Saturday, March 29, 2008

Where Does China Go From Here?

“The Chinese government pledged to the world that there will be no restrictions on media reporting and movement of journalists up to and including the Olympic Games—a pledge that’s completely undermined by its conduct in Tibet,”

Francine Prose, President of PEN American Center.

The following excellent discussion taken from You Tube took place on PBS News Hour on March 26, 2008. Both videos are well worth watching.

Donald Lopez - University of Michigan Professor of Tibetan and Buddhist Studies. Author of a number of books on Tibet.

Jeffrey Bader - Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institute. He held Asian posts at the State Department and the National Security Council Staff during the Clinton Administration.

Abrahm Lustgarten - Writer at Fortune Magazine and author of "China's Great Train: Beijing's Drive West and the Campaign to Remake Tibet". He has visited Tibet 5 times since 2002

China has a well documented history of human rights abuses. In order to secure the Olympics in Beijing, China promised the IOC to improve its human rights record as well as allow greater freedom of speech for writers & journalists.

The lack of regulation regarding the environment, treatment of prisoners, manufacturing practices using toxic substances, illegal trade in human organs derived from executed prisoners, censorship of the media, long standing subjugation of Tibetan people and other minorities, funding of weapons to Sudan in exchange for oil, and over all denial of religious expression, does not warrant China's desire for participation on the world stage unless widespread changes occur internally. It's clear that party old liners bearing the heritage of the Cultural Revolution need to be replaced by a younger generation who are committed to China's psychological and moral expansion. Economic development alone without a moral or civil base will always result in the primitive behavior of war lords and despotic rulers who value greed above human values. Such attitudes have traumatized Chinese people for centuries. I believe that millions of Chinese people want to see these changes enacted in favor of a more open society. By refusing to consider options put forth by its own citizens and recognize world opinion, China is headed toward continued social unrest, especially in regard to Tibet. It is in China's interest to consider seriously the Dalai Lama's middle-way approach instead of engaging in tiresome rhetoric about the "dali clique" that undermines China's image in the world.

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