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February 18, 2010
U.S-China relations chill further over Tibetan question

As the Obama administration carefully determines how to accommodate the Tibetan spiritual leader, U.S.-China relations continue to strike a harsh tone.

Disputes surrounding U.S. military support for Taiwan, internet freedoms and currency appreciation have created tension between the two countries in recent months.

Washington’s Tibetan community is reportedly proud that their spiritual leader was invited to the White House, but many have played down the visit.

Here’s more from our German partner Deutsche Welle.

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17 comments

#17

Kerry
I did not see your apology till now.
When I poked fun at your “racial profiling” among the other laments and mourning of WF, I did not know you changed your mind. Otherwise, I would not have worded it that way. Hope you understand.

Peace & Best Regards.

#16

Laughable. China’s environment will collapse maybe 20 years after America’s economy implodes.

Uigars? Did you add that word to your vocabulary yesterday? The accepted spelling is Uighur or Uyghur, but don’t let that get in the way of your bandwagon. Ethnic group du jour that you didn’t know existed until last year, thanks to CIA/American agitprop.

#15

Tibet is to Communist China what Czechoslovakia was to Nazi Germany in 1939. Someday history will look back at Tricky Dick and Doctor Strangelove not for Watergate or ending Vietnam, but for opening the Pandora’s box we have today. We had an excellent opportunity to mirror chicom diplomacy in Hait. When their ONE relief plane landed and tied up hte airstrip for 10 hours while they did a photo op, We should have rendered it unflyable and told them to dismantle the POS and ship it home.But this is all academics. In thier hubris to suppress the islamic Uigars, Tibetans, Mongolians and even chinese minorities while building a consumer economy equal to the wests: the chicoms have initiated an unstustainable system which will collapse in it’s own environmental disaster that makes tainted pet food and children’s toys pale in comaparison.
May the chicoms live in interesting tmes.

#14

JoAllen, I was mistaken and I am sorry.

#13

Kerry Masterson:
You are full of imagination and out of your mind!
Who has time to type out complete sentences?

#12

Often when I read section on world focus I see postings by person who seem to be employed by the Chinese Communists to spread Chinese propaganda. They appear to be fluent in english and use words such as folks’ to try to get you to think that they are not Chinese. If you read their diction closely you will see that miss certain words that most english speakers include in their phrases. It is possible that the posts by JoAllen
are actually posts by a Chinese propaganda agent.

“Since 1959, Tibetans have maintained a nonviolent struggle against the Chinese government’s brutal attacks. They have lobbied, demonstrated, petitioned, and starved themselves to further the cause of freedom. Throughout all of Tibet’s sufferings, the Dalai Lama still preaches and emphasizes love and compassion. The Dalai Lama states, “For a person who cherishes compassion and love, the practice of tolerance is essential; and for that, and enemy is indispensable,” ” Tibetans do not wish harm upon anyone, even their enemies. One might ask why they do not fight back. ” Perhaps it is time for the practice of tolerance to end.

#11

[…] Tibet anniversaryChina cancels EU summit meeting over Tibet Tibetan youth call for shift in strategyU.S-China relations chill further over Tibetan questionThrongs of Chinese go home on motorbikes for New Year Week in Review: China and the United […]

#10

#8 Rebe:
You are mistaken in some of the things you are citing.
I got most of my information from recorded interviews I saw given by Dalai Lama himself, and credible sources like news from reuters, PBS.
He criticized the communists for hiding the facts that they believed that all religion would eventually go away. He implied that but for those lies, he would not have asked his people to lay down arms spontaneously.

With due respect, when he speaks as a leader defending his past political decisions, he has to be held by the standard of a political leader. He cannot take hide as a buddhist monk, ( nor can you mix religious ideas to justify unjustifiable political mistakes made by him or by previous Dalai prior to him, whoever is ruling). If nobody is ruling, that governmental form is not one that the US should support. All leaders, western, or eastern, as well as KMT, Taiwanese, knew that it’s not a chinese idea. It’s from Karl Marx and his writings, that existed and was for all to read many many years before China turned communists. Dalai Lama took no responsibility for being out of touch and ignorant, and made horrible decisions for the Tibetan people.

Rather than arguing with you about holes in your argument and writing till the cows come home, let’s get the basic American principle straight.

What Dalai Lama represented is not a democratic form of government historically, or at present- true?

The form of government represented is a form that would be unconstitutional, i.e., illegal, in the United States, under US consistution because a religious leader in the United States cannot claim that a certain religion automatically gives them power to rule– that violates the Establishment clause in the US constitution, and the fundamental principles under which the United States was founded upon, and MANY AMERICANS risked their lives and gave their lives to protect this fundamental freedom. Dalai is against freedom for democracy. HE hides it very well under nationalistic rhetoric, but it is not justifiable. His form of govermment violates American principles.

The United States government has no business supporting forms of goverment that would violate American principles of democracy.

Dalai Lama should have freedom of speeech in the United States—- that IS an American principle. Poeple in Tibet should have freedom of religion. However, even the catholic church and the Pope have made considerable progress with China, and agreed that they will choose bishops together. And many estimations show that no fewer catholics were executed, imprisoned, persecuted in than Tibetans under the earlier regime in true communist China(as opposed to pseudo capatalistic current China) . The Catholic Church has managed to move on because it represents itself is a religion without any claim that a religious leader automatically holds political and governing power.

How can you argue that what Dalai Lama is not responsible for failing to take responsibility for the governing system he represents? He is a despot, by that I mean absolute power bestowed by the divine. If he is truly a demi-god, chosen by divine relevation, how can he say that he is not responsible for knowing crucial political theories that enemies to his state represents— something that all other human leaders around the world know. And he expects his enemies to tell him? So the spymaster of the country of his enemies should do the spy work for him, because he failed to read or learn anything about a German guy named Karl Marx, whose writings had been available for decades, to him or to previous Dalai’s before him– even though those theories had led to revolution in Russia decades ago. Why didn’t he get trained in these crucial political theories before 16, by his older Dalai, if his job is not just a spiritual leader but a government head. The age he ascends the ‘throne’ is irrelevant, because if it is not he who is reponsible, the previous Dalai must be responsible. They have been terrible leaders for their own people. When have you heard him, in all these decades, talk about poverty, healthcare, education or done anything to improve the real lives in Tibet— IN WAYS THAT ACTUALLY BENEFIT THE TIBETANS? It is a dangerous leader, when the bulk of his platform is to demonize an enemy, rather than doing something positive for its own people. Look at Taiwan— they have to fend off the same regime that Dalai tried to portray either as pitiful or evil. Taiwan did not go around the world, smoozing with millionaires, living a charmed life. It focussed on raising the standard of living, healthcare, education of its people, and equipping itself with a strong defense system. THeir people have full freedom to be buddhist, christian, or whatever. They have full democracy. A person of any religion can become president— does not have to be buddhist, like in Tibetan traditions. They accomplished that by doing the opposite from what Dalai has done— focussing on doing what benefit the livelihood of its people, rather than focussing on political rhetoric that create inter-racial tensions that never existed in the way, even before communism took hold, whether in Asia or Russia or S America.

Beware of this lesson: Ghandi once said that the biggest mistake of his life, was that after throwing out the British, he created a large schism between moslems and hindus, who had previously coexisted, largely peacefully, for hundreds of years in India. To this day, the fighting between Moslems and Hindus, persist in threatening world peace, namely, with Pakistan is linked to terrorists attacks. Terrorists trump up the historic conflicts between different religiosn to create wars, to kill. Do you want that to happen between Tibetans and whatever, whoever you demonize as enemies, to gain a false sense of “goodness”. HOw does that make the world a better place? How do your rhetoric make the livelihood of Tibetans better, make them more free to engage in any religion they so choose?

If you care about Tibetan people, heed the lesson from Ghandi, and make sure all people of all races and religions, place less emphasis on the differences and more on the common grounds. Try to see other races, other religions as having equal rights to opportunities, land, jobs, especially the right to become a leader. Under Dalai Lama’s paradigm and religion, his religion is the superior race, only persons of his race, his religion can become government leader in Tibet. THAT is not only absolutely against basic American principles, but against principles that promote world peace. Don’t go from feeling oppressed( which I agree has been justified in the past) , to feeling that you are entitled to being superior and having undeserved rights over other races. Live in the past, not in the past!

The way the Roman Catholic Pope has been able to make progress for the plight of catholics in China is by FORGIVING and FORGETTING the past and move forward, focussing on the future, on how to provide religious freedom for millions of underground catholics in China. THe Vatican has gone as far as agreeing that Taiwan is part of China. That is the model Tibetans should learn from. I believe that policy will improve world peace, improve the plight of Tibetans in Tibet to obtain religious freedom. Dalai has no leg to stand on to claim governmental rights in this day and age, as a person appointed by divine inspiration as a child, only as a religious leader. Dalai should feel ashamed for his many many failures as a political leader for his people, and cannot hide under religious rhetorics, rules, traditions to avoid responsibilities that all world leaders must take for their role. If he restricts himself as a religious head like the Pople, he might reverse the many wrongs he had done in promoting unnecessary violence in this world in the last few years. I was conned by him. I see clearly after I listened to him, and particularly to old interviews made by him. He is not a responsible person. An irresponsible can be a religious and spiritual leader. And all people have that freedom, but an irresponsible perons has no business in claiming right to be a world leader. Ask yourself: can you buttress your arguments on basic logic, reasoning, sense of responsibility for Tibetan people?

#9

I believe Obama is trouble maker in Asia.

#8

Joallen: Not sure what history books you have read regarding Tibet, but I feel you have misconstrued and confused much. The Tibet/China is a long complicated one for sure and few people truly understand or know all the details. Yes there were some issues in Tibet at the time of the Chinese takeover, aristocracy had gotten a bit out of hand to say the least and corruption had entered not only the government but some of the monastic institutions as well. Dalai Lama’s traditionally don’t assume any real power until their 18th birthday. Up to that age the Tibetan government is run by what would be the equivalent of a cabinet. The current 14th Dalai Lama was forced to assume his duties as head of Tibet both spiritually and temporally at the age of 16. There were many changes he wanted to make but by this point the Chinese had already invaded and he virtually had no power to make any sweeping system changes. I’m not sure who you are referring to when you refer to a hand picked successor – there will be no successor until the current Dalai Lama dies. This is a system of reincarnation not hand choosing whomever. There are many Tulku’s discovered who are believed to be reincarnations of past living Lama’s, maybe you have confused one of these with His Holiness?
At any rate there has never been a time when Tibetans thought of themselves as Chinese. They have always been Tibetan, have always had their own language which does not in any way resemble Chinese and is based from Sanskrit. I would agree however that Hollywood has played a role in shaping the way Westerners view Tibet and specifically His Holiness, and that it is rather biased. Tibet basically is no different that any other ancient society. So comparing it to modern governments and to the U.S. simply is invalid. Expecting a 16 year old boy to go toe to toe with the likes of Mao is ridiculous and so of course he made mistakes. But don’t forget that the British and the Americans were also playing their roles in this game, those are the details we seldom hear about. So many behind the scenes vignettes all leading to the current contentious situation. There have been many players in this game and all have a responsibility in the resolution of the Tibetan issue.

#7

I do appreciate the fact that the meeting was closed, it was a sensitive issue, and a deliberate issue that required presision. All of the above blogs are relative and well thought out, I just wish that the congress that we have, had such a blog to get in contact with the news, the public and within their own congressional people. I do not think one senate or House of Representive person in the whole congress has looked at news like Front Line, or the BBC or even their evening news. They do not connect, the insurance companies, and Wall street are running this country. I do not think we can do anything to take it back. I do not know for sure, but were there not several families that ran and owned all the money in Europe for hundreds of years in Europe. Hapsbergs? or something like that. What happened after that I do not know.

#6

America fundamentally is a republic. In addition, it has a three tier hierarchy. (1) An aristocracy. (2) A middle-class. And (3) an underclass. Such a social class system would be termed by the Greek philosopher Aristotle, a timocracy, basically rule by divisions of wealth, with the most wealthy at the apex of the class hierarchy. Moreover, the term democracy, from demos and crateia is defined thus. Demos in the free online dictionary, during fifth century BC, meant, the common people or populace of a Greek city, or simply the people; and crateia denotes, rule by the people. Thus democracy, than in fifth century BC, and today in 2010 AD, the word means literally rule by the common people. But most of all, America has a constitution, and a bill of rights, that is enforceable.

China on the other hand, is a totalitarian regime. Which means it has a one party system of government with no party opposition, even though, the China Democracy Party and the Falun Gong Spiritual Movement, vies for recognition in politics and freedom of religion, respectively.

The US certainly must maintain diplomatic relations with China for the sake of the balance of power in the region. We certainly have to realize that a tiny country like Tibet poses very little threat to the Chinese government.

I do believe the Obama administration, in order to, maintain peaceful relations in the region, must pressure Ambassador Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., to do more, in the way of foreign policy, to convince the Chinese that Tibet, strategically is of little consequence. Their [the Tibetans] encomium toward Republicanism is based primarily on Human Rights and certainly not military expansionism. The Ambassador, justifiably, is well versed in Asian politics, he served an LDS mission in Taiwan. And supposedly speaks standard Mandarin Chinese.

Surely the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, (ASEAN) could extend an arm politically, to help bring about a plausible solution to the on-going conflict between both countries. If nothing else, reassurance that the West seeks only to preserve peace and economic growth in the region through mutual trade.

I made a tour of Hong Kong and Kowloon China in the former 1970s, while in the Navy, and at the time Hong Kong was under British rule, but Kowloon, in contrast, was under Chinese rule. The British eventually relinquished power to China peaceably in 1997. Emphatically, China should know they have nothing militarily to fear from the West. Yet to vouchsafe Tibet the right to choose its own way, China I’m sure is mindful, will not, and cannot maim or dismember its political corpus. And as the major anteater in the region, it has all the ants, such as, Japan, North and South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, with a possible arms deal with the US, and other less militarily competitive Asian countries, not sleeping well at night.

#5

With all due respect to the Dalai Lama as an important spritual leader and advisor to both the east and west, it must not be forgotten that China has brought many benefits of modernization to Tibet, for example, modern health benefits and general personal freedom and material progress. The monks are still there, but they do not rule, control, and oppress the general population as in the past.

#4

The message you’er not getting from Obama is …… the messenger is.. mother china..you don’t what to piss-her-off..and make her ..mad ! The [u.s.] is most beholden to
China ?..we being ..broke- @ $$ ..B I G DEBTOR
THANKS IN PART FOR OUR NEEDFULNESS..SO SAY CONGRESS & W.H….SPENDING FRENZY ? DRAGING US TO HELL
IN A DEBTOR -HAND-BAG !!

#3

I used to take to all the Hollywood hype and veneration for Dali as if they were real, and considered him a holy man. However, the more I watch his interviews, and the more I learn about the detailed history(mostly in his own words, and from academic history sources), the more I have come to be convinced that the Tibetans suffered from having a leader who was out of touch with the outside world when China first turned Communist. Therefore, Dalai made some terrible political decisions that directly led to the current plight of Tibetans. And Dalai is blaming them all on the current Chinese regime with great success, largely because folks like me erroneously equated Dalai with the heroic students at Tianenman Square– which are false concepts. Prior to the successful military operations of the CHinese communist in the 1940s and 1950s, Tibetans and the other Asians, Chinese, or otherwise, had co-existed in peace on the same lands without military or political conflicts for thousands of years, and all happily called themselves Chinese, whether under Ghengis Khan or Mongolian, or Han leaders.

The dual power Dalai claim to hold, by appointment when he was 3 years old, as government head and religious head simultaneously, violates all democratic principles that the United States stands for. It would be ruled unconstitutional if any minority group (regardless of historical facts) claim absolute political and religious leadership anywhere in the United States. Much of the “halo” Dalai has developed in the media was because (1) Nobel committee gave him the Peace Prize because they missed the chance of giving it to Ghandi before he died, but Dalai was not 1 percentage of the scholar Ghandi was, when Dalai made fatal political decisions for the Tibetan people in the 1950s; (2) Dalai was nominated after heroic chinese students stood up military tanks in front of the world cameras. The sacrifice of the students elevated any enemies of the Chinese government to the same level heroism by the media– in fact, that elevation is often misplaced. Many of those student leaders in Tianenman Square had great criticism about Dalai, but they are never covered in the media– just not nearly as likely to sell readerhips as covering some Hollywood movie stars, who had no meaning in life, go to Dalai for an expensive “spiritual makeover” to make them feel falsely “rich” about their otherwise empty Hollywood lifestyle. So Dalai is truly a Hollywood figure— an actor, who probably would have failed miserably as a leader, had he had to deal with balancing the need of defense, and creating jobs, and dealing with the clash between the religous and secular, traditional and western in Tibet.

Many forget that his hand picked successor refused to become Dalai Lama because he wants to “experience Disco” and everything else. So what most folks’ perception about Dalai is really Hollywood fiction, as real as the old Shangri-la originally depicted in the Hollywood movie, the Lost Horizon( the old one from late 1930s).

#2

China should be ashamed of its treatment of Tibetans. Police and military forces often kill Tibetans protesters after they have been arrested. Recently, a Tibetan Nun was arrested for chanting the words “Dali Lama.” She was sentences to ten years in Prison; but, after she was relocated from jail to the prison the Chinese guards clubbed her to death. The United States should be expressing anger over Chinas policy of killing innocent protestors. The United Sates should remove Chinas’ most favored trade status until China stops murdering innocent Tibetans. China should be ashamed not angry !

#1

Well, maybe Obama should tell the Chinese to freeze more Chinese settlements on Tibetan land the way he did to Israel regarding Palestinian land.

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