Home > Opinion, politics > Reader Naqshbandiyya chimes in on Tibet and ethnic nationalism

Reader Naqshbandiyya chimes in on Tibet and ethnic nationalism

In an earlier discussion, reader Naqshbandiyya responded to this comment by Otto Kerner.  He was in fact commenting on the exchange between Otto Kerner and Raventhorn2000.  I want to repeat his point that for the most part, U.S. and China are interested in creating a tolerant society at home.  They prize harmony.  We all should watch out for those pushing for ethnic nationalism, for that is what divides us.  I simply liked how Naqshbandiyya articulated this view:

When I first read raventhorn2000′s comment, I thought that he was going to compare the Chinese to the Jews, in that both the Chinese and the Jewish diasporas experienced (and in some places, still experience) centuries of violent persecution and forced assimilation by their host countries. Alas, he turned it into a moralizing lesson about how Tibetans should “save their culture” themselves instead of relying on Tibetan exiles.

The “unnamed others” I refer to are those Tibetan exiles, who while relatively well-integrated in the West, self-segregate themselves in India into tightly controlled communities that are bound by poverty, religion, and an essentially anti-Chinese nationalism. (Dissenters are viciously persecuted within the Tibetan exile community, as the Dorje Shugden episode tells us, but you can find some criticisms of this unhealthy insularity from Jamyang Norbu.) According to these exiles, everything the Chinese do to promote Tibetan culture is attacked (like you attack it), because an “independent or autonomous Tibet” could supposedly do it better; i.e., because the Chinese are doing it. Build a train from Qinghai to Tibet? China’s planning to send hordes of Han settlers to Tibet! Don’t build a train from Qinghai to Tibet? China is keeping Tibetans poor. Are the Tibetans rioting now? Chinese socialism has failed! Are they not rioting? China has imposed a brutal reign of terror over Tibet! These are not strawmen; these are the rhetorical staples of an exile population that receives through the National Endowment for Democracy, Radio Free Asia, and other programs a blank check from the U.S. government to stoke the flames of anti-Chinese sentiment both within Tibet and outside of it.

And the rhetoric gets very tiring, because it fundamentally hasn’t changed in 50 years. Tibet is always in some “crisis”, some “tragedy”, or to quote the Dalai Lama, “some kind of genocide”. When is the Han population going to overwhelm the Tibetan population in Tibet, after all of these warnings from exiles of mass population transfers? When is the Chinese language going to eclipse the Tibetan language in Tibet, after all of these warnings from exiles of the perils of compulsory schooling? The answer to both questions is never, because both propositions are based in the fantasy of a fossilized Tibet with zero Chinese influence, and not in Tibet’s reality (which is still somewhat stunted, thanks to the political pressure that exiles create). Moving forward, China has changed a lot in 50 years; have the exiles changed? Despite much talk about “democratization”, another Lama (this time Karmapa) is making the rounds in Washington, scheduled to become “leader of the Tibetans” upon the Dalai Lama’s death.

The audience for the exiles’ alarmist warnings of cultural destruction, which you happily regurgitated in comment #14, are strictly Westerners, who miss no opportunity to let the Chinese people know how they feel about China—whether by assaulting a wheelchair-bound Chinese torchbearer on the 2008 Olympics torch relay, or by simply disrupting China blogs by bringing polemics about Tibet into every discussion. The exiles have no genuine interest in dialogue with China or Chinese, as meeting basic preconditions to show good faith (such as to stop distorting history to create the legal fiction of an “independent” “occupied” Tibet) would be impolitic. Maybe it’s just politics, but the behavior of the Tibetans-in-exile and their western supporters are completely inconsistent with the ideals of the multicultural nation-state to which Singapore, China, and the United States strive. Indeed, the Free Tibet movement is a regression towards the Bad Old Days of hysterical, exclusionary, and eventually genocidal ethnic nationalism.

If you are interested in reading more about ‘Tibet,’ I suggest heading over Raventhorn2000’s recent post, “2008 ‘Olympic Debate’ over Tibet on American Bar Association China Law Committee.”

Click on the ‘Tibet’ tag below for more thoughts from Allen and others on this blog.

  1. raventhorn2000
    August 15th, 2011 at 10:34 | #1

    1 point I brought up in another thread, which I emphasize now, is the often neglected consideration of the Hui Chinese in the Media.

    Hui Chinese are the bulk of the population that have migrated into Xinjiang and Tibet in recent years. Western Media tend to arbitrarily call them “Han Chinese”, simply because many Hui’s speak some Chinese dialect and have some bloodline relationships with “Han Chinese”. (Several descendants of Confucius have married Hui Chinese and converted to Islam in Chinese history).

    Hui’s are an unique culture on their own, and they are devout Muslims.

    The fact is the Hui’s have been able to take advantage of the Chinese development policies in the remote provinces, to make themselves successful, and build Mosques along the way.

    That fact alone suggests that those development policies do not favor “Han Chinese” over the minority ethnic groups.

    But rather, some ethnic groups in China are able to compete more effectively than others under the same policies.

    And the Hui’s religious practices are absolutely flourishing in Western China is another point that Uighur and Tibetan Exiles’ movements are absolutely political, and have NOTHING to do with preservation of culture or religion.

  2. August 15th, 2011 at 11:03 | #2

    Standard narrative in the West has Xinjian to be the “home” of the Uyghurs, with the Han Chinese invading and taking the land away.

    The history is much more nuanced. As an example, here is what looks to be like a brief but fairly account of the history of Urumqi.

    Urumqi, meaning “fine pasture” in Mongolian, is the capital of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and is said to be the most landlocked city in China. It is the main settlement of the Junggar basin, a valley that for centuries has been the mercantile passageway, and a route of conquest, between Mongolia and Central Asia. Located at the base of the Tianshan Mountains, the city borders the Taklamakan Desert. From the alpine Lake of Heaven and the mountain glaciers to the south runs the Urumqi River, which bisects the city.

    Until recent industrialization, Urumqi was a large frontier town and a major node along the high-traffic northern Silk Road, which skirted the north of the Taklamakan Desert from Xian through Turfan to Urumqi before arriving at Aksu and Kashi. The city’s eclectic built fabric reveals the new industrial and the old mercantile identities.

    In first century B.C., Han Chinese soldiers established the city as the imperial outpost Luntai. During the Tang Dynasty in the seventh and eighth centuries, Luntai was developed as a regional administrative center. Uygur people, who were fleeing the Kyrgz from the Orhon Valley took the city in the ninth century and made it their northern capital along with Kashi to the southwest and Turfan to the east. After the establishment of Genghis Khan’s Mongol Empire in the thirteenth century, and during the subsequent stability of the Pax Mongolica, Urumqi was known as Bishbalik or “the five cities,” because the city was divided into five walled areas. These cities stretched southwards along the eastern bank of the Wulumuqi River beginning with the walled inner-city with its four gates, to the southernmost city, which contained the major marketplace.

    The Chinese Manchu dynasty reclaimed the Junggar basin in the eighteenth century, and built a garrisoned city to the northwest of Urumqi to thwart Dzungar attacks. The new city, Tihua, was perfectly square, covering an area of 1,200 by 1,200 meters divided into quadrants. The Uygur Dungan rebellion against the Chinese forces of occupation from 1864 to 1876 destroyed most of the old city. In 1884, the Chinese Province of Xinjiang was established with Urumqi as its capital. By the 1900s about 10,000 people lived in the new city while 30,000 people still inhabited old Urumqi across the river. Still a major commercial center, the city was sought after by the British as well as the Russians due to its strategic location.

    In the 1950s, the population of Urumqi skyrocketed to about one and a half million people as the new Communist government began developing the desert to the north of the city for agricultural cultivation and the extraction of petroleum, coal, iron, copper and salt. The different segments of the city were engulfed in suburbs and eventually merged into the unified modern Urumqi. A railroad was built to the city in 1963 from Beijing and major highways have been extended since into the Xinjiang Province.

    Today, multi-storied office and apartment buildings, hospitals, universities and industrial smokestacks define Urumqi’s skyline. However, much of the urban fabric -the neighborhood and street layouts as well as the housing- has maintained its Mongol, Chinese and Turkish influences. Most of the Uygur and Muslim Hui Chinese inhabit the older parts of the city, while the Han Chinese who arrived since the 1950s were settled in the newer segments of the city.

    The mosques of Urumqi represent a variety of typologies; the Shaanxi Mosque is built distinctly in Chinese pagoda style, while the Beytullah Mosque has a bulbous central dome and minarets with crescent finials, in contrast with the square minaret of the wooden Tartar Mosque. These monumental mosques are complimented by the recently built Islamic Institute of Xinjiang. Secular features of Urumqi include the 1970s Communist brigade residential quarters, the Xinjiang People’s Theater and the Xinjiang Science Hall.

    Sources:

    Lunde, Paul. 1985. “Muslims in China: The History”. In Aramco World Magazine 36-4, 29. http://archnet.org/library/documents/one-document.jsp?document_id=4357 [Accessed October 23, 2004]

    Petersen, Andrew. 1996. Dictionary of Islamic Architecture. London: Routledge., 52-54. http://archnet.org/library/dictionary/entry.jsp?entry_id=DIA0074 [Accessed October 23, 2004]

    Rab, Samia. 1989. Continuity and Change in the Rural Habitat: the case of Urumchi, China. Unpublished Report, Aga Khan Visual Archives, 11-14.

    Schinz, Alfred. 1989. Cities in China. Berlin: Gebruder Brontraeger, 449-451.

    “Urumchi.” Encyclopædia Britannica. 2004. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
    23 Oct. 2004 .

    Source: http://archnet.org/library/places/one-place.jsp?place_id=2536&order_by=title&showdescription=1

  3. August 15th, 2011 at 14:00 | #3

    I might also add that the Hui Chinese is a very diverse group in itself. Some of whom are descendents of Arab merchants, some are Persian, some are from other ethnic groups. The PRC presently do not recognized Jewish Chinese as a seperate group and is usually classified under Hui Chinese too.

    Former Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi’s grandfather is a Hui from China, so is Abdurrahman Wahid former President of Indonesia. Most Chinese would have heard of Hai Rui 海瑞 as he is imortalized in the opera 海瑞罢官 but few realized that he is also a Hui. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hai_rui

    Modern Nationalist Guanxi faction General 白崇禧 is also a Muslim but he like to tell people that he is a Chinese Muslim. His descendents are now mostly in Taiwan. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E7%99%BD%E5%B4%87%E7%A6%A7

    I think everybody know that Zeng He is a Muslim but few know that the 2nd Sultan of Brunei could have been a Hui Chinese http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huang_Senping

    Ancestor of Jose Rizal also came from Jinjiang, Fujian. My point all along is, if there is any group that try to pretend there is such a thing as racial or ethnic exclusivity, they are going to shoot themselves in the foot.

  4. August 15th, 2011 at 14:01 | #4

    http://factsanddetails.com/china.php?itemid=170&catid=5&subcatid=88

    Tensions Between Tibetans and Hui Muslims

    Muslim Huis Tibetans and Muslims, mostly Muslim Huis, are arguably the most bitter enemies in China. They get along even worse than Tibetans and Chinese. Animosity between Tibetans and Muslims was a major contributor to the tensions that produced the riots in March 2008. Many of the shops and restaurants that were attacked in Lhasa were Muslim owned.

    Tibetans and Huis have often lived in close proximity and they have a long history of fighting, competing, intermarrying and collaborating. Muslim have traditional done butchering and tanning for Tibetans who eat meat and wear furs but are restricted by Buddhism from killing animals. The Huis also have a reputation for seeking their fortune in remote places that Han Chinese would never go and serving as intermediaries for illiterate Tibetans in markets.

    Animosity between Muslims and Tibetans in Qinghai dates back to the 1930s when the Muslim warlord Ma Bufeng tried to establish an Islamic enclave in Qinghai. Tibetans were pushed off their land. Some were killed, or forced to convert to Islam. After the Communist takeover tensions were repressed.

    Clashes Between Tibetans and Muslims

    In recent years their have been dozens of clashes between Tibetans and Muslims in Sichuan, Gansu and Qinghai provinces as well as in the Tibetan Autonomous region. Most of the incidents go unreported. Neither the Chinese or the Tibetans want the incidents publicized. The Chinese don’t want their claims of a “harmonious society” undermined and the Tibetans don’t want their international image tarnished.

    In the mid 1990s, Tibetans in Lhasa began boycotting Muslim restaurants and calling Muslims cannibals after someone reportedly found a finger in a bowl of coup. Rumors also began spreading that Muslim cooks urinated in the food and added their bath water to it. Seemingly ridiculous or trivial concerns set off biter clashes.

    In February 2008, an altercation involving thousands of people began after a Tibetan child complained of the high cost of balloons sold by a Muslim peddler. In 2003, a Tibetan and a Muslim died, with the Muslim being stabbed to death with a kebab skewer, and Chinese troops were called in, during a riot that began with a dispute over billiards game.

    In the summer of 2007 Tibetans rioted in the town of Guojia in the Golog area of Qinghai Province after a dispute in a Muslim restaurant. The incident began when a Tibetan customer complained that was a tooth in her soup. The owner of the restaurant insisted it was just a piece of lamb bone. By that time a crowd of Tibetans had gathered. When someone screamed, “Let’s trash this restaurant” the crowd did exactly that—tables, chairs and a television were tossed and kitchen equipment was smashed with bricks—before the crowd moved onto other restaurants and did the same.

    After that incident Tibetans refused to eat in Muslim restaurants and Muslim taxi drivers feared going into Tibetan parts of town. After the riots in Lhasa in March 2008 about 800 of the town’s 3,000 Muslims moved out. Of those that stayed, many men stopped wearing skullcaps, women wore hairnets rather than scarves and the religious-minded prayed at home because the nearest mosque had been burned down.

    Twenty Tibetans were arrested in connection with the Guojia clash, including a senior monk fingered as the ringleader who was sentenced to death.

    Reasons for Tensions Between Tibetans and Hui Muslims

    A Tibetan doctor told the Los Angeles Times, “To be honest the Tibetans don’t have the business savvy of the Hui. The Tibetans have to sell their products to Hui. The Hui have to buy it from the Tibetans. I suppose because we are interdependent we resent each other.” It doesn’t help that the Huis often side with the Han Chinese in disputes involving Tibetans and support Chinese repression against Tibetans.

    In some ways the Tibetans take their frustrations of being a minority on the Hui, another minority. London-based Tibetan scholar Andrew Fischer told the Los Angeles Times, “It is the dark side of Tibetan nationalism. It is as though the Tibetans are diverting their anger over their own situation towards another vulnerable minority.” A Muslim shopkeeper in Lhasa, said “they are used as a scapegoat for their grievances against the country.”

    The increased mobility of people brought about by easing of travel restrictions have brought Muslim and Tibetans into contact with each more than ever before, creating more opportunities for tensions to rise compared to the Maoist era when travel restrictions kept them separated.

    In Lhasa, many Muslims have bought Tibetan businesses and now own the majority of souvenir stands. Tensions over lost business opportunities are seen a major force behind the riots in 2008. A Tibetan businessman told the Los Angeles Times, You hear these stories about Muslims putting stuff in soup. But I think its all about business competition and economics.”

  5. August 15th, 2011 at 14:04 | #5

    London-based Tibetan scholar Andrew Fischer told the Los Angeles Times, “It is the dark side of Tibetan nationalism. It is as though the Tibetans are diverting their anger over their own situation towards another vulnerable minority.”

  6. August 15th, 2011 at 15:22 | #6

    Allen :Standard narrative in the West has Xinjian to be the “home” of the Uyghurs, with the Han Chinese invading and taking the land away.
    The history is much more nuanced. As an example, here is what looks to be like a brief but fairly account of the history of Urumqi.

    You are quite right about this, Allen. The northern half of Xinjiang and the southern half are different regions with very different historical developments over the last few hundred years. Uyghurs come from southern Xinjiang. Ürümqi is definitely part of the north.

  7. August 15th, 2011 at 15:29 | #7

    Somehow Otto manages to take snippets from others and miss the whole point.

    HISTORY of the REGION is “nuanced”, not just Urumqi (which was only 1 example).

  8. August 15th, 2011 at 16:14 | #8

    The history of literally everywhere on Earth is nuanced. However, the recent history in northern Xinjiang is considerably more nuanced than southern Xinjiang. Southern Xinjiang has been majority-Uyghur for a long time, and it still is. Northern Xinjiang has seen major population shifts in the late 18th century, during the course of the 19th century, and in the 1950s/60s.

  9. August 15th, 2011 at 16:16 | #9

    Define “a long time”, because Chinese history is over 4000 years old.

    You better have a pretty LONG time to match that one.

  10. Al
    August 15th, 2011 at 16:31 | #10

    Otto, u forget to say that Uigur arrive well after many other ethnic group in Xinjiang, Han included…

  11. August 15th, 2011 at 16:56 | #11

    @Otto Kerner #6

    I did not intend this to be a history discussion. I thought what I wrote to be fairly straightforward, but since I was curious, too, I dug up this more comprehensive history of Xinjiang – North, South, East, West…

    It’s a fairly objective piece, not a political piece…

    07-10-2009, 08:35 PM by Lucid

    The known history of Xinjiang dates back to the 2nd millennium BC. Throughout history many empires have controlled some or all of this vast area, including the Xiongnu, Han, Göktürks, Tang, Turkic Uyghurs, and Mongols. The region was conquered by the Qing Dynasty in 1759, who subsequently named the area Xinjiang (新疆, meaning "new frontier"). Since 1949 Xinjiang has been part of the People’s Republic of China.

    The Name

    In ancient China, the area was simply known as "Xiyu" or "Western Regions", a name that became prevalent in Chinese records after the Han Dynasty took control of the region. For the Uyghurs, the region is "Sharqi Turkistan" (literally "Eastern Land of the Turks" in English). The region was referred to as being part of "Turkistan" by the 13th centuryvenetian traveler Marco Polo. "Xinjiang" is a relatively new name for this ancient region. After the ManchuQing dynasty reconquered this region, the area was renamed Xinjiang, meaning "New Frontier" by the Qing in 1884. This name of the whole region is an anachronism in Uyghur. For Uyghurs, the region is not a frontier but a centre, not new but old.

    Early Caucasian Inhabitants

    Chinese accounts

    According to JP Mallory, the Chinese describe the existence of "white people with long hair" or the Bai people in the Shan Hai Jing, who lived beyond their northwestern border.

    The very well preserved Tarim mummies with Caucasoid features, often with reddish or blond hair, today displayed at the Ürümqi Museum and dated to the 2nd millennium BC, have been found in precisely the same area of the Tarim Basin. Various nomadic tribes, such as the Yuezhi were probably part of the large migration of Indo-European speakers who were settled in eastern Central Asia (possibly as far as Gansu) at that time. The Ordos culture situated at northern China east of the Yuezhi, is another example, yet skeletal remains from the Ordos culture found have been predominantly Mongoloid.

    The first known reference to the nomadic Yuezhi was made in 645 BC by the Chinese Guan Zhong in his Guanzi 管子 (Guanzi Essays: 73: 78: 80: 81) . He described the Yuzhi 禺氏, or Niuzhi 牛氏, as a people from the north-west who supplied jade to the Chinese from the nearby mountains of Yuzhi 禺氏 at Gansu. The supply of jade from the Tarim Basin[8] from ancient times is indeed well documented archaeologically: "It is well known that ancient Chinese rulers had a strong attachment to jade. All of the jade items excavated from the tomb of Fuhao of the Shang dynasty, more than 750 pieces, were from Khotan in modern Xinjiang. As early as the mid-first millennium BC the Yuezhi engaged in the jade trade, of which the major consumers were the rulers of agricultural China." (Liu (2001), pp. 267-268).

    The nomadic tribes of the Yuezhi are also documented in detail in Chinese historical accounts, in particular the 2nd-1st century BC "Records of the Great Historian", or Shiji, by Sima Qian. According to these accounts:

    "The Yuezhi originally lived in the area between the Qilian or Heavenly Mountains (Tian Shan) and Dunhuang, but after they were defeated by the Xiongnu they moved far away to the west, beyond Dayuan, where they attacked and conquered the people of Daxia and set up the court of their king on the northern bank of the Gui [= Oxus] River. A small number of their people who were unable to make the journey west sought refuge among the Qiang barbarians in the Southern Mountains, where they are known as the Lesser Yuezhi.", According to Han accounts, the Yuezhi "were flourishing" during the time of the first great Chinese Qin emperor, but were regularly in conflict with the neighbouring tribe of the Xiongnu to the northeast.

    Some Uyghur scholars claim modern Uyghurs descent from both the Turkic Uyghurs and the pre-Turkic Tocharians (Yuezhi), and relatively fair skin, hair and eyes, as well as other so-called ‘Caucasoid’ physical traits, are not uncommon among Uyghurs. Modern genetic analysis suggests that aboriginal inhabitants had a high proportion of DNA of European origin.

    Roman accounts

    Pliny the Elder (, Chap XXIV "Taprobane") reports a curious description of the Seres (in the territories of northwestern China) made by an embassy from Taprobane (Ceylon) to Emperor Claudius, saying that they "exceeded the ordinary human height, had flaxen hair, and blue eyes, and made an uncouth sort of noise by way of talking", suggesting they may be referring to the ancient Caucasian populations of the Tarim Basin

    Struggle between Xiongnu and Han China

    Traversed by the Northern Silk Road,Western Regions is the Chinese name for the Tarim and Dzungaria regions of what is now northwest China. At the beginning of the Han Dynasty (206 BC – AD 220), the region was subservient to the Xiongnu, a powerful nomadic people based in modern Mongolia. In the 2nd century BC, Han China sent Zhang Qian as an envoy to the states in the region, beginning several decades of struggle between the Xiongnu and Han China over dominance of the region, eventually ending in Chinese success. In 60 BC Han China established the Protectorate of the Western Regions (西域都護府) at Wulei (烏壘; near modern Luntai) to oversee the entire region as far west as the Pamir.

    During the usurpation of Wang Mang in China, the dependent states of the protectorate rebelled and returned to Xiongnu domination in AD 13. Over the next century, Han China conducted several expeditions into the region, re-establishing the protectorate from 74-76, 91-107, and from 123 onward. After the fall of the Han Dynasty (220), the protectorate continued to be maintained by Cao Wei (until 265) and the Western Jin Dynasty (from 265 onwards).

    A succession of peoples

    The Western Jin Dynasty succumbed to successive waves of invasions by nomads from the north at the beginning of the 4th century. The short-lived non-Han Chinese kingdoms that ruled northwestern China one after the other, including Former Liang, Former Qin, Later Liang, and Western Liáng, all attempted to maintain the protectorate, with varying extents and degrees of success. After the final reunification of northern China under the Northern Wei empire, its protectorate controlled what is now the southeastern third of Xinjiang. Local states such as Kashgar (Shule), Hotan (Yutian), Kucha (Guizi) and Cherchen (Qiemo) controlled the western half, while the central region around Turpan was controlled by Qara-hoja (Gao chang), remnants of a Xiongnu state Northern Liang that once ruled part of what is now Gansu province in northwestern China.

    Gokturk Empire

    In the late 5th century the Tuyuhun and the Rouran began to assert power in southern and northern Xinjiang, respectively, and the Chinese protectorate was lost again. In the 6th century the Turks began to emerge in the Altay region, subservient to the Rouran. Within a century they had defeated the Rouran and established a vast Turk Empire, stretching over most of Central Asia past both the Aral Sea in the west and Lake Baikal in the east. In 583 the Gokturks split into western and eastern halves, with Xinjiang coming under the western half. In 609, China under the Sui Dynasty defeated the Tuyuhun, forced him to take refuge in Qilian mountains.

    The Tang Dynasty

    Starting from the 620’s and 630’s, Chinese Tang empire conducted a series of expeditions against the Turks. Southeastern Xinjiang was placed under the Anxi Protectorate (安西都護府; "Protectorate Pacifying the West") in 640. in 657, Tang army forced the surrender of the western Gokturks and took control of the Tarim Basin kingdoms. In 662 a rebellion broke out and Tang army was sent to control the situation, but was badly defeated by the Tibetans in the south of Kashgar. After defeating Tang in 670, the Tibetans gained control of the whole region and completely subjugated Kashgar in 676-8 and retained possession until 692, then China regained control of all southern Xinjiang, and retained it for the next fifty years. 728, the local king of Kashgar was awarded a brevet by the Tang emperor. During the devastating Anshi Rebellion, Tibet invaded Tang China on a wide front from Xinjiang to Yunnan, sacking the Tang capital in 763, and taking control of southern Xinjiang. At the same time, the Uyghur Empire took control of northern Xinjiang, as well as much of the rest of Central Asia, including Mongolia, where their empire originated.

    Uyghur Empire

    Asia in AD 800, showing the Uyghur Khanate and its neighbors.

    By 745 the Uyghur Empire stretched from the Caspian Sea to Manchuria and lasted from 745 to 840.[citation needed] After the battle of Talas in 751, Uyghur Khaganate took control of northern Xinjiang, as well as much of the rest of Central Asia, including Mongolia, where their empire originated. It was also during this time that Tang China started a process of withdrawal from Central Asia. Bayanchur Khan acted quickly and took over the fertile Tarim Basin as well..

    The Chinese defeat at the Battle of Talas combined with a series of rebellions, the largest being of An Lushan, forced the Chinese emperor to turn to Bayanchur Khan for assistance. Seeing this as an ideal opportunity to meddle in Chinese affairs, the Khagan agreed, quelling several rebellions and defeating an invading Tibetan army from the south. As a result, the Uyghurs received tribute from the Chinese and Bayanchur Khan was given the daughter of the Chinese Emperor to marry (princess Ningo).

    In 762, in alliance with the Tang, Tengri Bögü (Chinese transcription Idigan ) launched a campaign against the Tibetans. He recaptured for the Tang Emperor the western capital Luoyang. Khagan Tengri Bögü met with Manichaean priests from Iran while on campaign, and was converted to Manicheism, adopting it as the official religion of the Uyghur Empire.

    In 779 Tengri Bögü, incited by sogdian traders, living in Ordu Baliq, planned an invasion of China to take advantage of the accession of a new emperor. Tengri Bögü’s uncle, Tun Bagha Tarkhan opposed this plan, fearing it would result in Uyghur assimilation into Chinese culture[citation needed].

    In 840, the Kyrgyz tribe invaded from the north with a force of around 80,000 horsemen. They sacked the Uyghur capital at Ordu Baliq, razing it to the ground. The Kyrgyz captured the Uyghur Khagan, Kürebir (Hesa) and promptly beheaded him. The Kyrgyz went on to destroy other Uyghur cities throughout their empire, burning them to the ground. The last legitimate khagan, Öge, was assassinated in 847, having spent his 6-year reign in fighting the Kyrgyz and the supporters of his rival Ormïzt, a brother of Kürebir. The Kyrgyz invasion destroyed the Uyghur Empire, causing a diaspora of Uyghur people across Central Asia.

    Uyghur State and Kara-Khanid Khanate

    Both Tibet and the Uyghur Khaganate declined in the mid-9th century.After the Uyghur khanate in Mongolia had been smashed by the Kirghiz, branches of the Uyghurs established themselves in the area around today’s Turfan and Urumchi in 840. This Uyghur state would remain in eastern Xinjiang until the 13th century, though it would be subject to various overlords during that time.

    The Kara-Khanid Khanate, which arose from a confederation of Turkic tribes scattered after the destruction of the Uyghur empire. The Uygurs living in the southern part of Khan Tengri, established the Karakhanid Uygur Kingdom in 840 with the support of other Turkic clans like the Karluks, Turgish and the Basmyls, with Kashgar as its capital. Kara-Khanids ruled Turkistan including modern western Xinjiang and much of central Asia. The Kara-Khanids were likewise "Uyghurs," as the components in the Kara-Khanid federation were likewise from the ruling clans of the Uyghur empire. The Kara-Khanids converted to Islam, whereas the Uyghur state in eastern Xinjiang remained Manicheaean, while tolerating Buddhism and Christianity.

    Eurasia on the eve of the Mongol invasions, c. 1200

    Kara-Khitan Khanate

    In 1132, remnants of the Khitan Empire from Manchuria entered Xinjiang, fleeing the onslaught of the Jurchens into north China. They established an exile regime, the Kara-Khitan Khanate, which became overlord over both Kara-Khanid-held and Uyghur State-held parts of the Tarim Basin for the next century.

    Chagatai Khanate

    After Genghis Khan had unified Mongolia and began his advance west, the Uyghur state in the Turfan-Urumchi area sensibly offered its allegiance to the Mongols in 1209, contributing taxes and troops to the Mongol imperial effort. In return, the Uyghur rulers retained control of their kingdom. By contrast, Genghis Khan‘s Mongol Empire conquered the Kara-Khitan in 1218. Because the Kara-Khitan had persecuted Islam, the Mongols were met as liberators in the Kashgar area. After the break-up of the Mongol Empire into smaller khanates, Xinjiang, though mostly ruled by the Chagatai Khanate, one of the successor states of the empire, in fact was fought over by Yuan Dynasty, the successor regime based in Mongolia and in China.

    Moghulistan

    After the death of Qazan Khan in 1346, the Chagatai Khanate, which embraced both East and West Turkestan, was divided into western (Transoxiana) and eastern Moghulistan halves. Power in the western half devolved into the hands of several tribal leaders, most notably the Qara’unas. Khans appointed by the tribal rulers were mere puppets. In the east, Tughlugh Timur (1347–1363), an obscure Chaghataite adventurer, gained ascendancy over the nomadic Mongols, and converted to Islam. During his rein (and ruled until 1363), the moghuls were converted to Islam and slowly turkizised. In 1360, and again in 1361, he invaded the western half in the hope that he could reunify the khanate. At their height, the Chaghataite domains extended from the Irtysh River in Siberia down to Ghazni in Afghanistan, and from Transoxiana to the Tarim Basin.

    Central Asia in around 1450

    Moghulistan embraced settled lands in Eastern Turkestan as well as nomad lands north of Tangri Tagh. The settled lands were known at the time as Manglai Sobe or Mangalai Suyah, which translates as Shiny Land, or Advanced Land Which Faced the Sun. These lands included west and central Tarim oasis-cities, such as Khotan, Yarkand, Yangihisar, Kashgar, Aksu, and Uch Turpan; and hardly involved eastern Tangri Tagh oasis-cities, such as Kucha, Karashahr, Turpan and Kumul, where a local uyghur administration and buddhist population still existed. The nomadic areas comprised the present Kyrghyzstan and part of Kazakhstan, including Jettisu, the area of seven rivers.

    Moghulistan existed around 100 years, and then split into two parts: Yarkand state (mamlakati Yarkand), with its capital at Yarkand, which embraced all the settled lands of Eastern Turkestan, and nomad Moghulistan, which embraced the nomad lands north of Tengri Tagh. The founder of Yarkand was Mirza Abu-Bakr, who was from the dughlat tribe. In 1465, he raised a rebellion, captured Yarkand, Kashgar, and Khotan, and declared himself an independent ruler, successfully repelling attacks by the Moghulistan rulers Yunus Khan and his son Akhmad Khan, or Ahmad Alaq, named Alach, "Slaughterer", for his war against the kalmyks.

    Dughlat amirs had ruled the country that lay south of the Tarim Basin from the middle of the thirteenth century, on behalf of Chagatai Khan and his descendents, as their satellites. The first dughlat ruler, who received lands directly from the hands of Chagatai, was amir Babdagan or Tarkhan. The capital of the emirate was Kashgar, and the country was known as Mamlakati Kashgar. Although the emirate, representing the settled lands of Eastern Turkestan, was formally under the rule of the moghul khans, the dughlat amirs often tried to put an end to that dependence, and raised frequent rebellions, one of which resulted in the separation of Kashgar from Moghulistan for almost 15 years (1416 – 1435).Mirza Abu-Bakr ruled Yarkand for 48 years.

    State of Yarkand

    In May, 1514, Sultan Said Khan, grandson of Yunus Khan (ruler of Moghulistan between 1462 and 1487) and third son of Akhmad Khan, made an expedition against Kashgar from Andijan with only 5000 men, and having captured the Yangihisar citadel, that defended Kashgar from south road, took the city, dethroning Mirza Abu-Bakr. Soon after, other cities of Eastern Turkestan — Yarkand, Khotan, Aksu, and Uch Turpan — joined him, and recognized Sultan Said Khan as ruler, creating a union of six cities, called Altishahr. Sultan Said Khan’s sudden success is considered to be contributed to by the dissatisfaction of the population with the tyrannical rule of Mirza Abu-Bakr and the unwillingness of the dughlat amirs to fight against a descendant of Chagatai Khan, deciding instead to bring the head of the slain ruler to Sultan Said Khan. This move put an end to almost 300 years of rule (nominal and actual) by the Dughlat Amirs in the cities of West Kashgaria (1219-1514). He made Yarkand the capital of a state, "Mamlakati Yarkand" which lasted until 1678.

    The Khojah Kingdom

    In the 17th century, the Dzungars (Oirats, Kalmyks) established an empire over much of the region. Kalmyks controlled a vast area known as Grand Tartary or the Kalmyk Empire to Westerners, which stretched from the Great Wall of China to the Don River, and from the Himalayas to Siberia. A Sufi cleric Khoja Āfāq defeated Saidiye kingdom and took the throne at Kashgar with the help of the Oirat (Dzungar) Mongols. Khoja dynasty rule in the region lasted until 1759.

    Puning Temple, built to commemorate the defeat of the Zunghars

    The Qing Empire

    The Qing Empire, established by the Manchus in China, gained control over eastern Xinjiang as a result of a long struggle with the Zunghars (Dzungars) that began in the seventeenth century. In 1755, the Qing Empire attacked Ghulja, and captured the Zunghar Khan. Over the next two years, the Manchus and Mongol armies of the Qing destroyed the remnants of the Zunghar Khanate, and attempted to divide the Xinjiang region into four sub-Khanates under four chiefs. Similarly, the Qing made members of a clan of Sufi shaykhs known as the Khojas, rulers in the western Tarim Basin, south of the Tianshan Mts. In 175859, however, rebellions against this arrangement broke out both north and south of the Tian Shan mountains.

    After perpetrating wholesale massacres, in 1759, the Qing finally consolidated their authority by settling Chinese emigrants, together with a Manchu Qing garrison. The Qing put the whole region under the rule of a General of Ili (Chinese: 伊犁将军, Yili Jiangjün), headquartered at the fort of Huiyuan (the so-called "Manchu Kuldja", or Yili), 30 km west of Ghulja (Yining). The Qing had thoughts of pushing their conquests towards western Turkestan and Samarkand, the chiefs of which sent to ask assistance of the Afghan king Ahmed Shah. This monarch despatched an embassy to Peking to demand the restitution of the Muslim states of Central Asia, but the embassy was not well received, and Ahmed Shah was too much engaged with the Sikhs to attempt to enforce his demands by arms.

    Uyghur Rebellions and Qing Reconquest

    Yakub Beg, Amir of Kashgaria

    In 1827, southern part of Xinjiang was retaken by former ruler’s descendant Jihangir Khojah; Chang-lung, the Chinese general of Hi, recovered possession of Kashgar and the other revolted cities in 1828[15]. A revolt in 1829 under Mohammed AH Khan and Yusuf, brother of Jihangir Khojah, was more successful, and resulted in the concession of several important trade privileges to the of the district of Alty Shahr (the "six cities"). Until 1846 the country enjoyed peace under the just and liberal rule of Zahir-ud-din, the Uyghur governor, but in that year a fresh Khojah revolt under Kath Tora led to his making himself master of the city, with circumstances of unbridled license and oppression. His reign was, however, brief, for at the end of seventy-five days, on the approach of the Chinese, he fled back to Khokand amid the jeers of the inhabitants. The last of the Khojah revolts (1857) was of about equal duration with the previous one, and took place under Wali-Khan. The great Tungani revolt, or insurrection of the Chinese Muslims, which broke out in 1862 in Gansu, spread rapidly to Zungaria and through the line of towns in the Tarim basin. The Tungani troops in Yarkand rose, and (10 August, 1863) massacred some seven thousand Chinese, while the inhabitants of Kashgar, rising in their turn against their masters, invoked the aid of Sadik Beg, a Kurghiz chief, who was reinforced by Buzurg Khan, the heir of Jahanghir, and Yakub Beg, his general, these being despatched at Sadik’s request by the ruler of Khokand to raise what troops they could to aid Muslims in Kashgar. Sadik Beg soon repented of having asked for a Khojah, and eventually marched against Kashgar, which by this time had succumbed to Buzurg Khan and Yakub Beg, but was defeated and driven back to Khokand. Buzurg Khan delivered himself up to indolence and debauchery, but Yakub Beg, with singular energy and perseverance, made himself master of Yangi Shahr, Yangi-Hissar, Yarkand, and other towns, and eventually declared himself the Amir of Kashgaria.

    Yakub Beg ruled at the height of The Great Game era when the British, Russian, and Manchu Qing empires were all vying for Central Asia. Kashgaria extended from the capital Kashgar in south-western Xinjiang to Urumqi, Turfan, and Hami in central and eastern Xinjiang more than a thousand kilometers to the north-east, including a majority of what was known at the time as East Turkestan.

    Kashgar and the other cities of the Tarim basin remained under Yakub Beg‘s rule until December 1877. Yakub Beg’s rule lasted until General Zuo Zongtang (also known as General Tso) reconquered the region in1877 for Qing China. In 1881, Qing China recovered the Gulja region through diplomatic negotiations (Treaty of Saint Petersburg (1881)).

    In 1884, Qing China renamed the conquered region, established Xinjiang ("new frontier") as a province, formally applying onto it the political system of China proper. For the 1st time the name "Xinjiang" replaced old historical names such as "Western Regions", "Chinese Turkestan", "Eastern Turkestan", "Uyghuristan", "Kashgaria", "Uyghuria" , "Alter Sheher" and "Yetti Sheher".

    20th Century and after the Qing Dynasty

    In 1912 the Qing Dynasty was replaced by the Republic of China. Yuan Dahua, the last Qing governor of Xinjiang, fled. One of his subordinates Yang Zengxin (杨增新), acceded to the Republic of China in March of the same year, and maintained control of Xinjiang until his death in 1928. Following insurgencies against Governor Jin Shuren (金树仁) in the early 1930s, a rebellion in Kashgar led to establishment of the short-lived First East Turkistan Republic (1st ETA) in 1933.

    Xinjiang was eventually brought under the control of the Manchu Sheng Shicai (盛世才), who ruled Xinjiang for the next decade with close support from the Soviet Union, following some of its ethnic and security policies. Sheng invited a group of Chinese Communists to Xinjiang, including Mao Zedong‘s brother Mao *****, but in 1943, fearing a conspiracy, Sheng killed all communists, including Mao *****, in Xinjiang. A Second East Turkistan Republic (2nd ETA, also known as the Three Districts Revolution) existed from 19441949 with Soviet support in what is now Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture in northern Xinjiang.

    The Second East Turkistan Republic came to an end when the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) entered Xinjiang in 1949. According to the PRC interpretation, the 2nd ETA was Xinjiang’s revolution, a positive part of the communist revolution in China; the 2nd ETA acceded to and welcomed the PLA when they entered Xinjiang, a process known as the Peaceful Liberation of Xinjiang. However independence advocates view the ETA as an effort to establish an independent state, and the subsequent PLA entry as an invasion. The autonomous region of the PRC was established on October 1, 1955, replacing the province. The PRC’s first nuclear test was carried out at Lop Nur, Xinjiang, on October 16, 1964.

    Continued tensions

    There continues to be concern over tensions in the region, centering upon Uyghur cultural aspirations to independence, and resentment towards what Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch describe as repression of non-Han Chinese culture.

    Conversely, many Han Chinese perceive PRC policies of ethnic autonomy as discriminatory against them (see autonomous entities of China) and previous Chinese dynasties owned Xinjiang before the Uyghur Empire. Independence advocates view Chinese rule in Xinjiang, and policies like the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps as Chinese imperialism.

    The tensions have occasionally resulted in major incidents and violent clashes during the PRC period. For example, in 1962 60,000 Uyghur and Kazak refugees fled northern Xinjiang into the Soviet Union, escaping famine and political purges of the Great Leap Forward era; in the 1980s there was a scattering of student demonstrations and riots against police action that took on an ethnic aspect; and the Baren Township riot in April, 1990, an abortive uprising, resulted in more than 50 deaths.

    A police round-up and execution of 30 suspected separatists during Ramadan resulted in large demonstrations in February 1997 which were characterised as riots in the Chinese state media, but which have also been described as peaceful. These demonstrations culminated in the Gulja Incident on the 5th of February, where a PLA crackdown on the demonstrations led to at least 9 deaths and perhaps more than 100. The Urumqi bus bombs of February 25, 1997, perhaps a response to the crackdown that followed the Gulja Incident, killed 9 and injured 68. Despite much talk of separatism and terrorism in Xinjiang, especially after the 9-11 attacks in the United States and the US invasion of Afghanistan, the situation in Xinjiang was quiet from the late nineties through mid-2006, though inter-ethnic tensions no doubt remained.

    On January 5, 2007 the Chinese Public Security Bureau raided a terrorist training camp in the mountains near the Pamir Plateau in southern Xinjiang. According to reports 18 terrorists were killed and another 17 captured in a gun battle between the East Turkestan Independence Movement and PRC forces. One Police Officer was killed and "over 1,500 hand grenades… were seized."

    An additional present-day concern is that the supply of jade. The jade that has been extracted for millennia is projected to be exhausted at the present rate of mineral extraction in the Xinjiang Territory.

    From http://forum.globaltimes.cn/forum/showthread.php?t=557.

  12. August 15th, 2011 at 17:16 | #12

    Otto also forget that the US only has 13 colonies in 1776.

  13. August 16th, 2011 at 05:58 | #13

    The incidents of race hostilities between the Hui and Tibetans is an interesting case example of race relations, also interesting analogy for relationship between China and US.

    As 1 link I provided above: “A Tibetan doctor told the Los Angeles Times, “To be honest the Tibetans don’t have the business savvy of the Hui. The Tibetans have to sell their products to Hui. The Hui have to buy it from the Tibetans. I suppose because we are interdependent we resent each other.””

    I think this “interdependency” he spoke of is analogous to the relationship between China and US, and also relationship between US and many third world countries.

    US outsources many of its jobs that its people doesn’t want to do for the little pay, and then complains about “loss of jobs”.

    It is in some way analogous to the way Tibetans have “lost” some of their jobs in selling their businesses to Hui Chinese, and then complaining about it.

    “In Lhasa, many Muslims have bought Tibetan businesses and now own the majority of souvenir stands. Tensions over lost business opportunities are seen a major force behind the riots in 2008.”

  14. August 16th, 2011 at 09:03 | #14

    The affirmative action in place in China means that most traders or business people who run the stores have to rent them from local Tibetan. I remember in the 2008 riots, most actual shop lots owners turned out to be well off local Tibetan, but tragedies transcend boundaries, as not only Han, Hui were killed or burned to death, the victims include a Tibetan young lady too.

  15. raventhorn2000
    August 16th, 2011 at 09:23 | #15

    It should be pointed out as a clear point of contrast, for example, Israel’s policies of segregating their own citizens from Palestinians.

    I personally think that physical barriers to provide security between ethnic groups is a dangerous policy. And China’s policy at least allows some intermingling of the populations, even if it raises some ethnic tensions due to competition for jobs and resources.

    As a comparison, I think Israel is headed toward a dangerous cliff where the ethnic tension that eventually boils over the physical barriers will be far greater than they can deal with when it becomes unbearable.

  16. August 16th, 2011 at 09:37 | #16

    @raventhorn2000

    So in a sense the Singaporean model of forced intermingling is probably the model China should learned. Although this create a funny real estate situation where an ethnic Indian or Malay house in HDB estate (govn’t built) can only be sold to the same respective ethnic group. In politics, the system also requires that a certain number of seats contested in certain electorate must be from multi-ethnic combination.

    Although in Israel proper, Arab citizens of Israel comprise just under 20% of the country’s total population but is the fastest increasing group. The Arab-Israeli wars is just another tragedy as ethnically both the Jews and Arabs are descendents of Abraham.

  17. raventhorn2000
    August 16th, 2011 at 09:52 | #17

    Similarly, Chinese government requires a set number of seats in parliament for minority ethnic groups, as well for women.

    But I don’t think they need to go that far for real estate. (the bigger problem is to curb extravagent spenting by the wealthy, which simply flaunts inequality in the face of the poor, regardless of ethnicity).

    *As for Israel, they are currenting experiencing Protests because of economic inequity situation, and lack of housing.

    1 Analyst said on NPR last night that the protest threatens to bring in the old problem of Palestinian State, (UN General Assembly is due to vote on Palestine statehood status in a few weeks, and US may veto the result).

    Additionally, even with Israel’s continual refusal to deal effectively with the Palestinian Statehood question, Israel may not have a choice much longer, as its own Arab citizens are becoming a sizable voter block in Israel (as you indicated, Ray).

    Bottomline: Multi-ethnic integration may require some harsh laws, and long time, but it’s better to make people deal and confront the problem head on early on, instead of just accepting that “we are too different”, give up, and starting building borders and walls

    (which says every thing about Gandhi’s mistake with India and Pakistan, as well as Israel’s mistake).

  18. August 16th, 2011 at 10:46 | #18

    @raventhorn2000

    Compare to China, Singapore is tiny, so representation there is even more effective. In SG, the ethnic requirement for electorate might cover just a small city block (by China’s standard) and the candidates must be from that respective area making it very hard for the small opposition party to field suitable candidates.

    The Chinese system, let’s take Xinjiang for example, might on theory have representation from each ethnic groups, gender and even social class (worker, businessman, farmer, professional etc). However, some specific areas might have no representation at all (an oversight in the present system). Which I believe meant that some local voices are not heard in the congress. I must admit that China face a huge task simply trying to figure out a representation system that is effective and is always a work in progress.

    As for real estate, I think some compromise have to be made. For example, if a new govn’t low cost housing project come up in Kashi, how are the tenants selected, is it based on income, ethnic groups, new comers, or late comers. Either way there will be resentment because somebody will lose out. I remember when an old section was abolished, there are some who feel that they are not aptly compensated, and some who feel that the new housing should not be given to new comers, and new comers feel they have also been slighted in the allocation. That’s why I don’t envy those having to run the show in China, it is almost mission impossible.

    Compare to China’s problem, Israel/Palestine is like child’s play. India’s demographic and georgraphical conflicts are much worse than China. The religious aspect alone split the same people into political enemies. I ranked India as the most difficult country to run.

  19. August 16th, 2011 at 11:07 | #19

    Ray,

    I think for large countries like China, “representation” cannot be equated to Numerical quantified per capita voices. (Nor should we confuse “Representation” to “accountability”. They are completely different concepts).

    The point of large nations is that there simply won’t be enough seats in the government to ensure absolute numerical representation. Thus, the challenge is to ensure “representation” of the People (not just the majority), by process of continuous improvement and feedback.

    *Again, here, INTEGRATION is important, because even if a small population group is NOT numerically represented, INTEGRATED living quarters would ensure that the small group’s issues would be noticed by the larger group, and shared.

    *Here, I find ironic that the new Tibetan Exile Prime Minister (Kalon Tripa) Lobsang Sangay made a point about his past record of reaching out to Chinese scholars about Tibetan concerns, and yet the Exiles also made a point to separate themselves from the Chinese as a measure of preventing their own cultural erosion.

    It would have been far more logical for them to make their concerns known by the Chinese if they were actually living among the “Han Chinese”.

    So, I don’t know what Lobsang could possibly get across that ordinary Tibetans in China cannot get across to the Han Chinese. (Of course, if majority Han Chinese are “racists” as they imagined, then I doubt a few Chinese Scholars would make a difference).

  20. xian
    September 8th, 2011 at 21:11 | #20

    Eh, their nationalistic reaction is normal. Any group who feels they’re slighted/oppressed will react that way, it’s just human nature. The only real answer is to “integrate” the area until the residents consider themselves fully Chinese.

  21. September 9th, 2011 at 15:16 | #21

    xian, I agree completely. PRC rule in Tibet will never be stable unless the locals are “integrated” good and hard over a long period of time until eventually it is inhabited by people who think of themselves as Chinese.

    There might be a third way that has some chance of working, but the government has no interest in pursuing it.

  22. raventhorn2000
    September 10th, 2011 at 07:00 | #22

    “but the government has no interest in pursuing it.”

    your conclusion mistaken lack of practical impossibility to lack of interest. For example, I know some things, such as time travel, me getting an MD degree, me becoming the US President, etc., are practically impossible right now, thus I do not waste my time trying to pursue it right now, NOT because I’m not interested.

  23. September 10th, 2011 at 08:35 | #23

    I agree with you that it’s a longshot and that’s why the government doesn’t want to pursue it. The alternatives are independence or “integration”.

  24. raventhorn2000
    September 11th, 2011 at 10:37 | #24

    @Otto Kerner

    No, no, I “agree” with you that it’s a practical impossibility and that’s why the TGIE and DL put it out there, knowing that only fools would pursue it.

  25. September 11th, 2011 at 14:05 | #25

    It’s kind of six of one/half dozen the other, raventhorn. The exile community’s options are:

    1) surrender
    2) advocate independence
    3) advocate a compromise

    Options 2 or 3 both appear to be all but impossible under the state of things, so if that’s your point, then it really just means that they have chosen not to surrender. I guess the difference of opinion between us is that I think they have chosen not to surrender out of idealism (which is selfish to the extent that they think all Tibetans will be happier in a free Tibet, including themselves) whereas you perhaps think it is cynically motivated to cause trouble for China under orders from the CIA. I don’t know how to prove which is which, really.

    Given that they aren’t going with Option 1, the choice of compromise over independence appears to be because they think there is some small chance of compromise working, now or in the next few decades, as opposed to independence being completely impossible. From your perspective, maybe that just means that they think it is a better propaganda tool for fooling the world.

  26. raventhorn2000
    September 11th, 2011 at 14:15 | #26

    “out of idealism” is easily an euphemism for “out of slogans”.

    Then, what’s the practical statistics of human being who do anything out of “slogans” and “ideals”?

    You may choose to believe any specific group’s actions are “out of idealism”.

    I do not suffer such delusions.

    I have met the “idealistic” in real life, and watched their idealism extinct in years.

  27. September 13th, 2011 at 15:02 | #27

    Perhaps “idealism” was the wrong word for what I meant. What I meant was that they are acting on the basis of political goals that they are unwilling to abandon. You are correct that people rarely act on the basis of political ideals that they perceive as being contrary to their interests, but they often act on the basis of political ideals that they perceive as being in concert with their interests. For instance, Chinese nationalism is an ideal that is a powerful motivating factor in Chinese politics, because many Chinese people see it as being in concert with their own interests. I am suggesting that Tibetan nationalism is the main motivating factor in Tibetan exile politics.

  28. raventhorn2000
    September 13th, 2011 at 15:51 | #28

    “Tibetan nationalism”, eh?

    Well, I would say a “Nationalism” without much of a history is empty as “idealism”.

    Chinese nationalism has had a LONG LONG history, as a proof positive of Chinese perception.

    Tibetan “nationalism” may be idealistic as the Hollywood movies that portray it.

  29. Otto Kerner
    September 14th, 2011 at 00:07 | #29

    I get it. My ideals are based on something real, but his ideals are mere fantasies.

    Look, all mass nationalisms are modern phenomena. Loyalty to kith and kin and the local culture is universal and always has been.

  30. raventhorn2000
    September 14th, 2011 at 05:20 | #30

    You speak as if China’s 4000 year old nationhood was some kind of tribal culture.

    Please, that’s just further showing your fantasies.

  31. September 14th, 2011 at 08:01 | #31

    I have no intention of denigrating Chinese nationalism. You, however, are insisting on denigrating Tibetan nationalism. Nationalism does not require a sovereign state. For example, Irish nationalism developed during the period when Ireland was part of the British empire. Arab nationalism began to develop when the Arabs were still ruled by the Ottoman empire. Indian nationalism was at first largely a reaction to British rule.

    And, yes, I think all nationalism is fundamentally a tribal sentiment, i.e. it is an emotion that evolved to support loyalty to a clan and has now been reapplied to modern political groups.

  32. raventhorn2000
    September 14th, 2011 at 08:37 | #32

    “Nationalism does not require a sovereign state.”

    Never said it did. But if you don’t have a HISTORY behind it, it’s rather “IDEALISTIC” by comparison, ie. it exists ONLY as an IDEAL!

  33. raventhorn2000
    September 14th, 2011 at 08:41 | #33

    “You, however, are insisting on denigrating Tibetan nationalism.”

    If you consider the FACT of Tibetan nationalism LACKS history and is rather IDEALISTIC, as “denigration”, then you are SOL. It’s FACT.

    Some Nationalism are IDEALISTIC, more than others. DEAL with it.

    “yes, I think all nationalism is fundamentally a tribal sentiment”.

    Well, my “tribe” is bigger than yours. DEAL with it.

  34. raventhorn2000
    September 14th, 2011 at 10:09 | #34

    “For example, Irish nationalism developed during the period when Ireland was part of the British empire. Arab nationalism began to develop when the Arabs were still ruled by the Ottoman empire. Indian nationalism was at first largely a reaction to British rule.”

    And Tibetan Nationalism is a reaction to what? CIA funding? Hollywood movies?

    Not all IDEALISMS are the same, obviously. I see no “denigration” on my part.

    Some IDEALISMS stood on their own, and succeeded. Others, glamorized and failed. (ODDLY enough, those that are glamorized often do fail).

    Gandhi didn’t need “Indian Nationalism”. The Indian Nationalists before Gandhi all failed rather miserably, because their IDEALISM were out of touch with the REALITY of their people.

    See the difference?

  35. September 14th, 2011 at 10:40 | #35


    Well, my “tribe” is bigger than yours. DEAL with it.

    I think this is the crux of your argument. You could pretty much just skip all the explanations and defenses and just cut-and-past “Well, my ‘tribe’ is bigger than yours. DEAL with it.” in response to whatever.

  36. raventhorn2000
    September 14th, 2011 at 10:44 | #36

    “You could pretty much just skip all the explanations and defenses and just cut-and-past “Well, my ‘tribe’ is bigger than yours. DEAL with it.” in response to whatever.”

    Hey, I’m not the one who wanted to turn the issue into our respective “tribes”.

    If we are all JUST “tribes” in your concept of “nationalism”, then what else do you want me to compare??

    OK, my tribe is also a LOT older and less “idealistic” than yours.

  37. raventhorn2000
    September 14th, 2011 at 10:46 | #37

    “You could pretty much just skip all the explanations and defenses …”

    Ditto on your “idealism”. That’s the crux of your argument. 🙂

  38. September 14th, 2011 at 10:59 | #38

    raventhorn2000 :“For example, Irish nationalism developed during the period when Ireland was part of the British empire. Arab nationalism began to develop when the Arabs were still ruled by the Ottoman empire. Indian nationalism was at first largely a reaction to British rule.”
    And Tibetan Nationalism is a reaction to what? CIA funding? Hollywood movies?

    Proto-nationalist sentiment in Tibet is a thousand+ years old and developed as a result of the Tibetan cultural situation, for example the shared literary tradition in Classical Tibetan. Modern nationalism per se in Tibet is obviously a reaction to Chinese imperialism, from Zhao Erfeng to the present.

    Gandhi didn’t need “Indian Nationalism”. The Indian Nationalists before Gandhi all failed rather miserably, because their IDEALISM were out of touch with the REALITY of their people.
    See the difference?

    Actually, no, but I’m curious as to what point you’re making. I would say Gandhi was clearly an Indian nationalist (his core goals were Indian self-rule and Indian political unity. He tried to avoid the partition with Pakistan but he most definitely wanted to avoid breaking India up into numerous regional states and principalities). He was a more successful nationalist than others, although clearly the earlier Indian nationalists laid some of the groundwork that made Gandhi’s success possible.

    What do you mean by “out of touch with the reality of their people”?

  39. raventhorn2000
    September 14th, 2011 at 12:31 | #39

    “Proto-nationalist sentiment in Tibet is a thousand+ years old and developed as a result of the Tibetan cultural situation, for example the shared literary tradition in Classical Tibetan.”

    I doubt it, and citation. And what the hell is a “proto-nationalist sentiment”? Is that supposed to be EVEN more idealistic than idealistic??!

    “Modern nationalism per se in Tibet is obviously a reaction to Chinese imperialism, from Zhao Erfeng to the present.”

    Or reaction obviously to British encouragement.

    “Actually, no, but I’m curious as to what point you’re making. I would say Gandhi was clearly an Indian nationalist (his core goals were Indian self-rule and Indian political unity. He tried to avoid the partition with Pakistan but he most definitely wanted to avoid breaking India up into numerous regional states and principalities). He was a more successful nationalist than others, although clearly the earlier Indian nationalists laid some of the groundwork that made Gandhi’s success possible.
    What do you mean by “out of touch with the reality of their people”?”

    I doubt it, again.

    He may “wanted to avoid breaking up India”, but he was no ardent “idealistic” Nationalist. (IE. he was practical enough to accept REALITY of politics and REALITY of co-existence and imperfect partition, which is something that DL and his “nationalists” are not).

    “out of touch with reality of their people”: Gandhi himself in his 1st speeches in India, criticized the Indian leaders for being out of touch with the reality of the Indian People, while making “speeches”.

    Gandhi’s “core goals” are clearly grounded in REALITY, not some mythical idealism of some “Greater Historical India”.

    Hence, the obvious contrast. Gandhi is about practical reality of his time, whereas you are talking about some “proto-proto-proto idealism” that has little historical basis of reality while the concept itself claims some “Greater historical” basis.

    What is “Great Historical Tibet” but some dreamed up self-contradictory concept?! Seriously, I can claim “proto-nationalism” of myself as a Nation, but that’s just foolishness.

    You are just trying to stretch the words further and further, “proto-” plus “proto-“, until the words are pretty much meaningless!

    So are we back to defining us based upon “tribes” now? If so, “Nationalism” would mean nothing at all.

  40. September 14th, 2011 at 15:21 | #40

    raventhorn2000 :“Proto-nationalist sentiment in Tibet is a thousand+ years old and developed as a result of the Tibetan cultural situation, for example the shared literary tradition in Classical Tibetan.”
    I doubt it, and citation. And what the hell is a “proto-nationalist sentiment”? Is that supposed to be EVEN more idealistic than idealistic??!

    I’m not sure why you’re referring to “idealism” here. I’m talking about sentiments, i.e. how people feel and what they care about. It’s like if I said, “I love my mom” and you replied, “Quit being so idealistic!”

    By “proto-nationalist sentiment” I mean the kind of local and tribal loyalties plus tentative broader sense of similarity on the basis of which genuine nationalism is later formed. Genuine nationalism is a very recent phenomenon.

    “Modern nationalism per se in Tibet is obviously a reaction to Chinese imperialism, from Zhao Erfeng to the present.”
    Or reaction obviously to British encouragement.

    That’s a judgment to be made on the basis of how you think people act. I don’t see how the British could encourage nationalism very effectively among people unless they were already inclined to feel nationalistic. Consider the case of Manchukuo. The Japanese tried to develop a sense of nationalism around their puppet state, but it doesn’t appear that anyone actually cared. Puyi wanted them to restore him to the throne of China, and he took the “Manchurian throne” only as consolation prize.

    “Actually, no, but I’m curious as to what point you’re making. I would say Gandhi was clearly an Indian nationalist (his core goals were Indian self-rule and Indian political unity. He tried to avoid the partition with Pakistan but he most definitely wanted to avoid breaking India up into numerous regional states and principalities). He was a more successful nationalist than others, although clearly the earlier Indian nationalists laid some of the groundwork that made Gandhi’s success possible.What do you mean by “out of touch with the reality of their people”?”
    I doubt it, again.
    He may “wanted to avoid breaking up India”, but he was no ardent “idealistic” Nationalist. (IE. he was practical enough to accept REALITY of politics and REALITY of co-existence and imperfect partition, which is something that DL and his “nationalists” are not).

    I disagree. Gandhi’s whole political life was devoted to creating a strong, independent state to represent the Indian nation. He was an Indian nationalist as a first principle. That’s an ideal.

    The one thing that Gandhi would not compromise on during his life was the idea of a self-governing India free of unaccountable British rule. He called for independence to achieve that end. You call that realistic rather than idealistic. When the Dalai Lama refuses to compromise on the idea of a self-governing Tibet free of unaccountable Chinese rule, but he even agrees to compromise on independence and try to achieve a free Tibet under home rule within China, you see that as dangerously idealistic and unrealistic. You want him to just accept the status quo, as if that were the approach that Gandhi would have taken.

    What is “Great Historical Tibet” but some dreamed up self-contradictory concept?! Seriously, I can claim “proto-nationalism” of myself as a Nation, but that’s just foolishness.
    You are just trying to stretch the words further and further, “proto-” plus “proto-”, until the words are pretty much meaningless!

    This is a good example of your trend toward sophomoric hostility toward me. You didn’t understand what I meant by “proto-nationalist sentiment”. Fine. Sometimes I don’t understand what you’re saying. Not a big deal. Did you respond by trying to find out what I meant by that, or by saying, “I don’t think that makes sense, and here’s why”? On the contrary, you tried to make it into a joke and ridicule me with it. However, I think it makes you look silly because you are really just making a joke out of your failure to understand.

    So are we back to defining us based upon “tribes” now? If so, “Nationalism” would mean nothing at all.

    Can you expand on that? I’m not sure what you mean.

  41. raventhorn2000
    September 14th, 2011 at 15:51 | #41

    @Otto Kerner

    “I’m not sure why you’re referring to “idealism” here. I’m talking about sentiments, i.e. how people feel and what they care about. It’s like if I said, “I love my mom” and you replied, “Quit being so idealistic!””

    But you are not saying “I love my MOM”. Your “mom” would be REAL, you didn’t make her up as a concept. You are talking about sentiments about something “proto- proto-” of something based upon what?

    “By “proto-nationalist sentiment” I mean the kind of local and tribal loyalties plus tentative broader sense of similarity on the basis of which genuine nationalism is later formed. Genuine nationalism is a very recent phenomenon.”

    Like I said, you are stretching the word to meaninglessness.

    “That’s a judgment to be made on the basis of how you think people act. I don’t see how the British could encourage nationalism very effectively among people unless they were already inclined to feel nationalistic. Consider the case of Manchukuo. The Japanese tried to develop a sense of nationalism around their puppet state, but it doesn’t appear that anyone actually cared. Puyi wanted them to restore him to the throne of China, and he took the “Manchurian throne” only as consolation prize.”

    Just because the Japanese failed in Northern China, doesn’t mean that others failed. (AND I note again, Japan did encourage your “tribal nationalism” in Tibet, by arming them, even designing the current TGIE flag for them). So there.

    And that’s a good analogy, British did in Tibet, what Japan tried to do in Northern China. Thanks for proving my point. 🙂

    “I disagree. Gandhi’s whole political life was devoted to creating a strong, independent state to represent the Indian nation. He was an Indian nationalist as a first principle. That’s an ideal.”

    That’s your abstraction of his “sentiment”, but his actions speaks otherwise. He was willing to sacrifice “nationalism” for the practical. That makes him NOT so much a “nationalist”.

    “The one thing that Gandhi would not compromise on during his life was the idea of a self-governing India free of unaccountable British rule. He called for independence to achieve that end. You call that realistic rather than idealistic. When the Dalai Lama refuses to compromise on the idea of a self-governing Tibet free of unaccountable Chinese rule, but he even agrees to compromise on independence and try to achieve a free Tibet under home rule within China, you see that as dangerously idealistic and unrealistic. You want him to just accept the status quo, as if that were the approach that Gandhi would have taken.”

    Oh please. DL’s “compromise” is about 50 years too late, and he’s still singing the tune of “uprising” to it. DL is the one keeping his old status quo. Who is he to talk about “compromise”, when EVERY symbol of his movement is from his old days??

    “This is a good example of your trend toward sophomoric hostility toward me. You didn’t understand what I meant by “proto-nationalist sentiment”. Fine. Sometimes I don’t understand what you’re saying. Not a big deal. Did you respond by trying to find out what I meant by that, or by saying, “I don’t think that makes sense, and here’s why”? On the contrary, you tried to make it into a joke and ridicule me with it. However, I think it makes you look silly because you are really just making a joke out of your failure to understand.”

    NOPE, as I said, you are stretching words into meaninglessness, as every comment you make, you try to change your own terminologies further and further, JUST so to worm around the critical issue, Tibetan “NATIONALISM” is idealistic.

    Not my failure to understand, I can see clearly what you are doing with “proto-“, “tribal”, “nationalism”. (perhaps “neo-lithic”, or pre-historical, next?)

    How about just stick to PLAIN OLD “NATIONALISM”? No? Wanna trace back to perhaps “sophomoric Nationalism”??!

  42. Otto Kerner
    September 14th, 2011 at 22:26 | #42

    raventhorn2000 :
    @Otto Kerner
    “The one thing that Gandhi would not compromise on during his life was the idea of a self-governing India free of unaccountable British rule. He called for independence to achieve that end. You call that realistic rather than idealistic. When the Dalai Lama refuses to compromise on the idea of a self-governing Tibet free of unaccountable Chinese rule, but he even agrees to compromise on independence and try to achieve a free Tibet under home rule within China, you see that as dangerously idealistic and unrealistic. You want him to just accept the status quo, as if that were the approach that Gandhi would have taken.”
    Oh please. DL’s “compromise” is about 50 years too late, and he’s still singing the tune of “uprising” to it. DL is the one keeping his old status quo. Who is he to talk about “compromise”, when EVERY symbol of his movement is from his old days??

    What is one thing that Gandhi ever compromised on that the Dalai Lama has not also agreed to compromise on? Did Gandhi ever apologize for earlier acts of Indian resistance to the British? Gandhi was consistent: British rule in India was unjust and illegitimate. The Dalai Lama is consistent as well: Chinese rule in Tibet as currently practiced is unjust and illegitimate. Resisting injustice is something to be celebrated. The Dalai Lama has gone further and has suggested policy changes by which Chinese rule in Tibet could become just and legitimate if those policies (democracy and autonomy) are implemented.

  43. raventhorn2000
    September 15th, 2011 at 05:37 | #43

    “Did Gandhi ever apologize for earlier acts of Indian resistance to the British?”

    Why should he apologize for something he himself had no part to? (UNLIKE THE DL on his own “uprising”).

    “The Dalai Lama has gone further and has suggested policy changes by which Chinese rule in Tibet could become just and legitimate if those policies (democracy and autonomy) are implemented.”

    Yeah, right, DL is the authority on “legitimacy”.

    Funny part, China has rotated through many leaders in the past 50 years (and changed its policies many many times in reforms), and DL is always there (like the Great Leader of North Korea).

    That should tell you who is the “status quo”.

  44. September 15th, 2011 at 08:35 | #44

    raventhorn2000 :“Did Gandhi ever apologize for earlier acts of Indian resistance to the British?”
    Why should he apologize for something he himself had no part to? (UNLIKE THE DL on his own “uprising”).

    Fair enough, but the act of resistance is not wrong, so there’s no reason for the Dalai Lama to apologize for it or stop celebrating it. In fact, however, the March 10 Uprising Day is celebrating events that happened before the Dalai Lama was involved in the resistance, anyway.

    “The Dalai Lama has gone further and has suggested policy changes by which Chinese rule in Tibet could become just and legitimate if those policies (democracy and autonomy) are implemented.”
    Yeah, right, DL is the authority on “legitimacy”.

    It doesn’t take a genius, a specialist, or an authority to figure out that a democratic and autonomous Tibet would be more legitimate than the current government.

    Funny part, China has rotated through many leaders in the past 50 years (and changed its policies many many times in reforms), and DL is always there (like the Great Leader of North Korea).
    That should tell you who is the “status quo”.

    The Dalai Lama is certainly the status quo in the exile community, but I was talking about the status quo of the power structure in Tibet itself. The status quo in Tibet since 1959 has been the CCP government.

  45. Al
    September 15th, 2011 at 08:52 | #45

    “The Dalai Lama is certainly the status quo in the exile community, but I was talking about the status quo of the power structure in Tibet itself. The status quo in Tibet since 1959 has been the CCP government.”

    WEAK WEAK WEAK point…..

    The status quo in US since 1959 has been the american government, the status quo in Japan has been the japanese government…etc etc. “CCP government/Chinese government” has seen many different faces and people taking the leadership and governing…Governments as structures remain, people in charge change…that’s called normality.
    The Dalai Lama is still there, even MORE than the great leader of North Korea

  46. raventhorn2000
    September 15th, 2011 at 09:05 | #46

    “Fair enough, but the act of resistance is not wrong, so there’s no reason for the Dalai Lama to apologize for it or stop celebrating it. In fact, however, the March 10 Uprising Day is celebrating events that happened before the Dalai Lama was involved in the resistance, anyway.”

    Yeah, well, you can justify Hitler with that kind of general argument. YEAH, Hitler was just acting to protect his own People, right??

    “It doesn’t take a genius, a specialist, or an authority to figure out that a democratic and autonomous Tibet would be more legitimate than the current government.”

    No, but you certainly like to pretend that DL and the TGIE are the authority on “legitimacy”, and yet they didn’t bother to change DL’s leadership for over 50 years. How “democratic” was that?

    “The Dalai Lama is certainly the status quo in the exile community, but I was talking about the status quo of the power structure in Tibet itself. The status quo in Tibet since 1959 has been the CCP government.”

    Hey, that’s just the Kettle calling the Pot black. CCP certainly has had a lot of reforms in Tibet itself. That’s no status quo. So, don’t bother with that TGIE “narrative” slogan. That’s just ridiculous idealism talking. It’s obvious that TGIE won’t acknowledge any amount of changes in Tibet while in PRC control, while insisting that the Exiles are “democratic” until DL for over 50 years. That’s frankly ridiculous argument from hardline DL fanatics.

    Yeah, OK, DL stands for “Dear Leader”, and it was always “democratic” under his “highness the holiness” for over 1/2 of a century! 🙂

    I honestly don’t understand how rational people can put out such self-contradictory arguments, while blindly ignoring what’s REALLY happening in China and in the TGIE community.

    (Ie. China is about as “Communist” as TGIE is “democratic”, for MANY MANY decades!)

  47. September 15th, 2011 at 10:29 | #47

    Al :“The Dalai Lama is certainly the status quo in the exile community, but I was talking about the status quo of the power structure in Tibet itself. The status quo in Tibet since 1959 has been the CCP government.”
    WEAK WEAK WEAK point…..
    The status quo in US since 1959 has been the american government, the status quo in Japan has been the japanese government…etc etc. “CCP government/Chinese government” has seen many different faces and people taking the leadership and governing…Governments as structures remain, people in charge change…that’s called normality.The Dalai Lama is still there, even MORE than the great leader of North Korea

    Yeah, well, I think your point is WEAK WEAK WEAK WEAK. I think I’ve won the argument at this point because I put down one more WEAK.

    You seem to think it’s not the “status quo” because it’s “normal”, as if those things were mutually exclusive. On the contrary, the “status quo” is normal by definition. The fundamental governing system in Tibet hasn’t changed much since 1959, and it has hardly changed at all since the 1970s: the Politburo in Beijing sets policy which is implemented by their handpicked representatives, anybody who doesn’t like it is vulnerable to harrassment, and anybody who makes a stink about not liking it goes to jail, even if they are non-violent. It is indeed normal for systems like that to not change. The mere fact that it’s “normal” and “the status quo” doesn’t make it good or bad.

  48. raventhorn2000
    September 15th, 2011 at 10:35 | #48

    “The fundamental governing system in Tibet hasn’t changed much since 1959, and it has hardly changed at all since the 1970s: the Politburo in Beijing sets policy which is implemented by their handpicked representatives, anybody who doesn’t like it is vulnerable to harrassment, and anybody who makes a stink about not liking it goes to jail, even if they are non-violent. It is indeed normal for systems like that to not change. The mere fact that it’s “normal” and “the status quo” doesn’t make it good or bad.”

    Yeah, well, “hasn’t changed much” is better than 1 “Dear Leader” “Highness Holiness” DL for over 50 years.

    And “handpicked representatives”? Better than the 100% DL loyalty rate in TGIE. Be still my bleeding Democratic heart.

  49. September 15th, 2011 at 12:27 | #49

    You might be the most defensive person I’ve ever talked to. This all started when I mentioned that CCP rule in Tibet is the status quo. “Status quo” would mean that it is established and stable. Since the PRC is clearly the established ruler of Tibet, to say that it is the status quo would seem to be totally non-controversial. But you still want to try to turn it around by saying, “Oh, yeah, well, if I’m a status quo, then so are you!”

    I would suggest that neither the CCP nor TGIE should rule Tibet. Limited CCP rule to the same extent as in Hong Kong would be okay.

  50. raventhorn2000
    September 15th, 2011 at 12:32 | #50

    “You might be the most defensive person I’ve ever talked to. This all started when I mentioned that CCP rule in Tibet is the status quo.”

    Speak for yourself. I’m not the one starting to huff about “denigrating” people’s “nationalism”.

  51. raventhorn2000
    September 15th, 2011 at 12:36 | #51

    “I would suggest that neither the CCP nor TGIE should rule Tibet. Limited CCP rule to the same extent as in Hong Kong would be okay.”

    You can suggest all you want. Your current suggestions are no more legitimate than the 50 year old “highness” “Dear Leader” you previously tried so hard to legitimize.

  52. raventhorn2000
    September 15th, 2011 at 12:48 | #52

    “This all started when I mentioned that CCP rule in Tibet is the status quo. “Status quo” would mean that it is established and stable. Since the PRC is clearly the established ruler of Tibet, to say that it is the status quo would seem to be totally non-controversial. But you still want to try to turn it around by saying, “Oh, yeah, well, if I’m a status quo, then so are you!””

    No, you were speaking of “status quo” as a bad thing that needed to be changed, rather than being accepted.

    In that context, CCP rule in Tibet had MORE change than “Dear Leader” DL’s rule in Exile.

  53. September 15th, 2011 at 14:07 | #53

    raventhorn2000 :“This all started when I mentioned that CCP rule in Tibet is the status quo. “Status quo” would mean that it is established and stable. Since the PRC is clearly the established ruler of Tibet, to say that it is the status quo would seem to be totally non-controversial. But you still want to try to turn it around by saying, “Oh, yeah, well, if I’m a status quo, then so are you!””
    No, you were speaking of “status quo” as a bad thing that needed to be changed, rather than being accepted.
    In that context, CCP rule in Tibet had MORE change than “Dear Leader” DL’s rule in Exile.

    The status quo in Tibet is a bad thing that needs to be changed, but not because it’s the status quo. Since the status quo-iness was an incidental comment rather than part of my argument, you can’t make a cogent rebuttal by disputing it. Even if it had been part of my argument, the appropriate response would have been “that’s irrelevant”, rather than your response of “no, you are.”

  54. raventhorn2000
    September 15th, 2011 at 14:15 | #54

    “You want him to just accept the status quo, as if that were the approach that Gandhi would have taken.”

    That was YOUR rebuttal of my comparison of Gandhi to DL. I see nothing “incidental” about it.

    “Even if it had been part of my argument, the appropriate response would have been “that’s irrelevant”, rather than your response of “no, you are.””

    You brought up the issue, why complain when others follow your line of discuss?!

    If you want to say it’s “irrelevant” now, then go ahead. But you are not saying it’s “irrelevant”, you are stretching your own arguments again, by calling it “incidental”.

    Well, how “incidental” is it? “Incidental” enough where you can make the statement, but others can’t criticize it??

    That’s your “sophomoric” response. Ie. putting up an imaginary fence, and say, “Oh, that part of my statement was merely incidental, so don’t touch it! If you touch it, you can’t make a cogent rebuttal”.

    Ridiculous logic! You brought it up, You made the “incidental” argument as your rebuttal to My argument! You are the one who can’t make a cogent rebuttal, by bringing in all these “incidental” arguments.

  55. September 15th, 2011 at 15:20 | #55

    raventhorn2000 :“You want him to just accept the status quo, as if that were the approach that Gandhi would have taken.”
    That was YOUR rebuttal of my comparison of Gandhi to DL. I see nothing “incidental” about it.

    I think you were implying that the Dalai Lama should accept the status quo, which you call “THE REALITY”, because that’s what realistic people do, and so I pointed out that that’s not what Gandhi did. Doing a “so are you” on the phrase “status quo” does not address my point. What if I rephrased it as follows:

    “You want the Dalai Lama to just accept reality as it is now without trying to change it, as if that were the approach that Gandhi would have taken.”

  56. raventhorn2000
    September 15th, 2011 at 15:27 | #56

    “I think you were implying that the Dalai Lama should accept the status quo, which you call “THE REALITY”, because that’s what realistic people do, and so I pointed out that that’s not what Gandhi did. Doing a “so are you” on the phrase “status quo” does not address my point. What if I rephrased it as follows: You want the Dalai Lama to just accept reality as it is now without trying to change it, as if that were the approach that Gandhi would have taken.”

    Well, I thank you not to “IMPLY” what I wrote. (Well, See, you didn’t bother to ask ME what I “meant”! And you say I was going after your “incidental” comments??!!)

    The REALITY I was talking about was SIMPLY that Tibetan “nationalism” didn’t have much of a history behind it, and DL was still claiming “Greater Historical Tibet” as his basis of claims ALL these years (and still do).

    That’s the REALITY DL obviously is not dealing with (I didn’t even say he had to “accept” it. DL doesn’t even bother to address the OBVIOUS inconsistency!)

    NOTE: I didn’t IMPLY DL had to do what Gandhi did. I only said Gandhi was practical, because Gandhi accepted the reality of his situation, and went on from there, and did NOT make up some “Greater historical India” to cover up the reality of history.

  57. Otto Kerner
    September 15th, 2011 at 21:37 | #57

    raventhorn2000 :
    “I think you were implying that the Dalai Lama should accept the status quo, which you call “THE REALITY”, because that’s what realistic people do, and so I pointed out that that’s not what Gandhi did. Doing a “so are you” on the phrase “status quo” does not address my point. What if I rephrased it as follows: You want the Dalai Lama to just accept reality as it is now without trying to change it, as if that were the approach that Gandhi would have taken.”
    Well, I thank you not to “IMPLY” what I wrote. (Well, See, you didn’t bother to ask ME what I “meant”! And you say I was going after your “incidental” comments??!!)

    People who are trying to understand each other do this all the time, because it is a useful way to try to understand someone better. I restated what I thought you meant, which gives you an opportunity to see if I have understood you correctly. You could have said, “no, that’s not what I meant”, and that would have been much simpler and more direct.

    The REALITY I was talking about was SIMPLY that Tibetan “nationalism” didn’t have much of a history behind it, and DL was still claiming “Greater Historical Tibet” as his basis of claims ALL these years (and still do).
    That’s the REALITY DL obviously is not dealing with (I didn’t even say he had to “accept” it. DL doesn’t even bother to address the OBVIOUS inconsistency!)
    NOTE: I didn’t IMPLY DL had to do what Gandhi did. I only said Gandhi was practical, because Gandhi accepted the reality of his situation, and went on from there, and did NOT make up some “Greater historical India” to cover up the reality of history.

    How so? The Indian state that Gandhi and Congress advocated was larger than any Indian state which had existed before it. Isn’t that a “Greater Historical India”? Furthermore, Gandhi was totally against the partition of Pakistan; he couldn’t stop it. By the same logic, you could say that the Dalai Lama is “practical” because he “accepts” Chinese rule in Tibet; in other words, he can’t do anything to stop it.

    Gandhi succeeded in his primary goal of achieving independence for all of British India, including what’s now Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Burma. He failed at his secondary goal of forming as large of an Indian state as possible, although it was a partial success because he did succeed at creating a very large Indian state.

    I think you apply a double standard to the Dalai Lama. Maybe Gandhi is equally worthy of your criticism.

  58. Al
    September 16th, 2011 at 00:51 | #58

    “Yeah, well, I think your point is WEAK WEAK WEAK WEAK. I think I’ve won the argument at this point because I put down one more WEAK.
    You seem to think it’s not the “status quo” because it’s “normal”, as if those things were mutually exclusive. On the contrary, the “status quo” is normal by definition. The fundamental governing system in Tibet hasn’t changed much since 1959, and it has hardly changed at all since the 1970s: the Politburo in Beijing sets policy which is implemented by their handpicked representatives, anybody who doesn’t like it is vulnerable to harrassment, and anybody who makes a stink about not liking it goes to jail, even if they are non-violent. It is indeed normal for systems like that to not change. The mere fact that it’s “normal” and “the status quo” doesn’t make it good or bad.”

    Wow, u managed to distort any single word I wrote….quite an accomplishment I would say

    I understand that “weak weak weak weak” is the most u can do, but no…it’s not like that u can win debates (if there such a thing as “winning”, which I would say it’s quite a teenager way of looking at a discussion)…

  59. raventhorn2000
    September 17th, 2011 at 17:31 | #59

    “People who are trying to understand each other do this all the time, because it is a useful way to try to understand someone better. I restated what I thought you meant, which gives you an opportunity to see if I have understood you correctly. You could have said, “no, that’s not what I meant”, and that would have been much simpler and more direct.”

    Or, this was your sophomoric response, by introducing your “incidental argument”, that you just implied out of your own assumptions.

    It certainly was not what I said. You were just trying to go tangent.

    “How so? The Indian state that Gandhi and Congress advocated was larger than any Indian state which had existed before it. Isn’t that a “Greater Historical India”? Furthermore, Gandhi was totally against the partition of Pakistan; he couldn’t stop it. By the same logic, you could say that the Dalai Lama is “practical” because he “accepts” Chinese rule in Tibet; in other words, he can’t do anything to stop it.”

    Nope, they partitioned based upon REALITY, not any assumption of “history”. You can “imply” all you wish, but that’s NOT what they advocated based upon. EVEN assume Gandhi couldn’t “stop it”, he didn’t bother to argue his opposition to Partition AFTER it, UNLIKE “Dear Leader”. (That’s what one calls PRACTICALITY, vs. DL’s “2 faced-ness”).

    “Gandhi succeeded in his primary goal of achieving independence for all of British India, including what’s now Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Burma. He failed at his secondary goal of forming as large of an Indian state as possible, although it was a partial success because he did succeed at creating a very large Indian state.
    I think you apply a double standard to the Dalai Lama. Maybe Gandhi is equally worthy of your criticism.”

    Nope, You just want to boil down their similarities too casually. We are all human beings, doesn’t mean that Gandhi is equal to Hitler.

  60. raventhorn2000
    September 17th, 2011 at 18:36 | #60

    “By the same logic, you could say that the Dalai Lama is “practical” because he “accepts” Chinese rule in Tibet; in other words, he can’t do anything to stop it.”

    Yeah, I’m sure that would fit your definition of “accept”.

    You “accept” today and renege tomorrow. Oh, did Gandhi “accept” the partition and then just renege it the next day?!

    Well, I guess we know why China won’t trust “Dear Leader”‘s “acceptance”.

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