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Proletarian issue 23 (April 2008)
Editorial: Tibet
CPGB-ML strongly condemns attacks on China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity
Western imperialism, led first by Britain and then by the United States, has for over a century dreamt of splitting Tibet away from China, even more so after the Chinese Revolution in 1949, in order to dominate the region and use it as a garrison from which to control both China and India.

The CIA has been involved regularly in attempts to force Tibet’s secession, its role in the past including training and arming counterrevolutionaries and terrorists and parachuting them into Tibet in the hope of provoking popular rebellion against China.

These methods failed miserably and have been abandoned, but attempts to find a way of destabilising Tibet continue unabated, and the occasion of China’s hosting of the Olympic Games this year has been seized upon by western imperialism and reactionaries of Tibetan descent as the opportunity for yet another effort in this direction.

The imperialist media blame the failure of counterrevolution in Tibet on the sheer brutality and ‘human rights abuses’ used by China to suppress the Tibetan ‘popular masses’. The truth, however, is that the Tibetan popular masses do not support any attempts to force secession on Tibet, and that China uses its force only to counter the force used by a handful of imperialist-financed and inspired reactionaries in the latter’s efforts to destabilise Tibet.

In the latest riots, which broke out on 14 March 2008, saboteurs and wreckers, supposedly committed to traditional Tibetan religious cultural values of non-violence as publicly preached by the Dalai Lama, attacked and set fire to schools, public buildings and shops owned by defenceless ethnic Chinese and muslims. On the first day, they injured 623 people, including 241 police, and killed 18.

We are confident that the Chinese authorities, including the Tibetan authorities, acting in the interests of the vast majority of the Tibetan people and other residents of Tibet, will have little difficulty in suppressing these vile troublemakers – precisely because these evil-doers have negligible support among the masses, notwithstanding the Dalai Lama’s manipulation of those of them who still harbour religious beliefs.

The Dalai Lama and his ilk do not represent the Tibetan masses. Proof of that is the fact that in order to preserve any credence at all among Tibetan religious believers, the Dalai Lama has to pretend that he is not interested in the secession of Tibet, only in ‘more autonomy’ in order to preserve Tibet’s ‘cultural heritage’.

This is the purest hypocrisy, as the Dalai Lama has always fallen in gleefully with the propaganda campaigns of the US aimed at fanning secessionist flames in Tibet.

The Tibetan masses, however, want Tibet to remain part of China so that they can continue to enjoy ever-improving living and cultural standards, along with the rest of the Chinese people.

US imperialism does not recruit its counterrevolutionaries from among the Tibetan masses but from among the 10 percent of the Tibetan population that constituted the feudal landlord class before the Chinese Revolution, along with a minority of monks hailing from the former ruling class, who kept the masses in such a state of backwardness before the revolution that there was not a single hospital or school in the whole of Tibet.

Life for the vast majority of the population in those days was precarious and burdened with debt (the monasteries being the chief usurers), as a result of which the Tibetan ruling class could not rely on religion alone to keep the masses enslaved but had regular resort to methods of extreme brutality, with every feudal manor keeping special instruments for gouging out people’s eyes, hamstringing and other tortures.

Killing the smallest living creature is of course an anathema to ‘non-violent’ Tibetan Buddhism, but in view of the need to terrorise the peasantry into submission, the religious authorities drew a jesuitical distinction between flogging rebellious peasants to death (not allowed) and flogging them to the point that they were bound to die of their injuries (permitted).

If getting out of this tradition of brutality and torture, ignorance and backwardness amounts to ‘cultural genocide’, it is a ‘genocide’ that has been heartily welcomed by the Tibetan masses, notwithstanding the religious beliefs of many of them. They also welcome the genuine respect that the Chinese people’s state has always had for their culture, its promotion of the Tibetan language, its preservation of their historic monuments, and its research projects into their cultural traditions with a view to preserving them for the benefit of future generations.

Were Tibet to have been prised away from China, we can be certain that none of these efforts to preserve Tibetan culture would have been made; the masses would have been plunged back into dire poverty and theocratic barbarism.

Anglo-American imperialism, which has for the past five years been waging a brutal predatory war against the Iraqi people, killing 1.5 million Iraqis, displacing 4 million more, and subjecting the entire population to systematic torture, brutality and humiliation, are hardly in a position to lecture others on human rights – especially when those accused in this case, the Chinese authorities, are guilty of no such violations.

It would be much better for these two powers to direct their admonitions to themselves, to their occupation forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to the Israeli zionists engaged in the round-the-clock suppression of the Palestinian people.

In view of the above, therefore, the CPGB-ML:

•    condemns all attempts to bring about the secession of Tibet from China as being designed to harm the interests of the Tibetan and Chinese people for the benefit of western imperialism;

•    condemns the current attempts to sabotage China’s Olympic Games in order to use the event for an orgy of black propaganda against China;

•    condemns the vile hypocrisy of the Dalai Lama, who preaches non-violence for public consumption while siding with the most outrageous counterrevolutionary violence; and

supports the right and duty of the Chinese state to suppress by force the activities of the murderous reactionaries who have been attacking, injuring and killing innocent people while destroying private and public property at the behest of foreign imperialist powers.
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