China blasts US accusation on response to Tibet strife

Discussion in 'China' started by Ray, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    China blasts US accusation on response to Tibet strife

    BEIJING -- China on Friday blasted a U.S. statement accusing Beijing of responding to a string of self-immolations by Tibetans with tightened controls over their freedom of religion, expression and assembly.

    Maria Otero, a U.S. undersecretary of state and special coordinator for Tibetan Issues, said Wednesday that the U.S. government had consistently urged China to address policies in Tibetan areas, including “increasingly severe government controls” on Tibetan Buddhist religious practice, arbitrary detentions, and the use of force against Tibetans seeking to exercise their rights.

    Her statement called on the Chinese government to allow Tibetans to express their grievances “without fear of retribution.”

    Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei denied Otero's claims Friday and said that China had expressed its strong dissatisfaction to the U.S. over the statement, saying Washington should stop using Tibet to meddle in China's internal affairs.

    “Tibetan people's rights to participate in political affairs, use the Tibetan language, maintain their traditional culture and religious freedom have all been duly protected like other people's in China,” he said. “Tibetan people's freedom of expression and assembly and association are protected by the constitution.”

    Activists say at least 86 Tibetans have set themselves on fire since 2009 in dramatic protests against authoritarian Chinese rule. Tibet and surrounding ethnically Tibetan regions have been closed off to most outsiders, and firsthand information from the areas is extremely difficult to obtain.

    Hong repeated China's position blaming the Tibetans' spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, and his supporters for inciting the immolations and using it “as an opportunity to attack China's ethnic and religious policies.”

    “Inciting self-immolations is Dalai's way to realize his separatist political scheme,” said Hong. “It's also the most cruel and inhumane criminal activity.”

    Hong said that in the past 30 years Tibetan areas had seen “leap frog development ... and a great improvement in human rights.” He said Tibetans' political rights, language, religious freedom are fully protected.

    China blasts US accusation on response to Tibet strife - The China Post

    ***************************

    Given the manner in which the Tibetans are defying all efforts of the Chinese to 'assimilate' them into the Han culture and becoming Chinese, the Chinese have no other option but to tolerate the Tibetan adamant attitude in preserving the Tibetan culture, customs, tradition. language, religion and so on.

    The latest is that 90 Tibetans have burnt themselves up in protest to the Chinese atrocities being perpetuated on them to force them to become Han.

    I wonder if such a powerful country as China should complain that a frail old man like the Dalai Lama can shake China or destabilise it. I don't think that the aged Dalai Lama can match the power and repression of the Han Chinese Govt and the ever increasing Han population in Tibet and Xinjiang.

    In so far as the US comments, it is merely lip service.

    If indeed China allowed “Tibetan people's rights to participate in political affairs, use the Tibetan language, maintain their traditional culture and religious freedom have all been duly protected like other people's in China,” he said. “Tibetan people's freedom of expression and assembly and association are protected by the constitution”, then there would be:

    1. No reasons for protests.

    2. No reason to quake and quail at the very name of the aged and frail Dalai Lama.

    3. Sanitise Tibet whenever there are these incidents and not allow anyone to enter Tibet and force outsiders to leave!
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012
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  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Here is the Chinese reaction to the Tibetans.

    ********************************

    Chinese police accuse monk of inciting immolations

    BEIJING--Police detained a monk and his nephew in China's Sichuan province and accused them of instigating the self-immolations of eight ethnic Tibetans on the instructions of the Dalai Lama and his followers, state media said Sunday.

    The report in the official Xinhua News Agency did not detail what evidence police had of the exiled Buddhist spiritual leader's involvement — which was denied by the self-declared Tibetan government-in-exile in northern India.

    The report cited a police statement as saying that confessions and an investigation showed that the detained monk, Lorang Konchok , 40, from Kirti Monastery in Sichuan's Aba county, kept in frequent contact with supporters of the Dalai Lama overseas and had recruited eight volunteers for self-immolations since 2009, telling them they would be “heroes.” Three of the protesters died, the report said.

    It said Lorang Konchok collected photos and personal information of volunteers who agreed to go ahead with the protests.

    “He also promised to spread their 'deeds' abroad so they and their families would be acknowledged and honored,” the police statement said, according to Xinhua.

    The monk's nephew, Lorang Tsering, 31, helped recruit volunteers and also was arrested, the report said.

    Activists say more than 90 ethnic Tibetans have set themselves on fire since 2009 in dramatic protests against authoritarian Chinese rule. Chinese officials have called the protests “cruel and inhuman” and sought to blame them on the Dalai Lama and other instigators, while activists call them home-grown expressions of desperation over oppression. The Dalai Lama has said he opposes all violence.

    The Tibetan government-in-exile, based in Dharmsala, India, said it “strongly denied” any accusations of involvement by its representatives or the Dalai Lama.

    “We believe that (the suspects) have been forced to make these confessions,” spokesman Lobsang Choedak said. “We would welcome the Chinese government investigating whether we are instigating these immolations.”

    Police in Sichuan declined to comment on the case.

    Tibet and surrounding ethnically Tibetan regions have been closed off to most outsiders, and firsthand information from the areas is extremely difficult to obtain.

    The Chinese government says it has improved the well-being of Tibetan areas through rapid economic development over the past 30 years, but Tibetan activists complain that their culture, language and Buddhist religion are under threat.

    The United States last week accused Beijing of responding to the self-immolations by tightening controls over freedom of religion, expression and assembly in Tibetan areas, drawing an angry response from Beijing, which said those freedoms were guaranteed under the Chinese Constitution.

    Chinese police accuse monk of inciting immolations - The China Post

    ***********************************

    Confessions in a country that has no Human Rights commission is well understood.

    Communists have their own ways.

    The Al Jazeera sting on the Chinese Laogai (prison) is an adequate case in point about 'happiness' that prisoners enjoy under such 'wonderful' conditions that aims not to be a prison but 'educating and reforming people through labour'.
     
  4. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    US China policy is becoming more Tibet focus than in the past. Suprised
    Obama giving so much attention to the Tibetans. But the recent suicides
    is attracting a lot of international attention.
     
  5. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    That is what is upsetting the Chinese.

    Too much of international attention to incidents they want to sweep under the carpet.
     
  6. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    The more they sweep the more attention the situation gets.
     
  7. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Actually I feel sorry for the Chinese.

    They don't see the writing on the wall.

    If only Tibet and Xinjiang are given their legitimate desire to preserve their identity and religion, then things would be normal.

    But the Han arrogance overpowers them thinking that the Han culture has no comparison and is the only solution to all ills.

    The Hans, all said and done, indicate their silliness through this misplaced arrogance!
     
  8. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    The plan to marginalize the Tibetans has failed miserably even after many Han Chinese
    relocated to Tibet.
     
  9. Impluseblade

    Impluseblade Regular Member

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    These people sacrifice themselves to draw attentions from two oversea Indians who have never been to Tibet and have no clues on what is actually happening in that region. They did die in vain.
     
  10. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Who are the two overseas Indians?
     
  11. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Shed some light on what is happening??
     
  12. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    I don't see Chinese or Chinese gov is upset by this.

    USA is doing its regular accusation by lip work and China is doing its regular denial by lip work.

    Too much of international attention? Oh, yes, all by mouth!

    Since 2008, we already have 4 years, what action did this "international attention" lead to?

    Another "international concern".

    If india can feel comfortable with international attention to Kashmir, then Chinese won't be upset by "international attention" either.
     
  13. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    No the Chinese govt is never upset.

    They have their Public Security to upset the people!
     
  14. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    Unfortunately, the Chinese people stand with Govt on this issue.

    So, it seems that only exiled Tibetan and our indians friends are upset.
     
  15. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    They have no option.

    Laogai!

    And the Chinese justice system is nothing to write home about!

    It is not the Tibetan and Indians who are upset, the whole world except China is!

    Here is something from Hong Kong for Tibet.

    A HONG KONG-STYLE SOLUTION FOR TIBET?

    When British rule ended in Hong Kong 11 years ago, local anxieties about living under a communist-led government had been eased by the promise of autonomy. Determined to retrieve all of China’s lost territories, Beijing had made the same offer to Taiwan and was promptly rebuffed. Critics asked why anyone should trust such a promise that had also been made to the Tibetans and other non-Han Chinese ethnic minorities soon after the Communist government was established in 1949. All soon found themselves fully integrated within the new political system under Beijing’s centralized rule.

    Taiwan continues to resist but Britain could do no more than demand guarantees for Hong Kong. Autonomy was formalized in negotiations between London and Beijing during the 1980s and written into Hong Kong’s new Basic Law mini-constitution, which was promulgated in 1990. As a Special Administrative Region of China, Hong Kong would enjoy a “high degree of autonomy,” popularized under the slogan “one-country, two-systems.” The promise even came with a 50-year guarantee (Basic Law, Article 5). China’s communist-led political system would not be introduced and the local way of life, including all its inherited rights and freedoms, would remain unchanged for 50 years from 1997 when Hong Kong reverted to Chinese sovereignty.

    Some observers of Tibet’s ongoing resistance are now invoking this Hong Kong model as a pragmatic solution, mid-way between the demand of Tibetan radicals for independence and the Chinese government’s hard-line imposition of its will. This renewed interest followed the latest upsurge of Tibetan protest last March. In Hong Kong, human rights lawyer Paul Harris stated the case for a mid-way solution. He noted the conceptual similarities between Beijing’s 1951 agreement on the future of Tibet and Hong Kong’s Basic Law. The agreement had granted Tibetans “regional autonomy under the unified leadership of the Central People’s Government,” and promised that the central authorities “will not alter the existing political system in Tibet” or alter the status of its leader, the Dalai Lama.1

    The difference, noted Harris, was that Hong Kong’s Basic Law has since 1997 been largely observed whereas the newly victorious communist government soon began reneging on its promise to the Tibetans. The promise was abandoned after their 1959 revolt, which precipitated the Dalai Lama’s flight to India where his government-in-exile has remained ever since. “If Tibet had Hong Kong’s autonomy,” wrote Harris, “the political situation would be transformed.”2 Malcolm Rifkind offered the same advice. He was Britain’s foreign secretary during Hong Kong’s anxious pre-1997 years and now looks with satisfaction at the end result of so much controversy. The best option, he maintains, is for Tibet to be granted cultural freedom and political autonomy like that “currently enjoyed by Hong Kong and Macau.”3

    Tibet: Backward toward autonomy

    The only problem with using Hong Kong as a model solution is that the idea has been raised many times before, and rejected just as often by the Chinese government. The reasons are worth noting both for what they say about the state of governance in Tibet and the state of Hong Kong’s evolving autonomy today. The most authoritative presentation of the idea occurred in 1987 and 1988, when the Dalai Lama took his case to America and Europe. His five-point proposal presented to the United States Congressional Human Rights Caucus in September 1987 called for, among other things, democratic freedoms to be established in Tibet where all political power was monopolized by communist party officials. 4

    Hong Kong’s Basic Law was being drafted at this time and its well-publicized essentials were more clearly apparent in the revised version of his proposal that the Dalai Lama presented in an address to the European Parliament on June 15, 1988. Known as the Strasbourg proposal, it called for a basic law constitution that would grant Tibetans the genuine right to manage their own affairs via democratic institutions of government.5 Beijing rejected all the points of both proposals. Specifically on the one-country, two-systems aspect -- meaning enclaves of Western-style democratic autonomy within the Chinese state -- Beijing’s answers have remained the same since 1982 when the Tibetans first mentioned the possibility. It would mean a step backward, said the Chinese, because Tibet had already been integrated into China’s unified political system. 6 By proposing a “Western capitalist political system,” the Dalai Lama was trying to “negate the system of people’s congresses … and negate the superior socialist system established in Tibet.”7

    Beijing continues to explain that Hong Kong and Macau were colonies under foreign rule and the one-country, two-systems formula was designed to bring them back into the national fold, whereas Tibet is now governed within the socialist state system led by the Chinese Communist Party.8 The implications are never spelled out but in Hong Kong the pressures toward Chinese-style one-size-fits-all governance are already clear and present. Consequently, present-day champions of a Hong Kong-style solution for Tibet should be careful what they ask for because Hong Kong’s autonomy is not a permanent condition to be enjoyed in perpetuity. It is instead like the proverbial river that can never be crossed twice. The Basic Law as promulgated in 1990 is already not the same as the Basic Law in practice today and, if present trends continue, the result will be a Tibet-style political ending for Hong Kong rather than vice versa.

    Hong Kong: Forward toward integration

    Initially, the goal of political integration was not spelled out, nor was it even mentioned. On the contrary, the Basic Law promised ongoing political reform toward fully elected local government. Hong Kong democrats even had visions of projecting their cause across the 1997 divide into China itself and by 2047, people reasoned, China’s dictatorship would surely have succumbed to the lure of prevailing democratic world trends. Most prominent among that first generation of democratic idealists was Martin Lee Chu-ming. He liked to cite the 1988 musings of China’s then-paramount leader Deng Xiaoping who said that the 50-year guarantee might be extended for another 50 years. 9

    Today, just a decade into the first 50 years, democrats are on the defensive even in Hong Kong and everything possible has been done to erect a firewall against cross-border democratic contamination. Martin Lee announced his retirement from electoral politics in March and local pundits immediately began heralding the end of an era. Ordinarily one person’s departure does not spell doom for so popular a cause. But the pressures for political integration within an unreformed Chinese political system are now unmistakable in Hong Kong where Tibetan grievances strike many familiar cords.

    Official Chinese vilification of the Dalai Lama as a “wolf in monk’s clothing,” has been criticized even by some in China as “Cultural Revolution” hyperbole. The reference is to China’s 1966-76 Cultural Revolution when radical mass movement rhetoric was at its height. Yet Martin Lee and his colleagues have been subjected to similar diatribes for over a decade. “Traitor,” “quisling,” and “running dog of American imperialism” are among the favorite epithets, and Hong Kongers who presume to criticize such language are themselves excoriated in similar terms. Like the Dalai Lama, Lee and others are also routinely charged with advocating Hong Kong’s independence, although neither he nor anyone else in Hong Kong has ever done so.
    What Lee has done is advocate Western-style democracy for both Hong Kong and China, which in Beijing’s view is tantamount to advocating the overthrow of the current Chinese government. Like the Dalai Lama, Lee also infuriates Beijing by making frequent travels abroad where he urges Americans and Europeans to speak out for his cause. The traitor placards came out most recently over Lee’s Wall Street Journal article last October. He had urged world leaders to press their Chinese counterparts on the issue of human rights ahead of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.10

    The Push Toward a Single System

    Beyond name-calling and the intricate exercise of political logic are subtle legal changes as the grey areas in Hong Kong’s Basic Law are colored in by formal Beijing interpretations that push Hong Kong inexorably toward one-system integration. For example, evolutionary changes leading to full universal suffrage elections for the chief executive were only to be approved by Beijing (Basic Law, Annex I), and those for Hong Kong’s local legislature were supposed to be a matter for Hong Kong and its legislature to decide on their own (Basic Law, Annex II). The latter point was twice categorically affirmed by official Chinese statements in the 1990s. The appointment of senior officials also seemed a local prerogative under several relevant Basic Law articles. Democrats treated these legal promises as the best means of safeguarding their objectives.

    On each point, however, Beijing has since 2004 emphatically asserted and exerted its power to decide. Reflecting the so-called misunderstandings on these points, the Hong Kong government’s Green Paper on Constitutional Development, issued in July 2007, stated as bluntly as possible that China is governed as a “unitary state”; that Hong Kong has no “residual powers”; that it cannot decide local political structures on its own; and that even if a chief executive is elected, the power of the central government to appoint an individual to that post is “substantive and not a formality.” These assertions culminated in Beijing’s December 2007 decision delaying full universal suffrage elections for the chief executive and the legislature until 2017 and 2020, respectively. The dates are described as being half-way through Hong Kong’s 50-year transition.11 The question of extending its safeguards for Hong Kong’s rights and freedoms beyond 2047 is no longer mentioned.

    The intent seems clear. By that mid-way point, Martin Lee’s British-trained generation will be gone and his successors will presumably have mastered their political lessons since promoting “national patriotic education” has become a top Hong Kong government priority, and is proclaimed as such both by Hong Kong’s current chief executive, Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, and by his new Secretary for Home Affairs Tsang Tak-sing (no relation). In unguarded moments, local pro-Beijing partisans are more forthright. They equate national awareness education with communist party rule, which they say Hong Kongers must learn to accept before they can win the right to elect their local government. Half the 60-seat legislature is currently elected by universal suffrage. Pro-democracy candidates have won majorities at this level since direct elections were introduced in 1991. Their margins of victory are nevertheless shrinking as Beijing loyalists begin to master the tricks of the trade, which suggests why loyalists think that time and increasing doses of national-identity education will benefit them. Electioneering skills like computer technology can be put to many uses.

    Similarly, Beijing is often said to be waiting for the Dalai Lama’s demise in the hope that successor generations will be more receptive to the dictates of Chinese rule. Hence the difference in this respect between Tibet and Hong Kong seems more of degree than of kind. In Tibet, the old hard-line approach to political study is still being enforced. Euphemistically referred to in Cultural Revolution days as study classes (xuexi ban), they included struggle sessions against those going against the official line of the day. In Tibet, monks are reportedly required to disavow the Dalai Lama openly before their study class peers.12 Except for the demonization of Martin Lee and a few others, Hong Kong remains in the soft-power stage but civil servants will henceforth be required to pass tests in order to show they have mastered their Basic Law studies. Additionally, national patriotic education is being prepared for multiple venues targeting media workers, students, teachers and the public at large. 13

    Meanwhile, only those who conform to the new standards of political correctness are eligible for appointments to councils and committees and departments all up and down the line. This development is epitomized by the new Secretary of Home Affairs, appointed in July 2007, since he himself is a long-time pro-Beijing loyalist and the first to hold a leading position in Hong Kong’s government. Local pro-Beijing partisans celebrate this appointment, saying it has established a bridgehead for Beijing within the Hong Kong government itself.

    Tsang Tak-sing’s Home Affairs department oversees the work of Hong Kong’s 18 District Councils, which are now dominated by pro-Beijing and pro-government councilors who could easily affect a “take-over from below” should the proposal to let them elect legislators be adopted. 14 From above, the Chinese custom of overlapping positions is already in place. Almost a third of Hong Kong’s 60 legislators, or 18 to be exact, now occupy comparable seats within the Chinese people’s congress system, including both the National People’s Congress and its parallel honorary body the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.15 This is the same indirectly elected party-led people’s congress system that Beijing has defended so staunchly in its rejection of the Dalai Lama’s proposals for Tibetan autonomy. Hong Kong’s two-hat legislators are all either pro-Beijing or pro-government, sometimes now referred to as a composite “pro-establishment.” All were vetted, selected, and appointed to the national bodies by mainland procedures.

    National security legislation, with all its multiple safeguards against the subversion of state power by word or deed, is likely to be reintroduced soon. This legislation, mandated by Article 23 of the Basic Law, was withdrawn after it provoked a sudden upsurge of dissent on July 1, 2003, when half-a-million people took to the streets in protest. Insiders report that Donald Tsang hopes to see the national security legislation passed before his term ends in 2012.16 In retrospect, that 2003 protest march seems to have been the functional equivalent, albeit non-violent, of Tibet’s 1959 rebellion since Beijing was similarly shocked to discover the extent of local disaffection. Until July 2003, Beijing had continued to repeat the assurances of its Hong Kong representatives that opposition was confined to only a few misguided democratic elements. Beijing’s more overt efforts to influence Hong Kong political life date from mid-2003. Partisans call it exerting leadership; compromise with an opposition movement in the exercise of power is not part of Beijing’s political lexicon.

    Finally, unlike Tibet, the unrestricted migration of mainlanders into Hong Kong is not allowed. But something similar will be achieved if current plans go forward to liberalize cross-border economic integration and population flows between Hong Kong and its Shenzhen neighbor. Since “the border with Shenzhen will disappear anyway in 2047,” editorialized Hong Kong’s main English-language newspaper, we may as well be prepared.17 Political aspects can be left until “later,” say enthusiastic promoters. Nor are those aspects lost on the Hong Kong government. Insiders joke that the plan for a cross-border mega-city would finally solve the universal suffrage problem by creating a mass of patriotic voters sure to swamp local democratic candidates once and for all.18


    Hong Kong’s experience thus illustrates not so much the possibilities for autonomy within the Chinese state as its seemingly instinctive impulse toward a one-size-fits-all pattern of governance. Those looking for solutions in the one-country, two-systems model should see it more realistically as a transitional formula designed to facilitate eventual merger with its Chinese parent. The more urgent question then becomes what if anything will remain of Hong Kong’s inherited rights and freedoms by 2047, and who will be left to defend them.


    http://www.hkjournal.org/archive/2008_fall/3.htm
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012
  16. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Analogy to Kashmir is not accurate to Tibet. Kashmir has always been part of India and
    Tibet was always an independent nation before the annexation by china.
     
  17. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    Well, on both issues, there is always someones having different opinion from India and China!
     
  18. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    This is convenient but completely wrong. There is no Chinese gov need to push forward for this kind issue with force. Chinese support their gov's effort to keep tibet in China as much as Indians support their gov's stance on Kashmir!

    You can't compare Hongkong to Tibet: Hongkong need Mainland's business instead of subsidies while Tibet need hugh amount of subsidies from central gov each year. This weak financial position decides that you don't have much negotiation power on political issues!
     

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