China, Tibet, Olympics boycott

China, Tibet, Olympics boycott: Germany's Merkel won't go

There was a time, long, long ago, when athletes from around the ancient world would gather, without clothes and without making political pronouncements, to let it all hang out - their enthusiasm for the spirit of competition, that is - and get on with games in which victories would bring resounding honor to the kingdoms, regions and powerful city-states they represented.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (left) has indicated that she will not attend the Olympic Games in Beijing in August; here, in a photo from last September, Merkel is seen meeting the Dalai Lama, the exiled, Tibetan-Buddhist spiritual leader; the Chinese government was angered by the German leader's encounter with its nemesis


German Chancellor Angela Merkel (left) has indicated that she will not attend the Olympic Games in Beijing in August; here, in a photo from last September, Merkel is seen meeting the Dalai Lama, the exiled, Tibetan-Buddhist spiritual leader; the Chinese government was angered by the German leader's encounter with its nemesis

Apparently, times have changed. Today's Olympic Games have become, at least in part, a high-profile venue for the conveying of implicit or explicit political messages, and a locus for a bevy of overlapping, sometimes competing forces and interests that may be athletic, political, economic or cultural, sometimes all at the same time.

With unrest in Tibet against the central Chinese government in Beijing still simmering, and related protests still unfolding around the world to call attention to China's human-rights record, the thoughts some critics have voiced about a possible boycott of the Olympics that will begin in Beijing in early August appear to be starting to take concrete form.

Late last week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel "became the first world leader to decide not to attend the Olympics in Beijing," the British daily the Guardian noted this past Saturday. On that day, foreign ministers from European Union countries met in Slovenia; on their agenda was the sensitive topic of whether or not to boycott the forthcoming Olympics in China, a subject that lately has been bubbling to the surface of policy-makers' lists of things to think about. French President Nicolas Sarkozy has made utterances on the boycott theme. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has pledged to meet the exiled, Tibetan-Buddhist spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, when he visits the United Kingdom in May. The PM also has said he is determined to attend the Beijing Olympics.

Beijing, March 18, 2008: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at a news conference after the closing session of the National People's Congress; Wen dismissed calls for a boycott of the Olympics after a crackdown on riots in Tibet, saying the event should not be politicized.

Claro Cortes IV/Reuters

Beijing, March 18, 2008: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at a news conference after the closing session of the National People's Congress; Wen dismissed calls for a boycott of the Olympics after a crackdown on riots in Tibet, saying the event should not be politicized.

The Guardian reported: "The disclosure that Germany is to stay away from the games' opening ceremonies...could encourage...Sarkozy of France to join in a gesture of defiance and complicate...Brown's determination to attend the Olympics. Donald Tusk, Poland's prime minister, became the first E.U. head of government to announce a boycott [last] Thursday, and he was promptly joined by President Václav Klaus of the Czech Republic, who had previously promised to travel to Beijing." Germany's Der Spiegel Online reports that Tusk told a Polish newspaper "that he felt the participation of politicians at the event would be 'inappropriate.'" Klaus pointed out that his decision "was not intended as a 'threat to China.'"

"Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Germany's foreign minister, confirmed that Merkel [would be] staying away. He added that neither he nor Wolfgang Schäuble, the [German] interior minister responsible for sport, would attend the opening ceremon[ies]." (Guardian) A German-government spokesman "expanded on Steinmeier's statement," confirming "that Chancellor Merkel never intended to attend the Olympics - neither the opening ceremonies nor the Games themselves." The spokesman indicated that Schäuble...was not planning to attend the [Olympic Games'] opening ceremonies but would be visiting the event itself." (Der Spiegel Online)

Earlier this month, visitors to the Chinese capital posed with Beijing Olympic mascots

Claro Cortes IV/Reuters

Earlier this month, visitors to the Chinese capital posed with Beijing Olympic mascots

Steinmeier "denied" that, through their proposed actions, these German-government officials would be "boycotting or staging a political protest against the Chinese military and police campaign in Tibet and surrounding areas. While expressing skepticism about a complete boycott, he did not rule one out. 'This is not the right moment to talk about a boycott....We should watch how the Chinese government deals with the situation in the next weeks and months," Steinmeier stated. (Guardian)

So far, the official European Union position "has been to call for restraint and [to] urge China to open a dialog on cultural rights with the Dalai Lama, whom Beijing has accused of inciting the [recent] pro-independence riots" that have taken place in Tibet. (Deutsche Welle; also Télévision Suisse Romande)

Meanwhile, Rama Yade, France's secretary of state for human rights, has said her country will be ready to welcome the Dalai Lama when he swings through Europe in the near future, and French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner has suggested that "if the Tibetan spiritual leader comes to France, [President] Sarkozy should meet him in person." All of that talk prompted a spokesman for China's foreign ministry to retort: "We must stick to the spirit of the Olympics and not politicize the Games....The Chinese government firmly opposes all forms of official contact by the Dalai Lama with any country." (Le Parisien)

Taipei, Taiwan, March 9, 2008: Buddhist monks chanted prayers before a pro-Tibet demonstration at which protesters called for the Beijing Olympics to be boycotted

Nicky Loh/Reuters

Taipei, Taiwan, March 9, 2008: Buddhist monks chanted prayers before a pro-Tibet demonstration at which protesters called for the Beijing Olympics to be boycotted

Fast forward: France is scheduled to take over the European Union's rotating presidency from Slovenia in July. Thus, Sarkozy last week said: "At the time of the Olympics, I will be in the presidency of the European Union, so I have to sound out and consult my fellow members to see whether or not we should boycott....According to how the situation is looking at the time, I reserve the right to say whether or not I will attend the opening ceremony." (Deutsche Welle)

Yesterday's lead editorial in the British weekly the Observer (the Guardian's sister newssheet), stated: "When China won the right to host the 2008 Olympic Games..., Liu Qi, president of the Beijing organizing committee and the then Beijing city mayor, told the International Olympic Committee: 'If Beijing wins its bid to host the Olympic Games, it will be conducive to China's economic and social progress; at the same time, [China] will also make further progress on the promotion of human rights.' Wang Wei [, the] secretary-general of the Beijing 2008 Olympic bid committee, backed him up [, saying]: 'We will grant full freedom of the press to the journalists coming to China; they will be able to visit Beijing and other Chinese cities and cover any news event before and during the Olympic Games. We will also allow demonstrations.'"

Athens, August 9, 2007: Opposition to the Beijing Olympics actually heated up last year. In this photo, women dressed as ancient-Greek priestesses raised torches in front of a banner that read,

Yiorgos Karahalis/Reuters

Athens, August 9, 2007: Opposition to the Beijing Olympics actually heated up last year. In this photo, women dressed as ancient-Greek priestesses raised torches in front of a banner that read, "Human-rights abuse cannot co-exist with Beijing Olympics." The event was the torch-lighting ceremony for a global relay in support of a boycott of the 2008 Olympics in China.

The Observer's editorial continued: "Four months before the Games [are scheduled to] begin, those promises look shattered. China's human-rights record remains poor....China has seen little progress toward more freedom of expression; the country executes more people and arrests more journalists than the rest of the world combined. It routinely blocks foreign news to which the state objects and censors the Internet. The conditions that existed in 2001 have not improved at all; in many ways, they have worsened. Events in Tibet have crystalized concerns....Even a democratic China that fully respected human rights would regard Tibet as an integral part of its territory, rather as Spain regards the Basque country, France Corsica and Britain Northern Ireland. However, that does not give China license brutally to repress dissent in Tibet...."

Should Gordon Brown represent the U.K. in person at the Beijing Olympics? "Brown has made clear his absolute determination to attend the opening ceremony," the Observer noted. It advised: "[L]ike his European counterparts, he should insist [that] China adhere to its pledges before committing himself....Merkel and Sarkozy are correct. The presence of European leaders should not be guaranteed unless China keeps its promises."

Posted By: Edward M. Gomez (Email) | March 31 2008 at 12:00 AM


While the Games are nice, it is just a big party. Like other big parties, guests are invited from the list of the usual circle of heads of states. But like other big parties, there will be party poopers. It is not likely that important matters of state will be decided at the party anyway. It is just another meet and greet event with plenty of photo-ops. If the woman does not wanna come, it is not as though the food and drinks will be wasted.

Merkel chooses to be a party pooper, it is her own loss, and that for Germany.

If the jerks believe truly that they are somehow going to pressure China into doing the wrongheaded things, just because they thow temper tantrums, think again. If someone demands 1/4 the sovereign territory of America, what sort of reception would he have gotten?

The last time the L.A. Games were boycotted, China attended. The Olympic Games are about sports, and not politics. True, the Germans certainly have demonstrated their ill will and intent to humiliate the Chinese, and it is duly noted.

Posted By: Tongluren | March 31 2008 at 12:22 AM

It should be obvious now that the Olympics have become profoundly political. It is no longer possible to think of them otherwise regardless of Chinese propaganda to the contrary. That the Olympics have become politicized is consistent with many other traditions and institutions transformed by the globalization of ideas, markets, and societies; why should the Olympics expect it could remain untouched in this regard? The athletes will simply need to adjust to this new reality, as well.

In Tibet, China chose its old, repressive, and brutal methods of dealing with internal political dissent. This was China's decision, of course, but the rest of the world is not obligated to ignore their actions even as China insists Tibet is an internal affair. Even if this claim were true, the intensity of Chinese hatred and its glaring disdain for Tibetans and Tibetan society is stunning and appalling by any measure. This is why so many object to Beijing's participation in the Olympics. Maybe the rest of the world can't stop China now, but it can surely take notice.

Posted By: Gyurme | March 31 2008 at 12:24 AM

Gyurme, you posted that "the intensity of Chinese hatred and its glaring disdain for Tibetans and Tibetan society is stunning and appalling by any measure." What are your facts?

1. During the Dalai's 14 incarnations, over 90% of the Tibetan natives could not read or write the native language. Yet today over 80% of the natives in the SAR are literate and can read and write Tibetan.

2. The life expectancy of the Tibetan is 65, compared to the 35 average during the Dalai's 14 incarnations. Infant mortality rates are way down and approaches that of the rest of China - and much better than that in India.

3. Today there are no slaves in the SAR. In contrast the Dalai remains the ONLY living "religious leader" who was a slaveowner - and the biggest in Tibet to boot, and has never apologized.

4. Again, during the Dalai's 14 incarnations, native Tibetan women were lower than dirt. Today, they are judges, police, university professors, legislators, army officers, entertainers, entrepreneurs, and otherwise fully functioning citizens.

5. The Tibetan SAR legislation is fully functioning and the vast majority of the legislators are natives. Last year they even voted a SAR-wide shorter workweek law (35 hours a week due to the harsher environmental factors, compared to 40 for the rest of China).

6. In loving preservation and promotion of Tibetan culture, not only did Beijing enforce mandatory Tibetan language education up to the 9th grade in the SAR, the commies also spent tens of million recording and publishing beloved Tibetan literature - such as King Garza, the famous historical poem that went on for hundreds of pages in Tibetan script. What is poignant is that the Dalai never did that during his 14 incarnations. Today in Dharamsala, the pogeny of ex-slaveowners who followed the Dalai are allowed to learn Tibetan only up to age 10 (5th grade?), and then they switch over to English. I can assure you that the Tibetan natives in Tibet know a heck of a lot more Tibetan language than the crowd in Dharamsala.

7. Today the SAR boasts of multiple magazines and newspapers published in the Tibetan language - again never available during the Dalai's 14 incarnations in Tibet. How many native American language newspaper, magazine, or epic poems can you find in San Francisco? America?

Is that what you are complaining about? The commies surely have a way with showing hatred and disdain.

Posted By: Tongluren | March 31 2008 at 01:09 AM

Was there a "glaring disdain" of the Tibetan society under the 14 incarnations of Dalai, under which he and his clique mismanaged society so brutally that over 90% of the natives were slaves and did not read or write Tibetan, where women were treated lower than dirt (considered too unclean to get close to Buddha, and thus excluded from the Sangha), and life expectancy was in the mid 30s?

Yes there certainly was. That's why New China abolished that society and declared the owning of serfs in Tibet illegal under Chinese law.

Gyurme are you a pogeny of ex-slaveowners in Tibet? Are you yearning for those "good 'ol days" in which other human beings can be bound to serve you hand and feet - now that would be what is true hatred and disdain for the Tibetan natives, and the modern society of the Tibetan SAR today.

Posted By: Tongluren | March 31 2008 at 01:21 AM

Everyone(including some of the editorial content from this and other well regarded newspapers) seems to talk about Olympics being above politics; that the Olympics ceremony should not be boycotted by the heads of state; and that athletes should not be deprived of their only chance to capture the glory.

Of these, only the last one about athletes makes any sense at all, all of us having learnt from earlier boycotts.

But it is rather disingenuous for the brutal government of China to raise the spectre of a politicized Olympics. If anything, the staging of Olympics in Beijing is a political master stroke for the Chinese government, is it not? Do you want us to believe that China wanted these games in the spirit of universal camraderie? China desperately wanted these games to show the world that it has arrived, and that it is not just a high-lead content toy manufacturer but also a shining star. They were snubbed for the 2000 event, and corporate interests ensured they got it for 2008. Do you think the entire process from their bid to August 2008 was anything but Political?
So, my question to those nationalistic Chinese posting here under various guises:
If your government (I distinguish between people and their government) uses Olympics for furthering its own geo-political aims, why should not other countries or protesting groups use the same event for making their political point, and hopefully thwarting a megalomaniac regime with barely disguised dreams of Pan-Asian (and if possible, global) domination?

Posted By: Anirud | March 31 2008 at 06:18 AM

Why Politics and sports are different?
When you hear the four words "One World, one dream", what meaning or message do you get? Being a Tibetan web blogger, it doesn't convey proper meaning to me, if the words are raised and given by a hopeless state like China.
But if you explore the deeper definitions of the words, it gives you something unordinary meanings, it defends mutual respect, rights, peace, friendship, stability of political power, but it is easy to say and use in vacuum."
In today's world, all sentient beings appreciate and are pleased in peace, happiness, kindness, compassionate to each other. Those important things are always part of freedom of politics, rights and power of sports etc. People who mention freedom of press and human rights in context of the Olympics are often accused of mixing politics with sports. So what is the legitimacy of this linkage being made in case of 2008 Beijing Olympics?

To begin with, China, in buttonholing the IOC to host the Olympic Games, have argued over the years that it has become modern global society and that the freedom of press and human rights situation of its citizens and Tibetans in occupied Tibet would be markedly improved but at this period of time, the aspirations of IOC and the rest of the world seems blurred and unfulfilled.

The world was told "trust us" by China but the occupation of Tibet caused to death of 1.3 million Tibetans and again thousands massacred after abuses of the Cultural Revolution and the Tiananmen Square massacre were things of the past, banished to the annals of history which has only wide range of violation of human rights and merciless killings. Therefore, China stands first in violating International laws. At this juncture, how can the world in general and Tibetans in particular trust CHINA!

Still hoping, but no change

We were further told that the Chinese Communist Government would use the Beijing Olympics to advance the freedom of press and human rights of people in China, particularly in Tibet and other occupied territories but the host itself is the only one merciless state who can be labeled as the only enemy of press freedom and human rights and they have never heard the voices and appeals of the people of the world.

Big eats smalls, even in animals, I don't think there are still heroes, what the UN and EU give to the peace and Tibetan people, press freedom or human rights? As same as China gives only destruction and death zone to Tibet and its people. Then, when China was granted the right to host the Olympics, the government again affirmed its promise to live up to the Olympic spirit and uphold freedom of press and human rights. People are still confused whether it is Olympic spirit or communist spirit? Now we can see the true spirits of IOC offer to the people of the world! I don't want to say it as a great decision.

In fact, the major complaint made by Reporters Without Borders, Amnesty International and other watchdog groups is that China has failed to keep the promise they made in 2001 when Beijing was a finalist for the games in regards to improving their freedom of press and human rights record. China always makes promises; the world is better enough to watch the dramas of its highly respected communist state.

The media and human rights in Tibet; Tibetan journalists and writers are jailed if they say or write the truth, Tibetan websites, forums and blogs are closed if they update or publish the truth. So "One world, one dream" doesn't apply to Tibetans in Tibet in any form from any angle. China's notorious record on human rights has continued to becloud during its Olympic preparations in Tibet. Over the years, the world watched, hoped and bought Chinese goods. World press and International human rights groups, celebrities and politicians question if any major improvements have in fact been made to Beijing's media policy and human rights record and many activist groups have even asked for countries to actively boycott the Games. But many of them couldn't leave their personal benefits liable to get from China in the form of "China's great offer". Tibetan people never enjoyed any means of the press freedom and human rights under the merciless occupation of China in the last 49 years.

There are also those of us who believe - or hope - that such improvements, as promised to us, are still possible or impossible; I surely can say that you are not guaranteed in front the Beijing Olympic stadium for any purpose.

Freedom of press and Olympic spirit

freedom of speech is a great part of Olympic spirit and its human value to the sports. At main time, for centuries the Olympic spirit has been linked to human rights, civility and peace. This is expressed and granted in the Olympic Charter, which specifically prohibits any form of discrimination. Peace and human rights doesn't mean to a political system governed by a single individual, but Olympic spirit and its freedom of speech to the all mankind, I would like to say, one world, many dreams.

Back to our world Olympic history, it began in ancient Greece; a truce was annunciated before and during each Olympic spirit festival. During the armistice, wars were suspended, the carrying out of death penalties was forbidden and safety of visitors travel assured.

If that is required by the people of the world, so the question that needs to be asked is: Will China honour that ancient tradition of declaring and enforcing the truce in the Olympic year 2008? If it will be worked in hopeful way, then, one world, one dream will be successful and meaningful one to the mankind, practicably for China's history.


In past two years, Chinese authorities closed down more than 18 Tibetan websites, blogs and forums including the famous Tibetan writer's blog (Mrs. Woeser's blog) and Tibetan youth forum. Tibetan media persons and writers including Tibetan famous writer Mr. Dolma Kyab are detained and jailed for three to ten years. There are hundreds of media related persons detained and jailed in China. All foreign and exile Tibetan websites, publications and radios are not accessible in Tibet and China. China never steps-down on freedom of press and human rights in Tibet. Even after all, China has definite human rights responsibilities under the international human rights law.

Since the early '1960s, China has said, they have actively sought to increase its participation in multilateral affairs, especially in Tibet and other occupied states. But imprisonments of Tibetans in Tibet never stopped. In fact, contemporary China had become party to a range of over 273 international treaties, of which 239 had become applicable to China only after 1979. These watershed decisions decisively showed China's acknowledgement of the universal applicability of international law. So, there is no any space in one world, one dream for China

Although in the Chinese record of participation in press freedom and international human rights regime has been largely negative in Tibet and China itself, China always respects and regards its own personal stance and restricted press freedom and human rights in the country and after reviewing all these, China can never approve their slogan "one world and one dream"

The current situiation entire Tibet?

Situiation in Tibet is concerned by the people of world, around 140 people have been confirmed killed in a Chinese crackdown on protests and unrest in Tibet, Tibetan communities-in-exile told to the world media, around 70 photos of dead bodies of Tibetan published on Tibetan medias in exile. Kalon Tripa, prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile said, we urgently appealed the international community to bring an immediate end to the repressive acts.

By editor for The Tibet Post International: First published on www.wn.com

Posted By: Yeshe | March 31 2008 at 07:07 AM

Two thoughts here.
1) The Olympics are about Sports and not politics. Boycotts are a joke and only the atheletes suffer. Only fools think this will have any impact.

2) The US although a Superpower has also become the Super Busybody of the world, selectively poking their noses into areas where their self interests lie (financial) while shamelessly ignoring countries like Darfur where mass genocide is occuring. My point is
we are less than 250 years old as a country. yet we are dictating to nations that have over 10 times our history the American way as the "right way". AS hsa been said earlier, put the shoe on the other foot, how would we like it if another country came in and told us we were doing things wrong?
We should correct what's wrong "at home" before we stick our noses into
other nations business.

Posted By: meanfreddean | March 31 2008 at 08:30 AM


"Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier stressed that this should not be viewed as a boycott, since neither Merkel, Steinmeier nor Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, who holds the sports portfolio, had yet planned to attend in any case."

Posted By: hanmagic | March 31 2008 at 08:43 AM

Yeshe: The world should indeed worry about Tibet. It is looking clearly by the day that China's Tibetan SAR is being hit by an organized wave of terrorism - the way it is defined by the West.

Terrorists are those who refuse to participate in the political process, but yet used violence to attempt to change the political outcome. The rioters in Lhasa and beyond, if the evidence is that they were organized, fits the definition of "Terrorists" to a "T."

Terrorists need to be dealt with resolutely, as the West has preached fervently for the last few years. America's standard procedure is to send in the drone. You can run but you cannot hide.

Let the evidence speak for itself. No society can be held hostage by a small group of political conspirators who resort to violence.

Posted By: Tongluren | March 31 2008 at 11:20 AM

Again, you should truly appreciate the nature of the matter. Keep in mind what the Beijing Games are. It is merely an excuse to throw a big party and invite your friends and business associates to share in the glory of the successes, and to have oodles of fun.

There are always gonna be those who are jealous or are racists or for a litany of other unspeakable reasons would rather oppose a party. The bigger the party, the more detractors. And the Beijing Games just happens to be the BIGGEST in town this year.

To the Chinese, what is important is NOT the party, but the continuation of the SUCCESSES that culminated in the party. And there is every indication that the successes are continuing, thanks to the brilliant foreign policy of making the developing nations richer so that they can afford to trade more with China. Trade with Africa alone will exceed $100 B by 2010. For that success to continue, for more millions to be pulled up from abject poverty, for that double digit growth to continue (10.8% for China, and 14% for the Tibetan SAR projected for 2008), China needs all of her resources, including those in Tibet - much as much as America needed California. It is simply a nonstarter for anyone to suggest giving up management rights over those resources, as the Dalai's clique has demanded.

If the Western political jerks who wish to poop on the party sincerely think that their silly antics are going to thwart China's successes, you'd have to ask them what they're smoking.

Posted By: Tongluren | March 31 2008 at 11:36 AM

You should seriously look at those flowery statements, and try to match it against action.

"all sentient beings appreciate and are pleased in peace, happiness, kindness, compassionate to each other...."

The Dalai's version is that they accelerate the process by inciting riots to hack and burn people to death, destroy businesses, and demand to ethnically cleanse all non natives from 1/4 of China - expel them all, remove them from office, send them packing so that the one-religion (you must believe or you're nose gets a shave - no not your nose hairs, your NOSE - the nose shavers are still on proud display in the monasteries in Tibet) theocracy, that for over 400 years cast 90% into slavery and illiteracy.

Of course the Dharamsala crowd argues that it would not be like that, and that they are perfectly democratic.

My bodypart!!

New China brings real freedom of religion to the Tibetan SAR. The natives today have true freedom to select Buddhism (not just the Dalai 14's sect, but all varieties of it), Muslim, Christianity, agnosticism, atheism, or anything or none at all. Returning the administration of the SAR to the theocracy would mean winding the historic clock back - a terrible idea given the atrocious record of the 14 incarnations of the Dalai.

Posted By: Tongluren | March 31 2008 at 11:49 AM

Besides, Beijing’s strategy and how it was carried out in fighting against this latest round of terrorist attacks in Tibet have been nothing short of brilliant.

For a whole week, Beijing basically kept quiet. With their biased agenda, the Western press shot their wad and started making up stuff – doing truly atrocious cropping and mislabeling of photos, taking shots that were taken in other countries (Nepal, U.S., India, etc.), and make it look like it was taken in Lhasa, calling an ambulance a Chinese military vehicle, etc.

The immediate result? The Chinese around the world are truly and quickly UNITED this time, seeing the unfairness of the Western press. Hundreds of years of being wronged and bashed by Westerners come to the fore once more. The Chinese around the globe see that “fair and impartial Western press” is a big oxymoron, and came to the defense of Beijing quickly. The commies’ real support is from the people of China. The biased and clearly misleading reporting by major Western media merely strengthened the support of her people for the government of China, and enhanced the reputation of Beijing.

Since the government did not respond vociferously, the common people took over. The bloggers went to work and China.com especially took the lead, in exposing the Western discriminatory treatment of the Chinese in the Lhasa riots. Hundreds of thousands signed petitions within a week to denounce the Western press’ lies – none of this was organized by the government.

In China, as in elsewhere, IF the government comes out and explain that the West is lying, the would most likely be doubts amongst the citizenry – the common folks of course questions those in power, it is just natural. But with the sua sponte opposition of the Chinese netizens, the effects were devastating – the Western press’s credibility dropped in a week to 50 year lows. This is sheer adrenalin pumping, powerful stuff – to see the biased Western press exposed. Check with any of the large Western press houses – VOA, CNN, BBC, etc., and see how many complaint calls they received in the last couple of weeks for their biased China bashing. Their influence over the Chinese are pretty much shot.

Posted By: Tongluren | March 31 2008 at 12:41 PM

The false dichotomies that are the basis of Tongluren’s and many other comments by what I take to be Chinese nationals or people of Chinese descent are the only arguments that I seem to see posted on the various sites I have visited that contain coverage in one form or another of the current situation in Tibet and the other affected provinces of western China. Well, and the shrill, wholly nationalistic cries that aren’t really arguments but consist of basically insulting Tibetans.

The false dichotomies basically fall into two groups.

1.) Tibet is part of China and it can’t be separated; arguing for Tibetan rights is arguing for Tibetan independence.
2.) Tibet was an undeveloped country and feudal society before China invaded; arguing for Tibetan rights is arguing for a return to serfdom, slavery, and dirt roads.

Both of these are ridiculous arguments. No one in the entire world is arguing for these. Then who, Tongluren and others, are you arguing against? The world says “Human rights now” and you say “What about our investment in roads?!” The world says “Stop jailing and torturing political prisoners” and you say “What about our language education!?” The world says “Dialogue! Talk to the Dalai Lama! Move forward!” and you say “Why do you want to support slavery?”

Why not actually respond to what people and governments are say and asking? Why refuse to discuss what is actually being said? Why only shout nationalistic slogans and talk about events of a 75 and 100 years ago?

Is it because you don’t actually have any good answers?

Posted By: dcunning11235 | March 31 2008 at 01:25 PM

meanfreddean, the chinese government supports the savages responsible for the genocide in sudan, as they did those in kampuchea (very saddened by dith pran's passing this weekend), angola, chile, south africa, etc., etc.
expressing support/admiration for the people's republic of china is the 21st century version of lauding hitler's germany.

Posted By: Vladimir1917 | March 31 2008 at 03:40 PM

China has been accused of not transparent with the situation. How about this situation? "President Bush was furious during today's press briefing because The Times had revealed a Government program that has taken 5,800 innocent American lives in order to give the FBI real-life target practice. "I have words of warning for the New York Times. Exposing secret government programs damages National Security and only aids the Terrorists."

Posted By: hanmagic | March 31 2008 at 03:56 PM

cunning: There is no dichotomy. Where it comes to terrorists, you kill them dead or lock them up and ask for info on their sources and superiors - America clearly demonstrates what the rules of engagement are.

Besides, calling for China to talk to the secessionists is clear double standards. Russell Means recently led the Lakota Sioux to declare indpendence from the United States. You see Nancy Pelosi rushing in to shake his hand and declare that the United States would welcome that? Or offer the kind of "real autonomy" that the Dalai's clique demands (withdrawal of all armed forces, removal of all non-natives from the land, etc.)?

Human rights do not equal secession rights. Those in jail are there because they are traitors to their mother nation, advocating splitting up the country in violation of the explicit antisecession laws - they were tried and found guilty before they were committed, and legal process was observed every step of the way. You may not agree with the outcome, but the process was sacrosanct.

As for the Dalai, the evidence appears to lead the Chinese to believe that he is the ringleader of dastardly acts of the rioters. The Chinese looks to America for leadership on how to deal with terrorists. What's there to talk about?

Hiding behind religious garb does not give these terrorists any additional rights. This are not nationalistic by any stretch of imagination. They are just practical points. WHY IN THE WORLD should these rioting criminals be given any consideration? The Tibet SAR has its own legislation and political process for airing grievances. There are courts in which you can sue to exercise rights. Yet the terrorists chose not to participate, and instead chose to use violence against the innocent. They should bear the full brunt of the state's force to bring back a semblence of order and security.

The West deals with China because there are benefits in dealing with China. If there is not, I'm sure they would have gone somewhere else. Don't like it, don't participate then - there are lots of others who fight for the opportunity to make money with and from the Chinese.

Posted By: Tongluren | March 31 2008 at 03:57 PM

hanmagic, I think you missed the point that the article about the FBI was a joke. Broken Newz.com's slogan, after all, is "Broken Newz, The Internet's Premiere Satire News" It is making fun or Bush for the many bad things he has done; but no, the FBI is not actually killing random Americans for target practice. LOL.

Posted By: dcunning11235 | March 31 2008 at 04:41 PM

The problem, Tongluren, is who you (and China’s government) call terrorists, which is everybody who dares to defy the party line. And don’t think that “America clearly demonstrates the rules of engagement.” First off, remember that 50% of America hates that we ever got into Iraq in the first; more than 50% think Guantanamo Bay is a travesty. Maybe you missed the massive street protests after Bush got us into his war? Luckily though, as bad a Bush may be, there weren’t mass arrests and the army wasn’t sent in with tanks to crush protesters… which is exactly what would have happened if the same protests had taken place in China (remember Tiananmen square? Were those college students also terrorists?) And what about other countries besides the US? After all, the world certainly does not just consist of China and the US.

As far as the Dalai Lama being a ‘secessionist’, that is just ridiculous. Chinese media and politicians repeat that again and again and again and again… but it doesn’t make it true. The Dalai Lama has repeatedly said that the only future for Tibet is as a part of China. All it does is make the Chinese government sound slightly insane and absolutely unwilling to pursue a political solution.

Human Rights do equal the right to advocate for secession (even if they don’t ultimately get what they want.) What version of human rights are you referring to? The ones that only allow to be said what the government or the majority want to hear? Those are not human rights. Those aren’t even civil rights.

And to say that China looks to the US for how to deal with terrorists is kind of ridiculous. First off, China is a big boy and doesn’t need to be lead around and told what to do; China can decided for itself. Also, if China does so eagerly looks to the US for leadership, how about China start following some of the better American examples like, say, allowing journalists and dissidents to speak freely? While they are at it, they could also start respecting religious rights by allowing Tibetan Buddhist monks to practice their faith freely. The repeated line of “America/EU/The West/etc. have committed or are committing injustices” doesn’t somehow justify China committing crimes. If it did, everyone could claim, for example, that they have the right to go out and murder someone because other people have committed murder.

As far as rioters that are proven to have killed people, they should be punished I agree. But to say that people currently in jail have been tried before a court? In the space of a week? Those must have been some the speediest trials ever, with ample time for investigation and for a proper defense of the accused.

Posted By: dcunning11235 | March 31 2008 at 05:51 PM


Each country has its own system. It is the demonstrable results that determines whether any system is superior. The problem with bleedings hearts are that they are so fixated on being right and righteous, and could not accept the fact that there are other systems and other processes, that just might be a tad more suitable for other nations and other societies. China does not have the irresponsibility mistaken for freedom as in the West. But China's system works - each and every citizen is required to have responsibilities while they enjoy rights and privileges of being citizens. One of those fundamental responsibilities is not to disturb the peace, so that the rest of society can put their full attention into building a brighter future for everyone. Along the spectrum of narcissism to absolute collective, China chooses a path that lends the collective slightly more power, as is the case in most other Asian nations, and the system properly balances the rights and wishes of miscellaneous groups in society, and it is working well. Even in Tibet, violent riots were held down to once every 20 years - which is not such a bad record, especially if you compare it to just next doors in Gujarat, India, where bi-monthly violent riots are de rigueur. The results are there for all to see - 30 years of uninterrupted double digit growth of the economy that pulled several hundred millions up from abject poverty, and today China is even helping MANY developing nations to see hope for the first time in several centuries. China’s GDP is twice that of India, even though the two neighbors started at about the same place after WW II.

Not bad for a bunch of commies. Even if overall the citizens have to observe stricter rules – they are rules that apply to everybody, and the social contract just defines acceptable boundaries differently from what you find in the West.

On your implicit question of why China picks and chooses, and does not emulate what you consider to be “better” practices of the United States, are the reasons not obvious? Commies told us that Socialism With Chinese Characteristics is the most flexible political system in the world. By Mr. Deng, Xiao Ping’s black cat/white cat teachings, what works is continually amplified, and what does not work is thrown out, continually. The reforms in China in the last 30 years have been truly breathtaking – no comparable sized human enterprise has been able to adopt so many reforms and thrive. As part of that process, the better practices as judged by the commie leaders of China to be beneficial to the China nation, were adopted, whilst those deemed detrimental to the welfare of the people were rejected. Until America learns to have double digit growth, as a practical matter you are not going to see wholesale adoption of your practices by China. In many respects America is a failed or failing society, so it is expected that many of its practices will continue to be rejected.

The Dalai was and is the product of decades of deceit and concentrated snake oil marketing efforts. His entire movement was funded by the powers that want to weaken China, to internationalize what is a purely internal affair between the Chinese people and one of China’s 56 ethnic minority groups. Dharamsala produces NOTHING of value useful to humans. It is a “factory” for manufacturing hatred against China and the Chinese, much like Madrassas in extreme Islam manufacture hatred for the West. Note how Dharamsala stops teaching the Tibetan language after age 10, in spite of the Dalai 14’s claim of being the guardian of Tibetan culture, in favor of having the children learn ENGLISH!! Today most of the so called “Tibetan” activists around the globe do not speak Tibetan fluently (they speak better English than Tibetan since they could not have learned that much Tibetan by age 10), and know very little of real Tibetan culture since they were never part of it. They are Dharamsalans, or even Indians, and have no claim at all to anything in the Tibetan SAR.

Now that the clique is using outright terrorist tactics, it is high time to put the matter to rest once and for all.

Posted By: Tongluren | March 31 2008 at 11:55 PM


Quite obvious you have your own political agenda here. Comparing China to Hitler and Nazi Germany totally undermines your creditbility.
Both South Africa and Chile have free elections and are allies of the US.
It seems you want the US to engage in the politics of foreign sovereign nations as long as it favors your own political leanings.
As long as Guatanamo exists the US cannot preach to other nations about human rights.

Posted By: meanfreddean | April 01 2008 at 06:23 AM

Tongluren, this will be my last post as we’re obviously not going to convince each other. 

I can’t and won’t argue that there are not other systems that can work. That is obvious, I think, though you run the risk of being hypocritical by stating the argument that different systems may work and then immediately turning around and going on to claim that India, the US –and by extension the other Western nations?—are essentially broken or failing. Furthermore, your apparent argument that double-digit growth in GDP is the sole judgment of a society’s success or failure is a stark and narrow standard.

And as far as sustained GDP growth being a miracle unique to China’s system: don’t fool yourself. As a developing nation with a huge population still firmly below the poverty line, there is a great amount of room for growth. When China is more fully developed in another 20 or 40 years, those numbers will be single digit just like every other developed nation; that is simply the arc of development that transition economies follow. China is in the middle of a gold rush, not in the middle of 60 years of sustained growth of an already developed economy.

And you still haven’t done one thing with your arguments to actually justify mass killings, a restricted flow of information, or any of the other questions that I and others have posed. White cat/black cat is commendable idea, but if the aim is to develop the best system possible via experimentation I don’t see how you can possibly think jailing or shooting people who merely propose alternative ideas supports that.

It doesn’t. For all your aggrandizing you’re basically doing nothing more than trumpeting the nationalistic horn and supporting the power brokers of the Chinese government who are after what all power brokers are after: more power. And the easiest way to do that, time and time again, is via rabid nationalism. (And what else is responding to people who do not love the “motherland” enough with “shoot them dead” but rabid nationalism?)

You obviously have an axe to grind with the “West”. You sing the praises of Tibetan culture but don’t care to hear what a sizable number of actual Tibetans have to say. You declare the wonder of China aiding smaller countries economically but take no interest or responsibility for what those countries do (Myanmar, Sudan, Uzbekistan, etc.) You have so far not responded to my various implicit and explicit questions of “right and wrong” other than to deflect them with answers about GDP and other such; in fact, this pride in China’s growing GDP seems to be the single largest thread amongst all your posts.

But there is more to life than money and pride. For all your recriminations against the crimes of the US and colonial European powers, you seem to have no problem supporting China committing the same kinds of acts. Peace and prosperity at the end of a gun, huh, and damn the consequences? I wonder if in 50 or 100 years some other pair of people won’t be having an argument similar to ours, railing against the crimes and presumptions of China.

Posted By: dcunning11235 | April 01 2008 at 12:37 PM


Talk is cheap. Let's put it to a test. Do you know WHY all your bleeding heart talk goes right over the head of all Chinese you will try to preach to? Because you are viewed just like the rest of your countrymen - you just wanna share your WORDS, but not your wealth or well being.

"But there is more to life than money and pride."

True. If indeed America will, instead of pointing fingers and demanding that China does this and that and that, also share its wealth to equalize the GDP per capita, I guarantee you that the Chinese will be a lot more receptive. Anything else is just seen as what it IS - an attempt to slow down or thwart China's move forward. You cannot on the one hand make snide remarks about how China is merely a developing nation (true enough), and on the other make demands that are doing to slow the nation down.

All the Chinese recognize that China is still a developing nation. All the more poignant is that it wasn't so just a short few hundred years ago. For much of the last 5,000 years of human existence, China was the richest and most technologically advanced nation on earth. The Chinese must have done something right all that time, and the Chinese way must have some value to it. For the upstart Westerners to talk condescendingly of the 5,000 year old Chinese way of doing things and Chinese culture, the reaction from a Chinese has to be what? What do you expect?

China is not in the middle of a gold rush. China is merely going back to where she was for much of the last 5,000 years. Don't believe it? Well, it is going to happen in your lifetime.

BTW, what's wrong with shooting a few? America does that under the guise of freedom and democracy. No I am not talking about the many hundred thousands bombed out of existence in Iraq. I am merely referring to the 15,000 (CDC records) that die of gunshot deaths each year in the U.S. of A. (not counting the 400,000 gunshot wounded). I can assure you that it is equally as shocking (or more) when the Chinese look at that - how can a rich developed country do that to its citizenry? At least those that are shot in China are not random - they broke the law, they were tried and found to have committed capital offenses, and they exhausted their appeals, and they were executed pursuant to the law of the land. Legal process was observed to the full letter of the law every step of the way. Until those laws are changed, those that were shot were shot legally and justifiably. What is America's excuse for allowing 15,000 to be shot without trial, without appeal, without redress? That number is more than 10 times as much as those executed in China, on a per capita basis.

With China's effective deterrence system, there is no need to jail 0.7% of the population (there is only about one million people in all of Chinese jails, including the labor reeducation sites, which works out per capita to less than 1/10th of that in the U.S., and China’s recidivism rate is only about 35%, compared to over 70% in the U.S.) like in the U.S., with a smaller police force, even if you include the wu jing (paramilitary police) in the count, than in the United States. Crime rates are lower - rape, murder, robbery, kiddie porn, etc., are all much lower than in the violent society of the U.S.

Again, China's system is far from perfect, but it is easy to make a case that it is indeed the best for the Chinese society at its current stage of development, with the resources available. China cannot afford the American way of doing things.

And China certainly is NOT repeating the crimes of the West in the developing world. The biggest difference is that the West wants and needs to tell people what to do – especially those less fortunate than they economically. China would rather deal with other nations as equals, and help the less unfortunate friends to help themselves by lowering barriers to trade, and by helping them build infrastructure as fast as possible, so perhaps they can make some money and get the marrow sucking Western debt demon off their backs. It is in big part for this reason – that China is not playing by the West’s “rules” that there is concerted attacks by the richer nations in the last few months.

Cunning, you are being used by those same neocolonial powers to bash China, without even knowing that you are being used.

Posted By: Tongluren | April 01 2008 at 05:40 PM

Imagine every time there are ethnic unrests in Europe and America, and some very few minority demands independence, autonomy, human rights ,etc., the rest of the world focuses on the lunatics and lectures to Europe and America about autonomy, independence, human rights, etc.

Imagine Moscow or Beijing barging into America's discussion about race...

Time will tell. But don't be surprised if in retrospect we see the flurry of activities leading up to the Olympics as setting back, perhaps fatally, not promoting the Dali Lama cause.

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