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Trouble on the Roof....... of the World
March 19, 2008 8:53 AM   Subscribe

China ready to hold talks with the Dalai Lama. With nearly 1,000 jailed in Lhasa, the Dalai Lama has offered to resign. China has blocked the media, and reporters have been taken in for questioning. China is opposed to the US speaker's Dharamsala visit. Meanwhile France raises the idea of boycotting the Olympics opening ceremony. Existing thread arising from Björk's protest.
posted by adamvasco (120 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
Ooh, I'd not seen the earlier thread. Good to have a separate discussion from Björk-related comments. This is a very, very non-blackandwhite issue, despite many people's claims that Tibet needs to be "free". There are the differing interpretations of free, and the question of "What next?"

So, hey, guys. We're free now. What do you want to do this weekend?

Does the current Lama ascend to power? Do they hold elections? Does the Lama resign because he wanted "cultural independence" rather than open rebellion? What happens to the landscape of trade? How will a free Tibet fare economically? Maybe all of these are resolved based on whatever government Tibet used to have and so on but I'm completely uninformed and would love to learn more.
posted by Eideteker at 9:30 AM on March 19, 2008


From the BB link:
"If the Tibetans were to choose the path of violence, he would have to resign because he is completely committed to nonviolence," [aide] Tenzin Taklha said. "He would resign as the political leader and head of state, but not as the Dalai Lama. He will always be the Dalai Lama."
(Quoted in case anyone other than me wondered what it could possibly mean for the Dalai Lama to resign.)
posted by grobstein at 9:43 AM on March 19, 2008


Black Days for the Dalai Lama... courtesy of the Tibetan People’s Uprising Movement: China Matters
posted by Mister Bijou at 9:52 AM on March 19, 2008


Gunga galunga.
posted by Poolio at 10:09 AM on March 19, 2008


Tibetans were to choose the path of violence

I don't really have a horse in this race, but watching monks bash store fronts was one of the most odd things I've ever seen. My entire life Buddhism and Hinduism were taught to me as religions of non-violence, and while I always knew that followers were only human and may undermine that principle, I had never seen robed monks or priests engage in such horrible behavior.

A part of me is glad that China won't allow any more footage. It really makes you doubt whether peace is possible for anyone after seeing that.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 10:12 AM on March 19, 2008


There are the differing interpretations of free, and the question of "What next?"

I think the interpretation of "free" they are going for is "Your soldiers can't come onto our land."
posted by Pastabagel at 10:20 AM on March 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


Does the current Lama ascend to power? Do they hold elections? Does the Lama resign because he wanted "cultural independence" rather than open rebellion? What happens to the landscape of trade? How will a free Tibet fare economically? Maybe all of these are resolved based on whatever government Tibet used to have and so on but I'm completely uninformed and would love to learn more.

As far as I know, the current Dah Lay Lah Mah is willing to accept an autonomous, but not independent status for Tibet and wants a democratically elected government for internal rule. I'd give you some links, but seeing as how I am in China right now, I'm not about to google up articles about Tibetan politics.
posted by afu at 10:27 AM on March 19, 2008




My entire life Buddhism and Hinduism were taught to me as religions of non-violence, and while I always knew that followers were only human and may undermine that principle, I had never seen robed monks or priests engage in such horrible behavior.

You do realize that one of the most important Hindu texts--perhaps the central text of modern Hinduism--is an extended exhortation to war by God Himself, right?
posted by mr_roboto at 10:32 AM on March 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Buddhism for Sale
posted by homunculus at 10:33 AM on March 19, 2008


I had never seen robed monks or priests engage in such horrible behavior.

Shaolin monks vs. pirates.
posted by pracowity at 10:39 AM on March 19, 2008


As ever I'd just like to give a shout out to homunculus for constantly adding quality links to all the politically related threads here. Many times this is days after they have scrolled off the front page. BIG UPS and many thanks.
posted by adamvasco at 11:00 AM on March 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Boycott the opening ceremonies? How about boycotting the whole Olympics? Then you might get their attention. Maybe. But, noooooo...too much money tied up. Wouldn't want the wheels of international commerce to be impeded by a handful of Tibetans wearing tablecloths, would we?
posted by VicNebulous at 11:01 AM on March 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


but watching monks bash store fronts was one of the most odd things I've ever seen. My entire life Buddhism and Hinduism were taught to me as religions of non-violence, and while I always knew that followers were only human and may undermine that principle, I had never seen robed monks or priests engage in such horrible behavior.

As you say, the monks are human too. Keep in mind that many of the older monks still remember the mass slaughter of monks by the Chinese, and many were themselves imprisoned and tortured. Things are less brutal now (though that may be about to change), but they've been under occupation for half a century now and the young are getting frustrated watching their culture slowly die while the rest of the world sucks up to China. It doesn't justify mob attacks on the Chinese and other ethnic groups, but this anger is hardly a surprise, imo.
posted by homunculus at 11:15 AM on March 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


Thanks Adam, and thanks for posting this.
posted by homunculus at 11:16 AM on March 19, 2008


China ready to hold talks with the Dalai Lama.

I wonder if those talks involve a waterboard or a gun?
posted by Pollomacho at 11:18 AM on March 19, 2008


Or a blindfold and an unmarked white APC?
posted by anthill at 11:22 AM on March 19, 2008


Does the current Lama ascend to power? Do they hold elections?

Here's an article (it's a few years old) on that: Tibetan Monk Prepares Exiles for a Political Shift
posted by homunculus at 11:23 AM on March 19, 2008


Boycott the opening ceremonies? How about boycotting the whole Olympics? Then you might get their attention. Maybe. But, noooooo...too much money tied up. Wouldn't want the wheels of international commerce to be impeded by a handful of Tibetans wearing tablecloths, would we?

Vic - the rationale I have seen for this is that boycotting the entire Olympics ruins the lives of the athletes who have trained long and hard for this major event in their lives, and also possibly allows the offending/offensive host country to grandstand and sweep event medals because of the reduced competition. I am not sure I agree with this, personally; the lesson learned by the boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics is ambiguous; to be effective I would think a large number of countries would have to agree to participate, and I don't see that happening here.

Ironically perhaps, China was one of the countries that also boycotted the 1980 Olympics.
posted by aught at 11:26 AM on March 19, 2008


Same 'Facts', Two Conspiracy Theories (Scroll down to post 018).
posted by klue at 11:39 AM on March 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Also, for the people wondering about the Dalai Lama's comments about resigning, it's worth noting that he has, over the years of exile, already shifted most of the authority for running the "government in exile" in Dharamsala, India, away from himself and into lay hands.

He has also made statements in the last year suggesting (since as an enlightened being he presumably has the power to do this) he may reincarnate outside Tibet or as a woman -- both of which would presumably make it more difficult for the Chinese government to put a new Dalai Lama of their own choosing into place -- and might also allow the current succession by reincarnation simply to end and let the Tibetan people elect the next Dalai Lama, as well as making comments suggesting he's been thinking about retiring from his remaining political duties anyhow.
posted by aught at 11:40 AM on March 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Seize, it's entirely possible those are false-flag operations -- that is, Chinese operatives dressed in monk's robes, doing the smashing, rather than the monks themselves.

False-robe operations?
posted by Malor at 11:42 AM on March 19, 2008


Its entirely possible that monks are just regular people who also lose their tempers and get frustrated and engage in violence. I think the idea that this is a mastermind scheme is pretty looney especially with the olympics looming.
posted by damn dirty ape at 11:52 AM on March 19, 2008


awesome awesome awesome links, esp. homunculus. Thanks for helping me educate myself with a minimum of dismissive snark.
posted by Eideteker at 11:59 AM on March 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Malor, check out the conspiracy theories in the link klue posted above. There are a number of such possibilities, but no way for us to check them for correctness.
posted by voltairemodern at 12:11 PM on March 19, 2008


"If the Tibetans were to choose the path of violence, he would have to resign because he is completely committed to nonviolence," [aide] Tenzin Taklha said. "He would resign as the political leader and head of state[...]"

it's entirely possible those are false-flag operations -- that is, Chinese operatives dressed in monk's robes, doing the smashing, rather than the monks themselves.

Given the Dalai Lama's expected response, this conspiracy theory seems like a strong possibility.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:19 PM on March 19, 2008


Meanwhile India walks the tightrope over Tibet. Much of the unrest is not in Tibet itself but in the area of Greater Tibet such as Gansu and Sichuan.
The Olympic torch route has not yet been changed.
posted by adamvasco at 12:20 PM on March 19, 2008


Vic - the rationale I have seen for this is that boycotting the entire Olympics ruins the lives of the athletes who have trained long and hard for this major event in their lives, and also possibly allows the offending/offensive host country to grandstand and sweep event medals because of the reduced competition. I am not sure I agree with this, personally; the lesson learned by the boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics is ambiguous; to be effective I would think a large number of countries would have to agree to participate, and I don't see that happening here.

Ironically perhaps, China was one of the countries that also boycotted the 1980 Olympics.


aught - As a big fan of the Games, and family member of an Olympic hopeful, I completely understand and respect that argument. It just seems that a boycott of the opening ceremonies almost trivializes the plight of Tibet. And, yes, any boycott would need the support of a large number of nations to have any impact at all.
posted by VicNebulous at 12:30 PM on March 19, 2008






blasdelf,

The justification for China's occupation of Tibet that you link to above sounds a bit like an English person saying "Well when we found the Irish, they were a bunch of half-starved superstitious peasants under the thumb of the Roman Church, who spent most of their short lives squatting in the mud. Besides, we've occupied the country since the 1600s, so it's really ours anyway."

Now I'm not laboring under the illusion that Tibet before the Chinese invasion was some sort of mystical Shangri-La, and as a Buddhist (Theravada) I find Tibetan Buddhism to be a little loopy, but there is still something to be said for a people's right to self-determination.

Especially given all the recent singing and dancing from a number of western countries over Kosovar independence.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:24 PM on March 19, 2008


it's entirely possible those are false-flag operations -- that is, Chinese operatives dressed in monk's robes, doing the smashing, rather than the monks themselves.

That happened during the recent protests in Burma. It wouldn't be hard to do in Tibet too, if the Chinese wanted to.

Burmese Monks Condemn Crackdown on Tibetan Monks
posted by homunculus at 1:57 PM on March 19, 2008


What's happening in Tibet constitutes cultural genocide, mostly by population transfer. In the 50 years since they occupied Tibet and overthrew the existing government there, the Chinese have established a policy of encouraging immigration of Han Chinese to Tibet, offering them salaries many times what they would be able to earn at home. As you might expect, a stratified society has emerged, with Han Chinese at the top and Tibetans at the bottom, not unlike Jim Crow (and with some strong parallels to our treatment of Native Americans here in the US). However, the situation is not comparable in that Tibet was an independent nation until its occupation by the Chinese.

Many people are unaware that Tibet was once a formidable empire in its own right, at one point very warlike and conquering territory including the southern Chinese capital city of Chan'an. Buddhism helped transform the country into a more peaceful redoubt (although not without bloody conflicts, often between different sects of monks -- the monasteries were the major power centers). The point is, Tibet not only has a long history of independence, but it was also functionally independent during the thirty years between the British exit from the country and the Chinese invasion.

The violence of the monks should be seen in this context (if, indeed, there has been violence committed by the monks). The truth is, a debate rages in the Tibetan community somewhat parallel to the MLK/Malcolm X debate here in the US, with the Dalai Lama urging a path of peaceful resistance and co-existence, and the youth organizations contemplating violent direct action. You can think of these monks more as University students than solely as practitioners of the peaceful "middle way".
posted by haricotvert at 2:11 PM on March 19, 2008 [6 favorites]


>>but watching monks bash store fronts was one of the most odd things I've ever seen

I wouldn't expect them to shoot pool and get excited over gambling either, but there you go.

From the timely BBC4 documentary 'A Year in Tibet'.

Latest episode on iPlayer.

One woman, three husbands and other clips.
posted by boosh at 2:19 PM on March 19, 2008


Where is ageispolis?

(And thanks for the post).
posted by From Bklyn at 2:46 PM on March 19, 2008


Thanks for this post, and the many good links here. EastSouthWestNorth, which klue linked to, generally has interesting commentary on what's going on inside China. The Time China blog is also offering some interesting insights.

One thing that hasn't been looked at in the mainstream media here in the U.S. has been the impact that the Tibet situation is having on the discussion in Taiwan - where the people are going to the polls to elect a new President this Saturday.

What's really disheartening, though, is the Tibet spam that's already circulating. I got a spoofed email "from" Tenzin Taklha today...
posted by gemmy at 4:07 PM on March 19, 2008


If the Tibetans were to choose the path of violence, he would have to resign because he is completely committed to nonviolence
Why did he not resign back when he was in command of an army that was violently resisting his usurpation from his position of unilateral power?

Or years later, when his army was violently fighting to make sure that he personally was able to get out of the country alive?
posted by Flunkie at 4:39 PM on March 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


The writing was on the wall for Tibet more than sixty years ago. Regardless of which side had won the Chinese Civil War, both were determined to re-take Tibet as Chinese territory. The problem is that for the last eight centuries, allowing for periodic autonomy in the lengths of decades, the Tibetans have been either directly ruled or ruled indirectly by the Chinese. It isn't a matter of the Chinese rolling in back in the 1950's and taking over, they were responding to what they felt was an innate right to include Tibet into China that was centuries in the making.

I think its abhorrent what the Chinese have done and are doing, but until the Tibetan people and culture is thoroughly diminished under the Han, the crushing will continue. There are dozens of ethnic minorities in China, but they exist solely because they are such a minority and because they acknowledge the Han authority over them. As an example of the difference in treatment to those minorities that submit, the Communists actually worked towards preserving aspects of minority cultures, like their written languages, etc, shortly after consolidating rule on the mainland.

In short, China will never relinquish control of Tibet until the end of its present "dynastic" cycle. Until the Tibetans are thoroughly marginalized in their homeland, their culture and status will continue to be reduced regardless of the bumper stickers or the protests of the rest of the world.
posted by Atreides at 4:48 PM on March 19, 2008


Why did he not resign back when he was in command of an army that was violently resisting his usurpation from his position of unilateral power?

Exactly. I dont understand how a buddhist teacher and leader can also be a politician who wields power and influence. Talk about fetters to samsara and the impossibility of right action and right speech while holding office. I think the main reason why we arent seeing anyone take tibetan independence seriously is because of the lack of serious secularism in the process. Its this cause celebre of the left that is a lot more complex than simply 'China bad, Dalai Lama perfect.'


>MLK/Malcolm X debate here in the US, with the Dalai Lama urging a path of peaceful resistance and co-existence, and the youth organizations contemplating violent direct action.

Thats a good analogy but it doesnt make sense when you realize the the lama is the god-king-sprititual leader of tibet. So its like MLK urging non-violence as president and leader of the church.

As far as reincarnating as a woman goes, well, it seems that this would be possbility if it helps with statecraft not with freeing people from samsara and leading them to enlightenment. Sounds like this lama is obsessed with the idea of a independant state. I dont believe fighting for a country is compatible with being a good buddhist teacher. Sounds like the ultimate goal of this lama is towards his country (attachment) and not towards enlightenment, which is pretty sad and probably why we're seeing monks act like street thugs.
posted by damn dirty ape at 5:06 PM on March 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Having been to Tibet many times, and having read a certain amount of the history of Tibetan-Chinese relations, much of what Blasdelf's link rings true (for instance, most people are unaware that Tibet has been off-and-on, a vassal state to China since the 13th century). However, he does gloss over a few things.

First, this is not just about monks trying to re-establish a feudal society. Tibetans, by and large, deeply dislike and distrust the Han outsiders in their midst. Han Chinese in Tibet, for their part, tend to view Tibetans as North Americans view Native Americans: a mixture of disgust, dismissal and curiosity. The tensions between the two are very real, and make racial tensions of US cities seem pretty tame by comparison. Tibetans, by and large, do feel that the Han are invading interlopers.

Second, since 1953, and since the Cultural Revolution, Beijing has pursued a policy that is an echo of the manifest destiny policies of the US in the 19th century. Encouraging Han migration to Tibet, and exempting Han from one-child policies is clearly a policy aimed at assimilating Tibet. On the other side, there are policies (like free university schooling and preferential job postings) to make Tibetans more Chinese. Again, these are assimilationist policies. In fact, I spent a few months with exactly this kind of pragmatic Tibetan technocrat. Nice guy, but I am pretty sure that most Tibetans we encountered thought he was a sell-out if not an outright traitor.

In short, while I shake my head a little at the naivete of American bobo types with "Free Tibet" bumper stickers on their Volvos, I am also saddened at the last few decades of the effects of Chinese rule. On the face of it, there seem to be lots of parallels between Tibetans and Native Americans: in some ways, we are just looking at Manifest Destiny, PRC style. Chinese involvement in Tibet may be hundreds of years old, but for most of that time, China's rulers were content with tribute and a garrison posting in Lhasa. The last few decades (and the Cultural Revolution in particular) have been very different.
posted by bumpkin at 7:19 PM on March 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


What's happening in Tibet constitutes cultural genocide, mostly by population transfer.

That's exactly right.

As far as I know, the current Dah Lay Lah Mah is willing to accept an autonomous, but not independent status for Tibet and wants a democratically elected government for internal rule. I'd give you some links, but seeing as how I am in China right now, I'm not about to google up articles about Tibetan politics.

Seen it elsewhere, but a quick search turned up this:

The Dalai Lama calls not for independence, but for greater autonomy within China. There are various formal frameworks through which that could be achieved.

The one-country, two-systems model devised for Taiwan is one possibility.

... He suggested another possible compromise too - the sort of self-rule formula agreed for Tibet from 1951 to 1959.

posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:17 PM on March 19, 2008




Regarding China's internet crackdown: I live in China, and I first heard about the riots in Lhasa from a student who summarized a news article about it from the New York Times. I'm not sure who was more surprised. I was amazed a student had broadened his horizons. He couldn't figure out why the news hadn't been in Chinese papers.
posted by anotherbrick at 9:18 PM on March 19, 2008


Re: "The Beijing Olympics debacle has begun", I'm not so sure about that. The linked article looks only at the Olympics from an international perspective. So sure, I can see that there is good chance that quite a few embarrassing things will happen during the course of the Olympics, and China will look a bit foolish on the world stage.

But the most important audience for the Olympics as far as Beijing's leaders are concerned is the Chinese audience. All of the development in China has come at a cost - I look out my window and I can hardly see anything at all courtesy of the pollution that drifts down from Guangdong. A lot of people have made a lot of money in the last couple of decades, but there are also huge amounts of people who have been ripped off. Peasants have had their land taken without getting compensation, rivers have been poisoned, children made to slave in brick kilns, coal miners die by the hundred every year. The list of terrible things that happen in China is very very long. Try reading the "National" pages of the South China Morning Post (not available online unfortunately) and you very quickly become blase about the insane stories that come from the mainland.

The Olympics is the Chinese Government's way of saying to the Chinese people - "all this trouble has been worth it". And you can be sure that any "debacles" during the games won't be the top story (or any story) on CCTV or in the newspapers.
posted by awfurby at 11:38 PM on March 19, 2008


Sounds like this lama is obsessed with the idea of a independant state. I dont believe fighting for a country is compatible with being a good buddhist teacher. Sounds like the ultimate goal of this lama is towards his country (attachment) and not towards enlightenment, which is pretty sad and probably why we're seeing monks act like street thugs.

So who is supposed to advocate for Tibetan freedom then? The secular exiles who are calling for a much more militant resistance or is it OK if the Chinese continue the apartheid and hope that the Tibetan Buddhists suffered enough to be reincarnated as something less unlucky?

If the Dalai Lama were to ignore the extreme oppression and suffering that is occurring in Tibet, when he also has the power to help ease it, that would be the height of selfishness. I'm glad he doesn't try to hold up to some aesthetic standard of what a Buddhist should be, and instead simply works to make the world a better place.
posted by afu at 11:46 PM on March 19, 2008


"Sounds like this lama is obsessed with the idea of a independant state."

That statement would make more sense if the Dalai Lama wasn't explicitly in favor of meaningful autonomy within China, and not total independence.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 12:12 AM on March 20, 2008




This flyer is being distributed here in Dharamsala. Its source is apparently telephone communication from within Tibet. I am unable to validate its accuracy however at they very least it's the other side of the story.

I also found a collection of photos in the "My Documents" folder on this PC. The images are graphic photographs of injured Tibetans. I asked the owner of this café of their origin and he told me they were sent only a few days ago. Warning: These images are extremely NSFW. Download at your own risk.

I am in an internet café where immediately below me about fifty Tibetan monks are persisting in their hunger strike. They are very still and solemn. The aforementioned images are being used to create posters and banners for the demonstrators and now only a day away from Holi, the festival of colour, Mcleod Ganj is instead covered in the horrific, visual evidence of oppression.
posted by ageispolis at 3:29 AM on March 20, 2008


Tibet was a vassal (and that's not really the right term for the varied relationships over the period) of the Mongol Yuan dynasty and later the Manchu Qing; its status during the Han Ming dynasty is still debated. In my view it is spurious to conflate the kind of relationships established under these non-Han polities in the pre-modern empire to anything like the current conception of the nation-state. This is particularly so when the "Chinese" attitude to those polities is so riddled with ambiguity - for example, the constant bemoaning of "Manchu-Qing" weakness when faced with the aggressive Western colonial powers.
posted by Abiezer at 3:56 AM on March 20, 2008


In short, while I shake my head a little at the naivete of American bobo types with "Free Tibet" bumper stickers on their Volvos, I am also saddened at the last few decades of the effects of Chinese rule.


That pretty much sums it up.
posted by Atreides at 6:34 AM on March 20, 2008


China's Olympic Deal With al-Qaeda.
posted by adamvasco at 7:01 AM on March 20, 2008


Sangha Day 2008
posted by homunculus at 9:42 AM on March 20, 2008


Democracy Now interview with Robert Thurman.
posted by homunculus at 9:51 AM on March 20, 2008


China admits shooting protesters
posted by Artw at 1:19 PM on March 20, 2008


WTF Nepal?!
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:07 PM on March 20, 2008


No, no, Nepal could not allow any anti-Chinese demonstrations because the government follows a "one China" policy, so it's fair enough.
posted by Artw at 8:17 PM on March 20, 2008


Huge Chinese troop buold up, Dalai Lama fears village massacres as Chinese troops retaliate for protests - this is all sounding like it's heading for something pretty bad.
posted by Artw at 12:26 AM on March 21, 2008




WTF Nepal?!

Um, this surprizes you when the second largest bloc in the loosely held together government are the Maoists?
posted by Pollomacho at 7:22 AM on March 21, 2008


I must be behind the times… last time I heard they were a monarchy and the maoist rebels (which seemed kind of quaint until you found out more about them) were in the hills?
posted by Artw at 8:12 AM on March 21, 2008


Basically, since the last time you checked in, the king, his wife, and the crowned prince were gunned down at dinner, the king's brother assumed the throne, declared an absolute monarchy (replacing a parliamentary-monarchy) in order to crush the Maoist insurgents, but by 2006, democratic forces had forced the king to agree to a parliamentary system once again in which the parliament had greater powers than the king. The Maoists joined this government and the likely hood is that the king will be voted out of existence sometime in the near future.

But they still have that neat flag.
posted by Atreides at 8:31 AM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Thanks Atreides.

Neat username for discussing dynatic politics.
posted by Artw at 8:36 AM on March 21, 2008


I spent some time there pre monarchy implosion. But the last time I checked in, the maoist rebels were, though out of the hills and into Kathmandu, still not that big a deal. Egads. So much for the delicate high wire act between India and China.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:21 AM on March 21, 2008






'Beijing orchestrating Tibet riots': "Britain’s GCHQ, the government communications agency that electronically monitors half the world from space, has confirmed the claim by the Dalai Lama that agents of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, the PLA, posing as monks, triggered the riots that have left hundreds of Tibetans dead or injured."
posted by homunculus at 11:53 AM on March 21, 2008




In other news, apparently someone in China hacked the Save Darfur Coalition.
posted by homunculus at 3:23 PM on March 21, 2008




Free countries must defy Chinese blackmail and greet the Dalai Lama.
posted by adamvasco at 7:01 AM on March 22, 2008


The F-Secure weblog has some examples of the targeted malware attacks against pro-Tibet groups
posted by finite at 2:55 PM on March 22, 2008












Thanks a lot for filling in with these latest developments, homunculus, et al. Otherwise I wouldn't have found out about the Tibetan malware attacks hitting the mainstream media, something I really think is an important issue. (Similar things are happening in the Taiwan community, something I've been tracking.)
posted by gemmy at 5:55 PM on March 23, 2008


Otherwise I wouldn't have found out about the Tibetan malware attacks hitting the mainstream media, something I really think is an important issue.

I agree. It probably deserves its own FPP from someone who is on top of this.
posted by homunculus at 9:32 AM on March 24, 2008


Just like America, China is building a multi-ethnic empire in the west. Tibet and Xinjiang have the misfortune of having resources the Asian giant wants, and being on the path to resources it needs.
posted by adamvasco at 12:34 AM on March 25, 2008








In other news: Anti-government Campaigns Continue in Burma
posted by homunculus at 1:06 PM on March 27, 2008














Seize, it's entirely possible those are false-flag operations -- that is, Chinese operatives dressed in monk's robes, doing the smashing, rather than the monks themselves.

False-robe operations?


That's sure what this picture suggests.
posted by homunculus at 11:38 AM on March 29, 2008


















In event of a riot a water cannon might be a poor choice of crows control weapon there...
posted by Artw at 1:54 PM on March 30, 2008


(or crowd control)
posted by Artw at 1:56 PM on March 30, 2008


The best way to deal with unruly crows is to put them to work.
posted by homunculus at 2:11 PM on March 30, 2008








That's... unsettling.
posted by Artw at 10:27 AM on April 1, 2008








If you think they're bad now, just wait until AFTER the Olympics, when they won't care what world opinion is anymore.
posted by Malor at 1:40 PM on April 3, 2008


The thing is, holding the Olympics is not only related to trying to emerge as an important power on the global stage. The PRC government is also so focused on the Olympics because of how it plays for the average Chinese citizen.

Holding the Olympics successfully will be a huge boost to Chinese nationalism, and fervent nationalism has been one of the primary tools for the CCP to control the general populace. Hyper-nationalism is a useful way to divert attention away from social and economic problems, as well as from the heavy-handed political authoritarianism of the Party - like this crackdown in Tibet. (There are some that say the effort is actually backfiring on the CCP, as it is opening the window for political discourse outside the Party system.)

A growing economy is also a useful way to divert attention from societal ills - that is one of the reasons the government has allowed the Chinese economy to become very much like a Western market economy, rather than the planned economy of yesteryear. They have even allowed the Yuan to float in a narrow band - something that would have been anathema a decade ago. The CCP doesn't have a choke hold on the populace anymore, and they are trying to hold on to power as best they can - the Olympics plays right into the nationalism piece of their strategy.

Personally, I think that there is no need to worry about what China will do - beyond smaller human rights situations like the one in Tibet - unless two things happen together:
- Something happens at/with the Olympics, and China loses face in front of both the world and its people
- The U.S. slowdown/recession spreads to the entire world market, and the Chinese economy takes a nosedive

If both of those things happen together, we have a serious problem. That's when China may start looking at other things to solidify support among its people - like launching an attempt at retaking Taiwan. That's pretty unlikely, though, in my view.
posted by gemmy at 5:45 PM on April 3, 2008 [1 favorite]








Defend the flame!
posted by Artw at 4:42 PM on April 6, 2008


Don’t Stop the Revolution!
posted by homunculus at 6:23 PM on April 6, 2008


Tibet through Chinese eyes. via the Atlantic.
posted by From Bklyn at 5:29 AM on April 9, 2008






Chinese Geopolitics and the Significance of Tibet

Super interesting analysis there.
posted by Artw at 11:24 AM on April 16, 2008




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