Thursday, May 17, 2007

Meeting the Dalai Lama

The hypocritical Mr Rudd as well as Mr Howard should both meet with the Dalai Lama. The DL is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people regardless of what the Chinese invaders of Tibet say. The DL is also a decent person who receives and deserves respect.

Howard has met the DL but Rudd has not despite criticising Alexander Downer in the past for not doing so. Rudd is fearful of cantankerous, Chinese paranoia in relation to the DL. They fear the respect the people of Tibet – and people around the world – feel for this remarkable man. Rudd is a cowardly hypocrite who only changed his views once Howard declared he would try to meet the DL.

I agree that in international affairs cost-benefit analysis should be applied. But the costs of meeting the DL do not only include the costs of offending China. They also include the cost of accepting the implications of the Chinese invasion of Tibet and, as an occupying force, of subsequent Chinese attempts to repopulate Tibet with Chinese and to destroy Tibetan culture.

The latter is also very costly in terms of establishing precedents. Moreover, the benefits from cordially greeting this leader include the respect that most Australians feel for the DL. For once I agree with Bob Brown – Rudd is out of touch with the views of most Australians.

Questions also need to be raised about Rudd's foreign policy reliability.


conrad said...


the problem with Australians criticizing China over Tibet is that if you substitute "China" for "Australian" and "Tibetans" for "Black People" you end up with essentially the same story.

"X was a much more powerful nation than Y. X invaded Y, and did a good job of oppressing the people. No doubt some genocide occured, and X settled the region. A large number of years later , X felt a bit guilty, so started making up strange excuses for their previous actions. However, they weren't sorry for what they did, because, after all, it wasn't them that did it (it was their long dead relatives), and thought that thats just the way life is."

and so on.

No doubt China is worth criticizing on this matter, but in the end, I do see that offending China at a political level is currently advantageous,.

hc said...

Conrad, Did you really want that last 'do'? Of course, the mixed treatment of indigenous Australians by white settlers does not justify Chinese oppression of Tibetans.

conrad said...

Of course I meant don't.

I realize two wrongs don't make a right here, but I think that the Australian view of history works on a much smaller time-span than the Chinese view. Because of this, I doubt the Chinese see themselves at as much worse than Australians on these matters -- and its worth also noting that when Tibet was taken, it wasn't exactly the best time in Chinese history either -- far worse than any that have occured in Australia's history.

For these (and other) reasons I don't see shouting at the Chinese about these as worthwhile -- I think far more can (and has been) done behind the scenes. Its also worthwhile noting that there are groups far worse off in Chinese (Uighurs), but I don't see anyone meeting with their representatives.