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Screw Tibet

I was halfway through a piece mocking those who are protesting the travels of the Olympic torch on its way around the world to Beijing, but I had to trash it. I was going to lambaste them for raising their concerns now, and not back when it was still possible to deny the Games to China in the first place. I even was comparing it to the "concerns" people have about the Democratic presidential primary, when they've suddenly discovered the role of the superdelegates (so secretly that the system has been in place for decades) now that it finally matters.

Then it struck me: this isn't about the Olympics, and keeping them safe from China. This is about sticking it to China. The Olympics are merely the excuse to do so now, and so publicly.

And it is so well deserved.

But to expand on my title, let's not make this about "Free Tibet!" That's too small, too penny-ante.

Why not "Free China?"

The most populous nation on earth is a brutally oppressive dictatorship. Roughly one out of every six human beings alive today lives at the whim of the tyrants of Beijing.

And their callous disregard for the lives of their own slaves is matched by their contempt for the lives of those who they don't own. How many Chinese-made products have been recalled in the last couple of years when it turned out that they were dangerous -- if not lethal -- to us? To our pets? To our children?

Meanwhile, on the island of Taiwan, the last remnants of the people who fought the Communists for control of China have built a democratic, capitalist empire out of almost nothing. As their reward, we have let China bully the world into denying them their rights -- China took over their seat at the United Nations and forced its way on to the Security Council, and threatens dire repercussions to any nation that dares to refer to Taiwan in anything that resembles favorable terms.

So I say to those who are protesting the Olympic torch, "go for it." Humiliate those thugs and murderers who keep the people of China enslaved. Expose their brutalities. Shine a light on their dark deeds -- not just those in Tibet and Darfur, but everywhere.

They wanted to bask in the world's spotlight, so let them.

I got a hunch they won't be able to stand the heat. They've already indicated they intend to keep a tight fist on any and all information that comes out of the Games. Let's just see how that Great Firewall stands against the power of the world's informed citizenry.


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Comments (26)

Just one problem - "Free Ch... (Below threshold)

Just one problem - "Free China" doesn't imply "Screw Tibet". Bad title dude...

Moreover, don't forget that the Chinese inhabitants of Taiwan (the ones who arrived with Chiang) have done to Taiwanese (a different ethnicity altogether) what the Chinese in Red China have done to the Tibetans. The Taiwanese don't want Red China taking over their homeland but they're none-too-happy about Chiang's Chinese having already taken over their homeland. The Taiwanese are second-class citizens in their own country - Chiang personally saw to it that their own language and culture were repressed and replaced.

NB many of the ethnic Chinese in Taiwan want to rejoin China. If Chiang Ching-kuo and Lee Teng-hui hadn't increased the ethnic Taiwanese participation in the Taiwanese government since the 1980s, Taiwan might have already folded.

Taiwan may be the next Pres... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Taiwan may be the next President's nightmare. The communist Chinese are planning to take back Taiwan by force, but not before Bush leaves office. China is rapidly building its military forces and also knows it can cause great economic harm to the U.S. We've given them that power, both military and economic in exchange for cheap goods. Will the U.S. go to war with China over Taiwan? There was a time when we would have, but it's evident to the world that the U.S. no longer has the stomach to risk much for principle or the freedom of others. If the Taiwanese are smart they'll negotiate a peaceful surrender while they can still get terms. The world will see that a nation of shoppers can no longer guarantee the freedoms it once did when it was a nation of produces.

Great piece! Even better ma... (Below threshold)
Tharms:

Great piece! Even better marketing with the title!

As much as China wants to e... (Below threshold)
John F Not Kerry:

As much as China wants to embargo things that make them look bad, especially during the olympics, there is just too much technology out there in too many hands to keep everything hush-hush. Tianenmen Square was just 19 years ago, and we have come a long way from there even if the Chicoms haven't.

NB many of the ethnic Ch... (Below threshold)
Clay:

NB many of the ethnic Chinese in Taiwan want to rejoin China.

Uhm...I challenge that. I spend about 50% of my time in Taiwan and have never seen a stronger resolve. They are a little disappointed in the rest of the world folding. You got stats?

there is just too much t... (Below threshold)
Clay:

there is just too much technology out there in too many hands to keep everything hush-hush.

While I mostly agree with what you say, I will add that it's simple things that can make the difference. I was in Shanghai and Suzhou from the 15th through the 25th of last month. All news that displayed a negative view of the Chinese reaction to Tibet was just blanked. I'd be watching CNN (that's all I could find, go figure) and see 30 seconds of blank screen every once in awhile. YouTube was blocked. Nothing on the radio except pieces critical of those pesky Tibetans that started the whole thing (Imagine desiring freedom. Tsk, tsk). Censorship is real and resides in China.

When I stood in Tiananmen S... (Below threshold)
mantis:

When I stood in Tiananmen Square on the 15th anniversary of the democracy protests, it was eerily quiet. Not so inconspicuous cops both in uniform and out patrolled the square, ready to quickly disband any protests and whisk away the offenders. Whether they were necessary at all or their presence had a deterring effect I don't know, but I did not see a single visual sign of recognition of those fateful days on their anniversary.

I remember thinking that in four years the world's eyes would be on China, and she will not be able to hide her atrocities, both past and present, so easily. I figured that the Olympics would be the best opportunity for a spotlight to be shined on the actions of China that have been overshadowed by the country's economic reforms, and I figured that Tibet would be central to this (Darfur, of course, was not on the radar yet).

It took longer than I expected, but I'm glad to see this is coming to pass. I hope the protests grow louder and louder over the coming months, and the world is made aware of China's behavior, especially in Tibet and with other ethnic minorities in China. I hope some countries are willing to give real official protest and boycott the games, and not just the opening ceremony.

Clearly, you have no idea w... (Below threshold)
Feng:

Clearly, you have no idea what you are talking about. This Olympics is for the chinese people. This olympics is not about the gov't but about the people. The chicom gov't might want to make it about them and the Western press might want to make it about them.

But it's not, it's about the 1 in 6 people in the world that you are talking about. It's about this group of people not wanting to be treated as the morally inferior anymore.

Humiliate the thugs? The only thing it does is humiliate yourself. It only allows the public to hate the West more. It only robs ordinary Chinese people of the one chance in their lifetime when they get to be thankful of the fact that they are Chinese. If you can't understand this, you should speak to some Chinese people first. (real ones, not the 2nd or 3rd generation ABCs).

As for this ethnic issue, if you haven't done your homework and realized both of the two separatist groups are minorities in the region that they are claiming, then maybe you should do.

Chinese people will have full human right one of these days, but it will be their own effort, not through the "morally superior" westerners talking at their face. So, save your pity, they don't need it.

Do you really understand Ch... (Below threshold)
Henry:

Do you really understand China and Chinese people? What you are doing can only make Chinese people angry. Please go do your homework or live in China for a while.

Right on - but I disagree w... (Below threshold)
jp2:

Right on - but I disagree with your 'Screw Tibet' title. My guess is that you know zero people from Tibet and have never been to that part of the world.

That being said, I agree with everything else and fully endorse your 'Free China' campaign.

I've been to China and my h... (Below threshold)
COgirl:

I've been to China and my husband used to work with some of the towns to get energy projects going. The "mentality" of the country/government is unlike anything we in the western world have ever encountered or could ever understand. This is a civilization that has been around for thousands of years. They are a proud people and the Olympics give them a chance to "show off".

While the protests around the world are an expression of our freedom of speech, I seriously doubt that they will change anything in China. It is an oppressive, paranoid government (I'm sure our hotel room was bugged), but the best thing that can happen is for its citizens to experience economic growth (dare I say, capitalism?) and some of the freedom that comes with that. It is going to take a long time to change, but it will come.

As far as Tibet and Taiwan are concerned, the Chinese government truly believe that they "belong" to China. Nearly 150 years ago, this country fought a civil war to keep the country together. Although we may not like the Chinese form of government, why would they feel they shouldn't do what we did then?

I had one more thought and ... (Below threshold)
COgirl:

I had one more thought and that is that if the western world wants to be concerned about the people of another country, take a look at Zimbabwe. Robert Mugabe is about to steal another election. The economy of the country has become one of the worst in the world and people are going hungry. I don't think you can say that about the Chinese people.

When Clinton & his people w... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

When Clinton & his people were lead around China by the nose, the message was clear. 'We dislike some of the behaviors of the Chinese Government, but between dissedints and the Government we will side with the government.' If this message wasn't clear enough, US officials enjoying the government held party held in Tiananmen Square on the 10th anniversary, made it crystal clear.

"economy of the country has... (Below threshold)
rossco:

"economy of the country has become one of the worst in the world and people are going hungry.I don't think you can say that about the Chinese people."

Its not about the economy. Germany had a wonderful economy in 1939. It just happened to be an authoritarian state that imprisoned, persecuted and murdered people who disagreed with it. Just like China today. Events in Zim do not alter facts in China one iota.

If we and other countries a... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

If we and other countries are truly serious about sending the Chinese a message, we'd do one of two things:

1.) Do what we did in 1980 and boycott The Games*.
or,
2.) Send our athletes to the Games but let them go into the Opening Ceremonies under the Olympic flag and anthem and not ours**.

Short of that, these protests are so much finger-waggling that will do little or nothing to change the abhorrent atrocities committed by Chinese government against its people and Tibetans.

*Yes, I'm keenly aware of the severe economic consequences China could inflict upon us if we decided to boycott. I give President Carter credit for boycotting the Games in 1980, too; it was the right move.

**As other participating countries did in 1980.

So - I have been busy at wo... (Below threshold)
Headzero:

So - I have been busy at work for the last few weeks and when I get a second to look at the headlines and a few pictures, I keep seeing "Free Tibet".

Where do I get my "Free Tibet" and do I have to pay shipping or is that free too?

The critical point will com... (Below threshold)

The critical point will come if dissidents organize large protests in Beijing within sight of the western media. The Chinese will not tolerate this, and will move to crush dissent with little regard to international public opinion (which they regard as weak, feckless, and subject to manipulation).

At that point is when the democratic nations should walk out.

To Kozaburo,I woul... (Below threshold)
William:

To Kozaburo,

I would brush up on your knowledge of Taiwan before posting comments. The Taiwanese you refer to our ethnic Chinese who settled in Taiwan mainly Fujian province during 17-18th century. They speaking Hokkien (a dialect of Chinese) just like the their relatives across the Strait in the Mainland Chinese province of southern Fujian.

There are native Taiwanese who are not Chinese. In Taiwan they are called Aboriginal Taiwanese They migrated from the Mainland 8000 years ago. They are not Chinese, but speak a Malay-Polynesian language and is believed to be the original homeland of Polynesians and Malays. Sadly, since the Chinese had started emigrating to Taiwan in 200-300 years ago they have been marginalized. They only make up 450,000 of the 23 Million people in Taiwan.

This is what the Tibetans fear even if China was a democracy, this could happen to them. Tibet was a brutal feudal state prior to the Chinese invasion. I believe that China could have made Tibet a puppet state and should have left its feudal system intact. No country either China or the West has the right to impose its values on another country no matter how distasteful the social system may appear if that country does it no harm.

In its most extreme case it even means tolerating cannibalism. In the Indian controlled Andaman island off of Indonesia exist a stone age people that still practice cannibalism. There have been many reports of sailors stranded on the islands during a shipwreck and ending up as lunch. What does the Indian government do? All they did was cordon the area. OF course this is an extreme case.

William

Just one problem - "Free China" doesn't imply "Screw Tibet". Bad title dude...

Moreover, don't forget that the Chinese inhabitants of Taiwan (the ones who arrived with Chiang) have done to Taiwanese (a different ethnicity altogether) what the Chinese in Red China have done to the Tibetans. The Taiwanese don't want Red China taking over their homeland but they're none-too-happy about Chiang's Chinese having already taken over their homeland. The Taiwanese are second-class citizens in their own country - Chiang personally saw to it that their own language and culture were repressed and replaced.

NB many of the ethnic Chinese in Taiwan want to rejoin China. If Chiang Ching-kuo and Lee Teng-hui hadn't increased the ethnic Taiwanese participation in the Taiwanese government since the 1980s, Taiwan might have already folded.

While I agree with your gen... (Below threshold)
alecthemad Author Profile Page:

While I agree with your general view of China I cannot agree with these protesters actions. The torch runners are not representatives of China they are symbolic of the games. They are just regular people who want to enjoy a piece of the Olympics. But in London and France they were assaulted with various implements and intimidated.

In my mind screw the protesters, screw Tibet because of their actions. Respectful protests along the run route would have gotten just as much press without looking like fascist thugs.

To be honest though what is so great about Tibet, eh? From what I have found the Dali Lama is essentially the lead theocrat. He and his group are a government in exile. Its almost like saying give back to the pope control over the papal states.

More Americans have died fr... (Below threshold)
Roy:

More Americans have died from those Red China commies than all of the Islamofascists combined. They don't even have the cajones to fight us except by proxy. Screw 'em.

I agree with Feng and COgir... (Below threshold)
Innocent Bystander:

I agree with Feng and COgirl's comments. This boycott would be deeply insulting to the people of China who, for the most part, have little standing with their central government. Sort of like how the majority of Americans who don't agree with our invasion/occupation of Iraq, but are powerless to do much about it. Until we get our own house in order, we shouldn't be moralizing about the actions of other governments.

I've been going to Taiwan and mainland China for 18 years....personally, I like the people of mainland China much better than the Taiwanese. The Taiwanese are nationalistic to an extreme and deeply paranoid about the world around them. Way too militarized and their attitude towards the Chinese people are almost racist in nature. At least amongst the business people I've met. YMMV.

Wake up people. The CCP is ... (Below threshold)
Gary:

Wake up people. The CCP is embedded deeply into Communist Society and controls carefully the image it wants to portray internally and externally. CCTV and Xinhua are run buy the cadre:

http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=20779

The vast majority of 20-something Chinese, who have never been exposed to any contrary exposure from the West, live in a nice cocoon of oblivion. Their lives are seldom affected by their government. I have a friend who has absolutely no conception of what her government represents. She actually called the police over a minor matter.

The best news is that the CCP is playing a losing game. The Internet and other sources of information make the CCP's attempts at mind control futile. I frequently provide my Chinese friends with SSL proxies to circumvent the "Great Firewall of China", which is more of a sieve than a wall, anyway. www.youtube.co.uk is filtered, but the exact same content on www.youtube.com is not.

The only objection I hear is "China too big population for democratic". I point out India and silence is usually the response.

Gary

haha i laugh at your post w... (Below threshold)
John:

haha i laugh at your post when i read it. Hmmm you need to wake up and smell the fresh coffee my young unintelligent friend. First of all you got to get it straight with China's so called "tyrant" stuff. If there wasn't a so called "tyrant", China wouldn't be the next best economic and powerful country in the world. Also, in your small brain lack of knowledge brain, i hope you understand that Tibet is part of China and if China didn't give them money or keep them under control, they be a fucking poor ass little town that has no money, shelter, food, ext. I hope you stop making posts and remarks about China and just shut your mouth before someone else does it for you.

John, John, John. Before ca... (Below threshold)
fg:

John, John, John. Before calling someone unintelligent please correct your grammar and review basic sentence structure. Your post was hard to follow and made little sense. Oh and it is "etc" not "ext".

etc: "and so forth: continuing in the same way"

John must be ghey4dudes.<br... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

John must be ghey4dudes.

Hahahah....you guys are so ... (Below threshold)
Freemind:

Hahahah....you guys are so funny!:)

"Enslaved Chinese people"?? Dude, are you living in 19th century? Actually, there's nothing to argue about. Just go to China and visit Tibet along with other cities, I'm sure you'll be amazed and have a different point of view. Many people have done so.

Judgement should be made based on facts and experience, not imagination.




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