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March 18th, 2008

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11:09 pm - Tibet from the Chinese Point of View
NOTE:  Posted this exact same post onto a politics community, saving a copy here on my own lj, so don't mind the weird wording.
Hmm....it looks like the Tibet issue is raising quite a few hairs on both sides of the debate.  I was shown this video by my roommate and thought it would be beneficial to share it here with the community.  I myself am Chinese by ethnicity (born in Beijing) but moved to the USA when I was 6 and later to Canada when I was 9, so most of my growing up was done here in the West.  Therefore, regarding this issue I guess I straddle both sides a bit.  I've been called "Westernly brainwashed" by my Chinese friends (Chinese as in international students that have only arrived here in Canada for a few years for school and therefore spent most of their life in China) and "Chinese Communist brainwashed" by my Canadian friends, so I guess I'm not solidly in either camp.

The person who made this video I'm guessing, from his/her language usage, did so in a fit of anger at the increasingly global focus on Tibet as the Beijing Olympics nears.  A sentiment I can understand considering any and all of the accusations the West has thrown at China can be tossed back just as harshly.  I will be the first to admit that China is not a perfect country and has much it needs to work on, humans rights and media censorship being two of the issues to top that list.  At the same time, the one-sided coverage over Tibet has me stunned though not exactly surprised.  Increasingly I find myself hesitant and even fearful to voice any appraisal or support for China and its government since any opinion in that line gets you labeled as brainwashed and information in that route gets stamped as propaganda by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party).

There seems to be this giant gap between China and the West, something that's not surprising considering the historical, language and cultural barriers that bar the two sides.  For the Chinese, there is also a knee-jerk reaction towards nationalist sentiments in retaliation to any foreign attacks verbally, politically or otherwise due to all the conflicts the country had suffered at the hands of various foreign, and particularly what they label as Western countries, throughout the 20th Century.  Whether this paranoia against the West is justified or not, however, is a discussion for another day.

I plead that you watch this video with an open mind in considering that there are 2 sides to the Tibet story, as there are 2 sides to every story.  It seems, however, that in this trial over Tibet the defendant has been dismissed and the plaintiff has the floor.  When around my Canadian friends even a hint that the Tibet issue should require a debate at all is rewarded with an exclamation of disbelief and discreet accusations that I am brainwashed...apparently CCP (Chinese Communist Party)'s propaganda reaches far and deep still resounding in me after 15 years of living on the other side of the planet, going back to visit for a summer only once within those 15 years.  It is unfortunate, particularly when that is the response I received when bringing the issue up in a politics class where I always believed open debate was encouraged.  For the first time I like I had stumbled upon a forbidden viewpoint unaccepted by people I had previously thought were very open-minded and accepting of new ideas and views.

The person who made this video is a Chinese student living and studying abroad, therefore do excuse the various grammatical errors in the captions and I apologize for his/her usage of the f-word in parts of the captions...not very professional nor productive in bringing his/her point across I admit, except perhaps as an expression of his/her anger.  I do not claim that the facts presented in this video are all 100% accurate, whenever the word "fact" is used I believe it should be taken with a healthy dose of doubt, but I present this video to you merely to relay the reality that another opinion exists and is heavily supported by many Chinese.  Amongst the circle of Chinese international students here at my university and amongst the Chinese international students' circles at other universities in Canada this video has gained undisputed support and an outpouring of anger at what they perceive as attacks on China's sovereignty to rule over its land and people.  Even amongst my most pro-West Chinese friends that adore picking at the faults of the CCP when alone with me will fiercely defend that very government when asked for opinions on China by non-Chinese individuals...there's almost like a magical switch in them.  It seems like the unspoken agreement is that it is better to have a Chinese authoritarian government than a Western-dictated democratic on.

Apparently the bridge between China and the West really does have a long way to be built before the two sides meet...between accusations flying, hidden agendas lurking, and the struggles to overcome rooted barriers, what is true, what is fact, what are the true intentions, what is truly being sought after, the questions must be asked before even a chance at an answer will arrive.

(19 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:March 23rd, 2008 10:31 pm (UTC)
I think it is unfair of China to try and impose her views on another country.

Yet the West does that consistently to other countries. I think in comparison China imposes very little of its views on other countries, not to mention Tibet has yet to be recognized as a country yet. Even if China wanted to impose its views, I doubt the Western media and politicians would give it the free-ticket to do so here. The West on the other hand have directly imposed their presence through first colonization and then afterwards using "legitimate" means of imposition through organizations of the IMF, the WTO, the World Bank, even the United Nations is, arguably, dominated by Western ideals and ideologies.

In the eyes of the Chinese people, this issue of Tibet should be considered an internal one, and the West's intervention is completely unnecessary. The Central Government in Beijing is merely acting upon the wills and opinions of the majority of its 1.3billion population in insisting that Tibet is part of its territory, why is that not considered democracy in this situation? The population of inhabitants in Tibet's Greater Region is only 0.7% of China's entire population, and only around 49% of that 0.7% is actually Tibetans by ethnicity. By a vast majority, the rest of the Chinese people believes Tibet to be a part of China, so...majority opinions only matter when it coincides with the opinions of the Western powers? That's kind of unfair.
[User Picture]
Date:March 26th, 2008 12:33 pm (UTC)
I like how I always end up learning something new from you ;)

now on a serious note,

I had forgotten Tibet wasn't officially recongised as a

I doubt the Western media and politicians would give it the free-ticket to do so here. The West on the other hand have directly imposed their presence through first colonization and then afterwards using "legitimate" means of imposition through organizations of the IMF, the WTO, the World Bank, even the United Nations is, arguably, dominated by Western ideals and ideologies.

Yes. Sadly I would have to agree with there. Although while it "was good" that certain countries were colonised however it doesn't mean it was a good thing at the same time. Not with the violent oppression they caused to the conquered countries and all. :/ got pretty offended at the way China was treated by the West when I studied the Chinese Revolution back in senior year

I think rather then the West, it can be arguably America. D: She always manages to butt in where she's not wanted...or causing unnecessary grief. The countless bloodshed in battle and killing of the people. :/

Hmmm, at the end of the day. I would like to believe...that America is trying to make another Israel for the Tibetans *thoughtful* Maybe that was a bad comparison...I'm pretty ignorant with politics <.<;

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