Archive for the ‘Tibet’ Category

Dalai Lama: China Unfit To Be Superpower

December 5, 2008

China lacks the moral authority, including over the question of Tibet, to be a true superpower, the Dalai Lama said Thursday during a European tour that has angered Beijing.

After addressing the EU parliament in Brussels, the Tibetan spiritual leader said China “deserves to be a superpower” given its huge population and economic and military strength.

“Now one important factor is moral authority and that is lacking,” he told a press conference in Brussels.

AFP

Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama speaks to the press ... 
Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama speaks to the press at the EU Parliament in Brussels. China lacks the moral authority, including over the question of Tibet, to be a true superpower, the Dalai Lama said Thursday during a European tour that has angered Beijing.(AFP/John Thys)

“Because of its very poor record on human rights and religious freedom and freedom of expression and freedom of the press — too much censorship — the image of China in the field of moral authority is very, very poor,” he said.

“The sensible Chinese realize China should now pay more attention in this field in order to get more respect from the rest of the world,” the Nobel peace laureate said.

He cited the problems of Tibet and separatist factions in the southwestern Chinese province of Xinjiang as areas where such a moral authority should be displayed. He also named Hong Kong and reunification with Taiwan.

He said he continued to have confidence in the Chinese people while doubting the government wanted serious talks on Tibet’s future.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081204/wl_asia_a
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China calls Tibet youth group `worse than bin Laden’

November 26, 2008

A rundown two-story building in this Himalayan hill station might hardly seem to be the command center of a subversive group jangling the nerves of neighboring China. Monkeys clamber over the rooftop, and any stranger may walk through its front door.

Yet China calls the Tibetan Youth Congress “a terror group worse than (Osama) bin Laden’s” and accuses it of stockpiling guns, bombs and grenades in Tibet for use by separatist fighters.

By Tim Johnson, McClatchy Newspapers

China alleges that the 30,000-member group has allied itself with al Qaida and with a homegrown Muslim separatist organization in China, the East Turkestan Islamic Movement.

The president of the congress, Tsewang Rigzin, a former banker who lived in Minneapolis, scoffs at China’s charges, saying his group seeks independence for Tibet but adheres to non-violent principles put forth by the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader whose headquarters are here.

“These are all baseless and fallacious allegations that the Chinese are making,” Rigzin said over a meal of curry at a local restaurant, suggesting that the charges were scare tactics aimed at the Chinese citizenry.

If nothing else, the wildly different views of the Tibetan Youth Congress underscore the chasm between Beijing and Dharamsala over Tibet.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/mcclatchy/20081
126/wl_mcclatchy/3110248_1

China in Dalai Lama talks offer

October 29, 2008

Chinese authorities are to arrange fresh talks with envoys of the Dalai Lama “in the near future”, the Chinese state news agency Xinhua has said.

From the BBC

The agency quoted an unnamed government official as saying the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet should “treasure this opportunity” and respond positively.

The Dalai Lama gestures as he begins three-days of Buddhist ... 
The Dalai Lama gestures as he begins three-days of Buddhist teachings in Dharamshala. China on Wednesday told Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama to treasure the opportunity of a fresh round of talks, as it confirmed the meeting would be held soon.(AFP/File/Lobsang Wangyal)

Last weekend, the Dalai Lama said he was losing hope that dialogue with China would achieve any settlement.

The Dalai Lama fled Tibet in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule.

Anti-China protests that erupted in March in Tibet – the worst in two decades – were crushed by Chinese security forces.

In the aftermath, China promised fresh talks over the disputed territory, but the Dalai Lama recently suggested such gestures were insincere.

‘Despite the riot’

Xinhua quoted the government official as saying that Chinese authorities would “arrange another round of contacts and negotiation with the private representatives of the Dalai Lama ‘in the near future’ at the request of the Dalai Lama side”.

The report said such talks would be held “despite the Lhasa riot in March and some serious disruptions and sabotages to the Beijing Olympic Games by a handful of ‘Tibet independence’ secessionists”.

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7696771.stm

Chinese heckle Olympic torch run protesters in Malaysia

April 21, 2008

By JULIA ZAPPEI, Associated Press Writer 

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – A crowd of Chinese onlookers heckled and hit a Japanese family with inflated plastic batons Monday after the three unfurled a Tibetan flag before the start of the Malaysian leg of the Olympic torch relay.

The family, comprising two adults and a boy, was detained by police, who also took a Buddhist monk and a British woman wearing a “Free-Tibet” T-shirt into custody. All five were later released.

Criticism of China‘s human rights record has turned August Beijing Olympics into one of the most contentious in recent history.

Protests have dogged the round-the-world torch relay during its stops in Paris, London and San Francisco, with demonstrations over China’s crackdown in Tibet where it forcefully put down anti-government riots.

Though the torch’s most recent legs in South America, Africa and Asia have been relatively trouble-free, host countries have beefed up security in an effort to thwart possible disruptions.

About 1,000 police stood ready to guard the relay in Malaysia against protests. A Buddhist group held special prayers at a Kuala Lumpur temple for a trouble-free torch run and a peaceful Olympics.

The president of the Olympic Council of Malaysia, Imran Jaafar, set off with the torch, jogging a short distance before handing it to the next runner in the relay covering 10 miles through downtown Kuala Lumpur.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080421/ap_on_re_as/
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China Falls Short on Vows for Olympics

April 21, 2008

By Jill Drew and Maureen Fan
The Washington Post
Monday, April 21, 2008; Page A01
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BEIJING, April 20 — China has spent billions of dollars to fulfill its commitment to stage a grand Olympics. Athletes will compete in world-class stadiums. New highways and train lines crisscross Beijing. China built the world’s largest airport terminal to welcome an expected 500,000 foreign visitors. Thousands of newly planted trees and dozens of colorful “One World, One Dream” billboards line the main roads of a spruced-up capital. The security system has impressed the FBI and Interpol.
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But beneath the shimmer and behind the slogan, China is under criticism for suppressing Tibetan protests, sealing off large portions of the country to foreign reporters, harassing and jailing dissidents and not doing enough to curb air pollution. It has not lived up to a pledge in its Olympic action plan, released in 2002, to “be open in every aspect,” and a constitutional amendment adopted in 2004 to recognize and protect human rights has not shielded government critics from arrest.
A haze of pollution hangs over China's National Stadium, known as the bird's nest, the main venue for the Beijing Olympics beginning Aug. 8.
A haze of pollution hangs over China’s National Stadium, known as the bird’s nest, the main venue for the Beijing Olympics beginning Aug. 8. (By Greg Baker – Associated Press)
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The two realities show that when China had to build something new to fulfill expectations, it has largely delivered. But in areas that touch China’s core interests, Olympic pledges come second.
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“To ensure a successful Olympic Games, the government did make some technical and strategic efforts to improve the environment, human rights and press freedom. They did make some progress. But in these three areas, there’s a long, long way to go,” said Cheng Yizhong, an editor who tracks China’s Olympic preparations.
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With the Games less than four months away, the International Olympic Committee is scrambling to nail down specifics of how China will treat criticism of its actions during the event. Pressed this month, IOC President Jacques Rogge clarified that athletes would be allowed to speak freely in Beijing’s Olympic venues, calling it an “absolute” human right.
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“I can’t help but feel cynical about all this,” said David Wallechinsky, an Olympic historian, who said the IOC should have been more forceful with China earlier. “What are they going to do, take away the Games?”

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/20/AR2008042002044.html?hpid=topnews

China urges calm after anti-Western demonstrations

April 20, 2008

By TINI TRAN, Associated Press Writer 

BEIJING – Fresh anti-Western protests flared in several Chinese cities Sunday as people vented anger over pro-Tibet demonstrations along the Olympic torch relay. State media appealed for calm in an apparent attempt to dampen the nationalistic fervor.
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Over the weekend, protesters waving Chinese flags have rallied in front of the French Embassy in Beijing and at outlets of French retailer Carrefour in nine cities across the country. They have threatened boycotts of the retailer, whom they accuse of supporting the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader — a charge Carrefour denies.

Tibetan native now living in Ann Arbor, Lob Sang, left, made ...
Tibetan native now living in Ann Arbor, Lob Sang, left, made his difference of opinion known to demonstrators, right, during the Dalai Lama’s visit to the University of Michigan on Sunday, April 20, 2008, in Ann Arbor, Mich. Many demonstrators wore T-shirts that read ‘Support Beijing 2008,’ a reference to the upcoming summer Olympics. (AP Photo/Jerry S. Mendoza)

A front-page editorial in the People’s Daily newspaper, the official mouthpiece for the Chinese Communist Party, called for calm, urging people to cherish patriotism “while expressing it in a rational way.”

“As citizens, we have the responsibility to express our patriotic enthusiasm calmly and rationally and express patriotic aspiration in an orderly and legal manner,” the commentary said.

The editorial seemed to reflect concern among China’s leaders about a growing anti-Western backlash, fueled by anger over the demonstrations in Paris, London and San Francisco during the Olympic torch relay. The relay has become a magnet for protests against China‘s rule in Tibet and its human rights record.

Barry Sautman, a political scientist at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, said the government is trying to rein in the demonstrations in order to ensure calm and project an inviting image ahead of the Beijing Olympics in August.

“That’s why they want demonstrations to be very short,” Sautman said. “They want to wrap them up as soon as possible so they can go on to restore the image of China as welcoming to people around the world.”

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080420/ap_on_re_as/china_
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China and The Olympic Force for Change

April 20, 2008

By Sue Meng
The Washington Post
Sunday, April 20, 2008; Page B07
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A rash of protests disrupted the Olympic torch relays in San Francisco, Paris and London. Hu Jia, a Chinese activist, was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison this month for “inciting subversion” of Communist Party rule. The central government continues to crack down on unrest in Tibet. What was to be a triumphant medal count for China is quickly becoming a tally of its human rights abuses. It looks as if the Olympics are doing little to change China, and China is doing a lot to change the Olympics.
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But the Chinese government is one thing; 1.3 billion Chinese people are another.
Race walkers compete Friday at National Stadium, an Olympic venue in Beijing.

Race walkers compete Friday at National Stadium, an Olympic venue in Beijing. (By Getty Images)

It is important not to conflate China with the Chinese government. The Olympics have stirred an enormous outpouring of nationalism within China and among Chinese abroad. We should not dismiss Chinese nationalism as part and parcel of the Communist machine. Nationalism has forged civic engagement, cutting across groups normally divided by age, class and geography. This engagement leads to greater awareness of the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. Far from legitimizing an authoritarian regime, the Olympics foster the kind of nationalism that will help the Chinese carve out a civil society, which may be the best antidote.
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Already the Games have become a rallying point for millions of Chinese eager for China to take its place on the international stage. China’s turbulent history in the 20th century makes clear why hosting the Olympics strikes a deep chord of national pride: In a single lifetime, millions of Chinese will see the pendulum swing from the famine and isolationism of the 1950s to recognition and global integration in 2008. From all corners of the country and from overseas, Chinese are flocking to Beijing to witness history. The Olympics galvanized Chinese nationalism. Chinese nationalism will change China.
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Nationalism in China does not necessarily mean a blind capitulation to government’s repressive tendencies. Increasingly, there is a civic dimension to Chinese nationalism. Zhu Xueqin, a professor at Shanghai University, argues that compared with 10 years ago, people today are more aware of their “civic rights,” which include the right to information, the right to question the authority of the government and the right to be protected from retaliation.

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/18/AR2008041802715.html 

China hit by fresh anti-Western protests

April 20, 2008

BEIJING (AFP) – Fresh protests broke out across China on Sunday in reaction to the Western media’s coverage of China‘s handling of Tibet ahead of the Beijing Olympics, state media said.
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The latest demonstrations came after thousands of Chinese rallied Saturday in support of their country, with branches of the French retailer Carrefour heavily targeted.
Protestors hold Chinese national flags during a demonstration ... 
Protestors hold Chinese national flags during a demonstration against Carrefour supermarket and French goods in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province Saturday, April 19, 2008. The unrest in Tibet and protests during the worldwide Olympic torch relay have created a backlash of anger inside China against those viewed as supporting independence for Tibet. There is an online movement in China to boycott the French retail chain Carrefour due to protests in Paris during the torch relay.(AP Photo)

People gathered in front of Carrefour stores, chanting slogans of “Oppose Tibet independence” and “Oppose CNN’s anti-China statements,” referring to the international broadcaster, the official Xinhua news agency said.

They also chanted “Support the Olympics,” “Play up! China,” and “Condemn CNN” through loudspeakers.

More than 1,000 people assembled in front of a Carrefour store in the northwestern city of Xian holding protest banners, Xinhua said.

There were also demonstrations in the northeastern city of Harbin and the eastern city of Jinan, the report added.

The protests came despite the deployment of police in massive numbers across China after weeks of state-approved anti-Western rhetoric culminated in Saturday’s protests.

Police surrounded branches of Carrefour, which has been at the centre of a boycott by Chinese consumers over its alleged support of the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama — a claim it denies.

At one point, 53 police cars were seen on the rooftop parking lot of a Carrefour store in the eastern Chinese city of Qingdao, an AFP photographer witnessed. Dozens of law enforcement vehicles were seen on the streets around the store, he said.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080420/wl_afp/chinaunresttibet
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Chinese-Americans Call On CNN to Fire “Racial” Cafferty

April 19, 2008

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Chinese-Americans rallied outside CNN’s Hollywood office on Saturday to demand the firing of commentator Jack Cafferty for calling China‘s goods “junk” and its leaders a “bunch of goons and thugs.”

“We understand free speech,” Lake Wang, 39, told the Los Angeles Times. “But what if Cafferty said this about other racial groups? I think he would be fired. I think he’s jealous of China.”
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A crowd estimated by police at 2,000 to 5,000 gathered, chanting “Cafferty, Fire,” and singing Chinese songs. The crowd was peaceful, and no arrests were made, police Sgt. David Torres said.

Another two dozen people holding Chinese flags also demonstrated outside CNN’s corporate headquarters in Atlanta.

A call to CNN representatives seeking comment was not immediately returned.

Cafferty made the comments during an appearance on “The Situation Room” that aired April 9.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080419/ap_on_re_us/cnn_protest_1

Jack Cafferty prepares for an appearance on CNN's 'The Situation ...
Jack Cafferty prepares for an appearance on CNN’s ‘The Situation Room,’ Wednesday, June 21, 2006, at CNN’s New York headquarters. China on Thursday April 17, 2008 snubbed an apology from CNN over remarks by one Cafferty as a wave of verbal assaults on foreign media raised concerns over coverage at this summer’s Beijing Olympics. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu rejected CNN’s explanation that commentator Jack Cafferty was referring to China’s leaders — not the Chinese people — when he described them as ‘goons and thugs.’ CNN said it apologized to anyone who thought otherwise.(AP Photo/Kathy Willens, FILE)

Olympic torch relay brings China woe rather than glory

April 19, 2008

By Tim Johnson, McClatchy Newspapers

BEIJING — The Olympic torch relay was meant to kick off China‘s moment in the sun, but it’s turned into a public relations fiasco with ever-larger squads of police in foreign capitals shielding the torch from protesters.

People visit Japan's Buddhist Zenkoji Temple in Nagano, ...
People visit Japan’s Buddhist Zenkoji Temple in Nagano, central Japan. Monks at the ancient Japanese Buddhist temple on Friday pulled out of hosting a ceremony for the protest-marred Olympic torch relay because of China’s crackdown in Tibet.(AFP/JIJI PRESS)


China has given no sign that it will cut short the relay, which continues its 21-city global odyssey Saturday in Bangkok, Thailand , and Monday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia .

Yet frustration has set in that the troubled torch relay may signal further minefields ahead for the Summer Games on Aug. 8-24 , and a loss of face for China rather than a boost for the world’s most populous nation.

“All that has happened is a kind of humiliation,” said Hu Xingdou, a political analyst at the Beijing Institute of Technology . “The government never expected this.”

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/mcclatchy/20080418/
wl_mcclatchy/2913842_1

People holding Tibetan flags demonstrate on March 31 in Lyon, ...
People holding Tibetan flags demonstrate on March 31 in Lyon, southeastern France, to denounce the Chinese clampdown in Tibet. China said that protesters were out to hijack the Olympic Games as the torch relay embarked on a world tour that ignited demonstrations world wide.(AFP/Jean-Philippe Ksiazek)


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Thailand Braces for Unrest As Olympic Torch Approaches

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Hundreds of Thai police braced for another round of anti-China protests on Saturday as the Olympic torch was readied for its parade through Bangkok, the latest leg of its troubled tour from Greece to Beijing.

Several groups angry at Beijing’s human rights record and its rule in Tibet are planning demonstrations but will meet no opposition from police as long as they remain orderly, Thai Olympic chief General Yuthasak Sasiprapa said.

“If they are peaceful, it’s OK,” he told Reuters. “But we will not tolerate any violent or illegal protests. The torch and runners will be tightly escorted by police patrols and motorcycles all along the route.”

The 10.5-km (6.5-mile) relay is due to start at 0800 GMT in the capital’s China Town — a reflection of Thailand‘s close social ties to its giant regional neighbor — before proceeding past the golden-spired Grand Palace.

The main protest during the procession will be outside the regional headquarters of the United Nations, where a dozen pro-democracy groups say they will demonstrate against China‘s crackdown on unrest in Tibet in March.

Police Special Branch officers say they are also aware of a move by local supporters of Falun Gong, the religious group outlawed by Beijing, to voice their opposition to the Games, which open in Beijing on August 8.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080419/wl_nm/olympics_torch_dc_1

A police car is parked in front of the Chinese Embassy in Bangkok ...
A police car is parked in front of the Chinese Embassy in Bangkok on April 18, 2008. The troubled Olympic torch relay arrived in Thailand on Friday, as more controversy erupted when one of the Japanese hosts dropped out in protest over China’s crackdown in Tibet.(AFP/Nicolas Asfouri)