Dalai Lama’s “Tibetan Orphans” Taken from Parents

“Violation of common ethics and morality”

Xinhua

In 1963, seven-year-old Tibi Lhundub Tsering was picked up by his foster parents at Zurich Airport, Switzerland. His mother Youden Jampa, working in a road-building camp in India, knew nothing of her son’s whereabouts.

This is the beginning of the inconvenient and uncomfortable truth presented in Swiss documentary “Tibi and his mothers” directed by Ueli Meier.

According to the documentary, Tibi was one of the 200 so-called “Tibetan orphans” who were brought to Switzerland in the 1960s from the Nursery for Tibetan Refugee Children in Dharamsala headed by Tsering Dolma, the elder sister of the Dalai Lama. They were moved through a program privately run by Swiss entrepreneur Charles Aeschimann and approved by the Dalai Lama.

Contrary to the expectations of the foster parents in Switzerland, only 19 of these children were orphans, while the vast majority had at least one parent in Tibet, often both, said Meier in the bonus feature of the DVD edition, citing a report by Aeschimann.

In a confidential letter in February 1963, the Swiss Ambassador to India at the time said he discovered many of these “orphans” selected in Dharamsala actually had at least one parent. He warned against the “human and spiritual difficulties” faced by children who became “contractually assigned care items” thanks to the agreement between Aeschimann and the Dalai Lama.

Meier said during his research on the documentary, many documents showed that Aeschimann and the Dalai Lama had divergent interests in their arrangement. While Aeschimann wanted a child refuge, the Dalai Lama appeared to intend to turn the children into an elite for the “Tibetan government-in-exile”.

According to letters between the two, the Dalai Lama never mentioned the psychological well-being of the children after being separated from their parents and only had limited discussion with Aeschimann about them, the director said in an interview with Swiss German-language daily Neue Zuricher Zeitung, which ran a series of reports in September questioning the “Tibetan orphans” program.

As for Tibi, protagonist of the documentary, the tender care and devotion of his foster parents cannot replace the love of his birth mother. He went off the rails and almost lost himself after he visited his birth parents for the first time years later and realised his mother will never be able to understand him.

The film accompanied Tibi on his journey to visit his birth mother in India and his foster mother in Gruningen, Switzerland. “While observing the now quiet everyday life of the two old women, distant memories emerge silently and sometimes painfully to the surface,” says the introduction of the film.

The director said he learned many tragic stories of the former foster children during his research.

A study published in 1982 by the University of Zurich found that among the Tibetans who grew up in Switzerland, suicides were only reported in the group of “Aeschimann Children,” Meier pointed out in the interview with the Swiss newspaper.

Meier said he sent an interview request to the Dalai Lama’s bureau in Geneva, but was met with silence.

On Tuesday, the Chinese government condemned the Dalai Lama and his clique for abusing children’s rights by orchestrating the 1960s campaign to send Tibetan “orphans” to Switzerland.

At a regular news briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said, “The Dalai Lama’s deeds have trampled on the children’s individual rights and publicly violated common ethics and morality. All humane, justice-loving people should condemn such acts.”

Advertisements

Syria: Empire’s Last Gasp

IMPERIAL CRUSADE AGAINST SYRIA

Oscar Sánchez Serra

WHY is the United States attacking Syria?

Brazil, Russia – reborn as a superpower and an uncomfortable one – India and China – are emerging economies that are already acting as leaders on the world geopolitical stage. It is said that India and China, also the most populated nations of the world, will mark the rate of development during the 21st century. In other words, one has to be prepared for a global transfer of power. The current empire will not be the most powerful.

For Viktor Burbaki of the U.S. Strategic Culture Foundation, mathematical models of the global geopolitical dynamic have led to the conclusion that a grand-scale victory in a war utilizing conventional means is the only option for the United States being able to reverse the rapid collapse of its geopolitical status. Burbaki affirms that if the current geopolitical dynamic persists, a change in global leadership could be expected by 2025, and the only way in which the United States can derail this process is by unleashing a war on a grand scale.

Yugoslavia in 1999, Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003 have already endured imperial attacks, utilizing the same argument based on a pack of lies. The tactic of the world gendarme has never been to challenge states that could dispute its global supremacy, for which reason Burbaki considers that Iran, Syria and Shi’ite groups, such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, face the greatest danger of suffering strikes in the name of a new world redistribution of power. The specialist did not state this the other day, but more than 12 months ago, in February of 2012.

In other words, to get rid of Syria and Iran, obstacles on the route to U.S. global domination, would be Washington’s next natural step.

Paul Farrell, U.S. columnist and financial analyst, stated last April that the United States needed a new war, in order for capital to thrive. He ironically commented then, in a brief note which appeared in Russia Today, “Didn’t WWII get us out of the Great Depression?” He capped this statement off with data which informs his thesis that wars benefit capitalists above all. The Forbes list of world billionaires skyrocketed from 322 in 2000 to 1,426 recently, 31% of them being American.

Marcelo Colussi, Argentine psychologist, professor, writer, journalist and full-time activist for social justice and global dignity, has one of the most convincing answers to the question as to why the United States would attack Syria. When, at the beginning of the 20th century, U.S. President Calvin Coolidge said that his country’s business consisted of doing business, this has today been transformed into doing business with war. Let others do the fighting and here we are to sell them weapons.

In this context, the Argentine intellectual passes his verdict that today, U.S. power is based on wars, always those in other nations, never on its own territory. In any event, war is its axis; its domestic economy is nourished to a large extent by the arms industry and its planetary hegemony (appropriation of raw materials and imposition of the rules of the economic and political game on a global scale, with primacy of the dollar. Today, Washington needs wars. Without wars, the power would not be a power.

What we are seeing now with a besieged Syria, what is leading the Middle East into a war of unforeseeable consequences, with the real target, Iran, following behind and with Israel, which is waiting, pressuring and coercing the master to the North to fulfill its promise of punishing that Persian country, is not a chance operation.

The first victim of war is the truth. While in Iraq the most obscene fallacies were its possession of weapons of mass destruction and its close links with Al Qaeda, and in Iran, the manufacture of powerful nuclear armaments, in Syria the lie is chemical weapons utilized by President Al-Assad against his own people, although nobody with the most elemental common sense believes it, because Syria would be the least to benefit by creating a pretext such as this.

But lies are part of the plan, and this one did not come into existence overnight, nor was it improvised in a bar over a few beers, but in the White House, in 1997, when a group of fevered minds of the alienated ultra-right created a project for the New American Century, with the objective of sustaining the United States as the hegemonic superpower of the planet, at any and all costs.

The objectives of the project are the opening up, stability, control and globalization of markets, as well as security and freedom of trade; unrestricted access to energy sources and raw materials needed to dynamize the U.S. economy and those of its allies; the monitoring and control in real time of people and all significant political and social movements opposed to its interests; the expansion and domination of the financial and industrial capital of its companies and transnational corporations; and the assuring of control over the means of communication and world information.

To that end it has not even stinted on mercenaries, who abound in Syria – well paid and armed – nor in the deployment of U.S. military might, as well as creating situations within nations, such as the manufacture and unveiling of the so-called Arab Spring in North Africa, which ended with the assassination, recorded live, of Libyan President Muammar al-Gaddafi.

Who thought up and armed this insanity based on the industry of death, the real sustenance of the U.S. economy? Illustrious neo-cons with senior positions in the administrations of Reagan, George Bush (father and son); in other words: Dick Cheney, Jeb Bush, Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, Dan Quayle, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Elliott Abrams, John Bolton and Richard Perle, among others. Who sheltered them politically? The Republican Party, the Democratic Party, AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee), or the pro-Israeli lobby in the nation of the stars and stripes; and many powerful organizations on Wall Street, in the media and in the powerful military-industrial complex. It would seem that it is not important who the President happens to be.

The Twin Towers were brought down, but this provided the basis for the rising up of the Project, sowing the divine fundamentalist idea that the United States is the only nation capable of combating the terrible evils of Islamist terrorism, drug trafficking, or organized crime, even though it is within its own territory that most terrorists are harbored, where the highest quantity of drugs are consumed, and where criminals enjoy impunity. An implacable media crusade was launched which fixed fear and danger in the mentality of citizens of the world.

It has reached the extent that, even the UN, in its investigation into the existence of chemical weapons in Syria – the key pretext for the aggression – has stated that its research is only to confirm whether they were used or not, and not who utilized them.

A variant of the of the Arab Spring was already tested out in Syria, but failed in destabilizing the country, hence the recourse of destroying the nation and leaving it without a government, and without order, because social anarchy there would justify a U.S. presence, plus that of its allies with all their troops and even a coalition. This would provide a gateway to Iran, additionally keeping a close watch on the dangerous Hezbollah in Lebanon, and a commitment to Israel which, since its defeat by this force in 2006, has not been able to heal its wounds.

Who can be left in any doubt that all of this is an orchestrated plot, and that the United States and its allies are not bothered as to whether or not chemical weapons enter the equation?

What does interest it is the geo-strategic situation of Damascus and imperial power, even if this involves a bloodbath in this nation of heroic people, and world peace is once again trampled by the nation and government which sets itself up as the paradigm of human rights. But it should be careful. Those who live by the sword, die by the sword.

Xi Jinping Calls for Return to Marxism

Fred Goldstein

The president of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, has been issuing statements that seek to curb the corrosion of socialist values that has become widespread in China.

The Press Trust of India reported on July 1: “Officials of the ruling Communist Party of China should shed the obsession with GDP numbers to get promotions and return to principles of Marxism, which suffered an ideological meltdown in the course of the country’s reforms, President Xi Jinping said today.”

Later Xinhua, the official press agency of China, reported on July 12: “Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged the 85 million members of the Communist Party of China (CPC) to work hard and serve the people wholeheartedly to ‘ensure the color of red China will never change.’”

Xi, who is also the general secretary of the CPC, made these remarks on the eve of the 92nd anniversary of the founding of the party. On July 11, he visited Xibaipo in Hebei Province, where the CPC leaders had been based from May 1948 to early 1949 as they prepared to seize power and become the ruling party of China.

Xi said, according to Xinhua, that “late Chinese leader Mao Zedong’s remarks on Party members’ work styles prior to the founding of New China in 1949 still have far-reaching ideological and historical significance.”

“At an important meeting of the CPC in March 1949,” continued Xinhua, “Mao called on the whole party to resolutely carry forward the work style of displaying modesty and prudence while guarding against conceit and impetuosity, and resolutely carry forward the style of working hard and plain living.”

“Calling China’s revolutionary history ‘the best nutrient,’ Xi said studying and recalling such history can bring ‘positive energy’ to Party members.”

Xinhua paraphrased Xi as saying “the people should be encouraged to take care of the CPC and be guided to exercise their duty of supervision.”

The Press Trust article quoted Xi as having said earlier that “the party’s cadres should be firm followers of Communist ideals, true believers of Marxism and devoted fighters for the socialism with Chinese characteristics.”

The PTI further paraphrased Xi: “A party official’s integrity will not grow with the years of service and promotion of his post but with persistent efforts to discipline himself and study Marxist classics and theories of socialism with Chinese characteristics, Xi said.”

These were not just one-time speeches. They are part of a campaign to try to restore the party’s reputation through pushing a public, ideological foundation. The campaign began back in April of 2013, as a campaign against corruption shortly after Xi took over as president.  At that time it was known mainly by a slogan against “four course meals” for officials, meaning an end to extravagant banquets and other indulgences. Now it is being put in the context of Marxist ideological renewal.

The campaign has been unfolding step by step recently, with daily reports in the Chinese government press about carrying out the “mass line” and using such slogans as “from the masses to the masses.”

All 31 provincial level regions, central government organs and other people’s organizations are scheduled to convene work conferences to carry out an educational campaign, attacking undesirable work styles such as “formalism, bureaucratism, hedonism and extravagance.” This is part of the anti-corruption campaign initiated by Xi.

Xi is promoting rectification of work styles by calling for “self-purification, self-perfection, self-renewal and self-progression. “

A matter of ‘survival or extinction’ for the CPC

In a blunt statement to a Central Committee meeting on June 18, called to launch the campaign in full, Xi put the stakes involved as plainly as possible. Xinhua reported: “‘Winning or losing public support is an issue that concerns the CPC’s survival or extinction,’ Xi said, stressing that the mass line, or furthering ties with the people, is lifeline of the Party.”

The same dispatch spoke about “flesh and blood” ties with the people and called for getting more workers with knowledge of the grassroots and social conditions into the party.

Li Junnu, a former vice president of the CPC Central Committee Party School told Xinhua: “Maintaining close ties with the masses is the Party’s largest political advantage while isolation from the people is the greatest danger facing the CPC.” (Xinhua, June 18)

It must be remembered that on Xi’s first trip after assuming the presidency in March 2013 he went to Guangdong Province and gave a talk to a party group warning about the dangers of a Gorbachev-type development in China. He spoke in dire terms about how the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was overthrown and socialism completely destroyed. The long-term fate of the party is undoubtedly a deep concern of Xi and his collaborators.

An observer must conclude that this is a serious attempt to reverse the effects of three decades of erosion of socialist morality under the impact of capitalist inroads and all the decadence, corruption and market immorality that the exploiters, domestic and international, bring along with their profit lust.

Massive corruption is the norm under capitalism. And these norms have become pervasive throughout socialist China, severely undermining the consciousness of the society as a whole and breeding cynicism and alienation among the workers and the peasants.

The reputation of the party has suffered immeasurably, especially at the provincial and local level. There have been tens of thousands of “mass incidents” annually, reported on by the government itself. They include peasants protesting their lands being sold off to developers; workers protesting against employers violating their rights; protests against pollution; and numerous other grievances.

In this campaign led by Xi to deal with the political and social decay brought on by concessions to capitalism and imperialism, the leadership is harkening back to memories and associations with the heroic period of the Chinese Revolution.

It is notable that Xinhua, undoubtedly with the agreement and perhaps the advice of Xi, referred in the most favorable way to Mao as the authority in prescribing “hard work” and “plain living” as the correct practice for cadres. The reference to studying the revolutionary history of China as “nourishment” to strengthen the party is a breath of fresh air. Talk of “mass line,” “from the masses to the masses” and “serving the people heart and soul” — various prescriptions for self-correction and reflection — are clear references to the early stages of the Chinese Revolution.

The leadership is reaching back to earlier, more revolutionary times, both to warn the corrupt elements and to inspire the masses.

Entrenched bureaucratic interests must be fought from below

This campaign is a laudable step, certainly as regards its intentions, and hopefully it will bring about positive results. But there are deep contradictions and limitations in the campaign that must be overcome in order for it to achieve its objectives.

There are bureaucratic interests in the party that are tied in with government officials and those invested in capitalism who will not abandon their positions based upon moral appeals or social pressure alone. They will find a thousand ways to evade or obstruct the campaign, so long as it relies on voluntary compliance.

These entrenched interests must be fought. And the surest, most reliable way to fight them is to enlist the masses in the struggle. Without this, the campaign will be severely limited.

Corrupt officials must be weeded out. And this cannot be done from above. It must come from below, from the masses who are subject to official abuse, who know firsthand who are corrupt, who are opportunists, who are out for themselves, who are privately collaborating with the landlords or the developers and the bosses, who violate the rules that protect the people’s interests, who laud it over the people and so on.

It is ironic that Bo Xilai, a popular former party official and Politburo member in charge of Chongqing Province, now languishes in detention because he was persecuted by the present leadership. Among other things that put him out of favor with the leadership was that he called upon the masses in Chongqing to report corrupt officials, business people and party officials. Bo waged a hard campaign to prosecute and jail these corrupt elements as part of his overall campaign to slow down the march along the capitalist road.  And Bo tried to restore Maoist culture.

Reading the Marxist classics and popularizing the idea of remaining loyal to communism is a healthy and ideologically cleansing program. The more widely it is implemented, the greater the benefit for socialist forces in China.

But it will take more than reading to overcome the pragmatists, the opportunists and the capitalists who were allowed into the party by Jiang Zemin in 1992. Marxism asserts that being determines consciousness. While some individuals can re-educate themselves, the broad layers of privileged officials will not do so voluntarily. It will take a fight. Perhaps the Xi leadership has anticipated this and has a plan to break the resistance of recalcitrant elements. That would be all to the good.

Economics determines politics

But there is a more fundamental problem. The problem is the very existence of outrageous privilege itself in the party. In the early Bolshevik revolution, Lenin and his collaborators instituted the “law of the maximum,” following the example of the Paris Commune. No party member could earn more than the highest-paid worker.

This was a measure designed precisely to prevent privilege and its companion, corruption. It was the abandonment of this practice and the growth of inequality that was one of the decisive factors leading to the alienation of the Soviet workers and the decline of the Soviet party leadership, making the USSR vulnerable to capitalist counterrevolution as it came under pressure from imperialism on all sides.

Privilege in China, under the regime of so-called “market socialism,” is out in the open. It is praised as a sign of accomplishment, not in the party so much as in society as a whole. China has strayed far, far away from socialist norms and has become enveloped by capitalist norms.

When Xi calls upon party members to be loyal to communism and to study “socialism with Chinese characteristics,” what he is not acknowledging is the relationship between politics and economics. It is a foundational tenet of Marxism that in the long run economics determines politics — and morality, social consciousness, legality and ideology as well.

“Socialism with Chinese characteristics” is actually a phrase whose content is a socialist China in partnership with domestic and international capitalists. But this is a wholly antagonistic partnership — one in which the capitalist side strives to destroy the socialist side.

In addition to being affected by the spread of private capitalists — who are corrupt and corruptors — the socialist sector, the state-owned enterprises, the banking system and the planners have adopted capitalist market models. This is a great source of corruption inside the state itself.

Xi has not yet declared openly his economic program nor has he taken a public position on the economic orientation of Prime Minister Li Keqiang. Li is calling for the reduction of the role of the central government in the economy, including reducing the role of state-owned enterprises, ending the use of economic stimulus to support the economy, increasing the role of small and medium private businesses in the Chinese economy, and opening up widely to foreign investment in finance and other crucial areas.

In fact, last year Li was a co-sponsor, along with the World Bank, of a long and detailed report entitled “China 2030.” This was a blueprint for profoundly undermining the remaining fundamental structures of Chinese socialism — government planning, state-owned enterprises, and central financial and economic control by the Communist Party.

Xi himself is a devoted advocate of so-called “market socialism.” Market socialism means socialism side by side with and contaminated by capitalism. The acquisitive, grasping quest for profit and individual material gain that characterizes capitalism has permeated China and eroded the socialist spirit.

The destruction of the rights and benefits of the working class and the peasants to jobs, land, education, health care and housing that were bedrocks of the revolution of 1949 were abandoned by the Deng leadership and subsequent leaderships.

Now the chickens have come home to roost in the form of the alienation of the masses. Xi, to his credit, sees this as a threat to the party and the foundation of what remains of socialism in China.

But the Xi leadership is trying to fight the symptom without tackling the disease: capitalist penetration of the economy and the social mores, ideology and the very core socialist spirit of the Chinese Revolution.

Perhaps the attempt to turn back this reactionary tide of corruption and bureaucracy will lead to greater struggles in which the masses can intervene and act in their own name and on their own behalf.

But one thing is certain: the politics of anti-corruption, anti-bureaucratic reform on the one hand and capitalist market economics on the other are thoroughly opposed to one another.

China: Tibetans Must Defend Socialism Against Dalai Lama

CPC and Tibetans: an alliance based on improving people's livelihoods.

CPC and Tibetans: an alliance based on improving people’s livelihoods.

Xinhua

Top political advisor Yu Zhengsheng has called for lasting prosperity and stability of the Tibetan region in China by accelerating the improvement of locals’ livelihoods and fighting against the 14th Dalai Lama clique.

The Dalai Lama has long been engaged in secessionist activities, which runs against both the common interests of people of various ethnic groups and the traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, said Yu, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee.

The Dalai Lama’s “middle way,” aimed at achieving so-called “high-degree autonomy” in “Greater Tibet,” is completely opposite to China’s Constitution and the country’s system of regional ethnic autonomy, Yu said.

He urged for an absolute fight against the Dalai clique in order to realize national unification and the Tibetan region’s development and stability.

Tibetan Buddhists should politically draw a clear line with the Dalai Lama and firmly oppose any secessionist act that sabotages the CPC’s rule and the socialist system, Yu said.

The policies of the CPC Central Committee toward the Dalai Lama are “consistent and clear,” he said.

“Only when the Dalai Lama publicly announces that Tibet is an inalienable part of China since ancient time, gives up the stance of ‘Tibet independence’ and stops his secessionist activities, can his relations with the CPC Central Committee possibly be improved,” Yu said.

In Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in southern Gansu Province, Yu visited herders, saying that development is the priority of the region, which includes Tibet Autonomous Region and parts of Qinghai, Gansu and Sichuan provinces in western China, so as to improve the living conditions of farmers and herders.

“Only when people’s lives have been improved can they be better united with the CPC and become a reliable basis for maintaining stability,” said Yu.

China Welcomes Whistleblower Edward Snowden

china-internet

Xu Peixi

Last week, a bright idealistic young man named Edward Snowden almost single-handedly opened the lid on the U.S. National Security Agency’s PRISM program, a program which marks the bleakest moment yet in the history of the Internet due to its scope, exact country of origin and implications.

In terms of scope, major transnational service providers ranging from Google to Apple are involved in allowing the NSA to access their customers’ data for the purposes of “surveillance.” Nearly all types of services ranging from email to VoIP have come within the program’s scope and it originates in a country which dominates the world’s Internet resources – a fact which is acknowledged in the information leaked by Snowden clearly states: “Much of the world’s communications flow through the U.S.” and the information is accessible. The case indicates that through outsourcing and contracting, Big Brother is breaching the fundamental rights of citizens by getting unfettered access to their most personal communications.

As the case unfolds, there are many things to worry about. How do we make sense of the fact that the market and the state colluded in the abuse of private information via what represents the backbone of many modern day infrastructures? How do we rationalize the character of Snowden and his fellow whistleblowers? How do we understand the one-sided cyber attack accusations the U.S. has poured upon China in the past few months? To what degree have foreign users of these Internet services fallen victim to this project? Among all these suspicions, let us clarify two types of American personality.

First of all, Snowden’s case offers us a rare chance to reexamine the integrity of American politicians and the management of American-dominant Internet companies, and it appears that while many of these individuals verbally attack other nations and people in the name of freedom and democracy, they ignore America’s worsening internal situation. In an eloquent speech on Internet freedom, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that if Internet companies can’t act as “responsible stewards of their own personal information,” then they would lose customers and their survival would be threatened. In the same speech, she also urged U.S. media companies to take a proactive role in challenging foreign governments’ demands for censorship and surveillance.

Clinton was certainly under the impression that her own government was above reproach on these matters, when every piece of evidence, whether in hindsight or not, suggests the opposite. We must also remember that Clinton’s Internet freedom speech was addressing Google’s grand withdrawal from China; so, following the logical thread of her speech, it is surely now time for Google to take responsibility for leaking data and information to the NSA and withdraw from the U.S. market. David Drummond, Google’s senior vice president and chief legal officer, justified Google’s withdrawal from China by citing state “surveillance” and the “fact” that the Gmail accounts of dozens of human rights activists were being “routinely accessed by third parties”. If Google wants to be consistent with its past pronouncements, the PRISM program gives the Internet giant much more cause for action.

We can see, therefore, that when American politicians and businessmen make accusatory remarks, their eyes are firmly fixed on foreign countries and they turn a blind eye to their own misdeeds. This clearly calls into question the integrity of these rich, powerful and influential figures and gives the definite impression that the U.S. bases its own legitimacy not on good domestic governance but on stigmatizing foreign practices.

Perhaps the most confusing issue revolves around the hypocrisy of those who preach about Internet freedom abroad while they stifle it at home. The Fudan University students who listened intently to President Obama’s speech about Internet freedom and censorship at a town hall-style meeting in Shanghai in 2009 certainly took his remarks seriously. How must they be feeling now that it is obvious that President Obama himself does not believe his own Internet rhetoric? In the same vein, many like-minded young Chinese once presented flowers to Google’s Beijing headquarters to pay tribute to its “brave” and outspoken challenge to perceived state surveillance by the Chinese government. How must they be feeling in light of Google’s involvement in PRISM and with the knowledge that Google’s action against China is only part of its commercial strategy? An increasing number of Chinese people will come to understand that the democratization of domestic Chinese media is entirely different from that which happens abroad.

Second, let us look at another kind of American personality. How can we understand and explain Snowden and similar figures? These young idealists, including the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein who helped to bring down President Nixon in the Watergate affair, Wiki leaks’ Julian Assange and former American soldier Bradley Manning, among others, can be categorized as the “bright feathers” of our time, to borrow some words from the popular American movie The Shawshank Redemption. Plus, they all embody the courage to fight against the system, which the film also celebrates. The 25-year old Manning is now a prisoner, having been arrested in May 2010 in Iraq on suspicion of having passed classified material to WikiLeaks. Assange has been confined in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for nearly a year. Snowden is on the run in Hong Kong. While human rights activists from developing countries (defined by Western apparatus for sure) are often blessed with a choice of hiding places, we are now seeing the dilemma of Western dissidents. For this reason China, despite the fact that it does not have a good reputation as far as Internet governance is concerned, should move boldly and grant Snowden asylum.

After all, what the American and British authorities have done to figures such as Snowden represents a challenge to the common sense of the global public. These people are too brilliant to be caged. Their feathers are too bright. For the surfacing evils that have been done and continue to be committed by the state-market alliance in the digital age, Snowden and those like him represent the hope and possibility that counter measures exist to combat these evils. Unfortunately, those who proclaim to the world “don’t be evil” are themselves willing cooperators in the whole game and their profit-driven nature has led them to play a major role in this evil. If intelligence work can be contracted or outsourced this way, anything can.

This is the reason why we appreciate and salute the efforts of Snowden et al, who have gambled their career, family, personal freedom, and even their life to let the global public know what the most powerful force in the world is doing with perhaps the central infrastructure of our age; to make the public aware that this force is acting in an unconstitutional manner and entirely contrary to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. To further understand the likes of Snowden, let us end with a narrative by the character Red from the Shawshank Redemption as he rationalizes the escape of his friend Andy: “Some birds are not meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice.”

China and Africa: The West Just Doesn’t Get It

New Worker

China has been investing heavily in Africa over the last few years but has not been telling the West much about the details — giving rise to all sorts of speculation about China’s motives, claims of unfair secrecy and Chinese ambitions to grab control of supplies of vital raw materials.

So United States researchers have been beavering away to build up a big public database of Chinese development in Africa, giving details of 1,700 projects in 50 countries since 2000. These researchers, from AidData at the College of William and Mary, have spent 18 months creating their database. They have been looking to discover any underhanded practices by the Chinese; they are certainly not pro-Chinese propagandists.

They found that China’s financial commitments in Africa are much larger than previously thought. China has committed $75 billion (£48 billion) on aid and development projects in Africa in the past decade, according to research which reveals the scale of what some have called Beijing’s escalating soft power “charm offensive to secure political and economic clout on the continent.”

This is still less than the $90 billion the US has spent in “aid” to Africa but is likely to be more useful to Africans because it does not include strings linked to privatisation of public utilities or the funding of mercenaries to destabilise governments it does not like.

They found that China is still keeping to the Eight Principles of Chinese aid that date from 1964:

1. Equality and mutual benefit form the basis of Chinese aid;

2. China respects sovereignty, never attaches conditions or asks for privileges;

3. China helps lighten the burden with interest-free or low-interest loans and by extending repayment terms when necessary;

4. The purpose of aid is to help countries become self-reliant;

5. Projects that require less investment but yield quicker results are favoured;

6. China provides quality equipment and materials manufactured in China at international market prices;

7. China will help recipient countries master the techniques of any technical assistance;

8. Chinese experts will have the same standard of living as those of the recipient country and are not allowed to make special demands.

The data obtained by this American research challenges western capitalist assumptions —Beijing’s unrelenting quest for natural resources.

There are few mining projects in the database and, while transport, storage and energy initiatives account for some of the largest sums, the data also reveals how China has put hundreds of millions of dollars towards health, education and cultural projects.

In Liberia, China has put millions towards the installation of solar traffic lights in Monrovia and financed a malaria prevention centre. In Mozambique, China’s projects include a National School for Visual Arts in Maputo. In Algeria, construction has begun on a multimillion dollar 1,400-seat opera house in the Ouled Fayet suburbs of western Algiers.

China has also sent thousands of doctors and teachers to work in Africa, welcomed many more students to learn in China or in Chinese language classes abroad and rolled out a continent-wide network of sports stadiums and concert halls.

Western analysts are going crazy trying to work out China’s motives and why it is doing so much that does not seem to bring in any direct profit. Western propagandists are forever cynically proclaiming human rights and humanitarianism while impoverishing and oppressing millions in the Third World.

They cannot grasp that these “sinister Orientals” have a better grasp of human rights — that, as Stalin said, “free speech” and “voting rights” are a poor joke to someone who has no job, no home and no idea where the next meal is coming from.

In other words, in spite of their successes in economic growth using capitalist methods, the Chinese state still retains working class, communist values and their humanitarianism is not a cynical pretence.

Voice of America Promotes Tibetan Self-Immolation

Tibet Online

On December 2, 2012, Sangdegye, an 18-year old Tibetan young man from Xiahe County of Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, northwest China’s Gansu Province, bought three liters of gasoline and some painkillers in the village grocery, and drove a borrowed motorcycle toward the nearby Bora Temple.

At 2 pm, he poured the gasoline on his clothes and set himself on fire. Although the hospital rescued him, he lost both legs forever.

Why did he set himself on fire?

“I burned myself because of the Voice of America (VOA for short),” said Sangdegye, who used to watch the VOA Tibetan-language programs, said he admired the self-immolators VOA reported on, as they were like “heroes”.

Actually, the “heroes” in the eyes of Sangdegye are also young audiences poisoned by those VOA reports.

Kimba, a regular viewer of VOA Tibetan-language programs in Tongren County, Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Qinghai Province, also watched the VOA self-immolation reports with his friend named Kumi Tenzin the day before he set himself on fire.

After hearing that the Dalai Lama would “pray for the self-immolators”, Kimba set himself alight on the Regong Cultural Square of Tongren County the next day. He did it because he “wants to be famous”.

From the screen to the reality, the Voice of America has been involved in the Tibetan self-immolation incidents. It is not only the behind plotter of the stage “heroes”, but also the “invisible killer” who grips the soul of the self-immolators.

According to the Xinhua news report, police in northwest China’s Gansu Province said on February 27, 2013 that they found Karong Takchen, a 21-year-old monk from a temple in neighboring Sichuan Province, had entered Gansu last July to organize self-immolation activities.

Karong Takchen acted under the instruction of Gantrin and Kunga, both members of the Tibetan Youth Congress, as well as Amdo, a Tibetan broadcaster for the Voice of America and a VOA journalist Palden.

He had colluded with local monks Samuten, Tashi Gyamuktso and Tentsang to recruit self-immolation volunteers in several places.

They encouraged a series of self-immolations within 20 days that led to the death of three people.

However, David Ensor, director of the VOA denied the report. Losang Gyatso, head of the Tibetan language department of the VOA claimed that “any news reports are not affected by the Dalai Lama or the Tibetan government-in-exile.”

Even the U.S. government, which has always advocated “press freedom”, stands out as shield for the VOA’s misconduct.

Victoria Nuland, spokesperson of the US State Department said in Washington that “the State Department supports the VOA’s declaration that it had not been involved in the Tibetans self-immolation incidents.”

Had the VOA really “not been involved in the Tibetans self-immolation incidents”?
How could VOA obtain first-hand materials?

Since 2012, the Tibetan Language service center of the VOA for many times first released scoops about the self-immolations taken place in Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Gansu Province and Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan. In 2013, the reports become much more detailed.

For example, as soon as the self-immolation took place in Aba on January 18, the VOA soon “obtained” the first-hand photos at the scene. On January 22, no sooner had a Tibetan burned himself in Xiahe County of Gansu than a photo of his identity card was uploaded on its website. On February 3, the VOA again released its exclusive report after a monk in the Roige County of Sichuan set himself on fire.

Although it is quite far from the scene, the VOA always has the first-hand material and immediately responds to the self-immolations.

“By Reviewing the reports about the self-immolations for the past two years, we have found that VOA always took the lead in releasing news of self-immolations, and most of them were exclusive reports,” a netizen commented on the website.

Could the VOA foretell the occurrence of self-immolations? Or how could it respond to them in such a short time with photos and exclusive reports?Didn’t it claim that all news in the Tibetan areas “has been strictly controlled”?

People could feel the political inclination of the VOA through every word of its reports.

The information source of the VOA is unbalanced either from the macroscopic or microcosmic point of view.

“Both its blurred information and careful choice of words are deliberate with ulterior motives,” said Song Ying, a scholar of the Beijing Foreign Studies University who has been carrying out an analytical research on the discourse of the VOA reports since 2005.

For example, she talked about a VOA report on February 26, 2013 that all quotations used were from the Tibetan activists without any words from the Chinese government. It intentionally misled readers to believe that the Tibetans “had no other choice but burned themselves as they were in a great dilemma”, and claimed that the self-immolation “is permissible by the Chinese law”.

“VOA committing crimes against the Chinese, especially Tibetans”

In order to help the U.S. government gain maximum political interest the VOA collaborates with the Dalai clique to distort truth, which is the only reasonable explanation for the VOA’s act.

The VOA stated to launch the Tibetan Language Channel in 1991. As China is becoming more powerful, the Dalai clique soon became the only bargaining chip for the U.S.government to contain China.