In the post “The Tibetan Struggle: The Balance Between Protest and Compliance?” a few of the commentators brought up their own views on which method is actually the most effective in engaging the Chinese in an order to obtain either any sort of progress, true autonomy, or independence
From the statement of the Dalai Lama on the March 10th, 2007 Tibetan National Uprising day:
“In order to provide real benefits for both the majority and minority nationalities as well as the central and local governments, a meaningful autonomy should be put into place. Since this particular autonomy is for the minority nationalities, the demand for a single administration of the Tibetan nationality is sincere, just and transparent. It is clear to the world that we have no hidden agenda. As such it is the sacred duty of all Tibetans to continue our struggle towards fulfilling this reasonable demand. No matter how long it takes, our courage and determination shall remain unchanged until we fulfill our aspirations. The struggle of the Tibetan people is not about the struggle for the status of a few Tibetan individuals; it is the struggle of a people. We have already transformed the exile Tibetan administration and community into a genuine democratic system, with a succession of leaders elected for the people by the people themselves. We have thus set up a deeply-rooted, vibrant social and political institution that will carry forward our struggle from generation to generation. In the end, the ultimate decisions will be made democratically by the people themselves.
Since the resumption of direct contacts between the Tibetans and Chinese in 2002, my representatives have conducted five rounds of comprehensive discussion with concerned officials of the People’s Republic of China. In these discussions, both sides were able to express in clear terms the suspicions, doubts and real difficulties that exist between the two sides. These rounds of discussion have thus helped in creating a channel of communication between the two sides. The Tibetan delegation stands ready to continue the dialogue anytime, anywhere. The Kashag will provide the details in its statement.”
Here is some excerpts from the Dalai Lama’s autobiography Freedom in Exile and other sources which help understand his perceptions on: how we should engage the Chinese, and the effectiveness of obtaining progress through the discussion and negotiation advocated within the Middle Path.
“Many and more ordinary Chinese people are showing their sympathy and concern regarding the Tibetan issue. Indeed, it seems there is a growing sense of solidarity between politically aware Chinese and the oppressed people of Tibet. This is a development which encourages me greatly, especially as I have has personal experience of this sentiment on a number of occasions now.”
“This personal experience of goodwill amongst ordinary Chinese towards Tibetans is corroborated by other reports I have received.”
“I therefore believe that, though [the Chinese] attitude towards freedom for Tibetans may be privately held, [discussions with Chinese] will have an important effect in the long run.”
“On top of all this is also the fact that increasing numbers of Chinese are taking an interest in Buddhism in general and in Tibetan Buddhism in particular.”
“Many Chinese intellectuals with whom I have spoken also agree that such a course would be in the best interests of China and the Chinese people.”
What do you think of these views? Are they unrealistic? Too optimistic?
What about the Dalai Lama’s view on how we should engage the Chinese? Is it too reliant on the Chinese to change their perceptions? Will it lead to progress with