassionate figure, but he doesn’t have a problem getting aid from the CIA and allows his Tibetans to use violence to attack the Chinese. If he teaches love and compassion, why does his fellow Tibetan in exile spew hate toward the Chinese? If he is for religious freedom and tolerance, why does does not allow dorje shugden’s teachings and persecute them if they do? If he reaches out and ‘loves’ his enemies, why does he reach out to the Chinese and talk to (and not AT) them about his message of compassion? He cares nothing about the Chinese government and its people, only for the Tibetans and othes who will follow him. I have another quote to describe the Dalai Lama and Che Guevara; ‘One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.’

  207. bt
    November 18th, 2008 at 16:25 | #207

    Steve, great post.
    That’s why I don’t comment on Tibet … It’s like discussing politics with pro Israel/pro Palestine supporters.

  208. Steve
    November 18th, 2008 at 16:29 | #208

    @ bt: I’m learning… 🙂

  209. Hemulen
    November 18th, 2008 at 16:38 | #209

    @wuming

    It offers the same formula of economic development to all Chinese citizens, Han or otherwise.

    My argument is not just based on history and no, as I have argued consistently on this blog, the Chinese formula of development does not offer the same opportunities to everyone. A Tibetan who only knows his native language will have problems fidning employment even in his home town. A monoligual Han Chinese settler in Tibet can serve as a party secretary, building worker, tourist guide, bus driver or street peddler. Some people are more equal than others.

    What do you think would be the best way to lift Tibet out of poverty? Tibet as a poor minority has many inherited disadvantages, how would you overcome these disadvantages? Or do you care about providing them a road to the modern world at all? I ask because I would imagine if Tibet started to mandate Han Chinese to learn their language, then I don’t know how many Han Chinese will do business with them. And that doesn’t seem to go well with lifting them out of poverty.

    This is the Han chauvinist position in a nutshell: only Han Chinese are capable of developing Tibet. If Tibetan was made a legitimate medium of communication in Tibet, you could train Tibetans to build roads and other infrastructure. That would have incredible spin-off effects for the local economy. That is not being done and that is why you can describe Tibet as a colony of China.

    I’m not against Tibetans learning Chinese, I’m against creating an economy that rewards assimilation and a political system that disproportionately benefits outsiders. If Tibet was part of China like Quebec is part of Canada or Geneva part of Switzerland, you’d have very little complaints about Han chauvinism.

  210. Jerry
    November 18th, 2008 at 16:46 | #210

    @bt #207
    @Steve #208

    Steve and bt, I guess, in some weird way, that I have had lots of practice at discussions like these. For that I am grateful. Oy gevalt. I feel like telling some of the posters here, “A bi gezunt”!

    I earlier wrote to Lobsang about how his post was like a “flashback” or déjà vu. Some of these posters, if they wrote so vehemently about Israeli or Palestinian issues on certain blogs, forums, Ha’aretz, or Jerusalem Post, they would be figuratively eaten alive. So we should all be grateful here that it is pretty civil here, even if some comments appear relatively outrageous. This is nothing like a Knesset session. Not even close.

    BTW, my best discussions on Palestinian issues in Gaza and the West Bank are with my Palestinian Arab friends. Our conversations, while we sometimes disagree, are far more civil than those with my Jewish and Israeli friends. Strange.

  211. bt
    November 18th, 2008 at 16:55 | #211

    @ Jerry

    Glad to have your feedback.
    It’s not only on the Israeli side that you find rabidness, believe me.
    The thing that is driving me mad if when they import their conflict in my country.

  212. Lobsang
    November 18th, 2008 at 17:15 | #212

    #204-Steve,

    Excellent summary and the best post so far to capture the essence of different positions on the China-Tibet problem. I am impressed by your listening and analytical skills and you are too modest to claim you don’t know much about this issue but you can be a great moderator.

    It needs few tweaking and some additional points but you have captured quite well the positions as far as I know. I will respond later when I have more time.

    In the meantime, I suggest some better headings:

    1) Pro-China – Hardline
    2) Pro-Tibet – Moderate
    3) Pro-Tibet – Hardline
    4) Pro-China Moderates and Pro-Tibet Moderates – COMPROMISE
    (BTW, the middle-way proposed by the Dalai Lama and Tibetan-govt-inexile seems to be # 4 with two important points to highlight 1) Tibetan side will accept Tibet to be part of China but will not accept Tibet has been always part of China from ancient times. “History can not be changed and let’s leave it for the historians to judge”; 2) All Tibetan ethnic inhabited land that are contiguous and current carved under various Tibetan Autonomous and Prefectures in Yunnan, Sichaun, Qinghai, Gansu (so-called 5 autonomous and 6 Prefecture) should be under one administration zone with PRC just like Xinjiang Province with all Uygyurs and other minorities in their respective autonomous zones.)

    My feeling is the the PRC govt official position is # 1 and the Dalai Lama and Tibetan govt in-exile official position is #4 and some #2. This 4th position also has the most support from outside i.e. governments and experts.

    However the biggest obstacle is that there appears to be no political will and seriousness from the PRC to solve this problem.

    Also PRC treats # 4 position as expounded in the middle-way as # 3 in disguise. Again I think this middle-way proposal is a great start for further negotiation and compromise from both sides but from what I see is PRC is set on not giving one-inch of concession.

    Also I would be interested to hear from camp # 4 Chinese supporters what more Tibetans can compromise and give-in from the middle-way that is acceptable to the PRC.

    If there is trust and political will from the PRC I think this problem can be resolved amicably before it gets to violent Israel-Palestinian struggle and many others. So far this struggle has been non-violent and let’s hope the solution is reached peacefully.

    Here is an article on Time Magazine about the meeting.
    http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1859974,00.html

    I also wanted to responded to #203 to express my opinion later when I have more time.

    Well said Hemulen in the previous posts (some deep understanding of some of the root causes of the problem and grievances)

    This forum is quite addictive but hope it’s helping in better understanding of the issue …

  213. Steve
    November 18th, 2008 at 18:04 | #213

    @ Lobsang #212: Thanks for the compliment. However, once you use words like “moderate” and “hardline”, you’ve made the categories subjective with value judgements added.

    The #2 position is the “middle way” but the #4 position is very different. Your two exceptions are both included in #2 and have nothing to do with #4.

    Asking the #1 position to put all Tibetans into one autonomous province is a non-starter and will never happen because the #1 position would never accept it. To a #4 adherent, this is understandable but it might not be to a #2. Historically, the only thing that matters to the #4 camp is that Tibet is currently a de jure and de facto part of China. This is not the position of the #2 camp.

    The #2 camp sees the “middle way” position as a final solution, while the #4 camp only sees it as a starting point for one side of a two sided negotiation. We are not privy to those negotiations, but one or both sides can compromise on certain points and not compromise on others. If the #1 camp is not willing to compromise on something the #4 camp also will not compromise, and vice versa, then negotiations hit a dead end. That dead end might come from either side, not just the #1 side, so that part of your remarks is subjective. The final position of #4 is much closer to #1’s position than the final position of #2.

    Does that make sense? Incidentally, I’m just trying to summarize the opinions stated on this thread so if anyone wants to shoot holes in any of these positions, don’t address them to me.

  214. jc
    November 18th, 2008 at 18:06 | #214

    @Hemulen #209:

    This is the Han chauvinist position in a nutshell: only Han Chinese are capable of developing Tibet…

    I am sorry that you felt that way. I guess I should say, when you want to develop economy, you want every help that you can get. You may do well without the Han Chinese, but you can do better and faster with them. Mao believed China can overtake U.S. and Britain without anything to do with these “imperialism”, he didn’t make it too far. It was Den who opened the door and started to really work with these “imperialism” and things really started to moving forward.

    you could train Tibetans to build roads and other infrastructure…

    Nobody is denying that. But an instant question would be “to be trained by who?” How many people really want to go live in a high plateau that many people can’t even breaths well just for the sake of training you? That’s besides the question of any outsiders who goes there has to be very careful about falling into the “culture repression” category. Once gain, I am not saying that Tibetans can not train themselves, but I do think initially taking help from outside can be faster and more effective;

    Another big question is money. Nothing can be done without money these days. Many other people have already pointed out that China has poured huge amount of money into Tibet. Who else you will turn into to get that amount of money? Who would be willing giving you that kind of money while still carefully respect your culture, learn your history, consider your feelings, maintaining your environment and do all those without getting any benefits? I am not saying that China doesn’t get anything from Tibet. In fact many people have pointed out the strategic value of Tibet. What I would like to understand is, is that, do you believe in today world, somebody would just save you with no condition attached? Or you believe you can get a better deal from somebody else that is much more than what Chinese is currently paying?

    I felt that you truly believe that you can get to where you want all by your own foot. It is admirable but at the same time also sounds a bit foolish to me. There is train right there and you could take it and to get there much faster. There maybe a lot of things that you do not like about the train, for one thing, the conductor doesn’t speak your language, it doesn’t even offer your native food, but a train is still much faster than foot.

    Once again, I am not saying Han Chinese is superior than Tibetans. But you have to get the idea that they are bigger, and there are so many more of them! So it does sounds reasonable to me to say that they can do things on a scale that Tibetan may not be able to do, and some of these things may serve your interest well. Also, I am not saying that China is Tibetan’s only savior either. If you can get two guys to pay, that’s even better.

  215. zhihua
    November 18th, 2008 at 18:42 | #215

    Lobsang,

    “All Tibetan ethnic inhabited land that are contiguous and current carved under various Tibetan Autonomous and Prefectures in Yunnan, Sichaun, Qinghai, Gansu (so-called 5 autonomous and 6 Prefecture) should be under one administration zone with PRC just like Xinjiang Province with all Uygyurs and other minorities in their respective autonomous zones.)”

    The word “carved” was used here as if there had been a “Greater Tibet” as a single political entity that was carved up by the evil Chinese, when in fact the “Greater Tibet” is just a construction by Tibetan exiles that didn’t exist before the 7th century conquests of the Tubo Empire, and hasn’t existed since its collapse in the 9th century.

    I understand the territorial ambitions of the tibetan nationalists. I do. That is why China would be stupid to actually voluntarily create a “Greater Tibet” as its potential enemy.

    Take it from Obama — “there is not a liberal America and a conservative America — there is the United States of America. There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America — there’s the United States of America.”. Tibetan exiles have a choice — to become a citizen of the multi-ethnic united China, improve China as a whole, make it better, even more democratic, more equal or to continue their exile daydream for the restoration of the tibet empire.

  216. tenzin
    November 18th, 2008 at 20:41 | #216

    I am quoting here a part from the memorandum submitted by the Tibetan envoys during their latest trip to China.

    “In order for the Tibetan nationality to develop and flourish with its distinct identity, culture and spiritual tradition through the exercise of self-government on the above mentioned basic Tibetan needs, the entire community, comprising all the areas currently designated by the PRC as Tibetan autonomous areas, should be under one single administrative entity. The current administrative divisions, by which Tibetan communities are ruled and administered under different provinces and regions of the PRC, foments fragmentation, promotes unequal development, and weakens the ability of the Tibetan nationality to protect and promote its common cultural, spiritual and ethnic identity. Rather than respecting the integrity of the nationality, this policy promotes its fragmentation and disregards the spirit of autonomy. Whereas the other major minority nationalities such as the Uighurs and Mongols govern themselves almost entirely within their respective single autonomous regions, Tibetans remain as if they were several minority nationalities instead of one.

    Bringing all the Tibetans currently living in designated Tibetan autonomous areas within a single autonomous administrative unit is entirely in accordance with the constitutional principle contained in Article 4, also reflected in the LRNA (Article 2), that “regional autonomy is practiced in areas where people of minority nationalities live in concentrated communities.” The LRNA describes regional national autonomy as the “basic policy adopted by the Communist Party of China for the solution of the national question in China” and explains its meaning and intent in its Preface:

    the minority nationalities, under unified state leadership, practice regional autonomy in areas where they live in concentrated communities and set up organs of self-government for the exercise of the power of autonomy. Regional national autonomy embodies the state’s full respect for and guarantee of the right of the minority nationalities to administer their internal affairs and its adherence to the principle of equality, unity and common prosperity of all nationalities.

    It is clear that the Tibetan nationality within the PRC will be able to exercise its right to govern itself and administer its internal affairs effectively only once it can do so through an organ of self-government that has jurisdiction over the Tibetan nationality as a whole.

    The LRNA recognises the principle that boundaries of national autonomous areas may need to be modified. The need for the application of the fundamental principles of the Constitution on regional autonomy through respect of the integrity of the Tibetan nationality is not only totally legitimate, but the administrative changes that may be required to achieve this in no way violate constitutional principles. There are several precedents where this has been actually done.”

  217. Hemulen
    November 18th, 2008 at 21:19 | #217

    @jc

    You’re distorting my argument. Who is saying that Tibetans don’t need help from others? Certainly not me. The question at stake is whether Tibetans are in control of that process. When China opened up in 1979, the Chinese government made sure that Chinese would be in charge, not foreigners. Clearly Tibetans are not in charge in Tibet today and they are not happy about it. Why is that so hard to comprehend?

  218. pug_ster
    November 18th, 2008 at 21:37 | #218

    @Tenzin 216

    I guess calls for affirmative action and segregationist policies for Tibetans will win alot of praise from Chinese leaders.

  219. jc
    November 18th, 2008 at 22:38 | #219

    @Hemulen at 217:

    Clearly Tibetans are not in charge in Tibet today and they are not happy about it. Why is that so hard to comprehend?

    I do understand that part. I believe many other people who posts here understand that as well. But I do want you to also give other issues some thought.

    For one, while some people like you seems get very upset when you are not in charge; There are other people who view the final result, regardless who is in charge, as much more important. Hong Kong was under British rule for a century and today it is the richest part of China, while it is not something that China is particularly very proud of, it does seems that either British did a great job there, or people in Hong Kong have sorted out their priority rather well, or both. In any case, this is a case where A rules and B benefits. So my view is that bluntly ruling that option out is not the best interest to Tibetans. To take it a step further, for you to rule this option out, you might be hurting some of your Tibetan’s brother’s and sister’s interest.

    The second point that I was trying to make is, when you need help from others, you usually got to pay a price. As the saying goes, there is no free lunch. Whether you are going to pay your prosperity to get self ruling, or to pay self ruling to get prosperity, or to pay half of this to get half of that is the choice yet to be made. But in any case, Hoping about getting everything without paying anything doesn’t sound practical to me because it doesn’t seem China will agree on that. So far once and once again I heard that Tibetan wants “meaningful autonomy” for all Tibetans. That does not sound like very much of a compromise giving that fact that you never made any concession on the “self rule” condition. It is true that CCP doesn’t seem to have made much concession either, but then the exile keep blaming about the talk went nowhere is CCP’s fault, while it does look like that both sides are still on square one to me.

    One more thing that I would also like you to think about is, please do not misunderstand this as a threat because I have no intention to do so — I am just expression my opinion. It is that the fact that you are dealing with China — about 1/5 of the whole human beings on earth matters here. The situation is not comparable to any other. China is huge so it does have a lot of resource at its disposal; China is one party rule so it does have a somewhat “tough” political system; China is poor so most people there don’t think alike people in developed world; China is rising so ever since a while it indeed can pull off some clout if it needs to… So there is the obvious question that is, how can you win?

    All these factors are things that I would think to be a part of the equation. And it doesn’t appear that the exile community reaches beyond the self ruling obsession and touches these factors much.

  220. November 18th, 2008 at 23:01 | #220

    @jc #219,

    Sorry to interject on your discussion with Hemulen. I don’t have much time, but I have been meaning to ask you this question for some time: do you really think that the basis of Chinese sovereignty over Tibet is based on the fact that Tibetans need the “Han Chinese” to modernize effectively?

    I personally don’t think the basis of Chinese sovereignty over Tibet is due to “Tibetan'” need of “Chinese” to help at all. If so, Chinese sovereignty in Tibet would have to be time-limited. That is, once the ethnic Tibetans have been helped, the non-ethnic Tibetans need to move out.

    If you really believe that Chinese is in Tibet only to help, wouldn’t many like Hemulen (justifiably, perhaps) see non-Tibetan Chinese as colonizers (albeit benevolent colonizers) – akin’s to Europe’s justification of colonization based on their perception of “white man’s burden”?

    Forget the fact that ethnic Tibetans in the PRC are full-fledged PRC citizens in a way that the colonized in European colonies could never dream to be full citizens – you still make yourself open to looking like an Imperialist … especially in a world still shaming about and recovering from centuries of colonial history…

    Anyways, that’s just my 2 cents.

    If you like, of course you should not hesitate to point out to our Western friends how much non-Tibetan Chinese are helping Tibetan Chinese. I personally am proud that the PRC is spending so much resources to try to help the entire country – not just the coastal region – to develop. You can use that to explain that the “ethnic Tibetans” are not forgotten or ignored by the Chinese central government. But I wouldn’t use that to justify the basis of Chinese sovereignty in Tibet.

    Gotta run now… 😉

  221. wukong
    November 18th, 2008 at 23:21 | #221

    @pug_ster 154:

    the Dalai Lama actually thanked the Chinese government for doing that.

    My impression is the opposite. Here’s what Dalai Lama has to say about the newly-built Qinghai-Tibet Railway:

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKDEL10690620070131

    Dalai Lama says rail link brings AIDS, beggars to Tibet
    Wed Jan 31, 2007 5:24pm GM

    MUMBAI (Reuters) – The Dalai Lama accused Beijing on Wednesday of using a new railway link to flood Tibet with beggars, prostitutes and the unemployed, destroying its culture and traditions.

    “The railway link is a real danger,” said the spiritual leader, who fled to India from Tibet after a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959.

    “Beggars, handicapped people are coming. Their number is huge. Also jobless people facing difficulty in Chinese mainland are coming to Lhasa,” he told a religious gathering in the Indian city of Mumbai.

  222. wukong
    November 18th, 2008 at 23:44 | #222

    @Allen 220:

    How about we just chalk it up to “manifest destiny” or “mandate of heaven” ? 😛

    How about Tibet was part of Qing Empire, and any subsequent Chinese government (be it Nationalists or Communists) that’s worth its salt has a responsibility to keep the country whole, and any otherwise would lose its legitimacy among the people?

    How about the majority of Chinese citizens would not allow the split up of the country and will fight to keep country whole? If Lincoln did it, why not any Chinese leader?

  223. Wukailong
    November 19th, 2008 at 01:02 | #223

    @Wukong (#222): Yes. What about Mongolia?

  224. Hongkonger
    November 19th, 2008 at 01:34 | #224

    WOW…Great discusions…

    At the same time…These are the Best Pro-Tibet arguments / comments I’ve read
    (Rather civil dispite the old tiresome ad hominem attacks such as “Chinese chauvinist.” )

    Kudos to JC #203 and this: ” For one, while some people like you seems get very upset when you are not in charge; There are other people who view the final result, regardless who is in charge, as much more important. […] In any case, this is a case where A rules and B benefits.”

    Kudos to bt, Jerry, WKL, and Allen…nice one TonyP4 #40, …Excellent cool, calm analysis, Steve (#204 & #213), Zhihua #215. right on the dollar$ Wukong #221

  225. Lobsang
    November 19th, 2008 at 02:31 | #225

    #215 Zhihua

    Comparing China to the US as a nation is simply not correct. The tendency for folks living in those two insular and powerful countries (fortunately I am not one of them so can look at the world) are to compare what they know. They are of course many other countries in this great planet of ours and in fact China as a nation with its Tibet problem can be better compared against other countries.

    I had mentioned more enlightened models as Quebec within Canada with two official languages, Scotland within UK, small, highly affluent and advanced scientifically developed country like Switzerland has four official languages representing major ethnic groups. They was also the erstwhile Soviet Union model of autonomous regions and treatment of their minorities. Well with the breakdown of USSR a lot of these autonomous regions became independent countries. Then CCP was terrified and quickly rewrote the nation’s constitution and started this policy to tighten control and perhaps follow the policy of assimilation.

    As you know the US is a country of immigrants who come here to start a new life and build a new nation and become American once they jump in the big melting pot to live the American dream.

    I really didn’t want to go down the Tibet-China history quagmire but since you started. Let me give a brief overview.

    There is no question that Tibetans are indigenous to the land with over 2000 years of recorded history and thousand years of settlement on the roof of the world.

    Also another fact (not an empirical or subjective or whatever truth) I need not mention that until the recent CCP PRC occupation prior to 50-60 years they were less than dozen Chinese living in the entire region or to be correct Tibetan government administered region (pretty much TAR and a few outlying) and also not that many Chinese living in the outlying Tibetan inhabited regions of Kham and Amdo on the high Tibetan plateau. Ofcourse around the border of the Tibetan plateau they were also indigenous Tibetan related stock Qiang, Naxi minorities and Lisu, Hui etc.

    I agree as you correctly mentioned that the old Tibetan government had no direct control over many of the outlying areas on the Tibetan plateau such as large part of Kham and Amdo. Neither had the Chinese emperors had much control over these regions as well. These people like the many regions of Kham, Gyarong, Goloks were fierce and will fight any outside intruders but extremely devout that show great reverence to Dalai Lama. So the old Tibetan govt had more claim than the Chinese emperors due to the shared race, religion, culture, language etc. Agaiin read Goldstein biography of Bapa Phunwang of these regions and their relationship with their neighbours and wanting to be part of Tibet proper.

    For example, Gyarong region is now called Aba Tibetan/Qiang Autonomous in Sichuan (Panda inhabited and where the Sichuan Earthquake occured earlier) region which I visited last summer and in fact the Chinese tour guide mentioned that the great Manchu emperor, Qianglong sent his large army of 100,000 to conquer Gyarong and they were soundly defeated with 40,000 Chinese massacred by the Tibetan Gyarong warriors. So these regions were kingdoms ruled by Chieftains, Warlords, local Kings, Lamas etc. Fascinating areas but the commonality is that they are all Tibetan sharing same written language, religion and culture. If you don’t believe, I will introduce you to one son of one of the powerful Chieftains in Gyarong who current lives in-exile in Vancouver, Canada.

    You are correct that the entire Tibetan plateau and more areas were united in the 7th century under the great Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo of the Tubo dynasty had direct control and then during the 5th Dalai Lama rule in the 16th century with the help of Mongols controlled much of the Tibetan plateau. The Manchu Qiang dynasty did NOT have control over Tibet during that time with the help of Mongols and the Tibetan warlords.

    The Manchu Qiangs never had direct control of most of Tibet certainly not the current TAR. How is it possible with less than a dozen Chinese in the entire country. Tibet was and is a nation. Of course, that’s why Tibetans are seeking a more autonomy. Infact even Mao recognized and offered and forced the Tibetans to sign this 17 point agreement that none of the other ethnic regions had.

    That’s why I have been saying that CCP has been the most powerful dynasty that China ever had with direct control over the largest areas that they rule in the history of China.

    Don’t get hung up on this nation status. Canada last year recognized Quebec a nation status. Canada also offered public or nation’s apology with billions of dollars of compensation to the Native population for years of abuse of residential schools run by the Church groups under govt sponsorship at turn of the century. So as someone mentioned, if the Chinese are comparing Tibetans to the North American Indian situation, that’s admission of policy of assimilation in the 21st century. So is China admitting that they wanted to follow what’s been clearly wronged by countries like Canada, US, Australia of the treatment of the indeginous population over 100 years ago.

    I hope I won’t get lectured this time on this forum from one of these self-righteous big brothers for whatever reasons or perhaps not staying on topic who admittedly have no interest and no knowledge on the Tibet issue. Personally not sure if one has no interest why are they lurking in this forum. Certaintly I would have better things to do.

    Just one comment for jc on #203, let’s say China didn’t occupy Tibet in 1950 and they were no Chinese rule so Tibet was free and independent. Of course they would be absolutely no assistance from China and the dedicated cadres to rebuild and modernise Tibet, I wouldn’t assume that Tibet/Tibetans would be so materially backward, poor, starving, helpless and unhappy without all that billions of Renminbi of subsidy from China.

    So what would Tibet be like without China’s assistance to modernise. Well we have a perfect example of what Tibet would have become if you look at the Himalayan Kingdom or country of Bhutan.

    Bhutan and Tibet shared same culture, religion, language and similar old government of power shared between Aristocratic and a few Clergy rulers ( btw I and my family and most of Tibetans (say 98%) were none of these two ruling members). Well, Bhutan is not a bad place to live these days if look at it. The king recently introduced more democracy and made it more figurehead. As some know he also coined the metric of Gross National Happiness (GNH) instead of only GDP/GNP gauge’s development and standard of living and happiness. Tibet has 6 million population with huge land 2 million square KM with more livestock than people, rich resources, pristine environment, with huge potential of tourism alone.

    So Tibet without China would have been just fine but again that’s not reality. So I didn’t really wanted to go down this history quagmire but since some asked and started, here is my 2 cents.

  226. Jerry
    November 19th, 2008 at 02:46 | #226

    @Monk #195
    @Lobsang

    Monk, your tone is way too harsh, in my opinion. You said, “For the sake of your own mental and physical well being, you should get over it and get a life.” That does not represent my feelings. Not even close. We all get hurt and angry at times. We are all human. My caution would be to deal with that, however the person needs to and taking whatever time is necessary. Dwelling on past hurts and anger can lead, in time, to bitterness and hatred, which will poison the bearer of the bitterness and hatred. My message is a cautionary tale.

    Monk and Shane, I see your “get over it” messages as sarcastic, hubristic and condescending. Perhaps you have issues you need to deal with? Who knows? I would suggest taking care of and paddling your own canoe. Lobsang seems to be paddling his own canoe very well on his own. And now for my sarcastic retort: Lord knows how he has managed so well in the past without your input, Monk and Shane? 😛 Just could not resist. Go figure.

    Lobsang, Monk disparagingly wrote to you:

    By the way, please don’t kid yourself, Lobsang, DL and his followers are mostly a bunch of priest/aristocratic slave owners or the descendents of priest/aristocratic slave owners who have turned terrorists and criminal felons in trying to grab their land back and put the slavery yokes back over the necks and shoulders of the liberated Tibetan slaves and their children. I suggest that you should give up such hopeless dreams for your own sake and for the sake of most Tibetan people, , as well as for the love of God.

    Anybody can disparage another, take “cheap shots”, and try to stomp on another’s dreams. Speaking as a Russian Jewish American, don’t give up on your dreams, Lobsang. Be proud of them, Lobsang. I am so glad and grateful that my Jewish ancestors and past generations have pursued their dreams. I am glad that they did not quit. I am a grateful beneficiary of their courage and persistence. I am glad and grateful that they got back up when life knocked them down. Getting back up may be the most important lesson that my people have learned through all the pain, misery, persecution and attempts at annihilation and genocide. Good luck to you, Lobsang. Mazel tov, haimischer mensch. Zay gezunt.

    Finally, Monk, you rudely said to Lobsang, ‘‘Aigain, I, too, “I wish you the best, Lobsang.”’’ After your previous remarks, your comment seems disingenuous, and dripping with sarcasm and hubris. Why bother?

  227. shane9219
    November 19th, 2008 at 03:13 | #227

    @Lobsang #212

    I see some solid points in your proposal that can potentially move Tibet-China dialogue onto another level.

    Tibet and its people have its own unique origin and history. Han people respect it just like the way we respect our own ancesters. I have several devoted Buddhist family members who made repeated donation in recent years to help restore temples in Tibet region.

    Over a very long period of time, Tibetan became intertwined with other races around its region. That process has been complicated, and at times, may not look pretty. Execuse me for being grandiose here, time can be better spent to find ways to co-exist and develope together, than attempt to untangle that history.

    The challenge as I see here is whether Tibetan-in-exile community can form a consensus on things similar to your proposal and make a commitment going forward on that direction.

  228. jc
    November 19th, 2008 at 03:22 | #228

    @Allen #220:

    I tried to avoid getting into ideological argument and try to view the situation from a more practical point of view. Specifically I think discussing sovereignty issue has little practical benefits here.

    First of all, it doesn’t look like that you are going to convince them that you are right on the sovereignty issue by citing histories. What’s past is past. You go back 50 years citing some of this and they go back 50 years citing some of that; you go back 500 years and they go back 500 years. The problem is not whether you or he has the justification or not, whatever your justification is, they are mostly dead. The problem is whether your justification or his justification has any practical impact at all. In the case of history, it doesn’t seem yours has any impact on them or theirs have any on you.

    Second of all, any compromise on sovereignty issue or even self ruling issue, either time limited or not, would be a non-starter for CCP. Giving the present situation, it doesn’t seem that CCP would make any concession on that.

    Third, any heated discuss on the sovereignty issue is surely to cause more turbulence on the Tibet side because it’s a very sensitive topic for them and CCP does currently have the de facto sovereignty over TAR and it is internationally recognized.

    Because of those reasons, I’d rather try to focus more on the present situation and see if I can get an understanding of both sides’ position, and in turn to see if I can find some common ground.

    I personally think China helps developing Tibet is a good thing because I care a lot about how people live their life. I believed in that because I’ve seen both very poor lives and rich lives and I have seen how much suffering the poor are enduring everyday and how their view and priority can be so different from the rich, and I’ve seen a lot of social problems that I would largely contributed to poverty. China’s own development experience also clearly indicates that economy development is the “enabler” for a lot of other things. For those reasons, I believe CCP is doing the right thing to develop the economy, even though I won’t deny that the way that is carried out may still have a lot of room to improve, and maybe there are other things that can be done along with developing the economy. From that regard, also taking into consideration of the reality of China as a whole and the over all development policy in China, to me it doesn’t appear that Tibetans are specifically treated worse.

    Having that said, everything has two sides. So is China helping developing Tibet 100% good? No. There are good and bad. However it is my opinion that good out weight bad here. The same goes to the railway, is it going to solve all Tibet economy problems? No. It is going to bring bad things to Tibet? Sure. But are there enough benefits to make it a project that worth investing? I believe so.

  229. Lobsang
    November 19th, 2008 at 03:43 | #229

    #227, Thanks Shane for your comments.

    I do know they are many Chinese who have benefited from the Tibetan spirituality and supporting them generously. I have seen it on my many travels in China, Tibet and outside and got quite excited about these development. Ironically, the biggest financial supporters outside the Tibetan community of their Tibetan Buddhist centres/temples/monasteries in exile and in Tibet (the essence of the culture) are Chinese people from mainland and mostly in diaspora. So Dalai Lama is sincerely saying that his trust/hope for the Chinese people is strong but his trust in the Chinese govt. is thinning, thinning.

    Tibetans live by great hope all the time that they will be political settlement to this great tragedy that had fallen on them and they will be reunited back to their homeland. They had always wanted to be left alone and wished no harm to anyone and practice their faith and way of life but that’s not to be in this modern world … They are showing the world to how to fight for their rights, way of life and culture through non-violence. What a perfect adversary they got … which really test their faith. Sure sounds corny but that’s what it is …

    I wanted to quote this Tibetan saying which is so true and goes something like: “Tibetan people are ruined by too much hope and Chinese people are ruined by too much suspicion’

  230. Monk
    November 19th, 2008 at 03:48 | #230

    @Steve (#197)

    Let me clarify myself, when I used the present tense “are”, I was trying to describe those people’s present mindset. But I got your point; maybe I should have used the past tense “were” because they are no longer aristocrat slave owners anymore, thanks to the advancing nature of the progressive historical forces. However, I still think that the family background (of being the descendents of priest/aristocratic slave owners) to be a very relevant attribute in helping one to form a proper judgment of a person because this category of people forms the most radical faction of the DL group (ex. Tibetan Youth Congress). It will be interesting to see how they are going to evolve for the years to come.

    As to the misdeeds of the older generation of the ex- priest/aristocratic slave owners, I would offer the following:

    I once knew a Tibetan whose parents are former slaves and I have met in my lifetime quite a few others who had lived and worked in Tibet for many years. A lot of my opinions about Tibet are based on their life experiences and personal testimonies.

    One of the narratives that I heard and still remember roughly goes as follows:

    DL’s rebels often came across the border to raid and terrorize the civilian population on this (China’s) side of the border during the 1960s. One of the interrogation questions the rebels often asked the poor Tibetan ex-slaves was: “Have you been eating rice or have you been eating the locally grown highland barley?” If the Tibetan ex-slaves admitted that they had received the humanitarian help from the government or the PLA because they didn’t have enough to eat, they would be tortured and killed for being disloyal to DL. If they answered that they didn’t have enough highland barley to eat but they had not been eating rice out of the “loyalty” for DL, then rebels would search ex-slaves’ dwellings. If any trace of rice were found, the ex-slaves would be tortured and killed for being disloyal to DL and for lying to DL’s rebels.

    The above narrative based on a personal testimony may not meet your documentation standards, but it is good enough for me to form my opinions.

    P.s. There are too many heated arguments in this forum that I am getting a headache. I probably won’t be back for a while.

    I can’t stand the “heat”, so I am getting out of the “kitchen”. 🙂

  231. Wukailong
    November 19th, 2008 at 03:53 | #231

    @Hongkonger (#224): Indeed, these discussions are getting better and better, and it seems people are beginning to listen to each other. That’s great. Funny though that the other thread Allen opened seems to have turned into the usual flame war. Perhaps it was just diversionary tactics to make this one better. 🙂

    Now more of a personal impression: I also got more interested in the Tibetan question after the 3.14 riots, and began looking around for information. It seems Melvyn Goldstein’s “A History of Modern Tibet, 1913-1951: The Demise of the Lamaist State” is a very informative work of what life was like in Tibet during the decades of lawlessness in the mainland proper. To my surprise, I found a translation of it in a bookstore here in Beijing. I would have bought it if it wasn’t for the fact that it was 500 pages paperback… But I might change my mind.

    Actually, going to a bookstore is quite a good way to figure out how far freedom of speech has come. There were much more books on spirituality than even the last couple of years, which is an interesting indicator about people’s changing reading habits.

    @shane9219 (#227): “Over a very long period of time, Tibetan became intertwined with other races around its region. That process has been complicated, and at times, may not look pretty. Execuse me for being grandiose here, time can be better spent to find ways to co-exist and development together, than attempt to untangle that history.

    The challenge as I see here is whether Tibetan-in-exile community can form a consensus on things similar to your proposal and make a commitment going forward on that direction.”

    Very well said. I guess we will see soon what the exile community comes up with…

  232. Lobsang
    November 19th, 2008 at 03:55 | #232

    Gratuitous, Gratuitous, Gratuitous. The best response is no response to provocation, threats and sarcasm. We are all grown up and life’s too short …

  233. Wukailong
    November 19th, 2008 at 04:11 | #233

    @jc (#228): “First of all, it doesn’t look like that you are going to convince them that you are right on the sovereignty issue by citing histories. What’s past is past. You go back 50 years citing some of this and they go back 50 years citing some of that; you go back 500 years and they go back 500 years. The problem is not whether you or he has the justification or not, whatever your justification is, they are mostly dead. The problem is whether your justification or his justification has any practical impact at all. In the case of history, it doesn’t seem yours has any impact on them or theirs have any on you.”

    I think the problem is that sovereignty, like any other legal or even ethical concept, is decided on by humans. It is not a law of nature and can in the end only be decided by discussion or force. Of course both sides are trying to make a point as to why they are most justified in getting/retaining their sovereignty, and hopefully there will be a settlement sooner or later, but in the end it’s hard to say who’s right or wrong.

    So in that sense, it has no practical impact.

  234. Jerry
    November 19th, 2008 at 05:20 | #234

    @Monk #230

    Several comments.

    Monk, thanks for your clarification of your earlier post. But I disagree with your notion of “presumed guilt by association or descendency/inheritance”. It can happen. But I think it is too much of an extrapolation to apply “… in helping one to form a proper judgment of a person because this category of people forms the most radical faction of the DL group (ex. Tibetan Youth Congress).” My dad is an Israel Firster and contributor to AIPAC. I am not. He has flippantly remarked about using WMDs against Arabs and Palestinians. I think it is absurd and hateful. Using your aforementioned notion, you would be inclined to judge me the same as my father. I would say that such “proper” judgment is prejudiced (pre-judged), ignorant and bigoted. IMHO, I would council that you judge the person for who they are. I would not blame you, at all, for skepticism and caution. In fact, I tend to be skeptical and cautious. But I do have a certain degree of openness.

    Monk, you wrote, “they are no longer aristocrat slave owners anymore, thanks to the advancing nature of the progressive historical forces.” I think progressiveness plays a part. I also think that serendipity, inadvertency and unintended consequences play a part, too.

    Thanks for the anecdote about DL’s rebels, Monk. I don’t quite know what to make of it. In any group, ideologues can get carried away and rather inhuman. The story is plausible. I take your story and the other information here and elsewhere under advisement. As I have said before, I will keep an open, skeptical mind.

    I believe it dangerous to extrapolate from this anecdote and read into it a general set of behaviors of Tibetan people or even just the subset, the DL group, as you call it. But you are free to do as you will. You are the master of how you form your own opinions and beliefs.

    In #195, you made these comments to Lobsang

    … For the sake of your own mental and physical well being, you should get over it and get a life. … please don’t kid yourself, Lobsang, DL and his followers are mostly a bunch of priest/aristocratic slave owners or the descendents of priest/aristocratic slave owners who have turned terrorists and criminal felons in trying to grab their land back …
    … I suggest that you should give up such hopeless dreams for your own sake and for the sake of most Tibetan people, , as well as for the love of God.

    Then in #230, you state

    P.s. There are too many heated arguments in this forum that I am getting a headache. I probably won’t be back for a while.

    I can’t stand the “heat”, so I am getting out of the “kitchen”.

    Hmmm… Rather incongruent to me. You seem to be able to dish out some heat to Lobsang, but you don’t seem able to take the heat. Your choice. Whatever.

  235. Steve
    November 19th, 2008 at 05:42 | #235

    @Monk #230: Thanks for the clarification. As I said before, I haven’t read up too much on the whole Tibet issue and have learned a lot by reading everyone’s comments. I’m glad you cleared up the current slavery issue. Like Jerry, I would not hold someone responsible for their parent’s attitudes or behavior and have seen many examples of children behaving the opposite of their parents because they realized at a young age what they were seeing. Some are exact duplicates of their parents; it is never consistent. But your post today brought something to the table for this discussion and that’s what I most appreciate.

    The story of your friend’s parents was also appreciated. There’s the macro and the micro. Many times we can learn more about a situation by talking about the micro since it is what touches normal people’s lives. I can see how hearing those stories affected your viewpoint.

    In general, everyone seems to have toned down the rhetoric and most of the posts lately have been really informative. When everyone calms down, more facts, more details, more well thought out opinions are elucidated. I very much agree with Wukailong’s assessment of the current discussion. I just hope it holds like this for awhile longer. 😛

  236. Wukailong
    November 19th, 2008 at 06:02 | #236

    @pug_ster (#206): I mentioned Che Guevara because he seems to be somewhat of an icon both in the West and China. I’m not saying that he or the DL live up to their images, but you don’t need to to be a pop icon. As for views on Che Guevara, I recommend the Wikipedia article:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Che_Guevara#Legacy

    Quotes (with notes removed):

    ‘Some view Che Guevara as a hero; for example, Nelson Mandela referred to him as “an inspiration for every human being who loves freedom” while Jean-Paul Sartre described him as “not only an intellectual but also the most complete human being of our age.” Guevara remains a beloved national hero to many in Cuba, where his image adorns the 3 $ Cuban Peso and school children begin each morning by pledging “We will be like Che.” (…)

    Conversely, others view him as a spokesman for a failed ideology and as a ruthless executioner. Johann Hari, for example, writes that “Che Guevara is not a free-floating icon of rebellion. He was an actual person who supported an actual system of tyranny.” Detractors have also theorized that in much of Latin America, Che-inspired revolutions had the practical result of reinforcing brutal militarism for many years. He also remains a hated figure amongst many in the Cuban exile community, who view him with animosity as “the butcher of La Cabaña.”‘

    Anyone see the similarities?

  237. Wukailong
    November 19th, 2008 at 06:07 | #237

    Pardon me for sounding as if I try to make fun of this, but I would say that the Chinese view of DL is that he’s basically Senator Palpatine/Lord Sidious. It’s very similar.

  238. Lobsang
    November 19th, 2008 at 06:13 | #238

    Wukailong #231, I didn’t know you live in Beijing and so I am more impressed with your open minded and willing to listen the unhibited, honest Tibetan viewpoints that must be hard to find there.

    Goldstein’s Lamaist state history book is good which covers upto 1950. Since 1950 upto late 1990 covering the recent history and engagements on Tibet and China, the most authoritative history book on Tibet is by Tsering Shakya (Oxford PHd) and now Professor at University of BC in Vancover. I think you or someone mentioned like many in the Chinese world that 03/14 protests and subsequent Torch relay opened your eyes on the Tibet problem but really this struggle has been waged for a long time and quite well-known in the west.

    As I had mentioned, Goldstein’s wrote a book on ‘Poltical History of Bapa Phunwang, a revolutinary” is definitely a must read. He is an incredible figure in the the modern history of Tibet. A true communist and athiest (rare in Tibetan), a founder of Tibetan communist party, was the top Tibetan official in 1950’s but with hist strong Tibetan identity go int trouble with Mao and was imprisoned for 19 years and suffered immensely. Then released in late 1970’s and was rehabilated by Deng Xioapeng and Hu Yaobang. He is in his 80 and continues to write courageously in Chinese and I had a great honor of meeting him in Beijing where he lives. You should definitely get hold of this book if available ( i doubt it as its sensitive stuff for CCP from insider being critical).

    You mentioned that they are lot of spiritual books in the bookstore and I heard Buddhism is getting huge following. It’s too bad that the readers can’t buy His Holiness spiritual books on Buddhism which are mostly in English but they are many in Chinese published from Taiwan. I have seen his books in both Chinese and English at HongKong airport but I am sure you can’t find them in PRC. These are absolutely the best Buddhist books and have been the best sellers around the world and it’s unfortunate that these are not available there due to politics.

    I know DL has many Chinese Tibetan buddhist followers in China including rich, famous, powerful like actor Jet Li, Party members, business people. In fact Dalai Lama spends 80% of his time on spiritual activities like religious teaching, public talks in his many travels and only small time on politics.

  239. Michael
    November 19th, 2008 at 11:04 | #239

    1. Clearly China will not negotiate with DL, he has nothing to offer. It is just a show for the public. Resistance is futile since our 1 billion far exceeds their 2 million.

    2. The west accepts tibet as part of China for the last 60 years. There is no question of autonomy or even semi-autonomy; it does not matter what Tibetans feel. Tibet is Chinese property.

    3. Might makes right.

    4. Not only tibet, but rest of asia should be part of China as well since they were vassels or part of China(e.g vietnam, korea, central asia, malaysia, sri lankha etc.). Any country that was not part of China will eventually submit as well.

    5. With over a billion people and the weakening of western nations, China is going to be the superpower once again- so Tibetans must accept who is master.

  240. Wukailong
    November 19th, 2008 at 11:33 | #240

    @Michael: Methinks you are trying to pull our legs? I’ve heard many Chinese nationalists, but nobody who talked like that. 😀

  241. Jerry
    November 19th, 2008 at 11:42 | #241

    @Wukailong #240
    @Michael #239

    I agree, WKL. This is one of the best “tongue in cheek” satirical pieces I have read in a while. Kudos, Michael. Now that Sarah Palin has ridden off into the sunset, SNL is scrambling for some good skits. Michael, I think you should submit this to SNL as an outline for a great skit. ::LOL:: 😀

    Or are you really Lorne Michaels or Al Franken?? Tina Fey?? ::LMAO:: 😀

    If SNL blows out on this idea, I bet Mel Brooks could do wonders with this. I can just see it now, “The Producers Do Tibet!” Rather than the internal play within the play, “Springtime for Hitler”, they can change the play within the play to “Hello, Dalai!” 😀

  242. Michael
    November 19th, 2008 at 11:54 | #242

    I wonder why bananas pretend to be Han? Hmmm….

  243. bt
    November 19th, 2008 at 12:25 | #243

    It is very funny that when a beginning of discussion between T and C seems to start, suddenly some people appear to flame (feeling a need to write on every post)… really surprising 🙂

  244. jc
    November 19th, 2008 at 13:48 | #244

    Hum….some people just enjoy flaming fires on others…

    Regardless who he is, being a Han Chinese, or a Tibetans, or a Westerns, or anywhere else, I would think such behavior is very immature and inappropriate. However it should be noticed that the vast majority of more than 200 posts at here are from people who try to be rational and constructive (including me!). So I think people should just ignore such provocative behavior from a few extremist.

  245. bt
    November 19th, 2008 at 13:56 | #245

    Hey, freedom of speech is also freedom to be infamous … that’s it, we must accept the rules of the game.

  246. TonyP4
    November 19th, 2008 at 14:21 | #246

    Micheal #239. Yes, when you’re weak, they try to grab your territory and/or split your country.

    When China was weak, the Russians wanted part of Mongolia to be dependent and uses it as a buffer zone. It came back to Russia herself when they’re weak after the war. I do not agree with Mao usually, but agree his idea wanting missiles in order to be respected.

    Tibet is not that easy to part for sure as China today is not the same as 80 years ago.

  247. Jerry
    November 19th, 2008 at 15:01 | #247

    @Michael #239

    4. Not only tibet, but rest of asia should be part of China as well since they were vassels or part of China(e.g vietnam, korea, central asia, malaysia, sri lankha etc.). Any country that was not part of China will eventually submit as well.

    In spite of the preposterousness and hubris of your comments, I would nonetheless highly caution against attacking Vietnam, again. Last time china tried, shortly after the American War, china attacked Vietnam and was quickly repulsed. The chinese army retreated and went back home with their collective tails between their legs.

    Currently, the Vietnamese have the second largest army in the world (total troops). China is #3.

    I would hope that the Chinese would not stoop to such savagery. But one never knows.

    BTW, the term is spelled “vassals”. This term comes from feudal times in the Middle Ages. IMHO, the thinking behind your comments seems to emanate from that period, or possibly your comments have been made without the benefit of the thought process. Thankfully, most of the posters’ comments here are much more enlightened.

    Other than acting as “agent provocateur”, what is your point? Nevertheless, thanks for the amusing entertainment.

  248. dan
    November 19th, 2008 at 15:42 | #248

    I am not sure the title of this article is correct “Tibet: turning over a new page”. After reading most of the threads, I am not convinced any page has been turned compared to those that had been discussed on the T/C issue since April.

  249. zhihua
    November 19th, 2008 at 15:43 | #249

    Are people actually taking Michael239 seriously? While we can’t discount the possibility of a couple true wing nuts, I would take his comments as an attempt at smearing the Chinese people.

  250. Hongkonger
    November 19th, 2008 at 15:52 | #250

    #248 @Dan,

    In the “Tibetan Exile” thread bt asks Michael, “What are you doing here?”

    Michael replies, “Suffering from being an old european who sees his homeland taken over by arabs and africans”

  251. bt
    November 19th, 2008 at 15:54 | #251

    @ dan and zhihua

    Ok guys, I think we are all grown up, besides our differences.
    We cannot know where does Michael comes from (a ‘false flag fenqing’, is that possible?), and there is no need to elaborate theories about that.
    Excuse Jerry and me, it is sometimes hard to resist to a reply 🙂

  252. bt
    November 19th, 2008 at 15:57 | #252

    @ HKer

    “What are you doing here?

    Suffering from being an old european who sees his homeland taken over by arabs and africans? 😉 ”

    He was talking to me (I said in the thread of miaka that I was neither from US neither from Asia), trying to be provocative … anyway, that is not such a deal.

  253. Lobsang
    November 19th, 2008 at 16:49 | #253

    Let’s be honest here and look in the mirror. #239 Michael, said it exactly with no sugar-coating, concise to the point the sentiments of many Chinese nationalist (they are millions) feelings and their ‘rights’.

    He could have added one more which is the deep national ‘humiliation and bullying’ treatments felt by the Chinese from the imperialists forces (Japanese, European), and strong resolve to rally around the PRC CCP that they will not be ‘bullied’ any more. So sure Tibet and Tibetans get the brunt of this anger when it’s trying to survive and have nothing to do with it …

    Sure on Michael’s point #4 which seems to have outraged some posters, I don’t know about Malaysia or Sri Lanka but have heard Vietnam and Korea are no different than Mongolia and Tibet of part of old China and Chinese emperors territorial claim.

    I am not sure if the father of modern China and Taiwan, Sun Yat Tsen, don’t think called for these countries such as Korea, Sri Lanka to be integral part of China except Mongolia.

    So we have the govt and most of people thinking like the middle-kingdom in this modern world of using this historical claim of China’s ‘nationa sovereign integrity’. If Tibet didn’t have claim for self-rule and sure independence as a country, I don’t think majority of the 180-190 countries in the world now don’t qualify as a country as they should be part of another more powerful country. That’s how rediculous this China national integrity and claim on Tibet is.

    It’s important to recognize and only then will appreciate the ‘middle-way’ proposal of huge concession from the Tibetan side of ceding Tibetan independence, providing legitmacy and willing to be part of China. Only then will appreciate what Tibetans have given in and bargaining chips … provide legitimacy to China’s national soverignty which clearly doesn’t exist from the Tibetan peoples heart and mind. That’s more important then what other countries recognize or not, it’s realpolitiks but what does the subjects and the majority of the citizens feel deep down. That’s why reaching to the large Chinese population for better understanding is so important in particular the historical context.

    Then from the position of strenght and confidence China and Chinese people can deal with the Tibet problem.

    Read my brief overview of history on #225 which must be eye-opener for a lot of Chinese but refute if you would, please.

  254. Bob
    November 19th, 2008 at 17:28 | #254

    Honest question, do Tibetans-in-exile and their apologists have day jobs?

  255. jc
    November 19th, 2008 at 17:52 | #255

    @Lobsang #253

    Let’s be honest here and look in the mirror….

    You reminded me “The Mirror of Erised” in the Harry Potter movie. Certainly there are Han Chinese that think that way. But is that the main idea behind the current Tibet policy? I do not think so. Obviously it’s very insulting to all of Tibetans for a Han Chinese to think that way, but it’s also true that such people are everywhere.

    See through the mirror and you will see that on a per capital base, China is only 1/10 of developed country. That alone is enough to make any claim like “Might is right” extremely laughable. Living on a standard that’s 1/10 of other people, what might do you have? Supplied hundreds of millions of its hard working citizens to tens of thousands of sweat shops set up by Koreans, Japanese, Hong Kong and Taiwan people and work in slave condition for years. What might do you have? Just think about what a Korean factory owner would think when they hear such statement from one of his Han Chinese worker. He would laugh. There is no denying that China is huge. China has made great progress. But they are far from asserting the super power status and the responsibility that comes along with it.

    Michael’s post reminded me of some white extremists in US. If you look at those people, they are either extremely ignorant and live on the very low end of the society who couldn’t get anything else; or somebody who emerges as cult leaders and greatly benefits from being the agitating factor of these very ignorant people. In any case, nobody takes their claim seriously.

    It is well possible that Michael is some rather ignorant Han Chinese; It is also very possible that he is some people elsewhere that just tried to rock the boat. Lobsang, I really want to understand, everybody is on the same big boat on important issues like Tibet. There can be endless arguing and fighting about who take the captain seat and which direction the ship should be going. But for people who enjoy rocking the boat, you should really just shake them off.

    It is not to China’s best interest to have a large “Asian Empire” under China’s rule. For one thing, they are different people of different origin. For the second, assume China does get rich and other nations are still relatively poor, it would be foolish for it to “get” those poor nations. Just ask if U.S. would like to take Mexico and you will have the answer. On the other hand, if everybody is equally rich, then there is no need for China to rule them because then everybody can just get along well with others. Look at EU member countries and US/Canada relationship. It’s actually much better to have rich neighbors than poor neighbors. And life is much enjoyable when you have good relationship with these rich neighbors. Also giving the large population of Han Chinese, if China can get to the same level or even close as the west on a per captial base, it is already big enough to have plenty of clout on the world stage.

    At times China’s position might be hard for other people to understand because of its unique political system and reality. However one must understand that people who run China today are not stupid. A lot of people can get one or more reasons why China should not be an aggressor, China’s ruling elites get that too. For this reason, I would really hope people like Lobsang and others who might view China as a threat not to fall for the “The Mirror of Erised”. The more you look at it, they more you see what’s in your own mind. But they are not real.

  256. Netizen K
    November 19th, 2008 at 18:06 | #256

    I thought Lobsang was reasonable but it didn’t take long before he started his generalization and exageration.

  257. Lobsang
    November 19th, 2008 at 18:44 | #257

    #225, jc, Well thought out and couldn’t disagree. Do appreciate mentioning ” important issues like Tibet”.

    If we have more like this rational, thoughtful, then we are on the right tract but that’s far from the reality the feelings of the majority of the Chinese population.

    People still go back to these diversions of ‘slave owners’, ‘restoring theocracy’ ‘ethnic cleaning’ ‘independence/separtioan in disguise’ etc.

    I think middle-way proposal by DL is a great start for further serious negatiation to solve this Tibet problem for good and need more Chinese to support this proposal, which seems to be lacking. I am tired of fighting fof this and do long for a home that I can call and rally around helping. I have no problem calling myself Chinese citizen as I see bright future on Tibet as part of China. It’s perfect opportunity while DL is alive to solve this problem for good.

    Some Chinese and PRC does mentiond that Tibet issues is so complicated issue and ‘you don’t understan’ not only to outsiders but even for a Tibetan like myself who know the situation quite well and well connected to the feelings on the ground. It’s not that complicated and can be resolved if there is a will. We have guys like Steve who admitted doesn’t know this issue well but do get it with good listening skills and rational mind. Let’s talk about it and not dismiss it as not serious or condescending of ‘you don’t understand’.

  258. Steve
    November 19th, 2008 at 21:15 | #258

    Didn’t Mao use to say something like “Use the past to serve the present”? Sometimes I think both sides try to distort the past to serve their present positions. 🙁

    Something michael said and Lobsang replied to caught my attention and brings up an interesting point. In negotiations, you can negotiate from a position of strength or a position of weakness. It is rare for both sides to have equal strength during any negotiation. As I thought about this, it seemed to me that the DL’s side is negotiating from a very weak position. What can they offer? What can they give up to China in order to get concessions?

    China controls Tibet, de facto and de jure. The DL has the loyalty and respect of the Tibetans but no actual control in the country. The PRC has one of the largest armies in the world. The Tibetans have no army and no munitions. The PRC has huge financial resources. The Tibetans have very little. So what do the Tibetans have to bargain with?

    They have a leader who is respected throughout the world but has very little respect in China. They have an exile community that is vocal but not powerful. They may or may not have the ability to initiate revolt in Tibet. In the CCP and the Chinese people’s eyes, their gun seems to have empty chambers while the Chinese gun is fully loaded. Therefore, the waiting game until the DL’s death, then split the movement to weaken it.

    Negotiation isn’t about who is “right” but who can gain the most benefit for their side while giving up the least. So my question to the pro-Tibet commentators is: what do you have to offer that can bring about concessions from the other side? What can you do to benefit them that they’d be willing to compromise with you? Nothing fuzzy or philosophical; I’m talking about pragmatic, realistic concessions that benefit China from China’s point of view.

    Both sides on this blog have already described their positions. Both sides have given historical examples to try and prove their side’s claims. Both sides have made threats against the other. I think we’re all pretty clear on each side’s position.

    So isn’t the next step to address what can be done for successful negotiations? Isn’t that the realistic approach?

    The only other facet that hasn’t been discussed on this thread is the type of warfare that would be used if negotiations fail and the Tibetans decide to revolt. That’s one topic I’d rather stay away from…

  259. dan
    November 19th, 2008 at 21:15 | #259

    Hongkonger #250:
    You lost me there…? Are you asking me why I am here?

  260. pug_ster
    November 19th, 2008 at 21:48 | #260

    @257 Lobsang,

    I’ve said it once and I’m saying it again. Tenzin’s Memorandum @216 submitted by the Tibetan Envoys is just the ridiculous demands made by the Dalai Lama. According to the demands in the memorandum, it is nothing short of asking for some kind of preferential treatment in some kind of Affirmative Action for the Tibetans. Preventing the Han migration is nothing short of segregation. ‘Forced assimilation’ claims by the the Dalai Lama is nothing short of what a xenophobe he is. ‘Cultural genocide’ is nothing short of rhetoric. That is not what China’s’ harmonious society’ is all about. Cultures change, society changes, and the silent majority of the Tibetans within China are changing with it. The Tibetans in Exile are victimizing themselves when they want the Dalai Lama and his relatives to run the TAR region like a family owned business like how it is done in Dharmsalia. The Chinese government and its people are not dumb and won’t accept this ridiculous deal. If the Tibetan envoys would just wake up and look out for the interest for China as a whole instead of the disgruntled exiled Tibetans, maybe they can get the Chinese to listen.

    @jc 255
    Perhaps you might think that the Han Chinese are very ignorant people, but as someone else said in the thread, the country is made up of 56 ethnic groups. Just because one of the ethnic groups is complaining that they think they are mistreated, they would split up between them.

  261. bt
    November 19th, 2008 at 22:15 | #261

    @ dan # 259

    Just a cross-posts misuderstanding. Nothing really serious.

    @ Steve # 258

    Looks like Israel/Palestine again.
    Asymetrical fight doesn’t mean that the weak side is always loosing.
    Both sides can be stuck in the trap for a long long time.

  262. Steve
    November 19th, 2008 at 22:20 | #262

    @bt: You’re right; seems like quicksand.

  263. Hongkonger
    November 19th, 2008 at 22:21 | #263

    #259

    @Dan,
    No, I was not asking you that question. I was merely responding to your pre-edited (disappeared) original post regarding your suspicion of Michael’s background. Doesn’t matter really now anymore.
    So, I see you are a fan of Lao Fu Zi / Old Master Q , huh. I wonder what “he” would have to say about these Tibet-China issues, even in his days, i.e. in the 70s ?

  264. bt
    November 19th, 2008 at 22:30 | #264

    @ Steve

    Sounds like a depressing example … a more positive one would be Catholic/Protestant in Northern Ireland.

  265. Hongkonger
    November 19th, 2008 at 22:47 | #265

    bt, Speaking of “Catholic/Protestant.” I’ve been wondering, given the volatile religious climate of the time, how the hell did the priest, Martin Luther, manage to get away alive with his first thesis, let alone 95 successfully nailed to the All Saints’ Church’s door in Wittenberg, Saxony (in present-day Germany)???? The door of the which served as a notice board for university-related announcements. The points for debate were direct criticism of the Church and the Pope. The most controversial points centered on the practice of selling indulgences and the Church’s policy on purgatory, judgment, devotion to Mary (Mariology), the intercession of and devotion to the saints, most of the sacraments, the mandatory celibacy requirement of its clergy (including monasticism), and the authority of the Pope. Those were practically acts of treason~! I mean, he was essentially challenging and fxxking with the highest authorities’ right to exploit the masses.
    My question is, how did Luther get away with it all? Imagine the dire and immediate consequence of doing that in any totalitarian theocracy or even the Inland Revenue Agency for that matter, of even today.

  266. bt
    November 19th, 2008 at 23:02 | #266

    @ HKer

    Interesting question. I know a German woman who made a PhD about Martin Luther, I will ask her if I meet her.
    To my understanding (I precise that I don’t have so much knowledge about that), Luther must have been protected by some dukes/kings/political leaders. They were angry about the political power of Roma, it was a good occasion for them to counterbalance it. Additionally, given the speed of propagation of the Reform in Europe, I suppose that the social situation of the time was not very good.
    I think the great political failure has been the incapacity of the Catholic church to implement reforms before it was too late. They just tried to crush the Protestant just like what they did with the Cathars (Steve, you have been to Carcassone, you might have heard of this bloody story). Their super brutal approach (Inquisition, torture, …) succeeded in the south, but totally failed in the north of Europe.

  267. Hemulen
    November 19th, 2008 at 23:31 | #267

    @Pugster

    According to the demands in the memorandum, it is nothing short of asking for some kind of preferential treatment in some kind of Affirmative Action for the Tibetans.

    Han Chinese have enjoyed affirmative action for top jobs in Tibet since 1959. It would be generous of you to admit that. Han Chinese do not need to learn a foreign language to get a good job in Tibet. Tibetans need to learn a foreign language to even get employment in their hometown.

    Preventing the Han migration is nothing short of segregation.

    Not more segregation than the immigration control that Hongkong is practicing right now to maintain social stability. And certainly not more segregation than the notorious houkou system that the Han Chinese government of the PRC has practiced for most of its rule over China.

  268. jc
    November 19th, 2008 at 23:40 | #268

    @Lobsang #257:

    I enjoy very much reading your post because I believe you are trying to be rationally and reasonable on your part as well and you have provided wonderful insight about how many Tibetans views the situation.

    For the Han Chinese part, I would like you to believe that most of them don’t really have a problem with Tibetans —- at least before the 3.14 riot. Why? There are many reasons. First of all, Tibet is far out there. Most people have never set foot on it. Second, Tibetans themselves don’t come out too often. So a lot of people, especially in the rural area, have never even met a Tibetans in their life. Those a few Tibetans who actually come out to the big city to make a buck are just the happiest man on earth ever because they are making rather good bucks. To sum it up, Tibetans and Han Chinese, at least from the Han Chinese point of view, didn’t have much of a conflict because their life doesn’t have much to do with each other. After all, it’s just one of the 56 officially recognized minorities. For CCP’s part, they have been working rather diligently in recent years on the economy front without even mentioning much about the huge investment or whatsoever they put forth. They do try to lure people to there to make a buck in the hope that would help the economy, but in China, development projects are everywhere. So Tibet was, you can only put it, “one of region that the central government is investing”.

    Things dramatically changed after the 3.14 riot and protest on the torch relay that followed. For Han Chinese, this not only brought the issue to the front page, but most importantly, it is widely perceived by most Han Chinese as an ill-purposed confrontation to humiliate/spoil China by Tibetans. A lot of pro-Tibet people argued it wouldn’t have been like that if it wasn’t CCP’s propaganda machine. But that is not entirely true. Propaganda only works the best when it says what people already have in mind and wanted to hear. If you don’t believe that, you can take a look of all the oversee anti-Tibet protest and the reaction of oversee Chinese and you will see the same response. These people are mostly away from CCP’s propaganda and they still feel the same. A lot of the short tempered responses that you see on the Internet are direct results of such confrontation.

    It is my personal opinion that confrontation itself, or at least alone, is never a good way of solving problems. This is especially true for the current Tibet issue, giving that the Tibetans are already understandably at the disadvantage position because of the minority status. Tibetans have got a lot of sympathy from the west, but at the same time, they made enemy with over one billion Han Chinese. Not only that, such confrontation has a lot of further implications: Before the riot, it is possible for the CCP to make some concessions and get things done under the table. It’s very hard now giving the public sentiment on the issue. Tibetans in exile used to get along with Indians well. But that may change after some conflicts between Tibetans and Indian authorities and pressure from China. And most important of all, the life of Tibetans who lives in TAR are greatly affected. Many say the event is a PR disaster for PRC, but I don’t think it’s completely unreasonable to say it’s also a PR disaster for Tibet in exile, depending on who you look at. I perfectly understand that statements like those from Michael, assuming he is a Han Chinese, is way too out of line, but at the same time, I also believe the confrontational approach that Tibetan has taken had a lot to do with it.

    China in particular is not very fond of confrontations, especially in recent years after it clearly figured out its priority. As a veto power in UN, to the annoyance of much of the west powers, China uses its vote power rather often. When U.S. says we should go after this and go after that, China almost always drags its feet. A lot of people in U.S. hate that. While there are a lot of factors, mostly national interest, in play, But China does that not because it loves to ruin U.S.’s plan. It does that mostly because it doesn’t believe a confrontational approach is the best approach to solve problems. Such non-confrontation policy is also clearly demonstrated with China’s foreign policy everywhere else. It has served China rather well in recent years.

    Thus I would love to see Tibetans, especially those in exile that believes confrontation is the only solution, to give this some thought as well. There are evil people. There are also good will people. Tibetans have bad apples. But they are not all evil, far from it. The same is true for Han Chinese. It is very well understandable that different ethnic groups have different views and priorities, but straightly brand one side as completely wrong and the other side as completely right and then declare there can be nothing else but a show down won’t help.

  269. pug_ster
    November 19th, 2008 at 23:48 | #269

    @Hemulen 267

    I assume the current Chairman of the TAR region, Qiangba Puncog, is Han Chinese?

    In the Hong Kong situation, it is not about social stability. If HongKong have enough livable land mass to accommodate more people, then maybe they wouldn’t need to keep people out. As for the social stability situation in Tibet, the problem is that there as much in other places in China, the country including Tibet is changing. You can’t modernize Tibet without bringing in Han influence and its people.

  270. pug_ster
    November 20th, 2008 at 00:23 | #270

    @Hemulen 267

    I forgot to mention that the official language in China is Chinese, and not Tibetan. In the US, if you don’t know English, you probably won’t get the top jobs either.

  271. Jerry
    November 20th, 2008 at 00:54 | #271

    @Dan #248

    Thanks for your comment.

    I saw the email with your original comment and noticed that you changed your original comment. I want to respond to your emailed comment.

    Dan, I am complicated. Sometimes, I respond, sometimes not. Sometimes I play with their heads. Sometimes I point out how I feel about their comments. Sometimes I am very controlled, sometimes not. I have been known to change my mind. And I am always learning. Alas, Dan, I am not perfect. I am just me.

    You wrote, in the emailed version of your comments:

    Jerry, you have been very controlled and poignant in all your postings. As you yourself indicated above (183) that you don’t ‘want to waste ..time to respond to hateful comments…and seriously not wanting to respond..to this thread’ but now why do you stoop to the level of crazed like ‘Michael’?

    Actually, Dan, what I said to Lobsang in #183 was :

    Why should I waste my time reading your hateful comments? That is why I have taken so long to respond. I seriously considered not responding on this topic, ever. But I changed my mind.

    I am just me, Dan, the eternal paradox/dichotomy. I write, not to impress you, but to express myself and learn about myself. My writings teach me a lot about myself; my writings seem to have a life of their own. I really don’t have the expectation of changing peoples’ minds. That is not within my purview or powers. I am sorry if you are disappointed. I was aware as I wrote #247 that I might be perceived as crawling into the gutter and disappoint some at FM. As I usually do, I edited my original piece, pulling some punches. I am still a work in progress, as I have discussed with SK several times. And who knows which muse will inspire me.

    Yes, I have no idea who Michael is. His self-identification as an old European is questionable. And I really don’t care at this point. But, who knows, Michael may come around and become a worthwhile participant here? Who knows? I have seen many amazing changes and transformations in my life.

    Last of all, Dan, I want to thank you for responding in #248. I appreciate it. And I wanted to write and let you know this.

  272. Jerry
    November 20th, 2008 at 01:04 | #272

    @bt #251
    @dan
    @zihua

    @ dan and zhihua

    Ok guys, I think we are all grown up, besides our differences.
    We cannot know where does Michael comes from (a ‘false flag fenqing’, is that possible?), and there is no need to elaborate theories about that.
    Excuse Jerry and me, it is sometimes hard to resist to a reply. 🙂

    Well said, bt. Very well said. And I had fun responding. LOL 😀

    zihua, I covered my bases. I wrote to him at first, total tongue-in-cheek, and then semi-seriously. Both were fun to write. Thanks.

  273. Steve
    November 20th, 2008 at 01:24 | #273

    @Hongkonger & bt: I’ll be interested to hear what bt’s friend says about Martin Luther. I might have an angle that helps to explain it.

    In 1455, Gutenberg printed the Gutenberg Bible and over the next 50 years, most of Europe learned to read. Before printing, the literacy rate in Europe was very low. In 1517, Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenberg, They didn’t stay up there very long but someone copied the words down, translated it from Latin into German, and then had it mass printed. Within two weeks, it was all over Germany and within two months, all over Europe.

    The church responded very slowly, over the course of about three months. By that time, Luther’s effect on northern Europe was profound. Also, nationalistic monarchies were trying to break free of Rome so this gave them an excuse to do so.

    If he had done this 50 years earlier, nothing would have happened and there would have been no Reformation. So it was a coming together of technology and new ideas; the perfect synergy.

  274. Hongkonger
    November 20th, 2008 at 01:56 | #274

    “Luther must have been protected by some dukes/kings/political leaders. ”
    “”it was a coming together of technology and new ideas; the perfect synergy.”

    Gutenberg printers., literacy, politcal upheavals… I see. Right time, right place, right actions…It was a long time coming, though…something like 1,400 YEARS of atrocious theocratic oppression. Speaking of the Darkage to Medieaval Christendom, I read somewhere that the Anglo-Saxon used to tax the Irish for the air they breathed~! That was why old Celtic homes had such small windows…Even scavanging fallen branches and twigs on British soil for firewood was a felony that lieterally caused them their limbs….

    Anyway, Thanks bt & Steve for your very logical and good replies.

  275. Steve
    November 20th, 2008 at 02:29 | #275

    @ Hongkonger & bt: To understand the true history of the Inquisition, watching this historical clip is mandatory: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKxnaMeOK20

    Jerry, I’d also like your comments on the accuracy of this clip. You of all people should be able to astutely advise us of its historical pertinence.

    bt, I noticed that the images of Jesus in northern France depict a strong, light skinned man with Gallic features. But the further south I went in France, the more emaciated, bloody and Spanish he looked.

    Carcasonne was amazing; one of my all time favorite places to visit. I hope to get back there. My wife had the same impression; she loved it. I remember seeing Cahors (great local dry red wine, the malbec grape) and that huge church in Albi. It looked more like the bow of a ship than a church; very Monty Pythonesque. That region was definitely full of Cathar history. Did you know that the Albigensian heresy originally started in Bulgaria???

  276. bt
    November 20th, 2008 at 03:29 | #276

    @ HKer and Steve

    Hahaha, I love Mel Brooks 🙂

    Ah, might be the fact that I am from a country of Catholic tradition, but I have some some difficulties to say catholic=bad and protestant=good. It was a more modern version of Christianity, not without its bad aspects too (e.g. Salem). I would say that the disassociation of Church and State a couple of centuries later was the critical step.
    The countries that have been the biggest winners of the Reformation were the most tolerant, like Holland. They attracted talents from all over Europe and were able to start a Golden Age.

    Steve, the south of France has been more exposed to the Roman (and Greek, to a lesser extent) influences and is traditionally much more ‘Latin’ than the North, which has you said is more ‘Gallic’. That might explain a lot of the differences you noticed. I heard about the eastern Europe origins of the Catharian heresy … it’s always very interesting to notice how new ideas flow. Finally, culture is a very dynamic thing.
    Well, I feel a little bit guilty of hijacking a thread about Tibet, I stop here…

  277. Lobsang
    November 20th, 2008 at 03:44 | #277

    Thanks jc for your comments. I don’t find particularly bad repercussions about the so-called 3.14 events and the Chinese population reaction (this really started 3.10 as usual since it’s Tibetan Uprising day and then escated into violence on 3.14).

    One positive outcome was that I am so glad that 1 billion Chinese woke up to the fact that there is indeed a Tibet problem. If the news and reporting weren’t censored and all Xinhua, CCTV, then I believe the Chinese people will understand the Tibetan peoples suffering, mental anguish and grievances but the PRC as usual was intent on censorship. As we know the PRC propaganada who has perfected the art of propaganda and went overtime to incite the ugly Chinese nationalism to treat as a race issue i.e. ungrateful Tibetans for no reason attacking innocent Han Chinese. Not too different than the reaction on the past incidents of US ‘accidental’ attack on Chines consulate in Serbia and against Japan etc.

    Without 3.14, most Chinese wouldn’t have clue and wouldn’t acknowledge that there is a Tibet problem and worse will get into this denial and then ‘you don’t understand’ mode. Then rant about old Tibet being ‘eye gouging’, ‘slavery’ and PRC’s liberation etc. So I am glad that due to 3.14 more Chinese knew about Tibet problem and these talks became more official instead of secretive with not even an ack from the PRC. Sure agreed some of these stunts some Tibetan fringe groups did during the Torch Relay did more harm than good for the Tibetan cause but again in a free world with so many activists, it’s unfair to blame DL and the Tibetan govt-in-exile.

    Until the outcome of the meeting in India I am going to sign-off from this blog and stay on the sideline. BTW, I did get an invitation to attend this important meeting and was going to attend but due to family emergency unable to attend. I hope they are some influential folks from the Chinese side on this forum.

    As I have said I firmly believe in compromise and a win-win solution but also don’t trust the PRC CCP that they are serious in resolving this problem and as Wang Lixiong says these talks are just meant to be end of itself with no results as per PRC strategy. In that case, then I am not sure of any value in dialogue which is a wasted of time if there is no will.

    Below is an interesting article about Gyalo Thondup, Dalai Lama’s brother who was the prinicpal go to person between Deng Xiaopeng and Dalai Lama for many years and I think one of the architects of this middle-way policy. BTW, his late wife was a daughter of a high-ranking Chinese Nationalist general and so speaks fluent Chinese and knew many of the Chinese top leaders for a long time.

    Also if they are any readers from China, this website http://www.tibet.net is blocked/filtered by the Great Firewall of China.

    Tashi Delek and good discussions. Thank you especially the Chinese from mainland for your interest in Tibet and reading some of my posts. Hope you learned some and my only intent was for better understanding so that our two peoples can live side-by-side peacefully with respect and trust.

    Tibetan go-between and brother of Dalai Lama urges continued talks with Beijing
    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/2008/1120/1227136328562.html

    http://www.tibet.net/en/index.php?id=533&articletype=flash&rmenuid=morenews

    Dharamsala, November 19: Gyalo Thondup, an elder brother of the Dalai Lama and a former Kalon Tripa (Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile in Dharamsala), Wednesday said he was shocked by China’s attempt to deny a statement made by former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in 1979 that “except for independence all other issues can be settled through discussions.”

    In response to a Japanese reporter’s question whether Deng Xiaoping had stated in the late 70s that “except independence all other issues can be settled through discussions” as repeatedly claimed by the Tibetan side, Mr. Zhu Weiqun, executive Vice-Minister of China’s Central United Front Work Department, which handles contacts envoys of the Dalai Lama, reportedly said it was not true.

    “Comrade Deng Xiaoping had never made such statement. It is a falsehood made by Gyari and is a complete distortion of Deng Xiaoping’s statement,” Zhu said at a press conference organised by Information Office of the State Council in Beijing on November 10, 2008.

    “I am shocked to hear such statement from the Chinese officials because it was myself to whom the late paramount leader, Deng Xiaoping, said that ”except independence all other issues can be settled through discussions,” Gyalo Thondup said.

    He said: “Deng Xiaoping is no longer with us today. But to put the record straight I would like to clarify in front of international media that during my first visit to China in 1979 I met the paramount leader Deng Xiaoping on March 12, 1979.

    “He told me “except independence all other issues can be settled through discussions.”

    Thondup also pointed out that various other Chinese officials, in their dealings with him, had also stressed on the same. He noted that the former Chinese premier Li Peng in an interview with Xinhua News Agency on 19 May, 1991, also stated that all matters “except Tibetan independence can be discussed”.

    This supposed indication from Deng and other Chinese leaders subsequently influenced Dalai Lama to renounce ‘independence’, a dream cherished by millions of Tibetans, especially the younger generation which was torn between their aspiration for freedom and their love for their leader.

    Thondup, who worked for many years to advance the Dalai Lama’s efforts to begin talks with the Chinese leadership, addressed a press conference here this evening to counter China’s recent refusal to acknowledge the statement allegedly made by the then Chinese leader.

    Giving a broad overview of his involvement, particularly in the period leading to his meeting with Deng Xiaoping in 1979, Thondup, today said while he was in Hong Kong studying on China he was approached several times by a Chinese official to visit Beijing to discuss Tibet’s situation directly with the Chinese leader.

    Thondup said his first response was to reject the idea since he did not hold any “political responsibility” over Tibet at that time. Upon much insistence from Chinese, Thondup said, he later reported to the Dalai Lama in India about the Chinese suggestion. He said the exiled Tibetan leader welcomed the idea and advised him to meet Deng on a “personal capacity” to hear what the Chinese leader had to say on the Tibetan issue.

    Thondup said it was during the meeting that Deng told him: “except independence all other issues can be settled through discussions,” the statement that later became the basis for the Dalai Lama’s ‘Middle-Path’ approach for almost 30 years now.

    Thindup said upon his meeting Deng told him so many things had happened in the past years and acknowledged that Tibetan had suffered tremendously, including Chinese people and also himself.

    “Whatever has happened happened. So it is important to look to future – future is more important,” Thondup quoted Deng as telling him during their meeting in the Great Hall of the People.

    Thondup said Deng even offered to hold talk immediately to settle the Tibet issue, which he said he refused saying he had no authority to negotiate on Tibet.

    Thondup also added that soon after his meeting with Deng, a number of ‘fact-finding’ delegations were sent by the Dalai Lama to Tibet.

    Thondup said he still optimistically supported the face-to-face meeting with China as the best possible way to plead for the “equal legitimate rights” that he said he personally advocates for the Tibetan people in his dealings with China. He cautions China that for the talks should be a two-way traffic in terms of confidence building.

    He maintains Tibetan people’s fight for their legitimate rights is a justified cause that would prevail no matter how long it takes. He said he has been volunteering his service since 1952 to find a solution to the Tibetan problem, entirely on his “personal capacity” and without holding any “political responsibility”.

    Former Kalon Tripa Juchen Thupten, who had been a member of the Tibetan fact-finding and exploratory mission, also said he was “totally surprised to learn” that Mr. Zhu had denied that such a statement was actually made by Deng Xiaoping.

    “I myself have sought confirmation on this regard from our Chinese counterparts when I visited China as a member of the First Tibetan Exploratory Mission to Beijing in 1982” Mr Juchen said in a statement issued at today’s press conference here.

    Juchen said: “As a member of the First Tibetan Exploratory Mission, we met with Vice-premier Yang Jireng, who was also the head of Central United Front Work Department and Nationality Affairs Commission and others on April 29, 1982. I sought confirmation from Yang Yireng whether Deng Xiaoping had made such a statement. He did not deny this fact.”

    The issue of Deng Xiaoping having actually made the statement has become a subject of discussions among Tibetan exiles as eight rounds of talks between and Dharamsala and Beijing, started since September 2002 has failed to generate any progress with China even denying that such a statement was ever made.

    Over 500 Tibetan exile leaders are holding closed-door discussions for a major re-evaluation of their strategy since the Dalai Lama outlined his “middle-way” policy in 1988 that seeks “real and meaningful” autonomy through dialogues with the Chinese leadership and rejects outright independence for the Tibetan region.

  278. Jerry
    November 20th, 2008 at 05:37 | #278

    @Steve #275
    @bt #276
    @Hongkonger

    Oy vey! Mea culpa. Pax vobiscum. Shalom aleykham. Whatevvvaaa!

    That was great, Steve. I love the revered historian and documentarian, Mel Brooks, too, bt. 😀

    Steve, they finally showed History of the World, Part I here in Taipei on HBO. It was great. Now I know what you mean by, “It is good to be king.” I loved the Inquisition skit, too. Especially, the menorah display. I am sure that the ultra-orthodox rabbis liked the extra-special Catholic nun candles and sparklers. I am sure that you noticed the 7 branches of the menorah as opposed to the 9 branch Hanukkah menorah. The 7 branch menorah is the Temple Menorah, the official symbol of Judaism and was the menorah in the Old Temple in Jerusalem. I appreciated that touch by Brooks. You know, Steve, we have to preserve some decorum, historical (or is that hysterical) accuracy and proper reverence and propriety when displaying religious icons. 😀 ::LMAO:: I hope the rabbis appreciated that touch. I did. 😀

    I appreciated the magical narration of Orson Welles.

    Regarding the Age of Enlightement in Spain. Well before the Renaissance reached Spain, the Moors had their Golden Age. The Jews were much better treated by the Moors than they ever were by the earlier Visigoths, and the Crusaders and their antecedents. Hence my grand reverence for the Inquisition. 😀 ::tongue seriously in cheek::

    Carcasonne. I ride a lot indoors on my LeMond Revmaster. For entertainment and enlightenment, I watch TDF dvds while riding. I am currently on Landis’s short, infamous reign in 2006. Carcassone was one of the stops that year. Beautiful place.

    So much for my astute, reasoned, historically pertinent advice. ::LMAO:: 😀

    I am waiting eagerly for the new documentary, “The Muppets do Hanukkah!” Finally, we will get an accurate historical depiction of Judas Maccabeus and Maccabean history. Please, gentiles, it is not the Jewish Christmas!! ::LMAO:: 😀

  279. Michael
    November 20th, 2008 at 09:22 | #279

    My fellow posters,

    We all know that all asians are Chinese and are part of Chinese culture. At some point or another all asian countries were part of China.

    We did not loose in Vietnam, it was just to test Soviets and help our brother Pol Pot in Camboida, we went back to borders when Vietnam learnt its lesson. And Vietnam was part of China for a 1,000 years!

    You seem to be mistaken, China does not need to attack its artficial neighbour countries. We invest a lot of money in those places and our people are moving to those countries as well. So eventually vietnam will be part of China again, as will Taiwan.

    As for Sri Lankha, they accepted China as their ruler when Zheng He asked for it. All asian countries accept rule of China by Zheng He and beyond.

    We do not need to use force to expand greater China anymore like the good old days, but force will be necessary when we liberate southern tibet in the near future, that’s a fact. Not even the weak americans will stand in our way since we own their economy.

  280. Wukailong
    November 20th, 2008 at 11:07 | #280

    @Jerry (#247): “In spite of the preposterousness and hubris of your comments, I would nonetheless highly caution against attacking Vietnam, again. Last time china tried, shortly after the American War, china attacked Vietnam and was quickly repulsed. The chinese army retreated and went back home with their collective tails between their legs.”

    Actually, the Chinese version, if I remember correctly, is that the Chinese army quickly took half of Vietnam, then backed out again as to give the Vietnamese a nosebleed, so to speak. I don’t believe in this description, but it’s interesting because the different account might both contain grains of truth. While China really didn’t make it in Vietnam (at least as far as my view of history goes), their military at that point was seriously weakened by the Cultural Revolution. They scrambled whatever tanks they could get, and only came up with 200 or so. Since the Vietnamese expedition was largely punitive, the Chinese didn’t need to advance further than 10 miles or so into the country. The Vietnamese army at that point was battle-hardened and up for any fight, which I’m not sure the Chinese expected. (There seems to be some similarity to the Soviet winter attack on Finland before WWII: the Soviets were cocky and arrogant, believing they could easily take a small country because of superiority in numbers. The Soviet army advanced in large columns along the highways and country roads dressed in ordinary uniforms, making them into easy targets for skiing Finnish snipers dressed in white. In the first month, the Soviet assault came to a grinding halt)

    I’m not sure what would happen today, but I do believe China would be much more fit to fight the country at its southern border. I find it highly unlikely that they would have any interest in attacking Vietnam, though.

    Also, there’s some truth in Michael’s statement about “helping our brother Pol Pot”, though it’s more of an old conflict in the area than any interest in helping a Taliban-like communist militia. 🙂

  281. BMY
    November 20th, 2008 at 11:37 | #281

    @WKL&Jerry

    I was a boy but old enough to remember there had been many small scale armed conflicts on the border before China attacked Vietnam. I remembered it said the army would hit and come back before the attack.

    It was neither Vietnam’s interests after decades of ware nor China’s interests after CR to go to war but there was a Soviet. The armed conflicts on the southern border only stopped just few years before the fall of the Berlin wall. It was all between Soviet and China not between Vietnam and China.

  282. wuming
    November 20th, 2008 at 11:49 | #282

    @WKL

    US conducted much more successful punitive operations against the mighty powers of Grenada and Panama, and so can be said of British in Malvinas Islands …

    Do we really want to keep “Singing the Duet” 唱双簧 with this guy simply because he kept posting everywhere?

  283. Wukailong
    November 20th, 2008 at 12:15 | #283

    @wuming: “Do we really want to keep “Singing the Duet” 唱双簧 with this guy simply because he kept posting everywhere?”

    Of course not, you’re right. I will try to ignore trolling and flame baits from now on.

    Actually, I remember Panama pretty well from the time when I was a boy. It made very little sense to me and smacked of big-power arrogance. One of the most bizarre incidents of the whole affair was when Noriega took refuge in the Vatican embassy and was blasted 24 hours with rock music from American helicopters (he hated rock music) until he gave up. Also, it showed pretty well that the Soviet Union had very political clout left – they issued a protest and that was it.

  284. Wukailong
    November 20th, 2008 at 12:18 | #284

    @BMY: I agree Soviet was an important player in the conflicts, but Cambodia, Vietnam and China have had an uneasy coexistence for hundreds of years. Vietnam fears China and Cambodia fears Vietnam; China fears losing control in the area.

  285. Jerry
    November 20th, 2008 at 13:00 | #285

    @Wukailong #280
    @wuming #282

    Thanks for the comments. My Vietnamese friends and their parents provided me with my information last year. The Chinese version to which you refer sounds like a “pipe dream”. Granted, the Chinese military was weakened by the CR. The Vietnamese Army was just plain tired of war. Furthermore, the Vietnamese were involved in a major incursion into Cambodia. My Vietnamese friends think that was the intention of the Chinese all along: to fight a 2 front war. What the Chinese did not count on was Vietnam attacking Cambodia with such ferocity. By the time of the Chinese raid on Cao Band and Lang Son, the Vietnamese Army had taken Phnom Penh, collapsed the Khmer Rouge and had Pol Pot, Michael’s brother, on the run (I would have kept that relationship in the closet, if I were Michael. 🙂 ). After Lang Son, the fierce Vietnamese counter-attack repulsed the Chinese Army and put them on the run.

    This was very similar to the surprising Finnish response to both Soviet Union and Germany. There were two major wars with the Soviet Union. One before the WW II and one during the war, in 1944. There was a smaller war between Finland and Germany around the same time in Lapland.

    My comments on the Vietnamese incursion: Vietnam responded fiercely and quickly because they were not willing to have another war fought on Vietnamese soil. I can’t blame them. Serendipitously so, the Vietnamese saved millions of Cambodian lives by routing that murderous thug and bastard (mamzer in Yiddish), Pol Pot. I have bought a book on this subject, “Why Vietnam Invaded Cambodia”. I have not read it yet.

    To this day, I detest the murderous forces behind the “Killing Fields” in Cambodia. There were the 2 Chinese leaders, murderous thugs themselves, Mao Zedong and Hua Guofeng. There was the malevolent, malicious, Henry Kissinger and his cabal on the American side. And finally, the murderous, bastard thug, Pol Pot. Since Michael is claiming Pol Pot as his brother, Michael now has his own “illustrious” Gang of Four. They are all yours, Michael.

    —————-

    #282

    wuming, don’t worry about it. If WKL and I want to write, we will write, no matter how you characterize it. I write because I want to and for some, god-forsaken, unknown reason, WKL, bt and I find value in it. 😀 I don’t write out of some sense of obligation to a person who has perversely allied himself with some of the most heinous people who have ever populated this planet. I do learn a lot from my discussions with WKL and bt. Thanks to both of them.

  286. Steve
    November 20th, 2008 at 13:05 | #286

    @bt #276 & Jerry #278: Don’t worry bt, this thread was getting a bit heavy and we all needed a break. I’m Catholic so I know what you mean. Funny thing, evangelical and fundamentalist Protestant churches in the States seem be big purveyors of going to war while the Catholic church is usually against it. I think when the evangelicals got involved in politics, in essence they made a pact with the devil and it’s screwed up their focus.

    I noticed in northern Europe everything runs on time and works fine, but the people there tend to be serious and a bit dry. Southern Europe is the land of the one day train strike, schedules are approximate and things don’t always work, but the people are more emotional and fun. I guess I’m more of a southern Europe guy when it comes to holidays, as long as I wear my money belt as protection against the gipsy hordes. 😛

    Jerry… what? No mention of Jews in Space? No mention of Hitler on Ice? I think that was my oldest son’s favourite movie and he was very disappointed when he found out there would be no History of the World Part II. I told him he’d have to settle for Robin Hood: Men in Tights. You’re right; Mel Brooks can get away with more than anyone else and no one ever gets upset with him. The man is an international treasure.

    I’m also a TDF fanatic; hard to explain to friends that it’s my favourite sporting event. When we were young, we’d get 1/2 hour on Sundays for the week’s wrap up, got to catch the highlights of Eddie (The Cannibal) Merckx and Bernard (Le Blaireau) Hinault winning those races. Greg Lemond was amazing; if not for that hunting accident he might have won five or more. My wife thinks I’m nuts when I get up at 4 or 5 AM for three solid weeks to catch Phil, Paul, Bob and the gang on TV. I miss Al Trautwig. The new guy this year just wasn’t the same.

    Well, enough of this. “And now back to our regularly scheduled program…”

  287. Steve
    November 20th, 2008 at 13:15 | #287

    @Jerry #285: One interesting fact about that war was that the Viet regulars were all in Cambodia when the Chinese attacked, so they thought they would have no problem moving towards Hanoi. What they didn’t expect was the fierce counterattack by militia. After continuous fighting so many years and the fact that it was in their backyard, the Vietnamese knew how to “do” war.

    When a country, any country, hasn’t fought a war in a long time, they usually don’t do so well when it finally happens. It takes awhile to get the hang of it again. What usually gets screwed up are logistics and coordination between units.

    The French screwed up in Vietnam; The Americans screwed up in Vietnam; the Chinese screwed up in Vietnam. I give the Chinese credit for not throwing “good money after bad” and pulling out quickly before getting bogged down. Maybe michael will just attack them on his own… 😛

  288. wuming
    November 20th, 2008 at 14:28 | #288

    @Jerry

    I don’t know what’s your problem. You choose not engage with me in an earlier thread, that’s perfectly fine. The “duet” I am talking about certainly don’t include you.

    As long as we are on this over-sensitive bent, I also don’t understand your post #202. WKL and Steve choose to reply to my argument addressed to you and WKL, I found them both sensible statements, but had not the time to answer them properly. Much of my stands on the issue can also be found in earlier outbreaks of Tibet/China discussions on this blog. Therefore I don’t understand what you were trying to imply there.

    I have no real argument with you. I have on occasion enjoyed your postings. As for myself, I am guilty of not really follow through with discussion of substances. Most of the time I just don’t feel up to the task. But if you think I crossed some line of basic human decency, I would really like to know.

    I am sorry to waste the band width with the discussion on discussions.

  289. jc
    November 20th, 2008 at 14:33 | #289

    @Lobsang #277:

    If the news and reporting weren’t censored and all Xinhua, CCTV, then I believe the Chinese people will understand the Tibetan peoples suffering, mental anguish and grievances but the PRC as usual was intent on censorship.

    Then can you explain why people in Hong Kong are overwhelming pro-PRC on this issue? Why there were huge anti-Tibet protests in U.S.? In Canada, In Australia? Many of them are even second or third generation Chinese who have never set foot on mainland China, so you think they are also being brain-washed by CCP’s propaganda machine?

    It is very unfortunate, and I might add, naive for people to think that if CCP stops its propaganda machine Han Chinese would understand your suffering. Based on all standards, you have chosen to punch on their nose. While it’s perfectly understandable for any third party to say, wow, this guy can’t help punching that guy, that guy must have done something to this guy to make him so mad. But do you really think it’s reasonable for a guy who has been punched on the nose to immediately say, wow, why did he punch me? Did I do something wrong to him? Is there anything I can do to make him feel better so he won’t punch me again?

    Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way, especially when you are just “one of the 56” trying to punch a guy that’s so big. The first thing they are going to do is to make sure you don’t get their nose again. You are lucky if they don’t punch you back. When that happens, both sides lose.

    As a side note, many Han Chinese also believes, if the exile government stops “agitating”, many Tibetans won’t be so unhappy either. Do you buy that? If you say no, then you will know what you claim doesn’t stand tall either.

    One positive outcome was that I am so glad that 1 billion Chinese woke up to the fact that there is indeed a Tibet problem.

    My opinion is, if it does, it has only solidified their position and aggravated the tension. That’s all you’ve gotten so far with the Han Chinese. I would be seriously confused when you call that a positive outcome.

    The current situation, as Steve has pointed out, is much more about deal making than what’s right and what’s wrong. You can keep arguing you are right and they are wrong and they keep arguing the opposite, it’s not going to get to anywhere, or can only get worse. I would think that in order to make any breakthrough for Tibetans to get anything, the first thing Tibetans need to seriously think is what to give up.

    Lastly, best wishes to your family!

  290. bt
    November 20th, 2008 at 15:23 | #290

    @ wuming

    That’s not such a deal … Jerry just likes to write, and is sometimes sarcastic and witty (not really a surprise given his origins 🙂 ).
    Honestly, there is also a lot to learn from him … just take it easy, and imagine that outsiders may just think differently, that’s all 🙂

  291. pug_ster
    November 20th, 2008 at 16:10 | #291

    @wukong 221

    I stand corrected. But the Dalai Lam also said and I quote from the article.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/tibet/3417598/Tibetan-independence-hopes-look-over-after-China-refuses-to-budge.html

    He (Dalai Lama) has said he wants Tibet to enjoy the fruits of Chinese economic prosperity without losing its own language and culture.

    Personally, that comment is idealistic, but if the only way to enjoy the fruits of Chinese economic prosperity there will be social, and cultural changes that comes with the headache of change. And this change comes with Chinese influence in language and culture. His comment about the railway about bringing in “beggars, prostitutes and the unemployed, destroying its culture and traditions” shows just what a Xenophobe he is.

  292. Sophie
    November 20th, 2008 at 16:14 | #292

    Talking about Sino-Vietnam war, here is what I heard:

    Initially, China worries the Soviets would attack China. However during Deng Xiaoping’s visit to the US, the US passed on the information that the Soviets had no heavy military presence on the north boarder of China and it would take at least 1 month (?) to move their troop to the boarder. After this confirmation, Deng Xiaoping launched the war… so the plan decided from the beginning was to attack Vietnam and then quickly retreated before the Soviets could be ready to attack China.

    Both sides claimed victory after the war. But, it’s indeed that Chinese army was weak after CR. The heavy loss happened during two stages: first, it’s during the first a couple of days of the attack, since the inexperienced solders were first time exposed to the real war; second, during the retreat since the retreat was not well organized. As well, solders lost their fighting spirit. According to a couple of solder’s account, when they went to the Vietnam war, they didn’t expect to survive, so they fought to death; but, once received the order of treat, they suddenly realized they had survived, it’s time to go home and nobody wanted fight anymore. The Solders started running back without covering each other

    One of reasons for this war, I heard it’s that Deng Xiaoping wanted to counter the arrogance of the conservative military leaders in order to start reform.

  293. tontp4
    November 20th, 2008 at 17:25 | #293

    I read books about how common folks were killed and raped in war times, so wars are no good. Thanks God I have not gone through any. My experience: I was told not to give to beggars during a tour in Guilin. I did as my heart was saddened by so many losing limbs. Since it is bordered to Vietnam and I expexted most of them were former solders. Instantly I was surrounded by all beggars.

    At that time Vietnam had most weapons left over from the war and Chinese a former alley wanted to teach them a lesson.

    US helps China in economy when she played the Chinese card. China does not have a lot of border disputes. Even in Cheng He’s time, China could colonized SE Asia and part of Africa easily. China wanted to be acknowledged as the son of heaven and nothing more.

  294. Wahaha
    November 20th, 2008 at 23:51 | #294

    #217

    ” The question at stake is whether Tibetans are in control of that process. When China opened up in 1979, the Chinese government made sure that Chinese would be in charge, not foreigners. Clearly Tibetans are not in charge in Tibet today and they are not happy about it. Why is that so hard to comprehend? ”

    Nothing so hard to comprehend, as it is also the case in Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and Canada, what is so hard to understand is why some people love critizing others while they never wipe their own @$$ clear ?

  295. Jerry
    November 21st, 2008 at 05:17 | #295

    @Steve #287
    @wuming #288
    @bt #290

    #287

    Hi Steve, thanks for the comments and insight. So it was all militia up North against the invading Chinese. Pretty impressive.

    Regarding fierce Vietnamese reactions, only of the more recent variety, my friends in Hanoi seem to have a less than stellar regard for China. One friend was telling me yesterday that recent floods destroyed much of the vegetable crop in Vietnam. They are now importing from China. The VN government’s agriculture inspection service is conducting intensive toxic testing on the imported crops from China. They are also investigating the ag chemicals imported from China. It seems that a certain portion of the VN people doesn’t trust products from China.

    I have another friend who blogs frequently about Vietnam and SE Asia travel. When she went to Brunei, she emailed me, wondering how she could get around mentioning the South China Sea. She despises the Chinese government. I advised her to refer to it as the Pacific Ocean, the sea and or the ocean. She just ended up calling it the “sea” and “ocean”. (After all, South China Sea, East China Sea, Philippines Sea, etc., are all just locally identified subsets of the Pacific Ocean.)

    Allen is going to love this one. When I left Hanoi in January to go back to Taipei, my friend, Vu, who is in the top management of a VN government bureau, warned me never to trust the Chinese. And that goes for Taiwanese, too. He makes no distinction between da lu and Taiwan.

    Several of my VN women friends have distinct Chinese facial and body characteristics (like, they are tall, amongst other characteristics). When I ask if they have any Chinese heritage, they all seem to take great umbrage at my question. Their biting, indignant, adamant, strident answer, “They are Vietnamese, not Chinese!” I usually take such frothing as a sign/hint that the respondent does not want to discuss the issue. 🙂

    —————-

    #288

    Woah, wuming, I must be missing something!

    “But if you think I crossed some line of basic human decency, I would really like to know.” Wow, I am lost here. That thought never crossed my mind.

    I don’t know what’s your problem. You choose not engage with me in an earlier thread, that’s perfectly fine. The “duet” I am talking about certainly don’t include you.

    I have lots of problems. 😀 I don’t know which one you would like to discuss. Sorry for my irreverence. I just made an “off the cuff” comment to you about writing. Not a big deal for me.

    Perhaps you think I am ducking your comment in #97 to WKL and me. Well, sometimes I respond, sometimes not. Sometimes I ruminate and contemplate, sometimes I just ignore and move on. But in this case, I just have not started writing my response, since I am contemplating how to go about responding.

    Now, maybe you thought that your following comment would engage my interest.

    Look, everything can be said about Tibet has probably already been said — just on this blog. The full and complete sovereignty over Tibet is essential to China’s security and its future. In this light, other issues are but bargaining chips at the best, noises most likely. I believe the basic Chinese stand towards minority groups with nationalistic aspirations is this: give it up and join us in the pursued of better lives. This stand is narrow minded, near sighted, fatalistic and “lacking in ideals”; but it is the best thing happened to China for at least a thousand years.

    As I have said before, I know nothing about Tibet, except what I see in the forum here and in the media. Oh, I have seen 7 Years in Tibet, and have listened to Richard Gere talk about Tibet and China, but that is all just Hollywood. Gere seems a little bit more credible than the movie. But I prefer this forum. Your comments seem typical of some Chinese responses at FM, so I did not respond.

    I also saw a dvd of the DL speaking at Middlebury College in Vermont at the Spirit and Nature conference in 1991. He was also interviewed by Bill Moyers at the conference. I liked his persona. The DL seemed to be the kind of guy with whom I would like to go to a baseball game. He was very down to earth, relaxed and cordial. He seemed like a regular kind of guy. Again, talking with him during a Mariners’ game, watching Ichiro, sounds like a great way to pass an afternoon.

    That said, you wrote one short comment that made me think, and continue to think: “There is almost no way to budge Chinese from their single-minded pursue of economic development.” That one engaged me. Currently I am still contemplating my response.

    I have great interest in underlying frameworks, concepts, and issues. That comment caused me to ruminate about problems in China’s ecological, environmental and financial structure. Part of the response may come here in this thread, or in “Time for a More Equal Economic Partnership Between the U.S. and China?” thread Allen started. It is still in progress. Basically, the problems with the structure in China may eventually make moot any and all discussions about Tibet or other issues. Another way of putting it, “While people are rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, the Titanic is sinking and may well go under.”

    wuming, you wrote, “Therefore I don’t understand what you were trying to imply there.” Again, I am lost.

    Enough said for now.

    —————-

    #290

    … Jerry just likes to write, and is sometimes sarcastic and witty (not really a surprise given his origins 🙂 ) … imagine that outsiders may just think differently, that’s all 🙂

    bt, very insightful. I know many Jews who have a razor-like edge to their communications. What can I say? My peeps are my peeps. Mazel tov, haimisher mensch. Zay gezunt.

    We think differently? Imagine that. How could that be? 😀 I will have to think about that one. LMAO

  296. wuming
    November 21st, 2008 at 12:07 | #296

    @Jerry

    I would be very glad to give up on pursuing who said what and when business, and let the matter drop. If it was my over-sensitivity that let to this useless tangent, then it is of course my fault.

    On my statement “There is almost no way to budge Chinese from their single-minded pursue of economic development.” I had wished to set a simple marker. While the issues and the reality behind it is vastly more complex. To start with, the concept of “economic development” is ever evolving. I am saying this not because it is a convenient escape hatch, but because it is supported by the histories other industrial and post industrial countries. Since the subject is too large for my ability, let me restrict it further to the issue of environmental protection.

    I had mused over the occasional blue sky days in Beijing last month when I visited there and even posted pictures as evidence. Now back in New York, I am greeted almost everyday by the Manhattan skyline set against crystal clear blue sky, that said two things to me:

    First, the environment consciousness of a people or a country have consistently risen with the wealth, as it had happened in US, Europe, Japan and Taiwan, and as it start to happen in China (China had just instituted a fuel tax, which according to one online survey is supported by over 85% of the netizen). Many economists and scholars in West have in various ways added the cost of green house gas and other pollutions to the economy in their calculation. But that is only a pretty recent phenomenon.

    Second: there is very little manufacturing going on in the NYC region. I believe that at least part of the clean up of the environment in the West is achieved by shifting manufacturing elsewhere. Similar shifting also occurred in and near Beijing with significant impact. I am sure there is still gross energy inefficiency and unnecessary pollution in Chinese manufacturing industry. But there must be a bottom line pollution level that is associated most of the manufacturing activities. Should China take up more than its share of due pollution in order expand its economy? That is an interesting question that I have no clear answer now. I certainly think the correct way to account for pollution should be weighted to the consumption end, but that is not the case now.

  297. jc
    November 21st, 2008 at 18:13 | #297

    @wuming#296:

    Can’t agree more.

    People in the west might view China’s environment issue as another example of how irresponsible the government is. That is the not the case. First and foremost, keeping high environment standard costs a lot. For a lot of people there, having good environment is a luxury that they can not afford. For example, it is pointless to talk about drinking water standard when there isn’t even running water. Likely wise, to ask people to fork out 50c of the only dollar they make every day to clean up the environment just won’t go anywhere.

    Another issue involved is people of various interest groups. HomeDepot may not doubt to buy cement from China because of its low cost. Let’s say the reason that it’s cheaper has a lot to do with Chinese government’s relatively lower environmental standard. This makes somebody who used to work in a U.S. cement factory which went out of business because they could not compete with China, largely due to higher standard in U.S., feels extremely unfair. Because of China’s size, it has a huge impact on U.S. manufacturer industry, so it easily becomes the target. The fact is, even if China doesn’t do it, as long as the market fundamental doesn’t change, somebody else, for example, Vietnam, which is much smaller comparing with China but also has a lot of people, will be doing it. The bottom line is those people don’t make enough money to care a lot about environment there.

    An interesting issue Wuming has touched is, that is what is the fair share of the responsibility. China, and almost all developing countries, believes it should be weighted to the consumption end. So if A consumes 80% of the final product, A bares 80% of the responsibility through out the whole production cycle. As wuming has pointed out, that’s certainly not the case for now.

    China has been trying to address the environment issue but it can only go as far as it can afford because for a lot of people there, the choice is between let the factory running so to have a job or shut the factory down so to have clean air, there isn’t a third option to have both. Obviously China is not stupid enough to choose hungry and clean over full and a bit dirty just for the sake of being recognized as “being responsible on environment” by the west. When people get their stomach full, they are going to start picking on whether it is clean enough. Before that, they get their stomach full first.

  298. Steve
    November 21st, 2008 at 18:55 | #298

    @wuming & jc: I agree with both of you. However, there’s a rub. If the consumer should be responsible for 80% of the environmental pollution costs of a product, once that’s added in… the product’s cost to the consumer won’t be competitive and China’s overseas markets will be lost. Remember, the import/export market has to take into account the shipping costs which when oil is high, can be very expensive. It was too high in the past and too low now, but it’ll go back up over time. Shipping costs take away some of your price advantages. So we need to be careful what we wish for.

    The other way to go about it, and one I suspect the new Democratic administration might push, is to legislate the overseas manufacturer have the same environmental, health and safety practices as the USA in order to export to the States. Remember, labor is the largest single fundraiser for the Democrats and if they disappear, the Democrats lose a huge portion of their donation revenue. That’s why they won’t let the auto industry fail. That’s why they might pass protective legislation in the coming year. If they do, they’ll use environmental concerns rather than direct tariffs. These will usually get past the WTO if challenged. I believe the EU is already discussing this.

    Manufacturing efficiencies not only clean up the air and water, but also increase the bottom line. Over time, it’ll be natural for China to become more efficient and in the process, contribute less pollution to the planet.

    One reason there are so many factories closing in China lately is that manufacturers there operated on very thin margins, using volume to make up their profit. That is one reason so many cheaper substitutions were used on various products, substitutions that have made Chinese manufacturing appear to have little or no quality control. When you operate on such small margins, you need the volume to cover your costs and make some profit. When the volume goes down in an economic slowdown, your bottom line goes negative and the factory closes. Since many of these factory owners are foreigners or from HK, it is easier for them to just hop a plane home and walk away from the factory. They really don’t take any responsibility for their employees, because it’s not their home. In a way, they are modern carpetbaggers.

    jc, I think you bring up a great point about the running water. The disparity between ultra modern cities with luxury performance venues and a large portion of the country that has no running water is pretty stark. No wonder the peasants are angry. I hope a good sized portion of the new stimulus package is used for exactly that purpose.

  299. jc
    November 21st, 2008 at 20:26 | #299

    @Steve #298:

    I am in completely agreement with you. I actually believe if the Dems starts to push for overseas manufacturer have the same environmental, health and safety practices as the USA in order to export to the States, hopefully in a coordinated manner with EU, it would be a very good start not only for China, but for all developing countries. Price will go up but the whole market will run in a more sustainable way. And China will be forced to learn how to improve on how to run things more efficiently. There are of course concerns about how China can withhold the impact given current global economy situation and the question of how much they can afford as mentioned in my previous post, but in the long run, I would view it as a positive direction for China. Fuel price as you pointed out also can be a positive factor. It is simply not sustainable to buy logs from Canada, ship it across the ocean, produce a few pieces of furniture and then ship it back to the United States. There are other ways to do this more efficiently and China needs to learn that.

    China has been trying rather hard to address rural farmer issues, especially in recent years, but it’s a very challenging task due to the enormous population falls under this category and the fact that most of them are way behind on almost everything. Simply put, they are a lot, they have nothing, and they don’t produce much. In recent years, China has been diverting a large portion of revenues towards them in the form of tax cut/subsidies/incentives. For instance, land use tax is waived. Farmers on land that is suitable with machines (large area of flat land, for example) are led to do so with policies such as cheaper diesel so those farmer are getting richer and richer because their efficiency improves; And farmers on land that is not suitable with machines (such as hills and mountains) are led to plant trees or other channels such as floral products. The government would pay farmers to plant trees in their field because whatever they were cultivating in their field doesn’t make much sense economically, and that payment becomes those farmers main revenue.

    China is also trying to establish a rudimentary health system and social security system through out the country side. School fees are recently waived (from this year?) as well so that more kids can go to school. They are also pushing a lot of infrastructure projects through rural regions in the hope that the project can both improve living standards, create jobs and jump start the economy. It costs a lot of money to do those things but fortunately China had a few relatively good years so I believe they are still running on a surplus. Nevertheless, most farmers are still way behind urban areas, many young farmers chose to abandon their land and go to the city to be a factory worker. It is hoped that trend of mass migration could start to be reversed when the factory job doesn’t pay much and the efficiency on the rural side can picks up or business starts to boom in their home town. But of course, at the same time things are also improving on the factories side: efficiencies are improving, stricter labor laws and environmental are coming out and being enforced; It used to be very difficult for these workers kids to go to schools in urban area (not sure if you are aware of “hukou”), but those issues are now being addressed; and most important of all, as you has very well pointed out, sweat shop that runs on very low margins won’t survive through tough times.

    So the overall situation in China is improving, both for urban people and rural people. It is no easy task to maintain the balance while keep going, so China try its best not get into any trouble with anybody else these days. Also, just like “joe the plumber’s money” can be a big issue on the campaign trial, a lot of urban people, especially business mans are complaining that they are paying too much tax without enjoying any benefit from the government, thus tax fraud/eviction are rampant. The large amount of government backed projects also lead to more corruption. So it will still take a long time for them to get to anywhere close to where west is today.

  300. TonyP4
    November 22nd, 2008 at 01:01 | #300

    Random thoughts.

    * With the exception of US, farmers cannot be rich. So we need to migrate farmers to urban for manufacturing jobs, and then to professional jobs in order to improve living standard. If you look at the statistics on GDP per capita and farmer % for most countries, it is easy to convince you.

    That’s why China grew over 10% for most it not all of the last 10 years. This year and the next, China has to keep 8% growth to stop unrest.

    * Besides global recession, the closing of thousand of factories is due to the fault of the system. It needs to have good QC laws and enforcements from the government.

    * Globalization. Let the country produces the best product at the lowest price win. Pollution is just too high a price to pay. Again, the government should step in. India will not catch up China for a while.

    * With the rudimentary social system and insurance, folks will not need to save too much and it is a good incentive for establishing a local consumer market. US and China are extremes. Both should come to a middle ground.

    * Corruption. It has its Chinese characters. Central government funds some of the projects, and most if not all local governments steal the money.

  301. Wukailong
    November 22nd, 2008 at 03:05 | #301

    First a comment:

    “With the exception of US, farmers cannot be rich.”

    Er, no. I think you can find rich farmers in France, Germany and even some other European countries. The world isn’t only China and the US, even though some people are tempted to believe so. 😉 But it’s a detail.

    I agree with Wuming that in our current world, with the only type of industrial development we know, the environment is going to be pretty bad during the first development stages. When I grew up, I remembered seeing reports about the horrible situation in Tokyo and Los Angeles, even to the point where people would buy oxygen from vending machines (Tokyo, I think).

    The world could probably take India and China moving up to advanced industrial levels if they modernize their technology at the same time, but imagine Africa going down the same road 50 years from now… Is it going to work? What should other countries do?

    We might be lucky to find better, cleaner kinds of technology that aren’t too expensive, that the new developing countries can use. If we don’t, the only reasonable way forward is that the developed countries spend money on helping the developing countries with clean technology. Such projects are already underway, but they seem to be small-scale and mostly symbolical.

    Also, I think we should look at other development models than the US one. Free education might not exist there, but I think China is more poised to become some sort of welfare state far away in the future. Even the US needs to reform their system of healthcare, presumably to something more French. 🙂

    I agree with TonyP4’s points. I think China is doing most of these things at the moment, but it might need to do even more in the areas of quality control, check on pollution, some sort of social security, etc. These days it does have some of the funding to do that.

  302. TonyP4
    November 22nd, 2008 at 03:42 | #302

    Yes, it is debatable. German farmers are not richer than German urban dwellers comparatively. So are French (except growing grapes for wines)… In general, it is true but of course there are exceptions. The reason why US farmers (not the small family farms) are so rich is due to the huge farm land and the machines that help them. In addition, they’re stupidly subsidized by the government.They are the bread winner of the world. I should use ‘exception of US and few countries’ to be politically correct.

  303. Wukailong
    November 22nd, 2008 at 04:10 | #303

    Alright, granted. 😉 It’s not that important, really.

    Subsidies are a huge problem in the EU too. I don’t remember the debate, exactly, but people were worried that the newly admitted countries, notably Poland, would want the same agricultural subsidies that the French already enjoy. It’s hard to imagine them ever giving up on it, though.

  304. Monk
    November 22nd, 2008 at 06:16 | #304

    @Jerry (#226 and #234)

    Jerry said:

    “… After your previous remarks, your comment seems disingenuous, and dripping with sarcasm and hubris. Why bother?” (Jerry, #226)

    The whole piece was meant to be sarcastic. I am glad that you noticed it. Sarcasm is a valid debating tactic, is it not? As to “disingenuous”, I was not sympathetic to Lobsang’s ideas to begin with, so there is no “disingenuous” to speak of.

    “Anybody can disparage another, take “cheap shots”, and try to stomp on another’s dreams. Speaking as a Russian Jewish American, don’t give up on your dreams, Lobsang. Be proud of them, Lobsang.” (Jerry, #226)

    “My dad is an Israel Firster and contributor to AIPAC. I am not. He has flippantly remarked about using WMDs against Arabs and Palestinians. I think it is absurd and hateful.” (Jerry, #234)

    It seems to me that Hamas’s dream is more probable of succeeding than Lobsang’s dream in a long run on the basis of the demography and the receding trend of American dominance in the world. (I hate to be the teller of a bad fortune to you that may turn out to be real enough to hurt.) When that time comes, you will probably think that your father’s idea might not be so “absurd and hateful” after all. Jerry, I would like to remind you that Jews and Chinese have always had a good people – people relationship historically. If you don’t believe me, you can probably find out from those older Jews who had found safe havens and welcoming arms of the Chinese people in Harbin, Shanghai, Tianjin, Kaifeng and other Chinese cities, from Russian pogrom/revolution, Nazi persecution, or other troubles (for the Jews who settled in Kaifeng in Song Dynasty). Furthermore, I would like to suggest to you that DL’s group is more analogous to the PLO than to the Russian Jews on the basis of their common characteristic terrorist activities and their murderous riots.

    “I think progressiveness plays a part. I also think that serendipity, inadvertency and unintended consequences play a part, too.” (Jerry, #234)

    The progressive historical forces should have as much “serendipity” as possible. But a social system based on slavery such as the one under DL’s rule before 1951 should not be allowed to have “serendipity” to exist in our contemporary world of the 20th century. It should be terminated, and I am glad for the Tibetan people that it was terminated!

    “Hmmm… Rather incongruent to me. You seem to be able to dish out some heat to Lobsang, but you don’t seem able to take the heat. Your choice. Whatever.” (Jerry, #234)

    Hey, I was only following my own advice to Lobsang: “…get over it and get a life.” I was getting over the fact that I was not going to get everyone to agree with me, so I was going out to get myself some night life. 🙂

  305. Jerry
    November 22nd, 2008 at 06:34 | #305

    @wuming #296
    @jc #297, #298
    @Steve #298

    Some comments.

    You have all come up with some good reasoning and directions for solutions here. For that I am glad. Nonetheless, I am a “structures’”, “frameworks’”, conceptual kind of guy. So I look deeper.

    I am a guy who resonates with what Fritjof Capra said in Turning Point, “ultimately these problems must be seen as just different facets of one single crisis, which is largely a crisis of perception. It derives from the fact that most of us, and especially our large social institutions, subscribe to the concepts of an outdated worldview, a perception of reality inadequate for dealing with our overpopulated, globally interconnected world…” I resonate with what Einstein said, “The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved at the same level of thinking that created them.” These 2 statements resonate very deeply inside me.

    I look more for what will motivate people and what will provide impetus to the political will necessary to solve our problems. Unfortunately, I see a lot of suffering heading our way. But sometimes suffering is the way that life motivates us. My people sure have learned from it. We still have much to learn.

    Human beings are very good at rationalization, hiding skeletons in the closet, creative accounting, etc. We are very adept at spewing “reasons”, excuses and rationalizations

    Regarding creative accounting, we have seen many examples of it, lately. Bank after bank, corporation after corporation, government after government, both in the US and abroad, have blithely ignored contingent liability and downside risk in their greedy push for more, more, more. This includes China and Taiwan. Most institutions are opaque. The degree of opacity varies from institution to institution.

    Speaking of creative accounting, in the case of China, I believe that China’s economic miracle is actually façade and wishful thinking. In another post, (links below) I have quoted from Jacques Leslie’s article in the January issue of Mother Jones, “The Last Empire: China’s Pollution Problem Goes Global”. He interviewed Vaclav Smil regarding the Chinese economy.

    … All this is common knowledge among the scholars and activists who follow Chinese environmental trends. The news, however, has not yet shaken China out of its money-induced euphoria. One indication is that China’s 10 percent growth rate takes no account of the environmental devastation the boom has caused. In June 2006, an official at China’s State Council said environmental damage (everything from crop loss to health care costs) was costing 10 percent of its gross domestic product—in other words, all of the economy’s celebrated growth. Vaclav Smil, a highly respected China scholar at the University of Manitoba, pegs the environmental-damage rate at between 5 and 15 percent, with 7 percent a “solid, defensible figure.” Smil says that shorn of hype, China’s growth rate is also likely 7 percent, “so basically every year, environmental damage wipes out the GDP growth.”

    (http://blog.hiddenharmonies.org/2008/08/23/lots-of-us-want-to-love-and-respect-china-but-right-now-china-isnt-helping/#comment-13596)

    (http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2008/01/the-last-empire.html).

    Now, let’s talk globally about biocapacity versus ecological footprint.

    Ecological footprint versus the Earth’s biocapacity are very abstract terms. Here is the World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) definition: Ecological Footprint (EF) measures the amount of biologically productive land and water area required to produce the resources an individual, population, or activity consumes and to absorb the waste they generate, given prevailing technology and resource management. The Earth’s biocapacity (BC) is the amount of biologically productive area – cropland, pasture, forest, and fisheries – that is available to meet humanity’s needs. Demand vs. Supply.

    In 1961, Earth’s population was 3.08 billion people. Ecological Footprint (EF) was 4.5 billion global hectares (gha) versus Biocapacity (BC) of 9 billion gha. A 50% surplus of BC. By 2003, the population was 6.3 billion people. Ecological Footprint (EF) was 14.1 billion gha versus Biocapacity (BC) of 11.2 billion gha. EF has overshot BC by 25%. Essentially, what we have is “deficit spending.” On a global basis.

    In 2003, the US, with a population of 294 million, had an EF of 9.6 gha per person and BC of 4.7 gha per person. Japan, with 127 million, had an EF of 4.4 gha per person and BC of 0.7 gha per person. China, with 1.311 billion, had an EF of 1.6 gha per person and BC of 0.5 gha per person.

    In 2008, WWF did a follow-up report on Asia and China. From 1961 to 2003, China, Japan, the EU, and USA showed significant growth in the overshoot of biocapacity.

    Reports and information are out at Global Footprint Network (http://www.footprintnetwork.org/)

    The elephant in the room, regarding biocapacity overshoot, is population. We went from 3.08 billion in 1961 to 6.3 billion in 2003. There was a biocapacity surplus of 50% in 1961. We now have a deficit of 25%. Population seems to be the major causative link.

    If global ecosystems collapse, there will be a horrendous bill to pay to replace the services provided by our natural systems. Ecological economist Robert Costanza first published an estimated valuation in 1997. At the time, global GDP PPP was $27 trillion ($27,000,000,000,000). He placed the economic value of natural systems at $33 trillion ($33,000,000,000,000), more than global GDP. There were criticisms made in peer reviews. In spite of the criticisms, most agreed that we need to have an economic valuation and that the value would be a substantial portion of global GDP, which in 2007 was $60 trillion ($60,000,000,000,000).

    Now, you may ask, what happens if we continue to ignore issues like biocapacity overshoot, what is going to happen? Global Footprint and WWF are very clear. If we don’t do anything, or take a slow approach, we risk the collapse of global ecosystems in 30-40 years. From an ecosystemic approach, we are living unsustainably now, and living more unsustainably with each passing year.

    Possible solutions. Nature takes the lead, in response to our unsustainable use of the Earth’s resources, wipes out vast amounts of population through various calamities, cataclysms and catastrophes. We can replace the collapsed natural systems which provide us with soil, water, air, and nutrient cycling by paying out a horrendous amount of money. We can fight “resource wars” over the diminishing resources. We can let sinister, maleficent Machiavellians (like Kissinger, Cheney, Al Haig, Poindexter, Eugene Rostow, Condi Rice, etc.), who are/were part of the ruling elite, create solutions using genocide, war or mass destruction to remove significant portions of the population.

    Eugene Rostow, head of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, when asked in 1981 by Senator Claiborne Pell about surviving a nuclear war, said, “The human race is very resilient. Some estimates predict that in a limited nuclear war as many as 10 million people might perish on one side and 100 million on the other. But that is not the whole of the population.”

    Kind of scary, to say the least. Or we can start to work on this right now. Or we can start rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

    Steve, you probably remember the old Fram oil filter ads, where the mechanic, holding a Fram oil filter, says, “You can pay me now…” Then he points to an engine being expensively rebuilt, “Or you can pay me later.”

    Now, some additional remarks on China. I wrote earlier that China has responded to pollution from coal-fired electrical generation plants. This report is from an MIT study:

    … After detailed survey and field research involving dozens of managers at 85 power plants across 14 Chinese provinces, Steinfeld and his co-authors, Richard Lester (professor, nuclear science and engineering and director of the MIT Industrial Performance Center) and Edward Cunningham (doctoral candidate, political science) found that in fact most of the new plants have been built to very high technical standards, using some of the most modern technologies available. The problem has to do with the way that energy infrastructure is being operated and the types of coals being burned.

    New market pressures encourage plant managers to buy the cheapest, lowest quality and most-polluting coal available, while at the same time idle expensive-to-operate smokestack scrubbers or other cleanup technologies. The physical infrastructure is advanced, but the emissions performance ends up decidedly retrograde.

    Understanding the realities of China’s energy infrastructure and management is crucial, Steinfeld said, for gaining leverage over the whole gamut of global energy-related challenges. China’s electric power sector is vast — second only to America’s in size — and globally unparalleled in terms of the speed of its growth. “To a significant degree, our planet’s energy and environmental future is now being written in China,” he and his two co-authors wrote in a recent MIT Industrial Performance Center working paper (PDF available). Findings from the research have also recently been published in The China Economic Quarterly and an additional paper is currently under review at Energy Policy. …

    http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2008/china-energy-1006.html
    http://blog.hiddenharmonies.org/2008/10/02/beijings-new-pollution-control-measures/#comment-17506

    So China is really trying. It is just shooting itself in the foot on a local level.

    The Sichuan earthquake opened my eyes to another problem. It appears that many buildings in the area, especially classrooms, were built on the cheap. I have also heard, from friends and relatives, anecdotal reports on buildings in Shanghai which look great when viewed from afar. But living or working in the place, as my cousin told me, “These are like ‘gingerbread’ buildings.” “Building on the cheap” leads to extensive repairs or replacement in the future. IMHO, you have to set aside appropriate reserve accounts to pay for the repairs/replacements. Or pray. Not a very good option.

    Then I look at China and their new (or old) infrastructure investment stimulus program which they recently announced. I also noticed that China is pouring lots of money into their banking system for “liquidity purposes” (whatever that means?) This leads to several questions. If your GDP is advancing at 8+% per year (at least that is what they report) per year, why do you need economic stimulus? Hmmm… And why do your banks and the financial system need more capital? Credit crunch means that you either don’t have enough capital in the system, or those with capital don’t want to lend out their money, no matter the rate of return on the loan. Those with capital know that the first priority is to get your money back, then you worry about the interest/apr you receive. If the borrower doesn’t repay the principal, who cares about the interest or the rate of interest. Methinks there are lots of subterranean problems in China which have not seen the light of day.

    So while China has large foreign reserve accounts, I can easily imagine that most of those reserves are actually tied up by unreported contingent liabilities. In other words, China sold its soul, environment and cheap labor, in a Faustian bargain with Mephistopheles. Faust does China.

    So, wuming, you now know why, you piqued my interest when you wrote, in #97, “There is almost no way to budge Chinese from their single-minded pursue of economic development.” To be honest, I regard singlemindedness as “living life while wearing blinders.” Even Confucius (whoever he was) said:

    The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come. When in a state of security he does not forget the possibility of ruin. When all is orderly, he does not forget that disorder may come. Thus his person is not endangered, and his States and all their clans are preserved.

    I think he stole this from a few Jewish wise men of old. 🙂 Wariness is an important key to survival and thriving. Singlemindedness or “living life while wearing blinders” is foolish. And I am being kind in my use of the word foolish.

    I appreciate the issues discussed here at FM. Many are important. Nonetheless, they are side issues to the survival of the human race on this planet. If we don’t survive, all of our issues are moot. They are issues related to the central crisis we face on this planet, “the crisis of perception”.

    Let’s hope that we can evolve as a civilization on this planet. We need to evolve technologically, morally, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. If we only advance technologically, we will destroy ourselves, because we do not have the level of maturity to deal with the technological power. As I quoted Einstein above, “The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved at the same level of thinking that created them.” But then, again, (as it is hinted in Einstein physics, theoretical physics and quantum mechanics) that higher level of evolution and maturity may exist already in the multiverse. But I digress. We face many challenges.

    And if we choose “to rearrange deck chairs on the Titanic, while the Titanic sinks”, let us be the best deck chair arrangers we can be. 😀 LMAO. The Fram oil filter guy will come around to collect his due. 😀 I wonder what palliatives we will be given as the ship goes down?

  306. Jerry
    November 22nd, 2008 at 06:45 | #306

    Hi admin, my comment #305, is awaiting moderation. It is http://blog.hiddenharmonies.org/2008/11/14/tibet-turning-over-a-new-page/#comment-20330.

    Thanks,

    –jerry

  307. Wukailong
    November 22nd, 2008 at 09:09 | #307

    Funny. When that satirist Michael appeared, people of course shot it down or ignored it, but one of his lines, “might is right”, seems to be seriously thought of as a moral creed among some nationalists here.

    Let’s say there are Chinese angry over the riots in Lhasa where Han and Hui are targeted. I can understand that. But when people say that the Tibetans in exile are pathetic because they have no power, or they weren’t able to pressurize China, it sounds like Machiavelli to me. If someone wants to go along those lines, fine, but then again there are people who combine these two viewpoints, which to me makes no sense.

    So there are the people who ridicule DL for not having any power, after which they feel indignation over the terrorist activities and the serfdom back in 1950:s. (Not so much on this thread, rather on the other one, “Exiled Tibetans…”.

    I’m not sure Monk (#304) is saying that. He might just mean that ethnic hatred and extreme measures make a lot of sense when you’re on the receiving end of the spectrum. In this case, any measure taken by the Chinese leadership is fine, because there were the 3.14 riots, and if people hate Tibetans for that, then it’s perfectly understandable.

    “The progressive historical forces should have as much “serendipity” as possible. But a social system based on slavery such as the one under DL’s rule before 1951 should not be allowed to have “serendipity” to exist in our contemporary world of the 20th century. It should be terminated, and I am glad for the Tibetan people that it was terminated!”

    Well, the raison d’être for the current political system in China is that you have to have a certain economic level to be able to have a good political and social system. There should be no premature “termination” or democratization. Then why are we suddenly allowed moral leeway in this case?

  308. Wukailong
    November 22nd, 2008 at 09:17 | #308

    @jc (#289): “Then can you explain why people in Hong Kong are overwhelming pro-PRC on this issue? Why there were huge anti-Tibet protests in U.S.? In Canada, In Australia? Many of them are even second or third generation Chinese who have never set foot on mainland China, so you think they are also being brain-washed by CCP’s propaganda machine?”

    I’m curious about this. I do understand that Chinese abroad feel more and more pride in their country, and as such a more natural nationalism (I don’t think this would have happened in the same way 10-20 years ago). Taiwanese are more complex than mainlanders in terms of viewpoints, but I know it’s far from what many Westerners think. But what about Hong Kong? I find it a bit hard to believe that they are strongly pro-PRC on this issue (on any issue, in fact), but I may be wrong. If you have any op-eds or articles that support this viewpoint, feel free to post them here (both simplified and traditional characters are OK).

  309. Michael
    November 22nd, 2008 at 09:49 | #309

    @wukailong

    Oh, you need a moral or historical reason to keep Tibet? Historically all of asia should be part of China. Morally… oh please, do you really think any nation goes to war and wastes so much money for moral reasons alone? Are you really so naive that we would have gone to so much trouble and spent so much money to liberate and develop Tibet for Hans just because we didn’t like tibetan serfdom? Please…
    Morally it is right to take Tibet since they are weak and backward, that’s a fact.

    All HK people, Taiwan and overseas Chinese will always support China without question. Everybody understands the need for the greater good.

  310. jc
    November 22nd, 2008 at 12:58 | #310

    @Wukailong #307:

    Here is one of the news that mentioned about pro-Tibet demonstration were vastly outnumbered during the torch run:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7378193.stm

    I guess the reason for them is similar to oversea Chinese, they are ethnic Chinese, so they are proud of the game and they view pro-Tibet demonstration as an act of disruption and harassment.

    I feel rather troubled to see a lot of Tibetans blames Han Chinese hostility against them as a result of CCP’s propaganda machine. In reality, nationalism might be the biggest reason and what Tibetan has done is viewed as a provocation by them. I would imagine that keep ignoring this fact would only lead to serious miscalculation and misjudge on the pro-Tibet side.

  311. Jerry
    November 22nd, 2008 at 13:08 | #311

    @Monk #304

    The whole piece was meant to be sarcastic. I am glad that you noticed it. Sarcasm is a valid debating tactic, is it not? As to “disingenuous”, I was not sympathetic to Lobsang’s ideas to begin with, so there is no “disingenuous” to speak of.

    OK, I take back the term “disingenuous”. I acknowledge not one ounce of caring was shown, so you could not be disingenuous. 😀

    I am not going to judge between Hamas and Tibet, and their dreams. Like all groups of people, there is good and bad. I still encourage Tibetans and my Palestinian brothers (They are Semites, too. Same family.) to keep pursuing their dreams of a better life.

    (I hate to be the teller of a bad fortune to you that may turn out to be real enough to hurt.) When that time comes, you will probably think that your father’s idea might not be so “absurd and hateful” after all.

    I am a big boy. I will do what is necessary. I still think my father is wrong. But thanks for showing you care.

    I have heard stories (not anyone I know) about Chinese people harboring Jews escaping from persecution. I am thankful to those people who showed us such kindness. Furthermore, I am most grateful that my grandparents came to the US.

    Furthermore, I would like to suggest to you that DL’s group is more analogous to the PLO than to the Russian Jews on the basis of their common characteristic terrorist activities and their murderous riots.

    I have some difficulties with your stand here. I have written the following words at FM.

    … Want to create a bogeyman? Just call your intended enemies “terrorists”. …

    … 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. …

    … JC, what the hell do you expect? You’re surprised? That everybody (Tibetans) is going to be docile lambs when subject to misery, oppression and persecution? I don’t think so. Why isn’t the CCP and PRC accountable for their part in causing the violence (in Tibet)?

    In case you think I am just picking on China, I ask the same question of my Israeli brethren and fellow Americans. Why isn’t the Israeli government accountable for their part in the creation of terrorism in Lebanon, Gaza and the West Bank? Why isn’t the American government accountable for their part in creating terrorism against the US? …

    You seem to want to create a unilateral issue here in laying the blame at the DL’s doorstep. I think it at least bilateral, if not multilateral.

    … But a social system based on slavery such as the one under DL’s rule before 1951 should not be allowed to have “serendipity” to exist in our contemporary world of the 20th century. It should be terminated, and I am glad for the Tibetan people that it was terminated!

    I know very little about Tibet. Hence, I will suspend judgment on your statement.

    Hey, I was only following my own advice to Lobsang: “…get over it and get a life.” I was getting over the fact that I was not going to get everyone to agree with me, so I was going out to get myself some night life.

    That’s funny. I like that. 😀 LOL

  312. Wukailong
    November 22nd, 2008 at 13:15 | #312

    @jc: I agree with the general assessment that ethnic Chinese were proud of the games, though I don’t think people linked them to Tibet or even thought much about that issue. When you’re in the West (at least until last year) it’s like China is only human rights, Tibet and economic growth/environmental problems, but people from Hong Kong are naturally better informed and have a more nuanced viewpoint.

    “I would imagine that keep ignoring this fact would only lead to serious miscalculation and misjudge on the pro-Tibet side.”

    Yeah, and that’s similar to the view many have that if that there are boycotts and demonstrations against China, people will somehow be more critical of the CCP.

  313. Jerry
    November 22nd, 2008 at 13:52 | #313

    @Wukailong #307

    When that satirist Michael appeared, people of course shot it down or ignored it, but one of his lines, “might is right”, seems to be seriously thought of as a moral creed among some nationalists here.

    WKL, Speaking of the satirical archangel, I have noticed the “might is right” in many manifestations out at FM. Extending that notion to Jews, it seems these same “might is right” people would have said that the Russian Tsar, the Spanish inquisitors, the Assyrians, the Pharoahs, and Hitler and his cabal had moral superiority and were quite right to persecute Jews. Hmmm… Somehow I have problem with that kind of thinking? I wonder why? 😀 ::LMAO:: Does this make these “might is right” people anti-Semitic? 😀

    So there are the people who ridicule DL for not having any power, after which they feel indignation over the terrorist activities and the serfdom back in 1950:s. (Not so much on this thread, rather on the other one, “Exiled Tibetans…”.

    What is good for the goose is not good for the gander?? Moral relativism? Thank god that those people are not my inquisitors, adjudicators and arbiters. I don’t want to play ball with these people.

    WKL, you wrote:

    I’m not sure Monk (#304) is saying that. He might just mean that ethnic hatred and extreme measures make a lot of sense when you’re on the receiving end of the spectrum. In this case, any measure taken by the Chinese leadership is fine, because there were the 3.14 riots, and if people hate Tibetans for that, then it’s perfectly understandable.

    I addressed comments to Monk about terrorism in #311. I would remind the staunch anti-Tibetan group here that you reap what you sow and what goes around, comes around. Sounds like karma to me.

    “Then why are we suddenly allowed moral leeway in this case?” Sounds like moral relativism to me.

    I noticed that the satirical archangel wrote in #309:

    All HK people, Taiwan and overseas Chinese will always support China without question. Everybody understands the need for the greater good.

    Unquestioning, mindless, blind, dogmatic, ideological support of China. Oh, whoopee!! Nightmares of Russian tsars and Nazi Germany are flashing through my mind. Sieg heil, Herr Satirist!!

    Just my 3 shekels worth.

  314. bt
    November 22nd, 2008 at 14:26 | #314

    @ Jerry

    Jerry, the black beast never dies … it’s just more or less asleep.

  315. Hemulen
    November 22nd, 2008 at 16:20 | #315

    Monk wrote:

    I would like to remind you that Jews and Chinese have always had a good people – people relationship historically. If you don’t believe me, you can probably find out from those older Jews who had found safe havens and welcoming arms of the Chinese people in Harbin, Shanghai, Tianjin, Kaifeng and other Chinese cities, from Russian pogrom/revolution, Nazi persecution, or other troubles (for the Jews who settled in Kaifeng in Song Dynasty).

    Monk is mixing up the Song dynasty with the Republic, to begin with, but what he forgets to mention is that the Jews fleeing persecution in Russia and other places went to cities that were not under Chinese control, such as Shanghai, Harbin and Tianjin. When Shanghai fell to the Japanese in WWII, the Japanese refused to surrender the Jewish population of Shanghai to their German allies. But as the CCP marched into these cities in 1949, all Jews and other foreigners left. In sum, Chinese authorities had very little to do with the fact that Jews were spared from the Holocaust.

    But a social system based on slavery such as the one under DL’s rule before 1951 should not be allowed to have “serendipity” to exist in our contemporary world of the 20th century.

    Most historians would not talk about “slavery”, but forms of serfdom and bonded labor in old Tibet, but what did the Tibetans get instead of the old feudal system? A new one. The people’s communes and the danwei- and the houkou-system, which tied peoples lives to a town/village and a workplace for life and made their entire lives subject to the decisions of the party. It is interesting that the year 1959, when “serfs” were supposedly set free in Tibet, is also the year when the part mobilized millions of people to take part in ambitious projects all over the country. Did the people who built the Miyun reservoir do it voluntarily? Or did people get paid over time for their efforts? It looks very much like corvée labor to me.

  316. Patron
    November 22nd, 2008 at 19:21 | #316

    @Jerry (#313)

    You said:

    “… Moral relativism? Thank god that those people are not my inquisitors, adjudicators and arbiters.”

    I bet Palestinians in one of the refuge camps would love to have the luxury to say that about the Israelis. Ironic, isn’t it?

    “I don’t want to play ball with these people.”

    Wise decision! I am sure that Israeli government would love for those stubborn defiant militant Palestinians to adopt this kind of decision and give it up.

    “I addressed comments to Monk about terrorism in #311. I would remind the staunch anti-Tibetan group here that you reap what you sow and what goes around, comes around. Sounds like karma to me.”

    I would think that it is more relevant for you to remind the Israeli government … I am sure in replying they would quote you from the Old Testament: “An eye for an eye…”*, Semitic brothers or not. They would probably tell you to get down from your high horse of moral sanctimony and deal with the reality of life and death struggles on the ground. For the Israelis, the struggle really comes down to the war of attritions, isn’t it? With more than 1 billion Arabs or Muslims who are not going away for the next 10,000 generations around the tiny Jewish State of Israel… Will Israel always have the good fortune of dealing with her Arab neighbors in the position of strength? Will America always be around willing to protect her? Will Jerry’s fellow Jews in Israel always have the luxury to say as Jerry does just now: “Thank god that those people are not my inquisitors, adjudicators and arbiters.” and as he currently is on his high horse of moral sanctimony from the safe distance of America passing judgment to his fellow Jews (as well as China)?

    * China would probably prefer to say : 兵来将挡,水来土掩 (One will take the proper counter-measures according to the type of actions his enemy will take.)

  317. bt
    November 22nd, 2008 at 19:44 | #317

    @ Patron

    I understand your feelings. One day, I saw that Astral Projection participated to a Free Tibet concert. I couldn’t help thinking: “hmm you are not really in the position to give lessons”.
    That’s the human nature I think … to see the straw in the eye of your neighbor without seeing in your own eye, to take a biblical example. Some Chinese posters here are not immune to this habit too.

    However, if you read what Jerry wrote regularly on this blog, you will see that he has quite a balanced view of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Moreover, in his post # 313 he’s referring to events before the creation of state of Israel.
    Honestly, I have the feeling that it’s not fair to attack him on that.
    Btw, Jerry is a Jew, not an Israeli … this is not the same thing.

  318. Monk
    November 22nd, 2008 at 22:47 | #318

    @#315,

    Hemulen wrote:

    “Monk is mixing up the Song dynasty with the Republic, …”

    You are splitting hair on something that is not relevant. It is not relevant whether those historical events happened in Song Dynasty or in the period prior to WW2. The truth is: Historically, Chinese people extended the helping hands during the times when some Jewish people needed the help the most.

    “…, but what he forgets to mention is that the Jews fleeing persecution in Russia and other places went to cities that were not under Chinese control, such as Shanghai, Harbin and Tianjin.”

    Although there were areas within the various cities that were under the control of foreign powers, those cities were control by the Chinese government. For example, Shanghai as a city was control by the Republic Government of China. Those Jews in Europe who had found safe haven in China in order to escape from ending up in the Nazi concentration camps got their Entry Visas to China from the officials of the government of Chinese Republic.

    “But as the CCP marched into these cities in 1949, all Jews and other foreigners left. In sum, Chinese authorities had very little to do with the fact that Jews were spared from the Holocaust.”

    Again, it is irrelevant whether or the Jews ended up staying, the relevant point is: China provided some fellow human beings safe havens at the critical moments of life and death.

    “Most historians would not talk about “slavery”, but forms of serfdom and bonded labor in old Tibet, but what did the Tibetans get instead of the old feudal system? A new one. The people’s communes and the danwei- and the houkou-system, which tied peoples lives to a town/village and a workplace for life and made their entire lives subject to the decisions of the party.”

    I will let people make up their own mind as to which social system is more progressive: Slavery (Serfdom) or Socialism. As to the danwei and hukou systems, they were just an organizational system and a residential administrative system which were used to organize labor/production, distribute the rationing coupons, welfare benefit, and etc. As China was trying to reform its danwei system and hukou system so that Tibetans can live/work in other provinces and the folks from other provinces can live/work in Tibet, that was the time when DL began to shrill, like a cat in heat, about the population “dilution” and “cultural genocide”, wasn’t it? I don’t know about anyone else, but from my perspective, what DL wants is: apartheid, segregation, and Tibetan size Indian Reservation, or even secession under the cover of “meaningful autonomy” and “middle way”.

  319. WW
    November 22nd, 2008 at 23:46 | #319

    @ bt,

    I think Patron knew the difference between an “Israeli” and a “Jew”, that was why he was saying that, “(Jerry) is on his high horse of moral sanctimony from the safe distance of America passing judgment (on) his fellow Jews” in Israel who have to “deal with the reality of life and death struggles on the ground. “

  320. bt
    November 23rd, 2008 at 00:25 | #320

    @ WW

    Ok, maybe I didn’t expressed myself very well (I struggle sometimes with English too 🙂 ).
    Jerry was talking about the persecutions of the Jewish people through the ages, and is quite disturbed by the speech of some of the posters here (Michael, in the example he took). Me too.
    Why to throw at him the middle east conflict between Israel/Palestine? Is Jerry bonded to the fate of Israel? not necessarily. In fact, that’s up to him.
    Why someone who does not want any violence is necessarily on a ‘high horse’?
    I am tired by these social Darwinist theories about the necessity to be stronger, to dominate.
    The Buddhist speaks of Karma, the Christians would say ‘he who lives by the sword will perish by the sword’.
    Of course, you are welcome to give any comment, if you disagree.

  321. Jerry
    November 23rd, 2008 at 00:59 | #321

    @Hemulen #315

    Thanks, Hemulen, for your historical views on Jews in China. I appreciate that very much.

    When Shanghai fell to the Japanese in WWII, the Japanese refused to surrender the Jewish population of Shanghai to their German allies. But as the CCP marched into these cities in 1949, all Jews and other foreigners left. In sum, Chinese authorities had very little to do with the fact that Jews were spared from the Holocaust.

    God bless the Japanese. The Jews, in general, are a very wary, skeptical people, especially so after the experiences in the first part of the 20th century. Thus, if there was an ounce of doubt about the CCP, the Jews would leave in a heartbeat. We are very good at moving and leaving.

    Thanks for the perspective on Tibet.

    It is interesting that the year 1959, when “serfs” were supposedly set free in Tibet, is also the year when the part mobilized millions of people to take part in ambitious projects all over the country. Did the people who built the Miyun reservoir do it voluntarily? Or did people get paid over time for their efforts? It looks very much like corvée labor to me.

    Some liberation! The party sees itself as “liberator”. Most ideologues and dogmatists do not possess the ability to think critically, to reflect and to be introspective. Self-delusion and rationalization are marvelous traits. Sometimes I think it would be so wonderful to live life without the benefit of the thought process. 😀 Just kidding. Oh, my sarcastic, cynical tongue is out of control. LOL

  322. Wukailong
    November 23rd, 2008 at 01:50 | #322

    @bt (#320): “Why to throw at him the middle east conflict between Israel/Palestine? Is Jerry bonded to the fate of Israel? not necessarily. In fact, that’s up to him.”

    That’s another kind of argument very common in discussions of this kind. I always found them strange until I realized how it’s a kind of counter-nationalism discourse. That is to say, some people think only in terms of belonging to a country, and there’s no question of right and wrong, it’s just “I defend my country in any way and you do the same”. So, the natural response from such a nationalist when bringing up problems with his or her country, is for them to first find out what country you “belong” to, then find out its ills, and throw them back at you and believe they’ve won.

    Since most people on this forum do not automatically take a stand with “their” country, perhaps even being very critical of it, this just doesn’t make any sense. Like Jerry have expressed on many different occasions, it _is_ possible to be critical of both the US and China at the same time (and other countries too). The nationalists’ arguments might work with neocons, but not with people who don’t automatically side with their country of birth.

    This argument is not quite the same as the one that the Western world is the same as China and lacks a free press or freedom of speech, since it’s a question about the way it is, whereas the above is a moral argument (albeit a skewed one).

    Then there’s another slightly related argument, where the US is brought up as an example of the shining beacon of freedom and human rights in the world. When even this great country flowing of milk and honey has problems, it means that there is no place where people lead good lives, so stop complaining about China! I won’t answer that one at the moment, just note that it exists and leave it as an exercise. 😉

  323. Jerry
    November 23rd, 2008 at 02:00 | #323

    @Patron #316

    I have encountered many like you. Ideologues, dogmatists who throw up smoke screens when challenged. Better to attack than to think critically and reflect. Better to distract rather than address the issue at hand. How sad. Oh well. It is your choice.

    I have great empathy with the plight of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. The Israeli government is persecuting the Palestinians, much like the Russian tsars and minions treated my people in the Pale in Russia. Much like Hitler and the Third Reich treated Jews. (Please don’t confuse the goverment with the majority of Israeli people. Many of my Israeli Jewish brethren are working with our Palestinian brethren on peace.)

    My Jewish, Israeli and Palestinian friends know how I feel.

    “I would think that it is more relevant for you to remind the Israeli government”. I do. They are not listening.

    Which reality are we talking about? Are we talking about certain Israeli Jews who are treating Palestinians and Lebanese much like our persecutors treated us? Are we talking about a country which does not know peace?

    Actually, I have never had an Israeli quote Hammurabic code to me. Methinks that you do not know us well. We are far more pragmatic.

    Patron, you say “High horse”. How interesting; nice try. Nice attempt at distraction. So does your diatribe justify the Chinese treatment of Tibetans? Sure you don’t work for Shrub’s and Cheney’s administration? You do not seem to be able to respond to the issue at hand. How Bush-esque!

    Our treatment of Palestinians and Lebanese is a cautionary tale. I still say to you, just as I would the Israeli government, or China’s wonderful, tyrannical allies in Darfur and Sudan:

    I would remind the staunch anti-Tibetan group here that you reap what you sow and what goes around, comes around. Sounds like karma to me.

    You wrote:

    * China would probably prefer to say : 兵来将挡,水来土掩 (One will take the proper counter-measures according to the type of actions his enemy will take.)

    To which I would respond, “Choose your enemies wisely. You will become them.”

    I am so sorry to disappoint you, Patron. Yeah, sure! LOL 😀

    BTW, as bt pointed out in #317, I am Russian Jewish American. I live in Taipei.

    And I am very grateful that my grandfather and grandmother came to the US, from Russia, as young adults. It may have been the best thing that has ever happened to me. And it happened 43 years before I was born.

  324. WW
    November 23rd, 2008 at 02:44 | #324

    @bt,

    Actually, I love those religious sayings such as “he who lives by the sword will perish by the sword”. I think they usually carry a lot of wisdom in a very concise and beautiful way. But when some maddening mob came at you with machetes, set fire on your house while your loved ones were trapped in the house, as what was happening in the 3/14 riots, what would you do then, bt? Would you try to reason with the mob with your wise saying “he who lives by the sword will perish by the sword”? Or would you raise your sward to defend yourself and your loved ones? I would definitely choose to do the latter! If I have to “perish” by the sword defending myself and my loved ones, then so be it, at least I perish fighting like a real man. I like the phrase that Patron was using because it sounds reasonable, that is: “兵来将挡,水来土掩 (One will take the proper counter-measures according to the type of actions his enemy will take.)”

    I agree that Jerry is not necessarily bonded to Israel. But if he is anything like us Chinese Americans who are bonded to China in a mysterious way, he would be most likely bonded to Israel from the heart of his heart in a mysterious way as well. I guess Patron was trying to draw some kind of parallelism between Israel and China in trying to prove that he is not above the feeling of national affiliation after all just like the rest of us mortals.

    By the way, forget Michael, the guy is so out of it that I am sure that he is DL’s man who is trying hard to demonize China and its people with all his crazy nonsense.

  325. Monk
    November 23rd, 2008 at 03:36 | #325

    Jerry,

    For your information, God didn’t bless the Japanese, at least God didn’t bless those Japanese whose government had waged the war against the Allied Forces. They got nuked as a result, twice! And they lost the war! History had proved that God blessed the Allied forces, and the Jews in the Nazis concentration camps were liberated as a result.

    I just simply couldn’t believe Patron was able to rattle you so much that you lost your senses and that you actually came out in support of the Japanese Imperial government who was the most capable ally amongst all the allies of Nazi Germany. Did you realize what you were saying? You actually lauded for a government who was partly responsible for the Holocaust of your people in WWII?

    Besides, Japanese saved the Jews from the Nazis. Hah! That is a new one! Who would be so naive to believe that! What the laugh! Hemulen has just lost his creditability on my account as a source of credible information. I thought you were a “skeptical” Jew, Jerry.

  326. Jerry
    November 23rd, 2008 at 03:37 | #326

    @bt #317, 320
    @Wukailong #322

    Thanks, bt and WKL.

    #317

    “Honestly, I have the feeling that it’s not fair to attack him on that.” Don’t worry, bt; at least we have them engaged. They may not be accountable yet, but they may get there. Don’t hold your breath. Denial and counterattack are the first steps in the process to accountability and awareness. Response is better than no response. Life is just plain messy.

    Just look at WW’s response in #319. It is so typical.

    —————-

    #320

    “Ok, maybe I didn’t expressed myself very well (I struggle sometimes with English too ).” Don’t worry. You do fine. Besides, communication is an iterative, often circular process.

    I have a bond with Israel. They are my people. So are the Palestinians. We are all Semites. Same family.

    The difference is that I am not being held prisoner by my country, my culture, my people or my history. It seems that a few of the respondents here are in such prisons. Too bad! But there is always hope. Just remember Dumas’ Edmond Dantès and his tangled story of bad fortune, betrayal, imprisonment, revenge and redemption.

    —————-

    #322

    That’s another kind of argument very common in discussions of this kind. I always found them strange until I realized how it’s a kind of counter-nationalism discourse. That is to say, some people think only in terms of belonging to a country, and there’s no question of right and wrong, it’s just “I defend my country in any way and you do the same”. So, the natural response from such a nationalist when bringing up problems with his or her country, is for them to first find out what country you “belong” to, then find out its ills, and throw them back at you and believe they’ve won.

    Amen to that, WKL.

    —————-

    WKL and bt, I noticed that WW in #324 implores us to forget Michael. In just a short number of posts, Michael has proteanly transformed from satirist to satirical archangel to dogmatic ideologue to bête noire to the head of PsyOps for the DL. Wow! That must be tiring. 😀

  327. bt
    November 23rd, 2008 at 04:03 | #327

    @ WW

    Ok WW, I will try to express myself clearly, and it’s not all directed at you (excuse my tone in advance).
    You seems to be a nice guy, and I really appreciate your comments.

    I fully understand the anger of the Chinese people if the media outside are not balanced enough. In 2003, we French received a full load of hate/slanders from American newspapers … however, I never lost my faith in this great country that is always able to correct its mistakes.
    These misconceptions are partly due to a lack of deep knowledge about China (which remained closed for a long long time), and partly due to a suspicion because of the willfully opaque politics of the CCP.
    You Chinese-connected people (Chinese or Americans of Chinese descent) have a great role to play in explaining how the things work in the Chinese/Asian point of view, and to yell at every article you don’t like is nothing but useless. It will just make the people more aggressive.

    Of course the Tibetan riots were not very peaceful, and every sensible person disapproves a non-Tibetan manhunt in the streets of Lhasa. And for me it is not only a question of 兵来将挡,水来土掩 or “he who lives by the sword will perish by the sword”.
    When a riot explodes in Gansu, I don’t hear Chinese people calling that racism. My take is that the Tibetans are very angry against the government, just like a lot of Chinese citizens. Additionally, there IS a Tibetan nationalism (I refuse to talk about who is wrong/right, as I think it is a complicated problem).
    Somehow I have the feeling that the Chinese are more interested in how the ‘Westerners’ consider Tibet than what does the Tibetans think. IMHO, this is a fatal error.
    There are reasons for this anger that lies under the treatment of some nationalities by the CCP (namely, the biggest problem is with Tibetans and Uyghurs) … the sooner the Chinese understand that, the bigger your chances of avoiding the final blow are. I believe the biggest threat comes from the Tibetans in Tibet … wait 20 years, wait for the death of the DL, weaken the countries that welcome them or talk to them, make them rich, make them educated, it won’t change anything. Remember that most of the leaders of the colonized countries that fought for the independence of their countries have been educated in the colonizers’ countries. They just waited for the good moment to start their fight.

    To the Chinese citizens, I don’t like to say this, cos’ it’s agressive, but I will. One time.
    I am not even American, and I am tired of listening rants all day long about the duplicity of USA, blablabla.
    Even if it was true (and it is not, and anyway USA is not the Salvation Army, they take care on their own interests, sometimes a little bit shamelessly, like every country is the world), I may ask a question: what the f**k are you doing here if it is so bad? Take a plane and go to a place that fits you much better!!
    Some of you guys do whatever they can to escape the country, and most of you won’t come back … is that not a little bit unfair to be so harsh with a country that welcomes you and offers you a descent life?
    As for implying that Micheal is a European or a Tibetan, it’s not a move for me. One single tour on the Chinese Net is sufficient to see who are the fenqings and what do they say.
    This said, I have lived long enough in the PRC to think that it’s partly the result of a dangerous political game played by the CCP, partly some real grievances (it is not easy to be criticized all the time) and partly due to a lack of self-confidence.

    To the Chinese Americans, the situation is a little bit different for me. I love my country by myself, but I also try to appreciate the countries of the others. I won’t hate Wukailong because his ancestors raided and invaded my ancestors 700 years ago. If I do so, I virtually hate everybody on Earth.
    I understand somehow your contradictory feelings, the fact that you are attached to the land of your ancestors. That’s very normal (notice the strong connection of the Quebec people with France … 300 years after!).
    However, you may not have necessarily such a strong connection with China (even pointed out by some Chinese posters, like Youzi) and: there is the China that is, there is the China that you would like her to be, and there is the mythical China that does not exist. If you think in the mythical China and always compare it to the real America, they is nothing to be discussed and you don’t have any country.
    And don’t forget also that you ARE a part of America. Criticizing America, you criticize yourself.

  328. bt
    November 23rd, 2008 at 04:14 | #328

    @ Monk

    “Besides, Japanese saved the Jews from the Nazis. Hah! That is a new one! Who would be so naive to believe that! What the laugh! Hemulen has just lost his creditability on my account as a source of credible information. I thought you were a “skeptical” Jew, Jerry.”

    Sorry to say so, but it’s true. They refused to kill the Shanghai Jews, as the Nazis asked them to do so … Is that a calculation, is that out of humanity, is that the results of some isolated good people? I am not good enough at History to give you the answer.
    Don’t let you hate of Imperial Japan blind you (btw, have you been there? and are you sure that the story that has been told to you is really the real one?).
    In the future, I hope you Chinese can solve your problems with the Japanese in the ‘Asian way’.
    BTW, one of my best friend is Japanese, and he is really a super nice guy.

  329. Wukailong
    November 23rd, 2008 at 05:47 | #329

    @bt: “I won’t hate Wukailong because his ancestors raided and invaded my ancestors 700 years ago. If I do so, I virtually hate everybody on Earth.”

    😀

    @Jerry (#326): “WKL and bt, I noticed that WW in #324 implores us to forget Michael. In just a short number of posts, Michael has proteanly transformed from satirist to satirical archangel to dogmatic ideologue to bête noire to the head of PsyOps for the DL. Wow! That must be tiring. ”

    🙂 In a sense it’s sad that people resort to trolling to make other people’s viewpoints look silly rather than engaging them directly, but I don’t think Michael will stay too long. His ideas are actually endorsed by some fenqing, but he made some mistakes that I don’t think real Chinese nationalists would do:

    1 billion Chinese -> should be 1.3 billion Chinese
    Chinese property -> should be Chinese territory
    China is big, strong and has a good economy -> most nationalists hold the view that China is too weak and the government doesn’t take a resolute stand against the US and Japan.
    Ah, but I don’t care what the west think -> The West shouldn’t criticize us because of what they do, and it’s very annoying
    The riots in Lhasa were spontaneous at best -> The riots were instigated by the Dalai clique
    Cia gave up on tibet long long time ago -> CIA is still sponsoring the government in exile through covert means

    Actually, I think the reason he writes “Cia” is to look as if it was a mistake. The normal state of affairs is to use too many capitalizations, not too few.

    Now I’ll agree with WW and stop discussing Michael. 😉

  330. wuming
    November 23rd, 2008 at 07:25 | #330

    @bt

    To the Chinese citizens, I don’t like to say this, cos’ it’s agressive, but I will. One time.
    I am not even American, and I am tired of listening rants all day long about the duplicity of USA, blablabla.

    We rant on a country that we know a little about and a country set itself apart as the shining path that every country should follow. If we were up to date on, say, Belgian, we will have two countries that are included in our list, maybe even forego the “shining path” criteria.

    Even if it was true (and it is not, and anyway USA is not the Salvation Army, they take care on their own interests, sometimes a little bit shamelessly, like every country is the world),

    Would this “every country” include China? If China, in your opinion, behaves only “sometimes a little bit shamelessly”, would you be in this discussion at all? Would we? Maybe you think that we are all just interested in Indy music and wondered onto a political discussion accidentally

    I may ask a question: what the f**k are you doing here if it is so bad? Take a plane and go to a place that fits you much better!! Some of you guys do whatever they can to escape the country, and most of you won’t come back … is that not a little bit unfair to be so harsh with a country that welcomes you and offers you a descent life?

    Now this one hurts. Some of us already did as you advised; many others wish that it were that easy; most of us follow our very narrow economic interest, would endure much for the sakes of our families; and still some of us genuinely think it is the shining path. Within all of us, there is a bit of fenqing and a bit of Wei Jing-sheng (these two bits are often the same bit, just not recognized as such by the host body) but the dominant bit require us to be responsible and not let our political whims drive our families’ futures.

  331. Wukailong
    November 23rd, 2008 at 07:42 | #331

    @Wuming: “We rant on a country that we know a little about and a country set itself apart as the shining path that every country should follow. If we were up to date on, say, Belgian, we will have two countries that are included in our list, maybe even forego the “shining path” criteria.”

    I understand that, but this seems to presuppose that the person you’re arguing with truly believes that the US is a shining beacon and China is the opposite. If not, you might just have run into a person who has viewpoints about the questions because they know about them, rather than being the typical Western demonstrator.

    I remember a description about discussions: if you have a certain viewpoint, many people assume that you ascribe to a whole set of beliefs that they then begin to attack. In this case it would be that if you are against the CCP on certain questions, then you must think that the US is great in every respect. Clearly, that’s not the case.

    This is offtopic, but anyway: I remember what you wrote about the clean air in Beijing. Today it looks so-so, but it’s still better these days than it used to be. I remember taking long strolls in the afternoon this summer and fall just because the air was so clean and the sky was a perfect blue. I have to admit I didn’t believe that would happen anytime soon. 😉

  332. Jerry
    November 23rd, 2008 at 09:01 | #332

    @bt #327, 328
    @WKL #329

    I fully understand the anger of the Chinese people if the media outside are not balanced enough. In 2003, we French received a full load of hate/slanders from American newspapers … however, I never lost my faith in this great country that is always able to correct its mistakes.

    I opposed the war from before the start of the Iraq war. (hint to Chinese: I am not held captive or prisoner by my country. I am free to have my own viewpoint and criticize my country when I see fit.) I remember Shrub’s rant, “You’re either for us or agin’ us”. I remember him directing his diatribes at the French government. The French have been staunch allies of the US since the Revolutionary War. The French helped fund the Revolutionary War. Shrub was a joke and is still a joke today, just a deadly joke. I remember people changing the name of French fries to “freedom fries”. What a joke. They are pommes frites or pommes de terre frites.

    So, bt, who invented pommes frites, les Francais, les Belgiques ou les Espagnols?

    bt, I like your response to Monk in #328. His rhetorical leaps are pretty amazing and outrageous. If somebody commits an act of kindness, no matter what the motivation, whether or not it is serendipitous, and whether or not they have committed many vile acts, their act of kindness is still an act of kindness. If the Japanese, for whatever reason, spared the lives of some of my people, I am grateful. If some Chinese did the same, I am grateful.

    Do I support the vile acts of Japan, Germany and Italy during WW II. Of course not. Do I support the vile acts committed by Mao during the CR and GLF? Hell no. Do I support the vile acts of Jiang Jieshi in Taiwan? No way. Do I support the vile acts of Joe Stalin? In no manner whatsoever. Do I support the vile acts committed by Shrub and his administration? Absolutely not.

    Monk’s breathtaking, unbelievable, athletic leaps to various conclusions lead me to ponder whether or not we should add “athletic leaps to conclusions” as an event in the next Olympics. 😀 LOL

    There is so much blame to go around. We can point fingers forever. Or we can make the world a better place. Like Einstein said, “The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved at the same level of thinking that created them.”

    —————-

    #329

    WKL, I was just having some fun there. I have no idea who he is, his nationality or where he lives. And I really don’t care. Thanks for the info on Chinese nationalists.

  333. Hongkonger
    November 23rd, 2008 at 10:16 | #333

    #328
    @bt…”Sorry to say so, but it’s true. They refused to kill the Shanghai Jews, as the Nazis asked them to do so ”

    I remember my mother mentioned a couple times that the Japanese were pretty good to them during their occupation of HK. She was only 10 or so living with my grandparents who ran a Traditional Chinese Medicine shop.

    #331
    @WKL: Glad to hear that the air is a lot cleaner in Beijing these days. We’ve had some beautiful Autumn days in HK – more so in the past than these days, though 🙁 It’s actually quite bad today. Has anyone seen the movie: ‘The Happening’ ? (Mark Wahlberg)
    *Finally, one day, the plants developed a deadly self-defence machanism against its endless abuser – Human beings….Instead of releasing oxygen, they spread neuro-toxins which cause human to go into suicidal modes…

    #332

    Like Einstein said, “The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved at the same level of thinking that created them.” Agree entirely, Jerry. Unfortunately, these words of Einstein’s are even more true…“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the the universe.”

  334. Michael
    November 23rd, 2008 at 10:52 | #334

    Where is the lovely evidence that DL was behind lhasa riots…

    I always find it so amusing that bananas always pretend to be armchair patriots at best. What have you done for China lately?

  335. Jerry
    November 23rd, 2008 at 11:40 | #335

    @Hongkonger #333

    “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the the universe.”

    Never heard that one, HKer. Wouldn’t you know it? Al was a stand-up comedian at heart. I would have loved to hear his schtick on Teller and Oppenheimer.

    He and Richard Feynman could have formed a comedy duo. Feynman was a very funny guy. A few Feynman quotes:

    “On the infrequent occasions when I have been called upon in a formal place to play the bongo drums, the introducer never seems to find it necessary to mention that I also do theoretical physics.”

    “If I could explain it to the average person, I wouldn’t have been worth the Nobel Prize.”

    “God was invented to explain mystery. God is always invented to explain those things that you do not understand.”

    “Some people say, “How can you live without knowing?” I do not know what they mean. I always live without knowing. That is easy. How you get to know is what I want to know.”

    “Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.”

    “Physics is like sex. Sure, it may give some practical results, but that’s not why we do it.”

    “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool.”

    “I’m smart enough to know that I’m dumb.”

    😀

  336. bt
    November 23rd, 2008 at 15:39 | #336

    @ wuming

    Thanks a lot for your reply. I truly appreciate the feedback.

    Once again, I somehow understand your anger. But this is not the solution.
    I think the Chinese people are somewhat buying too much the American ‘foundation myth’… the sooner you understand that this is just a normal country with its good and bad aspects, the sooner you can look at it in a peaceful way. Personally, I don’t buy their ‘shining path’ way … that doesn’t ban me to appreciate them very much. BTW, USA has offered a shelter to so many helpless people in the past that they should at least be credited for that.
    I often complain to some Chinese friends about their simplistic view of the ‘Westerners’ (what is a ‘Westerner’ by the way?). We are a also a complicated bunch of guys, just like the Chinese. If you want to understand USA, you have to start reading the Greek philosophers … that’s a long work.

    “Would this “every country” include China? If China, in your opinion, behaves only “sometimes a little bit shamelessly”, would you be in this discussion at all? Would we? Maybe you think that we are all just interested in Indy music and wondered onto a political discussion accidentally”

    Regarding China, I would like to clarify my personal opinion (just my personal opinion) … I don’t consider the CCP as a patriotic group. For me, they are betraying China with their shameless attitude. This said, until now I don’t see a real alternative (and they do all what they can to obliterate any possible alternative).
    Anyway, they are a part of nowadays China, whether I like them or not. I try to make a clear distinction in my mind about the people, the people created by a political system, and the political system by itself.
    I love the HK, TW and Bay Area folks for the way they preserved the Chinese culture.

    @ Wukailong

    I am drinking your sayings. Very insightful for me.

    @ Jerry

    This Irak stuff is a big misunderstanding … well, Chirac hasn’t been such a great president, but he should at least be credited for his deep knowledge or Arabic and Asian cultures.
    Listen to your old friends sometimes 🙂
    For the fried potatoes, we say in France that it is from Belgium. I don’t know the truth about it … let’s say it was born somewhere between Paris and Brussels 🙂

  337. pug_ster
    November 23rd, 2008 at 15:59 | #337

    @bt 327

    Most Americans, Chinese, Chinese Americans, etc… are not influenced to live in their respective countries not by the countries’ political decisions, but by their economic opportunities.

  338. Wukailong
    November 23rd, 2008 at 16:19 | #338

    @pug_ster: “Most Americans, Chinese, Chinese Americans, etc… are not influenced to live in their respective countries not by the countries’ political decisions, but by their economic opportunities.”

    Indeed, though I hope people don’t feel too unhappy in their adopted countries. In the future, I hope we can see more people moving around (you already see more foreigners in China these days). It’s nice to have a more mixed world. 😉

  339. bt
    November 23rd, 2008 at 16:35 | #339

    @ pug_ster

    Why not … I don’t know the real feelings of every Chinese moving to another country.

    Anyway, do you think it gives you the right to treat your various host countries like that?
    Is that so difficult to think about the perspective and POVs of your host country and to try to respect it?

  340. TonyP4
    November 23rd, 2008 at 16:36 | #340

    I’ve to agree that economic opportunities is the primary reason for migration for most. Who wants to leave their friends and relatives and places/cultures they’re used to?

    On the same subject, who wants to stay in the highest mountain of Tibet for such harsh living conditions? Not the Hans if there is no incentive.

    We should respect the laws/cultures of the host countries and be good citizen. They take us because we have something to offer like money from Hong Kong before the takeover or other rich countries, special skills/brains, taking low-salaried or hard jobs (the local here prefer to collect welfare than to work)…

    Most Chinese students stay in US when they’re allowed to. A lot of Chinese illegal aliens risk their lives to come to US by staying in a container. When they survive the trip, they still have to repay the snake head, make little on tough jobs, and are at risk to be sent back.

  341. bt
    November 23rd, 2008 at 17:10 | #341

    @Tony

    Tony, if you want to respect the culture of the country where you live, maybe the first step is not to imply that they are lazy and live only of welfare.

  342. TonyP4
    November 23rd, 2008 at 18:56 | #342

    bt,

    Did I say ‘local are lazy’. U’re putting words in my month. 🙂

    What I said: ‘taking low-salaried or hard jobs (the local here prefer to collect welfare than to work)…’

    Your accusation: ‘they are lazy and live only of welfare.’.

    It is completely different from what you accused me of. 🙂 It is what you imply, not I imply.

    Actually I stay here in US far longer than in Hong Kong, so I do not consider myself FOB. The welfare system is so good that a lot of poor have no incentive to work. I feel sorry for them and the US. Most if not all clean up offices after hours are from foreign countries. I bet most of them do not speak English and are not legal residents. You cannot say they take jobs from the local folks as the local folks do not want to work and lose the benefits.

    When you stay in a country long enough and understand what’s going on, your opinions may change and/or you’re more realistic.

  343. bt
    November 23rd, 2008 at 20:04 | #343

    @ Tony

    Ah Tony, you trapped me 🙂 mine of this one.
    For my defense, I would say that I saw you looking down upon Indians and ‘Western’ people on various occasions. Even the mayor of London 🙂 (I know he is kind of funny, but still).
    I heard also many Chinese saying that Latinos and Blacks were lazy.

    My question is: so what? It’s really subjective you know, the judgment you may have on people.
    You can say I am on a ‘high horse’, but still: Why not get along?
    USA is not such a hell populated with monsters … it’s a vicious circle you know, if you don’t like the people they will give it back to you 🙂 And bitterness burns from inside.
    I mean, you Chinese move away from China, for various reasons (like purely economical reasons, or because they are tired of ‘misunderstandings’, sometimes both maybe, sometimes for other reasons …) … OK, well, but why not being a little bit tolerant? Are you so ill-treated in your adoption countries?
    I mean, it’s crazy, you kind of push me to defend a country which is not even my country 🙂
    And if you have the feeling that the ‘media’ are not fair enough … well, say it, nobody will kill you for that.
    This is what the creators of this blog are doing, and they are doing it quite well IMO.

    “The welfare system is so good that a lot of poor have no incentive to work. I feel sorry for them and the US. Most if not all clean up offices after hours are from foreign countries. I bet most of them do not speak English and are not legal residents. You cannot say they take jobs from the local folks as the local folks do not want to work and lose the benefits.”
    Sorry to say, but this is how the immigration countries work … one day, if they work hard, one of these people might become president :). BTW, if you think that USA is too social, never ever come to Europe 🙂

    Anyway, I try to respect to other people, and I appreciate the respect back … please don’t turn it in a face game.

    BR.

    ps: what is a FOB?

  344. shane9219
    November 23rd, 2008 at 23:24 | #344

    I am not so surprised that DL and Tibetan-in-exile community announced their intention to stick with “The Middle Way” approach. DL further warned his supportors about the need to be more cautious on future strategies. DL is certain right on this, if his past history is any indication.

    1) In 60s, he fought a bloody war with help from CIA. That undersmined the crediblity of this later peaceful approach.

    2) In 90s, he dropped off then on-going talks with Chinese Central Government after the fall of Soviet Union, citing he had no intention to talk with a failing reign. That undersmined his accussation on Chinese Government’s intention of waiting him to die. DL certainly has yet to learn a lesson on this. His recently remarks indicated his hope on Chinese people. DL needs to realize that any government in China has to act on the collective mandate from its people, which is to protect its own terrirtorial integrity.

    3) In 2008 Olympics, those coordinated events around the world with the unrest in Tibet failed to produce any positive result. The mis-information about killing of hundreds and thousands of Tibetan undersmined initial innocent goodwills from people outside China.

    So where DL and his exile government can go from here. Let’s share some thoughts together,

    1. Tibetan-in-exile has a small population with an oversized, influential spiritual leader. Tibetan-in-exile government has no standing in the world, and does not control a single piece of land. No legitimate government in the world would be willing to enter a talk with such entity on an equal footing. DL needs to act on the best interest of Tibetan people, and enter a private talk with Chinese Government with the aim to return to Tibet without carrying any political title. Tibetan-in-exile government can then be converted into Tibetan Refugee Council and conducts its own talk with Chinese Government with the aim to repatriate Tibetan-in-exile if they choose so.

    2. DL needs to formally declare China’s historical sovereignty over Tibet, and promise not to take any action in the future to undermine such sovereignty,

    3. DL can start a consultation process with Chinese Government on his proposal of establishing a central entity to coordinate Tibetan affair. Chinese Government has not yet completely rejected this initiative, only saying it is a matter of law and a consultation process with Chinese people is necessary.

  345. TonyP4
    November 23rd, 2008 at 23:39 | #345

    bt, you’re guilty as charged. Will ask your spouse to send you washing dishes for 10 years. :). You cannot prove this guy is guilty because he ‘looks’ like guilty last year or some where else.

    No hard feeling and you do not have to wash dishes tonight. 🙂 . I never look down on people but sometimes I make fun of them as they do same to me. I think you have this bitterness inside yourself. Just loosen up. One Asian Indian happens to be my best friend.

    FOB is fresh off boat and it is not SOB.

    The whole world makes fun of the major of London, why I’ve to be singled out? In addition, I cannot look down at him as he is too fat and too tall.

    Funny logic. ‘Some Chinese thinks black are lazy’. Since you’re Chinese, then you think “black are lazy”. It could be correct in our illogical world. 🙂

  346. bt
    November 24th, 2008 at 00:13 | #346

    @ Tony

    “Funny logic. ‘Some Chinese thinks black are lazy’. Since you’re Chinese, then you think “black are lazy”. It could be correct in our illogical world. :)”
    Would you please stop twisting my words? I never said ‘all’, I said ‘I heard some’.

    Ok, whatever, this: “whatever they advocate, we must oppose. whatever they oppose, we must advocate.” attitude leads nowhere. I let the readers decide by themselves.

  347. Otto Kerner
    November 24th, 2008 at 01:04 | #347

    shane9219,

    1) When has the Dalai Lama ever said that he wants to return with a political title? People seem to have the idea that the Dalai Lama is demanding to be crowned king of Tibet again, but I don’t think that’s based in fact. He did make a proposal which involved him appointing someone else from a list of nominees to be interim head of government while elections are organised. I have no reason to think this is a sticking point, so there would probably be no problem with him agreeing to a different arrangement.

    Also, are “negotiate as equals” or “negotiate for return as an individual” the only options? I don’t think anyone thinks that the Dalai Lama can negotiate as the equal of a powerful sovereign state. At the same time, he wants to talk about political changes in Tibet, so negotiating his personal return has nothing to do with that.

    2) If there’s a deal, the Dalai Lama should definitely promise not to undermine China’s sovereignty over Tibet in the future. Why should history have anything to do with it? He’s not a historian.

    3) Personally, I think the Dalai Lama should de-emphasise this part of his program (uniting all the Tibetan areas under one administration), because it would be more impractical for the CCP to implement it. If you think they are willing to consider, that’s great. I agree with you that he should agree to delay talks about it until a later date.

  348. WW
    November 24th, 2008 at 01:07 | #348

    @ bt,

    I think you and I must be on different frequencies and wave-lengths. I have no idea whatsoever as to what points that you are trying to make… Probably you have had issues with some other people that have nothing to do with me?

  349. Otto Kerner
    November 24th, 2008 at 01:12 | #349

    @pug_ster #269,

    I assume the current Chairman of the TAR region, Qiangba Puncog, is Han Chinese?

    If you know anything about the PRC political system, you are aware that the “chairman of the government” usually is approximately the 3rd ranking official. He or she is outranked by the party secretary and vice-secretary. It’s true that the 3rd ranking official in the TAR must, by law, be an ethnic Tibetan. However, the top-ranking official, the party secretary, has always been a Han.

    Actually, I think this is a very remarkable fact. I don’t think that Beijing wants to have Hans perpetually in charge of the TAR. I think they would prefer, all else equal, to be able to say, “Look, the party secretary is a Tibetan!” From this, I can only conclude that they have not yet been able to find a single Tibetan CCP member who they are entirely comfortable putting in the top job in the TAR.

  350. Hongkonger
    November 24th, 2008 at 01:13 | #350

    The welfare system is so good that a lot of poor have no incentive to work.

    @Tony,

    This is something I’ve heard all my life regarding the welfare system in the UK (And according to bt, this is true in the EU.) When I was staying with a German graduate student in Frankfurt in 1988, I learned from him the wounderful benefits of remaining in college. Don’t you guys have to pay through your noses for college tuition in USA? According to my said German friend, he actually gets allowances for being a student there. I gotta say, I had the best breakfast in Germany as his guest 🙂

    @bt,

    this: “whatever they advocate, we must oppose. whatever they oppose, we must advocate.” attitude leads nowhere.”

    What you say is true. Likewise in HK, there is a saying, “逢中必反” (Opposes Anything by CCP). Such antagonistic attitude indeed leads nowhere.

  351. shane9219
    November 24th, 2008 at 01:16 | #351

    @Otto Kerner #347

    I was meant to say DL should enter future talks as a pure spiritual leader, not as the head of Tibetan-in-exile government.

  352. bt
    November 24th, 2008 at 01:24 | #352

    @ WW

    Yes, you are true … it was more an ‘@ all’ reply.
    I am not crazy, don’t worry 🙂

    To reply more specifically to your post:
    Of course if someone threaten your life you must protect yourself and your family, sure.
    That is the time for the 兵来将挡,水来土掩.
    However, why not tring to reflect about the underlying causes when the peace is back?
    There is a time to bring peace back, and there is a time to think about the underlying causes …
    My point is that these riots/events/incidents are the expression of a much deeper problem.
    Cracking down is just treating the effect, not the disease.

    This is true is every country of the world.

  353. Hongkonger
    November 24th, 2008 at 01:28 | #353

    @Jerry,

    Thanks for the few Richard Feynman’s quotes. He is right about everything there.

    “I am become death, destroyer of the worlds….There are children playing in the streets who could solve some of my top problems in physics, because they have modes of sensory perception that I lost long ago….No man should escape our universities without knowing how little he knows. ” Oppenheimer

  354. Steve
    November 24th, 2008 at 01:34 | #354

    @shane9219 and Otto Kerner: I’ve really enjoyed reading your ‘back and forth’. Both of you have made some great points and the discussion has been very civilized. I’d like to see both of you highlighted. For me, this is exactly what makes FM so enjoyable.

    @TonyP4: Thanks for the explanation of FOB. bt beat me to the question because I thought exactly the same thing. The only time I’ve ever heard FOB is Free on Board, a shipping term. We ought to get up a list of Asian acronyms for the fun of it. Last night at a party, I referred to my wife as MIT (Made in Taiwan) and had to explain what it meant. I thought everyone knew that. 😛

  355. Steve
    November 24th, 2008 at 01:43 | #355

    @Jerry & Hongkonger: Richard Feynman was great at imitating foreign languages where he sounded like he was speaking it though he was speaking gibberish. He was at a party and some of the people there asked him to do his fake Chinese on a woman from China who was also attending. So he went over and launched into his spiel. She gave him a strange look; then said, “I’m sorry, I only speak Mandarin. I don’t understand Cantonese”. 🙂

    He was also fascinated with Tuva throat singing and his lifelong dream was to go there. He had a trip planned but he died before he could go.

    My mom’s cousin (and family genius) got his PhD in nuclear physics from Cal Tech many years ago. I asked him if he ever took any of Richard Feynman’s classes and he said that Dr. Feynman was his favourite teacher of all time. His students loved him!

    If you get the chance, read his books. They are hilarious!

  356. wuming
    November 24th, 2008 at 02:12 | #356

    @Steve

    If you get the chance, read his books. They are hilarious!

    You mean “The Feynman Lectures on Physics”? I don’t think it is that funny. 🙂

  357. Jerry
    November 24th, 2008 at 02:17 | #357

    @Steve #355

    “If you get the chance, read his books. They are hilarious!” I have. You are right. He is hilarious. That is why I think he would have been a great stand-up comedian. What is it about Jews, comedy, wit and science? (this is merely rhetorical) ::LMAO:: “It’s good to be king!” ::ROFL:: 😀

    Finding Feynman was a big revelation in my life. A brilliant scientist who does not take himself very seriously. A brilliant scientist with a sense of humor. He is one of the most memorable people in my life. He is one of my heroes. Scientists tend to be a boring lot. Life should also be fun. MS had a few guys who were fun to be with, very few. Most of them just don’t connect. I was just so out of place there. Oh well.

    My mom’s cousin (and family genius) got his PhD in nuclear physics from Cal Tech many years ago. I asked him if he ever took any of Richard Feynman’s classes and he said that Dr. Feynman was his favourite teacher of all time. His students loved him!

    I have heard that before. My favorite teachers always had a great sense of humor.

    Well, I always thought that MIT was on the Charles River in Cambridge, where Chomsky works. 😀 Also known as Masochistic Institute Of Technology. ::LOL::

    And my daughter did her undergrad at USC in LA. University for Spoiled Children. And poorer parents. 😀

  358. TonyP4
    November 24th, 2008 at 02:23 | #358

    HKer,

    I got food stamps only. Since I worked in a Chinese restaurant with all the free food as part of the slavery wages and Big Mac was my other meal, I re-gifted to anyone who wanted them. In US, when you die, you get a small sum like $600 for burial service. Some countries like Japan, you get a lot of money when you marry and have babies (in any order).

    A lot of teenagers in the lower class give birth to a baby every year for more social welfare benefits as a single parent. Some time three generations all have babies at that young age. A sad but true fact.

    Life is no free lunch for me. I like to give than receive. However, I prefer my hard-earned money is used to motivate them to work hard so their next generation has a better life.

  359. Hongkonger
    November 24th, 2008 at 02:28 | #359

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiGYynxK49o

    I can see why people (students) loved Richard Feynman.

    Here’s a nice little clip with so much profoundity

    – A wonderful father he had
    – A great Father & Son relationship
    – Knowing the names of things don’t mean one knows anything…
    – Inertia or something else?
    – He said it was Chinese, must be a smart Chinese dialect, cause I could not understand a word he said..Haha
    – A Brilliant man, indeed

  360. James
    November 24th, 2008 at 02:39 | #360

    Personally as a Westerner I think it is about time we stop meddling in the political affairs of other nations just as we don’t expect meddling in our own political affairs. So as far as China is concerned, I believe they should be free to make their own decisions with regards to Tibet and Taiwan. The new world order is likely to be one of self responsibility. The consequences of a bad decision will be enough to deter extreme behavoir.

    That said there are currently aspects of China that, if left unchecked, will ultimately lead to conflict with the Westerner world. Ironically many of these problems were ultimately caused by foreign business which set up to exploit the Chinese environment to cut regulatory and labour costs. Unfortunately, the problem seems to be out of control with the Chinese government little willing to enforce environmental or safety standards that could damage economic growth. This is a problem that affects the whole world be it through global warming or introduction of toxical chemicals into the ocean and our food supply. Without environmental collaboration with China (and yes India too) say goodbye to the environment as we know it.

    Secondly we have the issue of intellectual property theft which ultimately will discourage foreign firms from doing business in China. Microsoft has admitted China is no longer important to its business for this very reason (not a good sign for a fast growing market). You have a situation where criminals in some cases (supposedly) sponsored by the low level government are out to steal industrial and technical secrets from successful foreign firms. This coupled with a Chinese monetary policy and a domestic environment restrictive to foreign imports will ultimately lead to protectionist tendecies in countries which do business with her.

    Finally, perhaps most worisome of all is demographics, in many ways China is a demographic time bomb but it is the younger generation that has me worried. I work in the IT industry and many of the cyber attacks we see are coming from a younger generation of, I guess you could say, ‘chinese middle class spoiled brat script kiddies’. Largely young men who’s parents are Chinese middle class and who have never faced a hardship in their lives and as such they are left with too much time on their hands and highly susceptible to propoganda and nationalist feelings; some waste their time gaming, others download hacking software and engage in criminal activities. It may be a joke now with these people defacing web sites critical of China or attempting hacks on governments and businesses considered unfriendly to China but, unfortunately, these people will give a bad name to China and are likely in the position that they will become the future of the Chinese government and that’s a scary thought. I’m not ranting about how the Chinese government are the bad guys or anything; I have a Chinese friend who’s back in Anshan, China now and both his parents were part of the local CPP. We have cultural differences and they are very patriotic Chinese but they are also very genuine people and very understanding. But ultimately their generation is set to lose influence over the next 10 – 20 years and I cringe to think of these nationalist script kiddies taking their place.

    Ultimately these problems will have far more serious consequences on future stability than the situation in Tibet. As the world economy gets worse these problems are likely to be magnified and that’s not to say the West has clean hands either. Governments out here have pursued and encouraged a policy of borrow and spend for far to long while spending far too much time focusing on small scale political conflicts. As a result we are the most wasteful society on the planet. Hopefully the future will see collaboration between the West and China (concessions will be required from both sides) to reverse these trends but if we don’t see action soon we may dream of the day that our biggest argument was over the degree of autonomy Tibetans were able to exert over Tibet.

  361. bt
    November 24th, 2008 at 03:01 | #361

    @ james

    James, a very insightful post for me.
    I agree with most of what you said … however, not all Chinese youngsters are ‘spoiled’, most of them work really really hard.
    There is indeed a risk of collision … China, India, Brazil, Russia … this is a ‘rise of the rest’ situation anyway.
    We are already consuming too much resources … how to deal with that?

  362. James
    November 24th, 2008 at 03:26 | #362

    Sorry bt, I don’t mean to paint all Chinese youth as delinquents, many of my Chinese friends here are hard working and law abiding. But working in the IT industry and dealing and often dealing with security matters I have noticed the large majority of attacks recently have originated from China. True, every country has a problem with rebellious youth be it on or offline, but the shear scale of attacks originating from China is a very disturbing sign. Hacking software is readily available, Chinese IP standards are very weak, and government is either unable or unwilling to deal with the problem is making it easy for these people to get away with it. And the fact that these people are have enough time to learn how to use these program and target web sites either indicates they are receiving external support or have way too much time on their hands.

    As for consuming resources it may be appropriate that the world is about to go into a period of recession since the only real way of controlling consumption is controlling peoples behavior. Government likely needs to pay a role in promoting industries that reduce consumption, restricting harmful products, and better educating the population with regards to conservation. Ultimately peoples won’t want to give up a lifestyle but if environmentally friendly alternatives are provided (ie energy saving light bulbs, low emission cars..) then I believe most people will be willing to adopt. It’s going to be a long tedious process and it’s going to cost billions of dollars perhaps result in short term economic damage but in the long term we will all be better off. My province has actively engaged in a conservation and clean energy campaign, but it needs to move to a global scale to make a difference.

  363. Otto Kerner
    November 24th, 2008 at 03:28 | #363

    Shane,

    I think that what the Dalai Lama wants is for there be talks about Tibet’s political future between the Chinese government and somebody. I don’t think that him entering future talks as a pure spiritual leader would be conducive to that, since the nature of the talks he wants to have is fundamentally political, not spiritual.

  364. Jerry
    November 24th, 2008 at 03:33 | #364

    @bt #336, 352
    @James #360

    Yes, bt, Bush should have listened to Chirac and Schroeder. But his Neocons are all members of Project for the New American Century. That cabal wanted war with Iraq. Just needed to invent some euphemisms and spin, and war was a lock. 911, what a marvelous springboard. Put the people in shock, condemn French fries, et voila, c’est la guerre contre Iraq. La guerre dure jusqu’à present et durera toujours. Quel dommage!

    BTW, while I was riding inside yesterday on my Lemond Revmaster, I was watching the 2006 TDF. I was watching Landis riding up to Col du Joux Plane. Vive le Tour toujours!

    —————-

    #352

    Yes, you are true … it was more an ‘@ all’ reply.
    I am not crazy, don’t worry
    To reply more specifically to your post:
    Of course if someone threaten your life you must protect yourself and your family, sure.
    That is the time for the 兵来将挡,水来土掩.
    However, why not tring to reflect about the underlying causes when the peace is back?
    There is a time to bring peace back, and there is a time to think about the underlying causes …
    My point is that these riots/events/incidents are the expression of a much deeper problem.
    Cracking down is just treating the effect, not the disease.

    This is true is every country of the world.

    Mais oui, monsieur bt. Certainement. 😀 The riots/events/incidents are most certainly evidence of deeper issues. So are the hard-nosed attitudes here and elsewhere. Possibly symptomatic of feelings of insecurity and fear? Peut- être. Hmmm… 🙂

    I would say that “cracking down” is iatrogenic and will lead to even more problems. Like most shortcuts. Allopathic remedies are at best only temporary measures.

    —————-

    #360

    Personally as a Westerner I think it is about time we stop meddling in the political affairs of other nations just as we don’t expect meddling in our own political affairs.

    James, I am Jewish. How the hell do I stop meddling? Next, are you going to ask us to stop breathing? 😀 ::LMAO:: Oy vey. Oy gevalt. I speak my opinions as I see fit. 😀

  365. TonyP4
    November 24th, 2008 at 03:44 | #365

    James, well said. Just add my thoughts.

    * Tibet and Taiwan are China’s problems. Without outside intervention, it is localized. Otherwise, we have world conflicts like the Middle East.

    * China is similar to Japan years ago. All need to start with low-quality consumer products to make a buck. I blame them not proactive as they should have learned too many lessons. The big difference is the scale of China.

    * Did new computer PCs from major PC companies in China already have a legal copy of Windows installed already? Or, you’re referring to other Microsoft’s products besides the operating system?

    * We should build software/hardware to protect the web. It could be Chinese kids today, Filipino, or any smart kids with a PC. Defense is better than offense – like protecting the border from the terrorists than bombing Iraq.

    * There should be some standard of sharing the world resources. When you have 20% of the world population, you should use 20% of the oil for example. It is over-simplified for sure.

    * Chinese kids in general work harder than American kids from my limited contact. The problem of US is the huge resource (natural, oil, and farm land) per capita and the success of the last 100 years. We become over-confident and the society becomes permissive and bailout happy (money can fix everything and it did before).

    * Even I could lose more in my stock values, I like to let the bad business die without bailout. Yesterday is bank, today is auto, and what is next. We need to bite the bullet. Many hard-working folks depend on their hard work and there is no government to bail them out when they screw up.

    The reputation and the preaching of US financial institutions will suffer and it is many times worse than China’s toy and food problems. Who wants to buy the US financial product that looks like a CD but loses most of the value? Talk to the Hong Kong folks.

  366. Otto Kerner
    November 24th, 2008 at 04:42 | #366

    I don’t feel very comfortable with the proposal that we Westerners “stop meddling in the political affairs of other nations just as we don’t expect meddling in our own political affairs”. If one person is hurting another person, it is inhuman to just ignore it. I wish other countries would pay more attention to, for example, the Basque national issue. The Chinese government issued a report on human rights in the U.S. a while back and, although I did not agree with all of it, I certainly didn’t feel it did me any harm, because it was just words. Likewise, no amount of talking about Tibet or being concerned about it is going to harm Chinese people.

    On the other hand, if, by “meddling” you mean the U.S. government actually taking forceful action against Chinese interests in Tibet, well, get ready to celebrate, because we already did stop doing that … it was back in the 1970s, after Nixon went to China (and they had largely stopped doing anything for a while before that, because it had become impractical and fruitless). So, there hasn’t really been any active intervention since the height of the Cold War.

  367. James
    November 24th, 2008 at 05:00 | #367

    Thanks Tony,

    As for Microsoft, they’ve basically admitted that attempts at breaking into the Chinese market have failed and in the current environment they don’t consider it important for their business. For strategic purposes they’ve given up trying to protect their intellectual property in China since they figured it would be better if the Chinese used a Microsoft product legal or not than fighting it and seeing the Chinese switch to linux. With regards to PC packaging, I believe only about 40% of PCs sold in China have an operating system installed; so it is getting better with regards to operating system but still problematic. However, Microsoft is just one of many IT firms who is affected by this problem. I’ve heard many stories of companies who have lost technical designs and documentation while travelling to China on business and later seeing their innovations end up on some mass production line in Guangzhou. Corporate espionage is a big problem problem globally but it is at its worst in China where the legally system is completely ineffective at persecuting those involved. I wonder what the reaction would be if Chinese innovation were being exploited in another country.

    Yes, PC security is a major multi-dimensional problem these days. However, it can’t be approached from any single angle. It must be attacked from all sides. One of the biggest problems we have these days is that many attacks go completely unreported. There is an environment of fear right now, where businesses will put up with loses due to cyber attacks for fear of losing consumer confidence. This situation means attackers get away with their behavoir more often than not. True, on the development side of things we should be working hard to build security into our design. But as an experienced programmer I know that true security can never be achieved in this day and age. We’re dealing with tens of millions of developers with a large range of skill sets and levels of security awareness working on a various range of products. It’s inevitable that a product will make it to the market with huge security vulnerabilities. I try my best to secure my software but I know personally, when you’re dealing with a tight deadline product security suffers. Every IT firm is in the same situation, no one has time to relax and few have time to seriously test security considerations. So yes we also need governments with legislation and infrastructure to target the problem at its source and identify malicious users.

    As for which society has the hardest working youths, I won’t really go into that; every society has hard workers and slackers it has more to do with your parents than your nationality. I’m sorry if I gave the impression that Chinese youths are slackers; I was just pointing to the maybe 1-5%? of the population who have the money and time to get away with malicious activities in the IT sector which in China is an unfortunately large number.

    I completely agree financial institutions should be allowed to fail. People will lose things that they never should have been able to afford in the first place and maybe the next generation of institutions would be more careful to hand out loans to everyone who came begging. On the flip side there are strategic industries like energy and auto makers that I do believe government needs to play a role in. Why the auto makers? Well it shouldn’t come as a bailout but a complete restructing to produce alternatively fueled or no emission vehicles. It is a strategic issue that we can’t rely on industry to find a solution on its own anymore. This will require large and fast changes to infrastructure to cope and that is a government issue. The project would need to be on a much larger scale than the space industry.

  368. Jerry
    November 24th, 2008 at 06:03 | #368

    @James #367

    I completely agree financial institutions should be allowed to fail. People will lose things that they never should have been able to afford in the first place and maybe the next generation of institutions would be more careful to hand out loans to everyone who came begging. On the flip side there are strategic industries like energy and auto makers that I do believe government needs to play a role in. Why the auto makers? Well it shouldn’t come as a bailout but a complete restructing to produce alternatively fueled or no emission vehicles. It is a strategic issue that we can’t rely on industry to find a solution on its own anymore. This will require large and fast changes to infrastructure to cope and that is a government issue. The project would need to be on a much larger scale than the space industry.

    James, I agree that the financial institutions should be allowed to fail. Our government has just announced a new bailout of Citi. It makes me ill.

    The automotive industry in the US has been struggling for a long time. It has so many festering, systemic pathologies, it surprises me not that the auto industry is on its last legs. I don’t believe that we should bail it out either. You mention restructuring which will allow the industry to produce energy-efficient, non-polluting autos. That does not sound like a restructuring to me. To use a corporal metaphor, a restructuring is like a heart transplant, followed by adopting incumbent proactive steps after the transplant. It seems to me that what you are proposing is a complete body transplant. We are not talking about restructuring; we are talking about re-inventing/re-creating the auto industry in the US. Sooner or later, we have to get there, anyway. I don’t know how at this point in time.

    IMHO, I don’t believe that the governments can bail out, restructure, re-invent, provide incentive or economically stimulate the current economic environment out of its current malaise. Are we just going to bail out everybody? The governments seem to me on a path of creating a global depression. The current economic situation did not happen overnight. It will not be healed overnight.

    Do I have answers? No. It is obvious to me that OB, Shrub, Paulson, Bernanke, Vikram Pandit, Dick Fuld, Greenspan et al don’t have the answers, either. We need to reflect, not panic. The only way out is for us to slowly, painfully work our way out of this. There are no panaceas, no shortcuts.

    It will not be easy. In a moment like this, I would like to quote 4 people.

    First of all, my favorite poet, Billy Collins has said, “Man plans, God laughs!”

    Secondly, I would like to quote my father, “Jerry, it is not important how many times life knocks you down. What matters is how many times you get back up.”

    Next, I quote Einstein, “The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved at the same level of thinking that created them.”

    Last of all, I quote Fritjof Capra, “…ultimately these problems must be seen as just different facets of one single crisis, which is largely a crisis of perception.”

  369. Steve
    November 24th, 2008 at 06:30 | #369

    @wuming #356: I admit the Feynman lectures on physics might not be everyone’s cup of tea, though I like that topic. The better one for you to read would be “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!” which is how most people know him: http://www.amazon.com/Surely-Feynman-Adventures-Curious-Character/dp/0393316041/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1227506922&sr=1-1

    @Jerry: Funny you should mention MIT. My mom’s cousin did his undergraduate work there. I asked him which university he liked better and it was definititely Caltech. I think Mr. Feynman had a big influence regarding that answer.

    Political comment: Unfortunately it looks like “change we can believe in” has turned into “The Clinton Years – Part II”.

    @ James: Nice post! One thing I think needs mentioning that tails with what you said was that not only are companies staying away from China with intellectual property products, but Chinese firms are not developing their own high tech products because they know those products will be stolen by competitors and they’ll lose the market share needed to recover their development costs. So the government’s drive to turn the manufacturing base towards a more high tech future is being hindered by the amount of intellectual piracy. Short term gain becomes long term pain.

    I also heard that recently the Microsoft upgrades are better able to find pirated software and turning computers into blank screens. Have you heard about this? I can’t remember the exact details but I believe so many computers were affected that some Chinese officials complained about the severe measures Microsoft took to protech its intellectual property.

    Your comment about meddling in China’s political affairs reminded me of Barbara Tuchman’s book “Stilwell and the American Experience in China”. In it, she says that the United States still operates under the delusion that they can control or change China, while no such thing can ever occur. China will do what China will do. The American government has never understood the country, its history, and does not interact well with Chinese officials. Stilwell hated Jiang Jeshi! In 1949 when he was retired in Monterey, he once said that some days he feels like putting down his shovel and going to China to fight with the Communists to get rid of Jiang. It’s a great book if you haven’t had a chance to read it yet.

  370. jc
    November 24th, 2008 at 08:01 | #370

    @Steve:

    but Chinese firms are not developing their own high tech products because they know those products will be stolen by competitors and they’ll lose the market share needed to recover their development costs.

    It’s not entirely that. Piracy is much less an issue for online software industry, but they could not make a dent there either, except for a few online games. The root of the problem is purchasing power. Like any other business, when a Chinese firm develops something, they have to think about how much they can charge for a copy first. So if they were to develop their own Windows (or whatever else), the first thing they would figure out is that they won’t be able to charge $100 a copy —- maybe $5 or $10 a copy at most. Once that price range is fixed, they won’t be able to invest as much as a U.S. company would, which in turn means whatever they produce will be much smaller and lower quality.

    China does well when their market condition has an advantage. One example is their tele-communication equipment market. It’s a very lucrative market due to its huge population and high density. High density means they can serve more customers with less investment. A few domestic companies have emerged from this market and are growing into decent size. Another example is the high speed train. People in U.S. probably will never have much interest on high speed trains because it just can’t get enough customers. This is certainly not an issue in China. They have been partnering with Europeans and have made considerable progress on those technologies.

    IP protection is very important (a negative example is their movie industry), but market fundamentals are equally important. Both have to be there.

  371. Jerry
    November 24th, 2008 at 08:57 | #371

    @Steve #369

    Microsoft WGA has always detected pirated software. Generally it refuses to download upgrades if you have a pirated version, which my Vietnamese friends call “cracked”. Hackers have outsmarted WGA in the past and the WGA guys have corrected the loopholes. Such a game. Now MS has taken the initiative and has tagged the pirates, who are rather indignant at having their “privacy” invaded. Why does this sound like a Dickens’ novel? Screw the pirates.

    Now the story goes like this. I install a pirated version, which I bought for 5 bucks. Somebody has provided me with a stolen VLK PID key. I want to get software upgrades and updates to protect me from hackers compromising my machine, which uses pirated software. Wouldn’t want those hackers abridging my rights as a pirate. Now, MS gets wise. MS is going to tag my machine, much like a graffiti tagger. Now, I am irate that MS has illegally installed unwanted software on my machine. I complain that they have invaded my privacy. I sue on the grounds of breach of privacy and ethics, and unlawful abridgment of my rights.

    HUH!! LMAO. Serves the criminal pirates right.

    I guess they will next tell us, if the Saudis take back their pirated oil tanker, that the Saudis have abridged the human rights of the Somali pirates. 😀

    I can just see Mike Howard of SWI and David LeBlanc of Office LTAO. 😀 LMAO

    Just a few comments on Citi. Where are they getting this money? (merely rhetorical; I know very well how they will print their way out of this) Are we going to bail out everybody? Be scared. Tim Giethner likes this. He, “Santa Claus” Hank Paulson and “Helicopter” Ben Bernanke are of a like mind. Yeah, like OB is going to be a real improvement. Sure! Oh, I forgot, I will keep an open, skeptical, cynical Jewish mind. 😀 ::LMAO:: Hey, Hank, Ben and Tim. Where is the due diligence on this “welfare handout”and all the other business “welfare handouts”? Where is the accounting? Hey, it is our money. We taxpayers are their partners. Show me the pro forma. Show me the risk analysis. I just have a hard time believing that any of this pencils out. We’re watching, OB. Or should that be NObama?

  372. Steve
    November 24th, 2008 at 13:22 | #372

    @jc #370: Good points. It’s funny how we all know our own industries and tend to extrapolate from there. I’ve been in two that would be negative examples. One, in fact, was the movie industry. I noticed on my last trip there that the price of a cinema ticket was about $7 US (today more like $8) which is pretty close to the same as the States for a matinee. That amazed me but the theaters were full when I went, both in Shanghai and Shenzhen. I have a feeling that if this worldwide slowdown keeps going and there’s no reason to think it won’t, people will cut cinema entertainment quickly. I also wonder how Starbucks and Haagen Daz will do since their prices are about the same as the States once you do the conversion.

    I’ve often wondered the same thing about operating system pricing. How can an average Chinese person afford to shell out $100 for an operating system? I wonder where the magic price point is for Microsoft where it makes sense to do business there. Would $50 make it profitable? I’d think that since the development costs are already covered, most of what they sold would be profit.

    I’ve taken the maglev train in Shanghai but it wasn’t that convenient because of the ending terminal being in Pudong. I hear it isn’t doing well financially since the buses and taxis lowered their fares.Bullet trains make a lot of sense. I think it took me 18 hours to go from Tianjin to Shanghai on an overnight train. I did it for the adventure but once was enough. Are they finally building a bullet train from Beijing to Shanghai? They talked about doing it as a maglev but I think they finally shot down that idea.

    Has China developed its own cellphone brand? I only remember foreign brands when I was there, mostly Nokias but many Sony Ericsson’s and Motorolas. If so, how is their market share?

    @Jerry #371: Yeah, what to do? I’ve read some government official complained to Microsoft but they can’t really do anything about it since that would defeat their argument that they are taking a tough stand on piracy. I’m not sure what you see when Microsoft figures out that your copy is pirated, but it’d be funny if it was a new version of the “blue screen of death”. 😛

    I guess Obama believes in the old adage, “Keep your friends close but your enemies closer.” He’s probably looking at 2012 and figures if Billary is in his cabinet, she can’t run against him as an outsider if he makes her an insider. It’ll be fun to watch when she starts making up her own foreign policy.

    Seems like Congress has figured out that whoever votes for bailouts gets voted out of office. They’re not as willing to “play ball” like they were last month. Hmm… I wonder if I can apply for a personal mortgage bailout? Oh wait… they only give those to people who have their own corporate jets. 🙁

  373. Jerry
    November 24th, 2008 at 14:39 | #373

    @Steve #372

    Well, Steve, with piracy rates over 80%, MS finds it hard to ignore. So they are displaying a black desktop, with some warning graphic, I believe, if XP or Vista is pirated. If Office is pirated, they display a message on the desktop. I know we put in functionality reduction if you do not validate your copy within a certain time period after installation. But the stolen VLK PIDkey gets you around that issue. I would bet MS can access an internal api to disable functionality with WGA if they wanted to. But a fake “blue screen” sounds like a great idea! 😀 ::LMAO:: I love it. I will email Mike or David with the idea. 😀

    It is difficult to have different retail price points dependent on the country of sale. Enterprise sales is not a problem, those are usually negotiated anyway. Imagine a Chinese on-line retailer selling to Americans for 1/2 what Americans pay. I can hear the screaming now from all the American on-line retailers. Right now, the Vista OS retail price ranges from $85 for Basic (piece of crap) to Ultimate for $150 at Amazon. So it is a difficult issue. Then you possibly have “Vista Capable” problems with the machines sold in China. Life can be difficult.

    What bugs me most is that OB sold out to the big financiers on Wall Street, amongst others. The ruling elites have bought one more president. No surprise. I don’t trust Obama. And he will steal from the taxpayers to contribute to the massive socialization of financial and auto industry problems. “Privatize the profit; socialize the cost of bailing out these bastards.” Message: it is ok to be greedy; we will take care of the problems for you. No fear of accountability here. ::growl:: You should have heard my retorts at the talking heads on Bloomberg. The air was a deep, angry blue.

    I hope that Congress stops this “bail out everything” mentality. But Tim Geithner and Larry Summers are part of the rat pack, along with Bob Rubin. I fear that Volcker is playing ball with them too. Color me disgusted.

  374. TonyP4
    November 24th, 2008 at 14:49 | #374

    It is nice we’re pretty much on the same page.

    Similar to what Steve said, no Chinese citizen is stupid enough to pay $100 for any software and no one should die because they cannot afford to buy expensive drugs. Indians/Chinese pirate the drugs and sell to poor Africans at affordable prices. You decide whether pirating is good or bad for the world, and is it realistic for folks making $2,000 a year to buy a $50 DVD disk.

    I can tell you Microsoft is no Angel. They’re good marketing… However, they’re not ethical against the competitors like Word Perfect, Lotus, Netscape… If they cannot sell their products, they give them away (since they own the operating system, they can have a lot of dirty tricks), or sell them at low prices. Once their products mature or their competitor is out of business like Word Perfect, they charge what the market can bear.

    My 4 phases of moving from a developing industry like China to one like US/Japan.
    1. Sell cheap consumer products. Lot of copying.
    2. Mid tech products like auto parts. Lot of copying and pirating (need money and skill to pirate).
    3. High quality consumer products.
    4. High tech and sophisticated products like airplane and earth movers. Less copying and pirating.

    Japan went thru all 4 phases in from 1950 to 2000 in 50 years. I think China is in the second phase. Few exceptions: China has a sophisticated space program and Japan is not selling big jet liners.

  375. wuming
    November 24th, 2008 at 14:57 | #375

    @steve

    I’ve taken the maglev train in Shanghai but it wasn’t that convenient because of the ending terminal being in Pudong. I hear it isn’t doing well financially since the buses and taxis lowered their fares.Bullet trains make a lot of sense. I think it took me 18 hours to go from Tianjin to Shanghai on an overnight train. I did it for the adventure but once was enough. Are they finally building a bullet train from Beijing to Shanghai? They talked about doing it as a maglev but I think they finally shot down that idea.

    Right now the overnight sleeper from Beijing to Shanghai is about 12 hours. Perfect for traveling since you save on the hotel cost while traveling. Yes, they are building high speed train tracts between Shanghai and Beijing. It will not be maglev however, which is an unproven technology and has only one running system in the world (Shanghai Pudong Airport). The tracks will be build the same way as the Beijing-Tianjin connection. I heard that in addition to Beijing-Shanghai high speed connection, there will also be several others to form a high speed rail network.

    Developing high speed railroad network will probably be one of the enduring legacies of Hu-Wen administration. I hope they could shift their focus quicker from that of auto/express way to that of mass transit. Given the high population density, it is a win any way you look at it.

  376. bt
    November 24th, 2008 at 15:07 | #376

    @ wuming and Steve

    The bullet train is suitable for medium range distances, in countries with a good network of cites.
    It works perfectly well in Europe and Japan. It’s even much more convenient than plane.
    For USA, the country is too big and sparcely populated (except the philly/boston region).

    China is somewhat between the two situations. It’s big and sparsely populated in the West, and very dense in the East. The train can’t win over the plane for a BJ to Kunming trip, but for shorter distance up to BJ/SH, I think this is the best solution.

  377. TonyP4
    November 24th, 2008 at 15:20 | #377

    High speed rail HSR is a interesting topic. You can find more in wikipedia. Here are my comments.

    * China has been neglecting the rail (compared to highways and air transport). It is over 100% utilization by international standard. It is the most cost effective and greenest way to move cargoes and people. It is included in the 586B plan.

    *HSR is good for two distant locations like Beijing and Tianjin. China is copying technology from the west and Japan. Beijing and Shanghai is a longer distance. How about working in Beijing, living in Tianjin and having a lady friend in Shanghai, all within few hours away.

    * Work on HSR between Shanghai and Hangzhou is stopped due to corruption and now environmental concerns (too noisy). A section may need to build underground.

    * Subway is between even shorter distances. Both subway and HSR are in a crazy building mode in China. They will have the world’s longest in next 15 years or so. It is cost effective due to the dense population.

    * Tofu construction and corruption. The subway construction in Hangzhou collapsed last week killing several. Workmanship and materials can cut cost and pocketed. Some folks told me they’re given money even they’re in low level during the construction of Canton subway.

    ——-
    Chinese kids work harder and they have a higher desire to succeed. Check out Up the Yangtze, a documentary available from Netflix. Even the child from the poorest society wants to study further. My tour guide in China is the same.

    Hi Steve, movies are great for escaping from all our current problems for about 2 hours. During recession it strives. The small living space for an average household encourages them to spend time out of the house like eating and going to movie houses. We just call and have our food delivered, go to our mail box to pick up Netflix DVD, play pool or swim if weather permits. We do not have too many friends that way but a lot of living space, so we can use more of the world’s resources. 🙂

  378. Hongkonger
    November 24th, 2008 at 15:53 | #378

    “many Americans are hoping the new administration will solve the economic problems we face. That’s not likely to happen, because the economic advisors to the new President have no more understanding of how to get us out of this mess than previous administrations and Congresses understood how the crisis was brought about in the first place.” Congressman, Dr. Ron Paul, MD.

    Why, oh, why wasn’t this man elected???

    “Except for a rare few, Members of Congress are unaware of Austrian Free Market economics. For the last 80 years, the legislative, judiciary and executive branches of our government have been totally influenced by Keynesian economics. If they had had any understanding of the Austrian economic explanation of the business cycle, they would have never permitted the dangerous bubbles that always lead to painful corrections.

    Today, a major economic crisis is unfolding. New government programs are started daily, and future plans are being made for even more. All are based on the belief that we’re in this mess because free-market capitalism and sound money failed. The obsession is with more spending, bailouts of bad investments, more debt, and further dollar debasement. Many are saying we need an international answer to our problems with the establishment of a world central bank and a single fiat reserve currency. These suggestions are merely more of the same policies that created our mess and are doomed to fail.

    At least 90% of the cause for the financial crisis can be laid at the doorstep of the Federal Reserve. It is the manipulation of credit, the money supply, and interest rates that caused the various bubbles to form. Congress added fuel to the fire by various programs and institutions like the Community Reinvestment Act, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, FDIC, and HUD mandates, which were all backed up by aggressive court rulings.

    The Fed has now doled out close to $2 trillion in subsidized loans to troubled banks and other financial institutions. The Federal Reserve and Treasury constantly brag about the need for “transparency” and “oversight,” but it’s all just talk — they want none of it. They want secrecy while the privileged are rescued at the expense of the middle class.

    It is unimaginable that Congress could be so derelict in its duty. It does nothing but condone the arrogance of the Fed in its refusal to tell us where the $2 trillion has gone. All Members of Congress and all Americans should be outraged that conditions could deteriorate to this degree. It’s no wonder that a large and growing number of Americans are now demanding an end to the Fed.

    The Federal Reserve created our problem, yet it manages to gain even more power in the socialization of the entire financial system. The whole bailout process this past year was characterized by no oversight, no limits, no concerns, no understanding, and no common sense.

    Similar mistakes were made in the 1930s and ushered in the age of the New Deal, the Fair Deal, the Great Society and the supply-siders who convinced conservatives that deficits didn’t really matter after all, since they were anxious to finance a very expensive deficit-financed American empire.

    All the programs since the Depression were meant to prevent recessions and depressions. Yet all that was done was to plant the seeds of the greatest financial bubble in all history. Because of this lack of understanding, the stage is now set for massive nationalization of the financial system and quite likely the means of production.

    Although it is obvious that the Keynesians were all wrong and interventionism and central economic planning don’t work, whom are we listening to for advice on getting us out of this mess? Unfortunately, it’s the Keynesians, the socialists, and big-government proponents.

    Who’s being ignored? The Austrian free-market economists—the very ones who predicted not only the Great Depression, but the calamity we’re dealing with today. If the crisis was predictable and is explainable, why did no one listen? It’s because too many politicians believed that a free lunch was possible and a new economic paradigm had arrived. But we’ve heard that one before–like the philosopher’s stone that could turn lead into gold. Prosperity without work is a dream of the ages.

    Over and above this are those who understand that political power is controlled by those who control the money supply. Liberals and conservatives, Republicans and Democrats came to believe, as they were taught in our universities, that deficits don’t matter and that Federal Reserve accommodation by monetizing debt is legitimate and never harmful. The truth is otherwise. Central economic planning is always harmful. Inflating the money supply and purposely devaluing the dollar is always painful and dangerous.

    The policies of big-government proponents are running out of steam. Their policies have failed and will continue to fail. Merely doing more of what caused the crisis can hardly provide a solution.

    The good news is that Austrian economists are gaining more acceptance every day and have a greater chance of influencing our future than they’ve had for a long time.

    The basic problem is that proponents of big government require a central bank in order to surreptitiously pay bills without direct taxation. Printing needed money delays the payment. Raising taxes would reveal the true cost of big government, and the people would revolt. But the piper will be paid, and that’s what this crisis is all about.

    There are limits. A country cannot forever depend on a central bank to keep the economy afloat and the currency functionable through constant acceleration of money supply growth. Eventually the laws of economics will overrule the politicians, the bureaucrats and the central bankers. The system will fail to respond unless the excess debt and mal-investment is liquidated. If it goes too far and the wild extravagance is not arrested, runaway inflation will result, and an entirely new currency will be required to restore growth and reasonable political stability.

    The choice we face is ominous: We either accept world-wide authoritarian government holding together a flawed system, OR we restore the principles of the Constitution, limit government power, restore commodity money without a Federal Reserve system, reject world government, and promote the cause of peace by protecting liberty equally for all persons. Freedom is the answer.

  379. Steve
    November 24th, 2008 at 16:21 | #379

    @wuming, bt & TonyP4: I think the train I took from Tianjin stopped every two hours. It was an overnight and completely full. There was no soft sleepers on that particular train so I took the hard sleeper with 10 alcoves, 3 bunks on each side of each alcove for a total of 60 sleepers. I was worried about smoking and snoring but neither were a problem. I forget the price but it was very reasonable; I believe considerably less than $50 US. I like train travel and had a great time (all the women in my car pampered and fussed over me the entire way) but it was just too time consuming. I’m with you on the maglev; I have no idea why they were even considering it for a route that long. Once when my wife and I stayed at the Ascott Hotel in Pudong, while i worked she went to Puxi on the shuttle and became friends with a Ningbo girl who was dating the German head engineer on the maglev project. Later we all met up so I had a chance to ask a lot of technical questions. I sometimes think they might have been learning as they were building.

    I was in Taiwan last April and took their new bullet train to Kaohsiung and back. That’s the way to go; it’s comparable to the TGV in France or the shinkansen in Japan. I got a kick when I saw the train station drop off signs, “Kiss and Ride”. 😀

    I think what might work best for China is to have bullet train hubs in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, with main lines connecting those three areas and sub-lines branching from there to other major cities in those three regions. I’m not sure where you put the western hub, maybe Chongqing or Chengdu? But that would cover most of the heavily populated areas. Going west from Chengdu or Xi’an would probably not be cost effective. I’m not sure how many travelers go as far as Urumqi and for Lhasa, the train has already been built.

    TonyP4: Aren’t all these trains contracted out to foreign construction companies? What technology is China copying? Too bad about that line to Hangzhou. I took the train once from SH to HZ and remember catching it at the Sout Railway Station in SH. It was a very pleasant ride; I seem to remember something like 3 hours total? For that short distance, the time it took was fine with me. I’ve taken the double deck train from Tianjin to Beijing many times and that’s a very nice train; by far the best way to go.

    On my first business trip to China, I remember getting back to Tianjin the first time I took that one to Beijing. Once we got outside, we managed to flag a taxi and the traffic getting out was horrible. Our lady taxi driver got frustrated and ended up driving on the sidewalk. This freaked out my buddy but I told him it probably happens all the time in China. In retrospect, it was the only time it ever happened to me or that I ever saw it. Good thing it was my first time! 😛

    I love subways and think they are the best way to get around. I used the one in Shanghai whenever I could but I noticed the underground ventilation wasn’t very good. Taipei has a great subway! I was surprised that they could build it in such a big earthquake zone.

    Tony, I think we at FM are hoarding too many of the world’s electrons! I’d better end here…. 😡

  380. jc
    November 24th, 2008 at 17:05 | #380

    @Steve:

    The movie industry is definitely seriously hurt by piracy. Piracy copies of DVD are sold on the street even before the movie is released to the theaters. However movie theaters and Starbucks in China are some what different than in the States. $8 per ticket is not a whole a lot even for the minimum wage earner in U.S., while 75 RMB is a huge amount of money for a factory worker there. So you are seeing the richer class there, not the average class there.

    China does have a number of its own cell phone brands. However I do not believe they are doing very well financially because they lag behind on almost every key aspect of the business: technology, human resource, production scale, etc. Most important of all, I believe China’s chip industry is still in their infant stage. So they almost all rely on imported chips. There is also a lot of patent money being paid to established companies in the west because the Chinese companies are too new so they don’t have much of their own IPs yet. So it’s pretty much a problem of overall competitiveness, which Chinese companies not surprisingly lag behind. They are doing much better on the network ends though, I believe the most successfully being HUAWEI, which had a rather impressive revenue of over $10 dollars last year. They have a dominate market share in China on that end and is making inroad to the developed countries. Their success has a lot to do with the government support because the government controls all the telecom carriers. However once they enter the oversea market, they will be much more on their own.

    Another big road block for China’s technologies industry is its low labor cost. Technologies are made to save money. This makes perfect sense in U.S. because people cost a lot. You can sell an automatic checkout machine because it costs less than a cashier. That’s not the case in China. Cashier cost less than an automatic checkout machine there. So there is simply no incentive for them to invest on these things. Lower labor cost of course is something closely tied to the overall economy situation and is not something that can change overnight. Tougher labor laws and minimum wages are being introduced; hopefully those will have positive impacts.

  381. Steve
    November 24th, 2008 at 17:42 | #381

    @jc: Totally agree with you about the class of people attending movies. I think at the time I was there, which was a little less than two years ago, there were only ten quality cinemas in Shanghai and eleven in Shenzhen. I was actually in China at the time for the CineAsia show in Beijing. Some of the biggest Hollywood studios have partnered with Chinese companies to build many of these movie houses, trying to create a market for the big screen experience. I expected the price to be maybe 30 RMB and was shocked that it was so high, so it’s definitely out of the reach of most people, same as Starbucks and Haagen Daz. When I was there, I had a nice per diem but I ate Chinese style so I always had a lot of extra meal money left over. I’d use it to treat the office to Starbucks or Haagen Daz because I knew it was too pricey for their personal budgets and they especially LOVED Haagen Daz! 😛

    Both EugeneZ and I worked in China’s semiconductor industry, me back in 2000-2003 and EugeneZ today. The chip companies are just not profitable and can’t compete with outside vendors, especially the Taiwanese and Koreans. Because chip manufacturing is capital intensive rather than labor intensive, it doesn’t play to China’s current advantages. The infrastructure (mostly water and power) isn’t conducive to making chips. Chip design is still in its infancy there and the biggest breakthrough in chip design (microprocessor) ended up being a direct copy of an existing western chip, which at the time was a great embarrassment to the government. I blamed the guy who copied, not the government and certainly not the Chinese people. I guess there’s a greater sense of collective responsibility there than in the States.

    I wonder how well Huawei can do overseas. I would think their best chance would be to buy a company in that country and develop it from there. I can’t see them being successful by coming in cold. The markets are too well established in most places you want to do business. They could maybe try some African countries but I’m not sure if that would be profitable or worth the time and investment. Since China is such a huge potential market, I’d think they would just stay home and invest there.

    Impressive revenue of $10 dollars last year???? Hahaha…. so easy to miss one word. What was the true revenue? Ten million would seem to low and ten billion too high. I’m trying to figure out where it would be.

    Your mention of low labor costs reminded me of something I could never figure out in the past. Maybe its changed but when I worked there, the local offices would always be understaffed. I couldn’t understand why, since labor is cheap so cheaper to hire more people than pay for so much technology to improve efficiency that way. But then a Shanghainese friend of mine working for Accenture explained to me how there are many hidden costs associated with employees that are not visible. Allowances are usually included in the job, such as transportation allowance, food allowance, clothing allowance, etc. She said she knew one girl who was getting something like 5 different allowances each month in addition to her regular salary.

    There are also additional expenses associated with company dinners and company weekends at resorts. I’d say we would get everyone in the office out to dinner at least once per month, and the weekend getaways twice per year, plus the Spring Festival bonuses have to be added in. There is still a labor advantage but not as great as some might suspect, but I still thought we were understaffed. Everyone I met in whatever company they worked for complained about being overworked and understaffed. These were all local decisions, not corporate.

    As I’ve said many times before, I’m very upbeat about the future. Unlike some, my opinion of the one child younger generation is very positive based on my experiences. I could see a generation gap between them and their parents but that isn’t always a bad thing in an ever changing world.

  382. TonyP4
    November 24th, 2008 at 18:09 | #382

    Hi Steve, I came to Mass from San Fran. via Greyhound on 3 days/nights meeting my high school friend at 2 am in Albany station. So 18 hours is no big deal! Never want to do it again though. The one in Taiwan could be the longest one. There must be a lot of drilling thru the mountain. The transfer of technology is part of the deal. I wonder the security of the rail with so many anti-government activities.

    We stayed in a brand new, modern hotel in Pudung, part of the package of the tour. I think it is Crown Plaza next to a famous college. It could be the best hotel I ever stayed so far. The taxi fare for 3 of us was so cheap that we did not use the subway or called my friend.

    Chongquing has its own version of subway, part of it is above ground due to the hilly location. I do not know whether it is completed by now.

  383. jc
    November 24th, 2008 at 19:01 | #383

    @Steve:

    Sorry about the typo. According to Wikipedia, HUAWEI had a revenue of $12.6 billion in 2007. That is largely inline with other information I had over the years. I was told by insiders that they might break $10 billion mark in 2006.

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

    I would expect them to have a hard time competing overseas, giving that they would be competing head to head with established companies. So far they seem to be doing OK. The company has landed quite some contracts from Europe in recent years. I guess they still have an advantage over labor cost (yet as you have pointed out, it’s not as great as one might think). Another advantage that I am well aware is that those kids work much harder (or made to work much harder :P). The big issue is of course, neither these two can be indefinitely sustained.

    Going oversea market for big Chinese company can be good or bad. The government seems to be encouraging them to go oversea to see the “real world” and “real competitions” and to learn how others do business. I know HUAWEI has been an IBM business consultant client for years. In reality, they often start from developing countries and then gradually moves up to developed countries. For some of them, this can work out well. Of course, some others may just find out that those are not easy money either.

  384. Steve
    November 24th, 2008 at 19:37 | #384

    @jc: That’s a pretty big company; 83,000 employees and over 1/2 billion in net income. Are there a lot of competitors in China or is it mostly monopolies in specific territories? I’d think too many competitors each building their own systems would be inefficient in the short run, though more competitive in the long run.

    @Tony: Yeah, 18 hours is fun for one time but not something I’d like to do on a regular basis. 🙂
    Taiwan’s bullet train was similar to the ones I’ve been on in France and Japan. I don’t recall much or any of it going through tunnels since it was on the west side of the island, but I was snoozing for some of that time. I never worried about security; political demonstrations are typically localized without much vandalism. I noticed though, that students are demonstrating for the first time and its always been old people in the past.

    The first time I stayed in Pudong they put me up at the Grand Hyatt in the Jin Mao Tower. I was on the 66th floor. It was the most beautiful hotel room I’ve ever seen with the most spectacular view. I appreciated it, but told them to save their money next time and just put me near the office. I only slept in the room so it was a waste.

    The problem with staying in Pudong while working in Puxi at that time was that taxis could not use the tunnel near the Orient Pearl Tower during rush hour, so they had to divert south to the Nanpu bridge which took forever. When I stayed there, I took the subway across the river and then caught a taxi. Taxis are pretty reasonable but I noticed that drivers from Puxi don’t know Pudong and vice versa. It’s best to get across first and then find another taxi.

    Once late at night I was near Nanjing Lu and caught a taxi back to my hotel near Shanghai Stadium. The driver must have just arrived in Shanghai because he’d stop at every light, run out of the cab and ask directions from other cars or taxi drivers. So I just gave him directions in Chinese until we got back to the hotel. He offered to forgive the fare but I thought that was silly since I knew the shortest way to get back.

    I found 90% of the taxi drivers in Shanghai were honest and the other 10% were thieving, lying, dirty scoundrels. The percentage of cheating taxi drivers in Beijing was much higher, though. Some wouldn’t have meters and others turned the meter at an angle so you couldn’t see it and not turn it on, then try to rip you off when you arrived. Fortunately, I’m good at directions and distances so I’d tell them while laughing what it should really cost and say it in Chinese with my hand showing the number Chinese style. They always laughed and gave me the correct fare, since they knew I knew their trick. It’s like a big game sometimes. 😉

  385. TonyP4
    November 24th, 2008 at 20:23 | #385

    Most Beijing drivers cheat.

  386. pug_ster
    November 24th, 2008 at 21:58 | #386

    @Steve,

    Interesting that you are working in the chip making industry. I know that it is way off topic, but I would really like to know about chip manufacturing within China compared to South Korea or Taiwan. We agree that China is in its infant stages, but how about the technology? Is it true that China can’t have advanced technology fabs to build smaller chips 45nm like what Taiwan and South Korea are doing. Not alot of companies want to build fabs in China or because of export controls? Thanks.

  387. WW
    November 24th, 2008 at 22:19 | #387

    @bt (#328)

    To say that Japanese Imperial Army in WW2 saved the Jews from the Nazis is just as ridiculous as to say that the French Vichy government didn’t collaborate with its Nazi master in rounding up and sending the Jews in its jurisdiction to the Nazis’ concentration camps. Although some french individuals acted courageously and compassionately in hiding their Jewish friends or neighbors in their cellars or attics, compared to the number of the Jews that ended up in concentration camps, the number of Jews who was lucky enough to avoid that tragic fate was pittance. I have no doubt that your Japanese best friend is nice, but I think that Monk was talking about the Japanese government/army in WW2, not the Japanese after WW2, was he not?

    @Hongkonger (#333)

    You wrote: “I remember my mother mentioned a couple times that the Japanese were pretty good…”.

    So? There were some Jewish victims of Holocaust said their prison-guards were “good” too. What is your point? Are you trying to tell us that the Japanese Imperial Army in WW2 was “good” just because your grandmother said it was “good”? Tell that to the POW Allied soldiers who went through the Bataan Death March and Japanese POW camps.

    I also remember an old peasant/water buffalo herder I once knew told me with amazement that: Japanese Soldiers (日本仔) in WW2 were good rifle shooters. They frequently used peasants who worked in the field in the Cantonese countryside for target practices. Unfortunately for the peasants, their success rate was almost always good – one shot, one kill.

  388. Steve
    November 24th, 2008 at 22:29 | #388

    Hi pug_ster~

    This covers a lot of it: http://blog.hiddenharmonies.org/2008/10/17/wang-yung-ching-%e7%8e%8b%e6%b0%b8%e6%85%b6-one-of-taiwans-proud-son-dies/
    I gotta learn how to add a link using a couple of words. 🙂

    Right now, China can build with small line widths so there really isn’t any technology prohibitions except for what I talked about in the other post, and there are ways to get around those. When I was living there, everyone wanted to be in on the ground floor to build chips there but once the restrictions were lifted and the fabs built, they haven’t been profitable for a variety of reasons. Right now, it seems it is still cheaper to make the chips in Taiwan or Korea and ship them over. As EugeneZ said, part of it is China’s joining of the WTO, which lowered tariffs enough to make it more cost effective to manufacture offshore.

    China has and will have a chip industry, but their biggest cost advantage is in the “back end”, where they take the wafers, test, rework and package them. Manual labor is a big part of that process. However, those are starting to move to Vietnam. China’s biggest prizes for semiconductors are TSMC’s factory outside Shanghai and Intel’s new factory in Dalien. Intel’s plant is in construction now and will be a 300 mm wafer fab with a $2.5 billion investment. Intel currently has back end plants in Shanghai and Chengdu but the plant in Dalien is the big time.

    Interestingly, I once (completely by accident) sat next to Intel’s chief negotiator/lawyer for new plant sites on a flight. We got to talking and he told me Intel had actually negotiated an agreement back in the 90s to build a plant in China, I believe near Shanghai, and all that remained was for the national government in Beijing to agree to protect Intel’s intellectual property rights. The government would not do it so Intel pulled out. The guy who sat next to me had done the negotiations for Intel so I knew it was an accurate story.

    If China had played ball with Intel back then, and I certainly can’t blame Intel for wanting to protect their property, China’s industry would be far ahead of where it is today.

    When I came back to San Diego, that industry had moved out of southern California for cheaper places so it was either leave San Diego or find another industry, and I love San Diego so I got out of it. The guy who really knows the industry in China right now is EugeneZ.

    pug_ster, don’t worry about being off topic. This thread has been off topic for awhile. 😀

  389. Steve
    November 24th, 2008 at 22:32 | #389

    @pug_ster: I just found this article. Looks like 90 nm rather than 45 so there still might be some restrictions. I’m sure these aren’t microprocessors. My guess is that they are chips for other areas of the motherboard but I don’t know for sure.

    Intel’s Dalian Factory Opens Ahead Of Schedule
    July 2, 2007
    Intel’s (INTC) export and processing center in Dalian has successfully passed relevant inspections and has already begun operating as a business entity.

    Zhang Zhinan, head of Dalian Customs, says that the chip factory, which is located in the Export and Processing Zone of Dalian, offers Intel many benefits in importing and exporting goods, and as a result this helps Intel reduce operational costs.

    According to the agreement signed earlier this year, Intel’s Dalian factory involves a US$2.5 billion investment in the first schedule and the construction of the project will last five years. The factory is expected to produce 52000 units of 12-inch and 90 nano integrated circuit chips annually upon completion. It is estimated that the first phase of the project will provide about 1700 job opportunities.

  390. jc
    November 24th, 2008 at 22:46 | #390

    @Steve,

    China nowadays as I see it is much closer to a free market economy. I would say generally there are a lot of competitors rather than mostly monopolies.

    What’s different for China is that the government plays a much larger role, and for certain industries, the government still tries to maintain a monopoly. In the case of HUAWEI, the government used their monopoly on telecommunications market to support these companies by mandating all the state owned big telecom carriers to always award a certain portion of their contract to domestic companies. This was crucial for companies like HUAWEI to grown up because at the very beginning, they were no match to west companies at all. Over the years the portion that is required to be awarded to domestic companies decreases while companies like HUAWEI gradually grow up. A bunch of companies emerged from this policy. HUAWEI did particularly well and I believe they are getting much less government support now.

    On the other hand, the government’s monopoly over telecommunication market makes a lot of regular people unhappy because it was perceived that the there is no incentive for the telecom carriers to improve service, thus it was not a popular policy among people. Over the years the government has been trying to split/reorganize these telecom giants into different companies and let them to compete with each other, kind of like U.S. splitting the Bell Lab. But it’s still a bit far from the kind of free cut throat competition you see elsewhere because it’s very likely behind the scene they all report to the same boss. That real boss would juggle between keeping customers happy, making a profit, make sure his boys are competing with each others and also making sure downstream companies like HUAWEI are getting the kind of support they needed —– I guess this is one reason they always like to call it socialist with Chinese characteristics. 🙂

  391. Steve
    November 24th, 2008 at 22:51 | #391

    @WW #387: Everything you said about the Bataan Death March and POW camps is true. Shooting peasants for target practice is true. Creating a super lethal strain of bubonic plague, putting in to clay bomb casings and testing it out on peasants in Zhejiang province, wiping out entire villages, is true. Officers chopping off innocent men, women and children’s heads with their ceremonial swords for sword practice is also true.

    A friend of mine who used to be the facility manager at one of Motorola’s Phoenix plants once told me he was an 18 year old when he joined the army in WWII. He was sent to Shanghai right after Japan surrendered and his platoon “liberated” a hospital where the Japanese doctors did experiments as bad or worse than anything the Germans ever did. He saw live patients with their heads cut open and brains exposed. He saw people deliberately injected with nasty germs so the doctors could experiment with various ways of killing entire populations. To this day, he will not buy anything made in Japan.

    Having said that, what bt said is also true. The Japanese would not send the Jews in Shanghai back to Germany and treated them no worse than everyone else. This happened during the war, not afterwards.

    I’ve heard some Taiwanese say the Japanese weren’t bad at all and better than the KMT. On the other hand, my wife’s cousin was a little kid in a school with a sadistic Japanese headmaster back then and to this day he will buy nothing from Japan. His son was getting serious with a Japanese girl and he told him that if this son married her, he’d disown him. I was talking to this son who we call Syau Di, and he said he really had no choice since he wasn’t going to lose his family. So even all these years later, it is still a very emotional subject. This same uncle has no problem with Germany because he feels they atoned for what they did and Japan did not.

    Once at an English corner in Shanghai, someone was saying nasty things about Japan. I asked everyone there, maybe 15-20 people, why the Chinese still hated the Japanese even after all these years since most who had fought in the war were dead. One guy said that they had burned his grandparents house down, shot an uncle in the back of the head, raped an auntie, etc. I told him if I were him, I’d hate them too. When it’s personal and happens to your family, it’s hard to forget.

    I understand where bt and Hongkonger are coming from, but I also understand where you are coming from…

  392. Steve
    November 24th, 2008 at 23:01 | #392

    @jc #390: When I mentioned monopolies, I was thinking specifically about the telecommunications industry. For me, the idea of exclusive monopolies in the beginning makes sense, since China needed to cover as many areas as possible in as little time as possible, and having six companies all build systems in the biggest cities while ignoring the smaller cities is not a good investment. Now that they are established, it makes sense to open it up.

    When I lived in Taiwan, I stupidly took the recommendations of locals and got Chunghwa Telecom’s internet ADSL service. It sucked! Their bandwidth was deplorable and I figured out quickly that it was because they had a monopoly and weren’t investing in bandwidth. I should have gotten cable access instead. Once established, opening up the market is a great idea.

    Socialism with Chinese characteristics? I honestly think that is just a slogan to try and justify keeping the CCP around. China has a dual system; pure “gilded age” capitalism on one end and SOCs along with government or military owned businesses on the other. I see a lot of Chinese characteristics in there but I can’t seem to find any socialism. 😉

  393. pug_ster
    November 24th, 2008 at 23:08 | #393

    @Steve,

    Thank you for your response and your perspective on the chipmaking situation within China as I am just a avid reader of chipmaker technology and not working for it. You might be right about the Intel situation in Dailan spending billions to build an outdated fab using the 90nm process. Pumping 2.5 bil on making chipsets rather than processors seems to be fruitless effort rather, Intel can spend a little more, make an 45nm fab and build processors instead. What I have heard because of export controls so there is a mandate that China can have technology 2 generations behind other countries. Meanwhile I guess that China will be behind in terms of chipmaking compared to other countries.

  394. bt
    November 24th, 2008 at 23:19 | #394

    @ WW # 387

    Honestly, I have the feeling that Emotions are too high on certain topics.
    I mean, we should not mix everything.
    Yes, The Japanese Imperial Army committed some a lot of war crimes during the WWII, the most famous being the Nanjing Rape. And they have been cruel on the Chinese, true.

    My point is that for some reasons (that are not completely clear, I think), the Jews who where in China during the WWII were not killed by the Japanese army. And yes, of course, the Nazis asked them to kill them. They (the Shanghai Jews) left after the WWII.

    The fact why I mentioned my friend (in fact, I know something like 10 Japanese, 100% from Japan, and all straight, nice and very polite) is to say that ‘Japanese devils’ are finally not so devilish. I have heard too much in China the ‘I hate Japanese’ that still today it is making me sad.

    Did I said that Vichy didn’t collaborated with the Nazis? No. And yes, they did.
    A shame, and treated as such.
    BTW, the proportion of French Jews killed during WWII is 26 %. That is not a ‘pittance’.

    “I remember my mother mentioned a couple times that the Japanese were pretty good to ‘them’ “…
    ‘them’ is for the Jews I think, not for the family of HKer.

    Anyway, I don’t want absolutely to convince you of anything. If you don’t believe me, no problem … I think the best way is to let everybody find some reliable sources and to make their own opinion.

  395. November 24th, 2008 at 23:19 | #395

    There are good people everywhere, even in the darkest age of human history.

    There was a Japaneses diplomat, Chiune Sugihara, who saved probably two thousand of Jews by issuing transit visas for them to escape Hitler’s reach ( http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/sugihara/film/index.html ).

    Similarly, John Rabe, a Nazi, helped shielding more than 200,000 Chinese from the Japanese during the Nanjing massacre.

    On a personal note, when I was a student in an English class, a Japaneses student did a presentation on “The Rape of Nanking.” It was quite courageous of her and most of her Japaneses classmates were uncomfortable.

  396. Steve
    November 24th, 2008 at 23:36 | #396

    @pug_ster: I may have misled you with the Intel explanation. The mandate you are referring to is called the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wassenaar_Arrangement

    That agreement had teeth a few years ago but these days it’s not really enforced. I’m pretty sure China can build 45 nm fabs but they might not be able to do it with every manufacturer’s equipment. I know that these days, European manufacturers are selling the most advanced equipment and Americans are the same or just a bit behind. A lot of it depends on the current administrations of the respective governments.

    Intel is not going to build microprocessors in China, not because of that agreement but because there is too much intellectual piracy. Microprocessor technology is the holy grail when it comes to profit, and is Intel’s bread and butter.

    Trust me, that Intel fab will be first rate. They are probably making a chip set that doesn’t require 45 nm technology. Some are more efficient at the bigger line widths. Discrete circuits are very profitable at the larger line widths. Don’t let that one specification form your opinion on the value of that fab.

    Back in 2001, I was looking inside our inside salesman’s computer at the office in Shanghai to see what kind of memory it took so I could max it out and get her more speed. She had a Legend (now Lenovo) and the memory card was the smallest I’d ever seen. The inside of that computer was a piece of junk. I immediately had the office get her a better computer. That’s why Lenovo’s purchase of the IBM Think Pad division was the smartest thing they could have done. Their quality has risen about 1000% since then. Of all the Chinese business acquisitions I’ve read about, I think that was the best investment of all.

  397. James
    November 25th, 2008 at 02:52 | #397

    Steve; that’s correct Windows Genuine Advantage had a patch which made users desktops go black and annoying pop up windows. As far as I know it didn’t do any actual damage to the end system, which in my opinion is very generous, if MS really wanted to make a point they could have wiped those hard drives clean with the patch.

    Tony, intellectual property theft is a very serious concern. I don’t really buy into the argument that people can buy a computer for $500-1000 but can’t dish out the extra money to get the OS. It simply comes down to the ease at which piracy can be carried out. It’s far easier to pirate software than hardware. That said, they’ve found ways to pirate the hardware as well, but at a higher cost than software. It’s good software is being pre-installed on machines before they sell these days but they have a long way to go. Steve is absolutely correct, in the short term this may have local benefits but in the long term China is going to take a big hit as foreign firms attempt to keep information as far away from China as possible and local innovation is hindered by protective foreign markets and untrustworthy local competitors. Furthermore, there are the moral issues; this sort of thing has a major impact on children and young people. Allowing criminal piracy activities to occur so easily in the society now will lead to a whole generation who basically see nothing wrong with it and that will carry that impression with them for the rest of their lives.

    The second argument that pirating pharmasudicals will save lives is absolutely explosive. When you allow pirating of pharmasudicals you get this http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/06/world/americas/06poison.html. It’s absolutely digusting. These people are not humanitarians they are only out to make money at any cost and it has very unfortunate results. Ironically Microsoft may be doing the most to help impoverished diseased victims in Africa. The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation has spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to improve lives in Africa.

    Finally, I don’t expect to see China come anywhere close to Japan in terms of standards of living in my life time. China is far more complicated and faces far more challenges than Japan ever did in its rise. To start Japan wasn’t a 3rd world country before WW2, in many ways they were an advanced society in terms of education, science and technology. Had they not been on the losing side of the war they would have developed far faster than they did (they were growing up to the war and started again soon after). Destruction of infrastructure set them back but they had a highly skilled population and intitially received large amounts of American support. They successfully managed to get democracy in place and weren’t faced with the crippling corruption experienced in other Asian nations. They grew at a time when industrial production was not yet at a level that it would cause major environmental damage and managed to stay cleaner being an island nation. In that respect China may be starting now where Japan was more than 50 years ago in terms with respect to economic infrastructure but the Chinese model is far larger and more complicated to control.

    Unfortunately for China there are also 6 major obstacles standing in its way: the approaching loss of demographic dividend, depletion of world energy supplies, world food scarcity, environmental depletion (pollution), eastward desertification and increaseing competitiveness from India. Japan either did not face these or was able to rise before any of these issues became a critical problem. Add to that China’s current reliance on FDI, dependence on exports to fuel economic growth, and the fact you have 117 boys to every 100 girls and the next 50-100 years are going to be a bumpy ride. The Japan model is out.

  398. WW
    November 25th, 2008 at 03:32 | #398

    @ Steve and @Admin,

    I am not so naïve as to not knowing there are good people everywhere, in very race, and in every nation, even amongst those in the Nazis and Japanese Imperial Army. However, it is just simply not right (not logically, not morally, and not emotionally) that a few isolated exceptions were used to obscure the general brutal and cruel nature of the Nazis and the Japanese Imperial Army in WW2. Am I not right?

    @ bt,

    I am sorry that you misread and misunderstood the meaning of somebody else’s message again. I was saying that number of Jews who were saved by their French neighbors was pittance, compared to the number of Jews who ended up in the concentration camps. Your statists prove exactly what I was saying. Correct, you didn’t say anything about Vichy government… I was just using it as a parallel example to make the point — exceptions can not be used as general rules. The fact that some French individuals saved some Jews from ending up in the concentration camps is not the same as Vichy French government saved the Jews from ending up in the concentration camps.

  399. bt
    November 25th, 2008 at 04:10 | #399

    @ WW

    “exceptions can not be used as general rules. The fact that some French individuals saved some Jews from ending up in the concentration camps is not the same as Vichy French government saved the Jews from ending up in the concentration camps.”
    OK.

    “I was saying that number of Jews who were saved by their French neighbors was pittance, compared to the number of Jews who ended up in the concentration camps. Your statistics prove exactly what I was saying.”
    I repeat the statistics: 26% of the French Jews (meaning people of Jewish religion but having the French nationality) died during WWII (which means, logically, that 74% were still alive at the end of the war).
    Oh, please do tell me how it proves ‘exactly’ your point.

  400. Steve
    November 25th, 2008 at 04:22 | #400

    @WW: I hope I didn’t give you the impression that I felt the actions of a few good people outweighed the cruelty of the Japanese and German armies during the war, which were immense. That was certainly not my intention. All I was trying to say is that I can understand where you were coming from regarding the war, and also acknowledged that what bt said was also truthful in and of itself. The examples are not comparable. Exceptions can’t be used as general rules, but sometimes exceptions can prove the rule. The rule was that both regimes were butchers.

    Because I wasn’t sure where you are coming from, I went back and re-read your earlier posts. I have no idea how you all got to Jews in Shanghai and if there were some nice Japanese people. It seems all this started by discussing the events of 3/14. Are you using these examples to say that the events of 3/14 can’t be compared to the Japanese atrocities because of their small size? I’m confused about where you’re going with all this.

  401. Jerry
    November 25th, 2008 at 04:34 | #401

    @Hongkonger #378

    Some comments, HKer:

    I appreciate your comments here, HKer.

    “many Americans are hoping the new administration will solve the economic problems we face. That’s not likely to happen, because the economic advisors to the new President have no more understanding of how to get us out of this mess than previous administrations and Congresses understood how the crisis was brought about in the first place.” Congressman, Dr. Ron Paul, MD.

    Why, oh, why wasn’t this man elected???

    Good words from Ron. I am not sure how good a president he would make. I would rather have Ted Turner, Pete Peterson, Jim Rogers, Joe Biden, Howard Dean or John Dean (of Nixon fame). Or maybe Michael Bloomberg. Of course, my first choice would be me my late golden retriever, Goldie (Golda Meir). She listened to me and was always auditioning for my affection. 😀 ::LOL::

    We need a hard-nosed fiscal conservative as President who does NOT care if the ruling elite lose their collective butts on their Wall Street holdings. They are the greediest, most delusional and most fiscally irresponsible cabal the US has ever seen. We need responsible fiscal accounting and transparency. We need to understand the downside risks and contingent liabilities which have been pathologically under-reported. This is not just misfeasance, this is malevolent malfeasance.

    We need more than this one person as President. We need a fiscally responsible Congress and Administration. We need a fiscally responsible electorate.

    Can this happen? Who knows? What will motivate us to be fiscally responsible? Beats me.

    For the Chinese here who are exulting in schadenfreudic glee at the problems of America, you are kidding and deluding yourselves, too. My post #305 speaks to the problems I see in China and elsewhere.

    Hopefully, we all wake up before it is too late.

    While Ron has many valid points in his analysis, I am not so sure about his conclusions. We need to work through this problem slowly, reflectively. This problem took a long time to get to this point. No one person is going to solve this. It can not be solved overnight by throwing money and irresponsible fiscal policy at the problem. In fact, that eventually will probably trigger a world-wide depression, much like the irresponsible fiscal policy which contributed greatly to triggering the American Depression.

    BTW, today, Bloomberg announced this on Bloomberg TV. I had to switch the channel before I started screaming or crying. This is just ludicrous beyond belief.

    U.S. Pledges Top $7.7 Trillion to Ease Frozen Credit (Update3)

    By Mark Pittman and Bob Ivry

    Nov. 24 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. government is prepared to provide more than $7.7 trillion on behalf of American taxpayers after guaranteeing $306 billion of Citigroup Inc. debt yesterday. The pledges, amounting to half the value of everything produced in the nation last year, are intended to rescue the financial system after the credit markets seized up 15 months ago.

    The unprecedented pledge of funds includes $3.2 trillion already tapped by financial institutions in the biggest response to an economic emergency since the New Deal of the 1930s, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The commitment dwarfs the plan approved by lawmakers, the Treasury Department’s $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program. Federal Reserve lending last week was 1,900 times the weekly average for the three years before the crisis.

    Bernanke’s Fed is responsible for $4.7 trillion of pledges, or 61 percent of the total commitment of $7.7 trillion, based on data compiled by Bloomberg concerning U.S. bailout steps started a year ago.

    The money that’s been pledged is equivalent to $24,000 for every man, woman and child in the country. It’s nine times what the U.S. has spent so far on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Congressional Budget Office figures. It could pay off more than half the country’s mortgages.

    “It’s unprecedented,” said Bob Eisenbeis, chief monetary economist at Vineland, New Jersey-based Cumberland Advisors Inc. and an economist for the Atlanta Fed for 10 years until January. “The backlash has begun already. Congress is taking a lot of hits from their constituents because they got snookered on the TARP big time. There’s a lot of supposedly smart people who look to be totally incompetent and it’s all going to fall on the taxpayer.”

    President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal of the 1930s, when almost 10,000 banks failed and there was no mechanism to bolster them with cash, is the only rival to the government’s current response. The savings and loan bailout of the 1990s cost $209.5 billion in inflation-adjusted numbers, of which $173 billion came from taxpayers, according to a July 1996 report by the U.S. General Accounting Office, now called the Government Accountability Office.

    Paulson told the House Financial Services Committee Nov. 18 that the $250 billion that had already been allocated to banks through the TARP is an investment, not an expenditure.

    “I think it would be extraordinarily unusual if the government did not get that money back and more,” Paulson said.

    In his Nov. 18 testimony, Bernanke told the House Financial Services Committee that the central bank wouldn’t lose money.

    “We take collateral, we haircut it, it is a short-term loan, it is very safe, we have never lost a penny in these various lending programs,” he said.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=a5PxZ0NcDI4o

    I am going to look further into Bloomberg’s calculation here. But whatever, this is an amazing, sickening sum. I did not include here several proposals which are not in the calculation. The FDIC is considering a guarantee $450,000,000,000 for modifications in home mortgages. The Fed and Treasury have promised $200,000,000,000 to shore up Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. And of course, how ever much it costs to bailout the Big 3 automakers.

    Let us hope that “Santa Claus” Hank Paulson and “Helicopter” Ben Bernanke are correct in that all of this corporate welfare is a good, “can’t miss” investment. Sure, guys! Those are expensive deck chairs you are rearranging on the Titanic. 😀

  402. James
    November 25th, 2008 at 05:55 | #402

    @Tony,

    This is what happens when you allow pirating of pharmasudicals http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/06/world/americas/06poison.html. People who pirate pharmasudicals aren’t humanitarians, the only thing they care about at the end of the day is their wallet. Ironically Microsoft has done more to help impoverished Africans through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation than most nations. Also I don’t really buy the argument of the OS being too expensive; people are buying computer for $500-1000 (even in China), I don’t think the extra price for the OS is a big deal. Software is just cheaper and easier to pirate than hardware. Letting this activity run out of control is ultimately going to lead to foreign firms keeping intellectual secrets as far from China as possible and uncompetitive local firms within China like Steve pointed out. Furthermore it’s going to have a serious negative moral affect on the next generation who see profits made off stolen intellectual property and will come to see this activity as completely acceptable. Why put in the hard work and innovation to develop your own technology when you can just steal it from someone else and make an easy profit? From my perspective, as a software engineer, if someone is smart enough to crack my product and share it with their friends for free they are obviously not going to pay for the product; what bothers me most is the people is the people who are actually profitting off stolen intellectual property.

  403. James
    November 25th, 2008 at 05:59 | #403

    @Tony,

    If you want to see what happens when you allow pirating of pharmasudicals look up “From China to Panama, a Trail of Poisoned Medicine” in the NYT. People who pirate pharmasudicals aren’t humanitarians, the only thing they care about at the end of the day is their wallet. Ironically Microsoft has done more to help impoverished Africans through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation than most nations. Also I don’t really buy the argument of the OS being too expensive; people are buying computer for $500-1000 (even in China), I don’t think the extra price for the OS is a big deal. Software is just cheaper and easier to pirate than hardware. Letting this activity run out of control is ultimately going to lead to foreign firms keeping intellectual secrets as far from China as possible and uncompetitive local firms within China like Steve pointed out. Furthermore it’s going to have a serious negative moral affect on the next generation who see profits made off stolen intellectual property and will come to see this activity as completely acceptable. Why put in the hard work and innovation to develop your own technology when you can just steal it from someone else and make an easy profit? From my perspective, as a software engineer, if someone is smart enough to crack my product and share it with their friends for free they are obviously not going to pay for the product; what bothers me most is the people who are actually profitting off stolen intellectual property.

  404. Jerry
    November 25th, 2008 at 06:21 | #404

    @WW #387
    @bt
    @Hongkonger
    @Steve
    @admin

    If anyone should be sensitive to remarks casting aspersions at my people or trivializing our suffering and persecution, that person would be me. I do not take umbrage at bt’s, Steve’s, admin’s and HKer’s remarks concerning Jews, Japanese, or Germans. In fact, I consider their statements reasonable.

    I criticize and condemn vile, cruel, murderous behavior, no matter who is the perpetrator. And, I celebrate and I am grateful for acts of kindness. I am well aware of the murderous, cruel, general behavior of the Japanese and Germans during WW II. I also delight in knowing the brave acts of those Germans and Japanese who risked their own lives to show kindness to “the enemy”. I am well aware of Vichy France. I am grateful to the French Underground for risking and often losing their life in opposing the Germans. BTW, celebrating kind acts is a way to encourage further kind acts. Beating people into submission seems to me counter-productive if you want to encourage acts of kindness.

    Germans and Italians have done much to atone for their acts against Jews. I appreciate that. The Japanese still seem to want to bury their heads in the sand in regards to their hideous behavior in the Pacific Theater and China. This may not just be a Japanese trait; it may also be an Asian trait.

    What I view with suspicion, WW, is your seemingly singleminded attempt to “be right”. We Jews, in general, are skeptical, wary, hyper-aware and overachievers. Probably mildly paranoid, too. We have psychic antennae which help keep us clear of danger (psychic as in psyche, not Dionne Warwick). When I see your singlemindedness here, alarm bells ring in my head. My mind says, “ideologue”. We have suffered much at the hands of ideologues. Much. Thus we watch ideologues like a hawk.

    I agree with bt in #394. Emotions and the need to be “be right” and morally superior are too high here. I am glad my people were not killed by the Japanese. When I say that, I am not doing so in ignorance of Japanese and German atrocities.

    I agree with admin in #395. There are good people everywhere.

    WW, why did you say to bt in #397, “exceptions can not be used as general rules”? He never explicitly said or implied that. What follows is an example of what I see as your singlemindedness at work.

    … However, it is just simply not right (not logically, not morally, and not emotionally) that a few isolated exceptions were used to obscure the general brutal and cruel nature of the Nazis and the Japanese Imperial Army in WW2. Am I not right?

    … Your statists prove exactly what I was saying. …

    Huh? What is your point? To me it seems that you have an overarching need to be right. And it matters little to me whether or not you agree or disagree with me about that.

    And, WW, I agree with bt in #399 when he asks you, “Oh, please do tell me how it proves ‘exactly’ your point.”

    WW, I just don’t understand your overreactions here in this thread. Is this all about “saving face”? I am not singling you out. I have addressed this several times on this thread and throughout FM posts. You are hardly the only one here exhibiting this singlemindedness.

    I just felt like writing this.

    SK would be thrilled. We made it past 400. 😀

  405. James
    November 25th, 2008 at 06:49 | #405

    With regards to China following the Japanese model; I don’t really see it happening in our lifetime. First off Japan wasn’t a third world country before WW2; Japan had been a growing power in technology, science and education since the 1800s. WW2 slowed it down but it retained a large percentage of very well educated people with technical know how before it started it’s latest period of economic growth and conditions. It was also able to quickly build a democratic government and avoided much of the crippling corruption seen in other Asian countries. Furthermore, the island geography of Japan and fact their ‘dirty’ industrial period took place before global demand truly exploded meant they were able to get out with the environment relatively in tact. China has more than 10 times the population and its situation is far more complicated.

    Unfortunately China faces a much more hostile environment with at least 6 major challenges that were not big issues during Japan’s rise phase: the approaching loss of the demographic dividend (it will soon be among the fastest aging nations), global depletion of energy reserves (oil and natural gas won’t last the entire century), food shortages (as demand keeps growing the green revolution won’t be able to keep up), eastern desertification (the Gobi is growing not shrinking), environmental toxication (this will lead to long term expensive health conditions and unusable land), and increasing competition from India (they will have 200-300 million more people by 2050 and a much younger population). Yes, everyone in the world will get hit hard the century; but this is why I have to shoot down the idea of China easily following the Japanese model. Add to this the fact that in China 117 males are born for every 100 females and the current economy is high dependent on exports and FDI; it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

    I don’t know what direction China will go in the future. The last time I visited I saw two China’s not one. One covers at least 95% of the country and includes mostly the ‘have nots’ and the other is in the form of mega metropolises like Beijing and Shanghai and includes the privileged elite. Perhaps in the future these cities will be linked in a gated network and may be more similar to Japan yet keeping away those in the countryside. Personally I felt more comfortable in the ‘real’ China where people, despite their hardships, were warm and welcoming and came across as very genuine. When I went back to the Beijing it seemed like people were generally more selfish, rude and materialistic, and like was pointed out above, every taxi driver tried to rip me off.

  406. James
    November 25th, 2008 at 07:25 | #406

    – PS sorry for the double postings… They weren’t working before when I sent them with the links… so I wrote them up again and sent them without the links then the ones I posted previously showed up …. ^&^ I’m not sure how to delete posts on here. I’ll have to remember that next time…

    To lighten things up here’s my quotes for the day:

    “Skinner- “Pull Willie. Pull” Willie- “I’m doin’ all the pullin’ you blouse-wearin’ poodle walker””

    ~ Groundskee