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Opinion Column
For the week of May 23 through May 29, 2001

China: the enemy’s fortune runs high

International public opinion knows that in reality China is a totalitarian government, that Tibet is an occupied country, and that the latter is being brutalized by the former.

Express Staff Writer

A secret Chinese government document, detailing an intricate and orchestrated external public relations campaign to support China’s hard-line positions toward Tibet and the Dalai Lama, was recently leaked to the Western world by an official in Beijing. The document gives the outside world a rare glimpse into the inner-workings of Beijing’s plans to aggressively influence Western public opinion. The document also shows how the Chinese government works to create anti-American sentiment among its own people and to pressure its academics and intellectuals to develop better theories to support the government’s positions and actions in Tibet.

The fact that the document was leaked is evidence that the Western world and Tibet have friends in high places of the Chinese government, even if the government itself is no friend to Western concepts of democratic government, international law, human rights, self-determination, Tibet or the American people.

The document reveals many things about the government of the People’s Republic of China that human rights defenders and friends of Tibet have long known. It reads, "It is difficult to reverse the present situation where the enemy’s fortune on the international arena is running high and ours low." The enemy refers to Tibet, which China invaded and has occupied by military force sine 1950, and the Dalai Lama who is the political and spiritual leader of the people of Tibet and who has been forced to live in exile since he escaped with his life in 1959. The fortune is public opinion in the international community, honesty, integrity, human decency and truth.

International public opinion knows that in reality China is a totalitarian government, that Tibet is an occupied country, and that the latter is being brutalized by the former.

According to the 22 page document, the academics, scholars and Tibetologists of China are instructed that they "must support our propaganda," and that "the very act of writing and publishing…is for external propaganda and public opinion." In other words, the intellectuals of China are being told by their government that the purpose of thinking is not the search for truth, knowledge and understanding but, rather, the acquisition of power and other men’s minds. The difficulties of carrying out such a corrupt task are spelled out in the document itself. At the same time that the thinkers of China are exhorted to produce better intellectual arguments which need to be "understandable and acceptable to the international community," they are told that Chinese propaganda is often "out of tune with the reality in Tibet" and that their intellectual arguments are "inadequate…to carry out our external struggle."

Using the intellect to create arguments that are out of touch with reality could be a definition of insanity. It is at the least, like the Chinese government, corrupt and dangerous.

The document shows that Beijing has plans to aggressively solicit Western scholars in order to "encourage a considerable number of foreign specialists and intellectuals to speak out on our behalf." Of these plans, John Ackerly, President of International Campaign for Tibet (ICT), says, "ICT supports academic exchanges with Tibetan scholars, but governments and universities should review their exchange programs and ensure they serve the interests of scholars and not of Beijing."

Indeed, anyone who does business of any kind with the People’s Republic of China should review their exchanges and make sure their own interests are being served and not Beijing’s. (American businesses profiting from China’s slave labor, sub-standard working conditions and non-existent environmental laws should be boycotted as well, but that, perhaps, is another matter.)

The document identifies three books published in the west as particularly damaging to the cause of China’s propaganda on Tibet. The books are Tsering Shakya’s "The Dragon in the Land of Snows (1999)," Ken Knaus’ "Orphans of the Cold War: America and Tibet’s Struggle for Survival (1999), and Michael van Walt’s "The Status of Tibet" (1987). The document states, "We cannot underestimate the negative impact of these books on our nation."

That statement alone would recommend these books. They are works of scholarship and honest intellectual endeavor, and, as such, they are by their very existence a threat to China’s corrupt, out of tune with reality propaganda concerning Tibet.

The document castigates the strategy and campaigns of the "Dalai clique," referring to Western people and organizations supporting the Dalai Lama in his efforts to stop the cultural and literal genocide of his people and culture at the hands of China. The Dalai Lama has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for those efforts. The Chinese government will receive no prizes for peace as it hides behind lies, propaganda and public relations in a failed attempt to keep the world from seeing the blood of Tibet that covers all its documents.

The leaked document in its entirety is available from the ICT at 1825 K St. NW, Suite 520, Washington, D.C. 20006 or at [email protected].


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