Friday, March 21, 2008

Banned in China?

I have occasionally wondered if this blog is accessible from behind the great firewall of China. I've never seen China among the countries from which visitor's IP addresses originate, and all of blogspot is supposedly banned, at least some of the time, so I guess it would be. I tried but it is offline due to "reconstruction activities". I tried and got errors, except from Hong Kong, which does not seem to be blocking blogspot or this site.

I have been following events in Tibet with interest. It isn't easy to get Buddhist monks angry enough to throw stones. One way to NOT to win the love of the Tibetan people: cultural genocide and paternalistic condescension.

The Communist Party, atheistic by doctrine, has insisted that it has the sole authority to approve incarnations — the divine process by which a “living Buddha” is chosen in boyhood. Beijing had already selected a boy as its own Panchen Lama, the second ranking figure in Tibetan Buddhism, and reportedly jailed a boy chosen by the Dalai Lama.

Meanwhile, Beijing has steadily been taking a tougher line on religious practices and cultural expressions of Tibetan pride. In November 2005, Zhang Qingli was appointed Communist Party secretary of the Tibet Autonomous Region. Mr. ZhangHu. Mr. Zhang has made no attempt to disguise his paternal attitude toward his charges.

“The Communist Party is like the parent to the Tibetan people, and it is always considerate about what the children need,” Mr. Zhang said last year. He later added: “The Central Party Committee is the real Buddha for Tibetans.”

Most people, including the Dalai Lama, do not advocate independence for Tibet. I haven't been to Tibet, but only as close as Yunnan and Sichuan, but I like all of the parts of China and the overseas Chinese communities. China would never give up Tibet, the high ground of Asia, for fear there would be American missiles there in a few years. China should follow the words of Lao Tzu, and govern a large country as you would fry a small fish. I don't think that refers to the liberal use of soy sauce. A concrete example is the European Union. They didn't capture the Swiss Alps by invading with EU troops. The EU makes itself so attractive that independent states are clamoring for membership. This is how China should act with regards to Tibet, if it wants to be able to rule there. Likewise, with Taiwan, while Taiwan, like Tibet, has the absolute right to seek independence, the two sides would do better to attempt to seduce each other. China needs to move beyond its authoritarian state capitalism ("communism with Chinese characteristics") and be more anarcho-communist with Taoist characteristics. A repressive policy is the kind of governance that broke up the former Yugoslavia.

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