Monday, March 17, 2008

Tibet's challenge to Bush-Cheney

by Professor M.D. Nalapat

UPI: Published: March 17, 2008
Excerpt --
The Bush-Cheney genuflection toward Beijing in matters concerning Tibet, Taiwan and other issues that may reduce the flow of profits into the treasuries of favored corporations has created a cynicism about U.S. policy in East Asia that is reaching the levels of that in the Middle East. However, even the current U.S. administration, together with other China-friendly governments such as those in Ottawa and Canberra, may find it difficult to ignore their own public opinion.

White U.S. voters, by backing Barack Obama in large numbers, have shown that the world's First Civilization is transforming itself from within, from exclusivism to inclusivism, from racial values to human values. This transformation may in time even affect the present Mugabist -- frankly racist -- policies of the European Union.

Had China been a democracy, it might have designed a system of governance that would coopt the Tibetan people into a Greater China without forcing them to abandon their culture, traditions and religious beliefs. However, the Han-driven nationalist ideology of the CCP leaves President Hu Jintao scant room for maneuver. His own stint in Tibet in 1988-89 marked a departure from some of the more culturally sensitive views expressed by Mao Zedong.

Even if many in Xinjiang follow the example of indigenous Tibetans and go out into the streets to protest Han domination, the authorities in Beijing will still be able to damp the situation down to a "safe" level. The real nightmare scenario for Beijing would be if Christians in the rest of China, perhaps also other groups such as the Falun Gong, decided to follow the Tibet example and convert the streets of China's urban centers to the present chaos of Lhasa. Such a spread of indigenous unrest into the Han population might prove uncontrollable, unless economic growth expanded beyond even the present impressive levels.

By failing to fashion political institutions that can accommodate the needs of people of faith, the CCP may have created the conditions for a Bamboo Revolution that could lead to a repeat of what happened to the Communist Party in the Soviet Union. It may seem a far cry from the current triumphalism in Beijing to the meltdown that occurred in Moscow or Bucharest -- but the gongs in Tibet may have begun sounding that dirge.

As for Bush-Cheney, after repeatedly certifying Pakistan's dictator Pervez Musharraf as the First Democrat of his country, it should not pose much of a problem to claim similar qualities in Hu Jintao -- who in Tibet may be facing a challenge that will make the protests of 1989 look like a schoolyard drill.

--(Professor M.D. Nalapat is vice-chair of the Manipal Advanced Research Group, UNESCO Peace Chair, and professor of geopolitics at Manipal University. ©Copyright M.D. Nalapat.)

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008


Nikola versus The Sphere said...

I am grateful for the existence of this Blog.

Joe said...

I support a boycott of the 2008 Olympics but deplore the notion that all of this has to tie in some how to Barak Obama's campaign. That you would parlay this into some back-handed endorsement of his candidacy is disappointing.

Lee said...

Hi there,

My name is Lee Ing, and I know Canada will not be boycotting the 2008 Olympics' in Beijing even with all the Human Rights issues going on. I understand that this is a great time for many athletes and countries around the world. However, the human rights are falling apart in China especially after this last week of protests and killing of innocent people for only voicing there opinions. From bans to youtubes and issues over killing protesters. Now it is very unlikely for a country to boycott the Olympics, but I would offer a proposal of maybe having the athletes of Canada wear a badge on there uniform to help human rights similar to maybe badges that help support breast cancer and other events. I think if you could gain enough support through other countries like USA, UK, France, Italy, Russia and other large nations I think it would be a considerable compromise to having a large country boycott the Olympics. Please let me know what you think, and if this would be a good idea. Now, I know myself I have always been a big fan of the Olympics and I feel they are a great success for countries around the world. With the human rights issues in China, I will be boycotting watching the Olympic games here in Canada.

Thank you,

Lee Ing

MaKina said...

I think whoever takes the high road of justice and morality right now toward Communist China deserves much respect for their boldness. To condemn China's evil ways is more effective than having those dialogues that have not accomplished a thing for decades as we've all witnessed.

A more different and maybe more direct approach seems to be something the politicos ought to try some day soon. God only knows that they have the power to do so.

But, do they have the guts to do it?

If they don't do it, then athletes will have to speak out and rock stars, as civilians are getting hurt in a big way in trying to resolve the problem on their own.

I think it will take more than a yellow ribbon to get China's attention this time. It's time to pull another Tommie Smith!