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A Chinese anarchist on Tibet

category central asia | imperialism / war | opinion / analysis author Sunday April 06, 2008 08:02author by EdwardW - Common Cause (personal capacity) Report this post to the editors

Even though I am from China, having lived their practically all my life, I can't claim to have the strongest analysis as I have not studied too deeply into the situation. So my opinion here is simply from glancing over pieces of information and my own anecdotes from traveling in China.
tibet_1.jpg


I've spoken to some people briefly about Tibet, but it'd be interesting to have a deeper discussion.

I think the situation in Tibet has been way oversimplified by both the bourgeois capitalist press and some left-wing comrades alike.

Even though I am from China, having lived their practically all my life, I can't claim to have the strongest analysis as I have not studied too deeply into the situation. So my opinion here is simply from glancing over pieces of information and my own anecdotes from traveling in China.

Firstly, I'd be critical of the whole Western free-Tibet movement based around the Dalai lama. They seem to have a whole fetish/romantacism of the social organization in Tibet before the Chinese invasion in the 1930s. But from what I've read, Tibet was a religious theocratic feudalism, hardly an ideal and very much as repressive as the system in place today. That is why I do not doubt that the Chinese invading army had some support from Tibetan workers and peasants who opposed this order.

That said, as most of us can agree on, the Chinese government is hardly a genuine communist state, and has become if anything as capitalistic as the West. The current situation in Tibet, and in Inner Mongolia/Uighurstan/Manchuria (possibly Manchuria anyways, since I haven't heard of any independence movement and haven't read anything about hte situation there), in my belief, can be traced back to the Chinese revolution (when republicans, communists, and anarchists, brought down the feudal Qing Dynasty). Despite attempts by anarchists to reframe the struggles as between workers of all ethnicities against feudal and bourgeois oppressors, the republicans and communists were able to frame the conflict as between the minority Manchurian (who made up the Qing dynasty) and the majority Han. This coupled with the continuous conflict between the Japanese and the Chinese, and the often-heard depiction of the Han people as the "sickly of Southeast Asia" - Dong Ah Bang Fu, may have led to the development of a reactionary Han supremacist ideology (again, this is my personal opinion, and I have not studied enough about Chinese history to claim this to be a substantiated conclusion - the history of my people was denied from me by eurocentric schools in Hong Kong). The feeling that Hans need to justify themselves against being subordinates, may have led to the desire to dominate other ethnic groups in the region.

This is illustrated by the cultural genocide occurring in parts of China. I remember traveling to Inner Mongolia by train, where ethnic Mongolians had lost their language. I could not find anyone that could read some of the old Mongolian calligraphy and writing on temple walls etc. Ethnic histories and books have also been burned, harkoning back to burning of non-Qin history and philosophy books by Emperor Qin Shi Huang. In addition, vast numbers of Hans have been settled in these areas (echoing the situation in West Papua (Indonesia), and Palestine), where they get favourable treatment and priority in the receiving of economic benefits. This is the reality faced by these people, and is, I believe, the reason why people are opposing Chinese rule.

Let's not forget, the West had also co-opted the Tiananmen Square Protests, framing it as Western liberal movement fighting for Western-style 'democracy'. Instead, it was a push by students and workers against the drive towards capitalist reforms and for the democratization of both the economy and political system. Likewise, the media has attempted to frame the current struggle in Tibet as a push for Western-style 'democracy' with the DL as its figure head.

I support the current movement in Tibet for independence because

1) I do not realistically think it will revert back to a feudal state, we should have a historical perspective on this, much has changed since the 1930s and I don't think the workers will allow this to happen
2) Cultural and political imperialism has occurred in Tibet, and Tibetans have the right to self-determination
3) I see a greater likelihood for revolution occurring in an independent Tibet

It'd be interesting to see what others think about this.

author by Rick Tanpublication date Sun Apr 06, 2008 14:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The human rights record of the People's Republic of China is near incomprehensible. The toll begins with between six to 10 million deaths as a direct result of Communist actions.

Perhaps 20 million counter-revolutionaries perished in prison camps and a further 20-43 million perished as the Great Leap Forward collided with the greatest famine in human history. The Cultural Revolution consumed a further million.

In China, economic growth linked to trade is achieved at the expense of human rights. A free trade agreement with such a regime is to become complicit in their crimes.

It is unlikely that a Communist China will go beyond opening its markets to opening its jails, to move beyond easing restrictions on imported goods, to easing restrictions on the press and the internet, and to understand that protecting the rights of the sovereign is ethically meaningless without protecting the human rights of its citizens.

China's human rights abuses are "staggering": the detention of hundreds of thousands of people, including political activists, for "reeducation" programs, and forced labor camps; and the liberal use of the death penalty in China -- including for political prisoners -- which makes China the site of 8 of every 10 government administered executions carried out in the world!

It is clear that the Communists can't be trusted at all and they have a bag full of tricks to fool not only Tibetans but the people of China with a state-controlled press. The solution is a free Tibet. There is no doubt that a sovereign Tibet would be a savior state not only for Tibetans but for all ethnic groups of China who have nowhere to go if they disagree with the CPC. A free Tibet would be such a free democratic heaven and haven.

author by Abul Kalam - N/Apublication date Sun Apr 06, 2008 14:36author email abul_kalam at yahoo dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

I am glad to see some fair coverage of the situation by a Chinese individual. Of course we have seen a lot of support for Tibetans and other minority rights from Hong Kong and Taiwan, so it is encouraging.

Asia has tremendous future in terms of economic prosperity, but Han supremacism as it is applied in Inner Mongolia, Tibet and Xinjiang has created tremendous instabilities within China's borders and also created tensions with all of its neighbors.

Chinese leadership of ccp/cpc, I believe is very incompetent and juvenile in their policies. Is it possible for some factions within the politburo to overthrow the Hu led "crack-down on minority" supremacist team and bring in some sensible leadership.

Or will it have to spiral down to armed insurgency spreading in these restive areas before some change in leadership takes place?

author by Ilan S.publication date Sun Apr 06, 2008 16:43author address Tel Avivauthor phone Report this post to the editors

EdwardW conclude:
1) I do not realistically think it will revert back to a feudal state, we should have a historical perspective on this, much has changed since the 1930s and I don't think the workers will allow this to happen

Ilan:
It seems the cultural and political imperialism of China destroyed only part of the theocratic-feudal system of Tibet... but better do not be too sure about its demish.

The fact that about 25% of the Tibetans are still within the monasteries system may be less than promising.

It seems China state intervened in Tibet only to serve its strategic interests and not in order to free the Tibetans from the hegemony of the theocrats as long as these accept Chinese rule.

EdwardW
2) Cultural and political imperialism has occurred in Tibet, and Tibetans have the right to self-determination

Ilan
I wonder what Cultural and political had the Tibetans serfs had and what of it changed while the monastries still dominate them. There are still 40% analphabetism there.... (Tibet is not like other minorities' ditricts of China, as Hans do not immigrate an mass to Tibet due to climate problems. Even counting the Chinese military complexes there, the Hans are less than 10% of the population.)

EdwardW
3) I see a greater likelihood for revolution occurring in an independent Tibet

Ilan
The option for revolution in one small country is absurd. Even if the country is as big as China itself, it is hard to believe it will succeed in the 21th century.
It is understandable that the elite of every country is for "national independance" as it will make them the new ruling elite. However, better do not be so sure what the exploited majority are for. Better be not so sure the majority of the working people are for that option.

When the choice is between being subjects of a non developed states as "free" and "independent" citizens, or being a second rate residents of devolepped countries, the masses prefer the second option.

You can see it in the big wave of immigrants to West Europe and North America (US and Canada). You can even see it in the Israeli Palestinian citizens who oppose the change of the 1948 border so the areas they live in on near the borders with the future Palestinian state, will be annexed to the future Palestinian state.

I wonder what results you will get in Jerusalem, if you made an opinion survey among the Palestinians annexed to it 1967 what they really prefer.

Related Link: http://ilan.shalif.com/anarchy/
 
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