More Discussion on Tibet

I wrote two articles on Tibet these days:

Just like any media can cut off some important background information, my last post on the screenshots didn’t mention the background that my laptop lost battery power, and I was not able to really be able to analyze the issue. The other background is, I only have few minutes today from the busy daily work. This is the performance review stage, and everyone is pending on me to finally sign off the final results. I do hope I have more time to talk about it.

The last two article received many comments, and I was overwhelmed by the quality of the post – although people have different point of views, I saw open and sincere discussion there. Keep the discussion coming!

Just claim several things:

Communication

I am a firm believer of communication. I always see myself and my little blog as a bridge between the two worlds (in fact, many worlds). I saw people in the west are frustrated about China, while people in China even have no idea about why they are frustrated at all. The same to the people in U.S., Europe or other western country. Although I don’t think we can change people’s mind, it is better to offer a place for people to talk.

Understand first, then talk

I would ask my reader to try to understand first. When I talk with my friends in Shanghai, they showed great anger against the pro-Tibet protester. In this case, I asked: Do you know why they are doing that? What they are going to say? and I often got some answer copied from local TV – far from the truth. It is the same for people in U.S – why people in China are so angry? Brain wash is a simple answer, which is also far from truth. People in China are shouting out loud that western people don’t understand China, and want to put whatever that works there to China, while we are doing the same thing to people in Tibet. US claim that China is forcing Tibet to do what China want to do, and US is doing the same thing to China.. I believe this is all about understanding. People who don’t want to understand others are often the people who think they are not understood.

So, I believe the first thing everyone can do his/herself a favor is to understand what the other side is talking about first – which is pretty easy on this forum. Just spend time to really READ carefully. Although you might not agree, do spend time to understand their logic.

This is not a Two-Sided World

This is multi-sided world. By saying BBC didn’t report the truth does not mean I agree CCTV is doing the right thing. By stating local media complete used propaganda does not mean I agree with western media. By saying American or European is doing something wrong, does not entitle China government to do the same thing, or by pointing out what’s wrong in China, does not mean what is going on in other part of the world is reasonable. It is ironic that on one hand, I am claiming that BBC misused my sentence in my blog and on the other hand, the article itself is banned by the Great Firewall, and we cannot access it. On one hand, I am criticizing people who intentionally attack China – not just the government which does not bother me too much, but the country and people as a whole, but on the other hand, I am risking my blog by mentioning the “sensitive” topic, so that this blog can be easy shutdown or banned because of this.

So never assume I am on one side or the other. Don’t ask me which side I am on – I am trying to be on the side of wisdom, truth, and rational, which is may be the hardest thing to do in this world. Please keep the discussion in the topic we are discussing. Objection and agree on one topic does not imply point of view of another topic at all.

I am still in the listen mood, and want to be a bridge.

P.S. As a final note, I am very upset about the violence I saw on YouTube or CNN during the Torch’s relay in Paris. I have no problem to see protest from pro-Tibet groups at all – they have their rights to do that. But I am very upset about the violence. I hope during the Torch Relay in San Francisco, we don’t see as much violence as in Paris. (BTW, I don’t trust what CCTV shows me at all. I am using YouTube. It is a miracle these days that YouTube can be accessed in China). The best way to destroy something is to argue it in a wrong way.

53 Comments

  1. All of the demonstrations and protests in places like Paris and London detract from the traditional spirit of the Summer Olympics. They reportedly even extinguished the torch in Paris. Let’s see what happens in San Francisco today.

  2. Jianshuo, I agree with you regarding the incidents on Paris and London. I think the local authority should do a better job to protect the torch carriers.

    It appears the Chinese in America are really organizing voluntarily in SF. Yesterday I even read that people offered air ticket re-inbursement for rally trip to SFO. The torch will be shown in SF this afternoon. I sincerely hope and believe things will turn out to be fine because both the efforts of authority and volunteers.

    The big question is the media coverage of this Tibet things since March 14. The traditional media, both China and western, seems are both biased. On the other hand, new media (web, youtube) is much more refreshing, not always true, but definitely more authetic.

    I think deep in the hearts of some western people (neo-conservative?), they are not happy to see the economy growth and stablity in China in recent years. In the past they played the communism (socialism) fear, that did not work because China is essentially a market economy now. Now they are using the Tibet and human rights issue, which is pretty lame these days. Because it’s not an human rights issue, it’s mostly an economy issue, I mean the economy disparity of local Tibetans, and Han/Hui Chinese.

    This can not be solved over-night. But with the new railway, the education and the pro-economy development policy, the gap will be narrowed. So I am hopeful. Just I believe most people are good people, in this world. There are always some bad elements in the society, and sometimes they could have a lot influence, but at the end of the day, the good will prevail.

  3. the Summer Olympic games in Beijing are off to a very bad start with all the demonstrations and protests in places like London and Paris. Demonstrators/protesters reportedly extinguished the torch as it was being carried in Paris. Today the torch is in San Francisco and we’ll have to wait and see what happens there today. One torch runner apparently dropped out and said he doesn’t want to carry the torch out of security concerns–he’s afraid he will be attacked by ‘Free Tibet’ protesters.

    Maybe I should volunteer to carry the torch.

  4. I have seen a lot of conspiracy theory comments about the western power is behind this to split up china, maybe there is some truth to it, i don’t know. But I see it differently, i think it’s not even about china and tibet mostly, it’s just a way for the same group of youth or activists to express their anger and repression by the corrupt govt (any govt), repression by big global corporations and many many other on going movement. It’s the same movement of more and more violent protest of every WTO and IMF meetings. It is a symbolic way for them to express their anger, notice how many Chi Gavera T-shirts are being worn as fashion, ask anyone who wear the T-shirt who Chi Gavera is and what he stands for, i bet 99% of the hip youth cannot tell you. China has an image problem of big corrupt govt embracing globalization and repressing their people. Why China has this image? maybe there is some facts behind it. and what is so hard to start a dialog with dali lama?

  5. To Jian Shuo Wang, thank you for providing the bridge. This is the pain we share.

  6. what happened in San Francisco today says a lot about what is going on. Frankly, I think the more the torch is carried, the more violent the protests will become. I say defuse the situation and stop the running of the torch!

  7. 我們能不能

    作詞:方大同 作曲:方大同 編曲:方大同

    我們在一個很大的宇宙的小地球上

    無論我們的膚色都在一個太陽下

    好多好多年來一直都受了不少苦

    怎麼今天還沒有找到大同的路

    *無論是國家 或是朋友 還是家裡面

     他們之間 都需要團結

     在這一天 我們都需要*

    #我們能不能

     別吵別鬧冷靜別再傷人心

     我們能不能相處 把世界搞好

     我們能不能

     別吵別鬧冷靜別再傷人心

     我們能不能相處

     把世界搞好 我們能不能#

    我們在一個很大的宇宙的小地球上

    無論我們的想法其實我們都一樣

    好多好多年來一直都是顧著自己

    怎麼今天還不懂要從人類而起

    REPEAT*#

    有一天沒有戰爭 有一天沒有傷痕

    有一天沒有仇恨 痛得那麼深

    如果我們想看見 我們一定能實現

    只需要一點時間 真正去改變 (less)

  8. From my understanding here, there is nothing violent happened in SF today. I am in US right now. Without being there personally, you just can not feel the real situation there. To tell you the truth, there are much much more Chinese people there who are pro- China than anti-China. And within those anti-China crowd, more than half of them even not Chinese! Thanks to the technology these days and the truth will be spread in some time.

  9. Wangjianshuo, wow, it looks like your previous two posts on this subject elicited a lot of ideas, but it does seem like it’s mostly constructive criticism to make China stronger and more successful, and I do hope that Chinese authorities listen to it, and don’t censor it. While there were a couple hate-filled racists who just seem to detest everything about China (such as elaine, you should be ashamed of yourself), seems like most of the people who posted in your last couple threads were calling attention to problems, whose solution will greatly help China as a nation– thinks like increasing creative thinking, productive debate and press freedoms, stopping with the political prisoners (which just makes you look bad to the outside world, and also represses constructive ideas to solve problems like the property seizures), relaxing the one child policy restrictions and so on.

    In other words, China ought to undertake these reforms not as a way of capitulating to the West, but because these reforms will make China much stronger as a nation.

    I couldn’t agree more, and I’ll tell you why– I’m an Indian-American, and we always pride ourselves on our community’s remarkable degree of success in the USA, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, wherever we immigrate to. We become doctors, engineers, scientists and other leaders and professionals. Yet when I was in graduate school, all of us agreed, almost unanimously, that the hardest-working, most successful, most creative and remarkable students and scientists, were the young Chinese there. They were amazing people and they consistently had the best qualities of anybody working in the labs and hospitals– extremely hard-working, but also innovative, efficient and successful, while also being pleasant and friendly to people.

    Which made us wonder why, if China has so many brilliant and talented people like this, like someone else said– why isn’t China just dominating the Nobel Prizes every year, writing great literature, making great discoveries, putting out great and fascinating films that the world wants to see (like Hollywood does), producing music that’s popular throughout the world (as e.g. Latin American and USA music currently are), doing great art, finding cures for diseases, hosting universities like Harvard that everybody in the world wants to learn Chinese for and attend, putting an astronaut on Mars, finding out new physics and chemistry? By any measure, you all should have the world’s most incredible civilization now.

    Another way of putting this– China has a level of human capital that’s stratospheric, way higher than any nation I could imagine. If you would just unleash the creative energies and ideas of your own people in China, and stop bottling them up so much, stop shutting them in with so much conformity, I swear, China will rule the world tomorrow.

    Now, just to introduce some caution and understanding into my own remarks– I was a history minor in college, so I understand the caution of the Chinese government. The British and French, in particular, were reprehensible in their actions with the Opium Wars, with all that corruption and greed, the way that they forced opium onto the Chinese people, burned down your summer palace in that war crime in the 1850’s or so. Therefore to the extent that the British and French are upset at the way China has evolved, they have only themselves to blame. As someone of Tamil heritage (in India), I’m fully with you on this– while nobody ever colonized China, about half of India was under the British gun, which was much worse than the Nazis, with 45 million people in India alone slaughtered by the British after we rebelled in the mid-1850’s, and the British destroyed our farms while forbidding us to trade for even basic food crops! A large portion of my family was wiped out by the British. Britain’s Lord Lytton in India, is worse than Pol Pot, Hitler and Stalin combined. Which makes me all the more pleased whenever I read about how the Afghans for example defeated the British during that same period, and how the British were humiliated and defeated by the Irish, in Israel, Aden, Egypt, even humiliated by the Chinese in the Sino-UN conflict from the Korean War. The British were deservedly punished.

    Which is a long way of sayin’– I’m with you, I understand China’s caution and mistrust, because we in India had the same thing. The Western colonialists acted arrogantly and brutally toward both our nations, though you were ultimately more successful at defeating them– and I’m with you today as well, I laugh at the hypocrisy of brutal colonial nations like Britain and France trying to act as though they’re morally better than you, these countries who are still practicing colonialism along with the USA, Canada and Australia in Iraq and Afghanistan (and all of them getting their butts kicked in the process by both the Iraqis and the Afghans). We in India also harbor much of that same mistrust toward the West.

    But… while it’s fine to duly note this history and take pride in your ultimate victory over the Western colonialists, when it comes to *your own policies*, you have to move on and liberate the vast creative talents of your own people. It’s fine to be cautious and skeptical of the sanctimony of the West, but at the same time, you’re only hurting yourselves if you repress the talents, efficiency and creativity of your own citizens. India had and still has the same problem– we have so many neuroses from the British period, that our elites don’t trust our own people. So corruption and theft of ideas shackle our entrepreneurial capability and make us weak.

    China can be a stable, harmonious country, yet at the same time a font of tremendous creativity and productivity– in science, engineering, business, art, music, films, literature, whatever you set your mind to. Just trust your people a little more.

    When somebody in the Chinese press raises constructive criticisms about inadequate safety in Chinese coal mines, or mentions problems with pollution in Chinese rivers and lakes, or expresses concern about families who’ve lost their homes to construct a road but haven’t been paid adequately for their loss, or criticizes a corrupt manufacturer who is cutting corners and introducing lead and other poisons into toys or other manufactured goods (which are damaging both to China’s citizens and as exports to the USA and Europe, to China’s embarrassment), or expresses frustration about political prisoners and the way this makes China look so bad and corrupt, or also states concerns about the one child restrictions and how these are hurting China’s economy and workforce– don’t take these constructive criticisms as “attacks on the Chinese regime and people,” instead, consider them the necessary feedback that any institution, whether a government or a business, needs to improve.

    I run a successful small business myself, but my business is successful only because I listen to the criticisms of people around me when I do something wrong or stupid. If I got defensive and shut up my critics as people “attacking my business,” I’d make mistakes and hurt my company. Constructive criticism and feedback are the lifeblood of a successful country and company, and I’d hope that China would be more receptive to this.

    I’m not saying you all should imitate the USA and the West in all respects, because I think we do many dumb things here. Our diet and health habits are the worst in the world– we eat high-fat, greasy foods, smoke too much, exercise too little, and make ourselves sick. The traditional Asian diets of China, India, Taiwan, Korea and Japan are much healthier than the Western diet. Likewise, like some other people say, I think that Western democracy, at least in the US version, has become an absolute disaster. We in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Eastern Europe and Western Europe, we are going bankrupt as nations while we yell and shout at each other and pollute our environment. Maybe some kind of more “intelligent democracy” in China, with laws being observed, courts reviewing decisions, cautious soliciting of the people’s will, village elections and councils, somebody’s idea here of meritocratic selection of leaders, thorough debate on issues and technical concerns, term limits like someone said, polls on difficult policies, independent judges, lots of checks and balances– this will probably be better for China.

    But again, don’t suppress your own brilliant people. To give another example, look at Japan, which is like China in the way the Japanese emphasize social harmony and civility.

    Yet the Japanese also have brilliant scientists and entrepreneurs, technological innovations, an internationally famous music and movie scene, wildly creative fashion trends, manga and anime art that are also world-renowned, many of the world’s top business and universities– in short, the Japanese have unleashed the creative talent of their people, while preserving social harmony. China would exceed even Japan and the USA, by large extents, upon doing the same.

    As for the intermarriage suggestion somebody had, hey, I’m all for it in China, for a lighthearted reason maybe– back when I was in college, my girlfriend was in Chinese, but once when I asked her, she mentioned that she was 1/2 Han, but also 1/4 Tibetan, 1/8 Manchu, 1/8 Zhuang. And she was the most beautiful women I’ve ever met. I’ve noticed that women who are mixtures of ethnic groups in China tend to be unbelievably beautiful, and I’m all for more beauty in the world. So hey, I’m all for intermarriage among China’s ethnicities. ;)

    Finally, on the language issue that people have been raising– I agree totally, stop investing so much in English only as the foreign language that you all study! Especially with the way the US dollar and the British pound are plummeting like this, the way the US, British and Australian economies are floundering, the way we’re stuck in wars, *the English-speaking countries aren’t ruling the world anymore*. Yet China still invests so much in English to the exclusion of other fast-growing languages, it’s crazy!

    Even in India, where we were colonized by the British, we’ve dropped the English requirement and we’ve spread out the languages our students learn. Everybody learns Hindi which is our national language, they also learn their local language (like Tamil in my family’s case), but outside of this, they learn whatever’s relevant for what they want to do– Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Russian, whatever.

    I’m totally in agreement with the need to help Mandarin Chinese become the global language. Most people I know, who’ve studied Chinese, either get a more favorable opinion of China, or at least they get a broader perspective on Chinese issues. They listen to you more.

    But there are economic advantages too. Start publishing your major books, technical articles, scientific papers and other major publications, movies, international media and other transmissions in Mandarin Chinese. The world will then work harder to learn your language.

    But yeah, as far as the languages the Chinese students study, I’d strongly advise you drop the English requirement and drop it now, as India and most other countries are doing. I agree with what other people are saying, make English an elective language for foreign language study, a popular and important one of course, but one of many choices. Obviously Hindi is important too (though don’t forget Tamil! We use it a lot in southern India), but Portuguese and Spanish– yeah, major important. Portuguese is an inspired suggestion, Brazil is on it’s way up fast as a big power. German for science and some high-tech businesses, totally. Arabic, yes. Russian, French, Bahasa Indonesia, Malay, Dutch, Italian– niche languages that can also be important.

    But spread out your net on the languages. You’ll see benefits immediately, as we in India are already enjoying!

  10. Hi Gunjan…?? or is it Ambassador Perkins?

    Do you mind me asking which part of India you come from? I travel at least 1-month a year across most of the major cities in India, and it’s important to note that not all schools are teaching Hindi. I’ve had this discussion numerous time with my colleagues in India, and many of their children do not study the ‘official’ language – in fact many people right across India cannot communicate (the dialects are just too diverse), hence the drive in our MNC for common English as the business unifier.

  11. First, congratulate the Torch Relay in SF is successful today. But what a pity is the Torch Relay have to shorten half of planned journey. I think it’s the bend to protestor and the committee don’t have full confidence in protecting the Torch Relay.

  12. Gunjan,

    While I generally agree with most of your comments I must wholeheartedly and completely disagree with your comment that Canada is practicing colonialism in Afghanistan. I am an Engineering Director in China but I was formerly a Canadian army officer. What Canada is doing is supporting the rule of law and stabilizing a country fractured on all sides by geopolitics. Canada has a long proud tradition of unbiased peacekeeping in many parts of the world and was the only country that tried to lead an unconcerned world against the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

    If you want to cast accusations around, I can do it equally as well…I was posted for a time with the United Nations and was directly involved with the Pakistani-Indian tensions. Trust me, this is not an area where India nor Pakistan has distinguished itself. Racism and colonialism is not confined to white faces, my friend.

    Also, last time I checked, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Europe were not going bankrupt or floundering….the U.S. is.

    But in the end, as I said, I do generally agree with you….the Chinese are being strangled by their own restrictive government which is partly held in power by misguided nationalism. Let me put it this way…Chairman Mao and his henchmen starved (in many cases intentionally) more people than Stalin, yet he’s revered and his portrait is on the currency.

  13. I continue to be surprised by some of the coverage this is getting on CCTV. While it is one sided in support for China (as much of the coverage outside of China is pretty one sided in condemnation of China) I think that their evidence has been much more significant in supporting their position.

    Just yesterday there was a report that had interviews with 5 or 6 foreigners of various nationalities who were present during the riots, giving their first hand accounts of what they had seen, including video footage shot by a South Korean tourist from his hotel room.

    All reported (and the one even had video) of the beatings of Han Chinese and the fact that they only saw police attempting to contain the riots to small areas and that they did not directly confront the rioters.

    While this is only part of the story, I can think of many other governments who would not hesitate to unapologetically meet the rioters with brutal and overwhelming force from the outset. Though, it would appear that the Chinese government operated with a measure of restraint.

    While the area is admittedly controlled in regards to foreign media, I have seen no evidence of the police brutality many media are alluding to in the west. Burma is similarly controlled, though reports (and photos and video) of the violence against protesters there finds its way to international media outlets regularly.

    I’m just saying that occasionally there is a need to review the stereotypical depictions media (of all countries) perpetuates. In the past 60 years it has become fairly ingrained in western media to take as fact that “Communist China = Bad” and “Tibetan Buddhist = Good”.

    Not in any way am I purporting that China was/is 100% in the right in regards to the Tibet issue, but if you are to continue swallowing whole the idea being presented by Western media that this was a brutal regime oppressing a bunch of oppressed, peaceful, law abiding monks then perhaps you shouldn’t be pointing fingers as to who has actually been “brainwashed”.

  14. This is for all of the band-wagon jumpers and anti-China bashers in general:

    If you’re going to say “Shame on China” and try to snuff out the Torch in an attempt to boycott the Olympics, don’t forget to fight for Hawaii (since its oceans apart from the USA mainland), protest the US military practice bombing of Vieques, Puerto Rico, to give CA back to Mexico and free “American” Samoa and of course to get out of Iraq.

    You can address the administration, but don’t criticize the people and the athletes they are cheering for. Don’t use this as an excuse for China bashing.

    My 2 cents:

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/contribute/sn/persona?User=koukexgw&plckPersonaPage=BlogViewPost&plckUserId=koukexgw&plckPostId=Blog%3akoukexgwPost%3a435f083d-5a64-472b-bad7-5d0d0944095b&plckController=PersonaBlog&plckScript=personaScript&plckElementId=personaDest

  15. Hi, jianshuo, I have found a good vedio, maybe you are interested in it. less is more, I think, especially for those men who didnot know the truth.

    http://ke-fish.blogspot.com/2008/04/tibet-truth-oppression-monks-nuns-you.html

  16. Watch this and we’ll all begin to understand………..*sigh*

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xsoc4-QnplY

  17. Just think about all the thousands of people who waited for hours in San Francisco just for the opportunity to see and even take photos of the Olympic torch but they were denied that opportunity because the route was suddenly changed for security purposes? I can assure you that those people were bitterly disappointed and would not consider it a success.

    That would be like me buying a ticket to an Indianapolis Colts–New England Patriots football game and going to the stadium to watch it. I would wait hours in my seat but no one appeared. Then I would find out that the teams played a brief game somewhere else. That would be disappointment plus. :>((((((

  18. It’s surreal; the western papers today keep reporting “mobs threatened violence and attacked Chinese torch-bearers, China should stop being bad”. As if it’s the torch-bearers’ fault, or even China’s fault, that the mobs are attacking them! So far we have lots of evidence of bad behavior by everyone except Chinese, yet everyone keeps lecturing China. Now today the “compassionate” religious dictator is visiting Seattle, and the authorities here have shut down the large pro-China rallies that were planned. The religious dictator says that we should “let the protesters speak” as long as they are saying anti-China things, but he doesn’t appear to mind that the western police are being used to silence pro-China speech.

    All these zombies that come to watch the religious dictator and chant like puppets of the C.I.A. will soon be bored and move on to some other cause. But it’s sad to see the credibility of the western press be dragged through the mud by their own actions.

  19. Dear Gunjan,

    I AM TAKING IT VERY PERSONALLY THAT YOU ARE THROWING ACCUSATIONS OF BEING A RACIST AT ME. MAN WHICH PART OF ANY POST DID I EXHIBIT RACIAL SUPERIORITY OR CHINESE INFERIORITY? YOU HAVE PULL OUT GOOD SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCES TO PROVE SO. THIS PERSONAL ATTACK IS SO UNCALLED FOR. YOU SHOULD BE SHAME OF YOURSELF – FOR BEING SUCH A VENOUS-SPLITTER

    Dear Jianshuo,

    Can you please see to this and put an end to names calling and malicious distortion of my original comment. I seriously suspect that more than half of these people did not read my original post and were just building onto what they see from other user’s comments.

    I am pissed. Very pissed.

  20. Keep your level of talking, not discouraging either side, that suits you well !

    Your english has improved tremendously the last 6 years, Jianshuo. Your blogging promotes it well :-)

    Me and Xiuying will come to Shanghai in this month.

    Would be nice with a cup of coffee with you; can you email me, please ?

  21. “Seek first to understand.” I think that is the #1 message that you’ve sent in this blog, and I applaud you for it.

    I feel despite the efforts of people who want to create a bridge like yourself, there are growing rifts between educated, knowledgeable people in China, US, Europe, and other parts of the world. We are “same bed, different dreams” today.

    Is there anything more that we can do?

  22. Just a word out to all of the Chinese who are pissed off about biased Western media coverage and uninformed Western protestors. I’m a regular white guy who supports China. I don’t like the situation in Tibet but I don’t like the situation in lots of places. I think that the Chinese position regarding Tibet is not unreasonable. Heck if so many Americans are so pissed off why don’t they talk about giving back to the Native Americans and Hawaiians before they start pointing fingers at other countries!

    I think the way people in the US and Europe are acting towards China is not reasonable at all and I hope that some sense will get into people’s heads before this goes too far. Dui bu qi.

  23. Well, I wanted to see if you had any comments on this most recent situation and was not disappointed in all the views able to be aired. It is hard to get any straight story on the situation, as many have mentioned since some of the writers in Western media outlets have strong pro-Tibet inclinations and CCTV 9,which I get here in the States has condemned so strongly the protest/attacks, it’s hard to know which side (or no side) is right. I thought Gunjan sounded well reasoned for the most part, aside from some personal comments. Thank you for keeping an open forum, JianShuo.

  24. Thank you for your blog. It has helped me understand the situation in China much better. I admire the fact that you try to seek the truth, not just being “right.” I was one of the people in San Francisco who protested against the Torch, and when I was protesting I saw many Chinese people who came to support the Torch. I have no regrets about protesting but my initial anger against the Chinese supporters has vanished because of reading your blog. I can see the other side and that this is a complicated issue.

    My experience with Tibet is based on working within the Tibetan refugee community in San Francisco. I am a lawyer with ten years of experience. I handle many political asylum cases not only with Tibetan but also Han Chinese who claim to have faced persectuion in China for various reason — because they were political dissidents seeking to reform China, because they are Christians, Falung Gong practitioners…the reasons are too many to list. This is the reason that my impression of China’s human rights is not very good and the reason that I do not support China hosting the Olympcis.

    My opinion is not based solely CNN or BBC or Amnesty International Reports. It is based on direct testimony of people who have been harmed by the Chinese government. I do not believe all of these people are lying and that I am somehow “brainwashed” by Western Media (most educated people in San Francisco know that the News Media is very biased and its only purpose is to sell advertising and prop up the ruling elite in America).

    As a Vietnamese American, I am also very sympathetic to the claims of Tibetan nationals. If China can claim rights over Tibet, why not Vietnam or Korea? In many ways, Vietnam is more similar to China than Tibet — we adopted the same Confucian/Taoist/Buddhist culture and up until the arrival of the West even used Chinese characters to write our language.

    And like Tibet, Vietnam was a part of China for a long time. Vietnam was colonized by China in 111 BC during the Han dynasty and after a thousand years of occupation achieved autonomy in 938 AD (I say autonomy not independence because Vietnam still had to acknowledged itself as a vassal state of China. Ironically, it was the French through their colonization that severed Vietnam’s relationship to China).

  25. @Peter, thanks for sharing your point-of-view from “protester” side. Exactly as what you experiened, by reading what you shared here changed the image of protesters for me as well.

    When we (me as an example) focus too much on what is right (Olympic game as a celebration event, anti-violence….), we ignore what is wrong. It will not be any surprise for me and many people in China to understand that what you saw is true – and what the refugee said is true. We know that. Just like myself, I clearly know that if I cross the line further, I will be one of the refugee who need your help (if I am lucky to be able to get any help when it happens).

    I don’t think people in China are denying that fact. However, it is just like the blind man and the elephant story (my favorite), that everyone just see part of the whole situation. Me the same. It is also very hard to focus on both part at the same time. That is the reason I have many articles on this blog talking about the positive side of China, where there are many negative comments complaining I am talking the dark side. I also have many articles talking about the dark side. It is the same: I also receive attack that I didn’t mention the bright side. So the recent articles about such a big and controversary subject of “CHINA” all have a disclaimer linking to the page: Blind Men and the Elephant page.

    To be rational, I want to tell my fellow Chinese that don’t take the protest too personal. They are also protesting back in 1989, and they are always protesting for something that people in China should also protest if they are allowed. Even in the protester group, there are different opinions. Those who want to improve the living condition for Tibetan may also want to protest against other protesters who want it to be independant.

    I also want to say to protesters (for whatever reason), that China has improved a lot (although far from perfect), and the government needs to have some credit about the basic human right: food and shelter. Everyone hope that everyone has all human rights, but during my understanding, it is already hard enough to ensure food for many places in China. We may argue that free of speech is ensential in this process, but we also need to agree that if there is a conflict (I did see conflicting situations which many of my western friend cannot imagine and don’t agree), I would say food is more important. Keep on protest, and make it clear about your opinions, instead of do it in a destruction way that lead the country to nowhere.

    Peter, if you know more protesters, I’d love to hear what they have to say. They are welcome to this blog as long as everyone is seeking to understand, instead of attack.

  26. Jian Shuo Wang

    I agree with what you say above about each of each us being “blind” and seeing only a part of the elephant.

    My question for you is how can people in the United States best support positive change in China? I agree that sometimes protesting China may not always be the most effective way for the Chinese government to change and improve the situation in the country.

    Believe me when I say that many of the protesters in San Francisco were sincere in wanting improvements in China. After reading your blog, I can see how it can be interpreted by many people in China as an insult, but this was not the intention.

    As you pointed out, I think cultural diffeences between America and China may be at fault here. In the US, we protest the government all the time. Before protesting in San Francisco against the olympic torch, I also protested against America’s invasion of Iraq, Afghanistan. I also protested against discrimination against African American. I also march to support laws against air and water pollution. This is very common thing in San Francico (and paris, and london), people here are very vocal and loud when they disagree especially about politics, environment, human rights…

    When I see other countries protesting against America, I do not become upset or angry. Like, for example, when France protested against America’s invasion of Iraq, many people in San Francisco were happy. Because we also were against the war in Irag, when we watch the protest in London, Paris, in Canada, in Australia, we were pleased because we felt a sense of solidarity with the people of the world.

    Maybe it is different in China, but many people in San Francisco do not think nationalism is a good thing. Although I have American citizenship and I was born in Vietnam, I do not think of myself as American or Vietnamese first. I think of myself as part of a global society. I feel I have more in common with people like you and other people around the world in Paris and London, who are sincerely trying to improve the world in small ways and big ways — then people in America who support policies that I think are wrong.

    I think this is perhaps why many of the protesters in San Francisco including myself did not understand the response by the Chinese people. To us, it was like how can you support this government — you should be out there in China joining the protest with us. I know now that it is not so simple like that, but I wanted to let you know the misunderstanding on our side.

    I also agree with you that economic stability– food and shelter — is very important. It is amazing that given what happened in 20th Century China is where it is today.

    I think here though there is also another point of misunderstanding between people in the West and China.

    In the United States and other western countries, we have had economic prosperity for a much longer time. So to people like me and the protesters we don’t value economic success as much. We take for granted what we have and so we value other things like political freedom, human rights, cultural autonomy etc…. From our perspective, having big skyscrapers, miles of roads, new bridges high GNP is not as imporant as having a society that treats its citizens fairly, a society with economic equality, with political freedom, with environmental health. I know that this is very simplistic and that you cannot have political freedom if people are starving, but I think this is what people in the West often forget — that to be able to feed and shelter 1.3 billion people is a difficult task by itself.

    My sincere wish is that China evolves peacefully into a more free and open society. The world needs China and China needs the world. Hopefully, we can all work together to make this happen not only in China but everywhere in the world.

    Peter

  27. @PeDu, you have provided very good comments (this one and the last one). I do appreciate your true wish and your effort to turn China into a better country. Your explanation about how protest works in US, British and France helped a lot. I know something, but not to such degree. Thanks for that.

    For your question about “How people in the United States best support positive change in China?” Well….. It is a very tough question to answer. To be honest, I don’t know exactly how. Because for the same question, “How people in China can make a positive change in China?” I also don’t have a clear answer. Pretty sad, isn’t it? If protest, writing to a congressman, or vote for a new mayor, governor, president is a way to make positive change in US, there is no similar way to make the change in China yet. The frustrating for me is, there is not so many ways for people to make a positive change in the current system, and that is, maybe, the fatal problem in current China.

    However, if there is something for sure that we need to do, it is economic improvement. It changes people’s mind dramatically.

    If I review my change in my political view (in other word, to form a political view), I will give credit to my economic change, or in simple word, get richer. Then I may worry about something I don’t care at all. Being able to travel (even within China) make a big difference for people.

    More trade, more economic cooperation will finally pay off.

    For human rights issues, keep pushing using protest may make a difference, but not sure whether it is positive or negative, depending on how skillful people make it. The case in Pairs definitely will push majority of people in China to the government side, and may last so in the next few years.

  28. Well, I guess I’m not as impartial as you Jianshuo

    and thank you for being so. There is a lot wrong with China, to be sure, but there is also a big difference between a protest and a riot. And the Youtube videos I’ve seen were beatings and burnings and destruction.

    We call that a riot in the US. A protest is marching down the street with signs, peacefully.

    For the history of Tibet, see

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7355

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xsoc4-QnplY

    Very detailed and well documented.

  29. @ Peter, you wrote:

    My question for you is how can people in the United States best support positive change in China?

    Don’t you find this question just a little bit arrogant, especially given the United States’ role in world affairs in the past few years? I’m an American living in China, and I believe that you are thinking and acting from a good position, and I can say that I essentially completely agree with your views. But I guarantee you, the reaction to your well-meaning question from almost any Chinese person will be “How does any American think they have standing to advise China how to act?” The fact that you personally may be opposed to the current administration’s actions does not come through when you stand as a protester during a torch relay. So my advice to you before you get involved in such a protest would be to listen first, start a dialogue (as we are doing now through this excellent blog), then maybe you have standing to start giving advice. Chinese people right now tend to be pretty sensitive about criticism, and protests such as the ones in SF and especially Paris tend to REINFORCE that tendency, rather than easing it. By reinforcing anti-foreign sentiment in China, you are directly supporting the government in power, which has reaped a big public relations victory domestically (which is what they care about) through all the torch protests.

    Finally, I hope you are not one of those who favor the attacks on the torch in Paris. I hope that it doesn’t matter what one’s views on Tibet are, to see anyone physically attacking (rather than peacefully protesting) an Olympic torch-bearer (especially a handicapped one!) is pretty shocking and should not be tolerated by those of any political side.

    Thanks for posting and thanks to Jianshuo for hosting, we have to keep the conversation going.

  30. @ddjiii

    My question was “how can people in the United States best support positive change in China?” I am not giving advice to Chinese people– I am asking for advice from them. So I am not sure I understand why this would be perceived as arrogant.

    As for the US government’s policy, I am not a supporter of the US government’s policy. My question was about how “people” in the US who sincerely want to improve human rights in China can act in a way that is helpful. It has nothing to do with the US government. In fact, I have little faith in the US government — I believe it is dominated by big corporate interests and so it cares more about making profit from Chinese trade and so I doubt the US government will do anything to China except maybe give it some hypocritical lectures.

    Your point about the protest being counter-productive to the goal of a more open china is a good one. This is the reason I posed my question — if protest doesn’t work than what does with China. I agree with you also then that websites such as this one is very helpful because it is a bridge to understanding. Before reading this blog, I think I was very angry and in despair about China but now I have more hope because I see that there are people in China who do care about the same issues I do and that there is hope.

    With respect to the Paris demonstration, I do not support the violent attempt to blow out the torch. I think violence only alienates people. The protest in San Francisco was very different than in Paris — partly because they hid the torch and took a secret route away from the protestors and supporters. When I was at the protest, I was very impress that on both sides–pro-China and pro-Tibet were very peaceful. At most people were shouting at each other, but I did not witness any violence. Part of the reason I think is that San Francisco is 20 percent Chinese and so Chinese people are our neighbors, coworkers, friends.

    My feelings about the protests is mixed. On the one hand, I feel sad that the protest has been used by Chinese government successfully to inflame nationalism and therefore gain more support. At the same time, I feel the protest drew attention to very important human rights issue in China. Even if the Chinese government does not change, people in United States, Europe, India, South Korea, Japan, Thailand have started reexamined their views of the Chinese government. Also the protest stopped Chinese government from using the torch as a propoganda tool to glorify its rule and present a benign face to the world. If China wants to be part of the world community, it should not be immune from criticism. People around the world protest the United States all the time, and I think that is a healthy thing. China should not be an exception.

    PD

  31. @ddjii

    Regarding the attack on the handicapped olympic torch bearer I think that was very wrong and I can see why many people are upset when they see something like that. I hope that the people who are upset about the attack on handicapped torchbearer are also upset about what happened to Hu Jia, who was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison for speaking out against the Chinese government.

    Peter

  32. One more thing regarding the attack on the handicapped torch-bearer–

    For many of us in the US and Europe, Tibet is like the handicapped torchbearer and China is the big bully. I am NOT saying this is necessarily the Truth but I am saying this is how many people in the US and Europe see the situation. Many people see China as this big powerful country and Tibet as a small and helpless. So when we hear that anything bad happens in Tibet we become very upset — like seeing a big strong person attack a small weak person.

    Again my point is not to say that this is the truth, but only to offer a way for Chinese readers to understand why people in France, United States, and Britain were so angry and emotional about this issue. If you thought that a big person was trying to harm a smaller person, you would be similarly angry and try to help the smaller person.

  33. That’s exactly the point Peter.

    Many people in China has either unintentionally failed or deliberately refused to see the point that this demonstration/ disruption would occur regardless of whether the torch-bearer is handicap (or Chinese for that matter) or not.

    Far from being handicap, Jin Jing actually has a lot of support and power behind her. Do not forget that she has two other fully body-abled persons escorting her! It is shameful for China or Chinese netizens to capitalize on this event because her disability has not made her any more vulnerable than other torch-bearer. Are Chinese netizens trying to say that if Yao Ming was the one carrying the torch then the situation would be reversed and they would criticize Yao Ming for “bullying” the smaller size Tibetan then?

    Any Chinese would wants to use Jin Jing as an example of “defenseless” weakling should first consider the 6 year old Panchen Lama who was adducted from his home 12 years ago while he sleeps.

    Who is the real defenseless person now?

    A paralympic champion with two escorts or a 6 year old boy adducted from home by the Peoples “liberation” Army?

    This little boy has never reappeared in public since he was adducted in 1996. Some people claimed to have seen him in various labour camps in Beijing but no one knows for sure….Beijing denies all allegations.

  34. Dear Peter,

    as a lawyer, who can you do within your power and rights to help this boy?

  35. “Do not forget that she has two other fully body-abled persons escorting her! ”

    I heard that one of the so-called fully body-abled persons was a blind athlete.

  36. Yes I am aware of the Panchen Lama’s abduction. I am not sure there is anything we can do except encourage the Chinese government to be open about what happened with this abduction.

  37. Hello PeDu,

    Regarding your comment “I feel sad that the protest has been used by Chinese government successfully to inflame nationalism and therefore gain more support.”

    Actually you might be surprised to know that the government has quite little to do with this. In fact, it is trying to keep down news of the protests. If you followed the news, things are still alright and not as bad. If anything, what inflamed the people are the “true” news from outside sources. I still cannot understand why many foreigners seem to see nationalsm as a dirty word. Aren’t you proud of your country ?, even when it is imperfect ?

    What made you think that we are all in agreement with our government ?

  38. Hello BO

    I will tell you what is wrong with your observation

    “Many people in China has either unintentionally failed or deliberately refused to see the point that this demonstration/ disruption would occur regardless of whether the torch-bearer is handicap (or Chinese for that matter) or not.”

    Rightly or wrongly, most chinese do not accept the idea of an independant Tibet. While this is the party’s position, it is also in line with the general sentiments. Yes, some parts of our history has been whitewashed by the government. We know that. But this is not something we were “brainwashed” into believing. Somehow, many of the protesters seemed to think that just because we happened to agree with the party on some issues, we must be brainwashed. I think this is ridiculous. Our minds are as independant as yours. We also make fun of our politicians but on a less devastating manner than your media.

    I can’t speak for the rest here, but my disgust at the attack on Jin Jing, is that the protesters are so blinded by what they are trying to put across that they would even attack a girl on a wheelchair. Please don’t give me the crap about “it’s not about her, it’s the government we are against”. She is one of us. Regardless of what you believe, not all torchbearers endorses the communist party.

    Why is it that you can only accept shades of grey when refering to your world and not ours ?

    Contrary to what you are saying, I am very sure were the events reversed and she was an american or french and attacked similarly in China, your country would raise a stink.

    Hypocrites exist not only in China.

  39. @ wonton

    I should clarify. I dont think it is possible to generalize about all Chinese people in China just as it is not possible that it is not possible to generalize about all people in the United States. Certainly even in the United State many people do not support the olympic protest; many people also do not care or even know where China or Tibet is on the map. My comment about Chinese nationalism is limited to those people on the internet who seem to be very active in supporting the China.

    Also, I agree with your point that it is not becuase of the Chinese government, but that Chinese people are truly upset based on what they know from outside sources.

    With respect to your question: “I still cannot understand why many foreigners seem to see nationalsm as a dirty word. Aren’t you proud of your country ?, even when it is imperfect ?

    What made you think that we are all in agreement with our government ?”

    For me, nationalism is a dirty word because it is a very dangerous idea. I do not see a problem with being “proud” of ones culture or country. However, pride often easily leads to arrogance and inability to see things from other people’s perspective. This is the problem for the United States: many Americans are very “proud” to be an American, but because of this pride they cannot see the other side of the issue, they always think they are “right,” that everyone else is “wrong” and that America is the best place to live, and everyone must act or adopt American ways.

    Nationalism is also very dangerous because it is often used to divide people, to make one group of people the “enemy.” Also, nationalism can be manipulated by the Government. By having people focus on the “enemy” out there, the Government can ignore the problems it has inside the country. Again, I believe this is true in the United States. The American government will focus on the “enemies” of the United States while ignoring all the big social problems that this country has like environmental pollution, education, poverty, and health care for the poor.

    My views of nationalism are of course shaped by my own experience. I was born in Vietnam but both sides of my family have Chinese blood –Yang (“duong” in vietnamese) on my father’s side and Wang on my mother’s side — I lived in France when I was a child and have lived in the United State for most of my life. I have also traveled extensively, to Europe and Asia and South America. San Francisco is also a very international city (33 percent of San Francisco are Asians — japanese, chinese, vietnamese, korean, thais, 20 percent are from Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil, and the rest of the people have European ancestry from Ireland, England, France, Germany etc….). Because of this background, I see everything from an international perspective, and see nationalism as very narrow way of looking at the world. The world is becoming smaller and smaller each day with the internet and easy travel. Something that happens in China affects America and the reverse is true.

    Finally, your question about whether I am “proud” of my country. As I mentioned before the fact that I have an American citizenship does not mean I support the United States when it does something shameful like invade another country. At the same time, yes, I do like living in the United States for many reasons including especially the diversity of people and opinions.

  40. Hi Wonton,

    never in my post did I mentioned that Chinese are all brainwashed by the government regarding the Jin Jing incident! I just feel that too many people have capitalised on the incident to crash the protesters. Maybe you should ask yourself what was it that has made this guy reacted the way he did! For all you know, all his family could have been killed by the PLA in 1950. Of course that’s only my guess… behind every action, there is a reason and only strong reason can create just a strong response. I do not know this guy, I have never even met him in real life but you can see how desperate he was when he tried to extinguished the torch. Do you see his pain? Have you ever wonder about the kind of oppression and grievances that he wants the world to hear?

    I still think that the Chinese netizens are capitalizing on this event. Jin Jing is a multiple paralympics champion with a lot of support and political power, how does that level up with the ordinary Tibetans living in exile who does not even have a legitimate identity?

    Answer my question, if the torch bearer was Yao Ming instead, would you guys support that Tibetan guy instead? See the hipocrasy?

    PS: I am not French… someone above thought I’m French

  41. Hi Peter,

    I agree with you that nationalism or patriotism is a dirty word. Too many politicians have played around with these ideas to win mass support even when they are leading the country to doom. I always believe that patriotism is actually reversed discrimination. When you are “patriotic”, its hard to see things objectively.

    In one of my earlier post, someone rebutted that “love is a good word, loving one country is a good thing, don’t you love your own country” Let me tell you, nope..not to the point of patriotism or blind love.

    Example: “even when your government is imperfect”….NO WAY

    I would protest against my own government anytime when I feel that they are not doing enough for us…anytime when I feel that they are oppressing us.

    For the Tibetans, thats exactly the case, isn’t it? They are protesting against the oppression by Beijing.

  42. Dear Wonton,

    To show you the danger of nationalism, do you remember that it was nationalism that pushed Mao Zedong to power? Would the Great Leap forward that ultimately caused the lives of 16.5 millions Chinese have occurred under the KMT? No. I don’t think so. Would the Cultural Revolution have occurred under Sun Yat Sun? No, it would not.

    Mao started both the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution to consolidate his power. To win support from the majority of then China’s poor uneducated peasants like himself. Chinese at that time don’t trust people who are “different” ie. educated Chinese and you can see which way China went down.

    Nationalism is something that can make people think with emotions rather than logic.

    Until today, I still cannot understand why the Chinese in China trusted his guy who was not properly educated to lead them. Worst still, how come no one in China knows that he was a womaniser and pedophilia?

    He was married 4 times and the youngest wife was only 14 when she married Mao. Another disgusting fact was he sent away his children because a fortune teller told him his children would cause his downfall! Shortly after, his wife was sent to a mental asylum… See the doing of “nationalism”?

  43. Hello BO,

    Thanks for your reply.

    I found it interesting that for a person with so many questions yourself regarding the motivations of the protester, you seemed to have already made up your mind on his legitimate “desperation” due to his “pained expression”

    Are we “capitalising” on this event ? I really don’t know. I am pissed, thats for sure, but in a similar way, I can say that there are also fellow citizens just like a great majority of your people who don’t give a rat’s ass to the whole thing and are just trying to feed their families. It may seem like the whole country is in an uproar but perhaps you are just looking here. Just remember not every Chinese have net access here. With a population of our size, even a minority would seem huge.

    I don’t understand your example regarding Yao Ming. Because I would not be AS upset had it been Yao Ming carrying the torch because I would think he is better in defending himself. Nevertheless, I do not support independance for Tibet not because I am brainwashed but because I have a different perspective from my knowledge of history. And trust me, it is not from books written by the party. Perhaps before we clash too much on emotions it might be better to find out more about the issue. Freedom and change are simple words for those without a stake. Independance for Tibet is an idea promoted by a minority. Strangely, even the Dalai Lama is not pursuing this route to a better life for the people he professes to care about.

    If you need to protest, go ahead, but at least do it in a civil way befitting your dignity. Choosing to attack a girl on a wheelchair leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. Even those who supported you before.

  44. @Nationalism:

    I don’t get the point of your post. Clinton had his problem with where he planted his cigar.

    The person you obviously detest is right now a piece of dead flesh on the square. We have moved on. Seems like you are the only one with the problem. I think it might be more productive for you to aim for a living target for your venom perhaps someone like Robert Mugabe.

  45. Hello Peter,

    Thank you for your reply.

    I really have to disagree with your comments on ‘nationalism’

    Yes, pride MAY lead to arrogance and inability to see things from other people’s perspective.

    But not always. It also unifys a country to deal with whatever issues in hand, and to protect it’s interests. Your adopted country overcame a lot over the last 100 years thanks to nationalism. It is the unity in spirit that lead your country to acheive so much.

    If it is bad, then I think nationalism is something every country is guilty of at some point in time. Sometimes it is whipped up by the government, sometimes it is simply by a picture of a girl on a wheelchair attacked by a thug.

    As to whether what you see now is a good or bad ‘nationalism’, let history decide. Right now we are both too firm in our views to see otherwise.

  46. Hello BO,

    Thanks for sharing your POV.

    I am replying to your last post.

    Perhaps I have not made myself clear.

    Do you love your country because of it’s perfect government or despite of it’s imperfect government ? Despite the fact that sometimes you feel embarassed to be associated with actions of some of your fellow citizens, are they enough to drive you to away ?Will you stay and fight for your country when it is attacked by those you perceived as hostile ?At any point during your protest marches, did you loathe your country enough to hurt your own people ? if so, why are you still there ? What is the difference between nationalism and patriotism other than one is used for yourself and the other for your enemy ?

    Please take note, those fighting for the independence of Tibet are only those who are OUTSIDE Tibet. PEOPLE WITH NO STAKE IN THE INTEREST OF THIS COUNTRY. You don’t even know the origins of the riots within Tibet to begin with. What you saw was a group of very passionate people representing their interest against a government you assumed to be automatically at fault simply because of their facial expressions and the fact that you distrust of anything with the word ‘communist’. From what I see, many of you caught up in this frenzy are as blind as when you went into Iraq looking for the weapons of mass destruction. I can only urge you to find out more regarding Tibet before jumping on the bandwagon. I would’nt be asking you to do this unless I have certain amount of confidence in my sources would I ? I am not saying that the party is totally blameless in this matter. Is the party going to represent us forever ? I don’t think so. But for now at least, we are going in the same direction.

    Human rights ?? I guess it would be nice to have the GFW removed and riots on the streets every now and then like your countries. But until we solve the problems of the rural poor, and get this country in better running order, it’s a luxuary we can forgo a little. We are not going to fire the driver because he has bad breath…maybe later.

    Noticed that we are all sitting in front of our monitors getting better understanding of the issues without resorting to screaming matches ?

  47. @ Wonton,

    to answer your question, which I cannot speak for others, I did not “capitalise” on the Tibetan guy’s facial expression. It was only one of the many things that I pondered upon… like I said, I don’t know him but please do not crash him simply because he tried to extinguish the torch. My point reminds whether the torch bearer is handicap or not will not change the action or determination of the protesters.

    Therefore, I asked you if you think you would perceive the same event differently if the torch bearer was Yao Ming instead? You said that you would not be “as” angry and that proved my point. You thought that it was disgusting for that guys to snuff out the flame from Jing Jing, would you think it would be disgusting for Yao Ming to be towering over a protester half his size to “protect” the flame then? You are not looking at the situation but rather the players involved. Isn’t the underlying cause and agenda more important?

    I also do not agree that the protests are ONLY coming from Tibetans living OUTSIDE Tibet. The first protest came from within Tibet in March! And regardless of whether they are living in Chinese-ruled Tibet ot outside will not change the fact that they DO have a vested interest in the outcome of the protest. How does being outside Chinese-ruled Tibet strip them of a “stake”? Like how overseas PRC students feel angry about Carrefour and CNN, these overseas Tibetans are also angry with Beijing. Its the same set of emotions expressed for entity (China and Tibet).

    To clarify some of your assumptions/ accusation:

    1. I never supported Bush’s decision to send troops into Iraq. I think its is important to different between ordinary American and G. Bush. I protested against this actually.

    2. Its true that I am disgusted with communist regime but I see its as the Chinese govt’s fault, not that of the ordinary Chinese walking on the street. I distrust Chinese govt. Period. Please don’t link this “race”.

    3. What makes you think I don’t know China well enough? Or even the history of China and Tibet? You might be surprised. I probably know more than you?

    4. Its clear that we have very different opinion and stand regarding this issue but am glad that we can voice our differences calmly in a civilised way.

  48. One more thing… Wonton

    Its is not for you or me to decide on the fate of the millions of Tibetans. Self rule or not…they can decide for themsleves. Like you and me, they have brains too. Do you deny them of this basic right to think independently?

    You have to admit that the Tibetans are not happy and that’s the main reason for these series of events that have been splashed across frontpages of various newspaper North, South, East and West for the past few weeks….

    This is not western propaganda or “gang-up” (news in other parts of Asia report similar stuff for your info)…..there are people who are truly upset with the positions that they find themsleves in – The Tibetans (in exile or not)

  49. Hello BO,

    Calm and civilised. There is nothing calm and civilised in what the protesters are doing is there ??

    I am grateful for your response even thought I am a little lost on your points. Especially the one on Yao Ming. But it’s ok, I think we are both looking from different angles. I also don’t understand the “race” thing you wrote about.

    Anyways, like someone said before, the view is quite different depending on where you stand. We are both rather sure of ourselves but the only difference is that it is us who have to deal with it and not some person screaming from afar. As to whether you capitalise on anything at all, it really don’t matter much. My response was from reading exactly what you wrote about your basis of supporting the protester ie. his pained expression. Nowhere did you offer me any other support for your decision. But frankly I am quite tired of continuing on this subject. We can write till the cows come home and the distance between us may not change. Let us just agree to disagree on this matter for now. I think there is too much emotions on all sides. Whatever it is, I am glad that we are able to treat each other with courtesy.

  50. @ Wonton…

    awww.. I am starting to find it difficult to communicate with you and I wonder if you are deliberately trying to piss me off.

    I have never said that I am supporting that Tibetan guy based on his expression. It would be ridiculous to take part in a protest simply because of someone’s expression and I am not that stupid! I have made it extremely clear in my very first posting. That facial expression thingy was just a random thought and I was inviting you to reflect as someone in his position – a Tibetan living in exile with no proper identity. There is a story behind hos motive and if can it? Have you ever asked these Tibetans what they really want? Sit down with them and see things from their perspective? Okay enough

    Then with regards to the Jin Jing issue, all I am saying is it is NOT despicable for anyone to snuff out that flame. Honestly, is anyone robbing her? Is anyone harming her? Is anyone going to rape her? NO. Their goal was to snuff out that flame and irregardless of who carries that torch, the goal would remains the same – to snuff out that flame. Honestly, no one cares who the torch bearer is. Even if China digs out a dead flesh to hold the torch, there would still be people snuffing out the flame. Even if China got a baby to hold the torch, people would still snuff out the flame. What China is doing now is to capitalize using the persons involved to mask the real objectives. That’s why I asked you, if it was Yao Ming who was carrying the torch, would be be saying the reversed then? Because the Chinese have essentially called the protester a “bully”? Hence, if it was Yao Ming carrying the torch, would you call him a bully then? That dude would be twice the same of an average Tibetan?

    Man, I really don’t understand why China cannot get pass the fact that the protesters were not targeting Jin Jing and the fact that no one cares who carry the torch. Even if it was a 9 month old baby carrying the torch while crawling on the floor, I will still do the same. I am not hurting that baby but by not NOT snuffing out that flame, I would be hurting the human rights in Tibet.

    Hello BO,

    Calm and civilised. There is nothing calm and civilised in what the protesters are doing is there ??

    I am grateful for your response even thought I am a little lost on your points. Especially the one on Yao Ming. But it’s ok, I think we are both looking from different angles. I also don’t understand the “race” thing you wrote about.

    Anyways, like someone said before, the view is quite different depending on where you stand. We are both rather sure of ourselves but the only difference is that it is us who have to deal with it and not some person screaming from afar. As to whether you capitalise on anything at all, it really don’t matter much. My response was from reading exactly what you wrote about your basis of supporting the protester ie. his pained expression. Nowhere did you offer me any other support for your decision. But frankly I am quite tired of continuing on this subject. We can write till the cows come home and the distance between us may not change. Let us just agree to disagree on this matter for now. I think there is too much emotions on all sides. Whatever it is, I am glad that we are able to treat each other with courtesy.

  51. To correct the typos in my previous post

    @ Wonton…

    awww.. I am starting to find it difficult to communicate with you and I wonder if you are deliberately trying to piss me off.

    I have never said that I am supporting that Tibetan guy based on his expression. It would be ridiculous to take part in a protest simply because of someone’s expression and I am not that stupid! I have made it extremely clear in my very first posting. That facial expression thingy was just a random thought and I was inviting you to reflect as someone in his position – a Tibetan living in exile with no proper identity. There is a story behind his motive and if you can see it? Have you ever asked these Tibetans what they really want? Sit down with them and see things from their perspective? Okay enough

    Then with regards to the Jin Jing issue, all I am saying is it is NOT despicable for anyone to snuff out that flame. Honestly, is anyone robbing her? Is anyone harming her? Is anyone going to rape her? NO. Their goal was to snuff out that flame and irregardless of who carries that torch, the goal would remains the same – to snuff out that flame. Honestly, no one cares who the torch bearer is. Even if China digs out a dead flesh to hold the torch, there would still be people snuffing out the flame. Even if China got a baby to hold the torch, people would still snuff out the flame. What China is doing now is to capitalize using the persons involved to mask the real objectives. That’s why I asked you, if it was Yao Ming who was carrying the torch, would you be saying the reversed then? Because the Chinese have essentially called that Tibetan guy who attempted to snuff out the flame from the torch Jin Jing was carrying a “bully”? Hence, I asked if it was Yao Ming who was carrying the torch, would you call him a bully then? That dude would be twice the same of an average Tibetan?!?! See the logic? Stick to the MOTIVES, not PERSONS!

    Man, I really don’t understand why China cannot get pass the fact that the protesters were not targeting Jin Jing and the fact that no one cares who carry the torch. Even if it was a 9 month old baby carrying the torch while crawling on the floor, I will still do the same. I am not hurting that baby but by NOT snuffing out that flame, I would be encouraging human rights abuse in China indirectly..HURTING the many Tibetans wanting to be heard by the international community!

  52. Hello BO,

    I am not trying to piss you off. Honest!

    Perhaps something is lost in our interpretation of what each other wrote.

    You wrote:

    “Maybe you should ask yourself what was it that has made this guy reacted the way he did! For all you know, all his family could have been killed by the PLA in 1950. Of course that’s only my guess… behind every action, there is a reason and only strong reason can create just a strong response. I do not know this guy, I have never even met him in real life but you can see how desperate he was when he tried to extinguished the torch. Do you see his pain? Have you ever wonder about the kind of oppression and grievances that he wants the world to hear?”

    my reply:

    “I found it interesting that for a person with so many questions yourself regarding the motivations of the protester, you seemed to have already made up your mind on his legitimate “desperation” due to his “pained expression”

    This lead to my last posting:

    “My response was from reading exactly what you wrote about your basis of supporting the protester ie. his pained expression. Nowhere did you offer me any other support for your decision.”

    Your post

    “You are not looking at the situation but rather the players involved. Isn’t the underlying cause and agenda more important?”

    You also proceeded to downplay the attack by saying that she had bodyguards.

    my reply

    “If you need to protest, go ahead, but at least do it in a civil way befitting your dignity. Choosing to attack a girl on a wheelchair leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. Even those who supported you before.”

    While the objective of the protester may be to extinguish the flame,(which I am not too concerned about, he did do more than that. the girl was hit, which I am concerned about) Perhaps you may see it differently. If a stranger rushes up to me sticking a knife at my throat, I really don’t care if his original intent was simply to ask for my address. My reaction will be to beat the crap out of him.

    By acting in a provocative manner, he has already invalidated himself to whatever noble cause he stood for.

    This is why I wrote that I would not be as concerned if Yao Ming was carrying the torch vs Jin Jing.

    You wrote:

    “Its is not for you or me to decide on the fate of the millions of Tibetans. Self rule or not…they can decide for themsleves. Like you and me, they have brains too. Do you deny them of this basic right to think independently?”

    You have to admit that the Tibetans are not happy and that’s the main reason for these series of events that have been splashed across frontpages of various newspaper North, South, East and West for the past few weeks….”

    I have never claimed that they are happy. I do agree that their unhappiness is something we must look into. Yes, the first protests started within Tibet, IN CHINA. What happened ? did the PLA wontonly killed tibetians ? do get you facts right. The Dalai Lama is not asking for independance. With regards to the issue of STAKE, as citizens of China, the tibetians have a stake, I have a stake, as do all citizens of my county. And no one else.

    You last statement was really bizarre:

    “but by NOT snuffing out that flame, I would be encouraging human rights abuse in China indirectly”

    Good grief ! encouraging human rights abuse ??!! did you ACTUALLY thought the population of my country encourages human rights abuse ??

    I am nevertheless in total agreement with you on this :

    “Its clear that we have very different opinion and stand regarding this issue but am glad that we can voice our differences calmly in a civilised way.”

    I am sincerely appreciative of your efforts in offering your point of view. I do accept that my points may not be correct and may change in time. My wish is that as my country progress, our conflicts with reduce.

    Like I said before, I am really quite tired of this debate because I feel like very few people are listening and everyone is shouting. The latest news of protests outside Carrefour is a big disappointment to me. I just need to get away from this for now.

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