The natives are so damned ungrateful…

17 Mar

…shouldn’t they know that we are bringing them the finest fruits of Civilisation? It’s so frustrating, Carruthers Zhang; and there they go with that infernal chanting, and that disrespect for order and property… Why can’t they be grateful? Don’t they know how hard we work for them, raising them from their primitive ignorance? And we have brought the RAILWAYS too, the bastards… You’d think they’d be happy.


Yes, the burden of colonialism.

China knows it well. They also know how to bring the hobnailed boot down very firmly on the human face.


I think it’s a shame the Chinese authorities didn’t embrace the Dalai Lama’s call for genuine autonomy, not independence, years ago. Yes, there is a long history between Tibet and China, and it is not all of it well known in the west. “Tenzing Gyatso, aka the Dalai Lama, rather than rejecting his identity as a Tibetan-Chinese and demanding Tibetan racial purity along the lines of his Nazi mentor, SS Captain Heinrich Harrer, should instruct his band of reactionary theocrats huddled in Dharamsala to forsake their quixotic dream of ‘restoring’ a ‘Shangri-La’ that never existed, return to Lhasa, and shoulder to shoulder with fellow Chinese, help illiterate serfs they once exploited become the Andy Groves and Bill Gates of the 21st century.” So writes one pro-Han (but anti-communist) commentator on the web: China, Tibet and Chinese nation on, a web site to the China market.

You can read that; the bias and special pleading are obvious.

Whatever the history, what China is doing, and has been doing, in Tibet is colonising. Dress it up as you like.

But then much the same can be said of Indonesia in West Papua…

See The Chinese Domination of Tibet by John Walsh (2007).

China has long sought to dominate Tibet and now is using economic rather than political colonization.

Most Chinese believe that Tibet is a longstanding part of China’s territory. Then again, most Chinese believe that Genghis Khan was Chinese because Mongolia (or at least Inner Mongolia) is also a longstanding part of China’s territory. Tibetans, of course, tend to think otherwise, as do the Uighur people of Xinjiang, for example. There have been reports of human rights abuses concerning Chinese suppression of voices speaking up for Tibetan independence. However, what is likely to be more effective in the long-term is the economic colonization of Tibet rather than its political counterpart. Economics usually trumps politics, in most countries anyway.

The opening of a new railway line linking China to Tibet has intensified the effect of economic change in the mountain land once known as Shangri-La. The line makes it very much easier to gain access to Tibet – previously, the capital of Lhasa was accessible only by air. That makes trade much more practical and, where trade takes place, there are generally benefits for consumers while some local producers will be put out of business as they find imported goods of a better quality or lower price than they can manage. Thousands of Han Chinese have been moving to Tibet in the hope of a better life. Several Chinese government campaigns have encouraged this trend, as the need for more balanced regional development across the country has become evident. One of these has been to establish an economic development zone at Lhasa, which is, albeit slowly, drawing interest from companies from across China…

See also Walsh’s History of Tibet (2008).


demanding Tibetan racial purity along the lines of his Nazi mentor, SS Captain Heinrich Harrer

That of course is both a slur and a travesty. Visit: The Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

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Posted by on March 17, 2008 in Chinese and China, current affairs


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4 responses to “The natives are so damned ungrateful…

  1. marcellous

    March 17, 2008 at 11:53 am

    YOu do know that the first of the pictures (the train and the antelope) is a very famous photoshop stitch-up (ie, fake), don’t you?

    See eswn for more.

  2. ninglun

    March 17, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    No, but even so it can stand I guess.

  3. ninglun

    March 17, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    Decided to replace the pic.

  4. marcellous

    March 17, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    You could have left it: the fake has its own intrinsic interest. Chinese LOVE the Tibetan antelope rather like Australians love whales.

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