17 July 2011

China's over-reaction to Obama/Dalai Lama meeting

Well done to President Obama from this blog (and I know he's a big fan;-))for continuing to meet the Dalai Lama - despite the bluster from Beijing.

The open and western facade of the Chinese communist regime slipped revealing their true authoritarian nature in their comment that 'We demand the US side to seriously consider China's stance, immediately adopt measures to wipe out the baneful impact, stop interfering in China's internal affairs and cease to connive and support anti-China separatist forces'.

The Beeb carries the full report here.

As the US State Department reiterates in their 2010 human rights report the USA recognises that Tibet is part of the Peoples' Republic of China. But it goes on to list a series of human rights abuses that leads it to say there is 'severe repression' in Tibet.

The repression includes:

- The execution of possibly 200+ protestors in 2008.
- The disappearance of an unknown number of people - including monks and nuns.
- Routine use of torture.
- More than 5,500 arrested and detained arbitrarily.
- 831 known political prisoners of whom just 360 were known to have been convicted by courts - with the actual number of Tibetan political prisoners believed to be much higher.
- 59 people convicted in 2009 for "creating and spreading rumors".
- Continued government jamming of foreign radio broadcasts.
- Monitoring of the internet and banning of certain websites.
- Forced resettlement of nomads and farmers.
- Raiding more than 4,000 homes for pictures of the Dalai Lama

These figures may sound relatively small for a country the size of China - but there are just 2.7 million Tibetans living in the Tibet Autonomous Region.

President Obama is absolutely right to continue to meet with the Dalai Lama (and anyone else he sees fit). It's about two things that the Chinese communists don't understand - democracy and freedom of association. And although China carries huge economic might - it will fail to realise its full potential while the regime continues to opress its people - not just in Tibet but across the whole country.

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