Posts Tagged ‘Tibet’

Few and far between

July 20, 2009

As my life has become progessively busier my spare time to blog has steadily decreased though I promise it’s not forgotten! A lot of interesting China related news has occured over the past several weeks which I have been keeping an eye on. Firstly we had the anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre pass by without issue, incident or even word. While the western nations put up articles and features detailing that particularly dark part of China’s history, the Chinese made every effort to ensure the date passed by quietly and without notice. I suspect that most of China’s youth are not even aware of it and have considered quizzing one of my former students who I email from time to time. CNN ran an interesting series of question & answer sessions with Chinese teens asking what they knew of the event and their associated thoughts and it was interesting to find that those who knew about it were upset by it, and approximately half of them were not aware of it, or gave it little creed due it sounding something like ancient history.

 

We also saw an Australian Rio Tinto employee, Stern Hu, arrested in Shanghai by Government operatives. It was reported that Stern Hu had stolen state secrets in relation to a recent falling through of a huge deal between Chinalco and Rio Tinto. While there’s been pressure on Australia’s Prime Minister to act, it’s been increasingly obvious that despite being fluent in Mandarin, Kevin Rudd has little to no influence, let alone respect, within the Chinese Government community. While old Johnny Howard was seen by many as being beyond his years, he was respected by many world leaders; something that takes time to nurture. All I know is, whether Stern Hu is innocent or guilty, I personally wouldn’t want to be held by the Chinese with a charge against my name. The Chinese are well known fabricators of mis-truths and when their mind is set on something, well let’s just wish Mr Hu luck; innocent or guilty.

 

And finally we have the violence against the Uighur minority in the eastern city of Urumqi. China has admitted to killing approximately 13 Uighurs who were reportedly attacking Han Chinese citizens and would not respond to typical anti-rioting tactics. This is not a new issue and is if anything a re-occuring event. The Uighurs have been treated poorly and it has reached a point where they will take no more. Unfortunately this explosion of anger was directed at the Han Chinese of which many Uighur’s consider their oppressors. Rioting and taking the fight to the Han Chinese however is the quickest path to extinction as the Chinese have no qualms about cracking down with a clenched iron fist. It’s amazing the comparisons that arise between Tibet and Urumqi when you look at the facts – if you can find them.

Liar! Liar! Pants on fire!

March 25, 2009

A video has been released today reputedly showing Chinese security personnel beating on Tibetan protesters – who happen to be helplessly handcuffed. The video was supposedly released by the Tibetan Government in exile and showed scenes from last years violent protesters where according to Chinese officials – monks took to the streets and violently protested for Tibetan independance – or at least a degree of such.

The Chinese Government has dismissed the video calling it a lie. They claim the audio has been patched together from outside sources and the wounds on display are in fact fake.

Whether it is real or fake I somehow think the Chinese Government would deny it regardless. Oh how easy it must be to deny anything pinned on you, playing the fake card whilst at the same time playing the very same hand against your own people, painting for them a happy positive picture whilst ignoring the negative.

Ah China – I really do feel sorry for the Chinese people. While the Government has done wonders for the country, it’s also hurting it in equal amounts.

Click here to watch the video and make up your own mind as to its validity.

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

March 22, 2009

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.


Free Tibet!

February 2, 2009

Chinese PM Wen Jiabao is currently in Britain for economic talks and of course his visit was met with protesters regarding Tibet. This is an issue I am sure the Chinese government wishes would simply crawl away and die, but it won’t. I am not sure if I agreed with the protests that took place during the torch relay in the lead-up to the Olympics. I agree that China is wrong to simply close doors to the world on such an issue as their invasion and assimilation of Tibet into China, but I think that perhaps there could have been better avenues to stage such a protest.

I think with China being such a prominent player in the modern world, it’s time they took steps to becoming more open about their internal issues. Simply banning anything that mentions the two T’s; Tibet and Taiwan is ridiculous in this day and age.

So who is right? Who is wrong? Is it right for protesters who support Tibet to dog the Chinese government members wherever they go? The talks are economic in nature – with the world economy obviously being a hot topic at the moment. Many nations such as England would only jump at the chance to forge firm partnerships with China moving forward – who wouldn’t want a slice of that most lucrative pie?
But where does it become right to ignore ethical issues as as the repression of Tibet in favour of economic ties? I do know that China is more open about the whole Tibet issue now as the Olympics showed just how damaging to it’s all important global image the problem actually is. It’s funny that it takes something of that magnitude to force their hand. Perhaps the protests did work some good. Perhaps they did choose the right outlet. Perhaps if they didn’t, the issue wouldn’t be so well known throughout the world and the Chinese would continue to do what they were doing with absolutely no heed to what anyone else thought – of course, it’s not our business is it?


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