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China Letter-News and Human Rights

China human rights news with focus on the Uygur of Xinjiang, Tibetans and Tibet, Chinese mining workers, religion, corruption and censorship.

Saturday, May 29, 2004

China launches Tibet information blitz in US

Chinese Tibetan delegation in US.

Ms Choephel Tibetan HUnger striker is placed in an ambulance after collapsing at Tibetan UN protest in April. Pic courtesy Phayul.com An AFP article carried in the Tibetan news reporting website Phayul claims that China has "launched an information blitz" in the United States aimed to counter western perceptions of the situation in Tibet as concerns human-rights violations.

Leading this so called "blitz" is a delegation of "scholars and religious leaders" from Lhasa, capital of Tibet, who are on a week long tour of the United States and taking in visits to Washington, New York and Los Angeles.

The group will reportedly be meeting US legislators, students and staff of several US universities before returning to China this Sunday.

A spokesman from the Chinese embassy in Washington Sun Weide said the group, led by a University Tibetan Scholar, was in America to dispel "lots of misunderstandings"

He went on to say that

"One example is that many people in the West, particularly in the United States, consider Tibet to be an independent country when the fact of the matter is that Tibet has been incorporated in Chinese territory since the middle of the 13th century,"

Well I do not know whether a delegation of six on a one week trip and only taking in three cities could constitute a "blitz" but when combined with a series of press releases over the last several weeks trumpeting China's positive influence in Tibet, culminating in China releasing one of it's celebrated "White Papers" on the subject of Tibet autonomy, one could say at least it represents a very concerted propaganda exercise.

Lama told he can come home if he 'abandons his separatist propositions'

-Tibetan Delegation Leader-

The Chinese government does nothing without reason. Usually such an effort would be as a result of adverse world opinion over a contentious issue or meant as a "sales pitch" for some particular reason.

Recently the Dalai Lama has been doing some serious jetsetting and receiving whilst not tumultuous greetings wherever he goes the turnouts to his meetings have been quite sizeable and up on previous visits. His recent April trip to Canada has been described in true pop star terms as a "sellout". His meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Martin was seen as somewhat of a diplomatic coup especially in light of some pretty heavy lobbying and threats from the Chinese side.

He then did a quick skip to France before turning up at the inauguration of the Taiwanese president last Thursday and now he is in Britain and meeting the likes of the British Foreign Secretary and Prince Charles. Once again all despite some very heavily lobbying by China to have him virtually treated as "persona non gratis" wherever he goes.

China also took the expected flack over Tibet at the recent United Nations Human Rights Commission meetings in Geneva and a group of Tibetan hunger strikers in New York in April were able to get some fairly high level UN response to their "demands".

China tends to run a scoresheet on such things and when the deficit gets a little high they come out punching. Other than what is happening in Taiwan and the forthcoming 15th anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre (June 4) I can personally see no other reasons for this latest "blitz".

As I have said before the amount of animosity held by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) against the Dalai Lama is incomprehensible. They are doing more for the Lama's positive international standing and popularity then he is achieving himself but sometimes deep seated animosity can blind reason.

Link: Additional Information Read Rating:

China launches Tibet information blitz in US - www.phayul.com