Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd urged the Chinese government to show restraint in dealing with Tibetan protestors who have openly expressed anger at the Chinese occupation of their land. At least 80 are dead and hundreds wounded as a result of the demonstrations. “These most recent developments in Tibet are disturbing and from my point of view, I would call upon the Chnese authorities to exercise restraint.” He emphasized Australia “has always recognized from the beginning China’s sovereignty over Tibet.” He admitted “on human rights questions we have differences with the government in Beijing.” But, the prime minister made clear Australia would not support any efforts to boycott the upcoming Olympic Games in China.
Bob Brown, head of Australia’s Green party, expressed shock at failure of his government to take a stronger stand against what is happening in Tibet. “I can’t believe this prime minister has been so effectively silent except to call for restraint, whatever that is.” Brown noted Kevin Rudd had called for sanctions against Burma when its monks had protested.
The reality of the current world is that China is a powerful nation and will not accept advice about its internal affairs from outside sources. The Chinese people are reacting to years of Western oppression and hostlity. This does not excuse the horrible behavior of China in Tibet, it only points out the reality there is little to be done about the situation in Tibet.