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Posts Tagged ‘sino-u.s. relations’

Trump regime proposes zero aid to Tibetans in 2018

May 29th, 2017 4 comments

According to this Hindu article, “United States President Donald Trump has proposed zero aid in 2018 to the Tibetans, reversing the decades-old American policy of providing financial assistance to the community for safeguarding their distinct identity.” If true, this is good news.  America should get off a lot of expenses, especially expenses used to destabilize and promote hate and radicalism across the world…

Trump regime proposes zero aid to Tibetans in 2018

The Hindu: WASHINGTON:, May 26, 2017 11:56 IST

In this May 10, 2017 photo, the Dalai Lama, Tibetan spiritual leader, presents Democratic leader of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi with a ceremonial scarf at the Tsuglakang Temple in McLeod Ganj. Ms. Pelosi has expressed deep concern over the Trump administration’s move to scrap financial assistance to the Tibetan community. | Photo Credit: AFP

A departure from the decades-old American policy of providing monetary assistance to the community.

United States President Donald Trump has proposed zero aid in 2018 to the Tibetans, reversing the decades-old American policy of providing financial assistance to the community for safeguarding their distinct identity.

The Trump administration now wants other countries to jump in.

The State Department, which sent the detailed proposal to the Congress as part of Mr. Trump’s maiden annual budget, described it as one of the “tough choices” that it had to make as its budget itself has been slashed by more than 28 per cent.

Leaders of the Tibetan community in the U.S. refrained from making comment on the issue, saying they are still reading the budget papers. At the same time, they observed that majority of the assistance to the Tibetan people, including for Tibet, so far have been Congressionally-driven.

Nancy Pelosi ‘very concerned’

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi has expressed concern over the move.

“Leader Pelosi is very concerned about the zeroing out of aid to the Tibetan community in the Trump budget proposal,” Drew Hammill, spokesman for Ms. Pelosi, told PTI.

Ms. Pelosi, who early this month led a high-powered Congressional delegation to Dharamshala to meet the Dalai Lama, has expressed concern over the development.

“As she has said many times, including during her visit this month to His Holiness The Dalai Lama in Dharamshala, if the US does not speak out for human rights in China, we lose all moral authority to talk about it elsewhere in the world,” Mr. Hammill told PTI.

“That includes critical funding through the State Department for important efforts, like those in support of a genuinely autonomous Tibet, that advance and protect America’s interests in the world,” Mr. Hammill said in response to a question.

The State Department, in its budgetary proposal for the fiscal year 2018 beginning October 1, have removed the decades-old Tibet Fund and has proposed zero dollars against Ngwang Choephel Fellows. Both the categories in 2017 and 2016 had accounted for more than a million dollars.

However, the State Department in its footnote of the budget, said that Special Academic Exchanges, whose budgetary allocation has been reduced from more than $14.7 million in 2017 to just $7 million for 2018, would include funding for programmes such as the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program, Mobility (Disability) Exchanges, and the Tibet Fund.

‘We have to make tough choices’

“As we work to streamline efforts to ensure efficiency and effectiveness of US taxpayers’ dollars, we acknowledge that we have to prioritise and make some tough choices,” a State Department official told PTI.

“Focusing our efforts will allow us to advance our most important policy goals and national security interests, while ensuring that other donor countries contribute their fair share toward meeting global challenges,” the official said requesting anonymity.

However, the official did not identify the countries that it would like to help continue funding for the Tibetan cause.

“We will continue to engage diplomatically with allies and partners to advance our U.S. national interests and shared policy priorities,” the official said.

The move to abolish Tibet fund is expected to be widely opposed in the Congress. The U.S. policy towards Tibet is currently driven by the Tibetan Policy Act of 2002 which was signed by the last Republican President, George W. Bush.

Enacted into law on September 30, 2002, as part of the Foreign Relations Authorisation Act, FY2003, it lists its “purpose” as being “to support the aspirations of the Tibetan people to safeguard their distinct identity.”

The act establishes in statute the State Department position of United States Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues and states that the Special Coordinator’s “central objective” is “to promote substantive dialogue between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Dalai Lama or his representatives.”

Community stands to forfeit a lot

The Act, among other things, includes U.S. government assistance for non-governmental organisations to work among Tibetan communities in China; an educational and cultural exchange program with “the people of Tibet”; Voice of America and Radio Free Asia Tibetan-language broadcasting into Tibet; and assistance for Tibetan refugees in South Asia.

It also calls for a scholarship program for Tibetans living outside Tibet; and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED)human rights and democracy programmes relating to Tibet.

The Special Coordinator is also required to “vigorously promote the policy of seeking to protect the distinct religious, cultural, linguistic, and national identity of Tibet” and press for “improved respect for human rights,” according to a 2015 report on Tibet by the Congressional Research Service (CRS).

It was in 2002 that the Congress began earmarking Economic Support Fund assistance to Tibetan communities in China. In addition to this, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) manages provision of this support out of its India office.

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Is China a Real Victor of WWII?

August 7th, 2015 5 comments

In my recent article on Philippines’ ultimately absurd legal challenge to China’s claims in the S. China Sea, I noted how that conflict arose from the prevailing wind to diss China’s interests in the post WWII world.  The cause for that are many.  No doubt China’s relative weakness vis-a-vis the West and/or Soviet Union, its plunge into a major civil war in the aftermath of WWII, the alignment of the interests among the world’s most powerful – including both the West and the Soviets – to keep China from re-emerging as a major power all play a part.  But whatever the cause, I think it is major time for the world to revisit just how important a role China played in securing WWII’s victory against the Axis.

I have heard many Japanese say that even though China was technically a victor, China did not defeat Japan, only the U.S. did.  Some Americans say – what role could China have played when it was always teetering on the brink of national annihilation?  Both are way over simplifications of history.

Even if China could not have single-handedly defeat Japan, the world would not have been able to defeat Japan without China.  The defeat of the axis was a collaborative effort.  The U.S. and Soviet Union may have been the strongest military powers of the day, but the removal of any of the major four victors – China included – would have changed history irrevocably.  There are many reasons for the Axis to be defeated in WWII, and China is a key indispensable reason.

Consider, for example, that despite Japan’s many military victories in China throughout WWII, China was nevertheless able to, through its heroic resistance movement, lock down some 94% of Japan’s army throughout the war.  That is a huge deal.  Had China capitulated and freed Japan’s army, Japan could have opened with the Soviet Union a second front as Hitler had asked.  The course of WWII in Europe would have been irrevocably changed.

Alternatively – or perhaps simultaneously – the freed Japanese army could have rolled across S. East Asia, or India … or been used to invade Australia, Philippines and perhaps even India – securing the resources of much of Asia.  Does the U.S. really think it could have withstood an additional enforcement of Japan’s army by a factor of 15-16 throughout Asia???  Japan, I argue – would have been that much more difficult – if not impossible to defeat.

Some American exceptionalists might claim, but it was nuclear bombs that defeated the Japaneses.  That is patently false.  By the time the “bomb” was used, Americans already had control of Japanese skies and were carrying out firebomb raids with impunity.  Without that cover, the bomb could not have been deployed.

Strategically also, the bomb was used precisely because Japan was a defeated nation.  Had Japan had a fighting chance of survival, America would not have dared to try the bomb … for the simple reason that Japan would not easily go down, and would have had the resources to develop its own bomb  … and used it against America. The nuclear bomb did not end the war.  It was used to make a political statement … and to shorten – perhaps (tenuously) – the war. But make no mistake: the war was already  won.

In commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII, I offer two articles.  The first,  China a Forgotten WWII Ally, from China.org, argues that China made uniquely important and significant contributions to securing Japan’s ultimate defeat and that its efforts have been too long been neglected in the West in the advent of the cold war.  The second, Did a forgotten Japanese journalist turn the tide of World War II?, from Asia Times tells the story of how Soviet knowledge of Japan’s decision not to open a second front decisively changed the course of WWII … and how a brave Japanese journalist named Hotsumi Ozaki heroically relayed that critical knowledge to Soviet leaders. Read more…

Hillary Clinton's Successful First Visit to China as Secretary of State

February 25th, 2009 33 comments

Judging by reactions from the Chinese government, Secretary of State Clinton’s state visit to China last weekend has been a great success.

This trip is foremost about realism. Read more…