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Here is something interesting. Please read to the end.

Tibetan Leader’s Secession Talk Stirs Furor

PARIS (AFP) — The Dalai Lama has touched off a political uproar by expressing sympathy for Tibetans who want to secede from China. His comments have made him a darling of exiled Tibetans, a target of abuse on Chinese state television and a target of criticism from regional Communist officials.

The Dalai Lama did not actually endorse the idea of Tibetan independence, but critics say his remarks, after an anti-government protest on Wednesday in Lhasa, came close. Seeking to quell the furor the next day, he told AFP that “I support genuine autonomy under China, I always expressed in this way.”

Still, Communist officials have pounced on the spiritual leader, saying he is stirring up talk of ethnic disharmony and secession, notions that for many Chinese conjure the specters of rebellion, serfdom and lamaist rule.

“Talk of secession is an attack on our country,” said Qiangba Puncog, Chairman of the Tibetan Autonomous Region. “It’s the ultimate anti-China statement.”

It has long been part of Tibetan folk mythology that because the region was once an isolated kingdom, it has the option to regain that status. But Chinese historians and law professors say there has been no serious argument since the Qing Dynasty on behalf of a legal basis for the region’s secession.

Like many other Tibetans, however, the Dalai Lama still treats separating from China as a possibility.

“Tibet and China in history had patron-priest relationship, with no political meaning,” he told reporters on Wednesday. “My hope is China and particularly Beijing government pay attention. Tibetans get material benefit from China, so they should [have] no reason to leave China. But if people continue to be unhappy, I cannot guarantee what may happen.”

The Dalai Lama has been aggressively courting Western governments to gain support for his movement against Beijing. He has positioned himself as the spokesperson for the Tibetan people. He has attacked the $3.687 billion Qinghai-Tibet railway, and last week he endorsed an EU Parliament resolution championing Tibetan rights.

While Tibetans inside China have generally declined to comment on Wednesday’s remarks, Zeng Qingli, the Communist Party Chief of the Tibetan Autonomous Region, spoke Thursday in a press conference, “He’s just staked his claim to the ‘dregs of Buddhism title,’ just the kind of publicity he needs to get funding from certain foreign governments.”

Du Qinglin, a minister of the United Front Work Department, said the Dalai Lama had not only opened himself to ridicule but also evoked a time most Tibetans would rather forget. “Tibetan monasteries have become a hotbed of Dalai-clique political activity,” Mr. Du said, “but I think even those Buddhist people of Tibetan ethnicity think this is over the top.”


Suppose the New York Times wrote about something similar. Oops, it did!

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/18/us/politics/18texas.html

Texas Governor’s Secession Talk Stirs Furor

HOUSTON — Gov. Rick Perry has touched off a political uproar by expressing sympathy for Texans who want to secede from the United States. His comments have made him a darling of conservative radio hosts, a butt of jokes on television talk shows and a target of criticism from state Democrats.

“Talk of secession is an attack on our country,” said Representative Jim Dunnam of Waco, Democratic leader of the Texas House. “It’s the ultimate anti-American statement.”

Oh yes, one of these was made up.

Categories: aside, politics Tags: , ,
  1. Jack
    April 18th, 2009 at 05:30 | #1

    Not again!

    Please, really, stop posting such things.

  2. Nimrod
    April 18th, 2009 at 05:43 | #2

    Okay, I’ll bite with a “point”.

    It has been said that unity of the country is a uniquely Chinese nationalist obsession. I have wondered whether it was the case, or whether it just never got serious enough to be a test in other places.

    It looks like it just never got serious enough to be a test in other places. Why is “talk of secession an attack on our country”. Why is it “the ultimately anti-American statement”? Why was Rick Perry the butt of jokes on television talk shows and made to scurry back and recant? The answer, popular opinion. Furthermore, I get the impression that the “real” article garners a distinctly different gut feeling from the first. Why is that?

  3. Shane9219
    April 18th, 2009 at 06:21 | #3

    @Jack

    “Not again! … Please, really, stop posting such things.”

    Did I just withness censorship right in front of me … on factual reports (reaction to Rick Perry) that Jack don’t like to read ?

  4. Otto Kerner
    April 18th, 2009 at 06:52 | #4

    This example reflects very poorly on China. Here we have the governor of a large U.S. state making statements that were interpreted as supporting secession. The result? Some people don’t like it. It may or may not prove harmful to his political career in the long-run. That’s it. Nobody has to go to prison, nobody has to go into exile, nobody is prohibited from expressing their opinions. Rick Perry’s not even going to lose his political office (at least, not until his term is over).

  5. April 18th, 2009 at 07:34 | #5

    There are differences between US and China – one being the US is a far more powerful and perhaps socially stable country than China. How can you not be when you are the #1 superpower – with a gdp per capita some 15 times larger than China’s?

    For every country – there are different sensitivities to different issues. In 1860’s – secession was a very sensitive issue for the US – important enough to fight a devastating Civil War.

    Right now – territorial disintegration is not a realistic threat to the US. So secessionist movement does not make an emotional impact.

    The U.S. however is hyper sensitive to other things – such as “race” (if that Texas governor makes a racial slur – he’s out, I’ll guarantee you that – freedom of speech or not!).

    For China – given its current relative strength and development and history, secession is a very sensitive topic today. Race – on the other hand, given its different historical experience than that of the West – is not as much.

    Nimrod – you make a good point. But at some point we just have to accept that the West and China have different perspectives … they have had different historical experiences. We have to accept at some point that there are some things that we are sensitive to but that however we try to convey – Westerners of today will not appreciate.

    We can accept that there is a difference and move on…

    Neither perspective is right or wrong. We simply have to know – based on our history and beliefs – where we stand.

  6. Nimrod
    April 18th, 2009 at 07:58 | #6

    Otto Kerner,

    Arguing over who looks better is a bit of a red herring.

    I was talking more about sentiment rather than the state’s response. (Nota bene the questions in #2. Have you a different answer?)

    What is striking is that people did not like what he said in the first place. What is striking is that somebody merely hinting at secession was made out to be a buffon and lost credibility. What is striking is that “talk of secession is anti-American” is taken as normal reaction, and there is a bunch of legal scholars citing arcana to back it up. What is striking is the reporter felt the need to (calmly) call one side’s story a “folk mythology” and took what could be called the “statist” line in a serious manner, without resorting to quoting strange synonyms like “splittism”. All this when there is not even a probability of Texas seceding.

    I think Allen is right. I don’t think that Chinese as a group are outmodedly more sensitive about territorial integrity issues or behave differently — when presented with the same extant threat. Or I should say that while the policy response (punishment?) is calibrated to the perceived threats, the general underlying sentiment or operating rationale seems to be no different. Am I wrong?

    On an unrelated side note, suppose Rick Perry were taken as a buffon in his home country, which he seems to have been. It would get very strange were another otherwise respectable country to take an almost voyeuristic interest in this buffon and its head-of-state or celebrities started to defend this buffon on his behalf. But that’s another phenomenon, another psychology, for another day.

  7. April 18th, 2009 at 08:11 | #7

    I say goodbye and good riddance to Governor Perry. Take Louisiana and Georgia along with you. Watch the door on the way out.

  8. Raj
    April 18th, 2009 at 11:14 | #8

    It has been said that unity of the country is a uniquely Chinese nationalist obsession.

    Nimrod, who has said that and in what context? Are you alleging this is a common view or what, because I can’t remembering reading such comments. Of course Chinese nationalists aren’t the only people who care about unity. But whilst you made up the first story, the fact remains that if the Dalai Lama had expressed such sympathy he would be attacked for it and in a much less polite fashion than the American governor was offered.

    I don’t agree with Allen’s implication that losing territory is such a huge threat to China such that mere discussion of independence would require a harsh response. The lack of discussion is more problematic, as it means views are sent underground and people who hold them become resentful. Also comparing it to racial slurs is not appropriate. Racism is wrong, end of story. Independence is a legitimate concept even if it is not always appropriate.

    By the way, are you so surprised that Perry is being criticised by local Democrats, him being a Republican and all? Surely they are entitled to their opinion just as he is to his.

    What makes you think Otto can answer your questions in comment #2? Can you answer the motives behind the comments of all Chinese politicians?

  9. Wukailong
    April 18th, 2009 at 12:17 | #9

    The question is: who’s the external enemy in the US context? Al-Qaeda? Mexico? 😉

  10. HongKonger
    April 18th, 2009 at 13:09 | #10

    # 9 : WKL,

    I am wondering if the folllowing view is being held by a minority or majority of the Euro-American population?

    Excerpt: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7787

    “The myth of “al Qaida” is built on an expansive foundation of many half-truths and hidden facts. It is a CIA creation. It was shaped by the agency to serve as a substitute “enemy” for America, replacing the Soviets whom the Islamist forces had driven from Afghanistan. Unknown American officials, at an indeterminate point in time, made the decision to fabricate the tale of a mythical worldwide network of Islamic terrorists from the exploits of the Afghan Mujahedeen. The CIA already had their own network of Islamic militant “freedom fighters,” all that was needed were a few scattered terrorist attacks against US targets and a credible heroic figurehead, to serve as the “great leader.”

    The really tricky part of creating a mythical terrorist monster out of an incomplete truth is laying-out the facts behind your mythical story without revealing the whole truth about your part in its creation. In order to explain away the billions of dollars worth of weapons and training that went into the operation, they chose a rich jihadi, a Saudi millionaire named Osama bin Laden, who had been a faithful recruiter and business agent of the Mujahedeen. He was painted as the sole financier of the entire enormous operation that was centered in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Bin Laden may not even have known that he was playing a part in a deceitful CIA global drama until after the fact. It is more likely that his history was chosen many years later to serve as the legacy of “al Qaida,” than it is that he was a brainwashed tool of the spy agency all along.”

  11. Otto Kerner
    April 18th, 2009 at 17:06 | #11

    Nimrod,

    My point was certainly not to argue that this shows the overall superiority or thoroughgoing pure motives of the U.S. political system. Just that, in this particular the comparison reflects quite poorly on China. I agree that it also shows that there is some “anti-splittist” sentiment even in the U.S., although I would have thought this was obvious and didn’t need to be pointed out.

    Surely you don’t have the impression that this was a major news story in the United States. This is the first I’ve heard about it. People in general are not up in arms about it. They don’t care. I predict that it will never be a major campaign issue if Rick Perry runs for re-election. As Allen argues, this has a lot to do with the current situation the United States finds itself in. However, this cuts both ways: because the situation is so different, there is little basis for an analogy, and so I remain baffled as to what point you made by bringing this up.

    I do not agree that the current “extant threat” somehow justifies popular Chinese attitudes toward secessionism. I am aware of no extant threat to the territorial unity of places in China where the people actually want to be part of China. Losing Tibet and Xinjiang would have no material effect on the lives of 98% of the Chinese population. If it constituted a major propaganda defeat and gave the appearance of political weakness, this, like most of the problems we face in life, is self-inflicted: betting your ego and reputation on this sort of nonsense is a fool’s wager. I’m supposed to feel sympathetic?

  12. Shane9219
    April 18th, 2009 at 17:36 | #12

    @Otto Kerner #4

    “Nobody has to go to prison, nobody has to go into exile, nobody is prohibited from expressing their opinions“

    It’s amazed me when people say things like such while forgetting the McCarthy era in recent history, how many people lost their jobs and how many went to prison.

    What will happen if someone in Texa put arms in their hand and uprising? Will these people go to prison or exile to Mexico?

    My point is simple: don’t try to simplify history.

  13. Charles Liu
    April 18th, 2009 at 17:36 | #13

    Let’s say if Texas is to become independent (for now let’s forget Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was an unequal treaty forced on the Mexicans), what would be the proper course be?

    1) Seek secession within the legal and political framework of the United States in recognition of the current states and existing sovereignty recognized by the world?

    2) Establish a Texas Government In Exile, seek entities outside the US for support, allow TGIE to be exploited for anti-America agenda?

    And a more important question is, would China ever do this to us?

  14. Shane9219
    April 18th, 2009 at 17:38 | #14

    @Otto Kerner #11

    “Losing Tibet and Xinjiang would have no material effect on the lives of 98% of the Chinese population”

    US has its civil war to put southern states back into its map. Stop making such naive assumption.

  15. Raj
    April 18th, 2009 at 18:43 | #15

    Let’s say if Texas is to become independent….

    Charles, from memory Texas has never been an independent nation, it was not annexed by the US less than 60 years ago against its will and it certainly does not face undesirable restrictions imposed by Washington that cut deep into their personal attitudes. Oh, and to hold political office in Texas you have to be… well, Texan, so you don’t get outsiders coming in and telling them how to run their own home.

    Can’t you come up with something just a tad more closely linked to Tibet?

    ++++

    US has its civil war to put southern states back into its map. Stop making such naive assumption.

    Lol, losing two lightly-populated provinces with small economies is the same as a country splitting down the middle? Shane, whatever you’re smoking please pass it over – I could do with a puff!

  16. Otto Kerner
    April 18th, 2009 at 18:44 | #16

    Shane,

    I was not talking about history but about the present state of things. However, you will note that McCarthy is among the most hated politicians of the 20th century in the U.S.

    I’d be happy to discuss the U.S. Civil War with you, but I don’t understand the point you are getting at in #14, so I am unable to respond.

  17. Shane9219
    April 18th, 2009 at 18:50 | #17

    @Raj #15

    Please keep your smoking to yoursself 🙂

    @Otto Kerner

    My point has been it is not okay to compare two different kinds of history, let alone US and China. People find it is hard to compare US with Europea.

    It is often tempting to simplify history, but the end result of such notion mostly serves no purpose.

  18. Nimrod
    April 18th, 2009 at 18:55 | #18

    Otto Kerner,

    I agree that it also shows that there is some “anti-splittist” sentiment even in the U.S., although I would have thought this was obvious and didn’t need to be pointed out. Surely you don’t have the impression that this was a major news story in the United States. This is the first I’ve heard about it. People in general are not up in arms about it. They don’t care. I predict that it will never be a major campaign issue if Rick Perry runs for re-election.

    There is “some” anti-splittist sentiment? I think there is a bit more than you give credit for. It is certainly not a minor story. Members of both parties came out and made statements, and it made it to the New York Times, US News, Time, Wall Street Journal, (and Jay Leno for the heck of it), not just some local newspaper. And how could you miss that this is already a campaign issue because the statements were made precisely to position Mr. Perry and Ms. Hutchison in the Republican primary next year and the other party even got involved, perhaps collecting material for the election next year. Did you read the article? Similarly, last year, Governor Palin was lampooned for the same thing. Her husband being associated with some Alaska secessionist party and one speech by Palin at that organization’s convention were trotted out to paint her in a bad light. Of all the more serious things wrong with Palin, that somehow made the list. Not a major campaign issue?

    I do not agree that the current “extant threat” somehow justifies popular Chinese attitudes toward secessionism.

    As I’ve tried to argue, Chinese attitude toward secessionism appears to be the same attitude as anyone else’s. The “extant threat” is correlated with the state’s response, which is something else. Case in point, Shanghai independence is occasionally heard, too, but it’s taken as a joke because it will never happen — and no state response. I made no mention of justification, but perhaps it’s a way to understand it.

    Losing Tibet and Xinjiang would have no material effect on the lives of 98% of the Chinese population. If it constituted a major propaganda defeat and gave the appearance of political weakness, this, like most of the problems we face in life, is self-inflicted: betting your ego and reputation on this sort of nonsense is a fool’s wager. I’m supposed to feel sympathetic?

    I find it hard to believe you are making this particularly indefensible argument. What you claim may have been true 100 years ago — if ever — but certainly not true today. Besides various borderland concerns that I don’t feel like going into, Xinjiang holds a major trade route, natural resources, and nuclear facilities; it is now pretty high up on the provincial GDP list, too, and produces lots of farm products. Tibet holds the fresh water sources for all of China (China is notoriously arid) as well as hydrological, solar, wind energy reserves; it abuts directly the rice basket and most populous province of Sichuan. You may not feel sympathetic possibly because you’ve not seriously considered the interests of China as a whole and of the Chinese people.

  19. shel
    April 19th, 2009 at 03:01 | #19

    I whole heartly support Hawaiian natives’ claim for independent. Their nation was stolen a century ago. Is there anywhere I can donate money for their cause?

  20. Wukailong
    April 19th, 2009 at 03:37 | #20

    @shel (#19): There is a webpage here, and I’m sure you can contact them for donations:

    http://www.hawaii-nation.org/

  21. Wukailong
    April 19th, 2009 at 03:56 | #21

    @Hongkonger (#10): I’m not sure how many Americans would subscribe to that theory, but it’s quite common in Europe in various versions. Personally, I don’t believe Al-Qaeda was created by CIA as some sort of conspiracy to be able to subvert countries in the Middle East; it’s rather a combination of intelligence actions gone bad and a failure to understand the current state of affairs. During the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, for example, Bin Laden was an outspoken enemy of Saddam Hussein and even offered military aid to the Kuwaiti government (in the form of his ragtag band of guerilla fighters) but was turned down. When US soldiers came to Saudi Arabia he was shocked by what he saw as treachery, and began seeing the US as the foremost enemy.

  22. Otto Kerner
    April 19th, 2009 at 04:40 | #22

    Nimrod,

    When I said there is “some” anti-splittist sentiment, I didn’t mean to imply that it is or isn’t a small amount. Frankly, it’s hard to gauge general opinions about it because it only rarely comes up. I imagine that, if one of the territories that is not a state, such as Puerto Rico, wanted to become independent, people would hardly bat an eye. On the other hand, if a self-described Confederate revivalist movement wanted to separate the entire former Confederate territory and make black people second-class citizens, everybody would freak out. I suppose that Washington lacks the wherewithal at this point to use force on any significant region that wanted to secede — unless they were engaged in other misdeeds — but there would certainly be profuse complaining about it.

    how could you miss that this is already a campaign issue

    I predicted that it would not be a major campaign issue, i.e. an important factor in deciding the outcome of the election. And I certainly meant a negative factor, harmful to Mr. Perry’s prospects; it hardly establishes the prevalence of anti-splittist sentiment if he is benefitting himself by this kind of talk.

  23. HongKonger
    April 19th, 2009 at 05:05 | #23

    Thank you WKL for your respond. I have read both and different sides of the conspiracy and anti-conspiracy camps.Hell, I still can’t bloody make up my mind. It’s kind of like the 9-11 thing. Both camps go overboard sometimes with their propaganda, and a lot of has to do with money really, i.e fundings, donations, sponsorship etc.
    You are right, Europeans are more curious and opened to talking about it…Most Americans I asked (I’ve always said I have questions and very few answers to most things) just flat out refused to consider any such notions, some quoting almost verbatim from whatever sources are stamped with the official sanctioned brain feeds and detergent. And then have the gall to label me a Conspiracy theorist. Dude, I was only asking, it is call a conversation ….ha ha.. Man, it is the worst if I ever brought up Chairman Mao.

    It is like Shane keeps emphasizing, please don’t simplify history and hold to only one point of view like “blind men feeling elephant.” Oh well, who cares. Each to their own, right? Always liked your open minded attitude, WKL. Cheers.

  24. Nimrod
    April 19th, 2009 at 05:26 | #24

    There are actually many separatisms in the US, but most of them are not sensible because the interests are so entangled (money interest, people interest, etc.) that independence is not viable. This is a lesson, perhaps.

  25. greg
    April 19th, 2009 at 06:52 | #25

    Nimrod:I find it hard to believe you are making this particularly indefensible argument. What you claim may have been true 100 years ago — if ever — but certainly not true today.

    More than 100 years ago, General Zuo Zongtang (Genreal Zuo as in General Tso’s Chicken in a Chinese restaurant near you) led the Chinese army to fight the Russian in Xinjiang, expelled the invading Russians and took back Chinese territory in Xinjiang. General Zuo became a national hero largely because of it.

    The willows that General Zuo and his army planted in Xinjiang when they were there have been fondly called Zuo Willow.

  26. Raj
    April 19th, 2009 at 10:23 | #26

    Nimrod

    # 18

    Of all the more serious things wrong with Palin, that somehow made the list. Not a major campaign issue?

    Politicians are scrutinised over everything that they do. If you smoked pot at university, were caught speeding 20 years ago, etc that will all be covered at least once.

    Chinese attitude toward secessionism appears to be the same attitude as anyone else’s. The “extant threat” is correlated with the state’s response, which is something else.

    What extant threat are you talking about with China? I don’t get your point.

    Xinjiang holds a major trade route, natural resources, and nuclear facilities

    Miltiary nuclear facilities could be moved or shut down. Civilian centres could be kept open probably only with the help of Chinese engineers, which would mean plenty of work. Trade routes would be kept open because business is good for everyone. Natural resources would continue to flow to China because it’s the biggest, nearest market for them.

    produces lots of farm products

    So it would continue to sell to China as it has done now. If China pays a fair price for food grown in Xinjiang (and Tibet) there wouldn’t be an interruption to supply.

    Tibet holds the fresh water sources for all of China (China is notoriously arid)

    What is Tibet going to do, cut off the rivers?!

    Also China’s water problem is mainly a matter of consumption, not demand. If water was priced properly and consumption better regulated (e.g. stopping pollution), the country would have a lot more fresh water available. If it doesn’t do this then it’s going to face an ecological disaster.

    You may not feel sympathetic possibly because you’ve not seriously considered the interests of China as a whole and of the Chinese people.

    I think you’re exaggerating the impact of the above territorial changes as I have explained above.

    # 24

    There are actually many separatisms in the US, but most of them are not sensible because the interests are so entangled (money interest, people interest, etc.) that independence is not viable. This is a lesson, perhaps.

    Nimrod, financial realities may indeed make independence hard. But that’s for the territory trying to make a start of it by itself, not China. It’s like if your parents are really rich and you can have anything you want provided you live with them and follow their rules – but I would guess that everyone here would prefer to go out into the world to make a living independently even if you had to start at the bottom.

  27. Nimrod
    April 19th, 2009 at 15:57 | #27

    Raj,

    You completely miss the point of what “no material effect” means, with your list of “coulds”. At the very least, “coulds” mean things need to be done a different way, e.g. negotiation/trade/whatever — that by itself is a material effect. Even worse is they aren’t even very believable “coulds”. I’ll be brief and just take two examples. One, the former USSR’s to this day has leftover military facilities and pipelines in Ukraine which continue to be used and cannot be moved, but now you get ridiculous disputes over both all the time. Two, turning Tibet into some zone of luddite hippy environmentalist ahimsa, which the DL has proposed with a straight face (which in one form or another means no dams, no nuclear power, no river diversion projects) will cut off water and power resources.

    Also this reminds me of one of your previous comments on Texas never having been independent. I implore you to generally brush up on the facts.

  28. Raj
    April 19th, 2009 at 16:50 | #28

    One, the former USSR’s to this day has leftover military facilities and pipelines in Ukraine which continue to be used and cannot be moved, but now you get ridiculous disputes over both all the time.

    So you’re telling me that relations between Xinjiang and China are as bitter as they are between Ukraine and Russia? I thought Xinjiang got on well with China.

    Two, turning Tibet into some zone of luddite hippy environmentalist ahimsa…

    1. If Tibet didn’t exploit its resources such that China could benefit, it would have no money.
    2. If there are no dams, water will continue to flow into Chinese rivers.
    3. You ignored my point about the need for water conservation in China. Better to fix the “leaks” in the Chinese pipes than demand full control over the Tibetan environment, ignoring how that effects the people living there.

    Moreover, I think you’ve forgotten what we’re talking about here. It’s not whether Tibet or Xinjiang should become independent, it’s about people making pro-independence comments and how those comments should be treated. Everyone is free to criticise the views of others, but as Otto said at least those views can be aired in the US. Even suggesting autonomy for Tibet results in a more aggressive response in China (and from Chinese people).

    Also this reminds me of one of your previous comments on Texas never having been independent.

    Really, when was it an independent nation? I’ll admit my Texan history is limited, but if it has been independent it wasn’t for very long. I’m vaguely aware of some “republic” that existing in the 19th century for a while but only in the lull between Mexican and American control.

    But in any case, would you like to confirm for me whether or not:

    Texas was annexed by the US less than 60 years ago against its will.
    Texas faces undesirable restrictions imposed by Washington that cut deep into the personal attitudes of people living there.
    Texans have their political leaders forced on them by Washington.

  29. April 19th, 2009 at 18:00 | #29

    @Raj #8,
    You wrote:

    Also comparing it to racial slurs is not appropriate. Racism is wrong, end of story. Independence is a legitimate concept even if it is not always appropriate.

    Racism is always wrong? Is a preference to marry based on race wrong? Is a preference to go to a church of a certain race wrong? Is a preference to form a professional organization (i.e. black lawyer’s association, black caucus) based on race wrong? Is a preference for a certain president to be elected because of his race wrong?

    We do a myriad of things based on “prejudices.” People form first impressions based on people’s height, the firmness of their handshakes, how they walk, whether people slouch or not, the style (or quantity, as the case may be) of their hair, smell of cosmetic, sense of humor, how much money they make, etc., etc. All these are trivial and stupid, in my view. If we do not have the policy and history of oppression based on race – race would be just another stupid insignificant factor.

    To blindly say racism is wrong without more is to not learn the true lessons of racism, to oversimplify history, and may be as disgusting as the original racism…

    To casually diss and dismiss the important role unity plays in securing human rights and welfare for China is (in my humble opinion) equally disgusting …

    China has suffered tremendously in the last century or so because of her lack of unity.

    China today is still a weak country. (look up the gdp per capita and military spending of China vs. the west on a per capita basis; China’s gdp per capital is around that of Turkmenistan and Angola). The only way China can pass a semblance of a strong power and achieved what she has done is because of her unity.

    Unity is important for the Chinese people. It is a legitimate issue for the Chinese people. I think it’s important for people to understand how important unity is the basis for securing freedom, human rights for the Chinese people.

    The West is justified in being hypersensitive about race – due their history of oppression based on race.

    The Chinese – I say – is equally justified in being hypersensitive about unity – due to their history of foreign oppression (and resulting tremendous human suffering) enabled by a Chinese lack of unity.

  30. Nimrod
    April 19th, 2009 at 18:33 | #30

    Raj,

    You wrote “Really, when was [Texas] an independent nation? I’ll admit my Texan history is limited, but if it has been independent it wasn’t for very long. I’m vaguely aware of some “republic” that existing in the 19th century for a while but only in the lull between Mexican and American control.

    Don’t get too excited. It’s a nice face-saving tactic for ignorance, really, to downplay/plead confusion on the existence of an independent Texas in history, which forms the foundation of the whole argument of Texas secessionists. But it comes at the cost of convincing yourself that even a “lull” between controls of two different countries (!) does not an independent nation make. Excellent work on your part, so now I hope you won’t be a hyprocrite when other such “lulls” enter discussion.

    With regards to the Ukraine Russia relationship, hostility only emerged following political development after the split, especially with external influences like the NATO, which is actually quite instructive.

    With regards to what we’re actually talking about here, I believe it is whether secession has material effects on China; and before that, it was whether people in different places had similar anti-splittist sentiments and why they might call on different responses by the state, even between different “splittists” within China. The answers to some of these questions are pretty obvious, actually, while others can be debated on their merits.

    I am particularly not interested in how any of this makes China look bad, or pigeonholing this into a shouting match on whether your splittist is more legitimate than mine.

    If you still haven’t noticed, this has been a discussion on the finer points of anti-splittism. There have been plenty of other threads on Tibet policy and how bad China looks to some of you, so allow me to not entertain the rest of your strawmen and innuendos here.

  31. Raj
    April 19th, 2009 at 19:17 | #31

    Nimrod

    It’s a nice face-saving tactic for ignorance, really, to downplay/plead confusion on the existence of an independent Texas in history

    Well maybe you’re of the opinion that 19th century Texan history is the cornerstone of UK history classes, but I’m afraid you’d be wrong there!

    you’ve managed to convince yourself that even a “lull” between controls of two different countries

    So how long was Texas independent for, then? You seem to know more about this than I do so I would appreciate it if you could clarify the situation.

    I hope you won’t be a hyprocrite when other such “lulls” enter discussion.

    It would rather depend on how long those “lulls” were and when they occurred, which is why I asked how long Texas was independent for.

    With regards to the Ukraine Russia relationship, hostility only emerged following political development after the split

    There was hostility before Ukrainian independence as well, even if relations may have been more civil in 1991 than they are right now.

    If you still haven’t noticed, this has been a discussion on the finer points of anti-splittism.

    Right, it’s about how people react to calls for independence. Otto and I have indicated there are differences in how people react and tolerate such views in China and the US. Your initial post was not clear in what you wanted to get out of comparing a real news story from the US and a fake one from China. It seemed as if you were trying to make a point that reflected badly on the US. In retrospect I guess you didn’t mean that, so perhaps you can explain why you used a fake article for one.

    Can I get back to my original question to you. Where have you seen comments like:

    “unity of the country is a uniquely Chinese nationalist obsession”

    It seems key to the reason you made this post yet I don’t know why you think people say these things.

  32. Nimrod
    April 19th, 2009 at 19:38 | #32

    It seemed as if you were trying to make a point that reflected badly on the US … so perhaps you can explain why you used a fake article for one.

    Isn’t it strange. One would suppose that without the fake article, it would have seemed more like I was bashing the US rather than talking about similar sentiments on secession.

  33. miaka9383
    April 19th, 2009 at 20:17 | #33

    On the topic of Secession, Vermont itself had put the issue of secession into a vote. The vote failed. Here is a blog that kept the process of it.
    http://vermontsecession.blogspot.com/2008/02/finally-poll-on-secession-in-vermont.html
    It is pretty interesting…

  34. April 20th, 2009 at 05:21 | #34

    Of course, the difference is that in the US a governor can promote succession, remain in office, and get some national publicity on TV and print media (plenty of it positive).

    Nobody is going to disappear or be tortured for agreeing with him, either.

  35. opa
    April 20th, 2009 at 20:27 | #35

    A-Gu
    What happens if people found that Rick Perry’s taking money from China, visiting overseas to promote his agenda, and at one time sent his brother to China for Guerilla training ? Do you think he will remain in office? get positive publicity?

  36. miaka9383
    April 20th, 2009 at 22:01 | #36

    Opa
    he would get kicked out of office for BRIBERY…maybe go to jail for that crime…
    without taking moeny part….
    he wouldn’t get positive publicity, but he wouldn’t go to jail or get exhiled by his own government for it.

  37. Otto Kerner
    April 21st, 2009 at 02:14 | #37

    opa,

    Seriously, if Texas tried to secede from the United States and Washington repressed them by force, then Rick Perry would be completely justified in taking his case to the United Nations or other international bodies and accepting help from whoever he damn well pleases.

    Still, I think you’re misinterpreting the point I was trying to make — and I suspect Raj as well — it’s not that the U.S. government is inherently kinder and purer than China’s in all situations. It’s that in this particular example it’s better. That means that the best we can say for China is that the comparison is irrelevant because the situations are so different.

  38. Nimrod
    April 21st, 2009 at 02:51 | #38

    Otto Kerner,

    The situations are different. Since the situations are so different, it’s a bit odd that you continue to make comparisons, like “the US in this particular example is better”. Why is it “the best we can say for China”, as if you’re only being charitable, rather than it being a matter of fact? Is it not the case that the response changes with the threat of the secession actually happening or perhaps degree of foreign meddling?

    What were your thoughts on the occasional references to Shanghai independence, or let’s say, Manchurian independence, not being violently suppressed? And Hong Kong independence, too, which is talked about a bit more frequently, but let’s throw that case out since it’s special.

  39. Wukailong
    April 21st, 2009 at 03:08 | #39

    I read the book “The Confederate States of America – what might have been” a couple of months ago, and in it the author describes the precarious situation Lincoln was in; the reason to defend the unity of the country was not only because it would otherwise be seen as weak, but also because the US was then one of the few democracies in the world, a political system many would like to fail. I believe the Chinese leadership think of themselves as being in a similar position, with the “confederates” being Taiwan and the Tibetan separatists.

    This is even more obvious when listening to Lincoln’s own words:

    “Our popular government has often been called an experiment. Two points in it our people have already settled – the successful establishing and the successful administering of it. One still remains – its successful maintenance against a formidable internal attempt to overthrow it. It is now for them to demonstrate to the world that those who can fairly carry an election can also suppress a rebellion; that ballots are the rightful and peaceful successors of bullets; and that when ballots have fairly and constitutionally decided, there can be no successful appeal back to bullets; that there can no be no successful appeal except to ballots themselves, at succeeding elections. Such will be a great lesson of peace; teaching men that what they cannot take by an election neither can they take by a war; teaching all the folly of being the beginners of a war.”

    http://www.nps.gov/liho/historyculture/democracy.htm

    How the leadership of a country reacts to separatism depends on how strong its [the government’s] level of control is and what the effects of independence would be. I think China’s response is understandable because of its level of development and the way most people perceive history.

  40. Wukailong
    April 21st, 2009 at 03:15 | #40

    @Nimrod: While we’re at it, do you think you could explain what “other foot, form of flattery, crab meat” means? I guess it’s a Chinese pun, but I can’t figure it out.

  41. Nimrod
    April 21st, 2009 at 03:26 | #41

    Wukailong,

    It’s associative thinking in English, actually. Solve the puzzle: ___ on the ___ , ___ is the sincerest ___, ___ crab meat.

  42. Charles Liu
    April 21st, 2009 at 17:12 | #42

    Nimrod, appearantly Raj isn’t familiar with The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

  43. colin
    April 23rd, 2009 at 10:03 | #43

    Ha! Great post. Been hearing about the Texas succession, but didn’t put it in the context of tibet. While differences can be argued between the two situations, this basic comparison is powerful and useful against the “brainwashed masses” in the west. Ha!

    Further, the Texa congress is threatening to cut off funding of Perry’s executive office. Maybe the CCP should take a lesson and cut funding to government programs in tibet. Ha ha!

  44. HJG
    April 27th, 2009 at 03:21 | #44

    Really, anyone who supports Tibetan independence will get nothing other than obscenities from 99% of the Chinese population. So, as a dutiful daughter of the motherland, I’d just like to say: a grass and mud horse for Tibetan secessionists, end of story.

  45. Nimrod
    April 27th, 2009 at 20:12 | #45

    Seems like people are still writing about it.

    http://www.covnews.com/news/article/6805/

    April 25
    “Texas Gov. Rick Perry has suggested that secession may be the “new way” for the GOP. New way to what? The federal pen? Promoting secession is a felony, even if the governor claims to represent the Alamo.”

    I’m not sure that it is a felony, but this newspaper editorial writer in Georgia believes so.

  46. Nimrod
    April 27th, 2009 at 20:25 | #46

    Another one in Baylor University’s student newspaper, which is rife with rhetoric on which you can do simple word substitution, enjoy:

    http://www.baylor.edu/lariat/news.php?action=story&story=58220

    “It is indescribably irresponsible to appear to be advocating secession, or even imply that it’s an option. This ‘cowboy politics’ is not commendable in any way. It promotes anarchy. He is pandering to the angry and misinformed, likely to respond with a knee-jerk reaction to any action of Democratic administration they already mistrust and suspect is socialist or something otherwise foreign and evil.

    Also, and quite significantly, there exists a lunatic fringe base in Texas that actively promotes secession, and their beliefs and tactics have been deadly in the past.

    In 1997 the Republic of Texas Separatist movement had a week-long standoff with police that left one dead and its leader with a 99-year sentence in prison. Why would Perry ever want to even hint at aligning himself with this movement?

    According to Rasmussen Reports, 31 percent of Texans think that Texas has the right to secede and form an independent country. Three-fourths would opt to stay in the United States if it were put to a vote. That 25 percent on the fence about this, some maybe armed (even on college campuses!), really frightens me.

  47. Nimrod
    April 27th, 2009 at 20:38 | #47

    Then there is this anonymous comment on MSNBC: “Time to show traitors like Rick Perry how we treat traitors who advocate secession, by sending down federal troops and putting him in prison. This just shows what kind of false patriots the lunatic fringe republic party is made up of and why we can never trust the repugnant ones with control of the government.” – Eric, Salinas, CA

    The summary of responses I’ve seen are along the lines of “he’s a lunatic” “he’s a traitor” “he’s a joke” “he’s dangerous” “Texans are ignorant, don’t know what’s good for them” and the occasional snide “good riddance” comment. However, I’m not sure this constitutes any serious contemplation of the other side. On the balance, it seems Americans are no less anti-splittist than in the days of Lincoln. If somebody finds genuine support for Texas independence from people outside Texas on self-determination grounds, please let me know.

  48. raventhorn4000
    April 27th, 2009 at 22:12 | #48

    I wonder how Americans would feel about it, if China decided to secretly gave fund, weapons, and training for “Texas Independence” movement, and Mexico gave “Texas Government in Exile” refugee status.

    Heck, what if China made 1 million Texas Independence flags, and shipped them to Governor Perry?

  49. miaka9383
    April 27th, 2009 at 23:08 | #49

    I also wonder how you guys view the Vermont secession movement? Why is it that you guys insist on talking about Texas?

  50. Nimrod
    April 27th, 2009 at 23:24 | #50

    Just out of convenience, really. What about Vermont secession? Do people support that more than about Texas?

  51. miaka9383
    April 27th, 2009 at 23:34 | #51

    They had a whole movement. Even a website!
    They put it to a vote on the ballot in a state election and it failed.
    The thing is that the way that Vermont joined the Union was a lot different than Texas. Nonetheless, there was a movement. Vermont and Texas’s state constitution was also different. In a way, there is a self determining aspect to the relationship between a state and the federal government. There are people in New York right now that wants to move to secede from the Union because Taxes are so high.
    I think the outrage was that the statement was made by an official. If lets say China did fund secretly to the secession movement in Texas, they can! No big deal! Just that Texas is full of dumb patriots…..they would never leave the Union…Unless the federal government is threatening to take their trucks and guns away.

  52. Lime
    April 27th, 2009 at 23:38 | #52

    @Nimrod
    Yeah, I’m pretty sure promoting secession is not felony. As to your question of who would support Texan independence on the grounds of self-determination outside of Texas, I don’t know of any groups, but I personally would. Mind you, I’m a Canadian (legally), and a would-be supporter of Albertan Independence (to date the Albertan Independence Party has not run a candidate in my riding, so I’ve been consistently forced to vote for parties that support Alberta’s continued enthrallment in Confederation).

    Oh hey, this guy would probably support it too.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/18/nyregion/18towns.html?_r=1

    And look at this, the Georgia State Senate has passed a resolution saying that if the Federal Government tries to interfere with the rights of its citizens (it gives a list of the rights in question), it will cease to recognise the authority of the federal constitution and government.
    http://www.legis.ga.gov/legis/2009_10/fulltext/sr632.htm

  53. raventhorn4000
    April 27th, 2009 at 23:41 | #53

    Secession itself is arguably not a direct violation of any law, but ARMED secession is a crime in US!

    Of course, by the time secession becomes the heated topic in politics, there is inevitably talk of violence and arms.

  54. raventhorn4000
    April 27th, 2009 at 23:43 | #54

    By that, I mean, every secessionist talks about “depending one’s own freedom” by buying up a lot of guns.

    And usually, that qualifies as “armed secession”.

  55. raventhorn4000
    April 27th, 2009 at 23:50 | #55

    I mean, “defending”…

  56. miaka9383
    April 28th, 2009 at 02:49 | #56

    owning guns is part of the 2nd Amendament. It is a right.

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