Thread: Lei Feng, Democracy, the One-Child Policy

I saw a few stories on China today that are thread-worthy and wanted to share.

First of all, this is a story on how China is giving the one-child policy a facelift — not changing the policy itself, but softening its sloganeering. The story made my eyes pop out when I read this:

People’s Daily cites several examples of “harsh slogans,” including those “which sometimes even threaten criminal acts.” The newly instituted program, slugged the “face-washing project,” will offer more proactive slogans to help enforce the policy, which has been in place since 1979. China claims the policy, which applies to those living in urban areas, affects approximately 35.9 percent of the population and has resulted in an estimated 400 million fewer births since first being implemented.

Some examples of the more offensive slogans currently in use include:

“If you don’t receive the tubal ligation surgery by the deadline, your house will be demolished!”

“We would rather scrape your womb than allow you to have a second child!”

“Kill all your family members if you don’t follow the rule!”

And…

“Once you get captured, an immediate tubal ligation will be done; Should you escape, we’ll hunt you down; If you attempt a suicide, we’ll offer you either the rope or a bottle of poison.”

The new less offensive slogans replacing the more callous ones will reportedly seek to “avoid offending the public and stoking social tensions.”

I want to ask my friends in China, is this for real? Is this an example of extreme Western media bias and ignorance, or do these sickening slogans actually exist??

[Update: CDT offers a source. Reliable?]

Next, there’s an interesting blog post on whether or not China is ready for democracy. Yes, we all know this is a tired subject, but this post is quite thoughtful and knowledgeable. I have never said I believed China was ready for democracy, but I do believe it’s ready to become more democratic, to give it’s people better representation (as opposed to giving them Western-style democracy). The post is well worth a read. The government’s position for decades is that the people aren’t ready. Will there ever be a time when they are? Excerpt from the blog post:

As popular blogger Han Han argued at the start of the year, China isn’t ready for democracy, because the people aren’t capable of making their own good decisions (Charlie Custer, from ChinaGeeks.org, wrote an excellent post exploring this particular issue). This idea has been put forth time and again by Party sympathizers, that simply the character of the average laobaixing is too low to make these kinds of decisions (Similar arguments were made in the US around the turn of the century in relation to voting rights for minorities and women).

The part of this argument that I find the most sickening, is that many Chinese are poorly educated and are therefore ill-equipped for democracy. But who is responsible for the current state of China’s educational system? The very people who would lose the most in a democracy.

Given this, it is also worth noting that China’s current system seems incapable of promoting people worthy of public service. With rampant corruption leading to weekly scandals that effect the lives of the laobaixing, what evidence is there that democracy would make things worse? Are farmers really more likely to vote for candidates that can’t protect their land rights? Would urbanites put up with officials that approve the construction of heavily polluting factories that send their children to the hospital?

In fact, the results of low-level elections have already achieved encouraging results in the countryside. As John Kennedy noted in a 2001 study, village elections result in leaders that are more accountable to the villagers, and results in more equitable land distribution (cited in this 2009 paper by Kevin O’brien and Rongbin Han which is worth reading). The problem is that elected village leaders are still dominated by local Party secretaries in a way that minimizes the voice of the laobaixing.

I love the line, “With rampant corruption leading to weekly scandals that effect the lives of the laobaixing, what evidence is there that democracy would make things worse?”

And finally, you should all check out this delightful post on the recent resurrection of Lei Feng (I know, it seems he’s always being resurrected) to keep people patriotic and willing to take what they get even as they see trillionaires driving by in Ferraris and eating a restaurant meal that costs more than they earn in a year. No matter what, they should be happy to live as Lei Feng did, if he ever existed, content to be a screw in the wonderful Communist Party machine. Do any Chinese still buy this nonsense today?

The Discussion: 125 Comments

“The Polish analogy is flawed, because no one is trying to tell Tibetans to stop being Tibetan in China.”

Actually, no-one explicitly tried to tell the Poles not to be Polish either. In Galicia and Prussia they were allowed to form political parties, set up schools and so forth. Even as part of the Russian Empire they were allowed to maintain nominal autonomy as a Kingdom within the empire until the first great uprising. What did happen, especially in Russia, was the crushing of any movement that aimed towards independence, the insinuation that Poles were incapable of governing themselves, the teaching of a paternalistic viewpoint whereby the Poles were the grateful recipients of the charity of their overlords. In spite of this, Poles rose to high positions in all three of the partitioning states.

Of course, without the virtually simultaneous total collapse of all three of the partitioning states, and an astonishing victory over the Soviets when they attempted to re-integrate Poland into the latest version of the Russian Empire, Poland could quite possible still be under occupation. The mere fact of integration, of assimilation, does not directly contradict a desire for greater autonomy expressed through direct action.

Frankly, though, I really can’t see an independent Tibet coming about within the next 20-30 years if ever. It is also hard to see it coming about without violence of the kind which would make 2008 look like a picnic – particularly within the Tibetan areas outside of the TAR. My preference is for democratisation that will allow any desire felt by Tibetans for greater autonomy to be contained within the Chinese state.

March 2, 2012 @ 10:56 pm | Comment

“If you can’t see the logical inconsistencies in your comparison then there’s no hope for you.”

I agree, there is no hope for me to ever recognize capitalism as anything other than a monstrous inhumanity comparable to the holocaust.

And that’s the way it should be. The history of capitalism has been very much bloodier than the Nazi holocaust.

“Thanks Atticus. He was really trying my patience, reminding me of another blog where commenters always talk in nonsequitors. I won’t interact with him anymore.”

That’s kinda expected of you though, Mr. “If-I-don’t-like-someone, he-doesn’t-exist”.

Thank you for your support.

March 3, 2012 @ 1:39 am | Comment

Oh, you exist alright, even if I don’t like you (which I neer said I did). Your arguments are just too batshit crazy to reply too, and I mean it. What’s the point of engagement? You are totally crazed.

March 3, 2012 @ 2:52 am | Comment

@ Otto

No one is trying to use that quote to prove new Tibetan exiles are any less Tibetan now. The implication from that quote is that new Tibetan exiles no longer care about the same things older Tibetan exiles do–namely, that they don’t care as much about independence under an exile-led semi-theocratic power structure anymore.

March 3, 2012 @ 3:51 am | Comment

@ FOARP

Actually, no-one explicitly tried to tell the Poles not to be Polish either. In Galicia and Prussia they were allowed to form political parties, set up schools and so forth. Even as part of the Russian Empire they were allowed to maintain nominal autonomy as a Kingdom within the empire until the first great uprising. What did happen, especially in Russia, was the crushing of any movement that aimed towards independence, the insinuation that Poles were incapable of governing themselves, the teaching of a paternalistic viewpoint whereby the Poles were the grateful recipients of the charity of their overlords. In spite of this, Poles rose to high positions in all three of the partitioning states.

Overt paternalism in the TAR is receding, thank goodness. Incoming Chinese administrations are getting much more subtle about it.

Of course, without the virtually simultaneous total collapse of all three of the partitioning states, and an astonishing victory over the Soviets when they attempted to re-integrate Poland into the latest version of the Russian Empire, Poland could quite possible still be under occupation. The mere fact of integration, of assimilation, does not directly contradict a desire for greater autonomy expressed through direct action.

The flip side of the coin is that a desire for autonomy does not contradict a desire for integration and assimilation either. Drawing from the experience of Scots in England, or Quebecois in Canada, sometimes powerful integrationist forces can arise from within the ethnic group in question.

Frankly, though, I really can’t see an independent Tibet coming about within the next 20-30 years if ever. It is also hard to see it coming about without violence of the kind which would make 2008 look like a picnic – particularly within the Tibetan areas outside of the TAR. My preference is for democratisation that will allow any desire felt by Tibetans for greater autonomy to be contained within the Chinese state.

This hits the nail right on the head. What Tsarong’s position fails to consider is that the means by which rapid (or even slow) independence are achieved would inevitably be bloody and result in large-scale quasi-coerced population transfer, a.k.a. ethnic cleansing.

To keep up the Eastern Europe metaphors, Tibet would then look like Yugoslavia.

March 3, 2012 @ 3:59 am | Comment

t_co,

The implication from that quote is that new Tibetan exiles no longer care about the same things older Tibetan exiles do–namely, that they don’t care as much about independence under an exile-led semi-theocratic power structure anymore.

Right, that was your implication, but it’s not what the quote says. It doesn’t say anything about independence one way or the other. “Exile-led power structure” is a strawman, since no one is proposing a Tibet ruled by the exiles. The only thing faintly political in that passage is, “Newcomers express frustration that the government-in-exile wants to hear only ‘bad things’ about Chinese rule in Tibet”, but this doesn’t say that the newcomers have lots of good things to say about the Chinese government, just that the exile administration takes a particularly simplistic, black-and-white approach and is not interested in learning about nuances and details, which is not surprising: life is full of contradictory details, but politicians like to keep things simple.

March 3, 2012 @ 4:13 am | Comment

@ Tsarong

Chinese liars like @t_co are pretty good at convincing themselves, less so at convincing anyone who is not Chinese.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman

The “14th century religious construct” for which the Chinese usually have contempt (this is a typically Chinese attitude) is the same Buddhism which is the core of our identity and belief in ourselves, for Tibetans.
Whatever differences there are between Tibetans who have grown up in different circumstances and different parts of the world, there is no disagreement that we revere Buddhism and the role of the holy teachers who have done so much to spread the message of the Buddha for the good of all sentient beings.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman

The more the Chinese tell us we have to abandon this belief, because His Holiness is a “splittist”, the more they impose thought police on Tibetans, throw them in jail for saying the wrong thing or having the wrong photograph, torture and kill them for travelling to receive the Kalachakra initiation or take part in the Moenlam Chenmo – the more we cling to our beliefs in our heart.
I can honestly say that I have never met another Tibetan who believed otherwise. Of course I have met many Tibetans who have said otherwise to the Chinese occupiers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman

March 3, 2012 @ 4:15 am | Comment

@ Otto

The quote was in response to this point:

As I said, the assumption is that ultimately, Tibetan concerns are the same as Han Chinese concerns and are primarily economic and materialistic. That might be the case, but that hasn’t been demonstrated.

The more established Tibetans in diaspora reject recent immigrant Tibetans who watch Chinese movies, sing Chinese music, and can speak Mandarin, who are than alienated from the exile community. Newcomers express frustration that the government-in-exile wants to hear only “bad things” about Chinese rule in Tibet, and a lack of economic opportunity in Dharamsala.

This clearly demonstrates that the current wave of exiles has concerns far closer to Han Chinese than the older generation.

Unfortunately, if you consider the argument re: the exile-led power structure to be a strawman, then you have to consider the Irish/English analogy to a strawman as well:

That quotation proves a lot less than you seem to think it does. Clearly, there are some kinds of influence on Tibetans from living in the PRC. Consider that Irish people in Ireland have had enormous cultural influence from England … they speak English, for one thing, and very few speak Irish any more. That doesn’t mean that they see themselves as English or are less committed to having a separate group identity. Telling an Irishman that he’s English sounds like a good way to catch a beatdown.

No one is arguing that Tibetans are or are not less committed to having a separate group identity. The argument here is what Tibetans really want for their future. Scotsmen can think of themselves as Scots, but still wish to remain part of the United Kingdom.

March 3, 2012 @ 4:45 am | Comment

Otto
I don’t really know what Cookie Monster #10 is talking about. Uighurs have been living in southern Xinjiang for a very long time.

You are confusing the old, true Uighur with the Uighur of today. They were just generalized Turks living elsewhere in Central Asia before the chaos of the late Qing allowed them infiltrate and then invade Xinjiang.

They have almost no genetic ties to the Uighur of old and even fewer to the Tocharians.

March 3, 2012 @ 4:49 am | Comment

Tsarong, please don’t call t_co a liar. He’s not, and it’s rude.

March 3, 2012 @ 5:32 am | Comment

@Richard – for a break from Tibet, any comment on Breitbart?

March 3, 2012 @ 6:24 am | Comment

I feel bad for his wife and kids, but that’s about all the compassion I can muster up for Breitbart. He was a liar, a manipulator of facts, a rabble rouser, a perpetrator of the dirtiest kinds of tricks, a serial smearer and an ogre of ego. He bristled with hate. All he could ever do was hate.

Here’s how he reacted after Ted Kennedy died:

Over the course of the next three hours, Breitbart unapologetically attacked Kennedy, calling him a “villain,” “a big ass motherf@#$er,” a “duplicitous bastard” and a “prick.” “I’ll shut my mouth for Carter. That’s just politics. Kennedy was a special pile of human excrement,” wrote Breitbart in one tweet.

ACORN, for all its faults, provided important services for the poor and he tore it down using incredibly dirty tricks, like doctored video and leaving out all the footage that would have exonerated them. The list goes on and on. I detested the man, but I won’t sink to his level and hurl obscenities at him. I won’t say I’m glad he’s dead, but neither will I be shedding any tears. It is said for his family, and no one’s death is a time to celebrate, unless they’re Bin Laden or Hitler.

March 3, 2012 @ 6:37 am | Comment

You are confusing the old, true Uighur with the Uighur of today. They were just generalized Turks living elsewhere in Central Asia before the chaos of the late Qing allowed them infiltrate and then invade Xinjiang.

Well, maybe. I agree that the connection between the old Uyghurs and the modern-day people called by that name. On the other hand, I did some basic research a while ago and, as far as I can tell, the the modern Uyghur language is as close to Old Uyghur as anything spoken today is. I believe the modern Uyghurs are the descendents of the Taranchis who lived in southern Xinjiang when it was conquered by the Qing.

March 3, 2012 @ 8:48 am | Comment

And so it goes, with just about any discussion on Tibet. For those of one persuasion, anecdotes serve to show that Tibetans really want one extreme of the independence-autonomy-coexistence-integration-assimilation spectrum. And for those of the other persuasion, anecdotes serve to show that Tibetans really want the other extreme. In reality, nobody knows.

In that context, I give credit to T-Co #47. It’s not often for someone arguing from his general point of view that they would acknowledge the potential utility of a scientific assessment of Tibetan opinion, and how that might be useful in informing the discussion.

March 3, 2012 @ 11:22 am | Comment

It would not be hard to plant this idea in the heads of Tibetans; that the new bureaucracy is filled with Tibetans who worked hard, studied hard, and are trying to improve the lives of everyone in Tibet, while the exile movement is filled with Tibetans who essentially ran away from hardship rather than face it.

No doubt the CCP’s agents are doing their best to plant this idea right now; and also plant the idea that since 1949 they’ve done nothing but good for the Tibetans. The results of this propaganda work must have been mediocre at best, or we would not be having this conversation.

I don’t find it convincing that most Tibetans aren’t interested in independence and just want their children to go to a good school and open a shop or factory; the CCP obviously doesn’t believe that or they wouldn’t have an enormous and intrusive security infrastructure in Tibet. The fact that a large military and secret police presence is required shows that dissatisfaction is also large and widespread.

The force of assimilation is not coming from the Chinese government, but from the Tibetans themselves; in the process of trying to live a better life in China, Tibetans will inevitably dismantle any residual mental or emotional barriers they have to integration. The reason that is successful is that the benefits to integration are real, while the benefits of “believing in a national identity or holy leader” are pretty much nonexistent.

And yet, as has been pointed out we have an independent Poland today and there are many other examples of powerful nations/empires which have tried and failed to assimilate national minorities. It’s easy to think that “national identity” is just something imaginary and not something that could be preferred to real wealth and development. Even Maozedong thought that in eighteen months, the Tibetan monks would all become dialectical materialists once they saw what the CCP was able to do.

March 3, 2012 @ 12:32 pm | Comment

FOARP
@Richard – for a break from Tibet, any comment on Breitbart?

There are worse scum among Republicans. If Rush Limbaugh died I’d be partying.

Otto
Well, maybe. I agree that the connection between the old Uyghurs and the modern-day people called by that name. On the other hand, I did some basic research a while ago and, as far as I can tell, the the modern Uyghur language is as close to Old Uyghur as anything spoken today is. I believe the modern Uyghurs are the descendents of the Taranchis who lived in southern Xinjiang when it was conquered by the Qing.

I would say some of them are, but I don’t know how many. The sheer number of people that migrated into Xinjiang after Turkic Muslim racial genocide against not only Han but pretty much every other ethnic group there can’t be understated.

Even though they speak a similar language they are not descendants of the Uighur any more than Indians are English or non-white Mexicans are Spaniards. Most Uighur have absolutely no right to any piece of Xinjiang, but it’s surprising how much sympathy the occasional blonde or blue eyes will inspire among Westerners for terrorists and the offspring of racialist mass murderers.

March 3, 2012 @ 1:33 pm | Comment

Also, can anyone send me a link to Arianna Huffington’s column on Catholics? When I google it I have to wade through the endless santorum of billions of weeping, moaning conservatives screeching for an apology.

I can’t actually get the article itself because the sheer volume of horseshit spewing out of the bleeding rectums we call freerepublic, wnd, fox news, women of grace, catholic pedophiles united, etc

March 3, 2012 @ 1:39 pm | Comment

@ SK Cheung

Sadly enough, any scientific poll will be discredited by Tibetan exiles or the government depending on which side it seems to support.

The best way to conduct such a poll would be to do the poll in an open fashion, and elicit statements of support for the polling methodology itself from both camps, and then release the results. That way no party can do any post facto mudslinging.

March 3, 2012 @ 2:10 pm | Comment

To T-Co,
totally agree. Ironically, both sides have as much to gain as they have to lose from such polling. But I’m most interested in the acquisition of a scientifically valid result itself. As you say, methodology is the key, and methods that are rigourous can and should inoculate the results against partisan misinterpretation.

March 3, 2012 @ 2:54 pm | Comment

@Richard

I don’t understand on what basis you claim that t_co is not a liar.

In the thread above he/she claimed: “Finally, allegations of brutality to Tibet are inaccurate. The brutality is directed only at very small segments of the Tibetan population–mostly clergy, and a few activists.”

This is a lie and it is a lie pursued in support of a regime of brutal repression. t_co is a liar and also an apologist for a murderous regime that is on a daily basis arresting, torturing and killing people for doing no more than standing up for their human rights.

See eg. http://www.hrw.org/reports/2010/07/22/i-saw-it-my-own-eyes

March 3, 2012 @ 3:39 pm | Comment

Now Chinese mass murder apologists like t_co are talking about polling the Tibetan population, and demanding “solid proof like opinion polls”.

They must think nobody is even aware of the reality in Tibet.

This is a reality in which independent observers, human rights observers and independent journalists are systematically refused permission by the Chinese authorities from visiting the country.

This is a reality in which Tibetans are harassed and imprisoned for the “crime” of speaking to foreign journalists.

This is a reality in which the slightest expression of free thought in religion or politics is punished by imprisonment and torture.

This is a reality in which plainclothes spies and thought police patrol the population ready to report any deviation from the official line by Tibetans.

Anybody who buys Chinese lies about wanting to hold opinion polls in such circumstances needs to put themselves for a minute in the above circumstances as a Tibetan and ask what the likelihood of a true outcome can be.

March 3, 2012 @ 3:53 pm | Comment

To Tsarong,
I am inclined to believe HRW and the contents of their report. However, that is because I am inclined to believe those accounts to begin with, and not because the HRW report is scientifically/methodologically compelling. At its core, it is a compilation of 203 anecdotal reports. HRW is correct in saying that this is the best that could be achieved based on the circumstances, and the CCP is to blame for those circumstances of restricted access. But that does not replace a study of better methodological merit.

In order to counter accusations of bias, you need a poll that is of sufficient scientific rigour as to be able to debunk such accusations. Only then can you face down the naysayers.

On a practical level, is it conceivable that China would agree to such a thing? I agree that is extremely exceedingly unlikely. One could reasonably infer that those who do not want to ask the question avoid doing so because they would be unhappy with the answer.

March 3, 2012 @ 4:13 pm | Comment

@ SK Cheung

Seems like our hunches have been affirmed by Tsarong’s two comments above.

March 3, 2012 @ 4:27 pm | Comment

@sk

If you can remove the conditions which make an opinion poll in occupied Tibet an exercise in futility, then by all means go ahead and Tibetans will cheer you on.

However, I think we can all agree that given what you call the “practical level” of cirucumstances in Tibet, holding any kind of poll _as conditions are now_ would be equivalent to holding a poll in occupied France in 1941, to ask people how they feel about being part of Greater Germany.

March 3, 2012 @ 5:06 pm | Comment

@ SK Cheung

Absent a collapse of the Chinese state, any change in Tibet’s status will have to occur with the consent of the Chinese people.

If Tibetan exiles want to effect real change in Tibet’s status, their challenge will be to disabuse themselves of their preconceived notions regarding sovereignty and work towards a better future for everyone living in Tibet as opposed to simply the aims of a particular ethnic group. Doing the former lets them come off as a legitimate quasi-government; doing the latter makes them seem like ethnic extremists in the vein of the Tamil Tigers or the Provisional IRA.

If Tibetan exiles believe that they want to work towards a better future within a single-state framework, then it makes sense to adopt a pro-integration stance as that will contribute to social welfare across Han and Tibetan in the entire Tibetan Plateau.

March 3, 2012 @ 5:31 pm | Comment

If people of Chinese descent were setting themselves on fire in the US, how much attention would that generate? Amongst the US media, as well as the China media? Oh, I forgot (clumsy ole me), Chinese-Americans aren’t setting themselves on fire! How many thousands are eagerly immigrating to the US on an annual basis? Cookie Monster included! I am certainly not reciprocating, to enjoy the disgusting lack of internet access in China, which Cookie monster has had the convenience of never experiencing under the protective shield of the US military (Taiwan) throughout his life.
How many Tibetans outside of Tibet today are eager to get a Chinese passport to live in (wish I could underline) their own homeland?
The average China-patriot ingrate-idiot has yet to understand the situation in Tibet, and is mainly interested in obsessively discussing the Native-American situation for the sole purpose of indirectly justifying the current situation in Tibet. No actual commitment to the native cause is apparent, solely pseudo-moral BS. First of all, two rights don’t make a wrong. Second of all, if China is such an awesome helper for “them poor ole backwards people in Tibet,” then why might people set themselves on fire? Let the conspiracy theories begin!
I would personally encourage Tibetan people to ask their “Han” neighbors whether they support their freedom. If not, then get Nat Turner on their asses! Just because the average Chinese citizen is stupid enough to accept a dictatorship does not mean that the average Tibetan has to accept this.
In the meantime, Cookie Monster might consider self-immolation in support of Native American rights, to awaken consciousness! And to leave more space for less mindless comments on this blog.

March 3, 2012 @ 5:39 pm | Comment

T_co:
“Absent a collapse of the Chinese state, any change in Tibet’s status will have to occur with the consent of the Chinese people.”
Haha, that is the dumbest comment yet, when has anything under the current Chinese state happened with the consent of the Chinese people? If so, how has that consent been exercised?
It is only with the collapse of the current state that any consent of the Chinese people might be realized. And that people is likely not going to include Tibet. In the long term, not a problem for a healthy and reasonable nation.

March 3, 2012 @ 5:43 pm | Comment

I would also urge T_co and cookie monster to go Native American lands and join in sovereignty protests, if they are so fond of drawing comparisons between racial relations in these two very different situations.
I would give them a head-start. After they arrive and begin their protests, I will fly across the world, then travel out west to join in sovereignty protests in Tibet.
Even considering their at least 36-hour (if not 48-hour) head-start, these idiots will still be left untouched, protesting a situation that they don’t in fact care about. I would be in a completely different situation. Anyone willing to take on this dare?

March 3, 2012 @ 5:56 pm | Comment

@ SK Cheung

On a practical level, is it conceivable that China would agree to such a thing? I agree that is extremely exceedingly unlikely. One could reasonably infer that those who do not want to ask the question avoid doing so because they would be unhappy with the answer.

Actually, the idea of a poll is currently being discussed in certain Chinese policy circles, but the sticking point there is the methodology itself, which Chinese policymakers believe would create contention from both camps. What areas should be polled? (Which areas of Sichuan and Qinghai?) Who should be polled? (Recent migrants to the province/TAR? Only “pure Tibetans, stretching back eight generations”? Somewhere in between? What about Tibetans living in Beijing/Shanghai/Hong Kong?) How should the questions be phrased? How could you verify the questioners are truly independent of either side of the issue?

The positions of the Tibetan exiles on these questions are exceedingly unlikely to match the preferences of the Chinese government. This in and of itself would doom the legitimacy of the poll.

Even worse is if results come out that are used to justify ethnic expulsions. Imagine, if, say, urban Tibetans of certain social strata are shown to support continued Chinese rule, with increased social stature for Tibetans in Chinese society; Tibetans affiliated with monasteries are shown to heavily oppose it; Han and Hui are shown to support it indefinitely; and most other Tibetans are shown to favor reduced police presence, greater autonomy, and some village-level accountability to reduce corruption. Having that result in place would essentially force any new government of Tibet to adopt a policy of ethnic cleansing in order to keep its hold on the region.

March 3, 2012 @ 6:01 pm | Comment

@ Kevin

I can’t speak for Cookie Monster, but reread what I wrote. When did I compare the situation in Tibet to what happened to Native Americans?

March 3, 2012 @ 6:03 pm | Comment

@ Kevin #74

Haha, that is the dumbest comment yet, when has anything under the current Chinese state happened with the consent of the Chinese people? If so, how has that consent been exercised? It is only with the collapse of the current state that any consent of the Chinese people might be realized. And that people is likely not going to include Tibet. In the long term, not a problem for a healthy and reasonable nation.

The logic goes like this:

Current Chinese administration has made Tibet, Xinjiang, and Taiwan cornerstones of its legitimacy. Hence, no status change will occur.

A transition in the system of government, without a dissolution of the institutions of the Chinese state, may let Chinese policymakers reconsider these cornerstones.

A collapse of the Chinese state is a different matter altogether.

I’m confused by your final line. What is not a problem for a healthy and reasonable nation?

March 3, 2012 @ 6:09 pm | Comment

Then we can at least agree on the importance of the dissolution of the current Chinese state. Glad to meet a comrade-in-arms.

March 3, 2012 @ 6:28 pm | Comment

“allegations of brutality to Tibet are inaccurate. The brutality is directed only at very small segments of the Tibetan population–mostly clergy, and a few activists.”

We do have evidence of people who appear to have been fairly ordinary individuals being shot and killed by PLA/PLP crossing the border into Nepal. However, there is no evidence of ‘genocide’, and the people who try to equate Chinese rule in Tibet to a genocidal regime do so in bad taste.

March 3, 2012 @ 6:31 pm | Comment

@ Kevin

Making the state more representative to its own people does not equate to its dissolution. Sorry if that does not make sense to you.

March 3, 2012 @ 6:58 pm | Comment

@ Kevin

I personally have no opinion on the whole issue of what form of government ought to take shape anywhere. How can one man profess to speak for the will of the many?

March 3, 2012 @ 7:09 pm | Comment

@ Kevin

All I do is make studies and observations; given X, Y, and Z social, political, and economic conditions, what is the ideal pathway for the people on the Tibetan plateau to reach their self-declared goal of a better life?

March 3, 2012 @ 7:11 pm | Comment

Tsarong, lying is malicious and devious. T_co is saying what he believes; there are many extreme viewpoints on Tibet, as SKC said very well above. The reality on the ground is often hard to come by. Those views that differ from your own are not necessarily lies. Tibet is many things, but black and white it is not.

March 4, 2012 @ 12:28 am | Comment

To T-Co,
I was not aware that the concept of a scientifically- valid assessment of the opinion of Tibetans was being bantered about at any significant level. That even the mere discussion of such a concept can see the light of day in Chinese government circles is extremely surprising to me, but in a pleasant way, for once.

I agree that a poll not only needs to be scientifically rigourous, but the questions it asks also need to be valid. But if the CCP would agree to do one, and proceed to the hashing out of details such as who/what geographic region/what to ask, I think that is a step in the right direction. If I were Tibetan, that would be a discussion that holds potential, although ongoing distrust on their part about the CCP’s sincerity would also be entirely understandable.

I agree that seeking outright independence is something that would and should involve the entire Chinese citizenry, since it affects all of them. However, that is not the Dalai Lama’s official position at this time. Granting of “meaningful autonomy” (in more than name only), however, confines the discussion just to Tibet, and does not require the consent of the remainder of Chinese people (insofar as the CCP only nominally has consent of Chinese people to do anything whatsoever, as Kevin alludes to). And when it comes to meaningful autonomy, I suspect that would appeal not only to native/ethnic Tibetans, but also to Tibetans-by-immigration (ie Chinese who have gone there).

I would allow absentia polling, in the same sense that overseas Americans can vote in American elections. And I’m not one for eugenics, so i would certainly not restrict it to “ethnic Tibetans” alone, however-defined.

March 4, 2012 @ 8:19 am | Comment

Don’t know anything about China?

Try “My Chinese Wife Says” or “My Tibetan/Uighur/Hui/Martian Friend Thinks”

Order now and get “I Know A Minority That Says Chinese People Are Racist” and impress all your friends

…I’m assuming at least 3 of the above 4 posts will be deleted, because personal attacks are only allowed if the person hates the CCP and China like kevin

March 4, 2012 @ 9:30 am | Comment

SKC,

I agree that, in the absence of valid polling data, nobody really knows nothing about what Tibetans want. I sometimes make educated guesses about what they might want and then speculate about what might happen in the future based on a hypothesis, but it’s worth being reminded that, what the heck do I know?

Still, educated guesswork is the best we have to go on right now. It would be nice for the situation to change there so that more reliable data can become available.

I’m not optimistic about getting a scientific study done any time soon. Human rights organisations claim that Tibet is a really dangerous place to oppose the government. To the extent that that’s true, you can’t count on respondents to reply to questions honestly no matter how much effort you put into getting the methodology right, because you can’t control people’s perceptions of the danger of speaking freely.

March 4, 2012 @ 10:10 am | Comment

Cookie, all of your last four comments have been deleted. You can write them again and leave out the stuff where you say people should put shotguns in their mouths and kill themselves. I warned you long ago that sentences like this are intolerable: “Aww, look how angry [name deleted] is. Is your whore wife not putting out?” You can comment here, but you can never post crap like that. Start over.

March 4, 2012 @ 10:31 am | Comment

Cookie, can I get a “I Know Folks of Various Ethnic Groups Who Have Experienced Racism in China” and a “Kid, I Was Using Chopsticks Before You Were Born”

Thanks.

March 4, 2012 @ 11:17 am | Comment

Atticus
“I Was Using Chopsticks Before You Were Born”

I don’t think it counts if they’re being wiggled around into your skull in the second trimester.

Evidently it wasn’t a success.

March 4, 2012 @ 11:26 am | Comment

To Otto,
that’s true too. Not only do you need a scientifically valid means of collecting the data, but you also need subjects (in the sense of people being studied) who are willing to provide valid/truthful/honest responses. That might indeed be tricky, if they’ve been conditioned over 60 years to answer a certain way as a means of self-preservation. I am not aware of any scientific technique to account for that.

==============

Looks like Cookie fell off the deep end. He likes to proclaim himself not to be FQ, and he may well not be “Q”, but he’s certainly got enough “F” to go around.

March 4, 2012 @ 11:37 am | Comment

You’re lucky my mum doesn’t read this, Cookie. She’d gut you like the slimy hagfish that you are.

March 4, 2012 @ 12:58 pm | Comment

The Tibetans want racial autonomy, I don’t the Han race to mix with them. The obvious answer is to have two separate states no? The Tibetan exiles also want a racially distinct Tibet as do the Free Tibet hippies who, with all obliviousness, push multiculturalism at home.

My recommended course of action is to ethnically cleanse Northwestern Sichuan and parts of the TAR. The Tibetan population can all be relocated to Shigatse, Shannan, and Nyingchi and I suppose the southern dangle of Ngari prefecture. I think the Han should keep Lhasa so the Tibetans who live there will all have to be moved further south. This also happens to solve part of the border problem with India as those regions now are adjacent to a new independent Tibetan state.

Afterwards once the border is secured (good fences make good neighbors), the Tibetans can do whatever the hell they want as far as I am concerned.

March 4, 2012 @ 10:31 pm | Comment

The creation of Lei Feng is a absolute masterstroke by the propaganda department back then, it ties in perfectly with the mood of selfless serving the people, of liberating the whole of humanity, of the idealism of revolution. Everybody was immersed in the romance of Lei Feng.

Re-summoning him today is indicative of the absolute lack of imagination and inspiration of the propaganda department. In today’s money-first world, who still cares about the romance of selfless public service? Who still cares about revolution? Who still cares about the idealism of fighting for a cause?

Mao said, the CCP won China with the help of two things: the pen and the gun. Nowadays, the pen no longer has ink, and the gun, after so many decades of peace, is highly questionable as well.

The eras of the Hitler, Stalin, Mao were the golden eras of modern human history. That now will forever be a romance crystallized in the hearts of real men.

March 5, 2012 @ 12:48 am | Comment

The eras of the Hitler, Stalin, Mao were the golden eras of modern human history. That now will forever be a romance crystallized in the hearts of real men.

I don’t allow ad hominems but this is a special case. You are an asshole.

March 5, 2012 @ 12:51 am | Comment

Jing, the idea of concentration camps must make you excited.

March 5, 2012 @ 12:53 am | Comment

Ahh the inescapable Jewish narrative that has been so infected the West. Tell me Richard, how easy is the logical leap from wishing two people to live apart (their natural states) to wishing one group to be frog marched into gas chambers?

March 5, 2012 @ 1:17 am | Comment

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