Why Washington Plays
‘Tibet Roulette’ With China
By F. William Engdahl
Washington has obviously decided on an ultra-high risk geopolitical game with Beijing’s by fanning the flames of violence in Tibet just at this sensitive time in their relations and on the run-up to the Beijing Olympics. It’s part of an escalating strategy of destabilization of China which has been initiated by the Bush Administration over the past months. It also includes the attempt to ignite an anti-China Saffron Revolution in the neighboring Myanmar region, bringing US-led NATO troops into Darfur where China’s oil companies are developing potentially huge oil reserves. It includes counter moves across mineral-rich Africa. And it includes strenuous efforts to turn India into a major new US forward base on the Asian sub-continent to be deployed against China, though evidence to date suggests the Indian government is being very cautious not to upset Chinese relations.
The current Tibet operation apparently got the green light in October last year when George Bush agreed to meet the Dalai Lama for the first time publicly in Washington. The President of the United States is not unaware of the high stakes of such an insult to Beijing. Bush deepened the affront to America’s largest trading partner, China, by agreeing to attend as the US Congress awarded the Dalai Lama the Congressional Gold Medal.
The immediate expressions of support for the crimson monks of Tibet from George Bush, Condi Rice, France’s Nicolas Sarkozy and Germany’s Angela Merkel most recently took on dimensions of the absurd. Ms Merkel announced she would boycott attending the August Beijing Summer Olympics as her protest at the Beijing treatment of the Tibetan monks. What her press secretary omitted is that she had not even planned to go in the first place.
She was followed by an announcement that Poland’s Prime Minister, the pro-Washington Donald Tusk, would also stay away, along with pro-US Czech President Vaclav Klaus. It is unclear whether they also hadn’t planned to go in the first place but it made for dramatic press headlines.
The recent wave of violent protests and documented attacks by Tibetan monks against Han Chinese residents began on March 10 when several hundred monks marched on Lhasa to demand release of other monks allegedly detained for celebrating the award of the US Congress’ Gold Medal last October. The monks were joined by other monks marching to protest Beijing rule on the 49th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule.
The geopolitical game
As the Chinese government itself was clear to point out, the sudden eruption of anti-Chinese violence in Tibet, a new phase in the movement led by the exiled Dalai Lama, was suspiciously timed to try to put the spotlight on Beijing’s human rights record on the eve of the coming Olympics. The Beijing Olympics are an event seen in China as a major acknowledgement of the arrival of a new prosperous China on the world stage.
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In 1783, Washington‘s anti-Indian sentiments were apparent in his comparisons of Indians with wolves: “Both being beast of prey, tho‘ they differ in shape”, he said. George Washington‘s policies of extermination were realized in his troops behaviors following a defeat. Troops would skin the bodies of Iroquois “from the hips downward to make boot tops or leggings”. Indians who survived the attacks later re-named the nation‘s first president as “Town Destroyer”. Approximately 28 of 30 Seneca towns had been destroyed within a five year period. (Ibid)
In 1812, Jefferson said that American was obliged to push the backward Indians “with the beasts of the forests into the Stony Mountains”. One year later Jefferson continued anti-Indian statements by adding that America must “pursue [the Indians] to extermination, or drive them to new seats beyond our reach”. (Ibid)
In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln ordered the ????ution, by hanging, of 38 Dakota Sioux prisoners in Mankato, Minnesota. Most of those ????uted were holy men or political leaders of their camps. None of them were responsible for committing the crimes they were accused of. Coined as the Largest Mass ????ution in U.S. History. (Brown, Dee. BURY MY HEART AT WOUNDED KNEE. New York: Holt, Rinehart, Winston, 1970. pp. 59-61)
The fourth face you see on that “Stony Mountain” is America‘s first twentieth century president, alleged American hero, and Nobel peace prize recipient, Theodore Roosevelt. This Indian fighter firmly grasped the notion of Manifest Destiny saying that America‘s extermination of the Indians and thefts our their lands “was ultimately beneficial as it was inevitable”. Roosevelt once said, “I don‘t go so far as to think that the only good Indians are dead Indians, but I believe nine out of ten are, and I shouldn‘t like to inquire too closely into the case of the tenth”. (Stannard, Op.Cit.
1 Historic review
Human right problem of China became a focal point to criticize China only after the foundation of PRC. This was based on severe ideological conflict. When china became a rising power, the western countries consider China as a strong potential enemy. Human right becomes an important civil weapon against China.
2 Malicious strategy of the US
Since the iron curtain was established after the Second World War, the US started to lead the western party, fighting for its own global strategic profit against the communistic world. After the disassembly of USSR, China became the only remaining potential enemy power against American global supremacy. The US established a malicious strategy, putting china into a dilemma.
First, the US wanted to repeat the victory against the USSR ? to force China racing on armament. To achieve this, they apply deterrent (threatening) against china with extensive military pressure. China was forced to develop its economy and military force as fast as possible. China made his best to make economic and military wonder, but the price for this ultimate efficiency was the depression of social morality, unjust and severe environmental pollution.
Then, the US used the human rights as a moral weapon. In one aspect, the human right was an effective factor to establish solidarity all over the world against china. In western world, the mentality was similar. Western people tend to pay more attention on individual rights. With this method, the whole western world, from government to people, can be united against Chinese government. In another aspect, the overflow of the criticism against human rights in china can provoke the attention of the Chinese people on the accumulating unjust. This decreases the trust of people to the government, accumulating the anti-governmental force.
The power of china is based on its united reign and stable social community. In Chinese history, none of the dynasties died because of being invaded. They died because of the unstable society, and the invasions were just catalyst. If the anti-governmental force is strong enough, the current Chinese government will be undermined, and this biggest potential enemy will be turned into a new colony of western countries. This is proven by the history.
3 Popular psychology of western people
Western culture was based on nomad culture. A very dominant feature of nomad culture is that when a tribe is strong enough, he will definitely invade other tribes to control more territories and more resources, because they will soon deplete their own resources in a limited time. This means that every rising power will be a future enemy. Actually, the history of china proved that china, based on agricultural culture, has never invaded other countries for more territories or resources. But as western people don’t understand this because of the different basis of culture, severe misunderstanding exists.
Nomad cultures believe in jungle rule, while agricultural cultures don’t. Based on this, the colonization history provides the western people an important mentality: superiority over Chinese people (as well as almost all the asian people). Because of this superiority and arrogance, they don’t want to make effort to understand asian cultures.
But the rapid development of china challenges the superiority of western people. The daily life of western people is largely dependent on China. The economy of western countries (especially Europe) is closely connected with China. Nowadays, China is independent of western countries on most high technologies. If you don’t sell a product to China, Chinese people will make it (even better ones) in a short time. If you don’t sell a resource to China, we can find enough in our huge territory. This kind of asymmetrical dependence, i.e. western countries depend on China while China is relatively independent on western countries, raised huge panic of western people.
Because of the misunderstanding of Chinese culture, western people believe that china is no more a potential enemy, but a practical enemy, an enemy against their superiority. No one wants his enemy to live happily. However, the life of western people is highly dependent on China. They don’t have enough ability to change the situation in the near future. So they dare not to see that China is already strong and prominent. They dare not to confess that they are being exceeded by China. They dare not to confess that any change on Chinese policy will deeply affect their life. They dare not to see that China is developing. In a word, they dare not to admit the fact that the former “lower class” China, is defeating them. So they have to filter out all the positive facts in China. They want to collect all the dark side of China to persuade themselves that “China is still very bad”. This ostrich psychology can only relieve themselves from panic for a short while.
The best proof is that in the 1980s, when China is still very poor, and the ideological conflict was largely relieved, there were very less criticism on human rights problems in China. When the time flies, in 1990s, there were more and more criticisms on human right problems.
4 Globalization: strike to the self-confidence of western people
It seems unbelievable, but it’s true.
A couple of years ago, Hamburg lowered the salary standard of workers. The reason was that some big companies wanted to move their factories to China, resulting tens of thousands of unemployment in Hamburg. Everyone knows that China is the world factory because we have cheaper workers. The Hamburg workers have to lower their salary in order to keep their job. This is just an example of the general lowering of salaries in all western countries. This is a natural result of globalization, because globalization makes the whole world as an entire market. But lowering the salary means lowering the living standards. Of course the western people complain. It’s very likely that they believe that China is the reason why they live worse than before.