A story of a real Tibet – a propaganda piece by Jong-Dae Ha


In China, in Chinese English publications you’ll often see the word propaganda used quite often. If you use something like http://translate.google.com/ to translate a webpage from Chinese to English – despite not being very accurate, likewise, you will see the word. In Western countries, we tend to use the word negatively. It’s used to describe something that has been falsified or mis-reported in order to make something appear positive, mislead or simply deny reality. In China you’ll often find the word propaganda being used for things such as advertising, marketing orr general information. In other words, it doesn’t translate the same way.

That is not to say China is rife with propaganda – of course it is. The communist government rarely reports something truthfully to the massive population it governs. Anyone who has spent time living in China will have seen the news articles on TV or in papers – the best being the China Daily newspaper – where only happy, positive articles are covered. Articles that show the true beauty, glory and positive direction of modern China. Of course negatives such as mining accidents and the like are covered, but nothing that ever directly undermines the government or illustrates large issues such as China’s ‘occupation’ of Tibet or widespread poverty. According to the Chinese government – and thus according to the Chinese people – everything is A-Ok!

I find this article highly amusing. Here, Jong-Dae Ha, Chief correspondent of the Beijing Office, the Dong-A Ilbo of South Korea(whatever that is) details his recent trip to Tibet. In it, he details key features of obvious political interest. To the average Chinese citizen(who wouldn’t be reading this english webpage anyway – well other than for english practice), it reveals that in Tibet, there’s nothing wrong. It’s all “blue sky, clear water and unique natural landscape.”‘

The lives of the Tibetan people, especially those of herdsmen, are no different than the living standards of the people in China’s northwestern region. Everyone is living a very good life.

Everyone is living a very good life? According to the government, yes. According to the farmers living in absolute poverty, no.

Lhasa has already been built into a modern city.

A modern city by Han Chinese standards – an invasion of money hungry merchants from all over China. Tibetan’s have little say in this.

The grand and majestic Potala Palace looked brand-new after repairs.

After it was damaged by the Chinese Military, suppressing ‘riots’ from Tibetan monks wishing to remove Chinese occupation and assimilation.

Many new houses have also been erected for the Tibetans in other regions in Tibet.

Aka – See? We are helping Tibet – what have they got to complain about?

I felt that Tibet has a stable society and the Han people and the Tibetans are living together harmoniously.

..not by choice. If they protest such living arrangements, it’s off to re-education camp faster than you can say Dalai Lama.

Earth-shaking changes have taken place in Tibet over the past 50 years. Enjoying freedom of religious belief, the Tibetan people still preserve their religion and traditions.

Earth-shaking changes such as building train lines into Lhasa itself so even more Han Chinese can occupy and completely absorb what’s left of the Tibetan culture.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not some die-hard pro-Tibet activist – not even close, but reading articles such as this that are spewed out by China Daily on a regular basis are a little hard to stomach. As China becomes part of the modern world, I really hope that the level of crap they report back to themselves internally really starts to decline – or even better, the Chinese populace somehow clue in to the fact that the world really isnt as rosey as the all important Government says it is. One thing I definitely noticed about the Chinese people is that they are almost fanatically patriotic – something that might play a big part of China’s future history.

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