Response to “Olympic Torch lights up China’s past”


Notice: A couple of months before the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the torch rally arouse the anti China government incidents by dissidents of China. Sarah Richmond, a student of Missouri University of Science and Technology, wrote a short article “Olympic torch lights up China’s past” for the Miner, the campus newspaper. With a friend’s help, I wrote an essay to respond to her article on the next issue. Today more than thousands of articles reported the news that Liu Xiaobo, a dissident of China won the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. Mr. Liu is serving his 11 years sentence in prison because of inciting subversion. All the western media, politicians and government are glad to see a dissident of China winning the prize. It is more ridiculous that I felt when I heard that news than last year when I got to know Mr. Barack Obama, the president of a country is occupying Iraq and killing civilians in Afghanistan, won the same prize last year. Of course I could not forget what Dalai Lama, the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, has done to damage the peace of Tibet noways. Below is the full text of my response to the article, also to the Norwegian Nobel Peace Prize Committee.

It’s shocking and fascinating to come across opinions over and over again, especially in recent weeks, on how China and the Beijing Olympics deserve to be bashed. The article in the Opinions is one of them. I don’t blame western people for not knowing the specific history or for taking part of the “Free-Tibet” campaign as a result. But I do want to raise the question to western media who spread biased reports and mislead the masses, and I would like to offer some information, not as a Chinese native, but as someone who did extra readings and studies in this matter, to the Miners who are willing to know the truth behind the media.

Is Tibet a part of China? This is a historical question and history is always complicated. The history of Tibet’s relationship with China can be traced back hundreds of years. For recent history, I would recommend several articles and books, such as Friendly Feudalism: The Tibet Myth by internationally known award-winning author and lecturer, Michael Parenti (www.michaelparenti.org/Tibet.html), and A History of Modern Tibet, 1913-1951: The Demise of the Lamaist State, by Dr. Melvyn C. Goldstein, a social anthropologist at the Center for Research on Tibet.

First of all, much evidence points to the historic fact of Tibet being a slavery society ruled with brutal dictatorship for centuries, quite the opposite of the peaceful Shangri-la as the Tibetan Exiles and the Hollywood movies describe. “History belies the Shangri-La image of Tibetan lamas and their followers living together in mutual tolerance and nonviolent goodwill. Indeed, the situation was quite different. Old Tibet was much more like Europe during the religious wars of the Counterreformation.” (Erik D. Curren, Buddha’s Not Smiling: Uncovering Corruption at the Heart of Tibetan Buddhism Today (Alaya Press 2005), 41.) Tibetan Buddhism is not pacifistic, nor was the old Tibet free of bloodshed and torture. The 13th Dalai Lama himself used to collect religious artifacts made out of human skin and bones, and later gave many of them as gifts to world leaders and supporters. This happened in the middle of 20th century.

Second, Tibet has been closely connected with the central Chinese government in one form or another since as early as the seventh century. Up till 1944, it was clearly acknowledged in the U.S. documentary Why We Fight – The Battle of China, (which can be found in libraries, Blockbuster and YouTube) that Tibet, as well as Mongolia, was a part of China. What, then, made the U.S. and the rest of international world turn about face seven years later to blame China for “invading” Tibet? This is a question we should ask ourselves based on Cold War history. The answer to me is quite clear: they turned their back on historical facts in order to reject and fight against Communist China. In fact, the Tibet Government in Exile was funded by the CIA, as recorded in this disclosed file:http://www.state.gov/www/about_state/history/vol_xxx/337_343.html, and the U.S. Congress still continuously allocates millions of dollars every year to support the Dalai Lama and his army.

Naturally, as any overthrown power would do if they were supported by other powers, the exiled Tibetans blame China for taking their privileges away, and ask for any support they can get. In doing so, instead of offering the world the whole story including their history of slavery, they give their one-sided, sympathy-seeking version of it. While presenting the Dalai Lama’s smiling pictures around the world, they started a violent riot on March 14, 2008 in Lhasa, killing innocent civilians and burning down residents’ houses and stores. The Olympic Games provide an opportunity to garner more media attention.

Most Western media, sadly, hasn’t been diligent in reporting the whole truth. An image of a Chinese soldier pulling a Tibetan child to safety was misused as documentation of Chinese abuse of Tibetan children. Death counts of mostly local Han and Muslim civilians were reported with headlines implying the loss of the Tibetan lives. A supportive celebration by the San Francisco Chinese community at the Olympic Torch Relay, where Chinese—not Tibetan—national flags were flown by the thousands, was labeled by the media as “Tibetans Flock to San Francisco to Protest Olympics”. More details can be found at http://www.anti-cnn.com, as well as many articles and You Tube video clips such as this interview with James Miles of The Economist athttp://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/03/20/tibet.miles.interview/index.html.

It’s very disappointing to see that many people trust the media and one-sided propaganda, rather than taking a little time to read the real history. Blind trust isn’t much different than ignorance. It is both comic and sad that many Western supporters of “Free Tibet” don’t even know where Tibet is, much less have a basic understanding of the historical context, before they adopt a one-sided approach.

The Chinese, as well as many people around the world, were enraged when one of the “Free Tibet” supporters in Paris attacked a young female torch-bearer on a wheelchair to grab the Olympic Torch which she was protecting with her whole body. I personally believe that many Western protesters are truly touched by stories they’ve heard about the “plight of exiled Tibetans,” and they only want a better world with more freedom and democracy for everyone. Unfortunately, without historical context and awareness of the political undercurrents, they may well be fighting for something altogether different, such as “human rights” for former slave lords and dictators. Their passion and goodwill may in fact be abused in the whirlpool of Western politics towards China.

The recent protests and the media inclination not only hurt the feelings of the Chinese, the ever-improving relationship between China and the international world, but also damage the spirit of the Olympics. Only communications and respects for truth, not violence or blind blames, will bring us closer to the better world for which we strive.

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One Response to Response to “Olympic Torch lights up China’s past”

  1. Pingback: World Wide News Flash

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