Tibet should not be split from the rest of China. This is why the Communist Party should start the groundwork for welcoming back the Dalai Lama as the Head of State of Tibet. This is why all people who support China should support the Olympic protests.
It’s clear that China has done a lot for Tibet. As Catholicgauze notes, Tibet was historically “feudalistic with large ungoverned spaces featuring roaming bands of thieves.” Tibet is much richer today, and the recent completion of a train to Tibet promises even more economic intercourse with the outside world. Further, a quick look at the map shows that Tibet’s neighborhood is home to former-Soviet dictatorships, states suffering Maoist insurgencies, and general misery. Tibet is safer inside China than outside China.
Sadly, the Communist Part is now China’s greatest enemy in Tibet. Bursting into monasteries, killing monks, beating civilians, and behaving in a disproportionate, unsophisticated, and stupid way to the Tibet “314” Uprising. The Communist Party’s 1970s-era tactics of violence and intimidation are appropriate for a backwards country, like China was under Mao Zedong. They are increasingly dangerous for a developed country, like China is becoming. This risks the peaceful development of Tibet.
As China goes from being a weak country to being a strong one, she will gain friends who expect decent behavior (Britain, Germany, Australia, Japan, etc) and create enemies angered by her support for their enemies — the Burmese, the Vietnamese, the South Vietnamese exiles, the Darfuris, and others. If China’s solution to uprisings is to escalate the problem, Beijing will gain more enemies than friends. If the Communist Party learns to de-escalate problems, Beijing will gain more friends than enemies. How can Tibet development if it is part of a country that the world distrusts?
The Communist Party’s escalatory policy to social problems is echoed in the behavior of the fingqings, those angry young men who embarrass China and threaten violence to any who support for Tibetans. I read a post, for instance, where one Chinese student in America was hurled with insults calling for her death a thousand times, calling for an investigation of her parents, and reporting that one informed the National Security Bureau, the Chinese embassy, and the local government of her statements. This swarming of dissidents would not happen if China did not want it to happen. Chinese who stand up for good behavior by the government — Chinese who are most in turn with the behavior that China needs to have — are called race-traitors (literally “Han-Traitor,” often used for “China-traitor” because Han are virtually synonymous with Chinese).. It does not help China to oppress Chinese living in America. As the world learns about China’s oppression of Tibetans inside China — and how China does nothing to deter fingqing oppression of Tibetan activists abroad — China’s case in Tibet will be harmed.
Tibet should remain a part of China so that China can develop Tibet. For China to sustain this policy and retain its place in the world as a respected country, China needs to de-escalate the situation with the Tibetan people. The best way to do this is to invite the Dalai Lama (and his successors) back to Tibet as the Head of State of Tibet, whether in a continuation of the Tibetan Autonomous Region, the Central Tibetan Administration, a People’s Lamate of Tibet, or something else.
Tibet’s growth and development should be encouraged by all people who support those countries. The monks who call for the return are Tibetan patriots, and the Chinese students who support Tibet are Chinese patriots.
Support Tibet. Support China. Support the protests.
Support Chinese development of Tibet.