Radio Free Asia’s Tibet “coverage,” and more

Alice Poon of Asia Sentinel pointed me to this most interesting post about Radio Free Asia and the neocons behind the RFA’s curtain. The post is a real shocker, and causes one to wonder if the entire Tibet issue hasn’t been manipulated to further the agenda of PNAC and the AEI. One brief sample; the writer has just documented article after article after article in which RFA casually refers to “unconfirmed reports” of Chinese killing Tibetan monks.

All of these “unconfirmed” reports originating from Radio Free Asia appear to contradict eyewitness reports from a BBC reporter on the ground during the riots and a German reporter that interviewed local Tibetans in Lhasa that I have linked to below.

Watch and listen to this from Exile Government spokesperson Dawa Tsering as he explains how they gather information for dissemination on RFA and more shockingly, his rationalization that beating Chinese and Hui people is “non-violent” and that the deaths of the 5 young girls, the 10 month old baby and others that were immolated as they hid from the rioters were “accidents” because they didn’t run away fast enough. This is the epitome of bad PR and irresponsible journalism as well as a heretical view of non-violent Buddhism.

The post is a shocker. You have no choice but to wonder how we can hope to separate news from propaganda. This is why, in two separate threads, I tried to ask readers for proof that the blue-clothed “goons” who ran alongside the torchbearers had indeed acted like “storm troopers” or “Nazis” or “thugs.” You definitely get an impression from various reports that they were thugs, but you get nothing more than an impression – no one can cite any example of behavior that parallels that of Nazi storm troopers. It was a perfect example of the media leaving an impression with nothing to back it up except vague fears over sunglass-wearing, expressionless bodyguards who were doing their job, i.e., keeping people back from the person they were protecting.

In the same Asia Sentinel post, Alice Poon also directs us to an oldie but goodie on the “myths and realities” of Tibet, written in 1998 but worth reading today.

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

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

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

This article, by the son of American missionaries who grew up in China, takes on a lot of myths about Tibet. After reading it, I can only wonder, if China has done so much good in Tibet, then why is it so dreadful in telling the story to the world? Is it simply because the “Dalai Lama clique” keeps undercutting them with better PR? Or is there truly a darker side to all the love and joy China has brought to Tibet? I’m still trying to figure it out for myself, and find it perhaps the murkiest, most misunderstood and confused topic in modern history.

Posted by Richard (not Raj)

______________

Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 52 Comments

My take on this is that there is obviously a huge element of geopolitics influencing how Tibet is covered. It’s a known fact that the CIA funded Tibetan rebels in the 50s, and I sure wouldn’t be shocked if at least some in the US government are quite happy with the rebellion going on in Tibet now.

That said, the Chinese government could greatly help their own cause in Tibet by doing what they always promise but seldom deliver upon – allowing some real autonomy in areas populated by “national minorities.”

I personally don’t believe that the Dalai Lama is a double-super-secret CIA agent running dog Splittist. It would really make sense, at least as far as I can tell, for the Chinese government to negotiate with him in good faith. I’ve read some sort of overwrought opinions on this, that the Dalai Lama demands some sort of “Greater Tibet,” and I don’t know if that’s true or not. But negotiations begin at a starting point, not where they end up.

There are all kinds of separatist movements in some of the most unlikely places – I mean, the Basques? How come, in this day and age? But people generally demand independence or at least greater autonomy for reasons. They aren’t just doing it to be contrary, or because they are being manipulated by evil outside influences.

My knowledge of Tibetan history is spotty, but I do know that the region had a particularly rough time during the CR, that expressions of Tibetan culture and religion are routinely repressed. I know that many Han Chinese people feel that “national minorities” like the Tibetans already receive favorable treatment, but sometimes it is hard for a majority culture to really understand the grievances of a minority, and obviously a great many Tibetans do not feel that they are the beneficiaries of favoritism.

April 20, 2008 @ 7:10 pm | Comment

“The Chinese are not particularly good at propaganda outside of their sphere of influence. Their expertise is to control the narrative by shutting down sources of information internally. In these times of immediate access to damn near every iota of information, this is a losing battle for the Chinese.”

That’s a good observation. Not are they good at PR either.
I would change propaganda to PR in that comment.

April 20, 2008 @ 8:05 pm | Comment

Yes, the CIA does exist, but there is no grand, International Anti-Chinese Conspiracy a la the alleged Int’l Jewish Conspiracy.

Your average Tibetan monk meditating in Gansu, protestors in London, Paris and SF, and Jimmy Smith sacking groceries at the corner grocery store are not part of some anti-China conspiracy with Carrefore. It’s not real.

April 20, 2008 @ 8:48 pm | Comment

Yes, the CIA does exist, but there is no grand, International Anti-Chinese Conspiracy a la the alleged Int’l Jewish Conspiracy.

Your average Tibetan monk meditating in Gansu, protestors in London, Paris and SF, and Jimmy Smith sacking groceries at the corner grocery store are not part of some anti-China conspiracy with Carrefore. It’s not real.

April 20, 2008 @ 8:49 pm | Comment

First of all, RFA not being trustworthy does not make me wonder “how to separate media from propaganda”- RFA is hardly a normal media source (ie, funded by a government for broadcast outside its own territory), and I’m not exactly shocked that it’s not trustworthy.
Secondly, the article on Tibet “myths” would be more credible if it did not toe the CCP line and had something, anything that suggested that China’s claims to Tibet and policies in Tibet were wrong- in other words, if it was a little less black and white. It even take the Han piont of view, referring to “inner territories” (presumably neidi). It would gain just a modicum of credibility if the author cited anything, even conversations while traveling in Tibet, rather than making blanket statements about who fled to India, or unverifiable assertions about how Tibetans feel. Admitting there is some racial tension, “but it’s just like in the US!”, is a little ridiculous given how different the history of Han-Tibetan relations is from the history of White-Black relations in the US, regardless of whether you believe the Han version of history or the Tibetan exile version.

April 20, 2008 @ 10:39 pm | Comment

This thread is too easy, I’m not even gonna bother posting on this one.

Let the Great Games begin.

April 20, 2008 @ 10:54 pm | Comment

Alice Poon echoes PRC official history almost verbatim when she states:

First, Tibet has been a part of China ever since it was merged into that country in 1239, when the Mongols began creating the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368).

Reality is a bit more complicated than that. As historian Elliot Sperling recently wrote in the NYT:

But although Tibet did submit to the Mongol and Manchu Empires, neither attached Tibet to China. The same documentary record that shows Tibetan subjugation to the Mongols and Manchus also shows that China’s intervening Ming Dynasty (which ruled from 1368 to 1644) had no control over Tibet. This is problematic, given China’s insistence that Chinese sovereignty was exercised in an unbroken line from the 13th century onward.

The idea that Tibet became part of China in the 13th century is a very recent construction. In the early part of the 20th century, Chinese writers generally dated the annexation of Tibet to the 18th century. They described Tibet’s status under the Qing with a term that designates a “feudal dependency,” not an integral part of a country. And that’s because Tibet was ruled as such, within the empires of the Mongols and the Manchus. When the Qing dynasty collapsed in 1911, Tibet became independent once more.

http://tinyurl.com/6jnmsu

April 20, 2008 @ 11:02 pm | Comment

Tibet was part of Mongolia, and Manchuria, but never part of a Han dynasty. During the Ming dynasty (in between the Mongols and the Manchus), Tibet was independent.

Before Mongolian rule, Tibet and China exchanged ambassadors. And the Chinese call these “ministers”. China belonged to Tibet as much as Tibet belonged to China during these dynasties.

China sent a few princesses to Tibet to became concubines of the Tibetan monarch. But Nepal sent 16. Way more than China did. Nepal has more reason to claim Tibet than China on this basis.

As to the frequent mentioned reason:”China OWNS Tibet now” – ROC owns Taiwan now. If China really want to use the current occupation as the reason, so be it. Leave Taiwan alone.

I have no doubt China and Hans want it both ways.

April 20, 2008 @ 11:38 pm | Comment

I think discussing if TB belonged to CH or not, and pulling old, dusty documents from the archives to show who is right or not is not going to help at all in this issue.

CH is not going to accept in any way to get go such a substantial chunk of its (right or wrongly gained) territory. Even if they were able to do it it would trigger similar moves from other regions, Xinjiang for example. The fear to trigger a dismemberment of the country is too great… and real.
Not to speak of the nationalist CH mood….

I would be more productive to discuss what short of agreement could be reached by both sides to
1) Assuage the fears of dismemberment from CH side
2) Reduce the oppression on its culture and identity on the TB side.

I wish the CH had not maneuvered themselves into a corner by demonized the DL. It has reduced significantly their strategic options.

The guy proposes peaceful means to solve the conflict. If this opportunity is let gone, those advocating violent methods will get an upper hand, it could trigger similar reactions on other areas in CH with similar problems.

I am not saying that CH should comply with all DL demands, but by not engaging with an opponent (even is unsuccessfully) who is willing to dialog and compromise may bring greater conflict for CH in the future.

April 21, 2008 @ 12:11 am | Comment

China need an enemy

It may be in China’s interest to have an enemy like the Tibetan separatists.

Every great nation had a worthy adversary. The Greeks had
the Persians, and the Romans the Carthagians. The Tibetan separatists alone may not look menacing, but combined with the Taiwan separatists, Xinjiang separatists and their Western supporters, they make a good foe for China to fight.

China’s rise in this century will be accompanied by this epic struggle.

April 21, 2008 @ 1:45 am | Comment

That’s the spirit, Serve the People, let’s forget all this nonsense about mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and economic cooperation!
One question I’d like to ask you: Are you Chinese or just another clown posting from the evil US of A?

April 21, 2008 @ 2:39 am | Comment

Not many serious historians (those without a political agenda) consider Tibet to have been a part of the Ming Empire.

The Ming probably exerted more control over Korea than they did over Tibet. Does this make Korea ‘an inalienable part of China’?

Also the whole business of starting from the modern concept of the nation state and then attempting to define the borders of a modern ‘nation’ using the borders of a disappeared empire is problematic. Empires and nations are totally different things.

The subjects of empires have a completely different relationship with the state than do the citizens of nations.

Personally I think the recent Tibet problem comes down to the fact that Tibet has still not completed the transition from ‘imperial possession’ to ‘region within nation state’. It will eventually get there I guess.

When the Ming colonized Yunnan they encountered a hostile and clearly ‘non-Chinese’ population. In fact their policy of encouraging emigration there from central China was designed to deal with this very problem. Looking at Yunnan now I guess it worked.

It is annoying to see shallow and superficial versions of ‘history’ manipulated for political reasons. Unfortunately you get a lot of this in China.

April 21, 2008 @ 6:07 am | Comment

I have no doubt China and Hans want it both ways.

Kinda like how “Americans and whites” want to split China into tiny city-states and keep their old colonies of Siberia, Canada, Australia, Argentina, South Brazil, America, and New Zealand.

Yes, the MSS does exist, but there is no grand, International Anti-Dalai Conspiracy a la the alleged Int’l Jewish Conspiracy.

Your average Chinese monk meditating in a Shaolin Temple, protestors in London, Paris and SF, and Mr. Li sacking groceries at the corner grocery store are not part of some anti-Dalai conspiracy with the CCP. It’s not real.

April 21, 2008 @ 7:02 am | Comment

It is annoying to see shallow and superficial versions of ‘history’ manipulated for political reasons. Unfortunately you get a lot of this in China.

Would you prefer shallow and superficial versions of ‘fantasy’? Oh, Tibet has been heaven on earth and Shangri-la ruled by compassionate Buddhists until the big bad Chinese invaded with their evil, materialistic, atheist Han ways!

History doesn’t justify anything at all. China invaded it, and it’s now theirs. It’s completely immoral and unjustifiable, even if Tibet was a cruel, despotic feudal theocracy. That’s just the nature of ugly, ugly realpolitik.

What else is true is that if they pulled out of Tibet, India would annex it like they did with Ladakh, Sikkim, and Arunachal or America would move in and set up military bases.

The whole “Greater Tibet” thing is another complication.

April 21, 2008 @ 7:08 am | Comment

Kinda like how “Americans and whites” want to split China into tiny city-states and keep their old colonies of Siberia, Canada, Australia, Argentina, South Brazil, America, and New Zealand.

Last time I checked, Australia, Canada, Argentina and New Zealand were all independent states. The empire that they belonged to no longer exists. I know the Chinese view of history goes back thousands of years, but relationships between states and empires DO change over time.

“Americans and whites” want to keep them? That would be news to the citizens of those countries. You ought to try suggesting to an Australian or New Zealander that their country “belongs” to America, I’ll be interested to hear their response.

I understand that the Chinese are meant to believe that no matter where they live in the world, they are supposed to be Chinese first and foremost and they are supposed to express this through support for the PRC. It doesn’t work that way for white people. We don’t see some particular country (why should it be America, in any case) as representing our race in the world. Ferin, I don’t know if those are your own views or not but if they are then you “just don’t understand” the West.

April 21, 2008 @ 7:53 am | Comment

History doesn’t justify anything at all. China invaded it, and it’s now theirs. It’s completely immoral and unjustifiable, even if Tibet was a cruel, despotic feudal theocracy. That’s just the nature of ugly, ugly realpolitik.

In that case, China has no claim to Taiwan.

April 21, 2008 @ 7:55 am | Comment

Grace Wang’s article in Washington Post

The Washington Post published a long article by Grace Wang. See

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/18/AR2008041802635.html

It is one thing to be sympathetic to her and her family, but I am afraid the newspaper may be setting itself up for some embarrassment. Although assisted by a native speaker, she wrote almost every sentence in the first person singular form. And she claimed that she wanted to master 10 languages, before she turned 30.

If I were the editor of the newspaper, I would first find out the state of her mental health before giving so much space of the prestigious paper to her.

Is she a major nut case?

April 21, 2008 @ 10:33 am | Comment

It doesn’t work that way for white people.

Go back to Europe.

In that case, China has no claim to Taiwan.

Yep, Taiwan is de facto independent.

April 21, 2008 @ 10:55 am | Comment

“get an impression from various reports that they were thugs, but you get nothing more than an impression”
There are first person accounts of runners describing them as shouting bullies. I haven’t actually heard of them described as Nazi storm troopers, which would of course be an exaggeration. But definitely assholes. Of course, this was in a sense their “job,” and they certainly did not receive sensitivity training in the motherland before stepping outside.
Nevertheless, I’m quite glad I didn’t end up running next to them.

April 21, 2008 @ 11:03 am | Comment

Also, “serve the people,” I have come across many more comments from you and your type that suggests you might be a nutcase than anything in Grace Wang’s article.
It described how she lived with Tibetans during the summer, and treated them as an equal rather than simply lecturing them that “Tibet has been and always will be a part of China.” You might have something to learn from her if you took the time to think about it and actually read what she said, rather than making up excuses to dismiss her as a nutcase.

April 21, 2008 @ 11:06 am | Comment

Kevin, I wouldn’t disagree with “assholes,” though I only saw one instance of that, when one allegedly grabbed a runner’s cap with a Tibet flag on it. I have indeed seen them described as “storm troopers” and “thugs” – finding this isn’t at all hard.

April 21, 2008 @ 11:16 am | Comment

The Snow Lion and the Dragon – By China, Tibet, and the Dalai Lama

Melvyn C. Goldstein

http://ark.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/ft2199n7f4/

Take a quick lesson of Tibetan history with this book. The book is very short, so it wouldn’t take much time to read it. Goldstein is the most eminent and unbiased Tibetan scholar in my opinion. He speaks Tibetan and he has conducted research inside Tibet and India.

From Wikipedia:

Melvyn C. Goldstein is an eminent US-American anthropologist and Tibet scholar. His scientific focus lies on: Tibetan society, history and contemporary politics in Tibet, population studies, polyandry, studies in cultural and development ecology, economic change and cross-cultural gerontology.

April 21, 2008 @ 11:37 am | Comment

Go back to Europe.

Europe is not my home. It’s not practical for the descendants of imperialists/colonists to return to their ancestral lands, but if they must then what are your people doing in Tibet and Xinjiang?

Seriously, that is one of the reasons I’m not in favour of Tibetan independence. If it were independent, Tibet would probably require at least as much aid as it currently receives from China and it would still require foreign capital and entrepreneurs (who would likely be Chinese) to develop its economy. Imperialism and colonialism aren’t entirely bad, they can lead to better outcomes than would have been possible otherwise. England would not have had Shakespeare or the Industrial Revolution if it had not been invaded and settled numerous times by foreigners. But China shouldn’t pretend that its activities in Tibet are anything other than what they are. Its claim to Tibet rests on Mongolian and Manchu empire-building and their current enterprise of developing Tibet and encouraging settlement and capital is a colonial enterprise. Their problems in Tibet are colonial problems, and the justification for what they are doing there (we’re helping the Tibetans, giving them technology and liberating them from their oppressive customs) are the same arguments the colonial powers used.

In that case, China has no claim to Taiwan.

Yep, Taiwan is de facto independent.

Not only that, you’ve just argued that those historical, cultural and emotional ties which bind Taiwan to the Mainland and which China would evoke if it were to attempt to unify Taiwan, are insignificant. If the only thing that matters is military capability and realpolitik, then China has no more right to invade Taiwan and force a reunification than it does Switzerland.

Not only that, there would be nothing wrong (or right) about some other power stepping in and preventing it happenning, or else they could simply invade it and it would be theirs just as it used to be China’s.

You’d better watch out. You’ve just undermined China’s right to Taiwan (and Tibet for that matter), the fen qing will be calling you a traitor next and emptying buckets of faeces on your doorstep.

April 21, 2008 @ 11:53 am | Comment

If I were the editor of the newspaper, I would first find out the state of her mental health before giving so much space of the prestigious paper to her.

Is she a major nut case?

If she were indeed mentally ill then the actions of those so-called patriots are even more contemptible.

It doesn’t really make any difference what she said, or what her motivations were. Nothing justifies what those hooligans did, any more than Tibetans were justified in attacking Han Chinese in Lhasa.

In Grace Wang’s case, probably in a week everyone (except her family) will have forgotten about it. But it only takes one slightly unbalanced individual who sees himself as a “patriot” and you end up with a tragedy.

April 21, 2008 @ 12:16 pm | Comment

Agreed to what Peter said about Grace Wang.

April 21, 2008 @ 12:25 pm | Comment

I’ll take VOA anyday even if Bush is the president. Amazing how this tactic of accusing the western media of doing what CCP does with its own media and education system works on some.

The media is a tool of the state in China.
The Bush administration is guilt of incompentence, but they are not that clever to create a fake incident in Tibet.

The problem in tibet is CCP Goon named Zhang Qingli is repressing the Tibetan people for his political career

April 21, 2008 @ 12:50 pm | Comment

Lindel, I have written countless times about the infuriating state-run media in China. RFA’s transgressions in no way diminish those complaints. The question on this post is simply this: is RFA spreading misinformation through the casual dropping of false numbers/information? No matter what the answer is, it does not change my outlook on the Chinese media, which in most ways is a pathetic joke (with some occasional but encouraging exceptions).

April 21, 2008 @ 1:01 pm | Comment

I agree with Peter, too, but am hoping we save the Grace Wang comments for the thread above this one.

April 21, 2008 @ 1:05 pm | Comment

I agree with Peter, too, but am hoping we save the Grace Wang comments for the thread above this one.

Sorry Richard.

April 21, 2008 @ 1:21 pm | Comment

they could simply invade it and it would be theirs just as it used to be China’s.

I’d say go ahead and try.

It’s the “might makes right” fallacy in combination with a lot of other things related to geopolitics. The same crap that “justifies” American global terrorism.

April 21, 2008 @ 1:32 pm | Comment

Rather, that supports China’s claim to Tibet and America’s claim to Texas, Hawaii, Alaska, etc etc.

April 21, 2008 @ 1:46 pm | Comment

Rather, that supports China’s claim to Tibet and America’s claim to Texas, Hawaii, Alaska, etc etc.

It doesn’t support any state’s right to anywhere, it simply denies that there is any such thing as right in the first place.

That’s fine if you want to believe it but it does imply that an independant Taiwan has as much legitimacy as Chinese rule, or any other country’s rule for that matter.

April 21, 2008 @ 2:46 pm | Comment

What’s with all the assumptions? Just because I don’t support America’s geopolitical interests and international terrorism, doesn’t mean I support an invasion of Taiwan.

April 21, 2008 @ 3:42 pm | Comment

Why don’t you as an American support America’s geopolitical interests? You really don’t make a lot of sense, yankee.

April 21, 2008 @ 6:41 pm | Comment

I am surprised by Richard’s uncritical acceptance of the Daily Kos superficial ‘analysis’. This analysis proceeds from a wiki entry to naming two members of the board of governors of RFA to stating that it is an arm of PNAC in breathlessly short leaps. Given that another member of the BBG board (Jeffrey Hirschberg) is extremely active in Democratic Party politics, why did Richard/DailyKos not leap to the exact opposite conclusion? Surely the correct conclusion is that, as no one has ever tried to hide, RFA is sponsored by the US government writ large which includes people of many different ideological stripes.

What part of ‘uncomfirmed’ is too hard to grasp? Something is uncomfirmed in the media when it comes from sources that cannot be corroborated (in this case because the government of the PRC refused to allow media in to corroborate). When I read the word ‘unconfirmed’ in front of something I take it to be not necessarily accurate, and I consider that the broadcaster is telling me that transparently and clearly. DailyKos also makes no clear link between RFA reporting *before* the March 15 riot and the allegations of incitement. Quoting reports from days or weeks later makes no sense if the DalyKos timeline is to be relevant.

The wild conspiracy theorising in the Daily Kos ‘analysis’ that PNAC through RFA incited Tibetans to riot is a joke, and does Peking Duck no credit.

April 21, 2008 @ 8:33 pm | Comment

Alice Poon and I thought it was a pretty interesting post, Dylan. I thought there was enough there to make a good argument, though Alice and I may be wrong.

April 21, 2008 @ 10:22 pm | Comment

You are right Richard that theres a lot of unfair uncorroborated facts goin around, and you are not wrong to jump to conspiracy theories, it happens so often that it could very well be true. That is why I dont find it interesting…. I thought ecodeltas points at the beginning of this thread were good because I believe in breaking stuff down… You break it down until you get to the point.

Is RFA up to something? are the blue suiters goons or not? Well in my case I would have to look deeper. Because once we figure out yes, the RFA is up to something, or yeah, they are military brainwashed torturers… then we still have to figure out everything from how we think about it, what their position is what my position is and what should we do…

So I find it a lot more meanningful to just figure out my position (not based on RFA cause I am not familiar with their understandings…).

I also think Dylan makes very valid and obvious points that they do not hide the fact that the numbers or facts are not confirmed, AND please do not forget that it is the CCPs censorship that forces people to not be able to confirm this stuff.

The CCP would like us to not print anything that is unconfirmed, then they would just accomplish their goal of censorship and nobody knowing their crimes.

Have you ever tried to confirm CCPs crimes? Its bloody dangerous and people know it. They have alll sorts of bogus lawas that prevent anyone from confirming this stuff.

April 22, 2008 @ 12:31 am | Comment

I continue to consider RFA’s mandarin channel to provide reliable reports on the unreportable in China. They have quite an extensive web of informants as well as listeners in Chinese rural areas (based upon my own discussions in these areas). Nevertheless, considering the completely insane media controls exercised in China despite its repeated lies that said controls would loosen, RFA certainly shouldn’t be made to bear the burden of the “unconfirmed.” As previous commenters noted, at least they added “unconfirmed.”

April 22, 2008 @ 3:40 am | Comment

” if China has done so much good in Tibet, then why is it so dreadful in telling the story to the world? Is it simply because the “Dalai Lama clique” keeps undercutting them with better PR? Or is there truly a darker side to all the love and joy China has brought to Tibet?”
====================
To me, the answer is very simple.
China is a communist country (at least by name).
There is a pretty straight forward logic in the west says that Anything commy does must be bad.
Ppl might not say it openly, but that is how majority of them think.

April 22, 2008 @ 4:04 am | Comment

“There is a pretty straight forward logic in the west says that Anything commy does must be bad.”
I don’t see this logic operating in terms of “Western” people’s investments in China. Everyone realizes that the Chinese Communist Party should just change its name to the Chinese Capitalist Party and get it all over with. So it might be worth considering, why is it that many of us who have taken the time to learn Chinese and essentially intertwined our lives with this country are disappointed in the government, not only in its treatment of Tibetans, but also in its treatment of other Chinese in cities and villages around the country who have dared to say anything that counters the official national narrative? Dismissing this as “Cold war ideology” simply doesn’t quite measure up.

April 22, 2008 @ 4:27 am | Comment

STQ, I dont think you are necessarily wrong about that but your not right either. I think people with religious backgrounds do subscribe to disliking communism pretty well absolutely because it is a religion where faith is dedicated to the proletariat and that the dictatorship of the people can bring the paradise and that solving the economic situation can solve the problems of life. This is the atheist point of view that religious conservatives manitain from the goodol’ days… But there are lots of people who fit into lots of different categories you know. That does not come close to a majority, well, unless Muslims around the world are of this opinion, but ….

Anyway, I think A lot of people around the world have been burned by commy regimes, like all over Europe, people have experienced some stuff, and a lot of those people still like commy stuff…

Also there are liberal minded yuppies all over the world who do not care about any background or meanning but DO care about muna rights and the present and how to treat people well. Since communism is always twisted into authoritariansim with thought police and gulags, those people do not usually approve based on that.

Then there are people see authoritarian dictatroships as a threat to their own liberal way of life or their values, the whole ruling overlord thing is a pretty real threat to some people.

So therea re even more thoughts and sentiments than just these…. So what you said is, well, a bit too naive…

April 22, 2008 @ 4:28 am | Comment

Why don’t you as an American support America’s geopolitical interests? You really don’t make a lot of sense, yankee.

I don’t believe in any one power bloc’s “right” to impose states anywhere, slaughter civilians, invade at will, abuse racial minorities, and spread propaganda worldwide regardless of whether it’s America, China, or even the EU and Russia.

Maybe it’s just my inferior sense of morality speaking.

“Dalai Lama clique” keeps undercutting them with better PR?

In part. The Dalai Lama does undercut China because he needs to; it’s one of his bargaining chips. He is a very smart man and I respect him, not because of the peace stuff he preaches, but because he can do so much with so little. He has strange friends because he needs all the help he can get to support his homeland.

IMO he has singlehandedly forced China to respect Tibetans and develop Tibet.

April 22, 2008 @ 6:51 am | Comment

kevinnolongerinpudong,

“why is it that many of us who have taken the time to learn Chinese and essentially intertwined our lives with this country are disappointed in the government, not only in its treatment of Tibetans, but also in its treatment of other Chinese in cities and villages around the country who have dared to say anything that counters the official national narrative? ”

Because, for a non-matured democratic society, if you let one person to start yakking, and then you allow another, soon you’ll have everybody yakking about nonsense and not doing any substantive and critical works, then China will end up like India… Which Chinese in their right minds want to see China turn into India.

Political reforms for some type of democratic social system will happen, just not now. There are more important things all Chinese need to do in the meantime, we all have our roles to play in the whole scheme of things.

April 22, 2008 @ 10:59 am | Comment

They should allow objective, well-sourced criticism at most for now.

April 22, 2008 @ 11:47 am | Comment

Perhaps it’s my wishful thinking, but I’ve always argued for the eventual establishment of the (Taiwan) Nationalist Party in china. This is like the only possible face saving measure for the “collapse” of the CCP political party. This way, the CCP will save face, China gets it’s two-party political system, yet it’ll be like the US, the elite (of the Dems & Reps) still control the power of the country. the Nationalists will be the equivalent of the Dems, and the CCP will be the equivalent of the Reps. and the Dalai Lama will be Ralph Nadar, totally irrelevant but always a media and attention whore.

April 22, 2008 @ 11:57 am | Comment

Perhaps it’s my wishful thinking, but I’ve always argued for the eventual establishment of the (Taiwan) Nationalist Party in china. This is like the only possible face saving measure for the “collapse” of the CCP political party. This way, the CCP will save face, China gets it’s two-party political system, yet it’ll be like the US, the elite (of the Dems & Reps) still control the power of the country. the Nationalists will be the equivalent of the Dems, and the CCP will be the equivalent of the Reps.

April 22, 2008 @ 11:57 am | Comment

And CCTV can be the equivalent of FOX. Great idea!

Vive la France!

April 22, 2008 @ 4:55 pm | Comment

haw haw haw, haw haw!

April 22, 2008 @ 5:03 pm | Comment

@Middle Finger Kingdom & mor

good thinking …i like the idea

all the non-sense from both sides the last few weeks really shits me … you guys crack me up..

April 23, 2008 @ 12:02 am | Comment

@downunder

I was actually joking, but I’m not so sure about Stinky Finger Kingdom. He seems to be the kind of guy who not only says that kind of thing with a straight face, but also really means it.

April 23, 2008 @ 3:23 am | Comment

The problem with the unconfirmed reports is mostly with the readers who read them. To most people active on the Duck, who have learned to read and think more about these issues and possibly have a real interest, they will understand that these numbers are not confirmed, and that they are possibly just rumors and exaggerations. To the general public who may have trouble finding Tibet on a map, however, they will most probably just read, get a feel that confirms existing political/religious/etc. views, and ignore the meaning of unconfirmed. Just a few days ago, in a reply to a Duck post, I saw someone still talking about the “crackdown” in Tibet. You could fault the reader for not reading more carefully, or you could say that the media should be more careful about how misleading its message could be, but given the nature of the media, in this case, I’d call it a real slick move, especially when you tout these “unconfirmed” numbers everywhere and at every opportunity.

April 24, 2008 @ 9:09 am | Comment

“To the general public who may have trouble finding Tibet on a map, however, they will most probably just read, get a feel that confirms existing political/religious/etc. views, and ignore the meaning of unconfirmed.”

I know a few Chinese students who perfectly fit your description.

“Just a few days ago, in a reply to a Duck post, I saw someone still talking about the ‘crackdown’ in Tibet.”

I think it’s safe to say that there was a crackdown in Tibet. We can discuss about the reasons, we can discuss whether it was justified or not, but there’s no doubt that there was a crackdown.

April 24, 2008 @ 8:42 pm | Comment

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.