Fareed Zakaria at PostGlobal

Fareed Zakaria

Editor of Newsweek International, columnist

PostGlobal co-moderator Fareed Zakaria is editor of Newsweek International, overseeing all Newsweek's editions abroad. He writes a regular column for Newsweek, which also appears in Newsweek International and often The Washington Post. He is a member of the roundtable of ABC News' "This Week with George Stephanapoulos" as well as an analyst for ABC News. And he is the host of a new weekly PBS show, "Foreign Exchange" which focuses on international affairs. His most recent book, "The Future of Freedom," was published in the spring of 2003 and was a New York Times bestseller and is being translated into eighteen languages. He is also the author of "From Wealth to Power: The Unusual Origins of America's World Role" (Princeton University Press), and co-editor of "The American Encounter: The United States and the Making of the Modern World" (Basic Books). Close.

Fareed Zakaria

Editor of Newsweek International, columnist

PostGlobal co-moderator Fareed Zakaria is editor of Newsweek International, overseeing all Newsweek's editions abroad. He writes a regular column for Newsweek, which also appears in Newsweek International and often The Washington Post. more »

Main Page | Fareed Zakaria Archives | PostGlobal Archives


Our Tibet Protests Won't Work

Public humiliation does not work nearly as well on the regime in Beijing as private pressure.At first glance, China's recent crackdown in Tibet looks like a familiar storyline: a dictatorship represses its people. And of course that's part of the reality -- as it often is in China. But on this issue, the communist regime is not in opposition to its people. The vast majority of Chinese have little sympathy for the Tibetan cause. To the extent that we can gauge public opinion in China and among its diaspora, ordinary Chinese are, if anything, critical of the Beijing government for being too easy on the Tibetans. The real struggle here is between a nationalist majority and an ethnic and religious minority looking to secure its rights.

In these circumstances, a boycott of the Olympics would have precisely the opposite effect that is intended. The regime in Beijing would become only more defensive and stubborn. The Chinese people would rally around the flag and see the West as trying to humiliate China in its first international moment of glory. (There are many suspicions that the United States cannot abide the prospect of a rising China.) For most Chinese, the Games are about the world's giving China respect, rather than bolstering the Communist Party's legitimacy.

For leaders to boycott the Games' opening ceremonies alone is an odd idea. Is the president of the United States supposed to travel to Beijing to attend the women's water-polo finals instead? (Britain's Gordon Brown, for instance, has said he'll attend the closing, but not the opening ceremonies.) Picking who will go to which event is trying to have it both ways, voting for the boycott before you vote against it. Some want to punish China for its association with the Sudanese government, which is perpetrating atrocities in Darfur. But to boycott Beijing's Games because it buys oil from Sudan carries the notion of responsibility too far. After all, the United States has much closer ties to Saudi Arabia, a medieval monarchy that has funded Islamic terror. Should the world boycott America for this relationship?

China's attitude toward Tibet is wrong and cruel, but, alas, not that unusual. Other nations, especially developing countries, have taken tough stands against what they perceive as separatist forces. A flourishing democracy like India has often responded to such movements by imposing martial law and suspending political and civil rights. The Turks for many decades crushed all Kurdish pleas for linguistic and ethnic autonomy. The democratically elected Russian government of Boris Yeltsin responded brutally to Chechen demands. Under Yeltsin and his successor, Vladimir Putin, also elected, the Russian Army killed about 75,000 civilians in Chechnya, and leveled its capital. These actions were enthusiastically supported within Russia. It is particularly strange to see countries that launched no boycotts while Chechnya was being destroyed -- and indeed welcomed Russia into the G8 -- now so outraged about the persecution of minorities. (In comparison, estimates are that over the past 20 years, China has jailed several hundred people in Tibet.)

On this issue, the Bush administration has so far followed a wiser course, forgoing the grandstanding taking place in Europe and on the campaign trail. It has been urging the Chinese government quietly but firmly to engage in serious discussions with the Dalai Lama. Diplomacy can be scoffed at, but every multinational business that has had success in persuading the Chinese government to change course will testify that public humiliation does not work nearly as well on the regime as private pressure.


Negotiating with the Dalai Lama is in Beijing's interest as well. It faces a restive population that lives in about 13 percent of the land area of China. Many Tibetans want independence. But the Dalai Lama has repeatedly said that he does not seek independence, only cultural autonomy. Even last week he rejected any boycott of the Olympics and urged his followers to engage in no violent protests whatsoever. If there were ever a leader of a separatist group whom one could negotiate with, he's it. And once the 72-year-old Dalai Lama passes from the scene, Beijing might have to deal with a far more unpredictable and radical Tibetan movement.

So why doesn't the Chinese regime see this? Beijing has a particular problem. Now that communism is dead, the Communist Party sees its legitimacy as linked to its role in promoting and defending Chinese nationalism. It is especially clumsy when it comes to such issues. Clever technocrats though they are, China's communist leaders -- mostly engineers -- have not had to refine their political skills as they have their economic touch. In the past they have stoked anti-Japanese and anti-American outbursts, only to panic that things were getting out of control and then reverse course. They fear that compromising over Tibet would set a precedent for the unraveling of the Chinese nation. China has grown and shrunk in size over the centuries, and its dynasties have often been judged by their success in preserving the country's geography.

In fact, in almost all cases -- Turkey, India -- granting autonomy to groups that press for it has in the end produced a more stable and peaceful national climate. But that is a lesson the Chinese government will have to learn for itself; it is unlikely to take instruction from outsiders. Its handling of the protests in Tibet is disgraceful. But humiliating the entire country over it would make matters worse.

Comments (50)

Anonymous:

The whole of USA is the true Tibet, either all white people go home or the whole USA should become an automony.

Tensherab:

What is basic human needs!!! human needs to practice their own religion, perserve their own culture and tradition.and also language... Chines always trying to abolished and destroyed these things. Once Mao has destroyed chinese culture during cultural revolution.
Is these thing is justified ?
His holiness is seeking for autonomy due to above reason. this is my personal reason. World has to support him and solove problem through peace.

Bill:

It is a shame that almost all those who support so called "free tibet" have never been to tibet or China. Tibet have been part of China for 800 years, longer that European moved to America. Can we say free america, give the land back to Red Indian? So hypocritical some people can be. Tibetian in China are happy and only the previous slave owers who lost their land and slaves are not happy and try to disturb the life of China.

Gumpbob:

China have been communicate with Dalai lama for many years, Dalai lama always say he just want the culture automony of tibet, but do you know his definition about autonomy?
The first one: He want the autonomy of "big tibet", which includes tibet, sichuan, yunnan,gansu,qinghai, only in sichuan, there are 100 million people and most of the people are han chinese.
The second one:the chinese amry have to evacuate from the "big tibet" and other nationalities including han have to evacuate from "big tibet" too.

tarquinis:

Historical references notwithstanding, in the sense that all can see whatever they may choose to find valid, China will never relent to permit Tibet's independence or even substantial autonomy for the reason that it constitutes the "high ground" in a military and strategic sense that could threaten them.

Any power foreign or domestic that controls Tibet can threaten China in their evaluation, which is the one that counts. After their history of the last few centuries, replete with foreign conquests and domination, and now that they have established a strong central government with a vibrant economy, it does not seem likely at all that they would permit any force to dominate Tibet.

AussieDigger:

TO IMPROVE HUMAN RIGHTS, CHINA MUST TRY TO FOLLOW THE EXAMPLE OF THE GREAT WESTERN DEMOCRACIES.

LIKE AMERICA : China should open its own Guantanamo Bay, secretly eavesdrop on its own citizens, deny the Geneva Convention, set up torture centres in China and overseas, station its troops in 30 or 40 countries, support various dictatorial regimes, bomb and occupy other countries, preach “democracy” to the rest of the world, ignore the UN, etc, etc.

Or maybe LIKE INDIA, "the greatest world democracy", where over 300 million people are "untouchables" and live on about one dollar
a week cleaning toilets and sewers, etc.

Or perhaps LIKE AUSTRALIA, where we are well known for the fantastic treatment of our Aboriginal people. For example, in Tasmania, we nearly solved the "Aboriginal problem" by killing them all.
Being democratic, of course, we recently said “Sorry”.

YES, CHINA REALLY HAS A LOT TO LEARN ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS !!

Rechmond wang:

Hu,the leader of China,said Tibet issue is not the problem of human rights,but the problem of national sovereignty.First,It's right action for the gov handling the Tibet riots which the Tibetens using violence against innocent han chineses,no goverment would allow such blood.It's the small group of Tibetan instigated by Dalai Clique not the chinese gov that abuse the human rights. Secondly,the Tibetans out of china are only small part of Tibtans and can not represent other 98% Tibetans in China. Thirdly, Tibet is inalienable place of china for about 700 years,it is not an independant country now and forever.

Pema:

RENT A CROWD:

China has now stooped so low that it started to rent a crowd to swamp pro Tibetan protesters against Chinese illegal occupation and repressive and bloody crackdown on the protesters.

Chinese even pressured Nepal to post armed military to shoot at sight any protester at Nepal side of the Everest.

Most of the Pro-Chinese protester are paid by Chinese government. In USA each individual is paid $300/- plus conveyance. All the protester are trucked by Chinese Consul Office.

Since the Paris and London Torch Relay debacle the local Chinese Embassy and consul office have organized a "Rent a Crowd" starting from San Francisco.

Nivedita:

Just as the Chinese resented Japanese occupation of China, they should be able to see why the Tibetans resent Chinese occupation of Tibet!

Its amazing how the victims have become the perpetrators in this case!

Watchout:

To all purveyors of hatred and anti-whatever racists:
John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.
Psalm 68:1
Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered; And let those who hate Him flee before Him.
As smoke is driven away, so drive them away;
As wax melts before the fire, So let the wicked perish before God.

Why am I doing this? Just so that you cannot come before God and say no-one told you so. I told you so. Your self-righteousness and "human rights" hypocrisy will not save you on the day you die.

Bruno38:

Mr. Cafferty from CNN is the best journalist in Amercia media. His commentaries and analyses find no equal among some BORING-AND-LAZY-MIND journalists in America. I strongly support Mr Cafferty and look forward hearing his voice every day at CNN. If chinese people don't like democracy and criticism, stay in your country and enjoy this dictature of monsters, that is China. It is disgusting to see China killing Tibet culture and people. We have to boycott all this shit products MADE IN CHINA that STUPID WHITE PEOPLE purchase in America. We have to show China we respect Human Rights and like good product and not this poisened pet food made by this bitter-poor-100$-salary-a-month people in this cave, that is China.

Kevin Rudd:

Turtle's Egg,You asked ," Who are you and for whom do you work? " . I can tell you ,I am a commonplace Chinese , I work for my motherland . Also , I can tell you why it is impossible that you understand the Chinese , because our Chinese peoples have more than 5000's splendid history and civilization , and you ? If you wake up to this early , I believe , you didn't say that yet .
We always respect you , including western countries , but you ? Please see these facts : your distored media , your arrogant and petty people , your militant nature , and so on . If you only want to tell what , I am waiting for you .

Watchout:

To all purveyor of hatred and anti-Chinese racists, beware! God is here. Have you noticed how a tornado tore through Atlanta (a very very unusual occurence in a city) and landed at CNN's office when CNN blatantly replaces a netizen's photo showing mobsters throwing stones at a truck? Have you noticed how the protests backfired when a crippled had to defend the Olympic torch in Paris? Evil men may plan but God's will shalt be done!

conspiracist:

We'll see in hindsight after the Olympics whether these protesters are sincere and still keep protesting, or they were just out to spoil the party.

Carlton Aresenault:

Thanks to Kelly Miller - - I didn't know that even Google was censored on the Chinese website. It's deplorable how the PRC has no freedom of the press. No freedom of speech. These are all basic human rights that no society should be denied. It's time for the PRC to evolve from their Dark Age tactics.

opagme:

"[A]ll Chinese who have had any schooling have learned in their study of geography that Tibet is a part of China; that it has never occurred to them that there is any question about this as a matter of simple fact; and that these are politically speaking, the Chinese people." (Chinese Foreign Minister, T.V. Song quoted in 1943).

"Tibet possessed both actual and formal independence throughout this period [1911-50] and, indeed, was indisputably a separate State throughout its history, despite the sometimes considerable foreign interference in its affairs. Since the reunification of Tibet under the Sakya hierarchs backed by the Mongolian Emperors in the mid-thirteenth century and its reemergence as a fully independent State under the rule of Changchub Gyaltsen less than a century later, the State of Tibet never ceased to exist. Neither the protection exercised by the Manchu Emperors nor their intervention in Tibetan affairs, nor even their temporary occupation of Lhasa immediately prior to the 1911 revolution can constitute proof of the extinction of the Tibetan State. This conclusion follows logically in international law from the presumption of continued statehood. Any other conclusion would necessarily lead to the legally incorrect and politically unacceptable notion that a State such as Bhutan, which is formally bound to India by a protectorate arrangement, has lost its independence, or that, for example, Czechoslovakia and East Germany cannot be considered independent States because the Soviet Union exerts considerable actual influence over their affairs and maintains troops on their soil. Above, all, whatever influence the Manchus ever did exert in and over Tibet had totally eroded by the beginning of the twentieth century. Thus, in 1950, Tibet was no more bound to China than The Netherlands is to Spain or France, whose rulers asserted their authority over The Netherlands in past centuries. Indeed, whatever the role of the Manchu Emperors at the peak of their authority in the eighteenth century, the largely uninterrupted separate existence of the Tibetan State throughout history and the Tibetans’ full reassertion of independence since 1911 amply justify the conclusion that on the eve of the Chinese Communist invasion, officially launched in October 1950, Tibet was a State independent both in fact and in law.”
Michael van Walt van Praag; The Status of Tibet; P. 140-1

Tibet is not China and never has been. Even if one accepts Chinese propaganda (which is all that Chinese citizens have been taught) that Tibet was part of past Mongol, Chinese and Manchu Empires, Tibet declared its independence from the Manchu Empire in 1911 (as did China) and functioned as an independent state until 1950. That is sufficient to establish Tibet's independence. After all, Poland did not cease to exist even though it was for centuries part of the Russian Empire. The fact that Tibet is an independent country has been hidden from the Chinese people by their governments for one hundred years. Tibet is neither a restive province like Chechnya nor an unhappy minority like the Kurds. It is a county of 2000 years of age with a distinct people, history, language, religion, laws, culture, traditions, world view, currency, stamps, name, etc., etc. Significantly, Tibetans do not regard themselves as Chinese (or don't the Tibetans have any say in this?). Unlike Chechnya and the Kurds there is a cultural genocide in process and an attempt to ethnically cleanse Tibet by overwhelming migration.

Shades of George Orwell, China has perverted the meaning of words and has tried to erase history. Tibet is one quarter of the territory of the Chinese empire not the 13% that Mr. Zarkaria quotes. (China partitioned Tibet after conquest. What is referred to as the TAR is only Central and Western Tibet - U-Tsang). A further example:

"inasmuch as both Mongolia [sic] and Tibet are integral parts of the Chinese Republic..." (quoting from a 1929 edition of Tibet-Mongolia Weekly News - the official journal of Chiang Kai-shek's government.

Kelly Miller:

I whole- heartedly agree with Martin from New York. It is hard to value the sentiments of the Chinese people, since they exist within the vacuum of a state controlled press. I mean, ask a Chinese student about the Tankman picture from Tienamen Square and the student has no clue what the picture is from.
I think the protests are a good thing. The only problem is the spin applied to it from the Chinese government owned media. Whole parts of history are missing from Chinese record in the 'interest of security.' Google had to censor their website in order for China to let them have a Chinese Google page. People and companies keep bending to the government's will because they are a rising power. Well, I think it's about time that stopped. Protests and boycotts are definitely the way to go, and it's time the Chinese people learned some truth, even if it has to come from the western world. I also agree that if it wasn't Tibet, it would be Taiwan, the eviction of Chinese citizens for the building of the olympic stadium. I mean, is that really what the Olympics is about, eviction in the name of peace??? Because that is what the olympics is supposed to stand for, peace, right???

Hal:

Maybe we want to try to humiliate China. Maybe we don't want the Chinese people to have their moment of glory or any respect.

I doubt anything we do is going to make matters better or make matters worse. They should have never been given the Olympics. They don't deserve to be a member of the United Nations, or to have any right to trade with the West.

Nguyen:

Well written, Mr. Zakaria.

Communism uses national rhetoric to brainwash its people, from Vietnam to Cuba, from China to North Korea. They'll do anything to stay in power. Remember Tienament Square? They'll do anything to glorify their power. Just ask them about freedom of the press.

The West will soon come to regret.

Qin Yong Zhu:

"a dictatorship represses its people", "China's attitude toward Tibet is wrong and cruel".
If you really want to know what happened in 3.14 Lasar, please visit www.anti-cnn.com
At least Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr declared that 'US is the occupier of Iraq, US is my enemy'.
Do some research, who is financilly assisting 'Tibet Youth Congress' now.

Wanchuk:

Mr Zakaria,
A good journalist does his or her research first.
Do you think destroying and burning a mosque is a peaceful act of protest against the Chinese Government? Do you think brutalizing Hui Muslims another minority is peaceful protest? It is a good thing that the great majority of Tibetans are peaceful. Those who rioted are just a bunch of thugs who have to be caught and punished. I hope you would not repeat this unprofessional piece of writing.
Ma

John Nutt:

Tibet is and has never been not the issue. China is. If not Tibet, it would be Falungong, Uighur, dissidents, pollution, shoddy goods, dog-eating, inflation, SARS, etc.

China has 54 minority groups. There are so many bones to pick with them. It is not even funny.

International community? What is this & who are they? Who speaks for the international community or have the right to do so? There are over 200 countries in this world but there are only a handful who keep telling the world that they represent the international community. Is that how democracy supposed to work?

Nobody should blame Dalai Lama. He is paid to do a job and he does what he is told, period. How does he get paid anyway? How do the Tibetan exiles (100,000 strong) get paid for the last 60 years? Donation from good-hearted Samaritans having their cars washed by bikini-clad young ladies?

Nym:

Way to be a boot licking apologist.

Freespeech:

So, you too, Fareed Zakaria?
As an international correspondent, I thought you should know better than to mouth blindly, unthinking pet phrases such as "a dictatorship represses its people", "China's attitude toward Tibet is wrong and cruel". Indeed, you look foolish giving way to extremists who happen to be the flavour of the month.
And what do I know? Because both my parents are the only ones, out of a huge extended family, who escaped the excesses of Maoist expremism at its height.
And you know what? It is the godlessness of the west - yes, the gays, the promiscuity, the greed that led God to say, enough! another nation shall arise and . . . Mark my words and just watch.

A very balanced and realistic article.

Over reacting Tibet issue at this moment and sabotaging the spirit of Olympics will definately create doubts in all minds and in fact will be more harmful for the western world than China itself.

The debate already created a fresh rememberance of the earlier boycott of russian Oplympics which kept the atmosphere of olympics polluted for a decade.

When the Beijing was selected for Oplympics then Oplympics officials were very well aware of the political and social systems of china. Nothing dramatic happened since then.

So let the spitit of Oplympics spread the planet and may be we get more harmony and more underatanding between different cultures.

infoshop:

Do you want more perspective of the Tibet issue? Check out the link below:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8673

BRAMBLES:

TO MR./MS. L.Oberstein:

One thing to clarify, I have absolutely no objection to Tibetans protesting against their perceived "oppresion" or "abuse" of any kind. For your information, there are more than 50,000 public, mass protests in China EVERY YEAR since 2003, by the GOVERNMENT TALLY alone.
What we need you to understand is the so called "Nationalist Emotion" or "Anger" targets only the riot/violence that ensued. Many innocent Chinese were killed during the riots, if you recall. That's what most Chinese people resent. As for Tibet independence, that's another issue. For most Chinese, Tibet independence/separation is out of the question.
Also for your knowledge, I totally support Tibentans claim for what's rightfully theirs. I totally support their peacefully demonstration for more freedom, which should be garranteed under the law. But if it turns violent and hurts innocent people, I condemn it without any reservation.
Tibetans have grievances. That's true and natural. They are entitled to voice their disatisfaction and for that I again iterate my support. But they shouldnt do that by murder and arson.
Maybe the above helps for you to understand the "inscrutable" Chinese. It's simple as that.

L.Oberstein:

Many Chinese individuals have written scathing comments against the protests. It is obvious that they see things differently and consider it losing face to admit that China is not 100% right about Tibet. After the noise is over, China is a growing world power and the US is a declining one, we borrow foreign money to pay for foreign oil. Maybe we can't afford to insult China.

Turtle's Egg:

Kevin Rudd, who are you and for whom do you work? For all the complaints from people in China that the world does not understand China, I hear an equal number of all-knowing generalizations about "Western countries" from these same people, many of whom have never left China.

BRAMBLES:

As a Chinese, we certainly enjoy the sudden convergence of attention and the sparklingly hot hearts for help.
I encourage Mr. Zakaria to continue his exploration on the subject. Only that, could you, Mr. Zakaria list the specifics of the "human rights abuses" you so allege? Do you know when did the "crackdown" happen, since the "protests" happened days before the "crackdown", and why? Could you please list the reasons for the monks protests, and their claims? Do you know why the nationalistic rhetoric is now so high in China?
Does anyone here know? If not, then, why are you talking as if you knew everything? that your Court of Justice has so firmly found the fact and only a final ruling is pending?

I dont deny there's true grievance among Tibetans. But for what reason? Are you outraged that American Indians are marginalized on the own land in the U.S.?

The talk of Han "occupation of Tibet", 'boycotting Olympics' in the name of humanitarism by (intentionally, no?) ignoring facts is naive, if not despicable.

Facts first, Gentlemen.

Dont confuse your (justified?) hatred toward the Chinese government with the real issue in Tibet. Even Dalai woundnt go as that far. Keep doing this. You are not helping anyone but your own precious self esteem.
A few years later you would scoff at yourself.

richardlee:

it seems that the author still needs a long way to understand China. In your logic, any anti-foreign country activities are the result of incitation of CCP. So we Chinese should cheer to US when it bombed our embassy of Yugoslavia. And we should praise Japan for its distortion of history. And we should say hooray to those pro-tibet protesters, even when some thugs attack torch-bearers physically. Only in this way, would we not be called "nationalist"?

andy:

People around the world mainly concern the human right of Chinese people especially Tibeten and blame the government had done lease, actually I have to say they do not know China of it's history and culture. at present, more freedom given to people will result more chaos and turmoil, multi party is not right choice for China, political system in west is not right choice for China, although that might be right choice later. what important thing for China is stability, the great achievement China have been made in three decades prove the political system is right. make all Chinese people thoughts alike is no harm as well as make people all over the world thoughts alike aims on development, peace, opposite terrorism.

Jimmy Dean, Virginia:

The author is right on his thesis that public protest won't achieve the goal. This is not unique to Chinese. It is universal to all people all over the world. No country on earth wants to act out of outside pressure. You will never win the heart and soul of people by constantly humiliating and protesting them.

More importantly why this protest will fail is not simply because the pressure is publicly coming from the outside, it is because the whole "Tibet independence" movement is baseless. Tibet has been part of China for centuries. That's a fact! No matter how bad the Chinese government is, it has treated Tibetan far better than to Han Chinese. New Orleans Katrina tragedy would never happen in today's China. Have you seen how China mobilize this winter in responding the ice storms?

Get off the high horse of Dali Lama. He was a master slave owner. He is an entertainer at best. How many popes has gone on to Saturday Night Live? He is bad for Tibet.

meihui55:

The issue that PRC's promise to improve human rights to hold the Olympic Games is missing in this article.

A promise is a promise. Look at what achievements China has done. More and more dissidents are in jail now.

China, a super world-power-to-be, should act like a responsible state if it wants to be embraced into the international community. First, it should accept the universal values: human rights, freedom of speech, religion, and press.

China not only has to give those basic human rights to its own people, but also stop depriving Taiwanese of the right to know. World Health Assembly refused to issue Taiwanese journalists press passes since 2004 due to PRC's objection.

Public humiliating the China government may make matters worse as Chinese is always afraid of losing face. But, the whole world keeps silence will absolutely make matters worst as Chinese government and Chinese people will never know how the outsides look at them and act on their own.

Andrew:

For those who think chinese are not indepdent minded, just check SF scene. I know cnn reported thousands of demonstrators. But do you know for every tibet's right demonstrator(most white liberals who don't even know where is tibet), there are many more chinese americans who oppose tibet indendence.

In a word, tibet is part of china just like california is part of US. For those of lama followers who say otherwise, well, too bad, california will never return to mexico or become independent. You guys are pursuing a fake dream just so that you would feel better about yourself. Tibetan/Chinese people don't need a system in tibet where government and religion have the same head. They don't need the system where ex-slave master will return to his old days.

Anju Chandel, New Delhi, India:

Not entirely correct.

China will respond to public humiliation as well. Otherwise, why is it pressurizing countries like India to 'ensure' peaceful passage of the Olympic Torch through their territories?

The only thing which is required is a sincere and serious joint effort by all strategically crucial countries of the world for 'forcing' the Chinese government into initiating dialogue with the Dalai Lama and stop the brutal clampdown on Tibetan protestors.

The important thing which all countries have to understand is that China needs all those strategically crucial countries as much as they need China - for obvious mutually beneficial economic reasons.

And, by the way, why is the UN keeping mum - as always?

Robert Greene:

Some people think that the Tibetan issue is not important as far as American interests are concerned, so focus should be on important issues. That kind of thinking does nothing to help establish peace in our world. I am tired of the phrase "American interests". That mind-set only puts up more barriers that set back progress towards a safer, more peaceful world. Instead of "American interests", how about thinking in terms of "interests that promote peace"?
The Chinese government seems to want all it's people to think alike and wants religious people like followers of the Dalai Lama to give up their religious interests and fall into line like good soldiers and become part of Chinese nationalism. The Chinese government's hunger for power, land and domination over the minds of it's people is very repressive and anti-human rights. Human rights is the bottom line to this whole mess between China and the Dalai Lama.
Many Chinese in the US and around the world tell us (ordinary Americans) we don't know enough about this situation to be yelling from the treetops to "free Tibet" and so on and I agree with them. But I do know that no one in this world should have their "human rights" violated or taken away.

infoshop:

Too late. The "game" already started. Check out this link:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=CHI20080411&articleId=8656

Ayaz Ahmed Pirzada:

Dear Sir,The Chinese are going to host for the first Olympic Games which is a good sign for a communist country to show that it cares and promotes the spirit of games. Instead of helping and encouraging them ,a tirade of propaganda has been unleashed against them for their record of human rights in Tibet.The situation in Tibet is nothing new emerging over night.Why it has been raised now and why it was not taken to the UN during so many years is a question of relevance to the world leaders to deliberate.Games should be left to players to compete with out inducting any element of politics.Boycotts were done when Moscow Olympic games were held by the Soviet Union but what happened many world class athelets lost the opportunity to prove their worth.In some cases it was last chance for athelets to compete for reasons of age.It should not happen again. Politics would be in a bad taste as Dalia Lama himself is not opposed to the Beiging Olypics.
Ayaz Ahmed Pirzada,2348,Lancaster St,Eastmeadow,11554,NY,Ph no 516 285 2500

Wangchuk:

Understandably, Chinese are proud Beijing will host the Olympics & are proud to be Chinese. But w/ due respect, many Chinese nationalists are simply wrong about Tibet. They have no idea how Tibetans inside Tibet really live or how they feel about China. They have no clue about the decades of oppression Tibetans have had to face since 1950 which has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Tibetans & the destruction of over 6,000 monasteries. These Chinese don't know Tibet's true history & they don't know that Tibetans face economic & political discrimination & marginalization & very tight restrictions on speech & religion. These Chinese nationalists also fail to see the vast majority of Tibetans support the Dalai Lama & as long as China villifies him in their press, China will never win the hearts & minds of Tibetans. China has been telling its people a false history of Tibet & a distorted view of life for Tibetans in Tibet. It's time the world stop coddling China just b/c it's rich & powerful. It's time Chinese & Tibetans enjoy the same human rights as the rest of the world. Prior to 1945, Japanese nationalists thought their country could do no wrong & others wanted to keep Japan down. These Japanese didn't know or didn't care what their country was doing in Korea, Taiwan or China. Unfortunately, it took a world war to rid Japan of these ultra-nationalists & to open the eyes of the Japanese people to the atrocities their country had committed. I hope we can find a more peaceful way to enlighten Chinese nationalists.

Anonymous:

The "kowtow" to Commie China crowd wants Americans to shut up. That's obvious.

S. Sampath:

For those who advocate private pressure, what about the fact that the entry to WTO and then awarding the Olympics were actually part of "nudging along" the change in private strategy. It is evident that these strategies has not worked or has produced immeasurable or inevident results. BTW, I am not advocating public pressure by way or violence.

Sue, MI, USA:

As a Chinese American, the thing gets me upset, though not unexpected when regarding to China, is a total fact free reporting of the western media. This reminded me of the time before US invaded Iraq. The enemy was chosen, and the plan to attack was set. There was no one in the media wanted to be seen on the side of bad guy. Is fact matter anymore in this country and the West? How many people that support Tibet independence ( though denied by Dalai Lama) know anything about Tibet? Or China for that matter except 30 years old communist dictatorship slogan? China has got a lot of problems but only Chinese can solve them. Whatever Chinese government has done to their own people (lack of freedom of speech but more improvement of living standard), nothing could be compared to what Bush administration that represents this country and elected by majority of the voters of this country did and is still doing to Iraq and Iraqi people. All these human right groups really care about human rights? Where are they when millions of Iraqi are suffering now and their protest on their own government would make a real difference? If people want to oppose something, shouldn't they know facts first? There is no single country in this world recognize Tibet independence and China has been talking to Dalai Lama. What people protest for? Anyone really think the so-called Tibet government in exile is qualified to go back to run Tibet after 50 years absent?

Donald J. Herman:

One of the basic tenets of Psychology is that; change of opinion cannot be accomplished when one is forced to defend previuosly held beliefs. Such action only serves to further entrench beliefs. The Zakaria's article aptly describes the proper course to deal with the Chinese oppression. It is especially relevant when we do not address similar oppression in other countries. To do so with China only reinforces the concept held by many Chinese that America is functioning out of fear and elitist arrogance. There are far more serious issues [for America] in Sino-American relations than Tibet or even Tienamen Square. Let's keep proper focus on relevant issues and back door the rest.

Rodrigo:

It is refreshing to read something in the Western media regarding Tibet that isn't a blatant propaganda piece. In a world in which the war in Congo kills 45,000 every month (Tibetan exiles claim about 100 dead in total during the recent crackdown), clearly Tibet isn't the worst humanitarian crisis around. Yet the Western media keeps almost monolithically silent on the attrocities in Congo (and elsewhere, as Mr. Zakaria points out), but screams blue murder regarding Tibet.
Days before the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, the Mexican government massacred peaceful student protesters in Mexico City, and the world, very much including the Western media, kept silent, and there were no boycotts. To claim that the current outrage over Tibet really is about humanitarianism is hypocritical and contemptible.

taichilo:

Naive and out of touch China's reality!
For NGO , they can put public pressure on China. For a state head , you 'd better deal with China privately! In this global economic era, boycott , no help! Only you participate , you can get a bit of real understand about real Red China. Though, Communism is dead in most country but China! Do not to be too romantic and naive about this!

Kevin Rudd:

I think ,all of you ,including the writer,are as crooded as a dog's hind bag. You do never understand China , the Chinese . According the article ,you are untruthful , contemptible .

Rick:

This article articulates extremely well the challenge in dealing with China's leaders. It has focused in to the reality that one must understand their way of reasoning and not make decisions based on our way of reasoning. I believe this is called diplomacy.

Maurice Levis:

I am in agreement with your position. The Olympic ideal, as established by the Greek city states, was that during the games there was a truce established between waring parties and every state could come and compete in peace. Clearly this was not always the case but in the vast majority of Olympic competition it held up well. China has a centuries old culture that values the comon good over individual rights. For us, it is presumptious to beleive that we should be teaching the Chinese western values.Politicizing the Olympics is a bad habit.

Maurice Levis

It is hard to value the sentiments of the Chinese people, since the exist within the vacuum of a state controlled press. Without access to accurate information, how can they actually have independent opinions, that is free from state propaganda. It is like Americans having to make assessments about Iraq based solely upon Bush press releases and statements.
This is a balanced article with many good points. However, it might be good for the Chinese people to see first hand how the world views their country's occupation of Tibet. How else are they supposed to get even a semblance of the truth?
The Chinese leadership would view dialogue with the Dalai Lama as a loss of face in and of itself. So what is the international community to do? Communism may be dead, but totalitarianism isn't.

PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.