A Word to My Pro-China Commenters

In the last three weeks I’ve been getting volumes of comments from Chinese citizens, China supporters, and Chinese expats regarding Tibet. I have not approved any of them. You’re not seeing these comments on my site because I frankly don’t care to provide a forum for anti-Tibetan, historical revisionism on behalf of a country that has oppressed Tibetans for over 50 years and is responsible for the death of at least 1.2 million Tibetans in that time. This is my website. It, like China, is not a free country. But unlike China it is not a country – it’s just a blog run by me, a guy with things to write about the world around him. As such, I have no obligation to give people who not only disagree with me, but support policies of violence in response to calls for freedom and who cheer on the cultural genocide of Tibet.

That’s not to say that I don’t use this blog as a forum for discussion with people who don’t agree with me. I’ve had many Republican commenters who I argue with on FISA, Iraq, the rule of law, and torture policy (to name a few topics). But those are discussions that take place amongst people who, under the law, are equals. We may disagree, but neither side faces systemic efforts by the powers that be to literally destroy either of us for making our arguments. This is not the case when it comes to Tibet and China. In fact, the opposite is true.

Chinese government sympathizers have all the power in the dynamic. They have the guns, the troops, the money, and a terrifying willingness to use all of these things to control, subjugate, and marginalize Tibetans. Through population transfer, Han Chinese settlers now outnumber Tibetans in their own land. Through the addition of arbitrary lines on maps, China has fractured Tibet into so many pieces that it has changed what the world casually considers to be Tibet. In such a situation, I feel no need to give the oppressors space to continue their oppression in the marketplace of ideas online.

I choose not to give them one more platform, however small, to extend their hegemony and their efforts to silence Tibetans and their supporters. If any of my pro-China commenters have a problem with this, I have a suggestion for you. Rather than trolling my comments sections and making me delete dozens of your comments, go start your own blog and run it however you please.

6 thoughts on “A Word to My Pro-China Commenters

  1. The public in China has a so extremely different view on the situation than people outside the country. Most of the PRC citizens are victims of the propaganda they see everyday. As a result of this unhealthy nationalism, “human rights” as a concept is seen in China more and more as a “cover up” for other interests. This paranoia by the Chinese public is very dangerous for a dialogue on reforms in the country. The Olympic games boycott is a similar problem. See http://newphilosophy.wordpress.com/2008/03/26/why-an-olympia-boycott-is-bad-for-human-rights-in-china/


  2. I don’t think the problem is what Chinese citizens think or even, more broadly, does my problem with China regarding Tibet relate at all to Chinese citizens. The problem is with the Chinese government.

    A handful of individuals going to blog comment sections to relay PRC propaganda regarding Tibet isn’t the issue, nor does my desire to keep this as a positive forum for freedom loving people constitute a complaint against the Chinese people. I just don’t have any obligation to afford them a platform on my personal website.


  3. By reading/watching the recent news about the Tibet crisis, I have the following observations and comments.

    Wrong focus.

    Obviously there are deep rooted problems in Tibet that need the world’s attention… independent from the Beijing’s view. However, I believe most people are focused on the wrong points.

    For example both Senator McCain and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi denounced China’s crackdown in Tibet. Why focused on the “crackdown” which is to main law and order? Obviously there are voilent acts done by the protestors/rioters which are disturbing the peace of the society. Usisng a poor analogy… Image there are protests/riots in Los Angles and police are trying to maintain law and order, and the world leaders started to denounce the Los Angles police. That kind of condemnation makes no sense to any law-based society.

    We should be focused on (a) the deep root grievances of the protestors that sparked the riots and (b) the humane treatment of the people taken by the police?

    The first focus will produce some long term solutions (e.g. some negotiated soltuion with Dalai Lama). The second focus will help the immediate situation at hand.

    Just a personal view from Seattle.


  4. I think that’s a very thoughtful analysis Fred.

    What’s amazed me as someone who’s been involved in the Tibet movement for over 8 years is that there has never been this volume of support to change the underlying causes of these protests and the crackdown that followed. But as soon as images from the protests, riots, and military response came forth, the world wanted them to stop.

    China’s occupation is the fundamental disease afflicting Tibet and Tibetans. These protests are a response to the presence of the disease. The crackdown is a symptom of the disease. We must treat the disease, not merely the symptoms.


  5. You said “we must treat the disease”. I have two questions. The first is who are “we”? the second question is how?


  6. Dan,
    “We” is all people who support freedom and human rights, be they in Tibet and China or anywhere else in the world.

    You cure the disease by ending China’s occupation of Tibet and giving Tibet full independence.


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