Error in Western Media Report about Tibet

During the SARS period in 2003, I wrote an article Protect China – Not Only From SARS. Just as I am not a big fan of CCTV, I am not a fan of the CNN or BBC. I am not new to incorrect media report from western media, especially BBC (I was quoted by them many times, and the last time was like this).

As far as I remember, the last time BBC quote what I said was on its Chinese homepage: "Chinese Netizen: We can Say Whatever We Want to Say", and in the article, they said:

Chinese famous blogger Wang Jian Shuo accepted BBC’s English interview after the Chinese Blogger Conference. He believe the journalist misunderstood his meaning.
He criticized BBC for getting words out of contexts, use the edited sentence to get a misleading conclusion.
He pointed out, that even though you said "no comment", BBC will say "You are under political pressure (and don’t want to comment)".
Wang Jian Shuo also wrote on his blog: "Obviously, this is no censorship on this blog, and I can say whatever I want"

The original blog is there untouched since published, and find out the whole picture. I quitted the discussion with BBC, since one is using the power of a strong media, and I am fighting with my small blog. I am sure my name is in their database, and I am often called to ask for live radio broadcast of BBC, which I all rejected.

More Errors

Not only BBC. Many media love to cut things out of context – pretty understandable in news report due to limitation of page, but if you use the cut version to tell a different story, that is another thing.

I am sharing some screen shot created by netizens in China, and I quoted from I am not sure why but everyone seems like Nepal police more and all use their photos to report what is happening in Tibet.















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76 thoughts on “Error in Western Media Report about Tibet

  1. At the happenings of the riot at Lhasa, China escorted away all the foreign journalists from the areas. I remembered one BBC reporter said when he reached Hong Kong ” China is handling her domestic affair and does not wish the world to see”.

    The notion of that statement to the world is simple and clear “China is suppressing the native uprising with heavy hand”.

    Owing to the news black out except CCTV, the journlists are writing stories based on the sources feeded by oversea Tibetan organizations with improvised footages.

    If China open Tibet to all foreign journlists at that time and see the uprising first handed, do you think they’ll write the stories otherwise?

  2. I am [not] sure why but everyone seems like Nepal police more and all use their photos to report what is happening in Tibet.

    Because China locked all foreign reporter out of Tibet, and Nepal didn’t.


  3. I’m a college student , and I would like to begin this in our mother tongue, Mr. Wang, if you please:




    您看,我不关心西藏问题(我个人看法是藏独根本没得谈,就是有的谈我也反对谈,我可不想以后爬Mount Everest的时候还要办签证)。我只关心GFW和Anti-GFW.据说国际奥委会向中国施压,说比赛期间要保持互联网畅通,保证电视直播畅通。我其实也不怎么关心奥运会,但我比较关注这条新闻。可是我不知道是该高兴还是该悲哀。


    It’s a shame that the “Western media bias” should become a focus in domestic media’s “blackfire” coverage. I think it only reflex their own impotency in covering “sensive matters”. The picture behind all this seems like this to me: “Look! They fumbled! They made a mistake! Let’s all claw at their heads!”

    Or it it? I’m afraid many people would only remember the face of Western media as “very bad, very sinister”. Because for them, it’s one of the rare times they ever heard of “CNN’ or “BBC”, let alone watching their programs because of the language barrier( let’s put GFW aside).

    I’m deeply sorry for them. They were simplely happy for the coming Olympics, though they may don’t know what exactly that will change their life or even whether it will.

    And that, can cast a shadow towards a possiblely more open media environment, if there is.

  4. Because china has for many decades since CCP’s rein tried to block out foreign media, portray their own side of the story (often distorted) to its own citizens in china, crash down on democracy, crash down on human rights, fight neighbouring but weaker nations agreesively that it has lose its credibility. Example would be the china-vietnam war (claiming vietnam attacked china first when it was the other way round). Claims that Taiwan was part of china, claimed that nepal was part of china, claimed that singapore was a colony of china etc. of course i do not know what china wrote in its textbook but the above examples came from my PRC classmates when they speak of china’s glorifying “conquers”. Man..when you tell too many lies, you lose ur credibility. Have you heard a story about the boy who cries wolf….?

    Oh..not to forget that chinese army wipe out nearly half the tibetan population when it annexed tibet in 1949.

  5. 你如果没把你05年的愤慨从新发出来,我也没打算加这个贴。说国内没有GFW的确是让人不解。我个人的最新体验是GFW是越来越”神了”。一个月前刚在国内呆了三周。每每有那不知为何不让去的网,我便被”带”到中国”鸭糊”的”指导点”。回美一个月了,偶尔还给你指导指导(这回都是网址有误的情况下)。GFW大概还会埋”虫子”了。我打算再给个一个月的时间。再”犯”的话就只好重装browser。

    I found it’s also shocking that for somebody like you (and some of the readers here as well) who have the privileges of the few to live in a relatively open and free life style, but who can’t seem to tell the differences between mistakes and intentional misguides of media. Are you seriously putting a “=” mark between CCTV and CNN, BBC etc. (Believe me, I am not a fen of either of them… that’s beyond the point). What is so bad of media from other countries to pointed out the brutality, unfairness, and unjustness of China… especially we all know what our national system is a decoration. They do the same thing to their own countries, their own governments. The only bad thing about it I can figure out is about loosing face. Guess what… if China and Chinese really want to become this big powerful nation no earth as we claim we dreamed for for generations… GET READY AND GET USED TO IT. The alternative… is close the “door” again like it use to be… go back to the time when few cared about how our parents lived. Since we jumped up and down to put our face in front of the world (this summer Olympic is a perfect example)… what is the point that we get all so existed that some of the people of this world don’t think we are so pretty.

    In terms of Tibet. I am Han Chinese. I traveled to the the west area of China from the south of Gansu to where it is in between Sichun and Tibet in 1988 by taking trains and buses. I remember the biggest impact on me from that trip was to realize that they (Tibetans) were not us. They have a long history, well developed culture, literature included. They looked even better in their own native clothing. Unavoidably, I saw clear signs of “汉化” as well… I can only imagine how much more it is today. What I want to say is that it should not be up to us, Han Chinese, to tell Tibetans how to live. Rightly we often demand the respects from the West. Shouldn’t we also give respects to Tibetans? The respect to their religion, language, and their right to be Tibetans. I know I would want that if I were a Tibetan.

    The common argument I read online from Chinese is that we gave them a better life. It seems hard for a lot of Chinese to understand that not all people value “modern” life, including the highways, high speed internet, and the new airports you were so proud of, as a good life.

    Let people have the right to know, to disagree. Maybe one day, we’ll have a solution.

  6. just to say that i completely agree what micah said.

    china doesn’t let journalists do their job and then complains of being treated unfairly by everybody? you can’t make lemonade without lemons…

  7. This post is unbelievably outrageous. Wang JianShuo, you can now officially apply for a job at Xinhua. First, you claim you want to evaluate the truth, and you don’t post anything you don’t know about. Sorry, recycling CCP conspiracy and paranoia stories doesn’t cut it.

    Yes, the media sometimes makes mistakes. But there is a world of difference, a planet sized gap, between incorrectly captioning a photo and the CCTV/Xinhua approach of complete fabrication. If you can’t understand that, and especially in your privileged position, then you and the rest of the Chinese ‘bloggers’ deserve to be the first ones loaded on the train when the next Cultural Revolution starts.

    It’s amazing that in the year 2008, the Chinese people can be so easily misled by distorted patriotism and bizarre government press releases. Where is your Chinese pride when the rest of the world just shakes their head at how easily the Chinese people are duped and controlled by their government? Ever wonder why there is no dissenting opinions out there? Any dissenting columnists? Do you ever sit and wonder how, in a population of 1.3 billion people, everyone has the same opinion? Open your eyes.

    Doctored photos? Are you kidding me? Do you know how many doctored photos I’ve seen in Shanghai Daily, China Daily….and the Chinese language papers are many times worse. And as other people have pointed out, part of the reason for the inaccurate photos IS BECAUSE THE CHINESE GOV’T shut out foreign media. Please show me some examples when a Chinese overseas reporter has been barred from demonstrations in the U.S., Europe, Japan, etc. You can’t – and that’s the difference. The Chinese leaders have often cited the Paris disturbances – well how in the world did they know about this? Because the rest of the ‘civilized’ world you want so much to be a part of has recognized and enshrined for decades press and information freedom. (and while we’re on that topic….I’ll point out that anyone arrested in France for those disturbances have rights to a lawyer, a fair court system, interviews with media, and a trial free of gov’t interference – please compare to how anyone arrested in Tibet for those ‘violent uprisings’ are being treated)

    It takes more than a few skyscrapers and a magnetic train to be modern and ‘world class’. It takes emancipation and freedom of people, equal rights enshrined by law, representative government, and most importantly, freedom of information and the rule of law. But it also takes a nation of people who can think for themselves and demand better, who believe in improvement of their society for the rest of others, and don’t sit sulking in the dark corner of their victimhood.

    Until then, friend, you better believe that the spotlight your gov’t so badly wanted to turn on itself is going to show some very dark areas.

    Grow up and get used to it.

  8. Just because China didn’t allow foreign journlists to report in Tibet at the beginning, you think you can make your own fake stories and fool people all around the world? I am really impressed. What is the logic here?

  9. Dunk,

    I hope Hu Jintao buys you a lobster dinner for that remarkable insight. “Make your own fake stories”…um, ever wonder why the Chinese press is NOT focusing on the text or the stories, only the pictures? Because that’s easy to do when they’ve forced Western media to use whatever they can get their hands on.

    I also get a pretty good laugh when you mention “at the beginning”. You must be referring to that press tour that the CCP put on for a select few foreign journalists a few days after the uprising started – where the locations were carefully staged and interviews were monitored.

    “Fool people all around the world”? Ha, believe me, no one around the world is getting fooled as to what your government is getting themselves into. Good luck with those Olympics!!

  10. Jianshuo, I hope that you see how distorted Chinese media propagandize its cause too…

    The total number of chinese killed in the Massacre of Nanking was hype-up

    Taiwan (as an island, then called Formosa) WAS NEVER a part of PRC. Then get this right, there was the ROC before there ever existed a PRC. Now tell me who belongs to who? Seems like Taiwan owns China more than the other way around.

    Tibet was INVADED by the PRC under Mao in 1950, officially turned into a “province” incorporating other parts of China in 1959.

    Before that, it was a kingdom on its own, with no cultural or economical links to China.

    China claimed that Tibet was a poor spiritual and slave-like cultural entity before PRC under Mao stepped in..well do you see Tibet under PRC as better off? No. In fact, life has become harder for them. If they are better off, they wouldn’t be protesting.

    Economical “benefits” is not an excuse for annexing another country because if thats the cause, the USA has a good reason to “liberate” China too and wipe out half of China’s population as did China when it invaded Tibet in 1950.

    East Turkestan share a lot of similarity to Tibet and are severely oppressed. The kinds in “Xingjiang” has resorted to pickpocketing on the streets, skipping school and stuffs as compared to their counterparts. In fact, they had it worse than Tibet considering the fact that they had for a short period of time declared independence from China, had their own flags and national song and built economical ties with neighbouring countries, only to be crashed by China again later.

    For all the reasons (and many others) above, China does not deserve to host the Olympics which is a symbol of human right, perseverance, peace and unity. It is even more of a joke that it is passing around the Olympic torch with its blood-stained hand.



  11. @ Brian

    Ha, you have been fooled by your government ,or by BBC ,or CNN,damned!!! who cares which one! Please believe God,you are totally fooled!!!!

  12. Must have taken hours to come up with this response. Brilliant analysis. You have a career in political science, I’m assuming.

  13. @Elaine

    Ha, “…wipe out half of China’s population ……”, You are such a terrorist!!! we each one spit on you to drown you!!!



  14. Let’s suppose that you want to visit a house and report the inner condiiton but the hoster does not allow you to do that. So you listen to some people maybe never came into the house or have bias to the hoster and write your report based on that information. Do you think the report is fair and objective? It’s the same reason why we questioned western media’s incorrect report.

  15. Dear Du,

    look at what you have done now, taking bits of what I said and then distorting its content altogether.

    My original sentence was….

    Economical “benefits” is not an excuse for annexing another country because if thats the cause, the USA has a good reason to “liberate” China too and wipe out half of China’s population as did China when it invaded Tibet in 1950 its not just the chinese media that loves distorting the things (also bargaining with facts along the way)…is that a Chinese thingy or are you part of the Chinese media team?


  16. Oh please since when has the Olympics been a sign of PEACE? Remember the Munich assisinations? or Atlanta bombings?

    Only governments try to bring politics into a SPORTING event – an event where members of countries from all around the world compete with sportsmanship for a medal. If human rights is really an issue, then the US should never ever be awarded yet another Olympics in their country again.

    WMDs WMDs!!!! Oh no we didn’t find any….lets kill 100,000 iraqis instead.

    Was the Athens games in 2004 *really* about PEACE? Ask 90% of the US national basketball team who didn’t show up due to “other’ engagements. Oh that throws perserverance out the door too.

    WJS is just stating that there’s always two sides to the story. You don’t have eat everything that the media feeds you.

  17. Tibet has a distinctive language, (verbal and written), a distinctive cultural identity, a distinctive spiritual way of way, a distinctive demographic, a distinctive historical background/ existence, a distinctive social system, a distinctive leader (government in exile) making it capable of making independent decision.

    It’s true that Tibet is less economically well-off but is that up to the Chinese to judge. That’s what I mean, the Chinese has put up a very poor excuse for invading Tibet…like-wise the common “If China did not attack Tibet, then India would have….”

    Totally bullshit to me.

    What the Chinese say when they put up that sort of argument equates to “If I do not rape that girl or rob that bank, someone else would do it anyway”. What sort of sick and morally diminished regime would advocate that sort of mentality?

  18. Journalist should not write things they totally don’t know. It is the basic rule. No excuse.

  19. What medias do these days are forming theories first and then to gather evidence to support them instead of gathering facts and let audience think. In other words, they are spreading propaganda instead of reporting. Some news anchors even act like man-on-a-mission, as if they are the only people who are sober :) well those people are never happy themselves.

    As for protest, the fact that they chose to do this a few months before olympics and call on boycott of the game is a bit selfish. Athletes around world have been in training for years for the competition, why they have to be sacrificed for your independence agenda?

  20. @Elaine

    Indian has a distinctive language, (verbal and written), a distinctive cultural identity, a distinctive spiritual way of way, a distinctive demographic, a distinctive historical background/ existence, a distinctive social system, a distinctive leader making it capable of making independent decision. But sadly, you almost kill ’em all.

  21. @Elaine

    I am very very happy that you said out such words” ……..taking bits of what I said and then distorting its content altogether……” Now you know the feeling,ha!

    If you are smart enough,you should know what I want to say!

  22. All I will say is that the leadership of China needs to take MBA Marketing 101 and Managing Public Relations 101 classes. They only have themselves to blame for this PR disaster which is now has global exposure. All of this crisis could have been less intensive if they only knew a little about spin-doctoring world opinion!

  23. There is a difference between free media and unbiased media. It is OK for a media to have an opinion and be biased. As long as it is free and the readers are free to chose from different sources, truth should be able to prevail(in most cases maybe). But the same can NOT be said for medias that are controlled by a central authority.

  24. I believe that CNN, BBC, and many others are definitely biased, but I feel that this whole mis-captioning fiasco has been overblown. I say this because back when the protests had only been going on for a couple days (before the Lhasa riot), my friend in China asked me to find some pictures online of the protests to send her since the GFW prevented her from finding that stuff.

    So I looked, and all I could find were pictures from Nepal and India (probably because press wasn’t allowed in Tibet). The captions clearly stated that the images were from Nepal and India or I wouldn’t have known. (I’d know they weren’t from China, but wouldn’t have known from where exactly.)

    I don’t doubt that some news organizations made stupid mistakes and labeled them as China, but I personally did not encounter any of those mistakes in my search. All the photos I was able to find were correctly captioned.

    Yes, bias in news is a bad thing, but portraying “Western media” as a whole as biased is itself biased also.

  25. Since when does having a distinctive language, distinctive cultural identity, etc equate a separate nationhood? Should the Red Indians in America be given a separate nationhood? How about the aboriginals in Australia? Or the Austronesian natives in Taiwan, whose 26 languages are almost extinct. (I don’t hear cultural genocide)

    If we follow a ‘logical’ world view as such, than surely, the most populous nation is entitled to have the largest footprint on earth? It is the most equitable, no?

    Anyway, take a look at the maps published predating the so called PRC invasion of Tibet and draw your own conclusions. … 2/cramasia1902.html

    As for the foreign journalists being barred from the news site, it still doesn’t excuse them from sloppy journalism.

  26. The only thing I can say is each of the news networks are throwing up it’s own version of shit. And people are reacting to to whichever version they saw as “true”.

    The reactions of the protesters are no more legitimate than the supporters.

    The interests of those each side claims to protect is all but swept aside.

    Is independence the solution for Tibet ?? or is it just another flavour of the month for protests against China leading up to the Olympics ?

    After Tibet blows over, will we be facing protests against the games due to lead paint ??

    When I see the crazy frenchman fighting with his fellow sportsman proudly carrying the torch, I can’t help but laugh at the madness. Because the protester could have better spent his time fighting for the rights of the inhabitants of the islands his country nuked in the south pacific ! So much for his conscience ! He probabily thinks Tibet is somewhere next to Korea. These guys are so desperate to give out another silly statue of liberty trinket !

    The Olympics is the cumulation of 4 years of hard work, not just by China but every sportsman of the world. Unfortunately it is hijacked by a bunch of China haters. (There are those who say they have no problem with the Chinese, it’s the communist party they are against. Well, by sabotaging this event, it shows that they treat both as the same.)

  27. @Dunk, do you think it is justified to kill Tibetans just because Americans did the same thing to Indians. If I have done something really bad, does it make me unqualified to criticize the bad things you are doing.

  28. One question for “Error in Western Media Report about Tibet”.

    Why NOT give the original URL on those report!

    I agree so many foreign medias will make mistake in reporting about China, but how about China ourselves??

    Anything from domestic governmental media is Bullshit! Unless simply……one thing, Chinese government don’t cut news from TV news programs anymore, like TVB etc.

    I think, before many domestic governmental medias rant to the “Error in Western Media Report about Tibet” AT THE SAME PERIOD, they need to learn it first—-

    “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” from Voltaire

  29. Reposting this because the earlier one didn’t seem to register. So pardon me if you see a repeat.

    Since when does having a distinctive language, distinctive cultural identity, etc equate a separate nationhood? Should the Red Indians in America be given a separate nationhood? How about the aboriginals in Australia? Or the Austronesian natives in Taiwan, whose 26 languages are almost extinct. (I don’t hear cultural genocide)

    If we follow a ‘logical’ world view as such, than surely, the most populous nation is entitled to have the largest footprint on earth? It is the most equitable, no?

    Anyway, take a look at the maps published predating the so called PRC invasion of Tibet and draw your own conclusions. … 2/cramasia1902.html

    As for the foreign journalists being barred from the news site, it still doesn’t excuse them from sloppy journalism.

  30. These pictures are now almost month old. And all of the errors you posted have since been corrected so…what’s your point? During breaking news stories, the media can only use the resources it has, therefore if you don’t like what the media does, give them more resources, i.e. reporter access.

    Finally, the fact they you weren’t clear and precise with your words to that BBC reporter is your fault not the reporter’s. Just an FYI.

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  32. Dear Dunk,

    please throw up statistics to prove that “I” have ever killed Indians….

    You would have to explain who or what you are referring to when you used the word “you” on me

  33. Dear Du,

    I certainly have had a taste of how those bunch of words feel like because I had long experienced it from ignorant Chinese like you.

    Do I have to make myself clearer in how Chinese distorted world’s history and claiming ruling rights to countries such as Xinjiang, Tibet, Mongolia, Taiwan and past conquests (or colonial-ship) of countries such as Nepal, Vietnam and Singapore? Or perhaps the biggest lie – the truth behind what really happened in Indonesia in 1997. My own country have suffered even greater distortion of truth and injustice than what the Chinese are going through….

    What do I call this? Justice has finally found its way to reach the villains after a long search.

    Get this: What goes around comes around.

  34. Dear Du,

    I certainly have had a taste of how those bunch of words feel like because I had long experienced it from ignorant Chinese like you.

    Do I have to make myself clearer in how Chinese distorted world’s history and claiming ruling rights to countries such as Xinjiang, Tibet, Mongolia, Taiwan and past conquests (or colonial-ship) of countries such as Nepal, Vietnam and Singapore? Or perhaps the biggest lie – the truth behind what really happened in Indonesia in 1997. My own country have suffered even greater distortion of truth and injustice than what the Chinese are going through….

    What do I call this? Justice has finally found its way to reach the villains after a long search.

    Get this: What goes around comes around.

  35. Dear GN,

    I totally agree with you that the excuse that China is using to justify their crime of ethic cleansing is not only weak but also demonstrates the evil and cruelty of the regime – that killing A (Tibetans) because B (Americans) has also killed (Red Indians) makes me less guilty is sick and disgusting.

    At least I know there are Americans who do not agree with America’s stance towards the Red Indians and the Australian’s effort in rectifying the wrongs made by their ancestors with regards to the ‘Stolen Generation’, I don’t see similar quality in the Chinese.

    Isn’t it time for the Chinese to ask themselves how such a huge country with 1.4 billion population can have only one way of seeing things, unquestioningly, undying?

    Even as a four year old, I know hitting back at the boy who hit me half an hour ago does not make me any more right than him. Sadly, Chinese from 3 months old to 80 year old does not seem to understand this – judging from their point of argument

  36. GN, I see your point above, but please recognize that this ‘multiple ethnicity problem’ is hardly unique to China. Remember that the United States, itself, is essentially a country that is entirely built on the massive genocide of the native American peoples, and the massacre and forced displacement of mestizo peoples in what is now the US Southwest. The same with Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Whites from Britain and Western Europe are not indigenous to these lands– they became the dominant peoples due to massive displacement and active genocide of the aboriginals there, while building up their own lands with slave labor from African peoples who were never compensated. In Australia, British settlers deliberately targeted entire aboriginal families

    On the one hand, this fact exhibits the hypocrisy and shamefulness of posters such as Elaine, who openly express genocidal hatred toward the Chinese people and a desire ‘to wipe out half of them.’ Since quite probably she and many other posters here (myself included) are from the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, all of which became “Western” lands as a direct consequence of the deliberate genocide of the native peoples, we are essentially speaking as beneficiaries of that very genocide, and as continuing occupiers of the lands of these indigenous peoples.

    On the other hand, a prior genocide does not excuse one in the future, of course. I found myself, when I was working in China several years ago, that if anything, the Chinese government was even more respectful of Tibetans than the USA has been toward native Americans, or Australia toward its aborigines (until, perhaps, last month). I saw most signs in both Chinese and Tibetan, I saw schools where Tibetan culture was celebrated alongside Chinese culture, I saw Tibetan dances and festivals– and made a number of Tibetan friends– and generally saw a good deal of mutual respect. Tibetans are not subject to the One Child Rule, and Tibetan institutions were largely left intact. In direct contrast, the USA has vigorously tried to kill the native American peoples and wipe out native American cultures entirely, even today– in Arizona, home of the Navajo, the Navajos are not allowed to use the Navajo language in public or educate their children in the Navajo language or cultural traditions. It is English-only for them. The same in Oklahoma. In Australia, up until very recently, aboriginal culture was actively suppressed. There have of course been some recent changes, but the damage has done– the sheer momentum of the prior damage has all but crushed indigenous culture in the USA and Australia among the few remaining survivors of the British, American, and Australian attacks on them. By comparison, if anything, the Chinese government has behaved with respect. There have been many shameful episodes, to be sure, but nothing quite like the litany of broken treaties, massacres like Sand Creek and Wounded Knee, and repeated humiliations that have been suffered by the First Nations in Canada and the USA, the Australian aborigines, or even the New Zealand Maoris (who admittedly have been treated better than their aboriginal compatriots in Australia, who were almost wiped out by deliberate policy). This is a part of my history as an American which I still find regrettable.

    Here is where the quandary arises. The reality is that the Chinese government’s actions in Tibet, while far from perfect, has if anything been more humane than what the First Nations in Canada, the USA, Australia and New Zealand have suffered. Yet this reality is almost never communicated– in Western media, the Chinese are portrayed as evildoers in Tibet and Xinjiang, without regard to actual policy.

    What matters in Western media, are images, perceptions, and appearances, and the most influential people with Western media tend to be the most anti-Chinese. They, in fact, often tend to be neocons, which I myself once was.

    And the bitter truth, is that the neocons want to cynically use China’s ethnic variations– which China has with some sincerity, tried to be fair about– to provoke a civil war and separatism in Xinjiang and Tibet.

    This cynical manipulation and realpolitik by the neoconservatives is a reality, and it is why it is too dangerous for China and East Asia in general– including ethnic minorities– to have an ethnically distinct group as the demographically dominant group in a particular region.

    The most humane solution then, is probably intermarriage and assimilation, as in Brazil. The Uyghurs, Tibetans and other minorities intermarry with Han and other ethnic groups, and they and their cultures survive. But the close familial, economic, cultural, social, and political ties protect against civil wars and other damage. So the various cultures survive, but ethnic tensions go down. Intermarriage and assimilation are thus, probably, the best ways to peacefully resolve the problems in those regions.

  37. Now, despite my prior post, I would also like to say, that Stephen, Micah, and Bill Ng do make a fair point. The very fact that so much Chinese media is closed and censored, does raise suspicion and doubt among others as to the veracity of much Chinese media itself.

    I understand that this is a complicated issue, and that maintaining the peace in the country is of paramount interest. Certainly, having a free press can become problematic if it descends to the point when factions form in a country (not just ethnic groups, but factions within an ethnic group) and ideologies harden, such that a free press merely reflects shouting matches among different groups permanently in conflict with one another. It can also be problematic when “free” media is used merely to demagogue or to encourage shallow thinking rather than deep consideration of complex issues. It can also be a problem when such media leads to lack of a consensus due to ideological hardening. I am sure that Chinese officials, trying to maintain the peace, have considered this.

    At the same time, I do feel that China can reach a “happy medium” of a free press that does not descend down to the level of the USA and much of Europe– where sensationalism and factional fighting predominate over critical discussion and deep contemplation of issues, due to profit concerns as much as anything else– yet at the same time, have a free press that reasonably debates important issues, offers up a diversity of ideas and opinions in good faith, and brings early attention to important problems.

    A free press is not just a matter of Western Enlightenment ideals– it can be quite empowering to the Chinese nation. A friend of mine, in fact, brought up a quandary– since China has so many intelligent people, why, nonetheless, has China had so few Nobel Prize Winners in the sciences, or so few entrepreneurs creating the most innovative companies like Google, Merck, or Genentech? It’s not a language issue either– because of the already great importance of Chinese, Nobel-nominating committees can read Chinese-language scientific papers now, and in fact, the more that the Chinese write scientific papers in their native Chinese, the more rapidly an indigenous and globally predominant Chinese scientific community will arise, and be recognized as such by the scientific community.

    My friend suggested, that the reason for the lack of great Chinese scientific innovators, modern philosophers, inventors, authors, and entrepreneurs, is the tendency to suppress debate and diversity of ideas and opinion. and require just one line of thought. This hostility to new ideas is absolute poison to creativity and innovative, outside-the-box thinking, the kind of thinking that leads to Nobel Prizes and creative thinking.

    I am now over 60 years old, and with my age has come the wisdom that, sadly, so many great human mistakes result from a group of people going too far in one direction or another, too far toward one extreme or another.

    A thriving society with great accomplishments in science, culture, and business, needs *both* diversity of ideas *and* ultimately consensus to survive. In the USA and Western Europe, perhaps, we have far too much factional thinking, debate, and differences of opinion, that harden so much that we have polarized nations where our own citizens often hate each other, and we can’t reach enough consensus to get things done. We have failed miserably in the USA and the West in general to address our coming economic crisis of debt, environmental damage, and of course our foolish invasion of Iraq. On the other hand, China, perhaps, has too much of a tendency toward consensus, but too little debate and diversity of opinion that brings attention to needed problems.

    When China has issues of air pollution or water contamination which cause health problems and hurt the environment, when Chinese citizens become angry about land being seized and not adequately compensated, when Chinese in the cities worry about a population aging too fast due to the One Child Policy, with too many elderly people and too few young people to provide the labor and new ideas– those are urgent problems that should be addressed in a free press, in open debate. Obviously, the Chinese media should not sensationalize these problems, should not pit Chinese people against each other, should not stoke anger to the point of causing social disharmony.

    But the Chinese media should openly address and debate these problems in a calm, rational, critical, and beneficial manner for the people. There should be openness to that.

    Thus, I do feel that some of your critics here encouraging more press freedom, such as Stephen, Micah, and Bill Ng, are in fact, suggesting things that will help China as a nation.

    On the other hand, people such as Elaine, who spout genocidal hatred toward the Chinese people, deserve nothing but contempt. Elaine, I am telling you this for your own good, child– in my decades working for the diplomatic corps, I met numerous people like yourself, full of hate against another group of people to the extent of wanting to kill large numbers of them, just for who they are, unable to distinguish individuals from the group or the masses from the elite.

    And I can also tell you, that most of these hateful people– many of them neoconservatives– died quite young. The reason, as you will soon learn, child, is that hate has a way of killing the haters who possess it. It corrodes you, eats you from the inside. It is worse than smoking as an agent to damage human health and vitality. Let go of your hate, because if you continue to hold it like this, you are not long on this earth.

  38. To repeat my earliest posts: I do feel that the “Brazilian solution” of peaceful assimilation and intermarriage of China’s ethnic groups with each other, is the most humanistic solution for China’s various issues and will solve them all at once: Reduce ethnic tensions, reduce separatist movements and the danger of civil war that would kill hundreds of millions of people in East Asia (including minorities such as Qiang, Tibetans, Hui, Manchus, Mongols. Uyghurs, and Yi), promote social, cultural, economic, political, and family harmony, increase cultural vigor, increase mutual respect, and even promote the thriving of China’s various ethnic strains, as occurs in Brazil.

    Re: The “Brazil Method” of integrating Tibet and Xinjiang into China, through intermarriage and assimilation

    Greetings Jian Shuo Wang,

    It has been fascinating for me to read these comments on your site, which has now become perhaps the premier online medium for Americans such as myself to communicate with you there in China. I myself am a highly-placed diplomatic professional, with decades of experience in the international relations field and contacts throughout Western governments and ‘think tanks’. These are the intellectual organizations in the USA and Canada, Europe, New Zealand and Australia that formulate policy toward China, such as the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where indeed, many of the aforementioned “neoconservatives” work. 2 decades ago, I would have been considered such a neoconservative myself, but I am appalled at what the neocons have become and the global discord that they are trying to sow, in the pursuit of their perceived interests. I have conclusively broken with them, and since I know them, their plans, and their intentions well, I want to help you and the Chinese nation here by sharing that information.

    I began my international career in the US diplomatic corps all the way back in the 1960’s, when China was indeed “the Communist enemy” of the United States, but in subsequent decades, as I have visited China and learned the Mandarin Chinese language, I have come to admire the work ethic, discipline, technological innovation, cultural vigor, and remarkable creativity of the Chinese people, as well as your country’s remarkable strides in, yes, human rights, a process that I realize is still in progress. You may therefore find my comments of value.

    The consensus among commenters on your site here, seems to be that China must integrate both Tibet and Xinjiang into the broader Chinese nation, not only economically but also culturally, socially and demographically, to finally bring peace to the regions and defeat the anti-Chinese propaganda that, regrettably, pervades much of Western media. I agree with this as I will explain, and I would also like to emphasize the need for extensive intermarriage among ethnic groups and pro-assimilation policies to accomplish this.

    There is indeed, a large and powerful segment of the US foreign policy establishment, that fears China as a so-called “peer competitor”– a power exceeding that of the USA– and as a result, seeks to destroy China as a nation. This is not a unanimous view within the US State Department, and this is clearly not ‘official’ US policy– our government does not view you as an enemy like the Soviet Union, though our official policy toward you might be described as ‘cautious,’ neither friend nor foe. However, there is in fact a solid and influential “anti-Chinese faction” within US foreign policy circles and in those think tanks and, yes, many of the most vigorously anti-Chinese officials are in fact, neoconservatives, as others have mentioned.

    The current media campaign in the USA and Europe, regarding the Beijing Olympics, has been stridently anti-Chinese, almost to the point of anti-Asian racism. If you watch the television news here or open up the newspapers, China is regularly being compared to Stalinist Russia, Nazi Germany, or the British during their worst imperial period in Ireland, South Africa, or India during the mid-1800’s, when the British had killed 50 million people. Your country is being portrayed in very negative terms in our media. In many of my previous meetings and discussions with anti-Chinese neoconservatives, as part my diplomatic work, one of the emphases of these neocons was, indeed, to damage China through strongly negative media attention and what we should fairly call propaganda, so I would not be surprised if part of the anti-Chinese rhetoric now, has indeed been introduced by the neocons.

    I will agree entirely with what someone else wrote above: In Western countries, appearances and perceptions often matter more than reality. Unfortunately, we are often a rather emotional people for whom images and impressions matter more than facts, as you have seen yourself in Britain, France, the USA and Australia. So as others have written here, it does not matter what you are really doing in Tibet, or how just and fair your policies are– you will be berated, anyway, within the media of the West. That is how propaganda works, unfortunately.

    The anti-Chinese neoconservatives know this, and it is why I will confirm what others have written here: As long as Tibet and Xinjiang remain ‘ethnically separate’ regions of China– in the sense that a distinct ethnicity is associated with the geographical locations of Tibet and Xinjiang, as the Tibetans and Uyghurs currently are– then China will be in tremendous danger of a civil war driven in part by external enemies who are hostile to China, and indeed, your enemies in North America and Europe will continue to stir up anti-Chinese propaganda against you in Western media. I don’t know if these types of people are directly involved in the “Free Tibet” movement, as someone else has posted here, but I have worked for many years with these neocons before, and I will confirm for you– their #1 goal is to destroy China through a civil war initiated within Chinese territory, starting in Tibet and Xinjiang, but then extending into regions such as Sichuan and even Guangdong. Again, I know this well, because I have worked with these neocons before and have even been involved in drawing up these sorts of plans. To remind you, again, 2 decades ago, I might have been called a neocon myself, if the term had existed then.

    In solving your problems in Tibet and Xinjiang, and thus conclusively defeating the neocons who want to destroy you by initiating a civil war there, you must change things so that Tibet and Xinjiang are not an issue at all.

    As a reminder, this is a media war, a war of perceptions, as much as anything else, and to solve Tibet and Xinjiang, you must change them so that they are no longer ethnically distinct regions of China at all. That way, 10-20 years in the future, Tibet and Xinjiang will no longer be in the headlines of Western media, and the source of the anti-Chinese propaganda in the US media, will then fade. Neocons may still be troublemakers, but if Xinjiang and Tibet are stably integrated into China, with a mixed population of Han and others, then news organizations here will have no reason to put Tibet and Xinjiang into the headlines. As a result, the fuel for the neocons’ anti-China campaign will dry up. Also, this will eliminate the potential for a civil war started in Tibet or Xinjiang.

    To do this in a way that is just, dignified and respectful of human rights, I would suggest “the Brazil method” of massive intermarriage and assimilation, as follows:

    In my decades with the diplomatic corps here, I spent many years in Brazil. It is interesting that some here consider Brazil to be “pro-Chinese”– I don’t know if the Brazilians are “pro-Chinese” per se, but they are not anti-Chinese, and if anything they do seem to admire China for being a large developing country that is becoming wealthy and technologically advanced. The Brazilians, in other words, see you as a model, and want to imitate your accomplishments.

    In any case, the Brazilians also hold the solution for you in Tibet and Xinjiang. Brazil is quite similar to China, an enormous country with a large population, and ethnically diverse. Brazil has dozens of ethnic groups in a variety of distinct geographical regions, but very little ethnic tension. (It does have other problems such as crime and narcotics, but little danger of secession or ethnic conflict.) The reason, essentially, is that Brazil as an official government policy has long encouraged massive intermarriage among its peoples, and assimilation of all groups within the predominant culture. Thus, Brazil is stable and united.

    Intermarriage is so successful as a stabilizer of nations because, when you mix the peoples up like this, and as their families and relationships intertwine, intense ethnic feelings and animosities are reduced, and the impetus for civil war and secession disappears. When different ethnic groups blend together, to become not only neighbors and coworkers but husbands and wives, brothers, sisters and cousins, then the kinds of Tibetan protests that we witnessed last month become much less likely. The ethnic groups become assimilated into a broader culture. The unique and distinctive cultural aspects of ethnic groups do survive in this mixture, but in a constructive way, and thus do not pose a political threat to a country. Tibetan and Uyghur culture will survive after intermarriage with Han Chinese and other groups, if anything they will thrive, but as an element of harmony among China’s people that is wedded to the Han Chinese language and culture themselves, rather than a source of ethnic tension that neocons can exploit.

    As others have written here, having an overwhelming Han majority in these regions can also be a stabilizer– perhaps Inner Mongolia being the best example. It had been restless in previous decades, but Inner Mongolia was stabilized when the Han majority became 90%. Dispersion of different ethnic groups and peoples, also, is generally good for stability. As all of China’s peoples– not only Han but Yi, Tujia, Manchu, Miao, Gelao, Qiang, Tibetan, Uyghur, Mongol and others– become dispersed throughout the Chinese land, then there is far less danger still of secessionist tendencies that the neocons can exploit, since ethnicity is no longer so closely linked to a particular geographical place. But intermarriage is the most important element.

    It is probably even more important in Xinjiang than in Tibet. Muslim Uyghurs have a very high birth rate, and there is a danger in future generations, that Xinjiang could again gain a large Uyghur majority– and you should be sure, that the neocons in the USA will exploit that to split China apart! This would be similar to Kosovo, which had once been majority Serbian Orthodox Christian in population. However, as Muslim Kosovars moved in, they had a much higher birth rate than the Serbs and became the majority, then used this to declare independence from Serbia. The neocons knew this, and they used the Kosovar Muslim majority to support a US war against Serbia. This is the reality, and if you allow Xinjiang or any other region to gain a majority of Uyghurs or other ethnic groups, the neocons will try to do the same to China, to split you up like the Soviet Union or Serbia.

    If the Uyghur population does become a majority again in Xinjiang, and if there is a separatist movement as a result, then neocons will not only propagandize against you, but they will also lobby Saudi Arabia and other oil-producing nations to deny you oil and hurt you economically, as a gesture of “Muslim solidarity” that would, in fact, be nothing more than a cynical neocon power play. This is precisely what neocons in the 1980’s did to damage the Soviet Union– this fact is little appreciated even in the USA, but the Reagan Administration damaged the USSR, perhaps more than any other factor, by pressing the Saudis and other oil-producers to manipulate oil prices, which hurt the Soviets. They intend to do the same thing to you if there is Uyghur unrest in Xinjiang which captures media attention. I know, because I have heard these plans detailed before, in neocon think tanks, myself. Thus in Xinjiang, as much as in Tibet, you must tightly integrate the region with the rest of China, in terms of culture, language, and demographics as much as in government and economics.

    Protect yourself from this and defeat the neocons’ plans against you, not just by ensuring a demographic Han majority in Xinjiang and Tibet– which is just one stabilizing factor– but by encouraging assimilation to Chinese language and culture and above all, intermarriage of the different ethnic groups as Brazil does. Spread economic prosperity of course, and encourage cooperation among the different groups. But above all, encourage Yi, Hui, Miao, Gelao, Mongols, Tibetans, Tujia, Lahu, Qiang, Uyghurs, and Han to intermarry with each other and move throughout the country– especially in Tibet and Xinjiang.

    Don’t make the same mistake that the Soviet Union did, which was to allow particular ethnic groups to gain a majority in different regions of the country, which caused the USSR to break apart in 1991. Ensure not just a Han majority but even more importantly, broad assimilation, close relations among the ethnic groups, dispersion and even a high level of intermarriage, as is done in Brazil.

    If you still have any doubts about my advice, then please consider where I first got the idea of the “Brazil method.” About 10 years ago, I attended a small seminar in Washington, D.C., which was hosted by a prominent anti-Chinese neocon– one of those, who fears China and really does want to destroy China. During this seminar, he outlined, in detail, exactly how “we” (meaning fellow anti-Chinese officials and media figures) would destroy China– by doing the same thing that destroyed the Soviet Union, i.e., encouraging ethnic separatist movements, this time in Tibet and Xinjiang, and spreading media stories about Chinese “oppression” in Tibet and Xinjiang, no matter what the reality.

    At some point during the seminar, this neocon mentioned the possibility that he, a China hater, feared most. What he feared was that the Chinese railroad projects would enable a stable Han majority to build in Xinjiang and Tibet and, above all, that the Uyghurs and Tibetans would eventually intermarry with Han and other ethnic groups, *as in Brazil*, and assimilate into the broader Chinese culture and nation. This would make it impossible to promote ethnic separatist movements in Xinjiang and Tibet and, moreover, it would cause tensions to settle down in Xinjiang and Tibet and reduce the number of riots and protests, due to intermarriage and stability. This, then, would reduce the opportunities the neocons have to attack China in the media of the West– and defeat neocon plans to destroy China through the promotion of internal conflicts.

    I realize that there are still some hard feelings between China and Taiwan as well, which I can see on this forum, but I hope that both groups will realize you have far more to gain from working with each other than fighting. Please note, that another neocon technique for causing damage to China, is to whip up hostility between China and Taiwan, thus creating bad press for China and damaging both of you. This is a classic neoconservative technique for injuring your common interests– in fact, the neocons hate both of you, both Taiwan and China, because they see you as members of a common “Sinosphere” that is an enemy of the USA and the West. Don’t fall into the neocons’ trap– if you fight each other, you are doing the bidding of the neocons. Unite together, using your common culture and interests, and frustrate the neocons’ goals to damage you both.

    For what it is worth, I have visited both Taiwan and China many times, and I have great respect for both lands. As China continues to modernize, to become more open and confident, I suspect that any cross-strait animosity between Taiwan and China will also disappear. Just time, and patience, will help to ensure a harmonious relationship between Taiwan and China. Nobody can predict the specifics, I suppose, but I suspect, as many have suggested, that Taiwan and China will soon have a relation much like EU countries such as Austria and Italy have with each other– maintaining aspects of a distinctive identity and decision-making, yet in a kind of political union together, which works toward mutual benefit. Don’t fight each other– just be patient, and you will reach that stage of mutual benefit.

    In conclusion, since going to China many times and learning the Chinese language myself, I have come to realize the lies of my former neoconservative colleagues about China, and on a professional level, I have come to despise the kind of violent global power politics that the neocons advocate. Therefore, I want to do everything in my power now, to defeat and thwart the neocons and their goals. I know them better than almost anyone else because I have worked with them so much and, 20-30 years ago, even shared many of their goals. Now, I want to stop them.

    I know how the neocons think and I know what they fear, and this is why I am sharing this with you now. The neocons know very well that extensive intermarriage, as in Brazil, and assimilation would reduce ethnic tensions and peacefully solve the Xinjiang and Tibet conflicts, while bringing China favorable media attention for being “progressive.” The neocons fear this most, which is why I hope that you adopt this “Brazilian method” policy for China, and bring harmony to your nation.

  39. And since other posters here have supplied a list of their suggestions for you to prevail through these latest challenges, I guess I will offer three more ideas here for you:

    1. Please consider dropping the One Child Rule for Han Chinese, or at least modifying it so that far more people are legally allowed to have two, three or more children, if they can support them. I actually understand the thinking of the government upon introducing the policy– you were rightfully concerned about your nation’s population outstripping its resources and the danger of environmental damage, and political instability, as a result. The sensible goal has therefore been to stabilize China’s population, but I fear that the policy may have been applied to strictly, such that China, within one generation, will have far too many non-working elderly citizens and too few young workers to support the economy. I would advise encouraging small families of perhaps two children, which can promote a stable population at a Total Fertility Rate of about 2.1, as we are doing in the West (to make our planet sustainable). But at least, make the decision voluntary, and do not punish people for having more than one child. Since China is growing richer, parents will prefer smaller families and your population will stabilize anyway, peacefully, as it has done in Western countries. This will have three major advantages for China:

    a. You will ensure that China has enough young, strong people of working and childbearing age to provide a sufficient labor force for China’s remarkable economy. China cannot survive as a strong nation if you have poor demographics, if you have far too many senior citizens who cannot work, but too few young people– this causes economic collapse. This is the problem that many European countries are having, such as the Netherlands, France, Poland and Sweden. Their native birth rates are also about one child per couple, and as a result, they now have a very old population and not enough young people. Which means that they have to import millions of mostly Muslim immigrants to supply their labor force– which, in turn, has led to disastrous ethnic tension which, as all of us have unfortunately concluded, will likely ruin Europe and North America as advanced societies within a generation.

    b. You will further help to secure regions such as Xinjiang, Tibet, and Inner Mongolia to ensure that they retain a solid Han Chinese majority, and further promote the process of intermarriage and assimilation with Uyghurs, Tibetans, Mongolians, Hui and other groups there.

    c. You will receive positive media coverage in the Western press, for being “progressive” and “enlightened” by dropping or modifying the One Child Rule.

    In other words, it’s a win-win policy for you– you’ll ensure good demographics and enough young workers, while securing your country and reducing ethnic tension, and looking good in the Western media.

    2. Don’t fear reforms to open up China– these will help to make China a stronger nation. You can present the reforms not as “capitulating to Western pressure,” but as steps to make China a more powerful and respected nation. Especially things to help ensure trust in business and protect intellectual property. If you want to make China into a world business, scientific, and technological power, then you have to provide protection for patents and copyrights– this ensures that innovative people have the motivation to produce smart, innovative products. You know as well as we do how an independent judiciary and the rule of law are critical, but don’t fear opening up press freedoms somewhat, and allowing the media to report on problems that need to be addressed. Things like compensation for property owners when land is taken for development, and pollution and environmental protection– it’s important to discuss these openly and obtain ideas for solutions, if China is to flourish. Obviously, the discussion should be productive and intelligent, unlike the wasteful and emotional shouting matches that we often have in the West. But it’s important to allow them.

    In terms of elections, I actually believe that China’s policy is correct. In fact, I sympathize with China’s reluctance to introduce “multiparty democracy” and national elections as we have in the USA or Europe. To be honest, even as an American, as I watch our current elections in 2008, with all the waste of time and money and all the bitter campaigning, I think our system is a mess. Too often, it’s not intelligent thinking or smart decisions that decide our elected leaders– it’s demagoguery, fear, even racism. We have hardened ideological differences, and factions and ethnic tensions split our country apart. This is why the USA made the mistake of going into Iraq like this, and it’s also why we’re making the even bigger mistake of bankrupting our Treasury, driving ourselves deeply into debt. Most European countries, especially Britain and France, are making the same mistakes that we in the USA are. Our electoral process and political system has crippled us, and we fail to address crises until it is too late. We are, furthermore, too divided to do anything constructive.

    So our electoral system in the West does not work. China’s system, of providing local elections and a meritocratic selection of national leaders, actually seems better to me. To be sure, it’s still important to hear public opinion, and to solicit the views of the people on issues. Also, there should be methods to get rid of incompetent leaders and overcome corruption– frankly, term limits on any leader may be the most important aspect of a government with proper checks and balances, which indeed are necessary for a functioning government in any land. But I give your country credit, you seem to be running it more smoothly than we are.

    3. On languages to study– it’s interesting to read here, that someone is encouraging Chinese students to “diversify” their languages skills. I would certainly advise Chinese to broaden your language base outside of just English, but for different reasons– already in the present, if you want to be effective in international business, you cannot just rely on English anymore. That is, English is no longer the “international business language,” which I myself have learned in the past 3 years, since moving my own career in more of a commercial direction.

    The Portuguese that I learned while working in Brazil has been extremely valuable. Brazil is a growing and increasingly wealthy country, and since it is so large and increasingly self-confident, you must speak Portuguese to do business with them. You *can* use Spanish to some extent in Brazil– since Spanish is the main lingua franca of Latin America– but it would be best to speak both Portuguese and Spanish. They are very similar and easy to learn, in fact, I have recently been learning Spanish myself (which I did not speak before), for work in the United States! If you want to do business in US states such as California or Arizona, you really must know Spanish to have a competitive advantage. Historically this has been a Spanish region, and it’s now a major business language yet again.

    I would heartily endorse learning Hindi, Arabic, and Japanese. Hindi, as India’s main language, has obvious importance. Arabic is one of the world’s most widely-spoken languages and the heart of the world’s oil-producing economies, which are also becoming technological and business centers in their own right (Qatar, UAE for example). Japanese remains a crucial world business and technological language.

    German also deserves a special mention, as it is indeed the world’s premier technical language as people have been writing here. I work with many people in computers, chemistry, electronics, materials science and other fields, and even native-born, English-speaking Americans and Canadians, have to learn German to flourish in their businesses. That’s because the best technical reviews and other publications are in German. I’ll hand it to them– the Germans really are the best at science and other technical fields.

    As for the French, Russian and Korean languages, I would actually consider these to be “second-tier”– still important to learn, though not quite as important as “first-tier” languages like Portuguese, Spanish, Hindi, Arabic, Japanese, English, and German. Still, they can be useful to you– French as a major language of southern Europe, Canada, and Africa, and still a language of diplomatic protocol which I had to speak fluently when I first started in the diplomatic corps in the 1960’s. Russian of course, is another language of a major provider of oil and gas, and an important technological and military nation. Even smaller but regionally important languages such as Italian, Dutch, Swahili, Swedish, Gaelic (Irish and Scottish), and Finnish can be valuable, just to establish business and trade ties, if nothing else.

    The point is, I agree with the advice of other people– don’t make English a mandatory foreign language like this in your schools, so that it excludes other foreign languages. Although it’s still important, English is not the fundamental world language anymore, as I can attest from my own business experience and almost anyone else in the international business and diplomatic corps, can also testify. With the weakening of the USA and UK and the strengthening of other countries, English is now sharing the world language honor with Portuguese, Spanish, Hindi, Arabic, Hindi, Japanese, and German. So, I would suggest making English an “encouraged foreign language elective” along with these other 7 world languages in “the first tier.” Students can choose which language or languages they want to become fluent in.

    Then of course, offer instruction in major “second tier” languages such as French, Russian, and Korean. Then, perhaps at university level or through special course electives, give students the option of “third-tier” languages such as Italian, Dutch, Swahili, Swedish, Gaelic (Irish and Scottish), and Finnish, especially if people want to do business or diplomatic work in the relevant countries. Even an “indigenous language” such as Sioux, Navajo, or Cherokee could build goodwill in the USA and amaze your hosts here. I have found, in my business and diplomatic experience, that speaking a language like this, even to a small community, greatly improves one’s favorability, and helps enormously to do business.

    Obviously, continue to spread those Confucian Institutes and encourage the learning of Mandarin Chinese across the globe. Remember, I used to be something of a “neocon” myself and thoroughly disliked China 20-30 years ago. But my opinion changed, and I became an admirer of the Chinese nation, when I went to China myself, and learned the Mandarin Chinese language. I have seen this happen with others as well– the more that we learn of China and the Chinese language, the more we respect you. As you promote the Chinese language, you will also be greatly helping the Chinese nation.

  40. To Elaine who said ” Tibet has a distinctive language, (verbal and written), a distinctive cultural identity, a distinctive spiritual way of way, a distinctive demographic, a distinctive historical background/ existence, a distinctive social system, a distinctive leader (government in exile) making it capable of making independent decision…”

    Since when does having a distinctive language, distinctive cultural identity, etc equate a separate nationhood? Should the Red Indians in America be given a separate nationhood? How about the aboriginals in Australia? Or the natives in Taiwan, whose 26 languages are almost extinct.

    If we follow a ‘logical’ world view as such, than surely, the most populous nation is entitled to have the largest footprint on earth? It is the most equitable, no?

    Anyway, take a look at the maps published predating the so called PRC invasion of Tibet and draw your own conclusions. … 2/cramasia1902.html

    As for the foreign journalists being barred from the news site, it still doesn’t excuse them from sloppy journalism.

  41. I am purposely keeping opinions on this entire issue to myself – I have had numerous discussions with my father-in-law in Shanghai on this and many other issues, and the main lesson I have learned is although I may have opinions derived from my culture and upbringing, enhanced by media (correctly, or incorrectly), I have no right as a foreginer to make comment. Anyone from the ‘outside’ who even thinks they have anything close to understanding of the intricacies of current events is delusional.

    I’ll probably get ‘slammed’ from people for stating the above (especially by the supporters of the ‘neocon’ and other conspiracy theories – *sigh*), but the reality is that I cannot compare current events with anything that I have encountered in my (long) life. I do not necessarily agree with all of my in-laws’ beliefs on certain issues (Tibet and Taiwan, to name just a couple), but I certainly have an understanding of the compelling reasons why many local Chinese people believe (historically) the things they do, and their passion for the same. For this reason, I restrain from posting my misinformed ‘outside’ opinions.

    In all, one thing I can say with confidence (and have done before), is that to use the Olympic Games as a political platform is just wrong, especially trying to relate current world events and perceived breaches of human rights to the games that bring the world together. Boycotting the games (or threats of the same) as a publicity stunt to promote political beliefs is so very wrong and is not, and will not, be tolerated by the Olympic organizing committee, or those people who understand the real reasons behind this great event… it has been tried before, and has failed with disastrous and deadly consequences… good luck Beijing and China for 08/08/08!!!!

  42. Just a quick note to @perkins… as far as international language is concerned – my experience is very opposite to yours. Having spent two decades living & working in various countries across Asia Pacific (south, south-east and north) and the US in senior executive positions in MNCs (predominately concerned with technology and telecommunications globally), I strongly recommend English and Mandarin as what you have decribed as your ‘tier 1’ languages in order to be a successful global player. I am fluent in both (oral and written – as well as average oral skills in Shanghai dialect, German, Malay and Tamil).

    Although Portuguese and Spanish would be a ‘nice to have’, it’s easy enough to get by with in-company translators for the minimal ROI that Sth American countries offer (inc. Brazil). Asia (specifically China) is destined – as we are all aware – to become the world’s financial superpower, hence the importance of Chinese Mandarin as we move forward.

    Also – in respect of Hindi – yes, it is ‘officially’ the national language of India, but unlike Chinese Mandarin, it is yet to be adpoted by the population as a ‘common’ language for all… to succeed in business across south and south-east Asia, one would be best to learn Tamil as opposed to Hindi (both would be almost ideal – as ideal as Indian languages are concerned – there would still be millions of people one would not be able to converse with).

    Finally, when you speak of ‘Chinese’, I assume you are referring to Mandarin (orally) and simplified Chinese characters?? If you just mention Chinese language in many parts of southern China & HK, the locals would be right to think you are talking of Cantonese (or even Hokkien in areas such as Fujian province).

    Take care…. :D

  43. r: Perkiins. Well well… let’s waste a bit more time on you.

    Americans did this, Australians did that… I am not an American.

    I feel very strongly for American Indians and I say so to my American friends whenever the issue becomes the topic. I haven’t heard any Americans gave any excuses for the wrong doings.

    It was wrong! That’s why we, Chinese, should take it as a lesson not as an excuse. I am not guilty for what American did, but I will be guilty if I don’t care about what Chinese did and are still doing to Tibetans.

    And also, I think what you said about what Americans are doing to Indians today are pill of trash.

  44. Perkiins again. “neocons’ plans”?! What is your plan? Engineering Human Race?

    … dream on! WWII, or The Tower of Babel, which one you haven’t heard of? People like you who take such pain to present these kind of so so complicated so… logically fitting so… scientifically proved so… and so trash theories bring real disasters to human race.

  45. The reason why China wouldn’t let foreign journalist in there is because they will only twist and distort the truth EVEN MORE. That is what happened 20 years ago.

    Tibet is recognised all over the world to be a part to China. This is a fact.

  46. Elaine,

    “Tibet has a distinctive language, (verbal and written), a distinctive cultural identity, a distinctive spiritual way of way, a distinctive demographic, a distinctive historical background/ existence, a distinctive social system, a distinctive leader (government in exile) making it capable of making independent decision.”

    yes Hong Kong and Macau have distinct language, culture and demographic as well, how come the British and the Portugals invaded China and colonised these places then?

  47. @Elaine

    Though you mask your “name” when you attack me,I know who you are,such a caitiff and funny one,ha…..

    May I have the honour to know where are you from,and what is your nationality?

    if you are too scared to say out with honesty, or for some other reasons(laughing), NOTHING!

    And if that I have nothing to say to you ,because I know that is water off a duck’s back….

    dear Elaine,please don’t make so many people who want to know disappointed.

  48. Dear Du,

    I am perplexed by your comment about me “masking” my name when this is obviously my name. Can you please justify your statement about me masking anything?

    Similarly like how I have no understanding of your background or any others like Ally who clearly stands on the side of the Chinese government, I am under no obligation to give anyone information regarding my background (not that anyone has ever asked either).

    Think about this: Would you go on the street to demand personal information of people who speaks to you? No, you don’t. WJS’s blog serve as a forum for discussion and a medium for the exchange of ideas and opinions, not personal identification of its user.

    I do not know if your emotions are being conjured up by mis-informed statements from Ally who do not know me any better. She made a big assumption that I am British which I am not. There seems to be a lot of speculation and fear amongst that common Chinese that the west as a whole is trying to ruin China – which they cannot sustain with indisputable evidence. It all just boils down to xenophobia.

    Du, I want you to understand that not being “pro-China” does not equate to being “anti-China”.

    Indeed, China has grown so much economically and militarily in a short span of time that it has difficulty catching up socially – to appreciate different opinions to those reported by the CCTV.

  49. Dear Ambassador Perkin,

    If you don’t mind then I would like you to kindly point out when and where on earth did I openly express wish or joy in Chinese genocide?

    I have tried to trace my own comments but nothing came up. Vaguely I do remember having said something remotely similar to what you claimed as a parody. The Chinese have consistently coughed up excuses such as cultural backwardness to support their annexation of Tibet (which has also cost the lives of millions Tibetans). For the same excuse (or you may say “reason”), I mentioned that if this theory stands true then it would make perfect sense for the USA to annex China and wipe out half of China’s population. You see the difference?

    You claimed that you were a diplomat and I seriously question your ability to comprehend basic English statements and differentiate statements made in jest vs. straight statements.

  50. Iraqi war 5 year’s, suddenly Tibet is all the news, between 300,000 and 1.000,000 dead who know’s…. there are bigger thing’s out there Dafur and Mugabe just to name 2

  51. Dear Ambassador Perkin,

    I have another issue for your consideration. For the “suggestions” that you have given, they would only work when everyone has come to agree that Tibet (or perhaps East Turkestan, Taiwan and Mongolia for the same reason) belongs to China and is a “province” that is currently trying to break free from Beijing.

    Now this is something that the majority of the people has problem – not whether Tibet has suffered less human rights in comparison to the more economically advanced states like Shanghai and Beijing which would then render it a “civil problem” but rather Beijing ever has the right to rule over Tibet (which would then render it an “international violation of human rights”).

    How people see the above issue would dictate who’s side they are on and the outcome they seek. Obviously, most people here like Jianshuo who has already confimed his stand that he loves China and wants the best for it would be on the side of Beijing who strong believe that Tibet is all but a province of China. Therefore, in conclusion this site would NOT serve as a neutral forum for unbiased discussion because people are all in a way or another influenced by their beliefs and the way they see things.

    To take my point further, I would like to draw to your attention that in social research there is this thing called sampling where we use subjects from unbiased random selection process to ensure the accuracy of data collected. This means that essentially the comments generated from WJS’s blog cannot conform to the requirement of the unbiased factor. People who are regular followers of his site basically fall nicely into two categories –

    Group 1: Expats who live in china

    This group of people typically has a vested interest in China, either holds high managerial position ins China or are investors who are pro-China, obviously, because they want their money to grow. Are people who love China altogether, the culture, the language, the way of life and maybe even the girls. Then this would create the third characteristic of these expats: people who have a family in China! With the emotional factor, you can now go think for yourself whose side they are on.

    Group 2: Chinese who can speak English.

    This group of people typically comprised of younger generation Chinese who received their education in some institution of higher learning overseas. They have spent a couple of years overseas but in the limited time frame of 3-4 years (typically length of a bachelor degree) they were able master the English language but lack full depth understanding of the history and culture of their host country. Angry, they can only see the “malice” of the “western media” that has portrayed a differing opinion to what they have been educated to believe in back in China for the past 20 years. They see the anger of the international communities with regards to the Tibet issue but they cannot comprehend why – especially after being educated in China for 20 years that Tibet is a province of China (minus the annexation in 1950). I guess I do not have to explain further which side they are on.

    Now, you may ask where are all the others outside of China? They are most probably commenting on other websites.

  52. Dear Ally,

    The Brits did not massacre the hongkies…. Nope..but in Tibet up to a million were killed. The Dalai Lama was denounced, the Panchen lama (a six year old boy) was kidnapped.

    The hongkies did not oppose the British’s rule and in fact many migrated overseas to avoid HK’s “re-unification” with China. The majority who migrated, migrated to UK. They actually prefer UK’s rule rather your beloved China.

    There is self-determination available for the hongkies in HK, not in Tibet.

  53. Food for thought everyone…

    When I was a first year uni student many years ago, one of the first thing my lecturer asked was “who loves your country”…

    The next thing he said was “if you love your country, I need you to throw that out. You cannot be objective when you love one thing for than another, same for country.”

    Then he taught me something that I have lived my day by for the rest of my political life…


  54. Yeah Peter…something needs to be done about situation in Sudan too…but then again it isn’t as clear cut like in the Tibet’s case…furthermore, there is a form of power balance in Sudan itself, even if UN doesn’t quite intervene….this does not happen in Tibet…there’s some international awareness…but isn’t it funny how the rest of China (even in Tibet itself) is so quiet…… i don’t believe this is a natural occurrence of events…some big brothers are trying to hush them up…(yes thats my presumptions, i admit it)

    The other reason why there US’s invasion (again, i do to a certain extent call it an invasion, bush is full of bullshit really) cannot be compared to that of China is the fact that there are common americans, housewives, schools kids, teachers, military man OPPOSING bush’s decision to send US troops over. There are normal Americans who care about the the liberty of these people…enough to led them to mass demonstrations against US’s treatment of Iraqis…

    Do I see the same thing in china? No.

    Do I see normal Han Chinese on the street of Beijing voicing concerns about Tibetans and standing up for these peoples rights? No…

    What they echo is what Beijing wants to hear…and all 1.3 billion people sing to the same tune…when even in a small of 30, you will hear students with different views…and what is this? 1.3 billion individual with one collective view?

    I dont want to say more…..

    Have said the same thing when China outlawed FLG and run trunks over students in 1989….have been called a racist too… from experience…. anything that does not sit with with the party equals to anti-china and that means anti-chinese; hencefore “racist”……

  55. I think you can love your country, as you can love a person, without discriminating against others. That professor was WRONG, Elaine. Love is a good thing.

    But now you all can see why the ordinary American, French person, German, believes the Free Tibet stories. It is not their fault. However, people in the governments should know better and they don’t. They get their news from CNN too.

  56. The most pointless point ever made.

    This is just to divert from the heinous atrocities committed by the Han Chinese in Tibet.

    And of course the reporting of the Chinese media is just plain fabrication and staged lies.

    But a good laugh to think that some people would cling so desperately to their brainwashed beliefs to do anything to cast a blanket dispersion over opposing reports even though they are the Truth.

  57. Hi All

    May I ask have anyone of you been to Tibet??

    The Western media had distorted the facts of the present life of the ordinary Tibetians.

    The life of today’s Tibetians are much better than 50 years ago. If without the revolution of the CCP, there are many Tibetians still living in the dark aged slavery system.

    In the past only the Dalai lamas, lamas, monks, businessmen and landlords were considered upper class, most of the Tibetians were slaves. I would like to urge those who know nothing about Tibet, go there and see yourself. The exiles are the upper class Tibetians, they want to restore the old Tibet. If you are talking about human rights, then most of the Tibetians in Tibet will not agree the returns of Dalai lama and go back to the old slavery system.

  58. Joyce, you have never been to Tibet yourself. Let Tibetans speak for themselves. Speak for Tibetans only when you understand and know about their situation.

    My parents and ancestors are from Tibet. They are in exile now and they belong to Nomad family in the western Tibet. We don’t have slaves or serfs as Chinese Communist Government Claims. China have emperors, slaves, concubines, terra cotta armies buried alive for the emperor, women foot binding, etc. Tibetans don’t have such things at all. China is itself a backward country in 1940’s, Japanese invasion of China brought and developed economic infrastructure into China.

    All countries have visible and invisible economic and social boundaries such as upper class and middle class and poverty. So, please don’t pretend not knowing the existence of such undesirable social and economic boundaries in your fantasy of perfect China. Perhaps in China, poor people working for rich are called “slave” but not in other countries. We know the CCP communist enjoy the most privileges than Hans. And CCP politburos are more upperclass than CCP members.

    And you talk about developing Tibet. haha. Developing Tibet so that more Hans can move into Tibet and benefit. Don’t forget that Chinese government extracted more than 40 billion dollars worth of Tibetan timbers destroying ecosystem in Eastern Tibet which we Tibetans call it AMDO) And definitely, paying 1 renminbi extra for purchasing food for minority college students doesn’t count as favor or right. It’s just one of those CCP policy to make it look like they care for minorities when 1 renminbi doesn’t buy a meal but may be some candies for kids. And you guys think your government is doing favors with 1 renminbi.

    You will hate to know this, but 99.9% (without any margin of error) of Tibetans love His Holiness The Dalai Lama.

    We even love him more after China occupied Tibet. We love Dalai Lama because he takes care of Tibetans. He works hard for Tibetans. Dalai Lama has built hundreds of Tibetan schools in India and Nepal, While Chinese government is busy building more prisons in Tibet for Tibetans. As I write this mail, somewhere in the border between Tibet and Nepal, Tibetans are escaping from Chinese controlled Tibet. They escape so they can attend schools built by His Holiness and get good education as well as buddhist education.

    I say back to you… “Go see Tibet yourself” Ask questions to them sincerely.

  59. Saw Tibet, happy faces, well fed people, no complaints.

    Temples beautifully restored with monks.

    I am sure 99.9% of Branch Davidians love David Koresh.

    Am also sure they still love him even after the FBI occupied the compound.

    99.9% of followers of the Peoples Temple loves Jim Jones.

    99.9% Members of Heavens’ Gate love Marshall Applewhite.

    Charles Manson is loved by his family.

    The world is full of strange people loving strange people.

    Yeah, I’m stupid. so sue me.

    I’m tired.

  60. @ wonton

    So you visited Tibet and now you seem confident that you know the truth about Tibet.

    I have visited many countries including– japan, laos, vietnam, thailand, australia, spain, holland, britain, france, italy, malta, canada, mexico, brazil, indonesia, taiwan, hongkong, malaysia, south korea -and in some of these places have stayed for several months — but I would never imagine that i would know the truth.

    Heck, I dont even know the truth about the United States and I live here for thirty years.

    oh i should remind you that religious people are not the only ones who are trapped in a cult– I am thinking about all those “cheerful red guards” who worship Mao — all those brown shirts who worship Hitler — god comes in many forms including marxist materialism —

    so if you think people who follow the Dalai Lama belong to some strange cult than look at communist China — the biggest cult on the planet.

  61. Hi Peter.

    No, I am not confident of the truth. But my eyes are all I have and while limited, they do tell a certain reality of the ground. Yeah, the people MIGHT be all smiling under duress. I don’t know. Maybe they even harbour thoughts of beating me up because I am a Han, who knows ? But I am a litttle tired of “deep thoughts”, so I am settling at the shallow end just like everyone else for or against the issue. The world has gone mad.

    I would agree with you in a way though, there was a time when we did worship that “cadaver on the square” but that was a while back. As I have written, the world is full of strange people loving strange people. China has enough idiots for all causes. We had them in Tiananmen Sq foolishly trying to overthrow the establishment. Now we have them waving the flag.

    Call me a traitor, I don’t give a shit.

    Thankfully ,(?)

    Idiots exist in every culture and on every side. We are no better than the rest of the world. I am content in that sense.

  62. @TibetanLady,

    quote: “…We don’t have slaves or serfs as Chinese Communist Government Claims. China have emperors, slaves, concubines, terra cotta armies buried alive for the emperor, women foot binding, etc. Tibetans don’t have such things at all…”

    Is this what is taught in the exile e’s Tibetans schools?

    Indoctrination/ whitewashing evidently exist the other side of the mountain too. In fact, it exists everywhere, it happens all the time. Hell, even Christians are indoctrinated. I myself am trying to critically un-indoctrinate myself from years of ‘Christian teachings’ dished out from the pulpit and American preachers.

  63. The biggest cult on the planet ?

    Nawh, try christianity. We don’t deserve that honor.

    Not by a long long shot.

  64. The reality is cold.

    If all Austrilian people go back to where their ancestors from, all Canadian people go back to where their ancestors from, all south American European people go back to where their ancestors from, then I will agree to let Tibetan seperate from China.

    You European people did bad things before. We Chinese just want to do the same thing for a while. Then we can be equally bad. Then we can forgive you guys. Only bad people can forgive other people. Read the Bible. Jesus told us about that. He said we are all sinful, so we should forgive.

  65. @rick – my ancestors are from Australia. – the aborigines were some of the first human beings to inhabit this planet… I’m confused – where did u want me to go to? I’m living in Singapore now – are u saying I should go back home to Australia?

  66. Joyce..i am disgusted to know u are Singaporean…were you neutralised as Singaporean but were from China? U speak like a u are from Communist China

  67. LR

    I don’t understand why you are getting so personal??

    Everyone has the rights to give his/her view. I am a typical Singaporean. Before I came to China, I knew little about Tibet until I had met a Tibetian student during my trip to Gansu-Dunhuang last year. He told me about the life of his ancestors, the current life of the Tibetians and his family. So I am just sharing with all of you about what I have known that’s all.

  68. Why the personal attack on Joyce? – although there is some opinion in her post, most of it is hard historical fact. Which part is offensive?

  69. @LR:

    So I guess Singaporeans are not allowed to do disgusting things like speaking their minds.


    neutralised – made neutral in some respect; deprived of distinctive characteristics

    neutral – possessing no distinctive quality or characteristics

    Thank god you are neutralised Singaporean.

  70. Every time I try to talk about the Tibetan issue with a Chinese I get the same question:


    Heck, no. I am simply not allowed there. Nor was any journalist.

    Chinese authorities act like they’re guilty for something. It stinks. It makes people from the west think there’s something terrible going on in Tibet.

    No matter whether it’s true or not, how could we believe since you couldn’t let us see for ourselves?

    Excuse us for our lack of trust but we’re simply not as trusting as ordinary Chinese are.

    One Chinese official said on CCTV: “Western media should learn to respect Chinese values before they’re allowed in Tibet. They should learn to say the truth”

    This is ridiculous. I’m more prone to believe that the Dalai Lama is nothing more but a corrupted CIA agent whose interests are anything but “spiritual”. There’re so many prooves for that. In stead of showing them to the world or proving a point, the chinese authorities play an offended young bride.


  71. Ive been doing research and all for a presentation. It appears to me most people look at one side, but forget there are two.

    China invaded Tibet. That was wrong. They sent Han Chinese there. That was wrong. There is no freedom of speech. That is bad as well.

    But Britain Invaded Tibet too. They killed Tibetans and forced the Dalai Lama to sign a trade treaty. The Tibetans have to pay less then Han Chinese, and they mimimum scoore to be allowed at schools is lower for Tibetans. There is no freedom of speech in Chin. Nowhere. Of course, I must admit I dont know much about the punishments. I dont live there.

    But the Tibetan-in-exile-government says many wrong thins as well. China helped tibet in the 18th century. Tibet became an autonomous province. In 1951 the Chinese invaded to claim back their province and to directly control it. Why shouldnt they be allowed to control their own country, after they retought the partial independence.

    All Im saying is most people look at sites like or, and read the propaganda there. Same on the other side. Look at the “facts” on both sides, choose the most logical ones, and form your own opinion. Ill give you one.

    The Dalai Lama is an ageold use, the leader of tibet both spiritually and worldly. He is found by the Panza Lama after death, when he has reincarnated. Indeed the official Panza is picked by the Chinese government. The inofficial 1 was chosen the real way.

    The current DALAI Lama is from the time Tibet was autonomous. He knows what is best for his people. When he says he wants China to protect his culture and give Tibet bacl a good deal of autonomy but doesnt neccesarily want to become independant, then I believe him.

    Do not let yourself get pulled down by the mudfight of throwing dirt at each other. Look at both sides, and decide what you choose to believe. Perhaps it lies in the middle. Perhaps both parties are wrong. Only one thing is sure here: Neither China nor the Tibetan-in-exile government has told a single whole truth, nor do they reject lies. This has ben going on for so long its almost impossible to judge who is right.

  72. The Navajo can’t speak their own language in public even today? Really? What’s your source on this? Or is this just another tug at the heart to make China look better than America? Both are wrong for what one did and what the other is currently doing.

  73. I would like to urge those who know nothing about Tibet, go there and see yourself. The exiles are the upper class Tibetians, they want to restore the old Tibet. If you are talking about human rights, then most of the Tibetians in Tibet will not agree the returns of Dalai lama and go back to the old slavery system.

  74. They are in exile now and they belong to Nomad family in the western Tibet. We don’t have slaves or serfs as Chinese Communist Government Claims. China have emperors, slaves, concubines, terra cotta armies buried alive for the emperor, women foot binding, etc. Tibetans don’t have such things at all.

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