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Wiser words about China, Tibet and public grandstanding

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The LA Times published an opinion piece titled “China’s view of Tibet”.

With all the public grandstanding by fringe politicians, Hollywood denizens and public hysterics, I found it refreshing that a mainline US newspaper would publish an unconventional view about this international brouhaha.

The opinion ends this way:

The tragedy is that any victims of such moral posturing will be Tibetans, who will suffer the most if a virulent new Chinese nationalism is created in response.

So far, even though Beijing’s record of rule over Tibet is less than perfect, China’s leaders have tried to preserve autonomy for Tibet. Indeed, in theory there is no fundamental disagreement between the position of the exiled Dalai Lama, Tibetan Buddhists’ foremost spiritual leader, and that of the Chinese government. The Dalai Lama advocates autonomy, not independence; the official Chinese government policy paper on Tibet says that it “regards exercise of regional ethnic autonomy in areas where ethnic communities live in compact communities as a basic policy for solving the ethnic issue.”

Given this, the West should try to narrow, not widen, the gulf between the Dalai Lama and the Chinese government. But that is the work of quiet diplomacy, not grandstanding.

Kishore Mahbubani, dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, wrote “The New Asian Hemisphere: The Irresistible Shift of Global Power to the East.”

Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2008/04/26 at 07:53

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