The Plight of Tibet

I was looking through my computer and found something I wrote awhile back, my views might have changed slightly since then but let me post it up here for everyone to see:

Tibet has suffered under the control of the Chinese government since its invasion in 1950s whether this suffering is through economic, political, cultural or religious issues is not of importance with the point or question I’m asking as long as its agreed that this suffering has of course happened by the hands of the Chinese government towards Tibet.

So why have these Chinese come to impose this suffering on Tibet and its Tibetan people? When I talk to some peers they have a similar thought of China only caring for itself and its own people; if they can better themselves by assimilating Tibetans, destroying Tibetan culture, exploiting resources then they will do it, even at the expense of Tibet and Tibetans. Whether the suffering of Tibet and Tibetans is being inflicted by the wishes of the majority of the Chinese people, its government alone or being a changing mix of both since the invasion is debatable but I think we can agree that there is a particular group of Chinese people who has and is inflicting this suffering on Tibet and Tibetans.

Now why and how would these Chinese be able to purposely and willingly inflict suffering on another group in hopes of improving their own situation? Many times I hear the word evil used to describe these Chinese, so how did these Chinese become to be what we see as “evil”?

However these Chinese are a result of their conditions and environment in China during the period in China before Tibet’s invasion and even preceding it. China and its people before Tibet was invaded had already suffered from the Sino-Japanese war during World War II and its its Civil War; suffering over 20 million dead in the Sino-Japanese war alone. During the invasion and shortly after it, China was also suffering from poor economic policies and rounds of natural disasters causing widespread famine which led to the deaths of 40 million Chinese.

This is why these Chinese were able to purposefully and willingly inflict suffering on Tibet and its people in the hopes of improving their own situation. I think that the Chinese, having experienced great suffering from these events, like any human being, were feeling uneasy about their own security and the assurance of their well-being and thus wanted to stop their own suffering and make sure that they never experienced that type of suffering again and so were willing to even impose suffering on another nation and people if it would help them become more powerful as a nation and thus prevent or deter suffering from other foreign powers or exploit the resources of another nation in hopes of creating a better life for themselves free from famine, lack of necessities, etc..

By saying this I don’t justifying what these Chinese people have done to Tibet and Tibetans. What they have done is no doubt wrong but I think what these Chinese people have done is comparable to the Germans after the events of WWI when the German people were suffering from the heavy reparation fees of the Versailles treaty and the Great Depression. When the Nazi party led by Hitler pointed the finger at the Jewish people as the cause of their suffering the Germans persecuted the Jews in hopes of ending their own suffering and hardships.

Thus I think “desperate times call for desperate measures” is suitable saying for these types of actions but even more suitable is that in desperate times people are more willing to try desperate measures; measures that they would not normally think of doing if they were not in such a situation.

I believe that my theory or thought is an optimistic one. In believing that the Chinese inflicting Tibet’s suffering are a result of their own suffering it gives us hope for the future. Once China develops and these people are able to live a life where they can be free from the fears of suffering, I think that the suffering of Tibet and its Tibetans will in turn be ended.

You can agree or disagree with me on this one, if you disagree please reply.


3 thoughts on “The Plight of Tibet

  1. Bhod Ki Bhumo

    I think your interpretation of Chinese invasion and cruelty to Tibetans explains a little bit of the psychology of a nation or more like its leader’s but comparing it to Nazi Germany only goes as far as both being power hungry and some sense of historical injustice. But Nazi’s targetting of Jews and comparing that to Tibetans is not a good analogy. I think for Chinese, they do not set out to target Tibetans but because the Tibetans inhabit the vast tract of land beside them which they believed belonged to them through some wrong historical interpretation. Han Chavinism is to be blamed for their cruel treatment since most ethnic minorities be they Tibetan, Ugyher or other ethnic minorities are seen as lower to them in terms of class. Han Chinese considered the ethnic groups as backward and unintelligent people.

    Chinese discourse since 1949 seems to one of Territorial integrety in terms of keeping the other countries under it control such as Tibet, Inner Mongolia and East Turkestan. This sense of owning these lands goes further to the imperial times and the notion of suzerienty and how China claims suzerienty over many countries. i Think the concept of Tiān Xià will explain China’s mentality. I extracted the following from Wikipedia.

    “All under heaven, or Under heaven (Chinese: 天下; Pinyin: tiān xià) is a phrase in the Chinese language and a cultural concept in China.

    The Chinese character 天 means sky. 下 means under, down. 天下 together, literally means under the sky. The word 天下, besides the literal meaning, is also taken by Chinese as the only way to refer to the whole world. In this context then, it can perhaps be best understood and translated as “Everything Under the Heavens”. Only in modern times has the term 世界 (shì jiè) came into use to directly refer to the world.

    In classical Chinese political thought, the Emperor of China would nominally be the ruler All under heaven, that is, the entire world. Although in practice there would be areas of the known world which were not under the control of the Emperor, in Chinese political theory the political rulers of those areas derived their power from the Emperor”

    If you dig more books on China, you will see that China truly believes that many countries in Asia such as Korea, Vietnam and others belong to them! Invading Tibet, East Turkestan, Inner Mongolia and Manchuria is in some ways like Manifest Destiny of U.S.

    I have meandered through my arguments but I hope I made some points useful or not.

  2. Jigme32

    When I was comparing Tibet’s situation with China to pre-WW2 Germany’s situation with the Jews I wasn’t comparing the situation as a whole but the rationale behind the acceptance of what was going on by the German people or in China’s case its government.

    Also you said that:

    “I think for Chinese, they do not set out to target Tibetans but because the Tibetans inhabit the vast tract of land beside them which they believed belonged to them through some wrong historical interpretation.”

    Isn’t that really the same situation as the German population targeting the Jews because of their wealth during Germany’s hard times of depression? Sure they targeted them, but Jews had and have been living in Europe for ages and historically were always targeting during hard times. So really doesn’t it have more to do with the fact the Jewish population have always been more wealthier than the average citizen which draws the aim of poorer people during hard times? It seems to be more likely since the Jews were present in times of hardship and prosperity yet were always targeted in times of hardship and rarely in times of prosperity.

    So in that way it seems quite similar to Tibetans since you say Tibetans were and are being targeted for the fact they were in possession of Tibetan land which is wealth to the Chinese (Other factors of course like strategic military benefits).

    Also about “Han Chauvinism” that you mentioned:

    Here is another trend you’ll notice of people who mistreat other peoples/minorities is the notion of them being superior to the person they subjugate or harm.

    The Nazi’s believed themselves to be superior to the Jews they killed and exploited. The Americans slave owners believed themselves to be superior to the slaves they exploited and mistreated. Even in religion, during the Crusades the Muslims were infidels to the Christian church and whole populations of Muslims were slaughtered with the support of the papacy.

  3. Jigme32

    I just wanted to post again to clear up the Nazi treatment of Jews comparison to Tibet was not in terms of brutality, or amount of suffering or anything like that. I was just comparing the mindsets of both of the oppressors.

    I probably shouldn’t have used this as an example since usually its usually not a good idea when people do but its something everyone usually knows about so I thought it would make my point more understandable.

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