There has been a lot of concern among Buddhists here in Syracuse regarding statements in a recent White Paper on Tibet by China which imply Tibet has been better off under Chinese rule all along. The Buddhist Dharma Centers of Syracuse all share concerns about the effects of what they see as simply misinformation could have on the future of Buddhism.
Colleen McKown has reported for The Tibet Post International “Information Secretary Thupten Samphel: White Paper Full of Distortions.” A White Paper titled ‘Fifty Years of Democratic Reform in Tibet’ has recently been issued by China. Buddhists here in Syracuse share the position of Samphel that this White Paper is full of distortions.
In this White Paper it is stated that China has had a claim on Tibet since the 13th century. Samphel has said
“This is a distortion of history” and that Tibet was a part of the Monghol Empire. Samphel has gone on to say Tibet was part of the Monghol Empire long before China was and that actually Mongolia has more of a claim to Tibet than China.
The White Paper also claims that at the time of the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1950 the Chinese government tried to negotiate “the peaceful liberation of Tibet.” China claims it was Tibetans who put up an armed resistance with the help of foreign forces. Samphel has countered that although Tibet did ask for the help of India, the United States, Britain, and Nepal, none of these countries came to Tibet’s assistance.
Samphel also says that Tibet had to than sign China’s 17-Point Agreement under duress and as an unequal partner. Samphel says that “All of the promises made by the Chinese communist party were broken one by one. This angered the Tibetan people, so resistance spread.”
And Samphel insists that the economic development in Tibet favors the Chinese, the Tibetan culture is being diluted by China, that ecological preservation of Tibet by China is a myth, that religious abuses are common in Tibet, that there have been increasing restrictions on the use of the Tibetan language, and that much of the history taught in Tibet’s schools is Chinese propaganda. Samphei feels Tibet has lost more than it has gained from China. And Samphel has made the observation that if the claims in the White Papers were true, then there would not be any reason for the Chinese government to issue White Papers claiming that they are.
Mandel News Service