Priority of Politics and Policy Planning

Monday, February 2, 2009

Contemporary Tibet politics

You need neither to be an academic nor to be a foreign policy analyst to come back with the query regarding the foundation of China’s relations viz-a-viz other countries. Yes! You got the point and it’s cogent not only to you but also to all that the first and foremost prerequisite clause to maintain normal relations with China is to acknowledge ‘One China Policy’. What does it mean by the term ‘One China Policy’ and why does China need an autonomous principle whenever all the countries follow the same core value technically to be told ‘maintaining territorial integrity’ in keeping up both internal and foreign policies without developing an independent code i.e. ‘One America Policy’ or ‘One Pakistan Policy’? This unique policy, admitted by China, confirms us about her great integration problem though she was able to annex Hong Kong fruitfully. It, however, is a principle that there is one China and that mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan are all parts of that China. This is the broad aspect of the definition as most of the time the designation refers only the name of Taiwan to be embraced in a narrow perspective under the condition that China’s claim over Macau and Hong Kong is proved and widely time-honored. In this context it is surprisingly noticeable that neither the broad nor the narrow explanation of the term ‘One China Policy’ ever integrates the name of Tibet as though there were no trouble over that particular territory. But the wheel of history has turned. In one hand the relations between China and Taiwan is coming closer particularly after the ascending of the new government in power under Ma Ying-jeou, though the process is tight and tough as USA is always adding fuel to the flame, the question of Tibet has come to focus in the global political arena as a protest of Tibetan has been managed with a bloody way.

The history of Tibet, known as the roof of the world, is full with great clumsy. The debate starts with the question of geographical identity as some argue it is adjoining to Central Asia and in the same time some suggest as a part of South Asia. The history of united Tibet starts under the ruling of Songtsän Gampo(604–50 CE) who spreads the kingdom in the valley of Yarlung River. Latter it came to the contact of Arabs and eastern Turks as some advocate that the word Tibet is derived from the Arabic word Tubbat which is derived via Persian from the Turkic word Tobad, meaning "the heights". Under Kublai Khan, the prominent Mongol warrior and founder of Yuan Dynasty spreading Northern China, much of Central Asia, Russia and modern Ukraine, Tibet came under Yuan Dynasty. No matter Tibet was a part of any dynasty or ruled under tributary rulers the relations between Tibet and China did not go, most of the time, with a straight line. It is true that various Chinese dynasties had on several occasions interfered in Tibetan affairs and simultaneously it is equally true that various Tibetan kings and rulers had invaded China or otherwise exercised influence in Chinese affairs. On one occasion in 763 AD Tibetan troops even occupied Chang’an - the then Chinese capital - deposed the Chinese Emperor who was not friendly towards the Tibetans and appointed the son of another branch of the royal family as Emperor. In 82 it was decided through a treaty that the two countries shall never interfere in each other’s affairs; believing that ‘Chinese shall be happy in the land of China and Tibetans shall be happy in the land of Tibet.’ The text of this Treaty were carved on three stone pillars in two capitals of Lhasa and Chang’an and the third one for the border Gugu Meru. But neither party pursued the commitment and finally China annexed Tibet in between 1949-1951 and signed a treaty titled ‘Agreement on Measures for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet’ commonly known as ‘17-point Agreement’ in 1951 which confirms in its first point ‘the Tibetan people shall return to the big family of the Motherland-the People's Republic of China. It’s, however, not a matter what contains the agreement as the Tibetan leader 14th Dalai Lama snubbed the treaty carping that it was not singed by the government and the five-member-delegation party to Beijing led by Kalon Ngapo Ngawang Jigme was enforced to allow the treaty. At the point of a great climax Dalia Lama went to India and founded the exile government in Dharmashala. Since then China is piling the policy of ‘association with China’, ‘genuine autonomy within China’ etc. In this context it is also substantial that none of the big powers or neighbor including India, though it has a great interest regarding Tibet since it could be used as a buffer state, have never disregarded the demand brought by China over Tibet and even astoundingly India held back the question to be conveyed to the United Nations in the name of mutual understanding between China and exile government. So the politics over boycotting Olympic Games arranged firstly in China is not to free Tibet but only to create pressure on China.

If there were no Tibet would there be any issue of refusal about participating in the inauguration program of Olympic by leaders of western countries? Yes and obviously as the day follows night. The question is not Tibet the question is human rights as we see that BBC reported ‘Human rights campaigners accuse China of exaggerating an alleged threat to the Olympics to justify repression of the Muslim Uighur population in Xinjiang.’ Western countries always charge China for violating human rights continuously and why would they allow going the games without any scene creating while it has been practicing for a long history to use the Olympic Games as political pressure in different purposes in several time in numerous occasions. The US boycott of the Soviet games in protest against the invasion of Afghanistan in 1980 and the tit-for-tat boycott by the Soviet and their allies of the LA games in 1984 are proved documentation of politicization of the games.

The dirty political game in the games was started to be carried out from the 1936 Summer Olympics, held in Berlin and frequently repeated in The 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, The 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Moscow's 1980 Summer Olympics and Los Angeles 1984 Summer Olympics. So the question is not Tibet the issue is human rights the oldest and most used against all countries who are divergent to the west. Tibet has only paved a new front for them. The emergence of new China powerful both economically and militarily with the largest number of population is not a nightmare for the west.

Moreover the frequent stand of China against West in different political views both in and out of United Nations such as regarding Darfur, Iran nuclear deal, support to North Korea, and making obstacle in taking measures against Mugabe is annoying to them. USA also thinks China as a naked threat to its unchallenged hegemony over the globe in near future. In this circumstance the blame game of violation of human rights is exercised as an everyday routine work by the West predominantly USA. In the mean time it’s also true that the rejection by Taiwan government, however, on the proposal of making a rout of Olympic torch through its capital Taipei claiming that such arrangement would make the Taiwan relay be seen as part of China's domestic route, rather than the international route has set China in harassing position. The Tibetan protest in several places such as Canada, European countries, USA and Tibet itself has worsen the situation and opened the door for Bush, Nicholas Sercogy and some other leaders to threat for boycotting the opening ceremony of the games though, at the same time, it was clear to all that it will never happen and subsequently was proved by their proclamation to attend the occasion.

Tibet issue in determining relations between west and China and even India, where the exile government is working, and China is never been considered as to be the boss because they no that freedom of Tibet is nothing but castle in the sky. But, at the same time, the issue will be used for bargaining and blaming over China to keep her in psychological strain. The main game will be started in selecting the next Dalia Lame as it is deemed not a person but an authority over Tibetan having a spiritual power. Traditionally it has been the responsibility of the High Lamas of the Gelugpa Tradition and the Tibetan government to find his reincarnation. The process can take around two or three years to identify the Dalai Lama, and for the 14th Tenzin Gyatso it was four years before he was found. The on going ‘His Holiness’, stands for Lama, told in mid 70s that he might be the last Lama. It creates a big mystification among Tibetan and at last they along with present Dalai Lama they have recognized a child, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, as the reincarnated Panchen Lama. But Beijing, in the mean time, has selected a different Panchen Lama considering it as her own rights and naturally the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Buddhists in exile do not regard PRC's Panchen Lama to be the legitimate one. The new Lama, who knows who will be and from which side, is an important issue as he will the real actor of shaping the fortune of Tibetan people as no one including China and India keeps hope to present Lama for an acceptable solution regarding the problem. We are enthusiastically lingering for His Holiness to find a apt and decent elucidation of the problem keeping both sides in pleasant. A new Lama with a new dream!


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