Last week, Tibetan exile groups voiced outrage at a video posted on YouTube that purportedly showed militarized police beating and kicking detained Tibetans during ethnic unrest a year ago.
A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, Qin Gang, was dismissive of the video at a March 26 briefing.
“I have also seen the video. The contents are obviously edited and doctored. Maybe the Dalai clique got some tips of image-editing from certain Western media,” Qin said, adding that police during the riots used “utmost restraint.”
Nonetheless, the government seemed to sense that this position wasn’t completely convincing. So within a day, censors blocked access to YouTube.
To see the video, you have to go here, an exile website. Judge for yourself whether it is fake. But beware: the scenes are not for the weak of stomach. (The site is blocked in China unless you have software to bust through the Great Firewall.)
On a related subject, Qin Gang is becoming a master at the art of high dudgeon, making the Foreign Ministry briefings entertaining in an odd way. But he certainly turns black into white. I wasn’t at the aforementioned briefing, although transcripts are available here. Qin routinely treats foreign media as lacking in the standards that he ascribes to the Chinese media.
Interestingly, to seek credibility for its Tibet stance lately, the People’s Daily has repeatedly been turning to, you guessed it, foreign scholars and experts. Not surprisingly, they all seem to say good things about China’s policies on Tibet. When one scholar was recently quoted in such a fashion, I was a little surprised. So I wrote him an email. Here’s an excerpt of what he wrote back:
“I had insisted to People's Daily that they should NOT remove a sentence I said about military presence and its long-term negative influence and even without informing me, they run this. I didn't even realise they were running it. They have removed 60% of what I said!!!”
I guess if the “Dalai clique” needed some tips on doctoring information, they could also turn to the People’s Daily.