Computer Hacking Scandal and the CCP’s Culture of Secrecy around Tibet

Back in November last year, I published a short post about an alleged computer hacking scandal that had presumably led to the removal of Bi Hua from her position as a top Tibetan affairs negotiator in the CCP’s United Front Work Department, a propaganda agency infamously linked with a range of espionage activities.  More than a month later, a mysterious Tibetan blogger Therang Buengu has published his thought about the scandal.

Therang Buengu did not profess to know the identity of the hacker.  Instead, he described Bi Hua as the victim of a culture of secrecy among those who handle China’s Tibet policy; a culture which Bi Hua herself had so diligently nurtured throughout her career:

Most westerners are bewildered by what China has been doing in Tibet and by what China has been saying about Tibet and the Dalai Lama. It is a simple yet complex issue. If you have an intimate relationship with people working in these institutions, if you know something about their individual careers and lavish lifestyles – and in many cases their institutions’ very existences are integrally dependent on these perceptions – then these dynamics are simple to explain:  they are acting in their own self interest, not what is in the interest of the society at large. But it is much harder to understand why they are able to continue to do this at the expense of ethnic tensions and the tarnishing of China’s international image, which it seems they care so much about.

As long as China’s top leadership and ruling elite don’t have the courage to confront reality, those currently in charge of Tibet policy will have a powerful interest to continue their agenda of creating a bubble of fear around Tibet. I’m sure in the whole world only these people can tell you with a straight face that the recent unrest in Tibet was a creation of the Tibetan Youth Congress. It is in their vital interest to make these stories believable. And to prove their correctness, they not only destroy other lives, they themselves also, on occasion, inadvertently fall victims to this machine – one that was their own creation.

Bi Hua is an unlikely victim of China’s Tibet policy. She too, it seems, has fallen prey to the forces of fear and paranoia around Tibet. Whether the sudden loss of her dream post was due to a hacker’s intrusion or simply her colleagues’ paranoia-most likely a combination of the two-it seems that she too has become a victim of the paranoid bunker mentality of China’s Tibet policy. As such, she is yet another one who has met a similar fate.

Therang Buengu’s analysis of the scandal calls to mind another mysterious Tibetan blogger known by the name Jinme Langjia.  They have both displayed a similar degree of insider knowledge about how Tibetan affairs are handled and mishandled within the CCP bureaucracy.  For more information about Jinme Langjia, please consult a post our friend JR published on 21/11/2008 at JustRecently’s Beautiful Blog.

Don’t get me wrong.  I have no intention of suggesting that these two cyber fictives are one and the same person.  This is not my intention and it is utterly beside the point.  For a start, they do not use the same language for communications:  Therang Buengu blogs in English, while Jinme Langjia published his articles in Chinese.  I am not convinced, however, that those who have such intimate knowledge about the drawback of this culture of secrecy will not use this information to their advantage.

This is the link to the article at Therang Buengu’s blog.  A Chinese translation is available here.

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One Response to Computer Hacking Scandal and the CCP’s Culture of Secrecy around Tibet

  1. justrecently says:

    C.A., I think this is indeed pretty much a matter of elite-and-their-subjects matter in China. That’s also what makes “improvements in China” – something Huolong refers to in one of his recent posts – a relative matter, rather than evidence for improvements. There is a surprising (though not necessarily convincing) degree of freedom of speech for established sociologists for example, but no such freedom of speech for “common people” being relocated without or with insufficient compensation. It looks similar to me when the talk is about landuse transfers which are often done by officials rather than by the peasants themselves. Something like the return of the once vanishing feudalism (if it really ever left China). But I’ll have to think about this more thoroughly after Wednesday when I’ve got more times for my extraterrestial hobbies.
    Have a good week!

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