A native New Yorker analyzes politics from a California perspective
Sunday, March 22, 2009
China can't keep its totalitarian hands off Tibet
As long as China and the United States are committed to prosperous relations and treating each other with due respect, it's time for Washington to convince Beijing to back away from its domination of Tibet. What brings this to mind today is news from Shanghai that Chinese police detained 95 people in an alleged attack on a police station in predominately Tibetan region of northern China. According to the New York Times, Chinese state media reported that nearly 100 monks from Quinghai Province led the attack, which began Saturday over rumors about someone being taken into custody for advocating Tibetan independence. The reports could not be independently verified. But it's certainly believable, given the behavior of Chinese authorities in the recent past. Even Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, has been forced to live in exile since 1959. Yet it looks as if Tibet was an independent country before the Chinese communists took over in 1950. Tibetans say hundreds were killed after the government cracked down on pro-independence demonstrations last March. But if Tibetans want to be independent, why can't they be? China apparently still has a lot to learn about being a modern country.