12 April 2008

Lee Hsien Loong calls on world to kowtow to China

The protests around the Olympic torch relay are counter-productive, he says. People should be sensitive to the nationalistic pride felt by the Chinese. Full essay.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

While I agree with the fact that shutting up protests is definitely not the way forward, I think one big element in this is the fact that the international furor over this Tibet issue is essentially the outer world meddling in what is a domestic issue. Of course, in the world of today, the line to draw between domestic issues and something that should concern the international community is thin, just like the line between civil war and international war has been eroded. But China has to come to a solution on their own terms (something which they are admittedly not doing), not because of bully tactics (I'm not putting agency in the hands of anyone, but this is bullying nevertheless, even though with an unfocused power locus).

yuen said...

both pro china and anti china propaganda, like all propaganda, contain a lot of muddle; people excited about the economic miracle seldom talk about the social and environmental negatives; taiwan independence advocates who object to china's lack of democracy rarely face the issue whether they still want independence if china adopts democracy

those endorsing the protesters need to ask (a) do they also endorse the violent tactics? (b) how are Olympics and Tibet related? (c) do the protests help dalai lama, who wants a deal with china allowing him to return home?

Anonymous said...

"nationalism is a dangerously untamed beast"

This is what is most scary to me. China's news complains about the West trying to "keep China down", as if the West were some kind of single-minded dictatorship out to get it. I actually think there is far greater danger of Chinese people to become either racist or violently xenophobic than the other way around.

Lee's comments about China will reinforce the belief among uneducated westerners that Singapore is just some part of China.

Advocate said...

Yawning Bread,

Do you support a protester physically threatening a young woman in a wheelchair, because she is bearing the Olympic torch?

I am no supporter of China's occupation of Tibet, but I would hope your support of protest does not extend to such hooliganism.

KiWeTO said...

To Yuen:

The devil is in the detail. If one wants to find a cause that one completely identifies with, then, one might never identify with any cause.

The focus on such detail is to distract from the obvious generality - greater western society is offended at the way that China has muscled onto the world stage through coercion, strength of arms, and brute force, rather than through new ideas, skills, or free thought.

For every protestor that has stood with the pro-Tibetians, few have thought through those few questions you raised. Even fewer have tried to do the LHL line, which is to try to win influence by letting the experts take care of it.
(and the potential threat to the idea that governments are not in control of their own policies.)

You have taken the presumption that there is a ideal or perfect solution to the situation, and that all 'players' in this drama must put maximal effort towards it.
(black white perspective, rather than shades of grey.)

There is no ideal solution. As YB has put it as eloquently as other people have - one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.

The winners write the history. Anything before the win, is just the battle continuing. There is not real right or wrong, until there is a winner.


E.o.M.

Anonymous said...

Nice one, Yawning Bread!

It was what ran through my mind when I read Lee's speech and Conor Gearty's rebuttal.

Why should the rest of the world not do some about it if they see something wrong with how China handled Tibet? The rest of the world isn't Singapore, where there's one and only one true Way to live life.

yuen said...

asking "Do you support a protester physically threatening a young woman in a wheelchair" is hardly asking for "ideal or perfect solution to the situation" or "to find a cause that one completely identifies with", just asking "do you really know what you are agreeing with"? "protestor that has stood with the pro-Tibetians, few have thought through those few questions you raised; quite so, and they should, instead of "the LHL line, which is to try to win influence by letting the experts take care of it", they should think about the issues themselves

"China has muscled onto the world stage through coercion, strength of arms, and brute force, rather than through new ideas, skills, or free thought"; actually, china's impact is through making cheap products for export, neither high brow nor as bad as you describe it

Anonymous said...

Whilst what you say sounds reasonable,you nevertheless left out an important piece in the whole jig saw puzzle. The involvement of the West through the off repeated, now cliched. sales pitch of freedom and democracy, to put China down.

A disintegrated China and an already imploded
USSR benefits only one party and your guess is as good as mine as to who the hidden hand is.

Opportunities like the Tibetan issue and the Olympic games coinciding in the same year don't come often. Since 1959 when the Dalai Lama fled to India, there was hardly much protest against Chinese rule. Now, we clearly see some sort of orchestration in the protests in London, Paris and San Francisco. And in Buenos Aires the protests fizzled. Why? Because the Dalai Lama was in Seattle talking about "compassion".

And. whether on purpose or otherwise,you seemed unfazed or unconcerned about the violence, looting, burning and killing done by these so called gentle Tibetans on the civilian population, in the name of democracy and freedom!

You sound very Richard Gere!

Anonymous said...

Hello Alex, how about this thought: knowing that the Singapore leaders plan very far ahead, is it possible that they set the tone or agenda for the Singapore Youth Olympics?

In only 2 years (Aug 2010) we will be in the spotlight, and in case that the Beijing Olympics become a bigger fiasco, this will reflect probably bad on Singapore soon after (most Americans still think Singapore is actually a part of China).

Although we have no Tibet issue, we have quite a number of very similar issues (human rights, press freedom, democracy, etc) - it may even be that around Youth Olympic time there is election time, at the same time (or shortly after/before). So Singapore will be in the spotlight and under scrutiny, just after a potential PR disaster in China. This could turn out to be very challenging.

I believe that Singapore has a very strong interest that the China Olympics go well, or that at least it appears like this.

Looking at what was reported in the ST in this context, it makes perfect sense. Do you think I fantasize or may this really be the underlying thinking?

Qwerty said...

Economic growth, rising living standards, massive Han migration and tight control by the Communist Party have not eliminated Tibetan grievances.

No amount of economic growth and rise in living standards would eliminate Tibetan grievances.

The mentality of the Han Chinese in China is a lot like that of their counterparts in Singapore, that is, extremely materialistic. To them, progress means having a color TV in their homes.

The Tibetans think differently, they do not want a color TV if they have to sacrifice their way of life — culture, heritage, language, tradition, etc. The PRC government's demographic and economic policies — massive influx of Han Chinese, commercialization and 'touristification' of the region — may put a color TV in every home but it comes at the expense of the Tibetans' way of life.

The Han Chinese think that having a Starbucks cafe in the Forbidden City and McDonald's franchises in every provincial town is a sign of progress. When 7-Eleven opened its first branch in the Mainland in 2004, the news made the front page of People's Daily.

This is the reason why the Han Chinese think the Tibetans are being ungrateful. From their point-of-view, they are bringing progress to Tibet by tearing down old monasteries to make way for hotels and internet cafes.

Yawning Bread Sampler said...

Anon of 13 April 15:19 wrote: "is it possible that they set the tone or agenda for the Singapore Youth Olympics?"

Ah, I forgot about that! Now that you mention it, this could be a motivation for what LHL is saying.

However, I don't think the Youth Olympics will have a torch relay through other countries, so there won't be much opportunity for protestors abroad to demonstrate against Singapore come 2010.

Anonymous said...

anon 1452 referred to "the violence, looting, burning and killing done by these so called gentle Tibetans on the civilian population".

Actually, I don't know if that sums up what happened very well. China banned journalists from entering Tibet. Clearly they have something to hide or they would not have banned foreign reporters from covering events. You just did the communists a favor by repeating their version of events. I tend not to believe governments that ban the very people that could verify their story from entering. The Chinese claims about all the looting and violence would be on much more solid ground if they had been witnessed on the scale they report by independent, foreign journalists. Until they allow in foreign reporters, I'll classify everything they say as propaganda.

Anonymous said...

"independent foreign journalists"

Really independent and unbiased?

Please visit www.anti-cnn.com and hear the other side of the story.

Charles said...

This is not the first time that the Singapore government has been partial towards the Chinese government.

It is evident when the Foreign Ministry of Singapore condemns the Taiwanese when it wants to conduct a referendum for independence. The Foreign Ministry puts the blame squarely on Taiwan.

The Tibetian issue aside, the Chinese government has a lot of human rights problems not just within China, but also out of it.

In China, human rights activists are subject to torture, illegal detention without trial. The most prominent case is Hu Jia. It also actively censors the Internet. In addition, its western provinces are also seeking more autonomy or independence (not just Tibet).

Moreover, it is the main supplier of arms to Burma and Sudan. The illiberal regimes in these countries are responsible for human rights atrocities within their own countries (and as we know, Sudan is primarily responsible for the conflict in Darfur)

History has shown that nationalism is a very dangerous tool - Hitler and Mussolini uses the 'external threat' to justify its invasion in neighbouring countries, leading to the Second World War.

I find LHL's excuse of hurting Chinese feelings laughable.

If only he would apply that same logic to those who have been harmed by the Chinese authorities...

Anonymous said...

Anon 1223 questioned foreign journalists as follows:

---
"independent foreign journalists"
Really independent and unbiased?
---

I didn't say "unbiased" but you are absolutely correct that independent does not equate to unbiased. But ensuring the independence of journalists and their freedom to report seems to be the best way to achieve as little bias as possible. I think it's fair to say that many foreign journalists in China are not controlled by their home governments. (That obviously doesn't count for Singapore but does for most democracies.) They may be biased, of course, but I do think at least they are independent. People are more likely to trust the unbiased ones. Otherwise more sites like anti-cnn will crop up. Mistakes and appearance of bias are newspaper killers in societies with free presses.

Anonymous said...

The thing that many a Chinese Singaporean cannot see is this. What tune would China be singing or for that matter the Singaporean Chinese will be singing if a PAS dominated Malaysia suddenly and forcefully took over Singapore in a violent Jihad like attack. The scenario is quite similar. Both Singapore and Tibet are land that is perceived to be owned by others. Would the Chinese government come out forcibly in supporting Singapore? The Suzhou debacle would give my fellow Chinese Singaporeans a clue.

recruit ong said...

In my pte degree course there are several china students. I can honestly say they have a lot of pride in their country, but it is the misplaced, nationalistic kind of pride. The dangerous kind.

Anything to do with China they do not question and think. Instead they retreat into their familiar nationalistic shell and slams the West for China's woes blah blah. Their attitude towards Japan is the same. I'm sure they also don't have nice things to say about SG behind our backs lol.

Anonymous said...

Hello its me again Anon of 13 April 15:19 wrote, alias ExExpat - I read this up, yes there will be no torch relay in the youth Olympics, yet there might be many other ways.

I found an article today in ST that confirms my assumption ... read between the lines, last para! (I shortened it a bit to avoid clutter up your space) ExExpat

ST April 14, 2008

S'PORE YOUTH OLYMPICS CHIEF CALLS FOR RESPECT FOR TORCH RELAY

SINGAPORE on Monday called for respect for the Olympics torch relay as it is a symbol of peace and friendship.

Mr Ng Ser Miang, an International Olympic Committee Executive Board
member from Singapore and also also chairman of the Organising Committee for the inaugural Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in 2010, told Xinhua on the sidelines of a seminar on YOG, that he felt sad that the torch relay encountered some disruptions in London, Paris and San Francisco.

'But we are happy that it was going smoothly at the latter stops which
saw a lot of protection and excitement in welcoming the torch,' he said.


'I believe that it will get respect', because 'it is a very important symbol for Olympic movements, and also a symbol of peace and friendship,' he added.

He also expressed his confidence in the successful organisation of the
Beijing Games.

An 11-member IOC team is in Singapore to conduct a six-day orientation seminar to assist the organising committee in its preparations for the YOG.

yuen said...

It is true that China is accusomed to hegemony (its name "middle nation" already shows this), and as a historical nation, also accustomed to waiting for its enemies to die of old age as the case of Dalai, or to lose the next election as the case of Chen Shuibian, rather than giving concessions. This explains both the nationalistic attitudes of the Chinese people and the hostility China arouses in others, who are entitled to express these views in the news media. blogs, public demos, etc

But by using the olympics as the opportunity, the games, rather than China, would suffer to real damage - the organizers might have to end the torch runs as the means to generate good publicity; by adopting violent tactics, the protesters are also discreting their own claims of peacefulness and Dalai's cause; so do they, and their sympathizers, know what they are doing?

Robert L said...

Yikes! Ng Ser Miang better stfu!

If he says the wrong thing against the protests, he might anger the activists and cause them to turn their attention to our Youth Olympics. For them to succeed in boycotting the China Olympics is no easy thing, likely impossible in fact. But to boycott Singapore's Youth Olympics may be easy as pie.

Remember, Singapore's record on human rights is no less atrocious than China's. At least in substance, if not in scope.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1601

Agreed. After this episode, I've consigned all the so called "respected" publications to the trash bin.

The one truth that comes out is that the so called "free" presses are all tools of the powers that be. Whoever that is. Whatever the agenda of the day is. So I'm no longer griping and whining about how our local papers report the news and conduct their journalism. In my opinion, all of them belong to the category of used car salesmen.If you're not careful, you just might be sold a dud.

Anonymous said...

I protest that Olympic is hijacked for a cause!

I disagree that violent demonstration using Olympic is freedom. I agree peaceful demonstration is freedom.

I agree Western media's distorted reporting has caused unnecessary nationalism among the chinese.

Anonymous said...

The "violence, looting, burning and killing done by these so called gentle Tibetan" are all staged. The rioters and looters are PLA soldiers dressed up in monks' robes.


Brit spies confirm Dalai Lama's report of staged violence

By Gordon Thomas

G2 Bulletin

London, March 20 - Britain's GCHQ, the government communications agency that electronically monitors half the world from space, has confirmed the claim by the Dalai Lama that agents of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, the PLA, posing as monks, triggered the riots that have left hundreds of Tibetans dead or injured.

GCHQ analysts believe the decision was deliberately calculated by the Beijing leadership to provide an excuse to stamp out the simmering unrest in the region, which is already attracting unwelcome world attention in the run-up to the Olympic Games this summer.

For weeks there has been growing resentment in Lhasa, Tibet's capital, against minor actions taken by the Chinese authorities.

Increasingly, monks have led acts of civil disobedience, demanding the right to perform traditional incense burning rituals. With their demands go cries for the return of the Dalai Lama, the 14th to hold the high spiritual office.

Committed to teaching the tenets of his moral authority---peace and compassion---the Dalai Lama was 14 when the PLA invaded Tibet in 1950 and he was forced to flee to India from where he has run a relentless campaign against the harshness of Chinese rule.

But critics have objected to his attraction to film stars. Newspaper magnate Rupert Murdoch has called him: "A very political monk in Gucci shoes."

Discovering that his supporters inside Tibet and China would become even more active in the months approaching the Olympic Games this summer, British intelligence officers in Beijing learned the ruling regime would seek an excuse to move and crush the present unrest.

That fear was publicly expressed by the Dalai Lama. GCHQ's satellites, geo-positioned in space, were tasked to closely monitor the situation.

The doughnut-shaped complex, near Cheltenham racecourse, is set in the pleasant Cotswolds in the west of England. Seven thousand employees include the best electronic experts and analysts in the world. Between them they speak more than 150 languages. At their disposal are 10,000 computers, many of which have been specially built for their work.

The images they downloaded from the satellites provided confirmation the Chinese used agent provocateurs to start riots, which gave the PLA the excuse to move on Lhasa to kill and wound over the past week.

What the Beijing regime had not expected was how the riots would spread, not only across Tibet, but also to Sichuan, Quighai and Gansu provinces, turning a large area of western China into a battle zone.

yuen said...

>The images they downloaded from the satellites provided confirmation the Chinese used agent provocateurs to start riots, which gave the PLA the excuse to move on Lhasa to kill and wound over the past week.

how about putting up these photos on your blog and let us see for ourselves? one photo showing soldiers holding monk robes turns out to be scene from a movie shooting in which soldiers were hired as extras

>What the Beijing regime had not expected was how the riots would spread, not only across Tibet, but also to Sichuan, Quighai and Gansu provinces, turning a large area of western China into a battle zone.

so you dont think these were also agent provocateurs? but genuine rioters?

Anonymous said...

I have been coming into this blog once a while and while I think Yawning bread reasoning are pretty convincing and persuasive - it is very western liberal - how come our intellectuals are not able to come up with our own original thought instead of just aping the westerner points of view. I especially take great offence to Yawning bread view of China - have you read the Chinese authorities point of view and that Tibet belongs to China? I can understand if the westerners continue to bash China, but I cannot understand that our own Asian people are siding with the Westerners. Its the same about Myanmar - where is the balance view, where are the original thoughts?

Yawning Bread Sampler said...

Anonymous 16 April 00:56 -

You said, "I can understand if the westerners continue to bash China, but I cannot understand that our own Asian people are siding with the Westerners."

This is a very telling statement. You're expecting me to take one side of the argument simply because of the colour of my skin?

"have you read the Chinese authorities point of view and that Tibet belongs to China?"

Have I said anywhere that Tibet should NOT be part of China? Have you even read the earlier article I wrote about the Tibet crisis, or are you assuming that anyone who is not fully behind Beijing must be an enemy of China? That it's all black and white?

Anonymous said...

Anon 17:24

You really believe this bull?

Do you really for one minute think that a rising military power has not factored into their so called scheme, the possibility that they might be under satellite surveillance?

If this surveillance is so damn good then I suggest we also enlist their help to find out where Mr. Mas Selamat is now and how he walked out of the detention centre limping along. If this surveillance is so omnipresent,I can assure you that we are also being monitored. You are confusing science fiction with science fact.

LMAO.

Chinese national said...

Yawning Bread, I am a Chinese national and I agree with you both in this post and in your prior post to the extent that China needs greater freedom. But I take offence at the implication that freedom could somehow be forced unto us by the West from outside and thereby implying that foreign intervention could be justified.

We as a nation are entitled to and are responsible for our own fate. The course of China's development, either political or economic, must be set by us and us only. As you may have noticed, China has experienced quite a transformation in the past three decades. A sizable portion of the population have been elevated out of poverty. Politically there are some improvements, but not so much as compared with the economic front. We do desire more political freedom. But we also think that our priority at the moment is to further develop the economy for a better livelihood of our people. For that, we need a politically stable environment. Any political turmoil at this point may not only derail us from the economic path we have embarked on but may also undo the advances we have worked so hard to bring about in our country. We do not think it is worth the risk at this time, given our priorities.

It does not mean that we fully support our government in everything they do. I, as well as so many others, am rather critical of the lack of freedom of speech in China. If someone in the West protests about a Chinese dissident being arrested solely for voicing politically dissenting views, I would actually side with them, even though I do not believe in the argument that true political freedom could be brought about from outside.

Therefore, I do not object to protests against my country if such protests are carried out with honest intentions.

But honest intension is one thing absent from the anti-China protests we have witnessed in the past few weeks. Failure to realize this considerably diminishes your argument.

The anti-China protests in the past few weeks have been agitated and incited by seriously distorted reports in Western media following the Tibetan riots. International tourists have all described the protesters as violent, setting shops on fire, killing civilians and looting banks. (See this blog by a Canadian tourist for example: http://kadfly.blogspot.com/). Chinese police had to intervene to control the violence as any responsible country would do, and they did so with great constraint. But the unanimous voice of main stream Western media at that time were that Chinese troops were cracking down violently on peaceful protesters. It is true that Western media had been barred from entering Tibet during the riot. But that does not give anyone the right to misrepresent facts.

Most shockingly, they deliberately used photos from other countries in their reports to mislead their readers into believing that China was indeed cracking down on 'peaceful' monks. For instance, according to an independent online blog EastSouthWestNorth (http://www.zonaeuropa.com/200804b.brief.htm#010), German magazine Bild published a photo featuring a monk lying on the ground in pain. The photo was accompanied with reader comments about whether there should be a boycott of the Beijing Olympics. In the absence of any explanation, the reader would get the impression that the photo came from Tibet. However, someone managed to find the original agency photo from which Bild cropped a section. The cropped out section shows Nepali policemen, including one carrying a shield with the word "Nepal" on it. The agency photograph was accompanied by the caption: "A monk, injured after a beating by the police, lies on a road in front of the Chinese Embassy's visa section office in Kathmandu March 25, 2008. Nepali police charged at protesting Tibetans with bamboo batons on Tuesday, injuring some monks and detaining dozens of others." Bild offered no description for this cropped photo. (The explanation above for the Bild photo is lifted verbatim from the EastSouthWestNorth blog referenced above ).

Such deliberate misrepresentation was found in many other major Western newspapers/TV stations. Germany's N-TV, Washington Post, Fox TV, Germany's N24, Germany's RTL, France's RFI, UK's Times and so on , have all used pictures of police brutality scenes fro either India or Nepal and caption them as happening in China. CNN also deliberately cropped photos to give viewers the impression that police vehicles are chasing protesters whereas the unedited picture actually shows mobs attacking the vehicle. You may visit www.anti-cnn.com where hard evidence is presented of Western media fabrication. This link (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EObYDv49ckQ) shows a clip from a German TV station talking the violent crackdown on peaceful protesters in Tibet but the whole clip was filmed in Nepal.

You may also visit this entry from EastSouthWestNorth (http://www.zonaeuropa.com/20080326_1.htm) titled "Chinese netizens versus Western media" that discusses such blatant media distortions.

Suffice it to say that the anti-China protests world-wide have been incited by deliberate disinformation disseminated by the Western media. If you carefully examine the evidence presented in the websites I referenced above, you would come to the same conclusion as most of us have, that such manipulation of evidence had been a deliberate act rather than a careless error. Other than to outright humiliate China, one could hardly think of another good reason for such irresponsible journalistic behaviour. Although some of them apologized later, the damaged had been done and people do not read retractions in newspapers.

For the series of protesting activities in London and Paris that deliberately disrupted the torch relay, they were often reported by the Western media "a tinge of schadenfreude", according to 'danwei', a blog maintained by a group of foreigners in China (http://www.danwei.org/2008_beijing_olympic_games/wheelchairs_bbs_pride_pr.php). Amid all the anti-China protests thanks to the 'fair and balanced' Western media, Jack Cafferty, CNN commentator has this to say about us: "...So I think our relationship with China has certainly changed. I think they're basically the same bunch of goons and thugs they've been for the last 50 years."

It baffles me that some people would side with the protesters in this case. It is true that China needs greater freedom, but shouldn't any campaign by grounded in truth, rather than fabrication of facts and insults? Naturally we are angry at the injustice that the West has subjected to in the past few weeks. That is the context in which "virulent" online messages have occurred on the Web, as your Prime Minster has pointed out. It is also in this context that he has expressed disagreement over the 'protests' against China in Europe and America.

Straits Times in a recent editorial likewise expressed doubts over such protests, stating that they are motivated largely by Westerners' ignorance of developments in modern China as well as the selfish move for certain Western politicians to boost their own political profile: "The disruptions in Europe and America last week were acts of hooliganism as much as solidarity expressed for the Tibetans, to the extent activists knew anything of the Tibetan issue's manifestations. The anti-China storm has been nothing compared with the anti-American animus shown in synchronised Iraq war protests worldwide, in its various cycles. A lot of the negative fervour has grown from Westerners' ignorance about developments in modern China. But the real scandal comes in the opportunistic way European leaders have made use of public sentiment to boost their de-clining political fortunes. The leaders of Germany, France and Britain have said they are staying away, or will stay away, from the Games opening ceremonies to which all world heads are invited. This bowing to populist sentiment is short-sighted expediency. When the eventual cost to their people is toted up, in missed commercial deals and China's diplomatic goodwill, they would wish they had shown courage."

Anonymous said...

Well say, Chinese National! As a Gay Chinese educated Singaporean, I know exactly how you feel!

These are people who ashame of their own skin! You know, the kind who called themselves Banana - yellow on the outside, white on the inside, and called the Chinese educated one "Chinese Helicopter", and you guys "China Man"!

What can you expect from their Westernized mind set? Of course they will side with the West, however unreliable the new sources are, and shut their mind all together from you guys, no matter how you explain yourself!

So go ahead a label us "Xenophobia"!

Not a fan of LHL or CCP, but proud to be Chinese! That doesn't make me Anti Western! Got friends all over the world! Just anti untrue Western news report!

Anonymous said...

Chinese National said: "But I take offence at the implication that freedom could somehow be forced unto us by the West from outside and thereby implying that foreign intervention could be justified."

I sometimes wish that there is some kind of 'foreign intervention' in Singapore to help the oppressed from the dictatorship in Singapore.

History has shown again and again that foreign intervention is a reality in world politic. China had done that too.

However, in this case I agree the west's agendas and motives are wrong. Distorting reports and willingly be used be Dala Lama and Protesters to HIJECT Olympics for 'free tibet' cause is unforgiving.

They should stick to peaceful demonstration.

anon said...

Anon 20:32 wrote,

These are people who ashame of their own skin! You know, the kind who called themselves Banana - yellow on the outside, white on the inside, and called the Chinese educated one "Chinese Helicopter", and you guys "China Man"!


Nationalistic pride, race and cultural behaviours. The three can get mixed up and confused as one. And people make sweeping assumptions on them, LKY included.

Race and nationality is no excuse for a person's poor public habits or behaviour.

I may be an ethnic Chinese but I scorn at anyone who behaves like a boor and uneducated lout, Westerners and Asians alike. And you get to see abundant display from both on this island.

What can you expect from their Westernized mind set? Of course they will side with the West, however unreliable the new sources are, and shut their mind all together from you guys, no matter how you explain yourself!

Looks like a sweeping statement to me.

Anonymous said...

Yawning bread's accusation at the pro-China crowds of a group of xenophobic, nationalistic people brainwashed by their communist propaganda is far from the cry of a bleeding heart liberal but downright distortion of facts through name calling.

The situation is just the reverse, while the Chinese establishment and her people support the harmonious multicultural China and decades of pro-minority policies, Tibetan separatists, inspried by the ultranationalist jingoism of 19th century styled venom of European ethnic ultra-nationalism, urge the creation of an ethno-state and violently attacked non-Tibetan Han Chinese and Hui muslims in recent riots.

If patriotism is blind, the return of ultra-ethnonatioanlism is far more dangerous today.

yuen said...

anon 13.51

I am afraid things are not so simple; China might say it respects traditional Tibetan culture, but the tradition of a government of aristocratic monks headed by a living buddha chosen in childhood, simply is not compatible with modern social systems, whether communist or democratic; dalai's exile was due to this basic conflict gradually getting out of control, not because of incitement by foreign agitators; while he might be admired as a spiritual spokesman and social celebrity, he received negligible political support of any concrete form because it would be embarrassing for a democracy to be on the side of an unelected government based on divinity; for an atheist party to accept such a system over the long run is basically impossible; you should also remember that during the cultural revolution serious damage was done to religious institutions, with both communit ideology and chinese chauvinism playing a role

but ultimately, it comes down to numbers: there are just too few tibetans and too many han chinese; the spread of han culture, coupled with western commercialism, is just too hard to fight; the frustrated violence of the rioters might be wrong, but it is understandable

medstudent said...

Dear Yawning Bread,

I think your comments are valid since u have based it around the central theme of the rigidity of Human Rights.

However, is it worthwhile to have Human Rights as a basic tenet in running a country? For starters, i dislike the idea of Human Rights as it has become a somewhat dirty word thrown around by the West. Moreover, i don't quite understand the idea of it as it does not seem to be able to better the lives of Human Beings per se, so why do we hold it in such high regard?

I think yur article has the potential to polarize people. 'Kowtow' is a strong word to use.

In fact, i do agree with what LSL said by and large on the issue.

There is more at stake than simply Tibet. Perhaps u may consider writing a post on the effects of an independent country of Tibet on the rest of the world?

I also feel that if there is one basic tenet in it all is that we cannot be so inflexible in our approach to different issues. Call it double/triple standards, but if giving the Tibetian Human Rights is the answer to some or all of their problems, then perhaps i am wrong.

But i don't think i am wrong here.