In 1949, the American foreign ministry said that: “Tibet is becoming strategically and ideologically important. Since Tibet’s independence could help us in our fight against communism, it is in our interest to recognize it as an independence state instead of as a part of China. The Tibetan population is conservative, religious and ready to fight for Buddhism and against communism. In addition, the ideological influence of the Dalai Lama reaches far beyond Tibet’s borders…/… It is not Tibet’s independence that we are concerned with instead, it’s the attitude towards China that we should adopt.”
I guess now Xinjiang has joined Tibet and is “becoming strategically and ideologically important” for US foreign policy makers.
I found the above from a comprehensive interview Important Q & A of Tibet by Mick Collins back to 2008. It explains well the cause of Tibet riot last year. And I am pretty sure that the same dirty hand, I mean Uncle Sam, is behind the recent Xinjiang riots.
“It’s the same old song: we’ve heard it constantly since 1989 (with conflicts in Africa, the Balkans, Iraq, and those that went to breaking up the USSR). It should be noted also that at the heart of the Tibetan exile community, there is a scission becoming more and more apparent: on the one hand, there are the moderates, including the DL, who do not advocate violence (not openly, at least), and who do not even demand independence, but speak of ‘growing autonomy’, as we know. On the other hand, and at the moment it is a majority faction within the government in exile, there are the radicals who demand total independence and are ready to take up arms to achieve it. You can imagine that such discourse would be impossible to maintain without the support of their allies of 50 years: the US, which also continues to finance and arm the Tibetan community in exile. In reality, today the US has two war horses it can use simultaneously: the DL and his followers (in Europe, especially) from whom comes the pacifist line that serves to rally Western intellectuals around the themes of ‘democracy’, ‘Human Rights’, ‘Freedom of the Press’, etc., that must be imposed on China (what a bizarre idea: ‘a democracy’ that has to be imposed! . . . but it gets across 200% of the time), and then the ‘hardcore’ faction of the Tibetan government in exile, which is acquiring more and more adherents because of the tough talk of the struggle for independence at all cost. Apparently, these are the ones who have ignited and carried out the recent violence.”
The most interesting part of the interview, is about how the anti-China image has been established in the western world. Please allow me to quote some for you:
“Public opinion follows the media, and the media obey the economic interests. Don’t we live in an economic dictatorship here at home? Censorship is as real here as it is anywhere, but just better hidden. In the West, you are not locked up in prison for your opinions, but rather in your head, then in the illnesses that ensue. I wonder sometimes which is worse. So your actual question becomes: “How do you explain the pro-Tibetan feelings conveyed by our economic system?” Neither the US nor Europe fully appreciates the dazzling advances made by China on the world stage. All the plans are in place to bring it down: “We have to raise hell during the Peking Olympics!” squeals Danny Cohn-Bendit in his speech before a plenary session of the EU parliament on how Europe must act toward China. And this, not even a week after the events that lit up downtown Lhasa! It is so monstrous, yet that shows in a very simple way that the “big world of diplomacy and high finance” doesn’t have a solution for the Tibetan problem, and what is really important for them is to “raise hell in China.””
“But how is it that everyone here (even the leftist intellectuals, the progressives, ecologists, health-food wonks, and all that) holds this highly contrasted idea in their heads, of such a sympathetic Tibet and such a horribly repressive China? It is the same question as: How come the whole world drinks Coke and wears Adidas? Advertising, it works and it’s dangerous, everybody knows it and yet they can’t help following it. Especially the sort of advertising on Tibet/China that we’ve been subjected to for 50 years now!
How can we talk about China being “repressive’—ok, maybe in a certain way it is—but explain to me how this could be when China has, proportionately, five times fewer prisoners than the US? We say here that China is “totalitarian”: ok, but to say it still remains communist, is this synonymous with “totalitarianism”? Besides, what bothers us is not so much that China is communist, but that it protects its “economic territory”: neither the US nor the EU do that, and that greatly displeases the multinationals. Foreign investment in China is less than 3%: this is not a great gift for the multinationals!”
“BP: The USA has taken China off its list of most repressive states. Hasn’t China become a capitalist country like the others?
EM: If the US does something like that, isn’t it for some strategic purpose? It allows for the organization of more riots in the Tibetan regions, which forces China to bring out its big guns of repression, and the US can then cry foul: ‘State Repression’…”
In a different interview, Jean-Paul Desimpelaere spoke out similar view:
“R86: Your wife has been quoted as saying in this regard that “Tibet is a battleground pitting the United States against China.” Do you share this opinion?
JPD: Yes, in my opinion, that’s what has become of it. The current geostrategic ambitions add to the tension between China and the United States. Earlier, Tibet was involved in the battle against communism, but now there is something more there. China is becoming an economic power, and getting too big. In less than 20 years’ time, China will have surpassed the US as the top country in terms of total production volume. China is already the third-largest economy and it is also the biggest backer of American debt. With the onset of the US financial crisis the Americans had to knock on China’s door last January, asking for help. In my opinion, the US plays a double game. They need to have economic relations and financial transactions with China, but at the same time they are quite uncomfortable with this fact. The two really are not the best of pals, the US would rather opt for partners that are a bit more “valuable,” ideologically more Western or more democratic… partners that could better fit into the Western camp. An orange revolution? No, I don’t think so. They “tease” China a bit with issues such as Tibet and human rights, or by supporting separatist movements. Economic ties, even if strong, have never been reason enough to end all rivalry.
R86: Did the United States in your opinion play an active role in the events that took place in Tibet?
JPD: Yes, something can be judged from the fact that immediately after the March 14-21 riots in Lhasa, the president of the US congress Nancy Pelosi (NB: she is the speaker of the US House of Representatives), number three in American hierarchy, traveled to Dharamsala for a meeting with the Dalai Lama, to congratulate him and to say “I am happy to see American flags wave here in the streets of Dharamsala”… This is not a coincidence! The United States financially supports Tibetan exiles, of which non-governmental organizations like the NED, New Endorsement for Democracy, or the Tibet Fund, headed by Bush’s sister-in-law, serve as proof. There are also other American non-governmental organizations which provide financial assistance to the Dalai Lama’s government in-exile and the international information network operating around all that. It’s been that way since 1959 and still continues today, but this is not an obstacle to financial and commercial interaction between the US and China. I think that the US hopes that their tactics will help bring about a collapse of the current Chinese regime and lead to it being replaced by another, more Western one.
R86: Do you think that the majority of Western media are “pro-Tibet?”
JPD: Yes, I think so. But this is nothing new. This has been the general attitude over the past 50 years, during which the media have ridiculed about what China has said or not said about the issue. In fact, people don’t want to know what China’s stance is. Quite contrarily, the position of the government of the Tibetan exiles, which counted 80,000 people in -59 and 120,000 now, has received backing from the US and its NGOs. So there is an entire network that feeds the public opinion through the press. Journalists invariably stumble onto websites such as the Tibet Information Network, which is a London-based institution that receives funding from the US, so it is not neutral even if it claims to be.”