A Chinese Version Of Tibet

As Tibet commemorates the events of last year in which many people expressed their opposition to the Chinese occupation of their nation, the Chinese government made clear it has a different version of the events. Once upon a time the people of Tibet were serfs and slaves who obeyed religious leaders until Chinese soldiers arrived to end their feudal lives and grant all people freedom. Naturally, the reactionary forces of the Dalai Lama tried to halt the spread of democracy but the people of Tibet would not back down on their desire for the freedom that was brought to them by Chinese soldiers. The version has some elements of truth since there is no question feudal ideas were still prevalent in Tibet and religious leaders wielded power. But, for most Tibetans, the arrival of Chinese occupation forces was not a welcome change in their lives.

The Chinese government has an incredible ability to shoot themselves in the foot of publicity. Their press releases still claim the Dalai Lama wants Tibet to secede from China and is trying to use force to accomplish his goals. The Dailai Lama is a realist who understands the solution must be political and entail maintenance of being part of China. If Chinese leaders had any sense of public relations they would welcome the Dalai Lama and invite him to work for creation of a compromise that keeps Tibet as part of China but allows the flexibility that was given to Hong Kong.