Friday, March 27, 2009

Understanding the Tibetan situation

By China Watcher

Actually I have other more interesting China’s issues and matters to convey in my blog but there is this nauseating feeling from within inciting me to put forward my opinion on the Tibetan problem of which the West has unashamedly created more attention by putting the Dalai Lama on its front page, even though the focus in terms of priority should be on the world economy which is presently mired with so much uncertainty.

The legacy issues of the Tibetan and their exiled religious leader have managed to garner the interest of the Western people and not the WORLD as incorrectly reported by these mostly Western news agencies and reprinted by the English version of a few emerging Asian countries. I have never doubted the global influence and “might” of the Western media particularly the ones based in the US. In Asia, efforts were now being made to establish the Asia News Network and other non Western news agencies to counter the very pro-West views coming from the US and Europe. I hope there would be more of the same committed efforts in becoming less reliance on Western sources in the near future.

What I found amusing was that the Tibetan issue and even to this day, in the Western media, the authors are wholly preoccupied with disseminating one and only one thing – the deprivation of human rights for the Tibetan people. The thorny issue behind Tibet is that the deposed religious leader and its many sympathizers and supporters wanted “independence” from China. I called it independence and not “AUTONOMY” because the Dalai Lama demanded that the whole of Tibet, Qinghai, part of Sichuan and Gansu, to be relieved of Han Chinese who have migrated from elsewhere over the past 50 years. The Han Chinese size in these provinces is huge and even, in Tibet itself, the numbers are not small. Further the Han Chinese has taken big sacrifices to uproot their families from familiar territory to establish business links in the uncharted and tough “Wild Wild West” region. Over the past decade, the Han Chinese has contributed to the economic progress of Tibet and it is not as simple as to “force” them to go back to their place of origins. In addition, the force repatriation of labor and people ran contrary to the Chinese government’s ethnic protection laws and policy to develop the “undeveloped West”. Even in the US, you cannot bar a US citizen from working in California if he is from New York.

In the memorandum given to the Chinese government by the Tibetan exiles at the latest dialogue, they also demanded that all Chinese military personnel be withdrawn from Tibet and the surrounding areas, and to a larger extent provide a high degree of diplomatic control to the Tibetan Administration of the Dalai Lama. If this is not independence or separation from the Beijing’s Central government, what terminology should we employ then? Can we still continue to accept the statement made by the Dalai Lama that he is not seeking independence but autonomy from China? People who have ulterior motives especially the Western rights NGOs and activists would readily accept the so-called fabricated “middle-path” lies as enunciated by the Dalai Lama.

If you reviewed the Chinese Constitution with regards to the local autonomous regional laws, the demands (within the Tibetan memorandum) made by the exiled Tibetan government is very far-fetched and it is not possible to be met unless the religious leader is willing to agree to similar terms that are currently being used to govern Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang (both autonomous regions). I personally do not see any progress from this stalemate at least until the Tibetan side is willing to face the present reality of the changing political landscape in Tibet.

Tibet is no longer a feudal serfdom where peasants are slaves to the Lamas. Even if there is a managed democracy in Tibet, do you think the monks and the Lamas are willing to play a lesser role in the governance of Tibet? The West always promoted the separation of State from the religious authorities but has never commented openly on the existence of the control of the religious Tibetan Lamas over the ordinary citizens within the circles of political power as still practiced by the Tibetan exiled government in Northern India today. Why are there double standards in the treatment of critical comments when it comes to China?
Today the ordinary Tibetans are economically so much better than those days when they were under the Lamas. There are now roads, railways, schools, shopping plazas and a university. The Chinese government has poured in millions of dollars to equip the Tibetans with proper housing and to ensure that there do not lose out in education to the “smarter” Han Chinese. I was told that the minorities like the Tibetans are provided with easy passage in terms of entrance quota by the Central government if they choose to study in prestigious Universities like Tsinghua and Beijing. I have always supported the idea that it is only through education that the Tibetans can elevate the social status of its people.

The West uses the causes of human rights abuses and “cultural genocide” to discredit China rule and to intervene in the administration of Tibet If there are truly rampant human rights abuses of the magnitude described by the West, there would be no large scale violent riot last year. Communication channels in Tibet were relaxed for the Olympic Games but the indigenous Tibetans do not know how to appreciate the limited “freedoms”. Tourism was heavily promoted since 1996 and foreigners were allowed to interact with the people in Tibet but some of the sympathizers from Western countries were seen to be inciting them to hate the Han Chinese. The Tibetans were allowed to own hand-phones, travel to other parts of China and to practice their religions at the temples. Yet the Tibetan monks were not happy as they could not revive the days there were in control of the peasants and also, they stubbornly refused to integrate. The same predicament would happen if the Red Indians in US, the Australian aborigines and the Canadian Eskimos if they refuse to integrate in a Caucasian based societies. There will always be discontented persons who would try to sneak out of Tibet to India. I would not deny the fact that there were evidences of demolitions of temples during the tumultuous Cultural Revolution which began in 1967. If there was “cultural genocide” as reported by the West, how is it that I still get to watch Tibetan cultural performance in Chinese cultural events, the most recent in London?

Most visitors to Tibet have noticed that old temples were restored and new ones were built for followers of the 6 permitted religions in China. The Tibetans enjoy the same basic rights as any Han Chinese as provided in the Chinese Constitution. Some Han Chinese had already started questioning why should the Tibetans be given more rights than others? If Chinese societies developed on the basis of their own refined characteristics in the near future, Chinese residents would enjoy far better protection of individual rights which would likewise cover all other 55 ethnic groups in China including the Tibetans.

Foreign activists may argue that the Tibetans are not bothered by the better economic status presently but are not comfortable to be governed by “outsiders”. Historically, the Chinese are not considered “outsiders”. The Tibetan rulers have been known to send expensive gifts to the emperors in the capital to pacify and to recognize the Chinese “sphere of control” over them since the era of the Mongol Empire in the 13th Century. The Ching Dynasty (also known as Manchu) ruled the Chinese territory from 1644 to 1912 and it is evident from the Ching dynasty map Tibet had been an intricate part of the Chinese Empire. It was only momentarily “free” from China when China was centrally weak during the 1913 Revolution and a brief period after Second World War when the Chinese were embroiled in a civil war. Thus, it was and has been an inalienable and indisputable right of the Chinese government under the banner of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) when it re-established firm control of Tibet in 1959 when the Lamas tried to secede. If the Alaskan or the Chechens tried to breakaway from the US and Russia, what do you think Washington and Moscow would do?

I am sure some of you might have the idea that I am singing the same propaganda information of the CCP. I am not from China and I do not have to submit to the ideologies of the CCP but I am clearly defending Chinese sovereignty over its territories based on facts. I believe all Han Chinese should be seen giving all the support necessary to ensure Tibet will forever remain with China given the coordinated pressure coming from the West. I just cannot comprehend how a land-locked and barren land mass like Tibet could survive without China. The Central Intelligence Agency (of the US) were involved actively in funding and supplying weapons to the Tibetans to create unrest in Tibet and the surrounding areas with a clear objective to deter the spread of Communism from 1959 to 1980. The Americans were clearly not interested in liberating Tibet and the Dalai Lama was viewed as a pawn in a game of chess with the Chinese.

It is also sad to note that lots of Asians still hold strongly to the deeply rooted colonial mentality that everything from the West is good and progressive. Certain groups in Taiwan held street protest recently to support the Dalai Lama not because it wanted independence for Tibet but more to assure themselves and to send a message to the ruling Kuomintang that they would not like to be in the “hopeless situation” the Tibetans are currently in. But the Western media and the human rights activists trumpeted the notion that even Han Chinese supported the Dalai Lama’s cause. It is another plain ridiculous reporting from the West without actually diagnosing the background of the event.

The Tibet issue has various dimensions in the form of culture, race and religions and as such, it appears to be an attractive avenue for the West to attack China in the guise of human rights abuses. The West has always hold strongly to its core Western values – which are human rights and democracy – and Tibet with its many facets for exploitation remains the best possible way to spread its influence throughout the world in promoting its ideal societies.

The selection of the successor to the Dalai Lama has always been the right of the Panchen Lama. The governing authority in Tibet and the exiled government have appointed their own Panchen Lama. Western media on countless times reported that Beijing appointed second inline through a legally sanctioned Tibetan Council is not recognized by the Tibetans in China. I do not agree, once again, from Western findings. Perhaps, the Beijing’s endorsed Lama, Gyaltsen Norbu is not recognized by the Tibetan government-in-exiled and NOT the Tibetans residing in China. It is alarming to note how much efforts have been made by the few journalists in China to discredit the Tibetan provincial government involvement in the selection process. This age old traditions of the selection of the Dalai Lama has to be endorsed by the Beijing central government, which goes back during the time of the imperial emperor under the Ming and Ching dynasty. The government in exiled does not have that authority. The Dalai Lama has spoken numerous times that the Tibetan exiled government has the authority to do so but on what basis. Maybe, the power-to-be is implicitly crafted by the few European nations and the US which have actually emboldened the Dalai Lama’s quest for independence or full autonomy.

At the run-up to the Tibetan Uprising Anniversary recently, the Chinese government has increased its surveillance in Tibet after what happened last year just before the Olympic torch run made its way to Mount Everest. The increased army presence is justified in order to prevent a recurrence of the violent riots that resulted in unwarranted deaths among the Han Chinese and local Tibetans. The Western media as usual highlighted the increased military patrols as suppression of the Tibetans. Ridiculous!

In modern times, China has never succumbed to international pressure whether it is from the EU or US over issues concerning its sovereignty and I applauded this fine stance. To allow bilateral relationship to be strained by the Tibet issue shows a lack of political wisdom on the part of the Western governments. The only solution forward is to set aside the Tibetan matter and seek cooperation in other areas like in the spheres of trade, technology, cultural and finance.

I am sure the Chinese government has already implemented various strategies to deal with the continuous Western support given to the Dalai Lama to seek independence from China. One of the most immediate ways is to set up a bureau to counter all the “lies” from the exiled leader. And the introduction of the Serfs Emancipation Day in Tibet is a good move.

Who say the Han Chinese are not listening to the Chinese actions on Tibet? The West lacks of understanding of the actual situation allows Tibetan sympathisers (including certain anti-China media) and right activists to promote their hidden agenda.

Instead of lodging solemn representation with the Western government, the Chinese government should be serious in considering the reduction of the level of economic activities with the hypocritical governments in the West who choose to offer diplomatic space to the Dalai Lama. The diversification of economic dependence on exports to the US and European Union is a medium to long term effort to prevent the West from using “blackmailing tactics” in the near future.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Nobody tells China what to do

By China Watcher

It is important that all Chinese of Han origins should take note that world’s personalities appointed by Western dominated societies speak only for values that are promoted by the West. What values? Yes, it is all about benchmarking using Western human standards again.

It is of no surprise that we have a persistent (listed as one of the persons that Chinese people dislike) anti-China Bishop from South Africa (Desmond Tutu) who criticize China for “verbally abusing” the Tibetan spiritual leader. The news obviously came out of a Human Rights website.

The aged South African religious leader said he was concerned with the deterioration of the human rights situation in Tibet, and an apparent breakdown in communication between the Chinese government and Tibetan representatives of the deposed Dalai Lama. Tibet is and forever a part of China and how it is being ruled is all up to the Chinese people. Using human rights as a lame excuse to criticize China’s handling of Tibet is clearly unacceptable. Even without these few Dalai Lama’s friends, the Olympics Games was a complete success. And in China quest to become an advance nation in the future, the Chinese people do not really need this type of friends to be around.

Personally, I do not even have an ounce of respect for the wily and cunning “imposter” the West revered so much. The “wolf in the sheep clothing” person claimed that he does not want independence but only autonomy from China. But what he is demanding is for the “freedom” of Greater Tibet and the authority to decide on foreign policy matters which actually means the “independence” and splitting of China. Han Chinese who have migrated to Tibet and the surrounding lands are to be redeployed back to where they came from. Furthermore, the very same “ethical” person referred the Tibet scenario as “hell on earth” and that China’s rule has resulted in “million of deaths” are pure nonsense and outright fabricated lies. When China brings development to Tibet, the Western critics called it a degradation of the scenic environment and if China does not do anything, the critics will say that there is no development in Tibet as compared to the coastal provinces. So either way, you will not be able to win the hearts of the Western media as they are all prejudicial in their opinions.

The West that is controlled by the neo-conservatives and pure rightist will seek to continue its dominance of the world and will not stop at anything to create additional hurdles for China’s gradual progress in economic development by using human rights as an excuse to fault China especially in the governing of Tibet. Tibet has been governed for more than 50 years already and only in the last 8 years that the criticism from the West has grown evidently stronger. Perhaps, the Dalai Lama is now closer to his mortality age with no successor. China’s human rights situation is presently so much better compared to the 60s and 70s and why do the West continue to harp on the same issues over and over again.

The 50th anniversary (this year) of a failed Tibetan uprising has passed and there is not a single incident of protest, clearly frustrating the many attempts by the Dalai Lama and its supporters to create troubles so as to garner world attention to what has been recognized in Asia as a dying cause.

It is believed that a letter would be sent to the Chinese President and the same website is currently soliciting signatures from Nobel laureates and celebrities to support their cause. Some of the well-known celebrities and award winners who have pledged their signatures were Elie Wiesel, Jody Williams, Richard Gere, Mia Farrow and Harrison Ford. The surprise addition here is Harrison Ford who will be listed as another person whom the Chinese dislikes on this blog.

I support the Chinese government way in bringing development to Tibet and to try to integrate every Tibetan into a modern society even if it takes another 100 years. It took more that 200 years to integrate the Red Indians into “white Caucasian” societies (some of them still lived on the streets to this day). Contrary to what is being reported, I am confident that the Chinese government will protect the rich cultures and ceremonies of the Tibetans in a century from now.

Friday, March 13, 2009

China firm in its position on extending hand of friendship to France

By China Watcher

I am pleased to note that the Chinese Premier has openly asked France to make a stand on Tibet.

If the French intends to hide under a hypocritical veil of expressing support for the Dalai Lama on one hand and, also saying it insincerely, that it wanted to develop a strategic partnership with China, it is clearly not acceptable.

The Paris Municipal Council hanging of a Tibetan flag at the City Hall is a clear disrespect to all Han Chinese throughout the world.

Relations between China and France nosedived after French President Nicolas Sarkozy met Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama in Poland in December.
The French must be brave enough to choose side and not try to be a “two-faced” poker like most Western nations.

If the France choose to side with the Dalai Lama, then it is good for the Chinese to start relegating the embassy status to a consulate and in future, to sever all ties with the French. Looking at the state of development, there is a high possibility that it is moving towards that direction.

On a bigger picture, the interest with the European Union will also be affected.

If that is the way, then let it be. China can survive without France.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What is the US doing around Hainan Island?

By China Watcher

The Impeccable, a US vessel, was caught conducting some maneuvers around Hainan Island (China’s Southern province) within the 200-mile exclusive economic zone, which the US claimed is “international waters”.

Based on a UN’s 1982 Law of The Sea, of which most countries have accepted and recognized, China is right in claiming that such “waters” are within its territory. The US, however, have yet to ratify the UN’s convention on this matter. In the most simplistic terms, the Chinese alleged that the US has trespassed on its territory but the US retorted that its vessel is not since it is still located in international waters.

My argument is such that if the so-called “territorial waters” are deemed doubtful from the perspective of both nations, then it would be better not to challenge the legality status of it which is what the US is doing. I am sure the US also would not want a Chinese destroyer or a Chinese surveillance vessel to be near the 200-mile economic zone off the coast of California. In this aspect, I strongly believe the US is wrong to boldly intrude in a zone which is questionable at his juncture.

Another question I seek to ask is what is the purpose of an unarmed US ocean surveillance vessel doing so close to the Chinese shore? It is not surprising as Hainan Island is the main base for China’s most advanced missile submarine fleet, which according to latest findings, comprises 5 nuclear submarines capable of launching nuclear ballistic missiles.

The US claimed that its vessel was there to protect its commercial interests in busy South China Sea shipping lanes traversed by half the world’s oil tankers. Can we accept such lame reasoning or is the US vessel on a spying mission? More likely, it is attempting to find out more about the movement of such submarines in the region.

The Chinese, like every sovereign country, has every right to project a “blue water” navy in every parts of the world just like the US have done over the past 50 years. But the Western media in its many articles indicated that the projection of “blue water” navy is the exclusive right of democratic nations like the US and not other countries which do not share its values. Nonsense!

Based on Western readings, I think that any challenge to the US dominance at sea is a threat to the world and stability of current world order. Again, what a load of rubbish! I don’t think the world had officially nominated the US as the world’s protector or policeman but the US would like to see it that way due to its number one status in the world (the sole superpower) and its promotion of “upright and just morality” throughout the world.

China may not row on the same boat with the US on many key international issues which does not mean that it challenges US’s initiatives but more towards the protection of its own interest like the expulsion of aid workers from Darfur at the UN Security Council recently. It is a known fact that China does have a lot of commercial interest in Sudan and it is only understandable why it blocked the US move.

As long as the US and the Chinese do not see eye-to-eye on a lot of conflicting issues especially with the US placing human rights as its core foreign policy, there would be more of this type of irritant disagreements that would cloud its relationship in the future which will not be helpful for world’s stability.

Monday, March 9, 2009

China sweep at the All England Badminton creates jealously among rivals

By China Watcher

When China won all five titles at the All-England championship on Sunday, 8 March 2009, it provoked further criticism from the rivals.

Last year, some of the other team managers were noted not to be too happy when China skipped the Grand Prix finals, a finale for top players around the world, and said that the Chinese team had no respect for the Badminton World Federation (BWF) for opting out of the Super Finals.

There was already unhappiness among certain rival countries over China who had the pleasure to practice “walkover” in certain China versus China matches to rest their players for more crucial and tough encounters. Yesterday, a Malaysian singles coach called for the BWF to tackle this issue and warned that if not, the sports may be dropped from the Olympics in the future.

Some of the overzealous sports reporters from the mainstream media in Malaysia formulated opinions which bordered more on their own insensible and unreasonable analysis rather than viewing the constraints and realistic chances the Malaysian players faced in international meets. Perhaps, the Malaysian players were gradually winning matches and moving up the BWF's rankings. Yesterday, China’s low ranking players proved how misguided the rankings are by winning all the coveted titles at the prestigious All England. Rankings are merely a guide and should not be the main yardstick to pick the best players of the world. Lin Dan, the Chinese number one men singles players put it appropriately, “I could not care whether I am number 1 or not, winning important titles are more satisfying”.

First, the dominance of the sports event by China indicates that the Chinese was able to cope with the changes in the development of badminton as a fast reflex game (too fast for the mind to react) and an attacking game with as little errors as possible. Mental strength to handle pressure at crucial winning points is equally important than the technical and strategic knowledge of the game. Except for the Koreans, Malaysian, Indonesian and maybe the Danish the rest of the countries are still very far off in terms of the standard of play when you benchmarked against China.

Second, the Chinese realistically has greater depth than the rest of the countries, that is, it has a large pool of talents to pick from. The second batch of young Chinese women players are now slowly finding its winning path in international tournaments and this do not bode well for the rival countries. The Chinese women have been dominating the women scene in this sports event for the last decade.

Third, the physical training the Chinese players have to undergo are many times more strenuous than what have been adopted by other badminton nations. Just take a look at how the Chinese divers, the paddlers and gymnasts trained when they have been selected at a very young age and you would have a better a picture of the type of training at its badminton halls.

Fourth, the dominance of the sports by China is no fault of them, the rest of the countries just fail to keep up given their lack of resources and the quality of their players. The BWF has made numerous changes to the draw by allowing seeded players of the same countries to compete among themselves at the preliminary rounds, thus opening the path for certain unseeded players of other countries to advance as far as the semi-finals. Imagine if the BWF adopted rules that seeded players do not meet in the early stages, the possibility of an all Chinese players at the semi-finals and finals is even higher. Now, the armada of Chinese players of about 7-8 players in the single event especially in the women category are already a fearsome lot with the current ruling.

Fifth, when the Chinese “throw away “matches that other countries deemed as “match-fixing”, it invited the warily eyes of other countries teams but when the Koreans do the same thing, nobody bothers. Why? Again, it is the dominance of this sports by China and the jealously of the other team managers and coaches which are really the main reasons behind the complaints.

My advice, be more mature and raise your own badminton standards before you criticize the winning team.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Chinese Bank is now the largest in terms of market capitalization

By China Watcher

For the many anti-China bashers, so-called experts, economists and critics who predicted that China’s economy will collapse way back in 1995 due to its infrastructural bottlenecks and the poor management inefficiency because of its perceived lack of human rights and freedom of speech, the results showed otherwise.

Some sincere and truthful economist (devoid of a hidden agenda) predicted that the Chinese economy is going to recover first from the economic slum. From the recent market developments in Asia, it was the expectation of a Chinese second stimulus package which has generated renewed and strong interest in the markets from Japan to Indonesia. Most Asian markets were up yesterday.

The surprising news that comes from Bloomberg (a media supporting Western type human rights blatantly) indicated that the Industrial Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) is now the largest bank in the world in terms of market capitalization. Among the Top 10, China has 3 banks on the list.

The following is a table of the world's biggest banks by market capitalization in current U.S. dollar terms, showing their rank at the end of January 2008, 2007 and 2003.

1/31/08 Mkt cap (US$bln)
1 ICBC 277.514
2 Bank of America 195.933
3 HSBC Holdings 176.788
4 China Construction 165.234
5 Bank of China 165.087
6 JPMorgan Chase 159.615
7 Citigroup 140.698
8 Wells Fargo 112.365
9 Banco Santander 109.862
10 Mitsubishi UFJ Financial 105.412
11 ABN Amro+ 103.643
12 UniCredit 97.591
13 Intesa SanPaolo 89.954
14 BNP Paribas 88.487
15 Goldman Sachs 87.602
16 UBS 84.878
17 BBVA 78.302
18 Sberbank 77.713
19 Royal Bank of Scotland 76.023
20 Wachovia 75.401

So what does the anti-China critics have to say?