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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Tibetan Monks Campaign For Britain's EU Withdrawal

The Lisbon Treaty has released a new activist monster onto the world stage - the formidable weight of the combined EU Foreign Ministers no less, who can now issue edicts and ultimatums based on qualified majority voting. The Lisbon Treaty has yet to be ratified of course, but such thoughts have never prevented the EU from carrying on as if it had been. Yesterday the Foreign Ministers in their wisdom, issued forth a statement in support of Tibetan separatism, pissing off the Chinese no end in the process.

It's funny how the EU wants to absorb more and more countries into its fold and keep them all in situ regardless of the views of their peoples, and yet believes that the largest 'common market' on the planet, The Peoples Republic Of China, situated on the other side of the world, which has held together peoples of different internal nations for thousands of years, should now have a large more recently acquired piece of itself broken off.

There is not even any evidence that there is a majority in Tibet in favour of separation from China. China indeed claims that a majority of Tibetans prefer to remain as part of China. And yet the EU, which is no respecter of democracy within its own empire, feels that it wishes to promote Tibetan independence without any such democratic mandate.

The EU itself is so unpopular that it dare not hold any referendums about its long term future through fear of losing them. If a democratic vote was taken, the EU, for example might well lose the membership of the UK for a start. Yet despite this fact, China is not recommending that Britain be allowed to break away from the EU...as China does not believe it is any of China's business to promote the break-up of the EU.

The EU however sees itself as above all such considerations as to 'spheres of influence' or such trifling matters as democratic accountability, whether that be for itself or any other part of the world.

Pushing such mundane and practical thoughts to one side, the EU, having no military capability, increasingly sees its role as the superior guardian of the world's moral values, competing in this regard with the moralising tendency in the US to project influence around the world in support of 'human rights' - these 'human rights' seemingly being accorded significance in proportion to however much media attention, any particular human rights offence has been granted. And Tibet has been featured as one of the primary human rights scenarios for years, so the EU Foreign Ministers no doubt feel safe in following up on the international media-generated propaganda against China about a part of the world most European have never visited, or understand.

There are no doubt human rights considerations in relation to Tibet as there are in most countries of the world. Chinese culture has different standards as to what is acceptable as anyone who has spent time in China could tell you. Of course very few European Foreign ministers have stepped far from the red carpet and seen how the Chinese or the Tibetans really live, or have any kowledge or even interest in any strategic considerations that China faces. Human rights have to be defended at all costs.

The points China makes about the EU interfering in its internal affairs might be better made by bringing the EU down a peg or two, by in turn pointing out some of the EU's failings...its corruption, its harbouring of terrorists, its lack of popularity, low growth and so on. But China being China merely tells the EU to 'mind your own business'. Maybe in future it should open up a propaganda war against the EU in repayment for the criticism it receives...but its cultural values would make this nigh impossible.

In China there is an obligation to 'save the face' of others, as well as to expect others not to openly criticise you. Dealing with differences is not handled by open confrontation in Chinese culture, and the EU is being culturally insensitive by indulging in such blatant criticism. With China as with other parts of the world, it does not pay to impose a western world view on others.

There would be more democratic logic if Tibetans felt sorry for Britons being forced to live within the EU against their will, and if Tibetan monks campaigned to free Britain, than having ignorant EU Foreign Ministers lending their weight to Tibetan separatism. Hence my today's title...not true of course, although it would make more sense than the EU Foreign Minsters are doing, in pure democratic terms, were they to do so. Also Tibetan monks probably know about as much about Britain and the EU, as EU foreign ministers do about Tibet.

From China News Xinhua yesterday.

China on Sunday voiced its "strong dissatisfaction" over the EU foreign ministers' discussion of and comments on the Tibet issue during their meeting in Slovenia.

"The Tibet issue is completely China's internal affairs. No foreign countries or international organizations have the right to interfere in it," said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu.

The EU foreign ministers issued a statement on the Tibet situation Saturday after their meeting in Brdo, Slovenia.

"We strongly hope the EU and its member states to make a clear distinction between right and wrong, explicitly condemn the violent crimes of beating, smashing, looting and burning and all those offenders, and avoiding taking double standards," the spokesperson said.

She said the EU should not rub salt into the wounds of the innocent victims of the Lhasa riots on March 14 and send a wrong signal to the international community and the Dalai clique and encourage the Tibetan secessionists in their violent crimes.

The riots had disrupted the cultural and religious activities of local people and sabotaged the social order. These are violent crimes that had seriously infringed on human rights and endangered the security of people's lives and their property, she said.

"Every single responsible country in the world would take measures according to the law to stop such kind of violent crime," she said.

The government of the Tibet autonomous region had exercised great restraint in the whole process of handling the incident, the spokesperson said, adding the government had maintained social justice, resumed social order as soon as possible and gained support of the people including ethnic Tibetans.

She said the Chinese government has all along attached great importance to protecting human rights and preserving traditional Tibetan culture and religion. It has invested great manpower and funds to protect, preserve and build cultural and religious institutions, to cater for the needs of Tibetan people.

China currently has more than 50 institutions engaged in Tibet Study and most of their scholars are ethnic Tibetans, Jiang added.

Concerning the Tibetan language, she said both Tibetan and Chinese are taught and used in Tibet, with Tibetan language as the main language. Tibetan language is a main course in schools of every kind.

She added the Tibetan language has become the first language used an ethnic minority group in China for which an international standard has been set up.

Besides, the central government has invested huge funds in the preservation and maintenance of monasteries and religious sites including the Potala Palace and the Jokhang Temple.

There are currently more than 1,780 religious sites in Tibet with over 46,000 monks and nuns, Jiang said, adding the religious freedom is fully respected in Tibet.

China on Sunday voiced its "strong dissatisfaction" over the EU foreign ministers' discussion of and comments on the Tibet issue during their meeting in Slovenia.

"The Tibet issue is completely China's internal affairs. No foreign countries or international organizations have the right to interfere in it," said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu.

1 comment:

kerdasi amaq said...

Your old imperialist genes are coming out. The British Empire on which the sun never sets and the blood never dries. Good riddance to it.