One of the recurring topics in the news is the issue in Tibet. Rioters have been causing unrest and violence in the region of Tibet and there has been much pressure on the Chinese government.
The riots were a result of the anniversary of the failed March 10, 1959 uprising against Chinese ruling. These rioters have been doing everything from looting businesses to attacking ethnic minorities. Chinese authorities have sent military personnel to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. The relationship between China and Tibet has been tense because China believes Tibetans want independence, which they refuse to grant for Tibet. However, the Dalai Lama, leader of the exiled Tibet, claims that Tibet only seeks autonomy, which Tibet had enjoyed much of before the 20th century.
The Dalai Lama has been accused by China to have caused “the worst civil unrest to seize the remote region in nearly two decades” (Liu). He has also been accused of undermining the upcoming Olympic Games, which is less than five months away. According to the Dalai Lama, he wishes for Chinese authorities to change their attitudes of Tibetans and stop the discrimination of Tibetans. He also wishes for the Chinese to stop using violence against the rioters and approach the situation in a peaceful manner.
China has been getting much publicity, especially surrounding the much anticipated Beijing Olympics. There have been boycotts for environmental issues surrounding China, as well as China’s involvement in Darfur. China has also been under pressure to act in the political unrest in Myanmar, also known as Burma. There has been a lot of controversy for China to act in regards to these issues. The recent riots and protests in Tibet have made it harder for China to solely concentrate on the Olympics. As an avid supporter of the Olympics, I sincerely hope that China will pull off the Games successfully.
I realize how important it is to China to establish themselves as a world power and this is their moment to shine. At the same time, the controversy surrounding the Games and the pressure on the government is simply too much to ignore. I think China should consider acknowledging these issues more closely. I feel that China is simply trying to brush off these issues until the Games are over. If China really is a world power, then it should take more consideration on their environmental state. Beijing is heavily polluted and though the government has already taken measures to clean the air for the athletes, this change should continue until and after the Games have ended.
China should take more action in Darfur and Myanmar. As an emerging world power, China should take more of a stance on humanism and stop thinking merely nationally. Also, China should take more time in negotiating with Tibet to end the riots that have spread recently. Though I respect China’s governance, I also see that if China wants to be one of the more powerful countries in the world, there are responsibilities to uphold. If China wants to establish itself as a world power, it also needs to stand up to the responsibility of doing more for the world.
Liu, Melinda. “More Bloodshed in Tibet” Newsweek 24 March 2008
Liu, Melinda and Mazumdar, Sudip. “Fears and Tears” Newsweek.com 20 March 2008
Rabinowitz, Gavin. “Tibetans Expect Little Help from World” Associated Press Online 22 March 2008
This article was written by Connie Lu. The opinions of this author do not represent the views of the Temple City Voice. It was printed on March 26, 2008.