A Quiet Treachery

Earlier this year, the world was shocked by pictures out of Tibet, of Buddhist monks and members of the Tibetan people being brutally assaulted by Chinese military forces, for daring to protest the sixty year occupation of their country.

The response from western governments was, to say the least, cowardly. Beijing was preparing to host the Olympic Games. No-one wanted to upset the applecart by risking criticism, and only a few politicians quietly whispered of the possibility of Olympic boycott.

Even they caved before the International Olympic Committee, and a swift diplomatic message from the Chinese government regarding future trade deals. All must be spic and span, clean and politically tidy, for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad. The Chinese promised openness and honesty for all, and reneged on both counts, but the Beijing games were an outstanding success – at least for China.

Meanwhile, Tibet was casually dropped from western media attention, and, along with the hopes and aspirations of a few million Tibetans, allowed to slide into obscurity.

That is, until now, and a global recession that threatens to bankrupt the western world. China has become an important player in the efforts to prevent the global economy nosediving further, and Britain’s prime minister, Gordon Brown, is spearheading talks to introduce a new global order, in which he sees China’s involvement as crucial.

So crucial, in fact, he’s publicly sold the Tibetan people down the river, in order to get it.

Just a couple of weeks ago, the British government quietly announced its decision to recognize China’s sovereignty over Tibet. So quietly, that hardly any foreign media carried the story. And that’s hardly surprising, given that other western nations have, apparently, already decided to back the Chinese communist government’s occupation of Tibet, and have done so with such stealth that nobody knew about it -until now.

This week, one of the BBC’s greatest journalists, John Simpson, secured an interview with a senior Chinese official, Zhu Weiqun, an expert on Tibet, who said the UK’s move had brought it “in line with the universal position in today’s world”.[1]

The BBC also reported that:

In a little publicised parliamentary statement on 29 October, UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband…….asserted, “Like every other EU member state, and the United States, we regard Tibet as part of the People’s Republic of China.”[2]

Around thirteen hundred years ago, Tibet was first unified as a kingdom by Songtsän Gampo, the founder of the Tibetan empire. Just seven hundred years prior to that, or so the Bible tells us, one Judas Iscariot was paid forty pieces of silver to betray the Son of God.

Since that time, the teachings of Jesus have come under assault and betrayal by priests and politicians prepared to re-enact the Judas Iscariot story to further their own selfish ends. It goes on to this day.

The betrayal of Tibet by western leaders is not just the abandoning of a nation, but the ditching of everything we hold sacred in our society: honor, trust, duty, the need to do what is right whatever the cost.

It is an abandonment of those qualities our fathers and grandfathers were told they were sacrificing their lives in two world wars to uphold.

This time, the blood money comes not in Roman silver, but Chinese gold.

[1] “China minister speaks on Tibet (video)” BBC, November 14th 2008

[2] “China welcomes UK Tibet decision” BBC, November 15th 2008

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4 Replies to “A Quiet Treachery”

  1. Twilight – We can, as the saying goes, “live in hope, even if we die in despair.”
    Obama will be up against huge forces if he attempts to change the world’s status quo on this issue. China is holding many good cards right now, given the global financial situation. Most of the western world is in hock to Hu Jintao, which gives him a very strong hand. It will take a clever leader to win concessions on that front. Obama, however, is still an unknown quantity. He’s certainly clever.

    Many thanks for an interesting link.

  2. Ah, to follow the money, always the ONLY policy in this cracked up world. China is the new Master of the Universe. What China sez, we do. It is that simple.
    Tibet has been thrown to the wolves. Along with Iraq. Along with Darfur. And on.
    I really would like someone to smash my cynicism into smithereens. I really would.

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