Obama: Tibet Is Part of China

President Barack Obama made an surprising concession, long sought by the Chinese government, in his recent visit to China. While largely ignored by most reporters covering the speech, Obama stated the following: “We did note that while we recognize that Tibet is part of the People’s Republic of China, the United States supports the early resumption of dialogue between the Chinese government and representatives of the Dalai Lama to resolve any concerns and differences that the two sides may have.”

That would appear to reject the view of the and human rights activists that China invaded and occupied Tibet against its will. While the State Department has made such statements in the past, Presidents have been careful not to publicly ratify the Chinese occupation. Bush was not exactly a champion of Tibetan rights, but many (particularly in Hollywood) wanted Obama to push for a Free Tibet (or at least not reaffirm its absorption into China).

Advocates for Free Tibet have long complained that Obama was sacrificing their cause for better relations with China, which holds a huge amount of U.S. debt. This includes the decision of the White House not to have the President meet personally with the Dalai Lama recently, here.

Tibet, after all, became part of China after an invasion in 1950.

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19 thoughts on “Obama: Tibet Is Part of China”

  1. If China decides they want all their money back, now. We are all in a world of hurt. As the last communist super power with the largest military in the world, not to mention the largest population, along with considerable wealth, China could completely have their way with us. As far as tibet goes, it’s sad what has happened to them. They have a right to their way of life as the rest of us do. Unfortunately we have not been elected to save the world, nor can we.
    Back to China as a whole. You may want to start studying China. They are poised to be the one running the show in the end. That’s the truth.

  2. I can remember election nite like it was yesterday…I cried for the love of my country, I was so proud, not only that we had managed to get over some of our faults and elected a man of color president but this guy was gonna give us change we could believe in…..now were in the latter part of November and im so sad at what I see this administration doing and NOT doing I could cry again…but not happy tears

  3. One of the reasons I read this blog is for the very worthwhile bits of news that the Prof. picks up on and writes about. Another is the thought provoking comments made by the contributors.

    Re: Obama – the list keeps growing.

  4. GWMom.
    Could you give examples of some of these business ties that would stop China from asking from their money back?
    I think you have a point in the short term, but moving on to your later comments about Chinas very real interest in African nations, it may not be too long before those connections with the US become expendable.
    A lot of mineral riches just waiting to be had in Africa.

    I don’t think China will work out quite like Japan. Remember that very few regimes have such a high degree of control over their populations and that most of those that do are either regarded as “rogue” states or not nearly so damn BIG!
    I read a comment on the BBC a few weeks back from one of the big wigs at NASA. His belief was that it was precisely due to this control that China would be the first nation to send a manned mission to Mars.
    Japanese governments never had that amount of control after WW2, instead they had a lot of self discipline. When that generation started to retire/die off the problems began.

  5. Welocme to the worls of realpolitik

    Realpolitik (German: real “realistic”, “practical” or “actual”; and Politik “politics”) refers to politics or diplomacy based primarily on practical considerations, rather than ideological notions. In this respect, it shares aspects of its philosophical approach with those of realism and pragmatism. The term realpolitik is often used pejoratively to imply politics that are coercive, amoral, or Machiavellian. Realpolitik is a theory of politics that focuses on considerations of power, not ideals, morals, or principles. The term was coined by Ludwig von Rochau, a German writer and politician in the 19th century, following Klemens von Metternich’s lead in finding ways to balance the power of European empires. Balancing power to keep the European pentarchy was the means for keeping the peace, and careful Realpolitik practitioners tried to avoid arms races.

    Rodrigo Borja defines it as the principle on which nations act, in their foreign policies, driven by their own interests and not by altruism, friendship, idealism or solidarity considerations, power has a decisive role in international relations.



  6. nal,

    I was funna ya. You make good points. Come on, no one here can hold a candle to your corrections. No one.

    Sorry if I offended you.

  7. Nal’s comment was right on point. Tibet was hardly the pre-invasion paradise it is made out to be and the Dalai Lama has actually grown as a great human, having been relieved of his political position. What the Chines did with Tibet was reprehensible though and I certainly can’t defend it, nor can/or will I defend the brutality of its’ current occupation. What is the solution though? Will the world go to war over it? Does lack of recognition of the reality of China’s occupation affect the lives of Tibetans one damn bit? China is a Fascist Nation, under a Communist cloak and probably among the worst of industrialized powers. While we can never forget this, we are limited to dealing with it diplomatically, unless anyone thinks the invasion of a huge country, with a population of two billion makes sense.

    For those who view the Chinese holding our debt as being ominous, I have some sympathy. However, please remember recent history and the fact that Japan seemed to be buying up the US in the mid to late 80’s. Somewhere along the way the Japanese wound up with a depressed economy and a bundle of losses. As hateful as our financial marketeers may be, never underestimate their ability to lure in another sucker. The emergence of Chinese hegemony is no done deal, when dealing with the craft of our Wall Street con men.

  8. So, basically we want Obama to say that it’s not o.k. to invade a country, overthrow an established (theocratic) government, and violate the human rights of it’s inhabitants. That’d be great, but if charity starts at home, so should foreign policy.

    If we want to lecture China on empire building, we need to stop trying to build our own.

  9. Nal, How could you say something like that. Professor ban nal for thinking outside of the corrections page. Hurry, he is selling and I don’t like the smell of it.

    Now let’s get real. We at one time had a use of the strategic placement of Tibet. Chang Kai-Shek was instrumental in this as well. The US backed him until about 49 and he ultimately lost his bid to undo the Maoist bid for this region. Ever heard of the Flying Tiger, Claire Cheanault(sp)? Something about WWII and Japan not being to far away and if we had had to have a base somewhere else we would not have been able to keep Japan in tact. Far be it from me to know how this will play out in history. We do like cheap computers don’t we?

  10. Maaarrghk asks what happens if China wants all of its money back now.

    nothing. they won’t and can’t do that. not really. the business ties we have with china far outweigh china’s anger if Obama says publicly that China should get out of Tibet.
    of course, Obama is a big disappointment to liberals and most democrats and this is just one thing to add to the list.

    China is looking to Africa is a very open way and doesn’t mind investing in African infrastructure in order to get at the natural resources. This means that all the manufacturing china does for american companies with chinese and taiwanese contract manufacturers and all the computer tech/quality support that are outsourced to china have created a huge source of chinese employment opportunities and are responsible for china’s great wealth.

  11. Well, he can’t very well go around upsetting China can he.

    To put it bluntly, what happens to the US if China says “We want our money back. All of it. Now.”

    Poor Tibet.

  12. Nal,

    I’m so glad you said that!

    Of course, this has everything to do with the US being a division of China Inc.! Statements like these let out the truth despite all the false “news” we receive every day. Everything’s great financially? Of course not. Not staying in Iraq and Afghanistan? What is that giant embassy and prison doing there? I’ve been amazed at the constant lies. You have to keep looking around what is said to what is done to glean anything resembling the truth. Very hard for a “democracy” to function under the weight of all those lies. We are like our new BFF, Russia. If we we’re smarter, we’d pick up tips from a more functional totalitarian nation–China!

  13. I will have to concede nal’s stipulation. Although Tibet previously worked as a feudal theocracy, I do not think it can post-invasion. Of all the characteristics that allowed that worst of all forms to work in Tibet, isolation and homogeneous population were key. Tibet is no longer isolated in the Internet/Space age and it’s people are no longer homogeneous thanks to deliberate pro-Chinese immigration programs the Chinese instituted with the sole function being to dilute the local population and diffuse resistance. While I do not think they can step backward (and theocracy in any form is a step backward), I think that as a non-aggressor state (no matter that the cause is theocratic) that Tibet should have the right to self-determination like any other peaceful nation. The form going forward should have been the issue. Not giving the Chinese their prize. Unless Dredd is correct and this is the payoff for current/future U.S. expansionism. In which case, both larger governments deserve to fail and have the citizens eat their leaders.

  14. While I do not support the invasion and occupation of Tibet, neither do I support the feudal theocracy that existed under the Dalai Lama.

  15. The inverse side of the coin may be “Afghanistan and Iraq are parts of the United States” but that will not go over either.

    Good eye Professor Turley!


    You suck!

    I recognize Tibet.

    And that the President is a clown.

    Not a damn dime in Chinese money better show in your campaign next time, sport. So start hiding your finances now. Make sure it’s all properly laundered.

    Human rights and national determination for a non-aggressor invaded state.

    On that topic, you’re a liar and fraud Obama.

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