Notes from Lhasa

Through some magnificent quirk of fate I am in Lhasa, and it is National Day in the PRC.  On this cool autumn morning, I stood on the long stone steps of the Potala Palace, watching phalanxes of People’s Liberation Army troops pour out in succession — their chests thrust forward, expansive, the sounds of their military songs beating sharply off of the white and red … Continue reading Notes from Lhasa

Portland, Tibet, and “Meddling in Internal Affairs”

The city of Portland, Oregon, is known as an aspiring utopia and somewhat left-wing city enamored of coffee, bicycles, religious tolerance and sustainable living.  It is, at least as cities go, a bit remarkable.  It is also one of the more friendly places in North America for people who believe that Chinese policy in Tibet is without moral justification. On March 8, The Oregonian, Portland’s … Continue reading Portland, Tibet, and “Meddling in Internal Affairs”

人多没办法! Viewing Chinese Power thro the Lens of Spring Festival Chaos

As pundits both knowledgeable and sketchy proclaim a new era in Chinese global assertiveness, it’s helpful to recall one thing: the Chinese people are an immense force, a force whose collective and chaotic power is never more evident to Chinese leaders than in the Spring Festival travel season. For this reason, I have to recommend scrolling through this Huanqiu BBS photo-montage of the craziness of … Continue reading 人多没办法! Viewing Chinese Power thro the Lens of Spring Festival Chaos

US-China: Le Grand Refroidissement

Precisely one year ago, Le Monde asked in an uncharacteristically blaring headline: “US-Chine: Le Grande Refroidissement? [US-China: The Great Re-Freeze?]” Well, today that article appears to be rather prescient. From Taiwan to Google to the Dalai Lama to pending and present trade disputes, there is more than enough acrimony to go around. Perhaps this means that French journalism and commentary about East Asia generally, and … Continue reading US-China: Le Grand Refroidissement

“They Have Guns, and I, a Pen”: Highly Valuable New Source on the Tibetan Rebellion

This 297-page first-person account of the Tibetan uprising of spring 2008 is being published, like, today, in Germany: Tsering Woeser is a Tibetan writer and blogger.  Her book is being published by Lungta Verlag, which is the publishing house for the German Tibet Initiative.  The direct translation of the title into Chinese is “你有枪,我有笔,” but in fact the original title was 《鼠年雪狮吼》 which had been … Continue reading “They Have Guns, and I, a Pen”: Highly Valuable New Source on the Tibetan Rebellion

Total Fiasco: Dalai Lama to Visit Taiwan

Just when you thought it was safe to stop reading those oh-so-comprehensive Chinese nationalistic rags like the Global Times, here comes another story ripe with intrigue that Xinhua and the rest of us cannot ignore. In the aftermath of Ma Ying-jeou’s questionable handling of the typhoon relief operations, local mayors have invited, and His Holiness has accepted, an invitation to afflicted areas in southern Taiwan. … Continue reading Total Fiasco: Dalai Lama to Visit Taiwan

Paris-Pekin: Supplice chinois

Commentary: Note how in knots the Chinese have the French.  Setting aside the standard discount for French self-flagellation, the following article very much indicates that after forty-five years of relations, the relationship between the two republics, while profitable to each, is very much driven by Chinese imperatives.      excerpt: Marc Epstein, “Paris-Pekin: Supplice chinois: pour mettre fin a la brouille entre les deux pays … Continue reading Paris-Pekin: Supplice chinois