Sunday, July 10, 2005

Good To See....

In the context of what's going on in the world right now, this may not rank as much of a priority. But it is still a terrible injustice, and kudos to Secretary of State Rice for raising such a sensitive issue while in Beijing. From AFP:
Condoleezza Rice said she urged Chinese leaders to "reach out to the Dalai Lama," saying the exiled Tibetan leader is no threat to China.

The Dalai Lama "is a man of considerable moral authority and is really of no threat to China," Rice told reporters after meeting with Chinese leaders, including President Hu Jintao on the first leg of her four-nation tour.

Five representatives of Tibet's government-in-exile, based in the northern Indian town of Dharamshala, met Chinese officials in the Swiss capital Berne over two days last week, according to the Dalai Lama's office.

The talks were the fourth between the two sides since direct ties were resumed in 2002 and were the first ever talks between envoys of the Dalai Lama and Beijing government officials not held on Chinese soil.

The Dalai Lama, who turned 70 on Wednesday, fled into exile in India in 1959 and direct ties between him and Beijing collapsed in 1993.

Awarded the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize for his dedication to Tibet's non-violent liberation, the spiritual leader has given up his original demands for his homeland's independence.

Instead, he has demanded "meaningful autonomy" to preserve Tibet's culture, language and environment.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee, how nice of Condi to make a case for the Dalai Lama. Really great to know our government favors the univerally admired Nobel Peace Prize winner. I'll bet we like freedom and democracy too, even apple pie.

Sure, it's better than not asking the Chinese government to reconsider their brutal Tibet policies, but it will have no effect whatsoever. But hey, it might score a few points for these "compassionate conservatives".

I'd much rather these WH criminals had LISTENED to the Dalia Lama and every other religious leader in the world, including Bush's own pastor, as I remember, when they told him his plan to invade Iraq was immoral.

7/10/2005 8:00 PM  
Blogger The Cunning Realist said...

To Shep: I agree with you to some extent....but this is an extremely sensitive issue within China, and I admire her for raising it especially since there was nothing concrete to gain from doing so. Yes, her words would have had a lot more moral weight before Iraq, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib etc. But we'll take what we can get at this point.

7/10/2005 8:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And I will just repeat: What Rice had to gain was making the administration look sane and compassionate, with no real action or consequence. I'd say she had nothing to lose.

7/10/2005 10:07 PM  
Blogger David the Gyromancer said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/11/2005 1:02 PM  
Blogger David the Gyromancer said...

Tibet is often forgotten, and the truly brutal repression of its people, which is STILL GOING ON, is mostly overlooked even by the mainstream of liberalism in this country. Now that Wal-Mart is practically a joint venture with the Chinese Government, it's just too inconvenient to acknowledge that we have a moral obligation to oppose genocide and repression, and to demand that major legitimate governments adhere to principles of International Law.

As a Buddhist, I think of His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, as the Spiritual Leader of the world's buddhists, but even as the temporal leader in exile of a mere six million people, whose treatment by the Chinese is a major crime against humanity, he deserves respect and honor in our country.

The Chinese, on the other hand, should be held to account, and trade and other matters of improved relations should be made contingent on their reforming their totalitarian attitude towards Tibet.

This is why I boycott Chinese goods, as best I can (it is hard these days when no toasters and hardly any shoes are NOT made in China), and also why I boycott Wal-Mart, which imports 70% of its merchandise from China.

I agree that what Rice says is little more than window dressing, but it's better than completely ignoring the Tibetan calamity.

7/11/2005 1:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Shep. Rice's comment was nothing but empty words. As I understand it, the Chinese have been purposely resettling their citizens in Tibet for years. They didn't take over Tibet on a whim, they wanted Tibet's land and resources for their own people and have no intention of giving anything back, even a little autonomy.

I find public officials much more sincere when they criticize the Chinese for tying their currency to the dollar than when giving lip service to crimes against humanity.

7/11/2005 3:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think China has been ignored too much by this administration. Their military buildup, currency manipulation, their vast ownership of our debt, product piracy, Unocal, etc.

Regarding Dalai Lama, Rice, and China, I agree with Shep. It's a nice gesture but pretty empty; what is in it for China. However, I'll take anything that promotes world peace, human rights, and environmental protection.

7/11/2005 4:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is hard to get too excited about this topic. There is too much else going on.

With friends like this, who needs enemies:

"President Bush's top independent intelligence adviser met last winter with investment bankers in China to help secure his law firm's role in lobbying for a state-run Chinese energy firm and its bid for the U.S. oil company Unocal Corp., according to his law firm, Akin Gump."

Did you ever get the feeling that there are crummy people in our country that would sell our country and security for the right price and their own financial well-being.

Just like Richard Perle sitting on the Defense Policy Board and then lobbying the Pentagon on behalf of China so they could buy Global Crossing. Anyone think that is a national security issue! On the one hand send our men and women to fight, and on the other sell our weaponry, satellites, and technology.

7/12/2005 3:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the commenters miss the context. It's not that "easy" to speak up for freedom, human rights, fluffy bunnies, etc. when the target is China. Look how we tiptoe around the very mention of Taiwan.

This statement was, sadly, probably the toughest we have been on China in the current Administration.

7/12/2005 10:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At least this was something positive about China, unlike this. Anyone for a nuclear war with China. Gotta love this Bush/Rove administration and their arrogant we are the most powerful cowboy attitude, in a world with many others. Bush will get us all killed yet :-( Maybe Karl Rove can go over there and lie to them too.

7/17/2005 2:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

China is very interesting indeed. You have China making comments over Taiwan, a military buildup, a vigorous ecomony demanding LOTS of natural resources, interest in US Unocal and it leads to a very interesting relationship. I think Condi has her hands full. We might fight over oil and other natural resources, but now we exported most of our manufacturing some place else for cheap labor and few environmental and labor regulations. Will we fight over computer chips now?

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