Posts Tagged ‘Autonomy’

China gains by granting autonomy to Tibet

November 2, 2009


There are major questions. Why now? What will it involve for China and Tibet? Why should China do it?

I. Why now?

The Dalai Lama is still alive and is world renowned. An agreement where he is involved will have greater effect in Tibet than his replacement and China will reap maximum benefits.

II.What does autonomy mean for China and Tibet

Any autonomy agreement depends on the parties involved, not on general principles or foreign ideas. But to show that that autonomy is not unthinkable I present the following proposal to get the discussion started.

a. No interference with Tibetan religious practices except as stated out in the AA (autonomy agreement) nor involving the abuse of human beings.

Komment: On the one hand many abuses of human rights can be covered up as a religious practice. Forced employment in monasteries as an exempel. On the other hand meddling with religious practices can be camouflaged as a defense of human rights.

b. The status of the Dalai Lama will be respected and the succession a Tibetan matter.

c. Defence and foreign relations will be reserved for the Chinese government

Komment: This means that Tibetans will not be armed, and that they will undergo civil conscription served within Tibet. Also that no foreigners will be admitted to Tibet without the consent of the Chinese government and after discussions with the Tibetan autonumous authority.

d. The presence of non-tibetan speakers in the government (this includes scientific and health services) or in private equivalents will be reduced with a measurable reduction each year.

e. No commercial activities will be carried out except by Tibetan nationals and with the consent of the Chinese governmnt.

Komment: This will be the hardest part to accept by either side. What does it mean? First Tibet will not, by the AA, be allowed to be a base for commercial penetration of China and that Chinese commercial law, with due consideration of RP (religious practices) will be the rule for business activities aimed at China or abroad. On the other hand Tibetan commercial law modified by RP will be the rule in autonomous Tibet itself. This to prevent religious symbols or places to be exploited by ruthless businessmen native to Tibet

For another that Han nationals will not be allowed to own property or engage in commercial activities in Tibet itself and thus by economic weight subvert the AA.

Either part can delay decisions or subvert the AA but then why make it in the first place.

One fundamental problem is that China is so large so that local officials out of greed or ambition can subvert the AA despite the intentions or the interest of the Chinese government. Even if not there may be differences of opinion between Han and Tibetans . To create an impartial tribunal to resolve such differences is one of the important task of the AA negotiators.

III. What does China gain?

The major question for China is whether it will exchange the semblance of power for the the substance of power. A necessary ingredient in both is military strength. This exists. However the substance of power is a well ordered society supported by its citizens and respected by the international community. By its present policy towards Tibet, China signals that it is an unjust society and a danger to its neighbors.

The disadvantages to China of a truly autonomous Tibet are trivial and the benefits great. And in this world of predators, Tibet, protected by the might of China could become one of the brightest jewels in the dragon’s crown and both make their contribution to world harmony.