China is Making a Fool of Itself

The Chinese leadership’s response to Tibetan grievances and protest is a testament to how out of touch they are. They think the same moronic rhetoric they feed to their own citizens should also work for the international community.

The Chinese people are noted for a lot of positive attributes but when it comes to the pure crap coming out of their government, they’re as dumb as doorknobs. According to the theme, the Dalai Lama is a splittest who instigated the anti-Chinese protests in order to create an independent Tibet. The Dalai Lama, a Nobel Laureate, a man of peace, respected if not revered around the world as a spiritual leader, is trying to foment revolution.

In the first place, it is a patent absurdity to imagine a free independent Tibet happening against the will of the Chinese government: There are more soldiers in the People’s Liberation Army than there are Tibetans in Tibet. It is even more ridiculous for the Chinese leadership to characterize its response to Tibetan protests as a life and death struggle for the Chinese state, as if a tiger could cower in fear of a pussycat.

The Dalai Lama, as an eminently reasonable man, understands this and has proposed a measure of autonomy for Tibet, which in the mindset of the Chinese leadership, is impossible to grant. In fact, the Chinese are so obsessed with the perceived danger of Tibet independence or even independent thinking in Tibet, that they’ve taken to requiring Tibetans to renounce, in writing, the Dalai Lama. They’ve chosen competing Lamas to try to lessen the influence of the Dalai Lama, as if the Tibetan people would be eager to embrace a spiritual leader chosen by the Central Committee of the Communist Party over and above their revered leader. There are army posts situated outside every temple to keep a close eye on the monks. All of which must engender rage on the part of the Tibetan people.

They’ve also encouraged Han Chinese to migrate to Tibet to dilute the indigenous population and its culture. This rankles the Tibetans as much as anything.

The Chinese will say they’ve modernized what was a backward, nearly feudal, social system and the Tibetans should be grateful. There are elements of truth in that statement, but regardless, nobody, no country, can look kindly on being taken over by another country, “for its own good”. And if China did bring education and modernity to Tibet, it’s perfectly logical that they would take the revelations in that newfound education to realize just how much they don’t like being ruled by another country that holds to a completely different set of religious and moral codes. Especially one that seems totally ignorant and disdainful of all people’s natural longing for basic freedoms and rights.

Moreover, if Beijing is capable of being so wildly off the mark on the Tibet question, so to on matters of much greater import. Meanwhile, by the act of the Western democratic world bestowing respect and legitimacy on the Chinese government in the form of using the country as a cheap manufacturing base in spite of its systematic, institutional abuse of worker rights, the West has made clear that profit is the only thing that matters.

Worse yet are the enormous foreign reserves accumulated by Beijing through this policy: enough, should it desire so, to bring the American economy to its knees. All they would have to do is dump their trillion dollar reserve of US dollars to create catastrophic consequences for America. The Chinese economy would also suffer greatly in such a scenario, so it would not be undertaken lightly by Beijing, but they’d not hesitate if their feelings were hurt and they wished to teach the US a lesson.

Meanwhile, instead of the Olympics showcasing to the world how great and modern it is, China has made its everyday oppression of its people and its mania for control glaringly obvious.

The Olympic Torch, symbol of light, has to be transported in secret. In past games the Torch went in a pretty much direct route from Olympus in Greece to the site of the games but that wasn’t good enough for China; they wanted to strut their stuff in as many places as possible. As it turns out, in place of China being able to show off, they merely set themselves up for additional points of protest.

The Olympic authorities have told China it must not censor the internet or restrict reporters’ actions during the games. Did they actually think they could control the news emanating out of China during the games the same way they control it everyday in China? And that the people of the world would take kindly to filtered news the same way the Chinese people accept their government’s pronouncements as gospel?

Moreover, after decades of assurances that economic liberalization will inevitably bring political changes to China, it’s just as obvious that that has always been wishful thinking and largely disconnected from reality. In fact, China seems to be evolving from communism – egalitarianism - to state socialism – in this case designed for the benefit of the urban elite.

There are now two Chinas; the advancing prospering urban China of about 4 to 500 million and the desperately poor rural China of about 800 million. While the urban population is fervently nationalist and capable of swallowing whole the official propaganda line, there were 80,000 protests emanating from the rural peasantry last year. I doubt very much if the latter give a damn about Taiwan or Tibet; what they care about is survival and the greedy and corrupt Communist Party apparatus that makes their lives so difficult.

China is sitting on 1.7 trillion dollars of foreign reserves but it can’t find the money to provide free education, let alone health care for its citizens. Incomes have been rising very fast in urban China so most of those people have the wherewithal to send their kids to school. No so for large numbers of rural people who not only can’t afford things like school but can’t even find a way to survive in their villages and are forced to migrate to the cities where they’re mercilessly exploited.

The West has totally sold out its principles for the sake of profit and in turn created a monster which before too long will bite the hand that made it all possible.

Meanwhile, the Olympic Games are proving to be an extreme embarrassment to the Chinese government (everywhere but in China, itself, of course), but it probably won’t be a wake-up call since they have no interest in being woken up.