Pacifying Tibet

One person’s aid is another’s oppression. Or so it always seems in Tibet, where the CCP is striving, as usual, to create harmony through relatively lavish investment.

They come by new high-altitude trains, four a day, cruising 1,200 miles past snow-capped mountains. And they come by military truck convoy, lumbering across the roof of the world.

Han Chinese workers, investors, merchants, teachers and soldiers are pouring into remote Tibet. After the violence that ravaged this region in 2008, China’s aim is to make Tibet wealthier — and more Chinese.

Chinese leaders see development, along with an enhanced security presence, as the key to pacifying the Buddhist region. The central government invested $3 billion in the Tibet Autonomous Region last year, a 31 percent increase over 2008. Tibet’s gross domestic product is growing at a 12 percent annual rate, faster than the robust Chinese national average.

The perennial problem, of course, is that a lot of Tibetans feel they get the short end of the stick, with job opportunities and favors going disproportionately to the Han Chinese. The more investment and “progress,” the more disenfranchised many Tibetans seem to feel.

Robert Barnett, a scholar of Tibet at Columbia University, said the goal of maintaining double-digit growth in the region had worsened ethnic tensions.

“Of course, they achieved that, but it was disastrous,” he said. “They had no priority on local human resources, so of course they relied on outside labor, and sucked in large migration into the towns.”

Now, a heavy security presence is needed to keep control of Lhasa. Around the Barkhor, the city’s central market, paramilitary officers in riot gear, all ethnic Han, march counterclockwise around the sacred Jokhang Temple, against the flow of Tibetan pilgrims. Armed men stand on rooftops near the temple.

It’s not quite Lost Horizon.

The article doesn’t overlook the fact that much of the aid and investment is appreciated by many Tibetans. But with the apartheid-like pattern of Han bosses and Tibetan laborers as well as simmering resentment over education (classes are conducted in Mandarin) and CCP indoctrination, not to mention armed Han guards patrolling outside their temples, it’s a safe bet ethnic strife won’t be going away any time soon.

______________

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: 54 Comments

I am afraid that even the topic of Tibet cannot save the dying China blogs.

July 25, 2010 @ 12:06 pm | Comment

Serve, I agree. Those days are over. Especially since I banned the trolls.

July 25, 2010 @ 12:11 pm | Comment

And of course, they can’t get anywhere near Tibetan people’s hearts as long they bad-mouth the Dalai Lama.

July 25, 2010 @ 2:03 pm | Comment

About the NYT article. It only looked at the situation now, but failed to see the future of this economic policy. In time more and more Tibetans will participate in and benefit from the new policy. As Deng Xiaoping liked to say, let some people get rich first. Sure it causes envy or even resentment, but nothing motivates you to work harder than seeing other people live a better life than you do. Egalitarianism does not work in China in general, or Tibet in particular.

July 25, 2010 @ 2:37 pm | Comment

I don’t know, Serve. Letting some people get rich first can certainly work, but if the great majority of the people benefiting are from the dominant ethnic group, put that on top of the culture clash in Tibet, and I don’t see the situation improving.

July 25, 2010 @ 4:18 pm | Comment

What’s the migrant population up to now, 50%? And increasing? At some point Tibet will turn into Inner Mongolia. Either the Tibetans will assimilate, or they’ll be marginalized. A classic Who Moved My Cheese situation.

Even the Korean-Chinese in the border regions of Jilin Province are starting to pull their children out of the Korean language schools and having them learn Mandarin, *of their own accord*. As long as they were farming, it really didn’t matter that they spoke Korean in a Chinese land. But in an industrialized and globalized China, either they head for South Korea, or they enter the mainstream of Chinese society — which means living life in Mandarin.

July 25, 2010 @ 6:52 pm | Comment

Tom, yes, despite Chinese assertions to the contrary I’m sure that Beijing is aiming to turn the Tibetans into a minority in their own home. It’s not enough to have a large minority of Han Chinese, they have to be the majority everywhere. Shows what the Chinese government thinks of the minority groups in the country. :(

July 25, 2010 @ 10:30 pm | Comment

Hi, read this followwing message( even better, the whole blog) and get some real education so you can grow up. Whinning like little babies bring you no benefits ….

===========
ΩΩHere is a funny NYT headline from today: Unease in Tibet Over Influx of China’s Money and Migrants. The ‘migrants’ are NOT ‘migrants’, they are fellow citizens of China! This is more like say, Arizona complaining about people moving from New Jersey to the Sunshine State. Of course, the native Indians of Arizona don’t want these migrants! Never did. But have zero say in this. Just as Tibet which is identical in nature. Of course, the US doesn’t intend to break apart and put up barriers to movement from one state to another…YET. But will, in the end, ipso facto, when we go bankrupt.

.

ΩΩThe NYT is totally for ethnic cleansing and preventing populations within a country from moving about when it comes to China and Israel. But not the US. Schizoid thinking causes the Times to demand we let in a flood of illegal aliens, punish anyone who tries to stop this and we are ‘international citizens’ not Americans and dual citizenship is great but being patriotic Americans is stupid, etc, etc. The recent UN pronouncement that it is OK for ethnic religious groups to break apart a nation was cheered by the NYT and our ruling elites who dearly hope to break apart many smaller nations using this nifty tool. But not break up the US, of course! Not yet, anyway.
==========================
http://emsnews.wordpress.com/2010/07/25/cave-of-wealth-and-death-ethnic-identity-politics-are-deadly/#comments

July 26, 2010 @ 1:22 am | Comment

Serve: “As Deng Xiaoping liked to say, let some people get rich first. Sure it causes envy or even resentment, but nothing motivates you to work harder than seeing other people live a better life than you do.”

Resentment of the rich isn’t nearly so pronounced in societies where social mobility is possible. The problem in China is that the wealthy middle class, which numbers around 150 million (12% of the population/defined as a yearly income of US$10,000 per year or more), appears increasingly entrenched. The flip side of this, of course, is that the poorer classes also appear increasingly entrenched. This phenomenon, often referred to as Latin Americanization, undermines social mobility of the sort that rewards hard work and sacrifice. Generation after generation, the rich remain rich and the poor remain poor – hard work be damned. In such a society, seeing the haves doesn’t motivate the have nots so much as embitter them.

July 26, 2010 @ 2:00 am | Comment

Generation after generation, the rich remain rich and the poor remain poor – hard work be damned. In such a society, seeing the haves doesn’t motivate the have nots so much as embitter them.

And with the death of the US middle class, don’t be surprised if you see increasing bitterness here as well.

It’s interesting, because “Latin Americanization” is happening all over the world, while in Latin America, you are seeing the beginnings of a reversal of that in many countries that have decided turbo-capitalism is unsustainable and are increasingly experimenting with left-leaning social democracy.

July 26, 2010 @ 3:12 am | Comment

Lisa, thanks for sharing that terrifying link. The US is indeed seeing the same phenomenon (Latin Americanization) as China, and perhaps even worse. At least China has the cash and the largesse to spread a lot of that wealth to its poorer citizens, keeping them pacified. The US has no such luxury.

When are we moving to China?

Thanks to everyone for ignoring the comment by Elaine above. Dumbest comment since I banned Pugsley.

July 26, 2010 @ 4:39 am | Comment

As a Brazilian, I know very well what Latin Americanization means. The main reason it happened was the idea that the economic indicators speak for themselves, which completely ignores 2 factors:

1) Who gets the money? Even if the region is developing, it’s clear that the Han Chinese are receiving all of the money. I saw the same phenomenon in a minority area in Yunnan, where the most workers in the development projects were Han.

2) Even though people like money, it isn’t everything. The loss of culture will hurt, even among people who benefit from the new investments. And this, no amount of money can correct.

The cultural blindness of the Chinese people, especially the government really astonishes me. Always so fast to point out when others don’t respect China, they are completely oblivious when they trump other cultures.

In Latin America our societies are bleeding (in many cases literally) with the violence that springs from this social divide. That’s why everybody is desperately trying to control it, but it’s still in very early stages.

July 26, 2010 @ 3:18 pm | Comment

http://www.pekingduck.org/2010/07/pacifying-tibet/

Richard,

Elaine says: “our ruling elites who dearly hope to break apart many smaller nations”

No Chinese reading this will ignore Elaine. If Richard believes that Elaine has been or has to be ignored, then, I shall conclude that Chinese people are NOT very interested in Richard’s blog.

I support the Chinese government efforts to liberate the Tibetans from slavery and serfdom and demographic self-destruction (of the era before 1950). I also support Chinese efforts to liberate Tibetans from the cult and idolatory of the Dalai Lama.

The Dalai Lama has become an American-made idol for the Western world. China should simply kill this American-made idol to save Christian Americans from further idolatory. This is officially promoted idolatory to designed by anti-China or/and anti-Communists to rip apart Tibet from China – if that is even possible; and if not, just to cause enough troubles for China in Tibet.

As for dearly beloved Tibetans, they have far too many idols. And the Dalai Lama is merely one of the many. Make the Dalai Lama a second class idol. That will solve the China’s Tibet problems for eternity.

Better still, China should zealously promote Christianity in Tibet. And see what the Dalai Lama would say, and how the American Congressmen would react.

And I speak as I Christian and Catholic.

CHINA SHOULD ZEALOUSLY PROMOTE CHRISTIANITY IN TIBET !!!

July 27, 2010 @ 5:25 am | Comment

Matthew, here’s why people have igored Elaine’s comment as trolling:

NYT is totally for ethnic cleansing and preventing populations within a country from moving about when it comes to China and Israel.

Yes, the NYT is totally for ethnic cleansing. Totally! Like, cool!

The ‘migrants’ are NOT ‘migrants’, they are fellow citizens of China!

They are migrant workers. The workers within China who move from one place to another to work are migrant workers. They are key to China’s economy and I admire them; but they are “migrant” workers, which is not a put-down.

Her entire comment is crazed. You are free to admire it. I applaud everyone else for ignoring it, and apologies for letting it through. It is tripe.

About Tibet and the Dalai Lama – I am no Free Tibet groupie or worshiper of the DL. If “Elaine” wanted to put forth a logical argument about these topics I’d be delighted to engage. As it stands, her comment is simply a white flash of blinding rage. But I’m glad you enjoyed it. The Peking Duck aims to please.

July 27, 2010 @ 5:46 am | Comment

Richard

When are we moving to China?

When they stop messing you around over getting your visa renewed?

July 27, 2010 @ 6:15 am | Comment

My one-year multiple-entry visa still has 9 months to go before expiring.

July 27, 2010 @ 6:21 am | Comment

@Kramer

Dude, stop using elaine’s account to post everywhere and cut off some of your coffee intake. How’s Seinfeld these days?

July 27, 2010 @ 12:57 pm | Comment

What Zictor said.

Richard, I have to disagree with you that China has the money to pacify its citizens left out of the “economic miracle.” Yes, up to a point. But there are so, so many of them and still no real safety net.

The US I believe has the resources to provide a safety net for its citizens but lacks the political will to do so. It will definitely take a government effort to rebuild the economy–and yeah, I say “government” here. The “free market” won’t do it. Notice that Wall Street and the banks are once again doing just fine–but I believe this is just kicking the economic crisis down the road again, ignoring that there is no such thing as a “jobless recovery,” at least on a national level. Sure, if we are truly heading toward a globalized society, then there will be winners across the world and losers across the world. That’s what I see. A global overclass/oligarchy with the vast majority of the world’s citizens competing for the leftovers and whatever largesse the oligarchy is feeling inclined to dispense.

It’s quite possible that I’m cynical.

July 27, 2010 @ 1:45 pm | Comment

I agree with Zictor, too, Lisa.

China has one thing the US doesn’t at the moment, and that’s cash. With labor costs so low and China’s surpluses in the trillions, I think it can just keep plodding on for at least another several years (pure conjecture, but based on what I’ve seen with my own eyes). And you are so right – the US government lacks the will to provide its people with an adequate safety net (you socialist, you). China is doing far more in terms of infrastructure spending and stimulating the economy, not out of any great sense of altruism but, as always, to save its skin, fearing a popular revolt. China simply cannot afford to turn off the tap. Thanks to its cash reserves and ruthless authoritarian state, China will continue to grow as the US declines deeper and deeper. This isn’t necessarily good or what I want to see – obviously I wish a lot of China’s authoritarianism could be softened. Its just what I think we’re going to see. Only time will tell.

July 27, 2010 @ 1:56 pm | Comment

See, where I disagree with you, Richard, is that China’s pockets are deep enough to buy off the crisis. The rich/poor divide there is huge, and it only takes a nudge to go from stability to chaos. How many “mass incidents” are there in China, every year, by the government’s own reckoning?

Yes, they are providing jobs with infrastructure investment, which is both a temporary panacea and a long-term investment (on some of the projects anyway. A lot are questionable as I understand it). But we are talking about millions and millions and millions of people who need to be employed and housed and fed. It is such a HUGE problem, and even with the attempts to stimulate domestic growth and decouple from total dependence on an export economy, I question whether it’s doable. Especially given the incredible corruption and the lack of a steam valve with the political system. China’s leaders may recognize the need to provide for the poor (at least some of them do), but even though they can build subways and high speed rail and dams, they can’t necessarily control what local governments do.

Then you have the US, where our political system has become so captive to special interests and voters fed a constant stream of lies and propaganda, so we have gridlock. I honestly think that the US does not have the huge huge structural problems that China does. But the corruption here has reached a point where it has paralyzed our political system, at least in terms of it being a vehicle to express and address the common good.

I wouldn’t bet on either China or the US, quite frankly. Or more accurately, I wouldn’t lay odds on one emerging as a “victor” in this contest.

July 27, 2010 @ 4:30 pm | Comment

@otherlisa

The last word of your post is “contest”.

What contest? There isn’t even one measure by which China is doing (or has ever done) better than the US. (Per capita.)

Is there any measure, in any field, important to you by which China will overtake the US within the next 20 years? (Because even predicting the next 20 years is a stretch, no point in trying to see further than that…)

The US has nothing to worry about except its own idiots.

July 27, 2010 @ 9:24 pm | Comment

China will not overtake the US, at least not in our lifetimes – that would demand a lot of decline in the US, and I don’t think it will get quite that extreme. I don’t know if China will ever be a true superpower. They’ve handled the economic crisis well, and they created (for example) vast subsidies so people in the smaller cities could buy white goods (refrigerators, stoves, etc.) for next to nothing, stimulating demand, they’ve opened the purse-strings on infrastructure spending, etc. Obviously this can’t go on forever. I agree with you, Lisa, that its problems are too immense to be solved by bursts of often haphazard spending, and we all know how frivolous and nutty this can be (witness huge empty malls in Dongguang and entire empty cities newly built in Inner Mongolia). I don’t see China roaring past America, just plodding past us in terms of growth as it’s doing now, maybe even just hanging on while we slip. And I’m sorry to be pessimistic about the US, but at the moment I am. I look at China’s impossible problems and our own, and I’m more upbeat on China, which says very little. I don’t really see them as a victor, more like a survivor, the way China so often is, simply moving along despite absurdly difficult challenges. But once again, we are all speculating, especially me. Seven years ago I was predicting China’s banking mess would bring the country to its knees. Didn’t happen. China often defies common beliefs/perceptions.

There’s an interesting piece on China’s economic challenges in today’s NYT (as there is everyday in some paper). Its last sentence was startling:

Indeed, of all numbers, the most mystically powerful in Beijing might be one. China wants to be the world leader in almost everything. One day that, too, will probably come to pass.

That’s quite an assertion.

July 27, 2010 @ 10:40 pm | Comment

Richard,

Okay. I accept your points about Elaine’s post.

Nevertheless, I am amazed at the degree of ignorance among Westerners regarding the Dalai Lama’s true intentions. For your Presidents and your Congress, the NYT (etc.) and ordinary Americans to continue to idolise and glorify the Dalai Lama is a very dangerous game — not just for US-China relations. It will also encourage grassroots separatist (if not ethnic-cleansing) movements in Tibet. And the only end-result is that more Tibetans will be sent to prisons – given the extensive administrative reach and the heightened vigilance of the CCP.

And I say again, this American-made-idol-for-Westerners must be smashed. And I appeal to fellow Christian Americans to recognise that he is an idol – a modern-day god – and he is promoted by the very “Christian” US establishment.

And you guys should also know that Chinese people generally have quite positive opinions about the US and American people. But such things like supporting and promoting this Dalai Lama-idol and arms sales to Taiwan are affecting US-China relations, even at the people to people level.

July 28, 2010 @ 12:38 am | Comment

I am not at all amazed at America’s ignorance of the Dalai Lama, just as I am not amazed at the average young Chinese person’s perceptions of June 4, 1989. The DL has been mythologized by the Americans as much as he has been demonized by the Chinese. (I’ve written about this many, many times.)

I don’t think you are correct in saying our president “idolizes and glorifies” the Dalai Lama – it made headlines when Obama recently sent the DL packing through the back door of the White House so as not to offend China. I also think you are over-simplifying. The US – Bush and Obama and Clinton – have been extremely quiet on the subject of Tibet. None has banged the drum to further the DL’s cause; quite the opposite – they’ve been cautious and mainly silent. The Hollywood crowd and some fact-starved liberals and some ideological conservatives have done the most to lionize the DL. Why the DL remains popular is quite easy to see: He smiles a lot, he has made overtures to China to talk with him (making him appear to be a sincere purveyor of peace, whether that’s true or not), he comes from a land that Americans have falsely decided is a Shangri-la, and he is seen as the benevolent David who stood up to the evil Goliath. China’s harsh repression of Tibet didn’t help matters, and it still overshadows all the good China has brought to Tibet (though as this post says, it’s not only good that they’ve brought). And again, we have hashed this out here many times. I am as frustrated as you are that most Americans refuse to see Tibet through China’s eyes, but am equally frustrated by China’s own black and white perceptions of all things related to Tibet (and Taiwan).

July 28, 2010 @ 1:09 am | Comment

“with job opportunities and favors going disproportionately to the Han Chinese”

Source?

July 28, 2010 @ 4:16 am | Comment

The original article stated:

“Han Chinese workers, investors, merchants, teachers and soldiers are pouring into remote Tibet. After the violence that ravaged this region in 2008, China’s aim is to make Tibet wealthier — and more Chinese.”

Don’t forget the doctors and agriculturalists. The vast majority of Chinese in Tibet have also been there since the Qing Dynasty, it’s just that some people don’t consider these areas (Qinghai, Western Sichuan, Northwestern Yunnan) Tibetan when it doesn’t suit them.

“a scholar of Tibet at Columbia University”

How is that telescholarship working out for him? Has this man ever set foot in Tibet? Right now all he’s talking is pure theory.

“Around the Barkhor, the city’s central market, paramilitary officers in riot gear, all ethnic Han”

Now he’s just making things up. Again, if your argument is so good why lie?

@Richard
“But with the apartheid-like pattern of Han bosses and Tibetan laborers as well as simmering resentment over education (classes are conducted in Mandarin) and CCP indoctrination”

Primary and much of secondary education is in Tibetan. If I’m not mistaken Tibetan instruction in primary school is absolutely mandatory.

And why shouldn’t “Han Chinese” be overwhelmingly the “bosses”? They are the ones after all bringing their own money into the area to start companies. Should Chinese migrant laborers call Westerners in China racist because they aren’t made into the CEOs of Starbucks and Nike as soon as they enter the market?

Or should these individual Han Chinese just hand over their entire life’s savings as soon as they set foot in the TAR? Think about it for a second.

“The US is indeed seeing the same phenomenon (Latin Americanization) as China, and perhaps even worse.”

Richard, the US has always been like this. See the links below on wealth distribution. It’s just that now it’s much more apparent as the “underclass” of America becomes increasingly visible due to the financial crisis.

There is little reason to panic of course, as America could sustain billions if they had the desire to. But there is no such desire among the elites of America.

“just as I am not amazed at the average young Chinese person’s perceptions of June 4, 1989.”

The average American’s perceptions of June 4, 1989 are way off base as well. Do they even know about the 228 Incident in Taiwan? The average American would guess hundreds of thousands died at Tiananmen (error by a factor of 100), which is clearly not the case.

“The DL has been mythologized by the Americans as much as he has been demonized by the Chinese.”

He is demonized by the CCP (by the Chinese? really? all 1.3 billion Chinese?) because he demonizes the CCP. Tit for tat, it’s nothing about the CCP being “bad”.

@Tom
“What’s the migrant population up to now, 50%? And increasing? At some point Tibet will turn into Inner Mongolia. Either the Tibetans will assimilate, or they’ll be marginalized. A classic Who Moved My Cheese situation.”

The vast majority of “Han Chinese” are in a sort of “revolving door” situation where they go for a set number of years and then they leave. Their population is 6-10% of “Tibet”- the areas where Chinese were forced to settle by the Manchus are 50% Sichuanese and 50% Amdo Tibetans, with the Tibetan population booming.

@Raj
“Tom, yes, despite Chinese assertions to the contrary I’m sure that Beijing is aiming to turn the Tibetans into a minority in their own home. It’s not enough to have a large minority of Han Chinese, they have to be the majority everywhere. Shows what the Chinese government thinks of the minority groups in the country. :(

Please explain to me how the ethnic group with the lowest birth rates in the world is going to replace ethnic groups with among the highest birth rates in the world? So you think interethnic marriage is bad, tell that to all the white men hounding for Chinese wives in China. If there were a law banning interracial marriage in China to prevent the “dilution” of Tibetans, Manchus and Mongols, white males would howl and scream bloody murder about apartheid and racism- the two favorite trump cards of Westerners looking to twist China’s arm.

To wit 30% of the children aged 10 or 15 or whatever and under are “minorities”.

@Gan Lu:
“Resentment of the rich isn’t nearly so pronounced in societies where social mobility is possible. The problem in China is that the wealthy middle class, which numbers around 150 million (12% of the population/defined as a yearly income of US$10,000 per year or more), appears increasingly entrenched. The flip side of this, of course, is that the poorer classes also appear increasingly entrenched. This phenomenon, often referred to as Latin Americanization, undermines social mobility of the sort that rewards hard work and sacrifice. Generation after generation, the rich remain rich and the poor remain poor – hard work be damned. In such a society, seeing the haves doesn’t motivate the have nots so much as embitter them.”

My impression is that you are basing this judgment off of per capita income. “Wealth inequality” can not be understood through pre-tax income for obvious reasons.

Take a look at this: it’s an Indian’s take on a UN-Study on household wealth inequality.

http://www.livemint.com/2009/11/20213827/India-or-China-whose-househol.html

A New York Times article about the same phenomenon: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/06/business/worldbusiness/06wealth.html?_r=1

July 28, 2010 @ 4:33 am | Comment

Heheheheheheh! Loved this “The ‘migrants’ are NOT ‘migrants’, they are fellow citizens of China!” line :-) Guess that’s why the same non-migrants are so welcomed in, say, Shanghai ;-)

If only it worked that way, though. I can see it now, in the UK, people saying “But they are NOT Polish migrants, they are fellow EU citizens!” And China is a great homogenous society, unlike Europe, isn’t it?

I also liked this story http://china.globaltimes.cn/society/2010-07/555743.html – NYT also picked it up. Interesting to compare the two stories – one assumes the true lies in between…

July 28, 2010 @ 7:10 am | Comment

A language with 90 million speakers is not in danger, no matter how you look at it.

July 28, 2010 @ 7:40 am | Comment

Tibet is just China’s scab that the US picks. It’s easy for the US to pick on this scab. China, because it’s military and economy and industries are still too weak compared to the US, has no option other than to play defense against this scab picking. China also wants to pick some of US’s scabs (eg, black-white race tension, anglo-jew religious tension, left-right split, hawaiian/peurto rican independence, world anger over US military base, and of course Afghanistan and Iraq). But the problem is, the US is still strong enough so that it’s hard to find an opening to pick these scabs. Once US declines enough (don’t know how long it will take, maybe not in my life time), they’ll find these scabs enlarged and suddenly “internationalized” and became “big issues”, and all the other powers will have a chance to pick these American scabs.

July 28, 2010 @ 8:10 am | Comment

Merp/Ferin

Robbie Barnett, unlike you, is fluent in Tibetan and, also unlike you, has been to Tibet many, many times. I have also on separate occasions over the past three years had the pleasure to spend time living in Tibetan homes in Tibetan villages in the Kham region on the Yunnan/TAR/Sichuan border, and last semester co-led a Tibetan studies trip for US undergraduates through the same region. And you have exactly…what kind of experience or specialized knowledge about Tibet?

That’s what I thought.

July 28, 2010 @ 8:38 am | Comment

Sorry everyone, I let Merp and HX post today because they didn’t attack anyone with obscenities. As soon as they do…

July 28, 2010 @ 10:55 am | Comment

Again, he is saying “all ethnic Han” for style. It’s the reporter here, not the “scholar”

“And you have exactly…what kind of experience or specialized knowledge about Tibet?”

Vacationing in village homes for a few days does not exactly qualify anyone to speak for all Tibetans.

I’ve spent many more years of my life in China than you have I’d imagine, I suppose that makes me an authority?

July 28, 2010 @ 11:12 am | Comment

Unfortunately, I see no good solution to this Tibetan problem. In Chinese history, whenever China’s strength is at a high point, Tibet becomes relative quiet, whenever China’s strength reaches a low point (like the recent 100 years), Tibet becomes an “issue”. And the involvement of many Western powers using this as a political tool to pick China’s scab is no help. And biological elimination does not work either now, because today is a different age, these methods are no longer feasible.

If one day, CCP falls, then I bet China may lose Tibet and Xinjiang. Sigh.

July 28, 2010 @ 11:13 am | Comment

If Tibet and Turkestan do fall out of China’s control, is that so bad? Trade will still need to be conducted, Tibet and Turkestan will still be money poor but resource rich, China will still need resources and will still be the money makers…so one could say it’s a win/win situation. China trades, gets to save money on internal defense, has a buffer against other regional expansionists and can do what it does best – make things and get rich.

As long as China doesn’t fall back to warring states, I can’t see the problem. No doubt someone will enlighten me otherwise….

July 28, 2010 @ 11:52 am | Comment

Not a vacation, son. Part of a long-standing service/educational cooperative program between a local Tibetan-run NGO and our center. And thanks for answering my question:

“What kind of experience or specialized knowledge do you have about Tibet.”

Merp/Ferin’s answer: None at all.

And yet he’s calling out Columbia University. What an intellectual fraud. Continue with your logical fallacies, though. It’s like reviewing my old Intro to Philosophy textbook.

July 28, 2010 @ 11:53 am | Comment

“Part of a long-standing service/educational cooperative program between a local Tibetan-run NGO and our center. And thanks for answering my question:”

In other words, a vacation/something to make me feel good about myself. BTW many more Chinese spend 6-8 years in Tibet teaching and building and would disagree with you on many things.

Otherwise I think that’s on “stuff white people like”

“And yet he’s calling out Columbia University. What an intellectual fraud. Continue with your logical fallacies, though. It’s like reviewing my old Intro to Philosophy textbook.”

Regardless of where this man was placed due to connections and legacy preferences, his work isn’t really impressive. Maybe his expertise is linguistics.

July 28, 2010 @ 1:08 pm | Comment

Your original point:

“How is that telescholarship working out for him? Has this man ever set foot in Tibet? Right now all he’s talking is pure theory.”

Which, when called out on your bullshit you changed to…

“Regardless of where this man was placed due to connections and legacy preferences, his work isn’t really impressive. Maybe his expertise is linguistics.”

See, you don’t know jackshit about Robbie Barnett, you’ve never read an entire book or article of his (frankly, I doubt you would be able to get through ANY academic or scholarly book or article, but that’s beside the point) and you talk shit about a program you’ve NEVER heard of and about which you have absolutely no evidence on which to form a judgement.

That’s why nobody takes you seriously. You’re an intellectual fraud.

I noticed you’re back commenting. Did you write Richard another weepy email begging him to let you back on the site? I hope so. Because the one you wrote last year was so pathetic and funny that I can’t wait to read this one.

Ps. Many Chinese have spent 6-8 years in Tibet, but HERE’S the salient point, YOU’RE not one of them. You’ve never been anywhere near the place and you can’t deny that or excuse it, so you just pile on more bullshit. What a joke.

July 28, 2010 @ 1:23 pm | Comment

Jeremiah, you’re my hero.

I don’t think Merp will be here for long. I was feeling benevolent and decided to offer a day of amnesty. My bad.

July 28, 2010 @ 1:27 pm | Comment

“I don’t think Merp will be here for long.”

I blame myself. He needs a mentoring influence and I’ve been absent recently.

July 28, 2010 @ 1:39 pm | Comment

Jeremiah
“See, you don’t know jackshit about Robbie Barnett, you’ve never read an entire book or article of his (frankly, I doubt you would be able to get through ANY academic or scholarly book or article, but that’s beside the point) and you talk shit about a program you’ve NEVER heard of and about which you have absolutely no evidence on which to form a judgement.”

I automatically suspect any person (so and so China expert said…) brought into Western media is a trumped up shill for the West. I would say it’s my mistake- but it’s not, given that 99 out of 100 of these “experts” are anything but.

I actually read one article written by him and it was just the standard “no sources, just take me at my word” stuff.

The bottom line is people who share opinions like mine are in total control of Tibet. Maybe that’s too big a dose of reality for you? We could care less about the opinions of some “expert” shill of the West.

“Did you write Richard another weepy email begging him to let you back on the site? I hope so. Because the one you wrote last year was so pathetic and funny that I can’t wait to read this one.”

You mean me explaining that I’m obviously not a Communist is pathetic? What’s pathetic is your hand wringing. I never “begged” to be allowed to comment here- I just go wherever there’s something to discuss. Rather when I’m not around, it’s just a bunch of people here nodding heads and agreeing with themselves- like any other China blog. Richard keeps Math and Hong Xing around for a reason.

“Many Chinese have spent 6-8 years in Tibet, but HERE’S the salient point, YOU’RE not one of them. You’ve never been anywhere near the place and you can’t deny that or excuse it”

So all this is is a chest-thumping contest about who spent more years in Tibet. In other words, I just need to source some random Chinese guy who was in Tibet for 12 years and is fluent in Tibetan, and we’ll just believe everything he says, right?

And since Richard hasn’t been in Tibet, this post may as well be deleted.

July 28, 2010 @ 2:01 pm | Comment

“…frankly, I doubt you would be able to get through ANY academic or scholarly book or article…”

Oh, how we all laughed. Halcyon days, old sport, halcyon days.

July 28, 2010 @ 2:17 pm | Comment

So is this now a chest-thumping contest about who is more educated? Or who has spent more years in Tibet?

I see your vacation in Tibet, Jeremiah, and raise you a lived in rural China for 8 years and some months.

What do I win?

July 28, 2010 @ 2:31 pm | Comment

Ferin/Merpo

Richard isn’t calling out a noted expert on Tibet, is he? You’re the one who wanted to go Merpo-a-Mano with Professor Barnett. As such, don’t you think you might want to be able to back up your smack talk? As usual, you’ve got nothing. Sad, really.

July 28, 2010 @ 4:08 pm | Comment

Snerk! Awesome.

And any use of “contest” on my part is meant ironically.

July 28, 2010 @ 4:12 pm | Comment

I’m going to continue smack talking Robbie and there’s nothing you can do about it!

So far I’m not really impressed with the writings of his I’m coming up with. There are Western “Tibet experts” who disagree with him as well.

July 28, 2010 @ 4:43 pm | Comment

So I just read his piece on the Jyekundo Earthquake. Maybe this guy isn’t a nutter and complete shill after all. If NYT would do him the service of not associating with him.

July 28, 2010 @ 4:49 pm | Comment

Richard: “The US is indeed seeing the same phenomenon (Latin Americanization) as China, and perhaps even worse. At least China has the cash and the largesse to spread a lot of that wealth to its poorer citizens.”

Completely ridiculous, sky-is-falling nonsense. It’s one thing to lament what’s taken place in America during the last 30 years, it’s quite another to compare the U.S. to China. I’m genuinely dumbfounded. For the vast majority of the U.S. middle class, economic pain refers to such things as higher university tuition, purchasing a used car instead of a new one, waiting an extra year or two before buying the next, best 60 inch plasma screen television, and waiting indefinitely to make large home improvements or trade-up to a bigger home. In essense, for most people in the U.S., economic hardship means a return to modesty and common sense.

Such is not the case in China, where economic hardship means experiencing real poverty of the kind that is rarely found in North America. Simply put, to suggest an equivalence between the U.S. and Chinese middle classes is just ignorant. No other word for it. And the link to the essay provided by your pal Lisa is hardly worth the effort it takes to click your mouse. I’m a fairly liberal minded Democrat who believes that the American middle class has really taken it on the chin (i.e., since the late 1970s, the rich have gotten richer while the middle class has remained virtually the same), but you are way, way off base. Something needs to be done, of course, but let’s not lose our heads.

It also seems to me that you fundamentally misunderstand how currency reserves work, when they can be used, and when they can’t. In fact, there are enormous limits to how China can spend its “cash.” Likewise, it’s unlikely that the Chinese leadership will begin acting like European social democrats anytime soon. A real social safety net in China is still a pipedream. In any case, it’s far more likely that money will be used to shore up banks during the next rescue than to make life easier for the 500 million who still live on US$2 per day or less.

July 31, 2010 @ 12:16 am | Comment

Gan Lu, time will tell. Thanks for the comment.

July 31, 2010 @ 12:38 am | Comment

Whenever the “merp” types rear their heads in these parts, I feel the urge to remind them of this: the only people “qualified” to speak on behalf of Tibetans are Tibetans themselves. Likewise, the only people “qualified” to speak on behalf of Chinese are Chinese people themselves. So I wonder when either of those groups will get the opportunity to do so?

Everyone else (including people like Merp who may have once lived in rural China but no longer does) is entitled to their opinions, of course, but they start to look foolish if they try to pass that off as anything beyond that.

Boy, sure would be nice if we could know what Tibetans, or Chinese people, think or want. I wonder when the CCP will develop the courage to ask them?

August 2, 2010 @ 3:06 pm | Comment

“to speak on behalf of Tibetans are Tibetans themselves”

Okay, they can self-govern their reservations on one of the glaciers in the Himalayas. That was quick and easy, wasn’t it?

August 4, 2010 @ 11:04 am | Comment

Umm, is that what Tibetans want, or are you speaking for them yet again? Old habits, including the tendency to look foolish, die hard, I guess. Instead of “quick and easy”, methinks you should give “slow and steady” a try. At the very least, might give a better opportunity to engage that enormous brain of yours. You should try it sometime. You might find that your ideas may sound…well…less like they do now.

August 4, 2010 @ 1:10 pm | Comment

SKC,

Who cares what some Tibetans want?

If Mormons had their way, they are still practicing polygamy in Utah.
If Hindus had their way, they are still burning wives just for the heck of it in India (well, they still do).

China does not allow chopping hands and feet off as punishment. China does not allow any religious rule.

Deal with it. Some people always know better.

August 4, 2010 @ 10:03 pm | Comment

Dear Hypo,

well, at least you speak like a true believer, so I congratulate you on that. I further congratulate you on having the cajones to speak your mind, without a veil of feigned decency or humanity that others try to cast upon themselves in order to mildly obscure what lies underneath. I think your first statement exhibits your characteristics nicely.

Did Tibetans say they want “religious rule”? And if I were Tibetan, why would I give 2 figs about what China does or doesn’t allow…with the possible exception of having seen what China can mete out as punishment?

August 5, 2010 @ 1:31 pm | Comment

And if you were Navajo, why should you care what the American Occupation tells you to do in your state of Arizona?

August 18, 2010 @ 5:53 am | Comment

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.