China’s Greater Leap Backward

December 16, 2016    By: John N.
 
James Fallows’ recent cover article for The Atlantic, entitled “China’s Great Leap Backward,” is an important and timely piece. In it the veteran China writer describes how repression in the PRC has grown under Xi Jinping, and considers the implications for the United States. His article is especially significant because it arrives during a time of potential upheaval for America’s China policy under the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump, which has already deviated from long-standing diplomatic precedent by accepting a congratulatory phone call from Tsai Ing-wen, the president of Taiwan.

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Qin Weiping

The Dalai Lama on China becoming a ‘Compassionate Nation’ under the Communist Party

I have just watched a fascinating interview with His Holiness the Dalai Lama by Qin Weiping, a US-based Chinese blogger, who visited Dharamsala in October 2016. The interview (conducted in Tibetan and Chinese) is interesting not only because His Holiness shares his thoughts on how China could become a compassionate nation, but more so because he says that such a transformation should be, and can be, led by the Chinese Communist Party. His Holiness believes that through such a transformation China has the opportunity to alter the current negative perception of Communism in the world.

Ladakhi Buddhists

On the Great Significance of the Dalai Lama’s latest visit to Mongolia

One of the outcomes regarding the Dalai Lama in the post-1959 period is the clarity that has emerged about the nature of his followers. The conventional thinking about the Dalai Lama being merely the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people has changed. He has not only gained thousands of followers in both the Eastern and Western world, but more importantly the traditional followers of Tibetan Buddhism outside of Tibet, along the Himalayan region as well as in Mongolia and present-day Russian Federation, have become more visible.

What will be President Donald Trump’s Tibet Policy?

Now that Mr. Donald J Trump will be the next President of the United States from January 20, 2017, what will be his approach to the Tibetan issue. While certain issues were highlighted during the election campaign, we are yet to get a clear picture of his stand on China (other than on matters of trade) as well as on the issue of Tibet. President Bill Clinton had called China a strategic partner; President George W. Bush said China was more of a strategic competitor. During President Obama’s time, China directly expressed its desire that its relations with the United States be recognized...

Why does Tibet matter in the discourse on the democratization of China?

On October 2, 2016, I participated in a conference on possibility for democratization of China at New York University. There were scholars on China, Chinese-American academics, Tibetans, Uyghurs, and some of the top names in the Chinese democracy movement, including Tiananmen veteran Wang Juntao and writer of Fifth Modernization Wei Jingsheng. The conference was convened by Prof. Ming Xia of New York University and Mr. Chin Jin of the China Democracy Forum. In my presentation I made a case on why Tibet matters in this discourse by Chinese democracy advocates.

Would China’s new Party Secretary in Lhasa turn out to be a double-edged sword to Tibetans?

On August 28, 2016 the Chinese authorities replaced the Party Secretary of the Tibet Autonomous Region, Chen Quanguo, with Wu Yingjie. Chen’s transfer may not have any extra significance as he has served in Lhasa for over five years, which is around the time when such Party officials are moved. But Wu is interesting in quite a few ways. Wu is the first of the "second generation Tibetans" (Chinese: Zang Er Dai) to assume the position of the Party Secretary. The term "second generation Tibetans" is assigned to Chinese officials who have literally grown up in Tibet, having been brought...

Hillary Clinton and Dalai Lama

The Next American President and Tibet

As the November 8, 2016 US Presidential elections draw near, there are those who are predicting a very close race between Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Tibetan Americans and friends and supporters of the Tibetan people are watching the developments closely. In past elections, Tibetan Americans have shown themselves to be single-issue voters; with Party affiliations being regarded secondary to how the candidate has shown his (and now her) support to Tibet.

My Reflection on the 2016 Tibetan Youth Leadership Program

My experience with the Tibetan Youth Leadership Program (TYLP) started when I was applying to the program in March. The prompt for the essay question was, “What does it take to be a leader in the Tibetan community?” On the surface, it sounded like a easy question with a simple solution; however, when I tried to come up with an answer, it lead to an ambiguous and complex response. This made me question not only what constitutes as a leader, but more importantly what the Tibetan community means to me. These ideas were just the tip of the iceberg for my week with TYLP.

Tibetan refugees

Did the Dalai Lama really warn about refugees and “Arab domination” in Europe?

The publication of an interview with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in the German media has led to some sensational headlines derived from an interview that included questions on the refugee crisis in Europe. These representations, focusing on the Dalai Lama apparently warning against 'Arab domination' and Europe taking in 'too many' migrants are ultimately inconsistent with the well-known and compassionate approach of the Dalai Lama, who has been a refugee himself for more than half a century, and the longer-term perspective he seeks to convey.

Harry Wu

Remembering Harry Wu

Harry Wu, the human rights crusader who ensured the Chinese name for prison labor camps entered the Oxford English Dictionary, has died aged 79. He served the first period of his 19 years in prison camps in the fearsome Qinghe farm in the Beijing area, and it was there, on an ox cart leaving the graveyard, that he made a promise to himself that began his life’s work.

Tibetan Election Observation Mission

Tasks before the Re-Elected Sikyong

On April 27, 2016, the Tibetan Election Commission announced the results of the Sikyong and parliamentary elections. Except in the case of some members of parliament, for the Sikyong and some other MPs, the results were already known and this is a mere formality.