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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Roadmap of Tibetan Independence: Wang Lixiong

November 19, 2008

By Lixiong, Wang
Translated by Lingxi Kong
November 18, 2008

March Incident in Tibet is the Watershed

1. Bureaucratic Institutions Became the Driving Force

This roadmap derives from the watershed. I had not taken the
possibility of Tibetan independence into serious consideration before
the incident in Tibet in 2008. It serves as the watershed that
compels me to realize that Tibetan independence, for a long time
being a fantasy, has turned into an emerging issue and reached the
eyesight of the public. This change is brought by none other than the
"anti-secession" institutions in China's bureaucratic system.

The Party ideology sees China, during the mid 19th to mid 20th
Century, as a victim of Western imperialism. The Chinese consequently
have remembered the humiliations, but have rarely considered China
itself as an imperial power. The vast territorial expansion from 17th
to 18th Century, though beaten and humiliated by other world powers,
rendered itself to modern China as a territorial heritage that includes Tibet.

Today, Tibet geographically accounts for one fourth of imperial
China's territory, and assumes a high level of importance in the
politics of the empire. A considerable number of institutions in the
power structure deals with Tibet, among which there are thirteen
provincial/ministerial level institutions listed as following:

1. Tibet Autonomous Region
2. Qinghai Province
3. Gansu Province
4. Sichuan Province
5. Yunnan Province
6. CPC Tibet Work Co-ordination Group
7. The United Front Work Department
8. Ministry of Public Safety
9. Ministry of State Security
10. The Army
11. The Armed Police Force
12. The State Council Information Office
13. The State Council's Religious Affairs Bureau

Each of these institutions has a division that deals with Tibet, and
fosters a large number of bureaucrats who have based their entire
career on such issue. Besides, the following eleven institutions, not
directly dealing with Tibet but assuming "anti-secession"
responsibilities, have "anti-secession" divisions and personnel
(listing only provincial or ministerial level or above):

1. The Central Commission of Politics and Law
2. CPC Xinjiang Work Co-ordination Group
3. Xinjiang Autonomous Region
4. Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps
5. The Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region
6. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
7. The State Ethnic Affairs Commission
8. The State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office
9. Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office
10. The Liaison Office in Hong Kong
11. The Liaison Office in Macao

Adding together, there are twenty four provincial/ministerial level
institutions that assume "anti-secession" roles in China's
bureaucratic system, which is a huge group with considerable amount
of power, personnel and resources. These institutions acting like a
league led the decision-making process in the March incident. This is
unlike what would happen in Mao and Deng's reign, during which the
highest level of authority made decisions, to be executed by the
bureaucracy, regardless of what the task is: to "unite the front", to
"suppress insurgence" or to "enforce the martial laws". Yet in the
Tibet incident, the highest authority took no actions; all executed
alone by the ever growing bureaucracy.

This pattern of decision-making should not be simply regarded as
devolution of power from the above. In fact, in the same month when
the incident happened, Premier Wen Jiabao, attending the Greater
Mekong Subregion Summit Meeting in Laos, called that the Dalai Lama
should use his influence to calm down the Tibet incident. This was
unheard of and aroused international attention seeing it as the
highest authorities' new pattern of thinking. However, nothing
followed, and no change on the handling was made by the
"anti-secession" institutions. From there, we may see that the
decision-making process on the issue of Tibet requires no role played
by the highest authority. Even if the highest authorities made any
decision, it would not come into effect if it was not in accordance
with the purpose or intent of the bureaucracy. This pattern would
probably have constituted an inexplicit rule for future
decision-making process. The causes that contributed to this
situation will be elaborated later.

Decision-making at the highest level produce brutality and absurdity
on the one hand, on the other hand, possibility remains that it may
produce decisions with prudence and vision for change and
breakthroughs. The two extremes are not too far away, often residing
in the transient thinking of the ruler's mind. However, when highly
bureaucratic institutions dominate decision-making process, it is far
less likely to see dramatic breakthrough in a given situation.
Bureaucracy is inherently rigid, inflexible and hard-lined. Most
importantly, it is expanding and interest-driven in that all
decisions produced have to be in accordance with its self-interests.
When its self-interests are in conflict with public interests,
bureaucracy invariably becomes destructive. It is not only deserting
the public interests, but also deserting the highest authorities it
should be faithfully serving. Bureaucratic "anti-secession"
institutions are acting in such a way that when they generate
"anti-secession" actions, the outcomes are invariably pushing China
towards the abyss of split. In light of this perspective, let's
analyze the veins of the March incident in Tibet.

Street protests with violence similar to the "3.14" Incident
repeatedly occur in Mainland China. The tactics used to handle these
incidents have already been very obtusely unskillful. But if the same
—news blockade, passively cooling down, not stimulating
further conflicts, cracking down the hardcore while providing comfort
to others, and finding scapegoats in lower level bureaucracy to calm
down the anger
—were used to deal with the March incident, the chain
reactions throughout the Tibetan area that we had seen would not have
been forthcoming.

However, the bureaucrats dealing with Tibet do not wish to have such
impassive perspectives. First of all, the international community
pays good intention on Tibet, and any incidents not well-handled
would raise heavy discussions and criticism. Second, turmoil in Tibet
would embarrass President Hu Jintao who had been in charge of Tibet,
and each level of bureaucracy fears to bear this kind of culpability.
Third, since the authority has announced in various occasions that
"Tibet nowadays enjoys the best time in history", any incident,
therefore, would make the government unable to explain itself.

The dynamics of Chinese politics determine that if a few individual
or one department hold responsibility for any serious incident, it is
acceptable to find scapegoats to calm down the event; therefore
tensions among different bureaucratic institutions would not be
escalated and forthcoming. However, no single administration can take
responsibility for the turmoil in Tibet, since after decades of huge
spending and efforts, large-scale protests had openly announced
China's policy failure in Tibet. Yet China's Tibet policy was
co-designed and executed by various institutions and agencies, and
admitting its failure is tantamount to announcing failure of the
collective efforts of all the aforementioned institutions and
"anti-secession" agencies: No one can be excused, and career
prospects of many bureaucrats would be affected. Therefore,
"anti-secession" bureaucrats must organize themselves as an interest
group, to act together and help the bureaucrats in Tibet to shake off
responsibility of policy failure.

The most convenient way to get excused is to translate the burden of
failure as a result of the "sedition and secession" efforts organized
and carefully planned by the "Dalai clique". Because no matter what
excuse is readily available, if it came from within, the bureaucrats
have to bear responsibility for the failure; only by throwing the
burden off the country can the bureaucrats be totally excused. The
administration in Tibet Autonomous Region announced to Xinhua News on
the very day of incident that "sufficient evidence demonstrates that
[the incident] was 'organized, premeditated, and carefully planned'
by the Dalai clique". This announcement immediately became the
official statement by all institutions and "anti-secession" agencies
dealing with Tibet. They are unable to present "sufficient evidence"
up till now, and they do not care if they could. Their goal is to
guide the public opinion at the very beginning, which was
successfully achieved: The lying statement became a model of
language, with unquestionable certainty that guided and forced the
society (including the highest authorities) to follow suit.

The starting point determines the course. This official statement,
throwing the burden off the bureaucrats, modeled the framework of
ensuing actions, as well as the course of the event. For example, on
March 14th, there was a four-hour period when the armed force,
occupying the peripheries, took no action in the commotion area,
allowing the degree of violence to escalate. Many people were
confused by this strange phenomenon. Among the various
interpretations, I tend to believe that this non-interference was
made deliberately for "breeding" purposes. On the one hand, it took
time to set up video equipments in the commotion area; on the other
hand, violence without necessary control would naturally grow,
thereby contributing to the validity of the forthcoming crackdown and
allowing journalists to record more poignant scenes of the violence.
If the armed force had taken over the situation at the beginning, the
scale of event would have been much limited. It would be better off
for the general situation but unfavorable to the bureaucrats:
suppressing violence, though at a small scale, would invite waves of
international criticism, which might not please their bosses in
Beijing. It would not allow the bureaucrats to wash off the smears
and may irritate Beijing to charge them for improper handling.
Therefore, they would rather take no action, allowing violence to
increase until such a degree that it could be properly labeled as
"organized, premeditated, and carefully planned", so that when they
actually began to suppress the turmoil, the outside world as well as
Beijing would have nothing to hold against them.

This is the characteristics of autocracy -- every agency in the
system tends to place maximization of its personal benefit at the
core of decision-making. Bureaucrats take no heed to the actual cause
and would rather actively allow things to shift towards the extreme,
in order to guard their own interests, no matter how serious the
outcome could possibly be.

2. Ethnic Conflict Turned into Racial Opposition

After the 3.14 Incident, the bureaucrats had to prove its necessity
and validity of the crackdown to the highest authorities in Beijing,
to the people at home and to the international community. On the one
hand, they took immediate actions, using all forms of media to repeat
the official statement, and on the other hand, they blocked the
commotion area, cutting off all forms of communication, so that no
counter evidence could be obtained and public opinion could be well
under control. When similar events took place in the Mainland, there
was little or no media coverage, not to mention showing video
recordings on TV. It was remarkably unusual that after several hours
TV news reporting was sent through the whole country and even to the
whole world, repeatedly showing Tibetan violence against the Chinese.
It did not mention or analyze the causes, only showing the attacks
launched by the Tibetans and attributing it to the efforts organized
by outside separatists, thereby directing nationalistic hatred at the Tibetans.

Ethnic opposition/confrontation is the root cause that may ultimately
lead to separation, and should be avoided by all means.
Unfortunately, the "anti-secession" bureaucratic institutions are
creating the split. They knew how serious the outcome could be, but
knowingly utilized ethic opposition for their political gain: As long
as nationalistic feelings of the Han Chinese are stirred up, forming
bitter hatred towards the enemy, not only could they hide behind the
curtain to avoid inquiries and investigation, but they could also use
the nationalistic sentiments surging through the country to
incorporate the highest authorities into their political trajectory.
Any suspicions of the handling or suggestions to double check or
soften the tension would receive no resonance under surging waves of
extreme nationalism. The only thing exists is the absolutely
unquestionable statement. It magnifies, amplifies, and wraps up all
voices and actions in accordance with the lie of the "anti-secession"

Pouring oil to the flames, propaganda efforts made in this way would
not calm down the event. The protests in the 1980s were only limited
in Lhasa, but now extended over the whole Tibetan area. TV is an
important factor, a rare commodity in the 1980s, now available
everywhere. Though showing the violent scenes may receive endorsement
from the Han Chinese for the crackdown, it did just the opposite to
the Tibetans. Graphic scenes on TV, acting as an order for
mobilization, triggered the explosion of accumulated discontent all
over Tibetan areas. Tibetans not only shared empathy towards what was
happening in Lhasa, some would be misled by the scenes, thinking they
should be acting in the same way to express discontent. In some
Tibetan areas, violent actions that Tibetans made to other ethnic
groups took place after they saw the violence scenes in Lhasa showing
on TV. The bureaucrats deemed the protests as an evidence for being
"organized, premeditated and carefully planned". In fact, there was
no need for organization, premeditation and careful planning:
Allowing Tibetans to see the vivid actions that people in Lhasa were
taking was tantamount to asking themselves going to the streets. This
order of mobilization, marvelously, was sent out by the bureaucrats themselves.

On the other hand, due to prejudiced choice of materials and
propaganda efforts that stirred up extreme sentiments, the incident
was pictured as an event in which Tibetans slaughtered Han Chinese
without a reason. It cut out a racial chasm between Han Chinese and
Tibetans. The longing and intimate feelings towards Tibetan culture
that Han Chinese people displayed in recent years were changed into
fear and hatred towards Tibetans in general, seeing Tibetans as an
ungrateful people. The Internet was inundated by extreme
nationalists' feverish and abusive words. Everywhere Tibetans
experienced discrimination and unfairness, no matter it was in the
airport, hotel or checkpoint. Tibetan children were also bullied by
Han Chinese classmates. Out from sheer aversion to the official
propaganda, Tibetans resist all forms of official language, and
returned hatred to Han Chinese. It could be said that after March
Incident, racial opposition was formed between Han Chinese and
Tibetans, divided by blood. The most typical example is: During the
Olympic Games in Beijing, Tibetan children, once cheering the Chinese
term, cheered whenever China lost a gold medal. This change among
children indicates the long-term trend of the Tibet issue.

Before the incident in Tibet, there were conditions sufficient for
independence--single ethnicity, religion and culture, clarity of
national boundaries and history, high recognition from the
international community
—except one condition carrying the greatest
importance: the lack of driving force among Tibetans domestically to
seek for independence. Although the issue of Tibet has existed for
decades, it is concentrated on political, historical or cultural
spheres. The people involved were mostly from the government, the
upper-class, the intelligentsia and the international community. Even
1959 Uprising and the escape of the Dalai Lama were regarded by Mao
as merely a result of class struggle, not at all ethnic opposition.
Protests in the 1980s did not make a huge impact on Sino-Tibetan
relationship in general, since the protests were exclusively in
Lhasa, not reaching into other Tibetan areas. Common people of both
ethnicities were more or less harmonious or even intimate. If there
was no driving force among Tibetans to actively seek for
independence, no matter how many outside conditions could be met,
they would make little difference. Precisely because of this, I had
not realized the prospect of Tibetan Independence.

But the March incident in Tibet has created a great chasm between Han
Chinese and Tibetans. When ethnic relationship becomes racial
opposition, the nature of the issue has changed. The conflict between
upper-class and the elites were easy to resolve, as policy
modification, institutional change or reversal of individual cases
could all serve the purpose well. But ethnic conflicts treating
people differently by blood and race made everyone involved, and made
impact on every single detail of daily interaction between the two
peoples. Any individuals in any form of interactions could become the
cause of conflicts, and all conflicts would serve as a force
propelling further conflicts, thereby accumulating racial hatred
between the two peoples, eye for eye, teeth for teeth, making the two
peoples going further and further apart, without a returning path. In
that scenario, the weaker side, the suppressed and discriminated,
would naturally yearn for independence. Once Tibetans in the Tibetan
areas generally envision independence as their ultimate goal, all the
conditions for independence that Tibet enjoys immediately become
effective. Precisely because of this important change, Tibetan
Independence becomes an emerging issue in reality. Though its
actualization would depend on historical timing and external
environment, at least for Tibetans themselves, the conditions are now
all met. This is the turning point in the course of the Tibet issue.
If people for a free Tibet would want to give out reward, the most
deserved party is the "anti-secession" bureaucratic group that
successfully turned Sino-Tibetan relationship into racial opposition.

3. Self-fulfilling Expectations

Since at the very beginning the nature of incident had been defined
as "organized, premeditated, and carefully planned by the Dalai
clique", and since the authorities regard national unity as the
paramount principle, the method of handling was to crackdown,
determined and unconditional. This is the principle that government
and bureaucrats would not violate, and is also the guiding ideology
of the armed force executing crackdown operations. After the
incident, all levels of authorities in Tibetan areas as well as the
armed force had been over-reactive, with large-scale arrests, violent
suppressions, cruel interrogations, temple blockades, persecutions on
monks, which provoked widespread discontent, and got more common
people involved, making the whole Tibetan people to become resistant.
This is another major cause making the incident escalated to such a degree.

Under inculcation of Party ideology and propaganda, all Han Chinese
soldiers brought to Tibet to execute crackdown operations regarded
Tibetans as separatist enemies, with hatred and violence unleashed to
Tibetans, further provoking unnecessary conflicts. For example, when
Han Chinese soldiers saw the Dalai Lama's pictures, the head of the
separatist clique, they would destroy them violently, or would even
force Tibetans to destroy. This is not acceptable by Tibetans who see
the Dalai Lama as the supreme leader. If old Tibetans were beaten in
order to protect the Dalai Lama's pictures, their offspring was
course very angry, and relatives and villagers were also very angry.
So more and more people were involved, and the conflicts occurred,
escalated, and become serious incidents, possibly leading to gun
shooting and casualties. Thereafter, it would be ascribed to efforts
being "organized, premeditated, and carefully planned", and
suppression followed. Similar events happened all over Tibetan areas,
though often without any political content. They were but "resistance
provoked by the government."

After June 4th Student Movement in 1989, the Party concluded that
"Destabilizing factors must be resolved at the grassroots and nipped
in the bud", which become the basic thinking pattern of the
bureaucracy, and is the highest guiding principle of the bureaucrats.
According to their power-worship mentality, they believe, with power
and might, anything can be done wantonly. The policy they were
carrying out in areas with ethnic groups is to "take the initiative
to attack, to hit the raised heads, and to take pre-emptive actions".
Later, the policy becomes "to attack and chase even if [the enemies]
haven't raised their heads". This atrocity was well displayed in the
March Incident. Many activities that have nothing to do with
politics, such as holidays, horse-racing, religious ceremonies, etc,
which are but traditional customs having existed since ancient times.
However, for the bureaucrats, especially for the soldiers brought
from outside, they know nothing of the culture and traditions, and
believe that "all non-Han people must be rebellious". They believe
whatever gatherings might possibly lead to serious accidents. Since
they need "to take pre-emptive actions" and "to attack even the heads
yet to raise up", the most reliable way is to forbid all forms of
gatherings, and stop all non-governmental activities. Even if not to
forbid entirely, they need to deploy a large number of troops, to
surround and threat them by setting up heavy weapons. The reactions
would be easy to imagine: "How come you can hold the Olympic Games
but we cannot even hold horse-racing?!" Impatient Tibetans, facing
insolent and atrocious soldiers who see them as potential enemies,
might cause conflicts beginning at verbal engagement. To the
authorities, it precisely validated their prediction that gatherings
lead to incidents, thus putting more efforts limiting these
activities but not knowing that their self-fulfilling expectations
are exactly the cause of incidents.

In fact, even from the rulers' perspectives, to "resolve everything
by nipping in the bud" is by no means a good way, because the "bud"
cannot display the nature of affairs. Some "buds" are not
"destabilizing factors", and their growth will help stability. To
"resolve" atrociously would throw the bud to the opposite side, which
is tantamount to having created new enemies. Even if the nipping
created a situation that looked stable, destabilizing factors are
becoming and accumulating. They are not finished, merely waiting for
the next chance to explode in a larger scale.

The monks in Tibet are rational and peaceful. When they were using
peaceful ways to express discontent, if the authorities could have
listened carefully and interacted positively with an open-mind, it
would in the long run contribute to the stability of Tibetan area.
But the authorities see the monks as parasites, reaping without
sowing, as the basis of the Dalai's roots in Tibet, as the nursing
soil of Tibetan independence, as the troublemaker and instigator
very negative, so whenever being challenged by the monks, the
authorities, as if pre-programmed, would act with atrocity. The
violence in 3.14 Incident is directly resulted from the fact that
soldiers had beaten the peaceful monks continuously for days. It was
exactly the same with the cause that led to the Lhasa Incident in
1987. How surprising that the authorities learned no lessons from the
past. A little knowledge about Tibetan culture would tell that,
contrary to the disgust and contempt feelings that bureaucrats had
towards the monks, they enjoy very high social status and respect
among Tibetans: They are one of the Three Treasures of Tibetan
Buddhism, traditional intellectuals of Tibetan culture, and are
guiders and protectors in the spiritual world of Tibetans, being
greatly respected by Tibetans. Therefore, the least thing that
Tibetans could tolerate is to see monks being abused and humiliated.
It was guaranteed that the abuse and violence that armed soldiers
gave to the monks would lead to a commotion. Only the imperial
bureaucrats being blinded by power could not foresee the outcome.

The authorities never reflected on what happened, but acted to worsen
the situation. The monks in all areas became the main targets; many
great temples were insultingly searched by the armed force. Besides
those who participated in the protests were arrested, many were
confined and lost freedom; some temples were being closed
indefinitely; monks without registered residence were deported; all
temples were ordered to engage in "patriotic education", forcing the
monks to openly denounce the Dalai Lama. Many monks fled from the
temples in order to avoid such denunciations
– it was required to be
made by each individual. Some temples even became empty. Before the
incident in Tibet, many monks were apathetic towards political
issues, devoting themselves to spiritual practice. They did not
object to China's rule, with discontent only about policy issues. The
incident, however, made the monks at large to think about Tibet's
political future, and the number of monks agreeing with Tibetan
independence rapidly increased.

China's authorities forced the monks to go to the opposite side,
which is tantamount to having created the most difficult opponent to
deal with. Traditional folk songs described the monks in this way:
"Put him up, he is a piece of straight incense; put him down, he is
still a piece of straight incense. Seize the head, you get only
hairs; touch the butt you get only rags". This explains the fact that
monks have no family to worry about, and thus they are resolute,
single-minded and uncompromising, not being afraid to challenge the
authorities. This is the reason that the monks were always in the
front during the past incidents. Meanwhile, given the highly
respectable status that monks enjoy in Tibetan society and the
far-reaching influence that monks exert, their discontent and appeals
for independence would not be limited to themselves alone; it would
have a broad impact on all the Tibetan people.

Another method that the bureaucrats often use" hurriedly hunting for
evidence to demonstrate that incidents were "organized, premeditated
and carefully planned by the Dalai clique", created a large number of
arrests, tortured confessions and wrong cases. These efforts also
affected a large number of Tibetans and their relatives, creating a
wide-spread discontent and disillusionment. After many persecutions,
the bureaucrats still couldn't justify themselves with convincing
evidence. The charges that the media brought against the Dalai Lama,
to Tibetans, were all lying. Even in those Tibetan areas without
protest, these propaganda efforts provoked disgust and aversion,
creating hatred and bringing further conflicts. This made more
Tibetans to think if separation is better off. "Anti-secession"
propaganda efforts are providing materials breeding consciousness for
separation. "Tibetan Independence" in Tibetan --"???" was a word and
concept not very well known among Tibetans, but after long-term
"anti-secession" educations, everyone, old and young, knows this
word. In this Incident, "???" became the slogan being cried out by
monks, city dwellers, herdsmen and primary school students alike.

This is the so-called "self-fulfilling expectation--treating Tibetans
as enemies, they would eventually so become; everywhere preventing
Tibetans from "secession", Tibetans would eventually want to secede.
Analysts have different views on the nature of protests in all
Tibetan areas. The main disagreement is whether it was a political
movement seeking independence, or just protests expressing discontent
towards policy or economic disadvantage. To me, the course of this
incident may not contain specific appeals for independence; many
contributing factors exist, including the discrepancy of living
standards, influence from the international community, "the effect of
sheep flock", discontent regarding economic issues, migration issues,
etc, and official propaganda efforts and suppression had all been
adding fuel to the flame. However, the outcome of the incident is
that Tibetans in general widely planted in mind the consciousness of
seeking independence. Therefore, when similar incidents happen, it
will become a spontaneous movement, and Tibetan Independence will
become the universal appeal of many Tibetans, serving as the driving
force and guiding principle during the course.

4. Sore Conflicts between Chinese Society and Western Society

Chinese and Western societies in general in the past had little
conflicts. Chinese people shared good feelings towards the
Westerners, and relatively trusted Western media. Even during the
time with most inflated nationalistic sentiments, the anger was
directed at Western governments. Westerners also had little negative
feelings towards the Chinese, criticizing the Chinese government but
thinking the people are victims living under totalitarian regime.
However, in regard to the Tibet Incident, common Chinese people
launched a jihad against Western media, and treated Western people
invectively. This change of attitude derives from the bureaucrats'
successful campaign over the media. Yet the condition on which
successful opinion control was depended is the necessary condition to
instigate Chinese people, but is the cause that will definitely raise
suspicion and criticism from the international community.

In order to achieve information blockade, the authorities on March
14, the very day of Incident, restricted freedom of movement of
foreigners, and soon after, drove out all foreigners out of Tibet.
For a long time, foreigners were not allowed to visit Tibetan areas,
and checkpoints were set up on the road. Graphical materials were
treated as the most sensitive, and the armed force largely violated
human rights. Besides preventing foreigners from getting pictures,
some Tibetans who used cell phone cameras to take pictures were
arrested and treated with cruel persecution. Even Han Chinese, if
they were caught having taken sensitive pictures, were interrogated,
equipments confiscated or pictures deleted. Western media could
hardly get any first-hand material due to strict enforcement on
information censorship, and could only use indirect sources for
reporting purposes. Indirect sources were easily mixed with errors,
which invited heavy criticism and damaged Western media's image in
Chinese people's eyes. It was the first time China's propaganda
machine came out the bout fighting Western media victoriously; the
bureaucrats were extremely pleased.

But this couldn't convince Western media. Chinese people's one-sided
abuse and intimidation, along with Chinese government's pressure and
violation, could only push Western media, referred to as the Fourth
Power, to the opposite side of long-term enemies. Although Chinese
people's enmity would make Western media to report with greater care,
research and balance, it will also increase the media's aversion, not
only towards Chinese totalitarian regime, but also towards Chinese
people's fanaticism and violence. One can believe if any opportunity
arises in the future, similar joint campaign against China will duly
occur. Western people's attitudes are by and large guided by the
media. Once the media is insulted, pushing it to the opposite side,
it is bounded that people in the West will think about China with
more and more negative images.

In fact, it was due to China's news control efforts that the people
in the West could not get first-hand information from the media, and,
without any trust in Chinese media, they began to hold suspicions
towards every single word or statement that China provided in regard
to the incident in Tibet, because it is commonsensical to the
Westerners that only the act of lying needs information control and
censorship. Even if such efforts of control could be so successful
that people could not know the details of lying, a feasible way to
thoroughly resist these efforts is to treat everything as lying. Many
Westerners wanted and actually tried to boycott the Olympic Torch
Relay. The reason behind it was due to the fact that they lacked
other means to express their discontent towards China's handling of
Tibet and took it as an opportunity to direct their anger at China's
efforts to hide the truth.

The bureaucratic institutions do not really care about Westerners
opinions. They need to use Chinese people's hostility displayed
towards the Western society in order to show the government's
popularity and support, and thereafter when individual Westerners
tried to boycott the Olympic Torch Relay, the bureaucrats showed
those scenes repeatedly, further stimulating Chinese people's
hostility towards the Western society. Mass movement and mobilizing
the masses are a craft that totalitarian regimes are very adept in.
When big issues occur, Chinese people lack sufficient information and
knowledge to think critically and independently, and are easy to
manipulate. Although people do not consent to the government on many
issues, the majority, having accepted as a fundamental principle that
national unity is inviolable, used "seeking secession or not" as a
simple assessment in regard to Tibet, a place far away from their
daily life. When all the media, controlled by the government,
circulating the single voice and reprimanding Western society's
hostility towards China and its feverish support towards "Tibetan
Independence", it was not difficult to stimulate Chinese people's
enmity. The handling of the Incident not only turned the ethnic
relationship between Han Chinese and Tibetans into ethnic opposition,
but also pushed Chinese and Western societies into the course to
become two opposing camps.

Indeed, it was unprecedented how much support that Chinese people
gave to the government. On the internet, or on foreign streets,
Chinese patriots and Westerners had close combat. Chinese people are
not allowed to watch CNN, but can frenetically oppose CNN; back home
there is no freedom to protest on streets, but abroad patriots
gathered together to repeat the scenes as if back to the Cultural
Revolution (though some of these performances were encouraged and
organized by Chinese government and consulates abroad). One the one
hand, it will make Westerners depreciate China in terms of cultural
values; on the other hand, it will invite Westerns see China, a
country with enmity towards the West, as a threat to the free world.
They would not treat Chinese people and the government separately, as
they did before.

No rationality can exist between two opposing camps. Both sides will
use simple criteria for identification, as if soccer hooliganism
humiliating the opposing side, without valid reasons and without
right or wrong. Once Western people and media deemed that Chinese
people in general possess colonizers' mentality, they will believe
that Tibet must be freed from Chinese rule, regardless of knowing
what changes China's political system will experience. The promise
made by China's dissidents holding that Tibet would be free once
China becomes democratic will not be trustworthy, because
institutional change is not the same with the change of people's
mentality. This will greatly increase the difficulties when future
China handles the issue of Tibet.

Today, the CCP is no longer a revolutionary party that strictly
sticks to founding ideologies; rather, it becomes a pragmatic and
opportunistic interest group. Theoretically, out from preserving
self-interests, it should avoid direct confrontation with the West.
However, the course of development is always depended on its inner
logic. One of the characteristics of autocracy is that, even if each
part acts rationally, the general outcome could be far away from
rationality, and would not serve the general interest of the group.
The trend wherein rationality of parts evolves into irrationality of
the whole, like Nash equilibrium, exerts vital importance in
determining the course of affairs. In the following analysis, it will
be evident that, it was due to the rational calculation of the
"anti-secession" bureaucratic institutions that formed China's whole
logical fallacy in dealing with the Tibet Incident.

(To be continued...)

Chapter Two: Dilemma of the Imperial Regime

Chapter Three: Road to Tibetan Independence

* The writer is a Chinese intellectual who has written extensively on
Tibet in Chinese language. Many of his works have been translated
into English and Tibetan.
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