Just a few minutes ago, three Tibet activists unfurled a banner on a ledge of Beijing’s main train station. It read: China’s Tibet Railway: Designed to Destroy.” I stood on the other side of the street, snapped a few pictures, and left with conflicting feelings.
Tibet activists display a banner in front of a crowded Beijing street.
A zoomed-in view of the banner.
Like several other foreign reporters, I’d been alerted ahead of time to the event.
It was timed to coincide with Saturday’s inauguration of a new train that links Beijing and Lhasa, the Tibetan capital. Activist groups abroad say the Chinese government will use the railway to further colonize Tibet, moving ever-larger numbers of settlers there.
While the issues touching on Tibet are of interest, what troubled me is that the activists are generally Westerners rather than Tibetans. Their banner was in English, not Chinese or Tibetan, and few people in front of the train station took notice or were able to read the banner. So without complicit Western media to document the event, it would have gone unnoticed.
Is this unfurling of a banner news, or is it not? I'd like to hear your opinion.