‘Mental Complexes’ Result in Western Sympathy for Tibet
Will it be possible to persuade Western governments and public opinion that China is the victim of Tibetan ‘running dogs’? In this op-ed from Hong Kong’s Wen Wei Po, published before the voyage of the Olympic torch began, Hong Kong television commentator Dr. Qiu Zhenhai explains how the Beijing government can turn the public relations battle in its favor. Far more reasonable – even to the point of admitting error on the part of the Chinese government – the key, according to the author, is to understand the flaws and contradictions in Western thinking and to mount a massive new public relations campaign.
By Dr. Qiu Zhenhai, commentator for Hong Kong’s Phoenix TV
Translated By Mark Klingman
March 22. 2008
China – Wen Wei Po – Original Article (Chinese)
Tibet’s largest riot in 20 years has aroused international concern. Although over the past few days Chinese officials have released some news, they have yet to allow foreign reporters to interview the locals and the rumors are flying. Particularly European countries are of the belief that information from the Chinese government is wholly unreliable. This statement sounds harsh, but the Western world’s inherent thinking and feeling on the issue of Tibet is a reflection of this. If we carefully study the mentality behind this thinking and improve China’s international public-relations skills, we can try to overcome the limitations of the West’s political culture.
The Olympic Games in Beijing are still four and a half months away. Although this is a moment of crisis, the crisis may also offer opportunities.
Tibet is a complicated issue. There does need to be a deeper, more respectful, civilized dialogue and an improvement in relations between Han Chinese and Tibetans. But long-term delays and the way the Tibetan running-dogs have acted in their own political interests have resulted in the growing complication of Tibetan affairs. But looked at in isolation, it’s clear that the disturbances, rioting, vandalism and heinous disorder are being dealt with according to the law. If any incident of this kind took place in a Western country, regardless of the “complexity” of the surrounding issues, the local government would carry out effective programs to clamp down and maintain peace. The 1992 riots in Los Angeles as well as the 2005 riots in Paris are perfect examples.
Only on the Tibet issue do Western media and intelligentsia diverge from their usual thinking. In the past, Western intellectuals have almost unanimously condemned the Chinese government over Tibet. In regard to the current turmoil, they have condemned the use of force and demanded official Chinese restraint, regardless of the facts surrounding the riots. But the West’s criticism is in stark contrast to its long history of intellectual and empirical rigor, because it is fully aware that the question of Tibet is a deep and complex one. Therefore we must take the first step: We must study the Western position on the question of Tibet, along with the international public relations measures utilized by Western intellectuals.
TIBET: A WESTERN BLIND SPOT AND MENTAL COMPLEX
On the question of Tibet, Western intellectuals have multiple overlaid and intertwined complexes. So when they speak with the appearance of “rationality” on the issue of Tibet, they merely give vent to their own confusion and demonstrate the vicious circle that they’ve gotten themselves into.
COMPLEX NUMBER ONE: The long-standing, traditional liberalism and idealism of the West, which is concerned primarily with civil liberties, human rights, self-determination, and confidence in basic government, arose out of the Renaissance and the bourgeois [industrial] revolution. These ideas are the precious spiritual wealth of the West. The trouble is that for a variety of reasons, when this spiritual wealth encounters the Tibet issue, it gets twisted and perverted.
COMPLEX NUMBER TWO: Over the past few centuries because of the success of modernization, there has been a “tilting” process toward the West. The West has become a model for the world in human rights, democracy, freedom, civil law, and the self-determination of peoples. These have become so-called natural, mainstream values, and therefore in the exchanges between the West and China, the West has had a commanding position. China is not and should not reject these ideals due to their Western origins. Rather, China should take part in these universal values of freedom, democracy, and human rights, and should remain “inclined” toward dialog with the West.
COMPLEX NUMBER THREE: Along with the rapid development of the West and shift of the East-West balance toward the West (especially the major European countries), there has also come an odd spread of primitive “hippie” culture – those in search of novelty and interested in “finding themselves” – as well as religious fanaticism, the leading representatives of this being Africa and Tibet.
READ ON AT WORLDMEETS.US, along with continuing translated foreign press coverage of the controversy surrounding the 2008 Olympics as it relates to the United States.