World Leaders Puts China Trade Ahead of Regional Security – A Big Mistake?

“In our nearly hour-long conversation today we focused exclusively on the economic relationship  and that is appropriate given the challenges we face today,” said the Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in an interview after the G20 summit, when he was asked whether he raised the issue of China’s submarine program with the Chinese President Hu Jintao.  The reporter was referring to what Rudd said earlier this year about the danger of a regional arms race.

In this climate, as the world is sliding fast into the abyss of a long depression, Australia is not the only nation willing to put aside human rights and regional security concerns in order to foster closer economic ties with China.  Britain has gone a step further.  According to New York Times:

On Oct. 29, a day before Tibetan envoys arrived in China for the eighth round of talks, the British government announced that it was dropping its formal recognition of Tibet’s suzerainty relationship with China, a status that indicates real autonomy. The recognition dated back 94 years. Tibet advocates said the move by Britain, the only foreign power that had continued to recognize such a relationship, undermined the bargaining position of the Dalai Lama’s envoys and emboldened the Chinese government to reaffirm a hard-line position.

All this has contributed to a growing sense of desperation among Tibetan exiles, and it could result in more support for groups like the Tibetan Youth Congress, which believes in pushing for independence.

This is a big mistake indeed.  The world is going to pay a hefty price for the coming onslaught against innocent lives, as the world’s most powerful oppressive regime  assumes licence to carry out yet another mass murder of its national minorities.  We are witnessing the mutation of a human rights issue into one that will seriously threaten regional security.

I am referring you to Just Recently’s Beautiful Blog for an article about the Tibetan exiles’ conference in Dharamsala.

The Christian Science Monitor publishes an article today about Woeser, a Tibetan writer and blogger in Beijing.  As someone who “occupies a rare space in China”, Woeser has always been truthful in the way she expresses the resentment Tibetans feel at the Chinese government’s effort to control their homeland and religion.  As the CSM report says:

Despite the risk, Woeser says telling the story is key. Chinese-Tibetan relations are so hostile because the government has successfully portrayed Tibetans as backward and evil, she says. Indeed, few Han Chinese show any tolerance for her perspective.

The recent withdrawal of international support for the Tibetan’s struggle for autonomy is likely going to put people like Woeser in great danger:

Yet her intense gaze and confidence belie her delicate position in China. Supporters can only guess why the government hasn’t acted to silence her yet; many fear they soon will.

China’s Olympic spotlight, under which the state hoped to avoid ugly incidents, may have given her a reprieve so far, says Professor Sperling.

But the authorities keep an eye on her. During the March violence in Tibet, they put her under house arrest. In a visit to Lhasa during the Summer Games, she was detained by police for a day. During last month’s Asia-Europe summit in Beijing, she was put under house arrest for a week.

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