Tibet: China frustrates imperialist sabotage

The entire imperialist camp is currently engaged in a hysterical campaign against the People’s Republic of China, focused largely, but not exclusively, on the issue of Tibet in the run up to the Beijing Olympics this August.

On 14 March 2008, gangs of violent thugs, including a number of Buddhist monks, rampaged through the streets of the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, in what Channel 4 and New Statesman journalist Lindsey Hilsum referred to, quoting an eyewitness, as an “orgy of racist violence”. (The truth about Tibet, New Statesman, 19 March 2008. For the avoidance of doubt, let it be noted here that Hilsum is an ardent reactionary who never has a good word to say about China and therefore we have no reason to doubt her in this instance!) These mobs launched violent attacks against members of China’s majority Han nationality as well as muslims from the minority Hui nationality and anybody who stood in their way, including a Tibetan doctor who tried to help victims of their violent assaults. They attacked shops and businesses, government buildings, hospitals, schools and the Lhasa mosque. On the first day, they injured 623 people, including 241 police, and killed 18. Contrary to the lies spread by western media and governments, as well as the Dalai Lama, the police suffered heavy casualties because they had been ordered to act with the utmost restraint and not to use force against people if at all possible.

Among those killed on 14 March were five young women shop assistants burned to death in the clothing store where they worked. The International Herald Tribune (In life and death, Tibet victims belie official account by David Barboza, 29-30 March 2008) reported:

“Four of the women were Han Chinese. The fifth was a 21-year-old ethnic Tibetan named Cirenzhuoga… Her family is as angry as others at the protestors…

“Cirenzhuoga, the ethnic Tibetan, was described as a hard worker who had many friends who were Han Chinese.

“‘My sister was very frugal’, said Cirenzhuoga’s elder brother, Danmuzhen, who lives on the Tibetan plain with his family. ‘She always bought the cheapest clothes for herself and saved money for the family.’”…

“On March 14, the women were at work when Tibetans rampaged through Lhasa’s old quarter, and tried to get word to their relatives about what was happening.

“Cirenzhuoga text-messaged an aunt in Lhasa at 3:30pm about the turmoil: ‘Don’t go outside. We are hiding in the store.’

“Liu [Liu Yan another of the young women martyrs] also messaged her prospective mother-in-law at 3:30: ‘Mom, don’t go outside. Be careful. Some are killing people.’”

Cirenzhuoga’s brother spoke with the authentic feelings of the vast majority of Tibetan working people, whose sentiments we completely endorse:

“Danmuzhen said his parents were too distraught to eat.

“‘I hope the government arrests all of them, gives them the heaviest punishment, sentences them to death, pays for my sister,’ he said. ‘The rioters are so brutal. We are all Tibetans.’”

In its 27 March 2008 edition, the Washington Post reported:

“In the moment, Canadian backpacker John Kenwood recalled, he was ‘young and stupid, and it was all adrenaline.’ He was running, one in a mob of 200 or so, screaming, ‘Free Tibet!’, and chasing riot police down a narrow street in downtown Lhasa in the early afternoon of March 14…

“The ebullient mood did not last long. The pack broke into smaller groups, gathering rocks and pulling out knives, looking for the next target.

“‘There was no more crowd to be part of. It looked like they were turning on everybody,’  said Kenwood, 19, describing the scene to reporters last week when he arrived in Kathmandu, Nepal, after 10 days in the Tibetan capital. ‘It wasn’t about Tibet freedom anymore.’…

“There are rumours that outsiders orchestrated the attacks, echoing the official Chinese government claim that the Dalai Lama, the exiled Buddhist leader, is to blame…

Claude Balsiger, another Swiss tourist, said he saw an elderly Chinese man clawed off his bicycle and thrown to the ground, where a rioter smashed his head with a large rock. ‘Some older Tibetans went to try to stop them, but others were howling like wolves. That’s how they supported’ the rioters, said Balsiger, 25. ‘Everything that looked Chinese was attacked and beaten up’”

The Washington Post quoted other eyewitness accounts testifying to the organised nature of the mob violence:

“The mob began kicking down doors and wrenching open shops, including the offices of the state-run Tibet Daily newspaper and the local bureau of the official New China News Agency. Zhang saw a man in his 30s shouting into a megaphone and a woman nearby, pointing. They appeared to be directing the mob where to attack, he said.

“One group grabbed a white barrel of gasoline, poured the liquid into the doorway of a shop and ignited it. In the space of about 30 minutes, seven fires were blazing on the block, including one in the building next door.

“Thick smoke billowed over the roof, and his guests began to panic. Zhang’s employees tied together heavy ropes to throw over the side of the building, an escape route. A firetruck soon arrived, though, and the flames were extinguished.

Zhang’s street remained quiet the next day. A few riot police officers appeared and positioned themselves in front of the news bureaux. Zhang said the police ordered him and his guests to stay inside. They did, discussing Friday’s chaos and swapping stories of rioters they felt certain could not have been local Tibetans; many of the guests said they had heard different dialects.”  (Eyewitnesses Recount Terrifying Day in Tibet. How a Protest Became a Rampage by Jill Drew.)

In its March 28-30 2008 edition, the Wall Street Journal (Monks, defying China, chant ‘Tibet is not free’ by Shai Oster and Gordon Fairclough) highlighted how the rioters had vented their fury on medical and educational establishments:

“After a Tibetan mob attacked a local clinic staffed by Tibetan doctors, one of the chief doctors, Zhan Dui, said the staff had to bar doors to keep mobs from getting further inside. ‘This violence was organised and had a goal, they wanted to undermine stability and unity,’ said the doctor, who had worked there for 40 years

A Tibetan nurse says her ambulance was assaulted by a Tibetan crowd as it tried to retrieve the wounded from the riots on March 14. She displays her Communist Party membership badge as she points out to journalists the shattered windows of her ambulance… ‘My religion is Marxism,’ she says when asked about her faith.

“In another part of town, another Tibetan, Ge San, runs a government-affiliated guesthouse for overseas Tibetans who have returned to invest. The main building is gutted. ‘This was led by the Dalai Lama,’ he says of the unrest, which has left entire blocks of Lhasa burned out. ‘Our recovery is being prepared under the party’s leadership and the government’s direction.’”

The Wall Street Journal report continued:

“One of the earliest targets was a Tibetan middle school not far from one of the most important temples in Lhasa. Most of the school’s 842 students are Tibetan… The students were trapped inside when the unrest broke out. Then, monks from a nearby monastery who had been sealed in by police hurled rocks and other debris over the schoolyard wall, setting one building on fire, said the school’s principal, Deji Zhouga. She said she couldn’t understand why her school was targeted.

“‘I’m Tibetan, but my vice principal is Han,’ she said. She said the government has preferential policies such as tuition wavers for Tibetan children. Critics say schooling has been eroding Tibetan culture. [sic] ‘Our students are unified just like a family,’ she said.”

From these three accounts, all from impeccably bourgeois, pro-imperialist newspapers, it is abundantly clear that what took place was both an orgy of racist violence against Han Chinese and Hui muslims, as well as of vicious class hatred directed in particular against those young Tibetans who have taken the road to a free and happy life under the leadership of the communist party and the people’s government, working alongside and making friends with fellow workers without regard to nationality, and partaking of the benefits of modern education and health care, all of which were denied to more than 95 per cent of the people when Tibet was under the cruel, medieval and theocratic rule of the Dalai Lama and his henchmen.

Such being the case, the very least that could be expected from any responsible government is that it would take firm measures to suppress the violence and ensure people’s safety. Indeed, more than 120 governments have conveyed their support to the Chinese government for the measures it has taken to restore order and protect the people.

However, in a display of brazen hypocrisy that would surely put even Josef Goebbels, the creator of the Nazis’ ‘big lie’ technique to shame, every imperialist politician, from George W Bush, to Angela Merkel, Nicholas Sarkozy and Gordon Brown, and not forgetting such two-faced weasels as Ken Livingstone, have united to sing from the same hymn sheet in describing the rioters as “peaceful protestors”, castigating China’s reasonable steps to restore order as a “brutal crackdown”, and making impudent demands on the Chinese government, calculating, quite incorrectly as it happens, that a Chinese desire to see them represented at the opening or closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics presents them with a golden opportunity to pressurise Beijing.

Writing in the Financial Times, a senior editor of the Weekly Standard, a US neo-conservative journal, described how the anti-China forces in the west had ranged over Sudan and Burma before settling on Tibet:

“Boycotting the Olympic Games scheduled for Beijing next August is a solution that has long been in search of a problem.”

In a few well-chosen words that cut a swathe through reams of sanctimonious liberal cant, the writer observed that China “gets blamed for policing too harshly, and it gets blamed when thugs go out and murder its citizens… To assume China will be cowed by our threats to, in essence, skip a party only highlights western frivolity and delusions of moral grandeur.” (“China will not easily be cowed”, by Christopher Caldwell, Financial Times, 29 March 2008)

The sequence of events, with the riots in Lhasa and other parts of Tibet and elsewhere in western China where Tibetan communities live, followed immediately by a coordinated campaign of political pressure from every imperialist capital, of violent attacks on the Olympic Torch relay, and on Chinese embassies and consulates, and of systematically doctored and fabricated reporting by such media outlets as the BBC and CNN, proves beyond any measure of doubt that what occurred was not some chance outburst of rage, but a carefully planned conspiracy plotted by the Dalai Lama clique together with its imperialist masters.

Before addressing why imperialism should have embarked on such a campaign at the present time, it is necessary to remind ourselves of a little Tibetan history and of what Tibet was like before liberation.

Historical Background

Tibet has been an integral part of the Chinese state since the 13th century and the very concept of Tibetan independence simply did not exist until it was created by British imperialism in the nineteenth century as part of its scheme to dismember China starting with the Opium Wars in the 1840s. Britain launched two invasions of Tibet, in 1888 and 1903-04, in an attempt to colonise the region so as to prevent any incursion towards the north of British-ruled India by tsarist Russia.

In a 6 April 2008 report (Interview: British invasions probed as root cause of Tibetan separatism), the Xinhua News Agency quoted Hu Yan, a professor from the Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China:

“Britain expanded its influence in Tibet after two wars of aggression, which also fostered a hotbed for the emergence of the pro-British upper class elements of Tibet… After realising that the plateau could not be conquered by [its] armed forces, the British imperialists began to build up their influence in the upper class elements of Tibet, instigating them to oppose the Chinese government in a bid to separate Tibet from China, bring it into the British sphere of influence and become its dependency as well as a buffer zone to protect the northeastern border of British India.”

With the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, Tibet was peacefully liberated by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in 1951. However, the central Chinese government respected the autonomy of the local government in Tibet and proceeded with reforms very cautiously.

The Dalai Lama, echoed by the imperialists, paints an idyllic picture of life in Tibet under his rule, “amid the wide open spaces of an unspoiled environment… a society dedicated to peace and harmony. We enjoyed freedom and contentment.”

However, under his rule, 95 percent of the population were either serfs or slaves, who had no rights of any kind and no property whatsoever and whose very lives depended on the whims of their masters from among the senior clergy and the nobility. It was a society more dark and more cruel than the feudalism of medieval Europe. To give just a small flavour of this reality, we quote here from an article, “Friendly Feudalism: The Tibet Myth” by the US political writer Michael Parenti:

“Young Tibetan boys were regularly taken from their peasant families and brought into the monasteries to be trained as monks. Once there, they were bonded for life. Tashi-Tsering, a monk, reports that it was common for peasant children to be sexually mistreated in the monasteries. He himself was a victim of repeated rape, beginning at age nine. The monastic estates also conscripted children for lifelong servitude as domestics, dance performers, and soldiers.

“In old Tibet there were small numbers of farmers who subsisted as a kind of free peasantry, and perhaps an additional 10,000 people who composed the ‘middle-class’ families of merchants, shopkeepers, and small traders. Thousands of others were beggars. There also were slaves, usually domestic servants, who owned nothing. Their offspring were born into slavery. The majority of the rural population were serfs. Treated little better than slaves, the serfs went without schooling or medical care. They were under a lifetime bond to work the lord’s land – or the monastery’s land – without pay, to repair the lord’s houses, transport his crops, and collect his firewood. They were also expected to provide carrying animals and transportation on demand.  Their masters told them what crops to grow and what animals to raise. They could not get married without the consent of their lord or lama. And they might easily be separated from their families should their owners lease them out to work in a distant location…

“One 22-year old woman, herself a runaway serf, reports: ‘Pretty serf girls were usually taken by the owner as house servants and used as he wished’; they ‘were just slaves without rights.’ Serfs needed permission to go anywhere. Landowners had legal authority to capture those who tried to flee. One 24-year old runaway welcomed the Chinese intervention as a ‘liberation.’ He testified that under serfdom he was subjected to incessant toil, hunger, and cold. After his third failed escape, he was mercilessly beaten by the landlord’s men until blood poured from his nose and mouth. They then poured alcohol and caustic soda on his wounds to increase the pain, he claimed.

“The serfs were taxed upon getting married, taxed for the birth of each child and for every death in the family. They were taxed for planting a tree in their yard and for keeping animals. They were taxed for religious festivals and for public dancing and drumming, for being sent to prison and upon being released. Those who could not find work were taxed for being unemployed, and if they travelled to another village in search of work, they paid a passage tax. When people could not pay, the monasteries lent them money at 20 to 50 percent interest. Some debts were handed down from father to son to grandson. Debtors who could not meet their obligations risked being cast into slavery.

“The Tibetan serfs were something more than superstitious victims, blind to their own oppression. As we have seen, some ran away; others openly resisted, sometimes suffering dire consequences. In feudal Tibet, torture and mutilation – including eye gouging, the pulling out of tongues, hamstringing, and amputation – were favoured punishments inflicted upon thieves, and runaway or resistant serfs. Journeying through Tibet in the 1960s, Stuart and Roma Gelder interviewed a former serf, Tsereh Wang Tuei, who had stolen two sheep belonging to a monastery. For this he had both his eyes gouged out and his hand mutilated beyond use. He explains that he no longer is a Buddhist: ‘When a holy lama told them to blind me I thought there was no good in religion.’  Since it was against Buddhist teachings to take human life, some offenders were severely lashed and then ‘left to God’ in the freezing night to die.

“In 1959, Anna Louise Strong visited an exhibition of torture equipment that had been used by the Tibetan overlords. There were handcuffs of all sizes, including small ones for children, and instruments for cutting off noses and ears, gouging out eyes, breaking off hands, and hamstringing legs. There were hot brands, whips, and special implements for disembowelling. The exhibition presented photographs and testimonies of victims who had been blinded or crippled or suffered amputations for thievery. There was the shepherd whose master owed him a reimbursement in yuan and wheat but refused to pay. So he took one of the master’s cows; for this he had his hands severed. Another herdsman, who opposed having his wife taken from him by his lord, had his hands broken off. There were pictures of Communist activists with noses and upper lips cut off, and a woman who was raped and then had her nose sliced away.

“Earlier visitors to Tibet commented on the theocratic despotism. In 1895, an Englishman, Dr AL Waddell, wrote that the populace was under the ‘intolerable tyranny of monks’ and the devil superstitions they had fashioned to terrorise the people. In 1904 Perceval Landon described the Dalai Lama’s rule as ‘an engine of oppression.’ At about that time, another English traveller, Captain WFT O’Connor, observed that ‘the great landowners and the priests… exercise each in their own dominion a despotic power from which there is no appeal,’ while the people are ‘oppressed by the most monstrous growth of monasticism and priest-craft.’ Tibetan rulers ‘invented degrading legends and stimulated a spirit of superstition’ among the common people. In 1937, another visitor, Spencer Chapman, wrote, ‘The Lamaist monk does not spend his time in ministering to the people or educating them. . . . The beggar beside the road is nothing to the monk. Knowledge is the jealously guarded prerogative of the monasteries and is used to increase their influence and wealth.’”

Such an outdated, cruel and exploitative society could obviously not be expected to sit idle indefinitely whilst the positive example set by the PLA soldiers began to educate, inspire and give courage to the masses of Tibetan serfs and slaves. In 1959, the Tibetan upper classes, egged on and supported by the CIA and other reactionary forces, staged a rebellion, which was easily crushed by the joint efforts of the PLA and the Tibetan working people. The Dalai Lama fled into exile in India, since which time he has hired himself out as a political prostitute at the service of imperialism’s scheming against socialist China.

Relieved at last of the burden of feudal and theocratic oppression, the Tibetan masses rapidly undertook democratic reforms and in 1965 founded the Tibetan Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China, thereby, for the first time in history, exercising their genuine right to self-determination, by becoming masters of their own home as part of a socialist family of nationalities.

The Tibetan peoples’ standard and quality of life has progressed in leaps and bounds. Per capita income has doubled since 2002. Billions have been and are being invested in education, health care and public housing. Completely refuting the Dalai Lama’s preposterous claims of genocide, in 1964 there were 1.2 million Tibetans living in Tibet, by the time of the 2000 census, the population of Tibetans living in the autonomous region had surged to 2.41 million, comprising 92 percent of the region’s total population. Average life expectancy has increased from 35.5 years in the 1950s to 67. Above all, state power has been placed firmly in the hands of former serfs and slaves and their descendants.  The Chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Region government, Qiangba Puncog is a former factory worker whose parents were destitute vegetable farmers in eastern Tibet in the old society. He told a 9 April press conference:

“When my parents talked about the old times, they said the misery and hardship were beyond word. I happened to be around in the good times. I had the chance to receive an education, to get a job and then to work my way up to be chairman of the autonomous region… Those who have endured severe winters feel the warmth of the sunshine best. Of course, former serf owners think differently. But when we talk about human rights, it should refer to the rights of the great majority.” (“Tibetans enjoy ‘unprecedented human rights’”, China Daily, 10 April 2008.)

US backing for Dalai Lama and its underlying rationale

From the 1950s onwards, as in many other parts of the world, US imperialism has taken over from the British as the main proponent of “Tibetan independence”, a role it continues to play; only the methods have changed somewhat.  In his article, “Risky Geopolitical Game: Washington Plays ‘Tibet Roulette with China’”, (Global Research, 10 April 2008), F. William Engdahl notes:

“The current Tibet operation apparently got the green light in October last year when George Bush agreed to meet the Dalai Lama for the first time publicly in Washington. The President of the United States is not unaware of the high stakes of such an insult to Beijing. Bush deepened the affront to America’s largest trading partner, China, by agreeing to attend as the US Congress awarded the Dalai Lama the Congressional Gold Medal…

“The Dalai Lama travels in what can only be called rather conservative political circles. What is generally forgotten today is that during the 1930s the Nazis including Gestapo chief Heinrich Himmler and other top Nazi Party leaders regarded Tibet as the holy site of the survivors of the lost Atlantis, and the origin of the ‘Nordic pure race’.

“When he was 11 and already designated Dalai Lama, he was befriended by Heinrich Harrer, a Nazi Party member and officer of Heinrich Himmler’s feared SS. Far from the innocent image of him in the popular Hollywood film with Brad Pitt, Harrer was an elite SS member at the time he met the 11-year-old Dalai Lama and became his tutor in ‘the world outside Tibet’. While only the Dalai Lama knows the contents of Harrer’s private lessons, the two remained friends until Harrer died a ripe 93 in 2006.

“That sole friendship, of course, does not define a person’s character, but it is interesting in the context of later friends. In April 1999, along with Margaret Thatcher, and former Beijing Ambassador, CIA Director and President, George HW Bush, the Dalai Lama demanded the British government release Augusto Pinochet, the former fascist dictator of Chile and a longtime CIA client who was visiting England. The Dalai Lama urged that Pinochet not be forced to go to Spain where he was wanted to stand trial for crimes against humanity. The Dalai Lama had close ties to Miguel Serrano, head of Chile’s National Socialist Party, a proponent of something called esoteric Hitlerism…

“As author Michael Parenti notes in his work, Friendly Feudalism: The Tibet Myth, ‘during the 1950s and 60s, the CIA actively backed the Tibetan cause with arms, military training, money, air support and all sorts of other help.’ The US-based American Society for a Free Asia, a CIA front, publicised the cause of Tibetan resistance, with the Dalai Lama’s eldest brother, Thubtan Norbu, playing an active role in the group. The Dalai Lama’s second-eldest brother, Gyalo Thondup, established an intelligence operation with the CIA in 1951. It was later upgraded into a CIA-trained guerrilla unit whose recruits parachuted back into Tibet, according to Parenti.

“According to declassified US intelligence documents released in the late 1990s, ‘for much of the 1960s, the CIA provided the Tibetan exile movement with $1.7 million a year for operations against China, including an annual subsidy of $180,000 for the Dalai Lama.

“With help of the CIA, the Dalai Lama fled to Dharamsala, India where he lives to the present. He continues to receive millions of dollars in backing today, not from the CIA but from a more innocuous-sounding CIA front organisation, funded by the US Congress, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). The NED has been instrumental in every US-backed Colour Revolution destabilisation from Serbia to Georgia to Ukraine to Myanmar. Its funds go to back opposition media and global public relations campaigns to popularise their pet opposition candidates.

“As in the other recent Colour Revolutions, the US Government is fanning the flames of destabilisation against China by funding opposition protest organisations inside and outside Tibet through its arm, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

“The NED was founded by the Reagan Administration in the early 1980s, on the recommendation of Bill Casey, Reagan’s Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), following a series of high-publicity exposures of CIA assassinations and destabilisations of unfriendly regimes. The NED was designed to pose as an independent NGO, one step removed from the CIA and Government agencies so as to be less conspicuous, presumably. The first acting President of the NED, Allen Weinstein, commented to the Washington Post that, ‘A lot of what we [the NED] do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.’”

So, as we asked earlier, why such great imperialist interest in Tibet? First, because it is a repository of huge mineral and other wealth. To quote again from Engdahl:

“Tibet is also a treasure of minerals and also oil. Tibet contains some of the world’s largest uranium and borax deposits, one half of the world’s lithium, the largest copper deposits in Asia, enormous iron deposits, and over 80,000 gold mines. Tibet’s forests are the largest timber reserve at China’s disposal; …Tibet also contains some of the largest oil reserves in the region…

“And situated as it is, on the ‘roof of the world’, Tibet is perhaps the world’s most valuable water source. Tibet is the source of seven of Asia’s greatest rivers which provide water for two billion people. He who controls Tibet’s water has a mighty powerful geopolitical lever over all Asia.”

As in the nineteenth century, it is still the ‘great game’ that is being played, but this time not between two rival imperialist powers, but between US-led imperialism on the one hand, against the world’s largest socialist country, supported by the vast mass of countries and peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America, along with the international working class movement, on the other. It is a struggle in which no progressive person can remain neutral or stand on the sidelines, let alone cross class lines.

Yet the Trotskyite Socialist Workers’ Party (SWP), true to its own counter-revolutionary nature, hailed the counter-revolutionary violence under the heading “Tibet rises up against decades of oppression”. (Socialist Worker, 22 March 2008.) The SWP even managed to smuggle this pro-imperialist garbage into a statement by the Stop the War Coalition (StWC). Following a protest by the Communist Party of Great Britain – Marxist-Leninist (CPGB-ML), the coalition was compelled to withdraw this reactionary position and pledge not to repeat it. But StWC Chairman, Andrew Murray, a leading member of the revisionist Communist Party of Britain (CPB) complained bitterly:

“The publication of the few lines in a newsletter…was a political error, albeit one with no particular practical consequences.” (‘What are you trying to prove by defaming StWC’, Letters, Morning Star, 19 April 2008.)

What cynical opportunism! Not only do these revisionist scoundrels move heaven and earth to prevent the anti-war movement from adopting the only possible principled position of calling for victory to the Iraqi and Afghan resistance, lest it upset their allies and social base among social democracy and the labour aristocracy, they desperately seek to appease those self-same elements, and especially Comrade Murray’s Trotskyite friends, by washing their hands of their elementary duty to support People’s China and the right of the Tibetan people not to be forced back into abject slavery, in best Pontius Pilate-like fashion.

In the last 30 years, building on the strong foundations laid by the centrally planned economy of the Mao era, the Chinese economy has experienced double digit growth almost every year. No other major economy in history, save for that of the Soviet Union during the Stalin period, has experienced such a sustained period of high growth. In the process, some 400 million people have been lifted out of poverty, again the greatest reduction in poverty ever recorded in human history. During this period, in which she has aimed to buy time to modernise and strengthen the country, China has made numerous, and often major, concessions in both its domestic and foreign policies in an attempt to forestall and delay any confrontation with imperialism for as long as possible. However, despite the vast profits reaped by US monopolies in China, despite the Chinese propping up of the ailing US economy through its use of its foreign exchange reserves to purchase huge amounts of US Treasury Bonds, despite all the concessions offered in the sphere of foreign policy, China has remained a thorn in the flesh of imperialism for the simple reason that it remains a socialist country in which the communist party is in power.

Moreover, the rise of China has now reached a point where it is materially affecting the world balance of power. In the wake of the deepening imperialist crisis, publications such as the Economist and financial institutions such as Standard Chartered Bank are arguing that the Chinese and US economies are becoming “delinked” or “decoupled”, that is that the Chinese economy has developed to the point where even a deep recession in the United States will have only a marginal impact on China. And, in the wake of China’s rise, countries from South America to Africa, from the Middle East to south east Asia, to the former Soviet Union, are increasingly able to reject imperialist interference and build strong independent economies through deepening both political ties and trade and investment relations with China. As the reputation of US imperialism lies in tatters in Iraq, brought down by the heroic resistance of the Iraqi people, the international standing of socialist China, amongst the vast global majority, has never been higher.

The events in Tibet must therefore be seen as a sign of growing imperialist desperation as much as anything else. We have full confidence in the ability of the Communist Party of China, the government of the People’s Republic of China, the People’s Liberation Army and the People’s Armed Police to crush the counter-revolutionary turmoil and to safeguard the peaceful and happy life of the Chinese people of all nationalities, including the Tibetan people, just as they have always done in the past.