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Barack Obama cancels meeting with Dalai Lama 'to keep China happy'

 
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2009 07:46 pm
@msolga,
msolga wrote:
I'll concede that, Robert. Officially he is referred to as a "splittist" influence on the Chinese nation. I think it could be argued, though, that they don't accept his legitimacy as a legitimate representative of the Tibetans.


As an irrelevant aside "splittist" is a good example of why Chinese diplomacy isn't that great. They, and North Korea, use really awkward translations that just make them look stupid.

Anywho, I do agree that they don't see him as a legitimate representative of Tibetans, or at least that they want to do as much as they can to minimize his legitimacy. But there's a couple decades of mistrust here, the separatist movement was a proxy of the US for a while (trained and funded by the CIA) and I don't think this deep mistrust is going to go away while he's alive.

Quote:
Nor do they readily accept any criticism of Chinese rule in Tibet, no matter who or where it's coming from. I support his activities because he's the most vocal spokesperson for Tibetan Buddhists. They have genuine grievances which should be heard.


Chinese are hyper-sensitive to any criticism, about anything. They are actually pretty good about not meddling in other countries though (except, of course, when it comes to incessantly telling others not to meddle in their country), and it's a bit of a cultural difference between China and much of the rest of the world.

China is pretty consistent about each nation being left to themselves, it's not something I agree with but just a reality I want my diplomats to recognize. There are already reluctant to support our measures on other countries like Iraq, and no amount of external pressure (that we can realistically muster) is going to get the Tibetans what they want. So I don't want the US to make counter-productive principled stands. Recognition of the political realities means recognition of the need to make these compromises, and to avoid inflexible options that lack nuance. Delaying a meeting with the Dalai Lama is not the end of our principles, it's a smart step towards their realization.

Quote:
I don't condone the violence toward the Han Chinese & I'm certainly not denying it happened. However, given the tensions at the time, say nothing of the frustrations of the Tibetans for decades, I'm not at all surprised at what did occur. Here's another account of the violence, & an assessment of the reasons behind it, from a group of Chinese scholar & academics. :


I agree with that assessment for the most part. The knee-jerk Chinese claim that the Dalai Lama was inciting these riots was a very dubious one. I think the rioting was motivated by ethnic hatred on both sides and the timing was motivated by exploitation of the Olympic spotlight.

But what I was highlighting is that the Chinese really aren't out there killing Tibetans who are peacefully protesting like they might have in the past. I was highlighting that their crackdown on the Tibetans in recent years was a necessary response to race riots that the Tibetans started.

It's true that the Chinese were restricting protests, they didn't want their Olympics to be used politically against them, and yes the Tibetans have a lot of legitimate things to protest under Chinese rule, but the most severe human rights violations in recent years started with the Tibetans and the Chinese response has been much less draconian than it would have been in the past.

Quote:
The Dalai Lama said in an interview last week that migration by ethnic Han Chinese to the Tibetan plateau was one of the main threats to the future of Tibet, and he contended that the government in Beijing should allow a regional autonomous authority run by Tibetans to limit future migration as well as make policy on education, language and use of natural resources.

“Whether intentionally or unintentionally, some kind of cultural genocide is taking place,” he said.


This is a legitimate qualm. China is systematically settling Tibet and changing the demographic facts on the ground. It's not a very wise policy in my opinion, and they'd have a lot less in way of ethnic conflict if they didn't insist on doing this to all their minority enclaves, but as far as a human rights violation it's a pretty mild one more along the lines of political redistricting than an acute human rights disaster.

The human rights issues in Tibet largely boil down to this, the lack of religious freedom, and the basic conflict of Tibetans wanting to secede. They aren't going to get their wish to secede, that much is pretty clear. So we are mainly left with the Chinese immigration policy and the lack of personal freedoms (religion, press, etc) that all Chinese are subject to.

Given the texture of Chinese culture, and their hyper-sensitivity to criticism I really do agree with diplomatically tactful approaches. The growing capitalism in their country, the growing internet population, and the passing of the old guard is making steady progress.

This is a country that is opening up slowly to the rest of the world, and the closer we get (in terms of economic contagion etc) the most influence we have on them. I like the kid gloves approach, the more they are lured out of the cocoon the better life will be for their citizens, including the Tibetans.

Tibet's not going to get independence, and they aren't going to become an autonomous enclave like the "middle way" either. But I bet that within my lifetime they will get more personal freedoms and I think the best we can do to accelerate that is to bring them closer instead of pushing them away.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2009 09:28 pm
Thanks to both of you, I'm learning a lot with your exchanges.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2009 09:28 pm
@talk72000,
Sorry, I missed your last post earlier on, so I'll respond now. In your initial post here you suggested (I think) that I was ignoring/overlooking Australia's human rights issues with our indigenous people & also criticizing the Chinese, based on racism. If you have the time & the inclination to trawl through my posts on this site, I think you'll find than this isn't the case at all. I often post here about human rights concerns in my own country, as well as in other countries. This particular thread is a discussion about Obama's decision not to meet with the Dalai Lama. That was the subject I was addressing here. I don't think the Dalai Lama is particularly "cool", either. But I respect & support his position on the human rights of Tibetan Buddhists.
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2009 10:50 pm
@msolga,
I am not a regular poster here. I am more like a hit-n-run kind of guy. I don't spend too much time here as I have other things to do. I seldom look at other posters profile except when those who are extremely knowledgeable whether pro or con regarding my views. I don't check their views either only what I encounter in topics that I post. I am neither on the right nor the left. Some issues I may be right of center and on others left of center and occasionally in the extreme position. I only put my two cents' worth so it doesn't necessarily mean I am right nor wrong it just means that is the view I hold at that moment subject to review if incorrect. Most of what I compose I do it right off the bat not doing too much research unless it warrants it when it is very complicated. As for checking your views why should I? I seldom ever see you post in topics I find interesting except in China on which your views I already know. My impression is that you are well intentioned but misguided maybe cute but annoying.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2009 10:54 pm
@talk72000,
Well, if you are going to make allegations about a poster's motives for a particular point of view, it certainly helps if get your facts straight!

... & if you don't agree with my perspective, you argue against it.
It's that simple.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Oct, 2009 01:45 am
@talk72000,
talk72000 wrote:

. . . maybe cute but annoying.


If somebody said that about you, I could confirm at least half the statement.
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2009 11:25 pm
@roger,
I know I am annoying. It is just my two cents worth. It is your option to read or ignore my posts. Nobody is holding a gun to your head.
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2009 11:36 pm
@msolga,
You seem to show special animus towards China whose government I totally disagree with. However, you ignore the history of China and that Tibet is part of China. You are sort of giving support to a separatist which could lead to the break up of China. You are in a way advocating violence against a country. Separatist only want violence and you aid and abet them by giving moral support to a devious but carefully crafted campaign. Dalai Lama is no holy man.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2009 11:48 pm
@talk72000,
Sure it's part of China. That's ancient history, going back to their invasion in the '50s.

msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Oct, 2009 12:00 am
@roger,
Since when did "ancient history" mean more than fairly recent history? And since when did "ancient history" over-ride human rights considerations?

Whether the (Buddhist) Tibetans have been treated fairly by the Chinese authorities is the issue.

0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Oct, 2009 12:11 am
@talk72000,
Quote:
I know I am annoying. It is just my two cents worth. It is your option to read or ignore my posts. Nobody is holding a gun to your head


You may be "cute" Wink , but your "arguments" have hardly been compelling, so far.

And I don't feel at all as if anyone is "holding a gun to my head" at all in this discussion. What a strange thing to say. Confused

Your posts don't worry me in the slightest. I just wish you had more to say about the issue & less about me.
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Oct, 2009 12:23 am
@roger,
It is a part of China regardless which party is in control. I would have preferred the other party but we make do with what there is. United States would not tolerate any country interfering with the affairs of any South American country let alone giving support to leftover Confederates. China would not tolerate any outsider aiding and abetting separatists regardless of the mask they wear as autonomists.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Oct, 2009 12:27 am
@talk72000,
My interpretation of events is different to yours.

I accept that Tibet is "part of China" as you say, because apparently there there is no real option of independence for the Tibetan people. The Tibetans really have no choice but to accept Chinese rule. The question (as I have said before on this thread) is how much autonomy the Tibetans can achieve under Chinese rule?

I totally disagree with your assertion that "separatist(s) only want violence". Why would anyone want to live like that? I'd suggest that they want a greater degree of freedom under Chinese rule, in what they consider to be their own country.
0 Replies
 
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Oct, 2009 12:32 am
@msolga,
I must apologize to you for my jugular style of argument. I am so used to arguing with right-wingers that I have to adjust my style with someone like you.

Dalai Lama is going against Buddhism whose principles are to remove passions and worldly matters and to focus on enlightment. He has given himself to political passions as he is the head of a theocratic regime. Theocracy and Buddhism do not go together as they invite opposing goals. Dalai Lama cannot be a true Buddhist.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Oct, 2009 12:40 am
@talk72000,
Quote:
United States would not tolerate any country interfering with the affairs of any South American country


Unless it is actually the US, of course! (Jeez, roger, have you really no idea of what's been going on? )

Check out the fairly recent history of Chile, Guatemala, El Salvador ....& god knows how many other countries. Check out CIA activity in those countries & US interference in their internal affairs & check out how much concern was actually shown for local South American concerns.

The US has looked after it's own interests in these countries.

roger
 
  0  
Reply Tue 13 Oct, 2009 01:32 am
@msolga,
msolga wrote:

[ (Jeez, roger, have you really no idea of what's been going on? )




I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

By the way, we have an analgesic here called Tiger Balm. The packaging proudly proclaims it to be an "Ancient Chinese Cure" going back almost a hundred years. That might, but probably won't give you some idea of what I think of the use of the word "ancient" in almost any context.

Actually, I don't think I want to know what you are talking about.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Oct, 2009 01:32 am
@talk72000,
Talk,

Can I ask where you live, so I can perhaps understand from what perspective you concerns are coming from?

I will tell you a little about my own situation & political perspective. I'm an Australian woman who has a strong commitment to human rights. Perhaps my ideals have been influenced by my own personal history. I was the child of refugees from war & displacement, who were unable to return to their own country because of (very) likely persecution.

I live in a very muticultural Australian community (which I love!) full of "natural-born" Australians, Lebanese (Muslims & Christians), etc, Turks, Greeks, Italians, Indians, etc, etc, etc ... Somehow we all get on, day to day, quite harmoniously. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else, really. I also teach in very multicultural schools. I've done so for most of my working life.

My interest in Tibet is very much an interest based on my concern for human rights issues. My main concern is the impact of political positions of the powerful on the lives of ordinary people, whatever the country they live in. I have been as critical of the leaders of my own country, about policies which have affected people adversely, as I have been of the Chinese government, on the issue of Tibet. But I am also concerned about the welfare of the people of Burma, Sri Lanka, Fiji, the people of so many other countries. I did not support my government's involvement in the invasion of Iraq, nor do I believe that we should be involved in Afghanistan.

You could called my politics as "left", I suppose, but really, these days I'm more inclined to support any initiative from any political party, or body , which supports good outcomes for the people who need support.

OK. So I hope this helps you understand a little about who I am & who you are speaking to, Talk. Does this information this help?
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Oct, 2009 01:45 am
@roger,
Humblest of humble apologies, Roger! Embarrassed Sad
That was a comment from one of Talk's posts I responded to, thinking it was yours! My only (not quite adequate ) explanation is that I've been trying to respond to a number of different posts on this thread in a pretty short time, one after another, & mistook this comment for yours. Sorry, sincere apologies, Roger. I feel quite awful. Sad
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Oct, 2009 01:47 am
@msolga,
I just gave that post of mine a thumbs down!
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Oct, 2009 01:47 am
@roger,
roger wrote:

Sure it's part of China. That's ancient history, going back to their invasion in the '50s.




Hallefuckingluljah.
0 Replies
 
 

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