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Troubles in Tibet

Anybody who doesn't think China exercises extraordinary control and coercion over what happens in Tibet should try coming here with accreditation as a foreign journalist.  It makes one radioactive.

Since arriving five days ago, our small group has been the subject of constant surveillance.  People we've talked to have been picked up for questioning.  One was given an extraordinary fine on trumped up charges.  Our attempts to go to Everest Base Camp were stymied on Saturday when an unmarked car coming from Shigatse, in the west,  headed us off and people carrying tourism police IDs ordered us to return immediately to Lhasa, where we were told to stay in our hotel rooms.

Foreign journalists are almost never permitted into Tibet except on once-a-year trips organized and monitored by the Foreign Ministry.  I requested formal approval to come from a high-level Foreign Ministry official,  and was referred to his counterpart in Lhasa, the Tibetan capital. No answer.  So I came in as a tourist on the train.  State security sniffed our little group out immediately.

Since arriving in Tibet,  one travel agency has blocked our attempts to go anywhere except an innocuous trip to see some glaciers.  A well dressed man,  Mr. Chen Yong, who claims to be the agency's manager but has the bearing of a state security official, has offered me lengthy lectures on how I should not talk to any Tibetans because of my status as a "tourist."  After ordering our forcible return over the weekend, the agency said we could finally go to Everest on Tuesday. On Monday evening, the agency informed us that our trip was called off.  They have retained the traveling papers of one companion,  making him temporarily stateless.

We've been warned again to stay in our hotel rooms.

For now,  I won't provide more details,  of which there are many.  I'm still in Tibet.  All I wanted to do was go to Everest Base Camp but the State fears that if a couple of accredited journalists manage to get into Tibet,  more will certainly follow.  And before the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing,  China doesn't want the story told of its efforts to flood Tibet with outsiders and exert control over Tibetans.

I will tell more as I can. Wish me luck in my hotel room. One way or another, I don't plan to stay there long. 

    

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Comments

Anonymous

I proclaimed 'Power to the People' in the 60's in Washington DC. I wonder what would happen to me if I did the same in Tianmen Square today?

Agus

If Western media has not been so biased against China in the riots issue, perhaps they would have been given the freedom to visit and cover Tibet without supervision. But the western journalists have never been fair in their reporting not just now but since way before the riots. Western media blames China on censorship, but in my opinion they too censor their own reports (this is called self-censorship). They only want to bash China to make themselves look good.

Dawa

Please don't be used by Western Political Media Machines!

OK, agreed.

Why are Chinese Chinese so intent on keeping ahold of non-Chinese Chinese?

Tibetans have never been Chinese in any sense, except in 1950's when they weren't given any choice.

chinese

If you are not Chinese, please be responsible and subjective on Tibet issue! please be clear on what you are talking about! Please don't be used by Western Political Media Machines!
Long live! The Unite of world people! Long live! The unite of chinese people!

Please give more understanding and comprehension on this issue, and really put your feet into most of Chinese's shoes!


作为一个中国人,要懂得一个民族的团结和兴盛对每个炎黄子孙是多么重要,不要因为个人追求影响力,权利或者金钱而拿一个民族的未来和发展作为代价,这样的行为是自私的,不负责任的,是没有民族自尊心,自信心和自豪感的行为,最终只能让美国甚至一些少数猥亵的西方政治所嘲笑,坐山观虎斗,最后得利的是那些西方的政府或者财团。 如果你是个中国人,或者你说中国话,或者你身上流着炎黄子孙的血,请你不要跟凤造谣,被一些不怀好意的政治家利用,成为政治的工具来攻击自己人,要以客观,理性,清醒的态度去面对国际问题和民族问题。最后,我以曹植的名句与大家共醒:“煮豆燃豆萁,豆在釜中泣,本是同根生,相煎何太急”。中华民族大团结万岁!世界人民大团结万岁!

Karma Gelek

http://youtube.com/watch?v=0VRneGYpaXc&mode=related&search=

Karma Gelek

Here is the link to the U-tube documentary titled “Tibet the story of tragedy" by a French producer. As a Tibetan we are aware of the situation, but to many people who are not familiar with the Tibet issue. This is an eye opening and complete analysis of the post 1950 Chinese communist subjugation of Tibet and the rampant destruction of its culture and religion. 1.2 million Died as a direct result of Chinese invasion. 6000 monasteries looted and destroyed to the ground. Nuns are raped and murdered. We in the outside free world must raise our voice for all the injustice in Tibet. May Tibet be free soon. Long live His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet. May Peace prevail on earth.

notmyrealname

I'm a journalist and I've visited China to do stories almost every year for the last decade. Since my first application was chucked in the bin in HK, I have never put "journalist" down on my visa application form, and never had any problems. I know that's not possible for a permanent China correspondent, but I wonder why so many journalists create so much hassle for themselves by stating so obviously who they are.

Dougie

Good to see people are out there reporting as
I'd been surfing last night and came against some stuff on 'utube' which was very sad.

This reminds me, I must start to watch where I buy my clothes from. ;)

Veronica

It's amazing because while I was a student studying in China a small group of us (4) slipped into tibet and "wandered" around with a few tibetans with no trouble at all.

It's amazing all of the trouble titles can bring because we "interviewed" any Tibetan that we could talk to everywhere we went. We heard some amazing and tragic stories.

We went to Xinjiang too without any trouble. next time, you should go incognito as a student. ;-)

I'm sorry your trip hasn't been very smooth. Those blasted chinese authorities.

ts

In viewpoint of mainland chinese, Lee Teng-hui is a chinese traitor, a Japanese troll, and a secessionist.

Just keep that in mind as backgroup information...FYI...

Bollmann

For Your Information, to the Journalist traveling to China, keep in mind the following.

In China you get these weird laws where "slander of the state" and "revealing state secrets" put people in jail for expressing dissent.

China is also a nation divided and filled with confrontation: It is divided between a coastal China and a landlocked one; it is divided between an urban China and a rural one; and it is divided between a China for the rich and one for the poor.

What difference does it make if older authoritarians are replaced by younger, technically trained or even capitalist authoritarians?

Clearly, the all-pervading aim of the Chinese regime is not the conversion of the PRC into a pluralistic political system with a free market economy modeled after, and integrated with, Western institutions. Rather, its purpose is to perpetuate the Communist Party's rule.

Former Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui said it best...

"A slave state that uses the false promise of its booming economy to dupe the free world into appeasing its tyranny. As long as the capital from free countries continues to pour into China, China's already oppressive practices will become more entrenched and the ensuing and ever-expanding militarism will make the likelihood of transition to a peaceful country ever more unlikely.

China is rapidly building up the economic, military, technological and diplomatic power of its slave system. Under conditions that are tantamount to enslavement by the state, business from capitalist countries are enticed by cheap, obedient labor and cheap land and facilities owned by the state. If China insists on maintaining its one-party dictatorship, if it continues to exploit and suppress its people at home and expand its military threats against its democratic neighbors, then China will retain its current status and we will continue to witness the rise of a militarist hegemony." - Former Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui

You should tell the story of how foreign investments from corporations investing into China are offering permanent resident status as bribes to conduct business to government officials and to their children.

Now Chinese corrupt government officials and their families can retire abroad and do not have to share the polluted environment or the degraded and insecure society that they have created for their people, they can conduct themselves as they see fit without bearing the consequences.

China's economy has no potential for continuous development, it is not stable, it is not coordinated, and it is not balanced in my opinion.

It use to be what sort of society will China become, but now the question remains as to what effect will the collapse of the economic development by the Chinese Communist Regime cause?

The American economy has become as dependent on import of Chinese products as it has on Saudi oil. As with Saudi oil, it only makes sense to see that near exclusive dependence on import of Chinese products (no matter how cheap), is not a healthy habit, and that America should in both cases start looking for alternate sources for such products. And it further makes sense to ensure that such sources should, as far as possible, not originate from, and not financially benefit, countries that are openly or furtively working to undermine democracy and open society.


Suski

Chris, you're correct - China committed to allowing media freedom and to let foreign journalists “travel anywhere in China. There will be no restrictions" during and in the run-up to the Olympics (Olympics Press Chief, Sun Weija, September 2006). But, when it comes to Tibet and Xinjiang, foreign journalists must still obtain a special permit...

There's more information about China's Olympic commitments and lack of compliance with these at: www.racefortibet.org/news/item.php?id=14

Chris

I thought travel restrictions were supposed to be eased on foreign journalists in the run up to the Olympics. Guess that was just a headline.

ts

Tim, any American journalists entering Tibet would automatically be suspected as CIA operatives.

Of course you can prove to them that you are not, by good behaviors.

They don't know if you would say bad things about your experience in Tibet when you come back. That's the risk they took for granting your entry.

Good luck! ;)

Yangdon

Thank you for this posting. Its hard for people to believe what really goes on in Tibet because they are so far away from it. Your personal accounts as a journalist travelling in Tibet really helps the plight of Tibet.

Best,
Yangdon

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