Monday, March 17, 2008

I was hanging out with my student in Beijing, but suddenly the TV screen was filled with rioters in Lhasa. This was a bit of a surprise, and it has certainly stirred things up a bit in the run-up to the Olympics. Once again, I attach Willy Lam's excellent analysis on this topic. Also, if you look at TAR party secretary Zhang Qingli's profile, you know he is no "pure hearted pilgrim" as the saying goes.
1. The nephew of former CMC vice chairman Zhang Wannian
2. Commander of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corp

Tibet Riots: Hu Jintao is the Biggest Loser

Strongman¡¦s Olympic glory is already tarnished by the unrest

By Willy Lam from www.asiasentinel.com March 17, 2008


President Hu Jintao and his ¡§Tibet Faction¡¨ have turned out to be the biggest losers in the wake of the most horrendous disturbances in Tibet and adjacent provinces since the 1959 Tibet Insurrection.

By Sunday, March 16, more than 10,000 lamas and other Tibetans had staged rallies and demonstrations ¡V and clashed with Chinese police, soldiers and People¡¦s Armed Police (PAP) officers in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) and the nearby provinces of Qinghai, Sichuan and Gansu. The Xinhua News Agency and Hong Kong newspapers have quoted authorities, including the Mayor of Lhasa, Duoci Cizhu and Gansu Governor Xu Shousheng, as saying that things are back to normal in these areas. After mass arrests of alleged ringleaders in Lhasa and other cities, virtual martial law has been imposed on the Tibet capital.

While the first wave of the ¡§Free Tibet in the Olympics Year¡¨ campaign has apparently subsided, Hu, also the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) General Secretary and commander-in-chief, may have suffered the most devastating blow to his career.

First, as Party Secretary in Tibet from 1988 to 1992, Hu is the party¡¦s leading authority on the region. As chairman of the Central Military Commission, Hu signed orders in mid-2007 to move more soldiers into both Tibet and Xinjiang so as to make sure that ¡§splittists¡¨ in both autonomous regions would not make trouble for Beijing in the run-up to the Summer Olympics. He also called up members of the 650,000-strong paramilitary People¡¦s Armed Police

These precautionary measures, however, failed to prevent unrest. Moreover, conditions in Xinjiang have remained restive in the wake of an alleged terrorist incident on board an Urumqi-Beijing flight on March 8. As both party and military chief, Hu cannot shirk his responsibility for failing to, in CCP parlance, ¡§nip the forces of instability at the bud.¡¨

Much more significant is the fact that since becoming a member of the CCP Politburo Standing Committee ¡V and heir apparent to ex-president Jiang Zemin ¡Vin 1992, Hu has elevated dozens of his former underlings in Tibet and neighboring provinces to senior positions.

The current party secretaries of Tibet and Xinjiang, respectively Zhang Qingli and Wang Lequan, are longtime Hu protégés. Several fifth- and sixth-generation rising stars whom Hu is grooming for leadership positions also earned their first spurs in Tibet. A notable example is Hu Chunhua, 44, the party secretary of the Communist Youth League, which President Hu headed in the mid-1980s. The younger Hu spent more than 10 years in Tibet and has already been mentioned as a potential successor to newly installed State Vice-President Xi Jinping, who is due to take over the top party post when President Hu retires in 2012.

A party source in Beijing who is close to Hu Jintao¡¦s personal think tank said the domino effect set off by the unrest in Lhasa on March 10 could end up hurting the entire Hu Jintao Faction.

¡§A key reason why Hu was picked by Deng Xiaoping in 1992 as a future leader was the ruthless and efficient way in that he put down the riots in Lhasa in March 1989,¡¨ the source said. ¡§19 years later, however, commander-in-chief Hu and his protégés have failed to contain the disturbances in spite of the larger troop presence in the autonomous region.¡¨

Diplomatic analysts in Beijing say Hu and his Politburo colleagues have been hamstrung by Olympics-related factors in this effort to suppress the ¡§splittist conspirators.¡¨ Talking to reporters Monday morning, Tibetan region Governor Qianba Puncog said that police and PAP officers had used ¡§non-lethal weapons¡¨ against the rioters. ¡§The police have displayed great restraint, and they are doing everything in accordance with the law.¡¨ This was despite reports by overseas offices of the Tibet exiled government that PAP officers had shot dead several Tibetan protestors.

It is nonetheless true that it is in the interest of Hu and company to steer clear of large-scale bloodshed so as to avoid a possible boycott of the Olympics by some athletes. In any event, the Chinese supremo¡¦s dream of having a spotless Chinese Olympics go down as part of his legacy has already been shattered. The same can be said for the promotion prospects of members of the Chinese strongman¡¦s ¡§Tibet Faction.¡¨

From zh.wikipedia.com





So what should one do when rioters beat/kill innocent people, both Han Chinese and Hui Muslims, and burn properties, besides cracking down on the riot? Do governments let rioters loot shops and beat civilians and burn buildings in Baghbad, jerusalem, or London, Taipei, New York?
The new mayor of Bejing, Guo Jinlong, was the Party Chief in tibet after Hu, and for almost a decade. Am surprised he has not been pulled into the thick of things to comment on how to better solve this. Sue Anne
What one should do is burn down Beijing and build a Democracy like Baghbad, Jerusalem, or London, Taipei, New York...

What They're Really Fighting for in Tibet
A democracy like Baghdad? It's mind-boggling that someone would call Baghdad a democracy. If you're so ignorant, and so supportive of the US war in Iraq, check out the US-based Freedom House' rating of democracy and freedom in Iraq: http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=22&year=2007&country=7197

And just because many Tibetans perceive (rightly or wrongly) themselves as being oppressed by the Chinese government, do they have the right to violantly attack innocent civilians? If your answer is yes than Al Qaeda probably also has the right to attack civilians too on 911, as they also feel (rightly or wrongly) that Arabs/Muslims are being oppressed by the US.
Risky Geopolitical Game: Washington Plays ‘Tibet Roulette’ with China


In short, US State Department and US intelligence community finger prints are all over the upsurge around the Free Tibet movement and the anti-Han Chinese attacks of March. The prime interest of Tibet for Washington today is its potential to act as a lever to destabilize and blackmail the Beijing Government.
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