Saturday, April 26, 2008

China's strike hard policy in Tibet: Srikanth Kondapalli

China's strike hard policy in Tibet

Srikanth Kondapalli | April 25, 2008 | 16:28 IST

China's response to the Tibetan uprising in the last one month has been harsh and appears to be following the previous policy of "strike hard" to snuff out any dissent for its rule in Tibet and other portions of the country. As indicated by events in the capital city of Tibet, Lhasa on March 14 and other places, this policy is likely to be continued further in the run-up to the Olympics in August and after.

However, given the widespread response of the Tibetans within Tibet and outside and the groundswell of support from different governments and civil society groups in the world, the entire issue is turning out to be a foreign policy failure in the making for China. A majority in the foreign policy establishment of China appears to be now geared towards curbing the negative fallout arising out of the Tibetan protests.

China did make frantic efforts in reaching out to different "allies and friends" in the aftermath of March 14. However explicit support to Beijing came from only a few countries such as Russia, Pakistan, Iran, Venezuela, Latvia, Malaysia, Singapore and others, while several countries have expressed reservations on Beijing's handling of the Tibet issue.

If the effort of bidding and conducting Olympics is to showcase China's rise to the world, popular indictments at the global and Tibetan levels have unnerved Beijing. For so long Tibet is considered to be the minimalist foreign policy position for China, while the Olympics indicated its bidding for global legitimacy for its policies.

In the initial official rhetoric, the Chinese government critiqued the Dalai Lama as the one who had 'organised, premeditated, masterminded and instigated' uprising in Lhasa on March 14.

While the Dalai Lama denied such charges, nevertheless, there appears to be a disjuncture in the Tibetan movement inside Tibet as compared to protests outside. For, one of the main demands of the Tibetans in Tibet is not related to Olympics but to oppose the Chinese government's plan to relocate nearly three million Han Chinese and Muslims in Lhasa and the deteriorating unemployment situation for Tibetans in Tibet. Rising unemployment among the Tibetans, despite the Chinese government showcasing Tibet as a favourable business destination, is also mentioned frequently as one of the main grievances of those who have participated in the Tibetan uprising.

Also, after the Tibetan movement spread to other parts of China, specifically in traditional Tibetan areas such as Amdo (Qinghai Province) and Kham (now integrated into Sichuan province), and to other parts of the globe (such as in the protests against the Olympics torch at London, Paris, San Francisco, New Delhi, Jakarta, Bangkok, Canberra, Tokyo and other places), the Chinese official criticism is now directed against Tibet Youth Congress, instead of targeting the Dalai Lama alone.

On April 10, for instance, the official Chinese news agency Xinhua, carried reports suggesting that Tibet Youth Congress 'is no different from Al-Qaida, Chechnyan armed terrorists, East Turkistan separatists and any other terrorist organisation'. This political line appears to be intensified by the Chinese government in the run-up to the Olympics and after in order to drive a cleavage in the Tibetan community -- pitching the TYC against the Dalai Lama.

Nearly, five decades of Chinese rule in Tibet contributed to the emergence of pro-Chinese Communist Party section within Tibetans. This section has been co-opted into the decision-making process in Tibet, although high-level posts are still are in the hands of Han-ethnic persons. These sections of Tibetan cadres are also pitched to be in the forefront of resistance against the Dalai Lama and Tibetans living abroad.

These sections have much to lose (as with the Han leaders) if the Tibetan conflagration goes beyond China's hand. Mutual symbiosis between the two then is the emerging glue and acts as a powerful force at the disposal of the Chinese government. Thus, when the Chinese government stated, in the aftermath of the March 14 incident, that it would wage a "people's war" against the independent forces in Tibet, the people here are those who are co-opted by the Chinese system in Tibet.

China is also changing its tactics in the current imbroglio. Unlike in the 1959 and 1989 uprisings, the Chinese leadership in the current case is pitching Han-nationals against Tibetans. Packaging the Olympics as a part of the 'national rejuvenation and glory' and any efforts to block such sport events as 'politicisation' or even efforts to deny China its due place 'under the sun', the leadership is mobilising Han nationals against Tibetan 'sabotage', thus deflecting the global attention on the central Tibetan issue of identity and autonomy.

Differences in the Chinese leadership are likely to become more explicit in the coming months in terms of handling the Tibet issue. While Hu Jintao, Wen Jiabao and Li Keqiang are considered to be in league in the nine-member Standing Committee of the Politburo of the Communist Party along with another member Zhou Yongkang the internal security minister in overall-charge, including Tibet, all eyes will be on the rising star of the party Xi Jinping for his views on the subject.

Xi, who was named as the vice president of China recently, had indicated during his tenure in Fujian Province that reform and opening up is essential for China and that he is favourably disposed towards commercial contacts. The post Olympics situation is likely to usher in acute debates within the Communist Party, much like during the Tiananmen Square incident two decades ago. Although the bottom line is to retain Tibet in China, methods to resolve the perennial Tibetan unrest could intensify internal political debates in the party.

As a reflection of the above, internal changes in Tibet have already commenced. Although official rhetoric of China continued to be critical of 'the Dalai clique' for instigating violence in Lhasa, quietly internal changes commenced in Tibet -- indicating to the central government reprisals on Tibetan officials. After nearly a fortnight of the March 14 incident in Lhasa, the Chinese government sacked Danzeng Langjie, director of Tibet's Ethnic Minority and Religious Affairs Commission. He was replaced by Luosang Jiumei, vice secretary of the Communist Party committee of Lhasa since 2004. More heads are likely to roll.

Srikanth Kondapalli is associate professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Doublespeak by Marxists: Balbir K. Punj

Doublespeak by Marxists
By Balbir K. Punj

The better part of the world has condemned China’s violation of human rights and deprivation of democracy for the Tibetans. In every country that enjoys freedom of expression, local people have joined Tibetans to protest against the Beijing Olympics as a way of bringing to international notice the cause of Tibet. So widespread and deep is the condemnation of China and sympathy for the Dalai Lama and his supporters that the Olympic torch had to avoid public exposure in places like San Francisco, London and Paris. In New Delhi, the torch procession was a sham.

The French President is among those who have decided not to attend the opening ceremony of the Olympics in Beijing. Even those who are attending are not hiding their displeasure at China. But our “China patriots” would not give up. CPI(M) central committee member Nilotpal Basu not only defends China’s Tibet policy but even draws a comparison between Tibet and Kashmir. He claims that the charge that China is violating human rights in Tibet is from the same quarter that blamed India for human rights violations in Kashmir and was not prepared to accept India’s claim over the Valley.

Confronted on the issue of not letting Tibetans choose their government, the Marxist leader claims that there are different perceptions of democracy. Mr Basu defends China by arguing that all countries have accepted Tibet as an integral part of China while they have not given similar acceptance to the Indian claim over Kashmir. Therefore, he says, China has a better claim to reject the global protests over Tibet.

Earlier, party boss Prakash Karat had defended China on Tibet; Speaker Somnath Chatterjee too had dismissed the Tibetan issue as China’s internal matter, thereby affirming his old Marxist loyalty. Significant in the Marxists’ doublespeak on the Tibet-China issue is the absence of even a word of condemnation of China on appropriating a section of Kashmir extending up to 5,800 sq. km in the Shaksgam valley along the Karakoram range with the connivance of Pakistan.

At this juncture, one recalls the notorious comment of Jawaharlal Nehru’s defence minister then and crypto-Communist V.K. Krishna Menon that this is an area where “not a blade of grass grew.” This reveals the pattern in the Marxist mind: China is always right because it is a Communist country and India is wrong. And these are the knights who in their recent political resolution projected themselves as the defenders of national sovereignty. The Marxists conveniently forget that the core issue in Tibet is not the acceptance of the area as part of China but the denial of basic rights of Tibetans in their own country.

The wave of protests last month within Tibet brought to the world’s notice the fact that Tibetans resent the “Hannisation” of Tibet. Eyewitness accounts trickling out of Tibet by independent travellers from different countries have exposed the Chinese move to crush local culture and change demography by importing large numbers of ethnic Chinese natives into that area.

Therefore, the Marxists’ attempt to draw a comparison with Kashmir is totally misleading. In Jammu and Kashmir, only the local people can acquire and hold property. Besides people there enjoy special rights under Article 370 of the Constitution. What the world has accepted regarding Tibet is that it is, as the Chinese themselves describe it, “an autonomous region of China.” The world now wants to know: Where is the autonomy? A bulk of Tibetans, including their acknowledged spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, are outside of that plateau in other countries.

The Dalai Lama has publicly expressed his willingness to accept the position for his country as an autonomous region — as per the Nehru-Zhou Enlai agreement of 1958. But China refuses to respond to the offers that the Dalai Lama makes. Tibetans do not rule this autonomous region; Chinese do. Even Chinese President Hu Jintao was once the Chinese commissar in Tibet. There is no scope for political expression for Tibetans in their own country. And yet China wants the world to believe otherwise.

What the Chinese Communists deny the Tibetans in Tibet brings us to the type of regime Communists everywhere impose on people they govern. This is not surprising. As the ruling party in West Bengal the CPI(M) has built a formidable fortress where incursions by any other political activist is met with instant punishment. The breach in this fortress occurred first in Singur and then in Nandigram. The violence that was witnessed at both the places, particularly at the latter, was an index of the Marxist concern. Similar things are now taking place at Kannur in Kerala, another Marxist fortress.

While on Tibet, two more things should be noted. One, the way the fellow travellers in Nehru’s entourage tricked India into signing for recognition China’s “sovereignty” on Tibet. The agreement between India and China during the 1950s was actually for recognising China’s “suzerainty” over Tibet. But the draft of the subsequent treaty that the foreign office in New Delhi sent to the Indian ambassador in China, Sardar K.M. Panikkar, changed this word into “sovereignty.”

Panikkar was agitated and wrote to the foreign secretary K.P.S. Menon. But he was asked to shut up and get the Chinese officials’ signature. The Indian foreign office at that time was under two influences — K.P.S. Menon and V.K. Krishna Menon. K.P.S. Menon later became a Soviet lobbyist in India heading the Indo-Soviet friendship setup and was a frequent visitor to Moscow.

The criticism then that Jawaharlal Nehru failed to bring up the pending questions on the border between India and China and get a quid pro quo from Zhou Enlai for accepting China’s claim over Tibet was dismissed. The second point is that the same Communists who dismiss Tibetans’ agony as China’s internal matter and want India not to support the Dalai Lama are all too eager to uphold mass killers like Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, the Iranian establishment and the former Taliban government of Afghanistan.

When it comes to Palestine, the Communists urge the government to turn against Israel, which supplies us a whole range of defence technologies and weapons, and support the terrorist elements among the Palestinians whom their own elected President wants to bring under control. The Iraqi leader who used chemical gas to exterminate thousands of Kurds is their favourite, not the Dalai Lama. Is there a limit to doublespeak?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Olympic torch: China makes a geopolitical statement -- Dr. Adityanjee

Olympic Torch Relay Ceremony:
China makes a Geopolitical Statement
by Dr. Adityanjee (23 April 2008), CSA position paper
Government of India must have heaved a sigh of relief after the Beijing Olympics torch passed through India’s forbidden city without any untoward incident thereby pleasing their Chinese masters! The riveting drama of the Beijing Olympics Torch relay started on April 1, 2008. Since then the Olympic torch relay has been in news perpetually owing to the noisy protests by Tibetan independence activists, Buddhists and international human rights activists against the Chinese government’s repression of Buddhist monks in Tibet.

China conveniently denounces all these protests as sacrilege against the holy spirit of Olympics. Trying to take a high, moral ground, China has accused the protestors of mixing politics with sports. For the first time in the history of Olympics, the so-called sacred flame has aroused intense passions far and wide.

The 2008 Olympic torch relay has obviously brought the focus of the whole world’s attention on China’s annexation of Tibet and continued repression. In 1896, at the time of re-introduction of Olympic Games, the Olympic torch relay was not part of the official ceremonies. Only a ceremonial fire was kept burning throughout the celebration of the ancient Olympic games in Greece. Per Greek mythology, Prometheus stole the fire from the Greek god Zeus and the ancient Olympics ritualized that Greek mythical story.

The ceremonial Olympic Fire was reintroduced at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics, and it has been part of the modern Olympic Games ever since. The international Olympic flame (torch) relay was not a time honored ceremonial ritual and was invented in 1936 by Hitler and his cronies as a pan-Aryan gesture.

Nazi Invention Of Olympic Torch Relay

The modern Olympic torch relay was masterminded by Dr. Carl Diem, a Nazi commander and Dr. Joseph Goebbels, the notorious Minster for Information and propaganda for the Nazi Germany. This newly introduced ceremonial ritual was part of an effort to turn the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games into geo-political glorification of the resurgent Nazi Germany under the Third Reich. This journey of Aryan Supremacy from Greece to Germany was carried out in relay by more than three thousand Aryan Blonde athletes and the whole drama was filmed by Leni Riefenstahl in his movie Olympia released subsequently in 1938. The passage of Olympic torch through the European countries was cheered by their citizens in the name of German glory. It was the Nazis way of demonstrating to the whole world how Aryan athletes, like the mighty and powerful Greek Gods, were meant to rule the world.

The geo-political, economic and cultural power of the Third Reich was projected internationally by this newly crafted ceremony. This torch relay had nothing to do with the spirit of the Olympic sports and everything to do with the politics of power projection. Unfortunately, the torch relay, was adopted as an Olympic ritual later on, albeit, in a very low key manner. Sydney Olympics in 2000 publicized and politicized the torch relay around the Pacific Rim island nations. This torch relay covered 27,000 kilometers over 127 days again with a view to power projection, i.e. identifying the Australian sphere of geo-political influence. More recently, Athens Olympics staged an extensive torch tour clocking 86,000 kilometers over 142 days in 2004 to mark the Games return to their ancient home. It did not generate any commotion or controversy as Greece was not perceived an oppressing nation by the international community.

Chinese Version Of Olympic Torch Relay

In a strange twist of irony, China decided to recapitulate the foot-steps taken by the Nazi Germany and also for similar reasons, mainly power projection and making a geo-political statement. It is an aggressive and resurgent China, analogous to the aggressively resurgent Germany under the Hitler regime, economically rising and full of national pride that set up this unprecedented 137,000 kilometers long epic journey. This grandiosely planned torch relay is the longest in Olympic history and has the most torchbearers. Billions of dollars have been lavished on the Olympic Games by Beijing, which hopes to showcase China's rising economic and political power. In this longest torch relay in Olympic history, the torch was supposed to have been taken on a 130-daysJourney of China’s Glory around the world.

China is now angrily denouncing the international protestors as the Torch of Tyranny relay faces insurmountable protests and highly adverse publicity. The spokesperson for the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games (BOCOG), Sun Weide has categorically announced: No force can stop the torch relay of the Olympic Games, as if China owns the Olympics torch and not the International Olympic Committee (IOC). London and Paris legs of the relay were indeed marred by noisy protests. San Francisco leg was secretively and stealthily re-routed to avoid more protests. These continuing protests by Tibetan independence activists have forced changes in the torch relay route. Under pressure from China, Pakistan reduced the ceremony to just a ritual in the Jinnah stadium without exposing the Olympic torch to the streets of Islamabad. India cut down the torch route from two cities to only one with reduction in the route to only 2.3 kilometers instead of originally planned nine kilometers. To plagiarize a radio journalist, the China’s characterization of Olympic torch relay as the "Journey of Harmony," has already been metamorphosed into the Flame of Shame.

Future Sovereignty And Suzerainty

The Beijing Olympic torch has already raised geo-political disputes about the sovereignty of the regions that it passes. In Chinese feudal mindset, the regions/ land-masses (countries) where the Olympic torch passes will be under Chinese suzerainty in future. That does include Taiwan, Tibet and the Mount Everest. Plans to carry the 2008 torch up the North face of Mount Everest have also been met with supporters of Tibetan independence. No wonder Chinese army entered Nepal to quieten down the Tibetan protestors in Nepal.

For the same reason, Chinese government insists that the Olympic torch must pass through Tibet to buttress the China’s newly discovered historical claims over the entire Tiebtan plateau. Similarly, the organizers of the Beijing Games had originally planned for the torch to pass through Taiwan before going to Hong Kong and then to mainland China implying that Taiwan is only a province of China and not an independent country.

Taiwan rejected this proposed route because Taiwanese government wished the flame to enter and leave their country by a third country, so that the torch will not downgrade Taiwan's de facto and de jure sovereignty. Negotiations broke down when Taiwan demanded that the flag and anthem of the Republic of China be displayed on the route, instead of the Chinese Taipei flag and anthem. Ultimately, Taiwan refused to buckle down under Chinese pressure.

Taiwan did not allow the torch to pass through the Taiwanese territory denying China a golden opportunity to misuse the Olympic torch route for making future geo-political claims on Taiwanese land.

China’s pursuit of aggressive imperialism and regional hegemony is now beginning to be obvious to the whole world. The symbolism of the unquenchable sacred flame is getting identified with China’s un-quenching thirst for continued expansionism and neo-imperialism. This Olympic torch relay euphemistically characterized in the Chinese double-speak as the Journey of Harmony needs to be understood in geo-political terms as the Journey of Chinese Triumph over the world.

Chinese Mindset And Historical Distortions

In the imperialist Chinese mindset, Admiral Ho in 14th century conquered whole of the South East Asia, therefore, modern China has historical claims over the whole of that region. This is the basis of Chinese claims over the Paracel islands. Similarly, if any king sent an emissary with tribute to the Chinese emperor as a gesture of goodwill, feudal China interpreted that state as a vassal state or tributary state under Chinese jurisdiction/ suzerainty in perpetuity. The historian RC Mazumdar has noted the aggressive imperialism that characterized the politics of China through the course of her history if a region once acknowledged her nominal suzerainty even for a short period, China would regard it as a part of her empire for ever and would automatically revive her claim over it even after a thousand years. Unfortunately, China continues to make claims on other nations territories as a result of this expansionist and hegemonistic mindset. China’s planning of the Olympic torch relay route is definitely influenced by a hidden agenda which the IOC and the international community failed to understand before this became a controversy.

The Chinese Version Of The Ancient Ashwamedha Yajna

By this real-life, modern Chinese Opera on the pilgrimage of the Sacred Flame of the Holy Olympics one is reminded of the ancient Hindu ritual of Ashwamedha Yajna during which the sacred horse passing through any territory had to be protected by the vast army of soldiers of the King performing the Yajna. If anyone interfered with the journey of the sacred horse, that person was eliminated on the spot by the army guarding the sacred horse. The land through which sacred horse passed had to either accept the suzerainty of or fight the King-Emperor performing the yajna. There are clear parallels in the grandiose Chinese plan for the Olympic torch relay route and the pressure by the Chinese government on the host nations for the security of the torch as well as on the IOC to support the Chinese government’s action against the Tibetan protestors on foreign soils. The sinister men in blue accompanying the torch everywhere have been scuffling with policemen and the public as if naturally entitled to do so. These blue track-suited Chinese commandos guarding the sacred flame and brutally man-handling the protestors on the soil of third countries concretely symbolize the geo-political aspirations for world domination by a resurgent and aggressive China.

China's Covert Statement of Hegemony

Viewed in this light, Chinese over-reaction is very much an imperialist threat of retaliation against those who do not protect Chinese interests during the Journey of the Harmony. Going by the past precedents, it is not unlikely that future Chinese historians will claim all these lands/territories where the Olympic torch passed as part of the Chinese empire because the states were vassal states paying obeisance to the Chinese Emperor Hu Jintao! While usurping the Olympics for geo-political purposes, China is articulating a hegemonistic doctrine albeit couching it in acceptable diplomatese double-speak with a lot of ambiguity for future interpretation. Although the official Chinese motto for the 2008 Olympics is One World, One Dream, it is incomplete and half-said. What Communist China actually would have liked the motto for Beijing Olympics is really: One World, One Dream, China Supreme.

China's Pressure on Other Countries

China had expressed its displeasure at protests in London and Paris forcing the San Francisco mayor to change the route stealthily at the last minute. The police chief in Paris promised to look after the torch as he would guard a head of state. Some protestors in San Francisco got arrested for conspiracy. The Chinese government has insisted on blue track-suited Chinese commandos guarding the torch. Lord Sebastian Coe in London described these Chinese commandos as thugs and hoodlums who manhandled the torch-bearers including him. TV images world-wide showed how these Chinese commandos without batting an eyelid manhandled the protestors in various European countries breaking the local law as if they had the divine mandate to use brutal force. China has also instructed the IOC president Jacques Rogge not to comment on the protests and political aspects relating to Tibet and focus on the smooth passage of the Olympic Games. China has criticized Nicolas Sarkozy for his decision to boycott the opening ceremonies and indirectly threatened with strained bilateral Sino-French relations. Although some nations, including India, succumbed to Chinese bullying tactics, Australia has already warned that these Chinese commandos will have to travel in a bus following the torch relay. Any security to the torch will be provided by the Australian security forces and not by the Chinese commandos. In case any of these commandos manhandled a protestor, he will be immediately arrested for violating the Australian law. Australia is definitely guarding her sovereignty by not allowing Chinese commandos violate the local laws of an independent and democratic country.

Alongside this paranoia is the Chinese attempt to play the protests down by sheer misreporting, and by repeatedly asserting, that there is nothing political about the Olympics. China ostensibly claims that these games are all about reconciliation, hope, peace and harmony. Unfortunately, China is not alone in keeping up this spuriously apolitical rhetoric. The Olympics have become a tool of geo-political statements and assertions. IOC has become a party to this charade. China has aggressively targeted media outlets that have covered these protests without censorship. CNN has been singled out by the Chinese government. Unknown activists (of Chinese origin) have reportedly phoned and e-mailed death threats to reporters. Most of the criticism of the CNN concerns a photograph posted on its Web site weeks ago which cropped out Tibetans throwing stones at Chinese security forces.

China's Pressure on India

The torch relay passed through New Delhi at the cost of India’s democratic credentials under Chinese pressure. By turning the 2.3 kilometer route under massive security lock-down, and by disallowing any democratic expression of people’s feelings about Chinese repression in Tibet, the Government of India did not cover itself in glory. The communist China was able to dictate to Government of Republic of India on this particular issue. In return, the Government of India got a pat on its back and a certificate of good behavior from the high and mighty neighbor from the North.

Paranoid about the security of the torch, China had earlier sought permission from India to track the relay from the air, and evacuate it in case of an emergency. The request had originally come to the directorate-general of civil aviation (DGCA) through the external affairs ministry. This impudent request from China to guard Indian airspace had come before the torch ran into trouble in London and Paris. India had refused to allow Chinese air surveillance of the Olympic torch in Delhi, claiming that it could provide foolproof protection to the torch after consultations with the top brass of intelligence and security agencies. However, keeping diplomatic sensitivities in mind, the government of India allowed permission to a Chinese cargo carrier to fly to Mumbai and Chennai.

Resisting the pressure from communist China and their Indian lackeys, some of the Indian sportspersons and media personalities rightly pulled out of this bizarre torch relay drama. Baichung Bhutia, captain of the Indian football team was the first one to refuse stating, "I sympathize with the Tibetan cause. This is my way of standing by the people of Tibet and their struggle." Those who chose to run the torch relay will perhaps be remembered in the history as being the traitors to democracy! Tibetan activists were able to organize their protests earlier. That was the saving grace for India that has historical, cultural and civilizational links with Tibet. The more prudent approach for the Government of India would have been to cancel the tainted torch relay on the Indian soil sending a firm message to both communist China and the international community.

Future Of Olympic Torch Relays

It is likely that the International Olympics Committee would amend its rules so that host nations don't have to take the torch across international borders and expose it to security breaches. The IOC will consider doing away with overseas relay of the Olympic torch in the future. This may, indeed, be the last Olympic torch relay for displaying geo-political power by the host nation. If that turns out to be the case, the international protest against Beijing Olympic torch relay will become an historical case study for political science students.

On a separate note, China�s leaders may regret their decision to politicize the Beijing Olympics from day one by foolishly bringing issues of sovereignty to the Olympic torch relay route. The churning of international public opinion though restrained at this time will eventually facilitate a change in attitude of the international community leading eventually to independence of Tibet and Taiwan and unmasking of the Chinese geo-political game for what it is!
April 22, 2008
Dr. Adityanjee is the President of Council for Strategic Affairs, New Delhi and can be contacted at
The views expressed are those of the author and not of the website.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Chinese occupation of Tibet and Indian response

Chinese Occupation of Tibet and Indian Response

By: Dr.Dipak Basu
4/16/2008 5:06:03 PM

(The author is a Professor in International Economics in Nagasaki University, Japan)

The Chinese Olympic is going to be almost a replica of Hitler"s Olympic in 1936 to demonstrate the raw power of an imperialist and fascist state, where all the heads of state, barring possibly the French president, will arrive to pay their tribute to a brutal country that has subjugated not only Tibet but also East Turkistan, Mongolia, Manchuria. Their cousin Kuomintang Chinese also have colonized Taiwan since 1949. Although China is still occupying a vast part of India in Jammu & Kashmir and supplied nuclear weapons and missiles to Pakistan, India is trying to glamorize the Chinese Olympic by all means as a placid client state.

China"s recent demand that Arunachal Pradesh of India is a part of China has provoked a very wrong kind of reaction from the government of India and the Indian media in general. Once again India has failed to turn the table against China. India should have said, China has no border with India at all, but Tibet has. By not recognizing the fact that China is occupying Tibet illegally India has once again in practice accepted the Chinese occupation. India has in practice also accepted Chinese occupation of Eastern Turkistan and Manchuria and Chinese demand for Taiwan. India has recognized as well Pakistan"s occupation of Balochistan and N.W.F.P (North West Frontier Province).
There is no evidence that Tibet was a part of China before China colonized it in 1949. Same is true about Taiwan, and Eastern Turkistan. If the Manchu are not Chinese, as Sun Yat Sen declared in 1911, Manchuria was never a part of China either.

Ancient Tibet:

Tibet has a history of at least 1300 years of independence from China. The first recorded contacts between Tibetans and Chinese took place in the 7th century, following the unification of Tibet under King Songtsen Gampo and the establishment of the Chinese Tang Dynasty. Two incidents are regularly mentioned during discussion of this period: the marriage of a Chinese princess to Songtsen Gampo in 641, and a peace pledge signed between the two countries in 821.

The Chinese claim that through this marriage and a series of meetings and alliances, the Tibetans and Chinese cemented political and kinship ties of unity and formed close economic and cultural relations, laying a solid foundation for the ultimate founding of a unified nation (Tibet: Its Ownership and Human Rights Situation, China White Paper, 1992, p.3).

In fact, these incidents show that at this time Tibet and China were independent states of equal strength. The Chinese sought the marriage alliance of 641 after Tibetan armies had captured towns in Sichuan province (Tibet: A Political History, Tsepon W.D. Shakabpa, 1967, p.26). The treaty of 821, despite its familial language (the so-called uncle-nephew relationship), actually defined relations between two fully sovereign states (Tibet and Imperial China, Josef Kolmas, 1967, p.11).

In 821 China and Tibet ended almost 200 years of fighting with a treaty engraved on three stone pillars, one of which still stands in front of the Jokhang cathedral in Lhasa.
The treaty reads in part: Both Tibet and China shall keep the country and frontiers of which they are now possessed. The whole region to the East of that being the country of Great China and the whole region to the West being assuredly the country of Great Tibet, from either side there shall be no hostile invasion, and no seizure of territory... and in order that this agreement establishing a great era when Tibetans shall be happy in Tibet and Chinese shall be happy in China shall never be changed, the Three Jewels, the body of Saints, the sun and the moon, planets and stars have been invoked as witness.
The three stone pillars were erected, one outside the Chinese Emperor"s palace, one on the border between the two countries, and one in Lhasa.

Tibet During the Middle Ages:

During the 13th and 14th centuries both China and Tibet came under the influence of the Mongol empire. China claims today that Tibet and China during that time became one country, by virtue of the Mongols domination of both nations. However, the Mongols under Kublai Khan and his successors, who had the largest empire in human history, dominated virtually all of Asia.

Both Tibet and China fell under the control of this empire: the Tibetans after peaceful submission in 1244-47, and the Chinese following the defeat of the Jin Dynasty in northern China (1234) and the subsequent Mongol conquest of the southern Song Dynasty (1235-79). Chinese historians now claim that Tibet was thus officially incorporated into the territory of China"s Yuan Dynasty (China White Paper, p.3). They then go on to argue, somewhat inexplicably, this unification of the whole nation conformed to the advance of history and the desire of all nationalities (Highlights of Tibetan History, Wang Furen & Suo Wenqing, 1984, p.57).

The fact that Tibet and China both came under the political influence of the Mongols does not indicate unification of the two countries. Iraq, Turkey, most parts of Russia and Eastern Europe, Indian subcontinent, Northern Burma, North Vietnam, and Korea were all part of the vast Mongol Empire. Would that mean these areas belong to China! India was occupied by the British Empire, who used to control Malaysia, Iraq, and Burma. Is that mean India should legitimately claim Iraq, Malaysia and Burma as its integral parts? Such is the absurdity of the Chinese claim.

Mongols and Tibet:

Tibet came under Mongol influence before Kublai Khan"s conquest of China and regaining complete independence from the Mongols several decades before China regained its independence. While the Mongols militarily conquered China, the Tibetans and the Mongols established the historically unique priest patron relationship, also known as CHO-YON. The Mongol aristocracy had converted to Buddhism and sought spiritual guidance and moral legitimacy for the rule of their vast empire from the Tibetan theocracy. As Tibet"s patrons they pledged to protect it against foreign invasion. In return Tibetans promised loyalty to the Mongol empire.

The Mongol-Tibetan relationship was thus based on mutual respect and dual responsibility. In stark contrast, the Mongol-Chinese relationship was based on military conquest and domination. The Mongols ruled China, while the Tibetans ruled Tibet. The Mongol empire ended in the mid-14th century. Today Mongolia is an independent country, not a part of China.

By the 15th century, political authority in Tibet had passed into the hands of contending religious hegemonies, which were eventually replaced by a system of rule under the Dalai Lamas. In China, the native Ming Dynasty overthrew the Mongols, and then concentrated much of its attention on economic expansion and maritime exploration.

Ming Dynasty and Tibet:

One of the most incredible arguments from the Chinese side is that the Ming Dynasty somehow inherited a territorial claim to Tibet from the Mongols. But there is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that Tibet was subordinate to China at this stage. Communication did continue between the Ming emperors and Tibetan lamas, but there is some contention about its level and significance. Again, during this period both Tibet and China existed as separate and fully sovereign states.

Tibet and Machu Empire:

In 1639, the 5th Dalai Lama established another CHO-YON (priest- patron) relationship, this time with the Manchu Emperor, who in 1644, driven out of Manchuria by the Russians, occupied China and established the Manchu Qing Dynasty. Over the course of the next 50 years, the Manchus were able to exploit differences between rival groups within the Tibetan Government, and so established some degree of influence in Lhasa.
Manchu officials called "Ambans" were stationed there from 1728 until the fall of the dynasty in 1911. There is, however, much disagreement over the actual extent of their power. Chinese claims that the "Ambans" enjoyed equal standing with the Dalai Lama and the Bainqen Erdeni (Panchen Lama) (China White Paper, p.8) are exaggerated. Even during a period of Manchu expansion under the Qianlong Emperor (1736-95), Ambans were instructed not to interfere in the internal policies of Tibet and to refrain from exploitation (Tibet: A Political History, p.148).

However, the most important point is that Manchus, like Mongols, are not ethnic Chinese and suggestions that Tibet became an integral part of a Chinese empire during this period are just absurd.

In 1911 the CHO-YON relationship came to its final end with the fall of the Manchu Dynasty in the hands of Sun Yat Sen, who had declared Manchus as foreigners. . In 1912 the last of the Chinese troops were expelled from Tibet and Dalai Lama proclaims Tibet Independence. Tibet continued to conduct itself as a fully sovereign nation until its occupation by Communist China in 1949. Manchu emperor has lost even Manchuria, when the Soviet Union occupied Manchuria in 1945 and gave it away to China in 1950.

Tibet and the British:

The British after 1911 were able to gain some advantage, and so convened a tripartite conference to discuss Tibet"s status at Simla in 1914. The Tibetans arrived at the conference with written evidence proving the historical independence of Tibet. The Chinese delegation, who were present only to witness the treaty between Britain and Tibet, argued that Tibet"s subjugation by the Mongols and the Manchus proved it had become an integral part of China, and should therefore now be ruled as part of the new Republic of China of Sun Yat Sen from Peking.

China thus disputes the legal status of the Simla Convention and the resultant McMahan line - the border between India and Tibet accepted by the British, who"s true significance lies in its recognition of Tibet as an independent nation with which binding agreements could be negotiated (for example the Lhasa Treaty of 1904). Throughout the Nationalist (Guomindang) period from 1912 to 1949, no Chinese government was able to exert any influence over Tibet.

During the Second World War Tibet remained neutral, despite strong pressure from the USA, Britain and China to allow the passage of raw materials through Tibet. When Nepal applied for membership of the United Nations in 1949, it cited its treaty and diplomatic relations with Tibet to demonstrate its full international personality.

Chinese invasion of Tibet:

The invasion of Tibet by troops from the People"s Liberation Army in 1949-50 is described in official Chinese histories as a peaceful liberation. A 17 Point Agreement was signed between the Communist Government and Tibetan officials in May 1951, which apparently enjoyed the approval and support of the people from every ethnic group in Tibet (China White Paper, p.14). If Tibet was part of China, then there was no need for the 17-point agreement, which was forced upon the Tibetan delegation to sign in China in 1951, and then China announced to the world that Tibet was liberated (but from whom?).

Human Rights Violations in Tibet by China:

In fact, discrimination and the suppression of traditional practices in eastern Tibet drove hundreds of Tibetans up into the mountains to conduct guerrilla warfare, while thousands more fled west to Lhasa to escape Chinese persecution. In March 1959, growing Tibetan resistance exploded in an uprising against the Chinese occupation. The 14th Dalai Lama fled into exile in northern India, and the subsequent Chinese crackdown in Tibet was brutal. Tibetan sources suggest as many as 430,000 were killed in the Uprising and subsequent years of guerrilla warfare.
From 1951 to 1959 China broke every promise that she made towards Tibet, resulting in the Tibetan uprising against China in March 1959. His Holiness the Dalai Lama and 100,000 Tibetans escaped into exile. From that day onwards Tibet affectively became an occupied country.

China"s Claim on Tibet is based solely on the alleged subjection of Tibet to a few of China"s strongest foreign rulers in the thirteenth and eighteenth centuries. How can China - one of the most ardent opponents of imperialism and colonialism - excuse its continued presence in Tibet, against the wishes of Tibetan people, by citing as justification Mongols and Manchu imperialism and its own colonial policies?

By the 17-Point Agreement of 1951 China undertook not to interfere with Tibet"s existing system of government and society, but never kept these promises in eastern Tibet and in 1959 reneged on the treaty altogether. China has renamed two out of Tibet"s three provinces as parts of the Chinese provinces of Qinghai, Gansu, Sichuan and Yunnan, and renamed the remaining province of U"Tsang as Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR).
28th October 1991, US Congress under a Foreign Authorization Act passed the resolution wherein they recognized Tibet, including those areas incorporated into the Chinese provinces of Sichuan, Yunnan, Gansu and Qinghai, AN OCCUPIED COUNTRY under the established principal of international law. The resolution further stated that Tibet"s true representatives are the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in exile as recognized by the Tibetan people.

Some 1.2 million Tibetans are estimated to have been killed by the Chinese since 1950. Reprisals for the 1959 National Uprising alone involved the elimination of 87,000 Tibetans by the Chinese count, according to a Radio Lhasa broadcast of 1 October 1960. Tibetan exiles claim that 430,000 died during the Uprising and the subsequent 15 years of guerrilla warfare.

The International Commission of Jurists concluded in its reports, 1959 and 1960, that there was a prima facie case of genocide committed by the Chinese upon the Tibetan nation. These reports deal with events before the Cultural Revolution. Chinese Justice: Protest and Prisons

Exile sources estimate that up to 260,000 people died in prisons and labour camps between 1950 and 1984. Some 3,000 people are believed to have been detained for political offences since September 1987, many of them for writing letters, distributing leaflets or talking to foreigners about the Tibetans" right to independence.
Detailed accounts show that the Chinese conducted a campaign of torture against Tibetan dissidents in prison from March 1989 to May 1990. However, beatings and torture are still regularly used against political detainees and prisoners today. Such prisoners are held in sub-standard conditions, given insufficient food, forbidden to speak, frequently held incommunicado and denied proper medical treatment.

Beatings and torture with electric shock batons are common; prisoners have died from such treatment. In 1992, Palden Gyatso, a monk who had been tortured by the Chinese for over 30 years, bribed prison guards to hand over implements of torture. The weapons, smuggled out of Tibet, were displayed in the west in 1994 and 1995.

Despite China having ratified a number of UN conventions, including those relating to torture, women, children and racial discrimination, the Chinese authority has been repeatedly violating these conventions in both China and Tibet.

Nearly all prisoners arrested for political protest are beaten extensively at the time of arrest and initial detention. Serious physical maltreatment has also been recorded in a significant proportion of cases. In the period 1994-1995, three nuns died shortly after release from custody as a result of ill treatment and torture in detention.
The Chinese have refused to allow independent observers to attend so-called public trials. Prison sentences are regularly decided before the trial. Fewer than 2% of cases in China are won by the defense.

Chinese replaced Tibetan as the official language. Despite official pronouncements, there has been no practical change in this policy. Without an adequate command of Chinese, Tibetans find it difficult to get work in the state sector.

Secondary school children are taught all classes in Chinese. Religious practice was forcibly suppressed until 1979, and up to 6,000 monasteries and shrines were destroyed. In 1995 the Chinese authorities rejected the child recognized by the Dalai Lama as the rebirth of the Panchen Lama, and installed their own candidate.

Three nuclear missile sites, and an estimated 300,000 troops are stationed on Tibetan territory. China has admitted to dumping nuclear waste on the Tibetan plateau. There is a dump for radioactive pollutants near Lake Kokonor, the largest lake on the Tibetan plateau.

Chinese Railway to Tibet and its effects:

As with previous railways built by China in Mongolia and East Turkistan, the Tibet railway would greatly speed colonization of the area. It would allow vastly increased numbers of Chinese settlers and military troops to be brought in, and more natural resources to be exploited and removed from Tibet, with most economic benefits bypassing the many Tibetans who live on the outskirts of Tibet"s centrally controlled economy, beyond the reach of the railway. The railway will improve China"s military maneuverability, enable rapid troop deployments, and facilitate the expansion of People"s Liberation Army bases and increases in nuclear weapons stockpiles and missile deployments on the Tibetan plateau. The cost of the railway is almost triple the amount Beijing spent in the Tibet Autonomous Region on healthcare and education between 1952 and 2000.

Demographic change in Tibet:

China is filling up Tibet with ethnic Chinese in an attempt to destroy the ethnicity of Tibetans. This policy has much more impact to destroy the Tibet as a nation than the million who have died from Chinese policies, the destruction of more than 6,000 Buddhist monasteries, the arrest and torture of Tibetan monks, the destruction of Tibetan forests, and the stationing of nuclear weapons and waste dumps in Tibet.

Samdhong Rinpoche, 64, the prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile estimates that 7 million ethnic Chinese now live in Tibet. There are only 2.3 million Tibetans. In towns like Lhasa and Chengdu, 75 percent of the people are ethnic Chinese, says Rinpoche. [Soon] we may become just like the Mongolians. Our culture and heritage will be completely lost.

The influx of Chinese nationals has destabilized the economy. Forced agricultural modernizations led to extensive crop failures and Tibet"s first recorded famine (1960-1962), in which 340,000 Tibetans died. Tibetan farms and grazing lands have been confiscated and incorporated into collectivized and communal farms.

Resettlement of Chinese migrants has placed Tibetans in the minority in many areas, including Lhasa, causing chronic unemployment among Tibetans.

Official figures put the number of non-Tibetans in the TAR (Tibet Autonomous Region) at 79,000. Independent research puts the figure at 250,000 to 300,000, and for the whole of Tibet 5 to 5.5 million Chinese to 4.5 million Tibetans. In Kham and Amdo the Chinese outnumber Tibetans many times over.

UN"s betrayal of Tibet:

At the time of the invasion of Tibet in 1949/1950 by Chinese forces, Tibet was an independent State. In October 1950 the Tibetan Government maintained its international character as a "State" by sending a plea to the Secretary General of the United Nations.
The plea inspired the United Nations Member State of El Salvador to enter the issue "Invasion of Foreign Forces Into Tibet" on the First Committee Agenda for November 1950. This meeting, though convened, was postponed due to "insufficient information
The Secretary General did not distribute the Tibetan plea to Members of the General Assembly, although he was obliged to do so under the UN Resolution 378 V, "Duties of States in the Event of the Outbreak of Hostilities", declared at the 3 08th UN Plenary Meeting, 17th November 1950. The Secretary General was repeatedly requested, at least on three separate occasions, to distribute the Tibetan plea.

The United Nations has recorded the territorial invasion of Tibet, by Chinese forces, as a "Dispute", filed in June 1959. The "Dispute" file was officially handled at least 16 times, according to the file roster. There is no indication that this initial "Dispute" file has been reviewed since October 1968. Identification of the file is made by reference to "P0 240 Tibet".

In the United Nations Charter, Chapter Five, The Security Council, Article 27, Paragraph 3, decisions under Chapter VI (Pacific Settlements of Disputes), in paragraph 3 of Article 52 (Regional Arrangements) it is clearly written: "A Party to a Dispute shall abstain from voting"

As China is clearly a "Party" to the Dispute with Tibet, China is obligated under the United Nations Charter to abstain from vetoing on any issue related to the Tibet Dispute.
However, China, as Parties to the Tibetan Dispute, has been allowed inappropriate influence considering the outstanding and unresolved nature of the "Dispute". China changed the title of reference from "Tibet", to "Xizang" in all UN documents and in United Nation"s yearbooks. In the similar way the United Nations now describe Taiwan an independent country and former member of the U.N Security Council as Taiwan province of China.

India"s betrayals to Tibet:

Recently India, too, has forsaken the Tibetans to pursue its own interests.
Though India remains a safe harbor for Tibetan refugees, most of whom live
in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, and hosts the Tibetan
government-in-exile in Dharamsala, India has been distancing itself from
the Tibetan struggle as it builds closer ties with China under pressure from the Indian business community.

When Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee visited China last he dropped
the earlier Indian stance that maintained Tibet as an autonomous region of China. Instead Vajpayee declared, The Tibet Autonomous Region is part of
the territory of People"s Republic of China.

By accepting China"s limited definition of Tibet and by saying TAR was
Chinese territory and not an autonomous region, India was, in effect,
accepting China"s key positions on the issue.

The next day the Chinese gave de facto recognition to India"s sovereignty
over the disputed Himalayan state of Sikkim, which India took over in 1975. United States dropped support for Tibetan militants as it moved closer to China.


The history of Tibet, dating back more than two thousand years, has been one of independence. At no time, since the founding of the nation in 127 BC, have the Tibetans conceded their sovereignty to a foreign power. As with all nations, Tibet experienced periods in which - Mongol, Manchu, Chinese, British and the Gorkhas of Nepal - sought to establish influence over Tibet. These eras have been brief and the Tibetan people have never accepted them as constituting a loss of our national sovereignty. In fact, there have been occasions when Tibetan rulers conquered vast areas of China and other neighbouring states. This, however, does not mean that the Tibetans can lay claim to these territories.

On June 15, 1988 Dalai Lama elaborated on his earlier Five Point Peace Plan for Tibet in an address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg. He said:

"In 1949 the People"s Republic of China forcibly invaded Tibet. Since that time, Tibet has endured the darkest period in its history". More than a million of our people have died as a result of the occupation. Thousands of monasteries were reduced to ruins. A generation has grown up deprived of education, economic opportunity and a sense of its own national character. Though the current China leadership has implemented certain reforms. It is also promoting a massive population transfer onto the Tibetan plateau. This policy has already" reduced the six million Tibetans to a minority". Speaking for all Tibetans, I must sadly" inform you, our tragedy" continues."

India had the prime responsibility towards Tibet. It has failed so far to pursue. India"s peculiar stand towards China cannot be explained in anyway. China had invaded India in 1962; supplied every kind of weapons including nuclear weapons and missiles to Pakistan since 1963; gave sanctuary to the terrorists of the North Eastern States of India, opposed India in every international matter, opposed India"s possible permanent membership of the U.N Security Council or possible membership of the ASEAN, has tried successfully to encircle India with naval bases in Sri Lanka, Burma and Pakistan. Despite of all these hostile acts of China, India has so far learned any lesson. Indian prime ministers have visited China gain and again. Indian business community has invested billions in China and is ever so interested to import from China although it would mean destructions of India"s own manufacturing industries.

As a result of pressures from the business community of India and Communist Party of India (Marxist) India government now following the same appeasement policy that India has followed since 1949. India so far has refused to stand against Chinese imperialism in Tibet, Eastern Turkistan and Manchuria and Pakistan"s imperialism in Balochistan, Kashmir and North West Frontier Province.

Dr.Dipak Basu

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Tibet, the yellow-man's burden: Laura Kelly

Tibet-- the Yellow Man's Burden (April 2008)

Editor in Chief
The Hindu
Anna Saalai


Dear Mr. Ram

It is heartening to read the 'Rather Bold' mails on the Tibet issue. But it is too little and too late is the bitter truth. As the figures supplied by Sonia Jabbar, Ramachandra Guha, Mukul Kesavan, Madhu Sarin, Jyotirmaya Sharma, Dilip Simeon, Tenzin Sonam, & Shashi Tharoor show that the Han population has become dominant over Tibetans. What is despicable, which I WITNESSESD OVER MANY VISITS TO MT KAILASH, over eleven years is this:

1. Tibetans who could be seen moving around in plenty in villages en route, have become extremely rare. Their settlements have disappeared!

2) Tibetans were brought in Military Transport, to work for twelve hour shifts in extreme weather conditions; having been forced into silence, not a word exchanged between them or with others, and bundled back into the backs of military trucks at the end of the day made to stand on long and arduous journeys winding through treacherous roads and to transported back the next day morning. For every truck load of Tibetans (about thirty men and women) there were three heavily armed soldiers with assault rifles and carbines.

3) It Sounds every bit Nazi camps:Dachau-Auschwitz-Birkenau-Sobibor-Trebinka-Betzee-Bergen-Belzen where the largest number of European Jews were put to death by gassing and other methods. Here instead of SS men replace with the Red army brigades.

4) Lot of construction is happening for the better and modern conveniences in villages depleted of Tibetans obviously to house the Hans and the military administrators. My first visit was in 1992 and the last in 2004.

5) With the passing of communism into history as an ideological alternative to democracy it is time to do some accounting of its human costs. Few would deny any longer that Communism--Marxism-Leninism and its variants--meant in practice bloody terrorism, deadly purges, lethal gulags and forced labor, fatal deportations, man-made famines, extra-judicial executions and show trials, gulags and genocide. It is also widely known that as a result millions of innocent people have been murdered in cold blood. Yet there has been virtually no concentrated statistical work on what this total might be.

6) Let us examine the figures available on murder by communists: “the Soviet Union appears the greatest mega murderer of all, apparently killing near 61,000,000 people. Stalin himself is responsible for almost 43,000,000 of these. Most of the deaths, perhaps around 39,000,000 are due to lethal forced labor in gulag and transit thereto. Communist China up to 1987, but mainly from 1949 through the Cultural Revolution, which alone may have seen over 1,000,000 murdered, is the second worst mega murderer. Then there are the lesser mega murderers, such as North Korea and Tito's Yugoslavia".

7) Even if Dalai Lama makes a deal, an autonomous Tibet under Chinese Central Govt how can he stop the Han sweep and the cultural genocide that has taken place over the last fifty years?

8) How can we moronically support ideologies, that after devouring its own civilization and has devoured the neighbour for the next meal? Power kills. Absolute power kills absolutely -- whether it was Hitler in the past or Maoist China in 2008! How can we forget/forgive mass murderers of red China?


Laura kelly

Please read on.....

9)”In sum the communist probably have murdered something like 110,000,000, or near two-thirds of all those killed by all governments, quasi-governments, and guerrillas from 1900 to 1987. Of course, the world totals itself is shocking. It is several times the 38,000,000 battle-dead that have been killed in all this century's international and domestic wars. Yet the probable number of murders by the Soviet Union alone--one communist country-- well surpasses this cost of war. And those murders of communist China almost equal it. “
11) As part of Party persecution of the Falun Gong sect (to members, it is not a religion), police are likely to arrest any Chinese who practice its combination of Taoism and Buddhism, and the meditation and martial arts techniques that lead members to a spiritual melding of mind, spirit,and body. (akin to yoga)

12) There are as many as 100 million adherents in China, though the Party claims that no more than 2.1 million belong. Clearly, however, sect leaders can bring together many members quickly. On April 25, 1999, for example, a mass of 10,000 followers stood quietly in front of the compound housing the top Party leaders in Beijing.

13) Police have already arrested over a hundred sect leaders and thousands of its adherents for what, until recently, the Party labeled a “counterrevolutionary crime,” and has renamed in less political terms a “crime disturbing social order.” The Party recently held over 35,000 Falun Gong members in detention or in prison, and has tortured many. It has sent some 5,000 additional members to labor camps without trial.

14) At least eighty-nine Falun Gong have died due to Party mistreatment. Though this number is small and seems irrelevant in such a huge country, for each of the eighty-nine and those who loved them, it was terribly real. Sixty-year-old Chen Zixiu is a case in point. She traveled to Beijing to request that the Party lift its restrictions on the Falun Gong. The police arrested her, then beat and tortured her. Her aging body could not take it, and she was dead in four days. When her family collected her corpse, they found bruises all over her body, broken teeth, and dried blood in her ears.

15) Another woman, Zhao Xin, a professor at Beijing’s Industry and Commerce University, died from a beating she received after her arrest for practicing Falun Gong breathing exercises in a Beijing park. The Party cannot leave alone even that which most people regard as superstitions or simply good health exercises. In a crackdown on a group of Qi Gong practitioners, for example, have says R. J. Rummel “over 21,000 been arrested for nothing more than fostering breathing and meditation exercises.”

16) Action against unapproved sects or religious groups is simply an example of the Party’s continuous campaign to suppress anything of which it does not approve—be it association, speech, unions, or movements. In China, there can be no association without Party permission, no nonprofit organization without registration. The Party must license all newspapers, magazines, and other publications, and no book can be published without Party approval. Censorship is common.

17)There are even Party guidelines for publications, such as requiring that newspaperStories be 80 percent positive, 20 percent negative. Disseminating or selling unapproved literature can lead to a long prison sentence.

18) For example, police arrested two Beijing bookstore owners, sisters Li Xiaobing and Li Xiaomei, for selling Falun Gong publications, and a court sentenced them to six or seven years. The police even arrested the environmental journalist Dai Qing, who justifiably criticized a mammoth dam-building project on the Yangtze River, which will create the world’s largest hydroelectric dam and displace one to two million people. A court sentenced him to ten months in prison and forbade him to publish in the future. Even for simply making a list of those convicted of protest-connected offenses—just a list—a court sentenced one fellow, Li Hai, to nine months in prison.

19) After all, convictions are a “high-level state secret.” Arrest and incarceration in prison, a labor camp, or a psychiatric hospital, forced drugging, brainwashing, psychological torture, physical
>torment, execution, a simple beating—all are Party tools. Their purpose is to control the Chinese population, advance Party policies, and maintain Party power through fear. There is no humanity in any of this. Note how the prison authorities treated the forty-two-year-old woman Cheng Fengrong. They handcuffed her to a tree and beat her, made her stand in the snow barefoot while they kicked her, and finally poured cold water over her head, which ran down her body and turned to ice at her feet.

20) Aside from the Party’s great concern over what Chinese say and whom they associate with, there is still more reason why one would not want to be born in China. The Party also deems restricting population growth to be vital. It therefore forcibly intrudes into the core of a family’s soul desire to have children.

21) Since 1979, the Party has dictated who will have no more than one child, a policy largely applied to Han Chinese (comprising 92 percent of the population) living in urban areas.

22)To prevent women from having a second child, the Party might sterilize them or, if they’re pregnant, force them to undergo an abortion. If there are many pregnant women in an area, or just to ensure that there are no Never Again Supplement 23 second children, Party officials might enforce a local “Clean Out the Stomach Campaign” involving house-to-house examinations and forced abortions. If a woman still somehow manages to have a second child, the couple would likely be fined, and the child would be discriminated against and not allowed to attend the better schools.

23) What happened to the owner of a small clothing store is an example of the trouble a second pregnancy might cause. I will name her Woman X, since she is now a refugee and fears harm if the Party knows her name. After she had her first child, officials ordered her to use an intrauterine device to prevent another pregnancy. She did so for a while, but because of connected health problems, secretly removed it—and got pregnant. When they found out about this, Party officials fined her and forced her to undergo an abortion. The fine was too much for her meager resources to cover, and she could not pay it. Officials then seized her store. Penniless and distraught, she borrowed what money she could from relatives and fled alone, deserting her husband, child,and mother.

24) The result of the Party’s one-child policy was predictable in an Asian, male-oriented society. If a Chinese woman believed her first fetus to be female, she might well abort it. The second try might yield a male. If a female were born, the mother or her husband might murder or abandon it. Infanticide was naturally prevalent, and sometimes even encouraged by Party authorities. The result was that there were about 119 males born for every 100 females.

25)It has led to playgrounds filled with masses of boys, few girls, and no siblings. For traditional Chinese families, the end result is even worse. Who will take care of the aged parents? This has led to a Party reconsideration of the policy. One resulting reform is to permit families to have two children, if both parents are from single-child families.

26) With the liberalization of some controls, a much freer market, and less emphasis on remaking the society and culture, the Party now executes far fewer people than it did decades ago. Still, the numbers are very high by international standards. As expected, how many people the Party executes or otherwise kills without a fair trial and for political or religious “crimes” is unknown and difficult to estimate.

27)Going by what the outside world knows, however, in just the one year of 1996 the Party executed at least 4,367 people. With a little more than 20 percent of the world’s population, and going only by documented executions, the Party performs about 75 to 80 percent of all known judicial executions in the world.

28) Nor can Chinese expect a decent burial if executed. As the still warm body lies on the ground after being shot in the back of the head, doctors brought for this purpose will likely cut out the organs and rush these to a hospital, without the prior consent of the executed or the family. RJ Rummel. At the hospital, doctors will transplant the organs into well-paying foreigners or the elite, or prepare the organs for shipment, so the Party can sell them in the international transplant market for much-needed hard currency. An American Chinese-language newspaper even advertised such organs for sale—one negotiated price was $30,000.00

29) Executions are the result of official court sentences, but Chinese also die “off the record” from beatings, torture, or other mistreatment by authorities in prisons or labor camps. Even the Chinese press sometimes reports these deaths, as it did of a worker who, suspected of embezzlement, died after being beaten and tortured for twenty-nine hours. Chinese who simply demonstrate for democracy can be killed.

30) During the nonviolent, pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 1989, soldiers, armored vehicles, and tanks slaughtered 2,000 to 10,000 demonstrators. Those who escape execution or prison might still be sentenced to a forced labor or re-education camp. Life in either case can be worse than that in prison, however, and even death might seem preferable. It did for human rights leader Chen Longde. Beaten by guards with clubs and electric batons, tortured by other inmates who were promised reduced sentences if they got him to confess, and suffering from associated kidney damage, he finally jumped from a window.(The Laogai Research Foundation at: and quoted by RJ Rummel)

31) He survived, perhaps unfortunately, with two hips and a leg broken. The Party forces inmates to fulfill a work quota or meet certain “reform” standards. Failure to meet a quota or spout communist dogma can be lethal. Camp officials may simply deny them benefits, or they may impose a more deadly punishment—they may beat them, starve them, or put them in painfully tightened leg irons or handcuffs for long periods. The quotas are not easy for inmates to fill, and could require them to work overtime with little sleep—sometimes no more than three or four hours.

32) Moreover, camp authorities might combine work with required communist study, making it even harder to meet quotas. In some camps, guards routinely beat and harass inmates to force them to do more work. Of course, guards beat prisoners in other countries as
Well. But in China these beatings are not the idiosyncratic behavior of sadistic camp guards. They are the Party’s method to ensure work output and proper brainwashing. Overall, the Party admits to keeping 1.2 million prisoners, including detainees. This total is probably far under the actual number.

Freedom unequally enjoyed isn't freedom: China's flawed mandate from heaven

April 13, 2008

An aside on the term "brainwashing"
From: Flora Sapio

The term "Braiwashing" was coined in Semptember 1950 by Edward Hunter, a
CIAofficer who worked under cover as a journalist. Hunter was a key
figure in making this term popular in the West. And he was also involved
in Project MKULTRA - a CIA's attempt to develop mind control techniques.

Later, Robert J. Lifton used "brainwashing" to refer to ***rudimental***
mind control techniques used by the Chinese on American POWs in the Korean
War. Basically this was the process of "thought reform"/coercive
persuasion he outlines in "The Psychology of Totalism".

A central feature of coercive persuasion was obtaining a confession. To this
aim, techniques producing physical and psychological stress were used. When we
are subjected to prolonged and acute stress for long periods of time, we need
to find some ways to keep our equilibrium. This triggers a psychological
response. We reframe the perception of our Selves, and of our surroundings.
Eventually, we may more or less willingly yield to the requests our
interrogators pose on us. We may end up embracing their views of the world.
Or - to put it more simply - we may confess to whatever we are asked to.

The term - which is a translation of the Chinese xinao 洗脑 - was extremely
popular - I believe - during the Cold War. I think this term is still used in
contexts that are politicized....and of course in China-bashing.

In scholarly and non-political contexts, "brainwashing" has been
replaced by the more neutral "mind control".

Mind control was a concept developed by psychologist Steven Hassan.
Hassan, who was a former member of Moon's Unification Church, found that
cultic groups had independently elaborated psychological manipulation
techniques. These techniques are considerably more sophisticated and more
effective that those the Red Army used on POWs.

Hassan has signicantly expanded the work of Lifton, and his criteria,
that are based on Lifton's Eight Criteria for Thought Reform, are used to
identify cults that practice mind control, and to rescue their victims.

Flora Sapio
University of Wuerzburg


* John Marks. _The Search For The Manchurian Candidate: The CIA and Mind
Control, The Secret History of the Behavioral Sciences_, Norton 1979.
Available online at

* Robert J. Lifton. _Thought reform and the psychology of totalism. A
study of "brainwashing" in China_. Norton, 1961. Several later editions,
Chapel Hill, NC:University of North Carolina Press, 1989.

* Steven Hassan. _Combatting Cult Mind Control_, Rochester, VT: Park
Street Press, 1988. (a later edition also issued)
ISBN 0892812435 : 9780892812431

* MKULTRA documents declassified under the FOIA

April 13, 2008

On Tibet Controversy, Yuan Dynasty, and thinking about Chinese history
From: Enze Han

It is a response to people who made claims about the nature of the Yuan
Dynasty whether it is not Chinese or Monglian. And I think the biggest flaw
in such an argument is its application of western/modern concept of
nation-state to pre-modern China. First is the question of who is Chinese
and what is China? In fact, the word China was invented by the west to refer
to such a political entity in the far east, it was never a self-claim. To
the traditional dynasties, or any political entities that exited in the
territory what we call China today, the most important concept is the
mandate of heaven, as long as someone gets that claim, no matter what kind
of people they are (Turkic, Mongol, Manchu, Jurchen, Khitan) they can all be
considered as Chinese and get the legitimate claim over the land it ruled
(Tian Xia). Thus, ever since the north-south dynasties (Nan Bei Chao), most
northern dynasties were founded by nomadic people from the great Mongolian
grassland (some were Turkic, some were Mongol), but then again they all
claim of legitimacy of rule on the basis of the concept of mandate of
heaven, and thus they can call be called Chinese. The great Tang dynasty was
in way Turkic. The same concept applies later to Liao, set up by Khitan, and
then Jin by Jurchen. Although it is more controversial for the great Mongol
empire that extended all the way to central asia and behind, it is
legitimate to say the Yuan dynasty set up by Kublai khan was legitimately
Chinese, as he claimed to have got that mandate of heaven when he set up the
Yuan dynasty. When the Ming came Zhu Yuanzhang also made such a comment on
the legitimacy of the Yuan Dynasty. A good book I think can illuminate some
of this thinking is L'Empire des Steppes by René Grousset.

What I have been trying to emphasize here is that we should totally start to
rethink and reconstruct the concept of China and Chinese. It is in fact, one
can argue the concept of China/Chinese is in a way civic, at least before
the era of nation-state, which means we should look at China based on the
territory rather than the people, and I think this conceptualization is the
most consistent with traditional Chinese thinking about the state.

And indeed today in China, the word Chinese is Zhong Guo Ren (that is Middle
Kingdom People), which includes more than just the Han Chinese. Thus if you
talk to an ethnic minority people in China, they would call specifically the
language, what people in the west call Chinese, as Han Hua (that is Han's
language). And this is a big and very important distinction. It tells us
that to many ethnic minority people that the concept of China is different
from what most people in the west thinks. I think Justin Rudelson's book
Oasis Identity makes such a differentiation in his study on Xinjiang.

Finally, its a response to Prof. Don Baker on Taiwan. Yes it is true that
the PRC never controlled Taiwan, but another way to think about it is that
the PRC is only a regime controlled by a political party and the concept of
China is bigger than that. Analogy is to look at various French republics,
constitutions constantly rewritten, but that does not mean one specific
republic represent the whole concept of France.

Thank you for reading.

Enze Han
Ph.D Candidate
Department of Political Science
George Washington University

Tibet and China -- "cultural genocide" terminology
From: Chris Haskett

In response to Prof. Pollard:

The term genocide was first applied to the Tibet situation in 1960 by the
International Commission of Jurists--though 'cultural' was not a concern so
much as human deaths.

Much of the art and artifacts "destroyed" in the Cultural Revolution, and
after, has turned up on international art markets after being warehoused for
some time.

Chris Haskett
PhD Cand., LCA, UW-Madison

Tibet and China issues - another perspective
From: Naomi Standen

Srinivasan Ramani raises an important question: how interpretations of Tibet
are affected by the differing views of the commentators about the political
role of religion.

Religion also plays a significant role in Xinjiang, where (in my limited
understanding) there has been as much activism and more violence than in Tibet
over similar or related issues (suppression of culture, in-migration, external
exploitation of natural resources, etc), and where it would be possible to have
similar arguments about the historicity of the PRC's claims to the region and
the character and intent of PRC policies towards the Uyghurs and the region.
But riots and violent repression in Xinjiang have not been as widely reported
in the Rich North, at least, and attract less sympathy among the general public
there. Partly the lack of reporting is due to a more effective exclusion of
foreign media from Xinjiang, but that in itself is assisted not only by
Xinjiang's even greater remoteness but also by relative lack of interest among
those foreign reporters. Not for Xinjiang do we get stories about "my ten days
of trying to get past the media lockdown" as we had recently about Tibet in the

It seems reasonable to suggest that attitudes towards religion and its role in
a modern state or community play an important part in the way Xinjiang issues
are reported and framed outside the PRC. Although the Xinjiang activism long
predates the Twin Towers, one cannot help wondering if those in the West (and I
use the word deliberately here, precisely for its connotations) would hear more
about it if the people involved were not Muslims. Since the Twin Towers, the
visual and other similarities and various connections of Xinjiang Uyghurs to
Muslims in neighbouring Central Asian countries (which are even less well
understood in Europe and the rich anglophone world) have not exactly helped to
bring a rush of outside support to the Uyghur cause, and without that the
rich-world media is much less likely to pay attention to whatever might be
going on in a region that therefore remains a remote place of which we know
little. How likely is it that the Uyghurs will find their Richard Gere or
Joanna Lumley to bring their grievances to the attention of the influential
outside world? What is it about Tibet (images of Shangri-la aside) that makes
it so much more appealing to the "western" public?

It would be interesting to hear about how both Tibet and Xinjiang are being
reported outside the rich world. And, to return to Srinivasan Ramani's point,
it would be particularly interesting to hear from any H-Asia members who may be
able to comment on how the reports look in countries that are not liberal

Naomi Standen
Dr. Naomi Standen | Historical Studies, Armstrong Building
Senior Lecturer in Chinese History| Newcastle University, NE1 7RU, UK
Tel: +44 191 222 6490 |Fax: +44 191 222 6484

April 13, 2008

Thinking about terminology - "cultural genocide" - response to Dr. Yi Li
From: Vincent K Pollard

Dear Colleagues,

Doesn't the extensive physical destruction of Tibetan art and artifacts
in the T.A.R. and elsewhere in Tibetan China during 1966-1976 qualify as
cultural genocide?

Vincent K Pollard
Ed. note: Trying to look at this from another perspective--how would one
distinguish the effects of the cultural revolution upon Tibetan areas in
China from the effects elsewhere. I would risk asking is the "cultural
genocide" term employed toward the dominant power in China whereas the
effects of 1966-76 inside China might be termed 'cultural suicide'?

April 13, 2008

Concerning Tibet, "Western Media", and "Brainwashing"
* **********************************************************************
From: Andrew Field

First, a minor correction concerning my last message: In mentioning
an internal discussion among the editors, I mistakenly referred to the
message containing the link to Anne Kent's essay rather than a
response to this message by another poster, which was the source of
the discussion. I still hold by the view that this has been a very
productive and worthwhile discussion overall, and that we should
encourage such discussions in the future, while at the same time being
careful (as per our rules) not to post links to sources that are too
overtly political or polemical in nature (not always an easy task to
differentiate, but usually quite obvious), but I agree with the other
editors that Dr. Kent's article seemed scholarly enough, even if
somewhat flawed and biased, to merit a link on our forum.

Second, I believe that in discussing the coverage of Tibet by the
"Western media", some people (not necessarily part of our discussion
group) are making huge and unwarranted generalizations, and making it
sound as if there is one overarching agenda amongst all news media
agencies in "the West" as opposed to what I perceive to be a concerted
and genuine effort by foreign news media agencies to understand what
has been happening in Tibet and other parts of China in recent
weeks--an extremely difficult task given the limitations imposed by
the PRC government on coverage of these events.

Third, as for the term "brainwashing," I concur with Frank Conlon that
I have not seen this term appear in any posts relating to this current
set of discussion threads on our e-forum. I do recall the term being
mentioned a while ago on another e-forum to which I subscribe.
According to that poster: "The term "Brainwashing" is also derived
from Chinese (Ï´ÄÔ xinao, wash the brain), and was first translated into
English by a journalist to describe the experience of American
soldiers held in Chinese re-education
camps during the Korean war." In the interest of privacy I have
withheld the name of the poster and he did not supply any references
for this claim, but it is an intriguing one nonetheless. I wonder if
anybody else can back up this claim, and I wonder if this has anything
to do with the tendency to apply the term to the PRC government.

Regarding the above, I just did a search of my own gmail database,
where I have archived all of the H-ASIA posts as well as posts from
another forum that have included numerous articles on the recent
events in Tibet, and the only case in which I found the term
"brainwashing" (or -wash, -washed) was in the following article in the
March 15 2008 online edition of the Washington Post:

"Westerners think they know all about China, telling us that this, that and
the other is bad," wrote one [Chinese] blogger, who listed historical reasons
justifying Tibet's inclusion as part of China.
"Most foreigners have been brainwashed as far as this issue is concerned,"
assented another user.


It appears from this cursory survey that the "Western media" is not
roundly using this term to refer to people in China, but perhaps more
the other way round. In conducting a similar search on the Google
News database, I found this quote from an April 8 2008 article in the
Los Angeles Times, referring to the PRC government's "patriotic
eduction" campaign in Tibet: "Patriotic education is a euphemism for
brainwashing," said Chukora Tsering Agloe, a researcher at the Tibetan
Center for Human Rights and Democracy."


In this case, the term appears to be not a judgment on the part of the
reporter (though it may implicitly be so), but rather that of a
Tibetan in exile. On that note, the voice of Tibetans in our
discussion is conspicuously absent, and I wonder if there are any
Tibetan people in our H-ASIA network and if so, why they are
withholding from making comments on this issue.

Andrew Field
co-editor, H-ASIA

April 13, 2008

Tibet and China - and Taiwan
From: Donald Baker

Dr. Li Yi in his recent post wrote that :

> Taiwan, Xinjang, and Tibet are a part of China now, but they may get
> independence later. Outer Mongolia already got independence.

I hate to point out the obvious, but Taiwan has never been under the
control of the government of the People's Republic of China. Though
Taiwan and the PRC are recognized by most nations around the world as
belonging to "one China," the fact is that Taiwan has been governed apart
from the government of mainland China since 1949. Taiwan's situation
today cannot be compared to the situation of Tibet or Xinjiang. There are
people in Tibet and Xinjiang (whether they are a majority or a minority
is not germane to the point I am making here) who would be happy if their
regions "belonged" to China the same way Taiwan does. And there are
plenty of people in Taiwan who would be very unhappy if Taiwan were in
the same situation vis-a-vis the government in Beijing that Tibet and
Xinjiang are.

Don Baker
University of British Columbia

April 13, 2008

Further observations on the Tibet and China issue
From: Vincent K Pollard

Dear Colleagues,

Another analogy could be clarified. "Cultural genocide" is a shorthand
historiographical summary phrase utilized for a variety of purposes in
this discussion of Tibet, Chinese history, and human rights, nationalism,
sovereignty and other closely related isssues.

In the current H-ASIA discussion, occasionally comparisons are made with
Euro-American imperialism and imperial state-building in the Americas.
With that in mind, colleagues who assert -- or challenge -- the
appropriateness of "cultural genocide" as a summary of the PRC's impact
on Greater Tibet since 1950 might indicate how appropriately "cultural
genocide" summarizes what was done, for example, to Native American
nations in what today is the United States (including Hawai'i) or Canada.

(The following is a point of basic information that may not be obvious:
While not all historians of the United States use the phrase "cultural
genocide" to characterize the destruction of Native American cultures by
Euro-American invaders, some American historians certainly use the
phrase. Chinese critics of American history and politics are not the first
to do so.)

This degree of greater comparative historical clarity is possible.
Striving for it will make our discussion even more educational.

Vincent K Pollard

April 12, 2008

Mongolian views of Yuan dynasty as Mongolian
From: Vincent Pollard :

Dear Colleagues,

In this context of the conversation about Tibet and China (and others,)
isn't invocation of the Yuan Dynasty (1279 - 1368) also problematic?

According to a member of Mongolia's foreign service (on academic leave)
who spoke here in 2007, that era was not a Chinese Dynasty.

The historiographical nuances continue to unfold!

Vincent K Pollard

Si aequa non est, ne libertas quidem est
(Freedom unequally enjoyed isn't freedom)
-- Marcus Tullius Cicero, DE RE PUBLICA, Liber I, xxxi.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Contrast how China deals with Vietnam and with Tibet

Here are a string of postings by historians on H-Asia list. Should be of interest in the context of the ongoing struggle for Free Tibet. Kalyanaraman

April 11, 2008

China, Tibet and . . Vietnam?? Another perspective
From: Shawn McHale

Dear list,

I have followed this debate over Tibet and China with some interest.
Putting aside the Kent article that sparked all the comments, I would
like to suggest the value of comparing the case of Vietnam with that of

Chinese today simply do not think of Vietnam as part of China. But it was
once an integral part of the Middle Kingdom, broke away from Middle
Kingdom rule in 939 (by most Vietnamese reckoning today), was attacked by
Mongol armies during the Yuan dynasty several times, was occupied from
1407-27 by the Ming, was attacked again in the late 18th century under
the Qing. While Vietnamese histories date "independence" from 939 CE, the
fact is that the various Vietnamese dynasties (Ly, Tran, Ho, Mac, Le,
Trinh, Nguyen) all engaged in tributary relations with the successive
dynasties in China, symbolically asserting to these dynasties the
submission of their dynasties. And yet, despite the deep cultural and
political connections between China and Vietnam, China today does not
claim exclusive sovereign rights over Vietnam.

As historians, we should be acutely aware that the modern concept of
sovereignty dominant in international discourse today, and to which China
formally subscribes, may have little to do with relations between China
and Tibet in the past, or China and Vietnam in the past. There has been
an epistemic shift in how states conceptualize these relations."Facts" in
the pre-modern or early modern context have different meanings when
situated in the modern discourse of sovereignty. The search then for
value-neutral facts that form the basis of this argument is doomed to

In the case of Vietnam, although the Chinese government today could
construct a robust argument, filled with all sorts of facts, to support a
claim to Vietnam, it does not do so. It does not do so because, one
assumes, it realizes that pre-modern and modern notions of sovereignty
are different. Putting aside all of Vietnam, it does not even make a
claim to what is now the province of Ha Tien, even though this province
was once a principality settled by Ming loyalists. (It does, though,
make claims to the Spratleys and Paracels, even though the evidentiary
basis for these claims is weak . . .). So why is Tibet treated
differently? China today seems to fundamentally contest the views that
Thomas Bartlett laid out succinctly in his April 10 post.

It strikes this outside observer that IF the Chinese government today
applied the same logic to Tibet over sovereignty as if applies to
Vietnam, and IF it accepted that pre-modern relations between states
were not the same as modern ones, then China would realize that its claim
to Tibet is contestable on historical grounds.

Shawn McHale
Associate Professor of History and International Affairs
George Washington University
Washington, DC 20052 USA
(on leave, 2007-08, at Vietnam National University --
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)

April 11, 2008

On the discussion of the Tibet issue
From Bin Yang

Some personal comments on the discussion of the Tibet

I am surprised to find that many of the discussants
are not specialists on the Tibet issue. Me either.
Hence, I feel that we (especially me) are not much
different from street crowds who shouted either "Free
Tibet" or "One China." Nonetheless, I would like to
throw my bricks to get your jades (pao zhuan yin yu).

First of all, in terms of the Sino-Tibetan
relationship, as many have pointed out, this issue is
really up to how independence and sovereignty to be
understood. Some years ago, I found two authors were
particularly insightful when discussing this issue.
One is Wang Lixiong, a Chinese dissident who has written
a few books in Chinese, and the other is Prof. Melvyn
C. Goldstein (for example, The snow lion and the
dragon: China, Tibet, and the Dalai Lama).

Essentially, one should bear in mind the gap between
nation-state and ancient state/empire, or to use the
terms by Wang Lixiong, western state and the oriental
system (based on my memory, maybe not precisely).
Thus, asking or being asked, "has/had/was/is Tibet
part of China?", one is unavoidably trapped. In
addition, I like a lot scholarly criticism of
Sino-centrism in Chinese historiography, but to treat
China or Chinese empire identical with "zhongguo"
makes the same logical mistake as Sino-centrism,
because such a view subconsciously is Han-centrism.

To make it simplified, it is so wrong to claim Tibet was
part of China 700 years ago; likewise, it is misleading and
over-simplified to say Tibet was not part of 18th c. Qing China.

Second, in terms of the recent violence in Tibet, it
is too complicated for me. Yes, there are many levels
of nationalism, especially in present-day China. And
state-nationalism does not always agree with popular
nationalism. The webpage of anti-cnn is quite
revealing. Chinese people even invented a slang, "Do
not be like CNN!" indeed, an counterpart of a
wide-circulated "Do not be like C(hina)C(entral)TV!"

While I am far from qualified to comment on the
violence in Tibet, I am sure the Chinese accusation
that Dalai Lama was the black-hand is groundless. But
the violence in Tibet, I think, is more related to
ethnic tensions than to human rights or religion
freedom, as both Han Chinese and Chinese Muslim
suffered, if there is no such a thing of conspiracy
that the year 2008 is a golden opportunity to draw
international attentions.

Many Han Chinese people do not like the state policy
in Tibet because they believe that it is too
pro-Tibetan, and such a complaint occurs in Xinjiang
as well. I do not like Chinese state policy
partially because the approach is mechanical, lacking
considerations of social sciences and humanities.
Similar cases could be seen in the Chinese suppression
of FLG. Money, materials, energy and other social
sources are wasted, while the problem is not solved,
and the state image in the international stage is so

Finally, indeed most Chinese participants here are not
within mainland China, and I feel it does not make
much sense to use the word the Chinese, or Chinese

Well, the above is my personal biases, and could be so

Bin Yang
History Department
National University of Singapore

April 11, 2008

Historical truth and professional authority, regarding recent discussions
on Tibet
From: Evie GU

Dear List members,

As many of you, I have been frequently consulted on "historical truth"
regarding Tibet and China since March 14th. Indeed, various versions of
"historical truth" have been introduced in debates on public forum such as
Youtube to legitimize claims by both sides.

Yet, it is not an easy task to communicate with a general audience about the
problems of claiming historical truth. The encounter between academic
discourse and general audience often leads to a head-on collision. As an art
historian, I can think of examples such as the 1991 exhibition of "The West
as America" held at the National Museum of American Art in Washington. While
the exhibition attempts to add the actual "racism, sexism, greed, brutality,
and genocide" to the familiar glorifying and celebratory narrative of the
frontier – an argument by no means innovative or revolutionary in the
academic community, it met with outraged audience, vehement media attack,
and threats of public funding withdrawal, which eventually cancelled its
display in other venues. Frustrating as it is, the highly controversial
exhibition shows the gap between public's expectation of history and its
actual practice by historians.

When we receive questions such as "did Tibet belong to China?" in the
context of recent events, our answers are expected to be interpreted as a
legitimization of either pro- or anti- independence of Tibet. At the same
time, our answers--the historical materials we choose to present or
emphasize--often betray our own position in this debate. Although it is
true that no one can separate the academic self from the political self, it
is important for us to be aware that we are consulted as an AUTHORITY who
would help to provide historical evidence for claims of sovereign power,
religious power, cultural power, and ideological power. Personally, I feel
resistant to this role and puzzled by overt willingness by certain "experts"
to take it.

The "historical truth" of Tibetan Empire (7th to 9th centuries), which has
been the focus of recent postings, can be easily interpreted according to
different agenda. To those advancing Tibetan independence, it seems that
Tibet belonged to China was a false claim. To those sympathizing with the
PRC government, it seems that an always dominant, suppressive China versus
an innocent, vulnerable Tibet was a historical construction as well. As
historians, it is our job to demonstrate the existence, as always, multiple
interpretations. As humans, we should confront ourselves about why we prefer
one interpretation to the other.

Is history doomed to be exploited by political claims? Probably yes. But as
individual historian, he/she can always dis-encourage rather than
consolidate the myth that there exists historical truth. If at times we are
attempted to lend our "crafts" and professional authority to activism, which
we agree upon consciously or unconsciously- human rights, religious freedom,
Chinese nationalism, or Eurocentrism, we shall realize that the exploitation
of history will eventually backfire on us historians.

Brown University

April 11, 2008

Tibet and China issue - classroom approaches?
From: Kaz Ross

Hello all,

My query is taking the Tibet - China discussion in a slightly different
direction. I would like to find out how the current events and the emotions
surrounding them are being brought into the classroom. I'd particularly
welcome useful teaching techniques/resources which enable a non-Chinese
lecturer like myself to effectively deal with the fervent nationalism
that seems to be dominating large sections of the overseas Chinese
student population.

I have reviewed the H-Asia postings over the M.I.T. Visualizing Cultures
website and have found some of the discussion there useful. Any further
hints, techniques, ideas would be welcome!


Kaz Ross
Asian Studies
University of Tasmania

April 11, 2008

An editorial comment and request regarding the conversation on Tibet,
China, the Olympics, etc. REPOSTED (received by some members in a
truncated form)
From: Frank Conlon :

Several members have written directly cautioning that this discussion has
indeed become political--but so far, in my view, the "politics" lies
within the differences of perspective or interpretation of various
postings. Any historical or social science interpretation may have
salience for one or another political position. In the current discussion
I am struck by how contemporary circumstances and ideologies filter our
perceptions of the past; indeed, how they seem to require us to view the
past in a "correct" way. Many years ago, Sir Mortimer Wheeler, the
British archaeologist, published a book titled _5000 Years of Pakistan_
dealing with the territories of the northwestern portion of the
subcontinent. Indian scholars objected since Pakistan had existed only
since 1947. Pakistanis hailed the work as recognizing the cultural
continuities of a region. Legitimate arguments could be made for either
position, or for others. Pakistanis saw the title as giving ancient
gravitas to a new nation. I suspect North Americans would be puzzled by a
"5000 Years of Canada, eh?" Many Chinese in and out of China accept the
idea of a long civilizational history, while the ideology of the Chinese
Revolution emphasizes creation of something new. An outsider is struck by the
degree to which Chinese-Americans or Chinese-Canadians, who have no political
responsibility for the present regime in China, nor for its policies, appear
heavily invested in defending China's reputation against external criticisms.
But this outsider is not surprised. When I was first arrived in India in the
1960s, I was opposed to the Vietnam War. However after 18 months or so of
listening to Indian intellectuals criticize the United States, my emotions
turned to defending my country, making excuses for things I did not agree with,
and generally resenting the constant harping of my Indian acquaintances on the
war. It was an imperfect world back then, and, perhaps not surprisingly, it
still is.

FINALLY, may I kindly ask posters in this thread to try to edit their
contributions before sharing them with the list? This would be a great
courtesy to your fellow H-ASIA members (and to your volunteer editors!)


Frank F. Conlon
Professor Emeritus University of Washington
Co-editor, H-ASIA

April 11, 2008

Responses from Dr. Li Yi to several posts from Edwin Fernandez, Thomas
Bartlett, Paul Buell and Joanna Kirkpatrick on the Tibet and China thread
Ed. note: Some discussion groups have rules that restrict the number of
posts by any one individual. We do not have that on H-Asia. However,
since Dr. Yi Li has been submitting extensive responses to many other
posts, I am exercising my editorial prerogative and consolidating some
of the responses without, I hope, eliminating any of the significance.
ALSO, in editing these poss, it appears to me that we have arrived a point
of some semantic misunderstandings or quibbles. For example references by
Bartlett and Buell to the Mongol power and its relationship to the Yuan
dynasty seem--to me--to have been misread by Dr. Yi Li. The nature of this
extended conversation cannot become a series of dialogues. I encourage
new interventions, but am going to be cautious about too much "back and
forth" posting that does not really promote understanding.
From: Yi Li :

Thank Erwin S. Fernandez comment my comments, of course, I disagree.

As a social scientist, I am not going to justify either, but I am not going
to attack either side. Not only religions and languages, but also most
population of American Indians was wiped out without mercy. If American
Indians were strong enough, wiped out European colonist, so be it. If
European colonists were strong enough, wiped out American Indians, so be it.
I am a social scientist, they are human being. I can not blame either side
of them.

This is not only in the process of nation building in the U.S., but also in
the process of nation building in Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Russia,
and in China, especially in Qin and Han dynasties. Within these great social
processes, with or without so-called human rights violations, it is really
not a big issue. Do we see a chapter of "human rights violation" in the
textbooks of American history, Japanese history, British history, French
history, Russian history? Human rights violation existed substantially, but
historians ignored them. Why? It is because something else are more
important to write.

There are many things in the histories of big powers. Who cares about their
human rights? For example, who cares how many human rights Americans
violated in Iraq? People care much more on how much money American banks
lost in the house loan crisis. In historical books, do you see a chapter
"American human rights violations in Vietnam?"

This is the way human being writing histories. I have to accept it. You have
to accept it. I can not change it. You can not change it. Chinese government
maybe violated human rights in Tibet in last 700 years, Chinese government
maybe is violating human rights in Tibet currently, and Chinese government
maybe will violate human rights in Tibet for a while. However, historians
will ignore these trivial things. The reason is that, at the same time of
human rights violation, many other very big things happen, and the
historians have to focus on those very big things, and have to forget about
some very trivial things, such as so-called "human rights violations in
Tibet." Do you see American historians focus on "human rights violations in
American Indians?"

There are 1300 million people in China. Currently, Chinese government spends
a huge amount of money to give 2 million Tibetans a much better life. Sooner
or later, Chinese government will be directly elected. No elected government
dares to spend so much money for only tow million people in China. In my
prediction, at that time, without big subsidizing money from central
government, working for a new capitalist class in Tibet, a new Tibetan
working class will have a much worse human right condition.

In China today, the so-called human rights violation is not in Tibet, but in
200 million peasant workers, the half of Chinese working class. However,
even in this issue, I do not blame either side. Same things exactly happened
in the U.S., Japan, and Europe when they were in the same stage of
development. I have to accept it.

Please educate me if I am wrong.

Most sincerely,

Li Yi Ph.D.
From: Yi Li

I disagree with Professor Thomas Bartlett on Chinese history.

In Qin and Han Dynasties, Han Chinese did have a military advantage
over nomads, and they extend China to today's Xinjiang province.

Yuan dynasty exactly was a Chinese dynasty. The emperors of Yuan
dynasties themselves said many times that Yuan dynasty was a Chinese
dynasty followed Qin, Han, and Tang. I saw it in many historical
literatures. I saw it by my owe eyes in Qu Fu, Shangdong province,
the hometown of Confucian.

Professor Thomas Bartlett made a big mistake here. Yuan dynasty was
not the Mongolian empire. Yuan dynasty was only one fourth or one
fifth of the Mongolian empire. Yuan dynasty came from the broken of
Mongolian empire, which four or five times bigger than Yuan dynasty.
Yuan dynasty was a Chinese dynasty between the Chinese dynasties
before, and Chinese dynasties after. Tibet was a part of Chinese Yuan
dynasty, so Tibet was a part of China 700 years ago.

California and Hawaii are the part of the United State. It does not
matter for how long time. As long as they are a part of the United
States, Californian history and Hawaiian history are the part of
American history.

Please educate me if I am wrong.

Most sincerely,

Li Yi Ph.D.

From Fri Apr 11 00:53:47 2008
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2008 00:53:42 -0700
From: Yi Li
To: H-Net list for Asian History and Culture , Frank Conlon
Subject: Re: H-ASIA: China and Tibet - revisiting the history

[ The following text is in the "ISO-2022-JP" character set. ]
[ Your display is set for the "CP1252" character set. ]
[ Some characters may be displayed incorrectly. ]

I disagree with Professor Paul D. Buell from Western Washington

Professor Paul D. Buell made a big mistake on the nature of Yuan
dynasty. Like I said in my last response, Yuan dynasty was not the
Mongolian empire. Mongolian empire was several times bigger than Yuan
dynasty, and Yuan dynasty came from the broken of Mongolian empire.
Yuan dynasty is a Chinese dynasty, just like Chinese dynasties before
it, and Chinese dynasties after it. Yuan dynasty itself claimed it
was a Chinese dynasty, followed Qin, Han and Tang dynasty.

Yuan dynasty took Tibet as a part of Yuan dynasty, and Tibet took
itself as a part of Yuan dynasty. Therefore, Tibet was a part of
China 700 hundred years ago. This is not new in China. Guangdong
province was not a part China, but a couple of independent states in
Qin and Han dynasties. It takes time for China integrating Guangdong
province, so be Tibet.

Just like Californian history and Hawaiian history are a part of
American history, Tibetan history is a part of Chinese history.

Please educate me if I am wrong.

Most sincerely,

Li Yi Ph.D.

I disagree with Professor Paul D. Buell from Western Washington

Professor Paul D. Buell made a big mistake on the nature of Yuan
dynasty. Like I said in my last response, Yuan dynasty was not the
Mongolian empire. Mongolian empire was several times bigger than Yuan
dynasty, and Yuan dynasty came from the broken of Mongolian empire.
Yuan dynasty is a Chinese dynasty, just like Chinese dynasties before
it, and Chinese dynasties after it. Yuan dynasty itself claimed it
was a Chinese dynasty, followed Qin, Han and Tang dynasty.

Yuan dynasty took Tibet as a part of Yuan dynasty, and Tibet took
itself as a part of Yuan dynasty. Therefore, Tibet was a part of
China 700 hundred years ago. This is not new in China. Guangdong
province was not a part China, but a couple of independent states in
Qin and Han dynasties. It takes time for China integrating Guangdong
province, so be Tibet.

Just like Californian history and Hawaiian history are a part of
American history, Tibetan history is a part of Chinese history.

Please educate me if I am wrong.

Most sincerely,

Li Yi Ph.D.

China already appointed a new Panchen Lama, the U.S. and India did
not oppose it. At same time, current Dalai Lama appointed another
Panchen Lama; no one accepted it, including the U.S. and India.

Just like Joanna Kirkpatrick predicts, China will appoint next Dalai
Lama and, at the same time, 100,000 Tibetans in India will appoint another
Dalai Lama. Who cares?

As long as the U.S. and India do not oppose the Dalai Lama appoint by
Beijing, and do not support the Dalai Lama from India, the whole
thing will go away. What the U.S. and India will do? I do not know.
[Their issues elsewhere would inhibit any material support for an exiled
Tibetan organization.]

Therefore, in my prediction, China will successfully appoint and
educate fifteenth Dalai Lama. China already did it many times, why
you think China can not do it now? Obviously, China can do better.

On Tibetan resistance, it is simply a very trivial thing. Guangdong
province was not a part of China. Guangdong people resisted many
years. Qin and Han dynasties spent a human amount of money and
millions lives conquering and integrating Guangdong province. Now,
Guangdong province is number one province in China. In 2007, the GDP
of Guangdong province had surpassed the GDP of Taiwan province.
American Indians resisted many years, who cares? Historians focus on
the results, not the process.

Most sincerely,

Li Yi Ph.D.

April 11, 2008

Further observations on discussion of Tibet and China issues
From: Yi Li

Thank dear Jeannine for her vivid orientation. I disagree with her on both

The first is Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan language. Just like she said that,
the theocratic, feudal Tibetan society was wiped out in 1959. Currently, and
in next a couple of decades, Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan langrage are not
in danger. Mainly for political reasons, currently, Chinese government
spends a huge amount of money and energy to protect Tibetan Buddhism and
Tibetan language. However, in the long run, it is really hard to say. The
reason is the market economy. The market economy has wiped out a huge amount
of old Chinese culture and old Chinese languages in an astonishing speed in
last one hundred years, especially in last three decades. In thirty years or
fifty years, most part of the Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan language may or
may not be wiped out by the market economy. In fifty years, if it really
happens, in my view, so be it. In the processes of the modernization in the
U.S., Japan, Germany, Britain and France, many things were wiped out, such
as most part of the religions and languages of American Indians. As a social
scientist, it is hard for me to say it is a good thing or bad thing. If it
will not be wiped out, so be it. If it will be wiped out, so be it. Do you
want American government protect or recover American Indian cultures or
languages? It is your freedom, but I doubt American government will care
what you think.

The second is the status of Tibet, the so called Dalai Lama's non-violence,
and the future of Dalai Lama. Tibet is a part of China for 700 hundred
years. After the railroad reached Lasa, Tibet integrates with rest of China
more rapidly mainly because of the market economy. This is just the
beginning. It will be faster. In this world, I see no government will dare
to separate Tibet from China. The so-called Dalai Lama's non-violence is
cheating, please see:

Knaus, John Kenneth. 1999. *Orphans of the Cold War: American and the
Tibetan Struggle for Survival.* PublicAffairs. **

Conboy, Kenneth and James Morrison. 2002. *The CIA's Secret War in
Tibet. *University
of Kansas Press. * *

Thomas Laird. 2002 *Into Tibet: The CIA's First Atomic Spy and His Secret
Expedition to Lhasa.* New York: Grove Press。

Garver, John W. 1997. *The Sino-American Alliance: Nationalist China and
American Cold War Strategy in Asia. *M.E. Sharpe.**

Ali, S. Mahmud. 1999. *Cold War in the High Himalayas: The USA, China, and
South Asia in the 1950s. *St. Martin's Press. **

Goldstein, Melvyn C. 1997. *The Snow Lion and the Dragon: China, Tibet and
the Dalai Lama*. University of California Press.

Not only Dalai Lama's non-violence is a kind of cheating, but also, just
like mentioned many times by Dr. Kissinger, the non-violence of Gandhi was a
kind of cheating also. Someone else prepared for an independent war to seek
Indian independence from Britain, which was a major leverage for Gandhi
threatened British government. Current fourteenth Dalai Lama will die sooner
or later. The Tibetan government in India will disappear soon after the
death of fourteenth Dalai Lama. There was a thirteenth, and there will be a
fifteenth. According to the constitution of Buddhism Dalai Lama, Beijing
will appoint and educate fifteenth Dalai Lama. I see the U.S. and India have
no way to change it. When fifteenth Dalai Lama, appointed and educated by
Beijing, takes care daily affairs of Tibetan Buddhism, this whole thing will
go away. It will take decades. It mainly depends on when the fourteenth
Dalai Lama dies.

Most sincerely,

Li Yi Ph.D.