CHINESE’ STRING OF PEARLS’ TIGHTENS NOOSE AROUND SRI LANKAN NECK
China’s Neocolonialism is tightening the noose around necks of cash-strapped economies of countries in Asia and Africa while the United States watches helplessly as a silent spectator.
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WITH SRI LANKAN PORT ACQUISITION, CHINA ADDS ANOTHER ‘PEARL’ TO ITS ‘STRING’ – CNN
The Hambantota port facility, 2015
(CNN)When Sri Lanka’s government first looked to develop a port on its southern coast that faced the Indian Ocean, it went not to China, but to its neighbor, India.
The venture was considered economically unviable and indeed, in the years that followed, the port sat empty and neglected, and Sri Lanka’s debt ballooned.
But India’s economic foresight might have cost it in terms of strategic geopolitics, since the debt incurred on the port and the surrounding infrastructure undertakings now belong to its great rival.
China’s official licensing of the port in December last year gives it yet another point of access over a key shipping route, and the prospect of providing it with a sizeable presence in India’s immediate backyard and traditional sphere of influence, bringing China closer to India’s shores than New Delhi might like.
Sri Lankan dancers perform at the site of the Hambantota port during a ceremony marking the first phase of construction, August 15, 2010.
Moreover, Sri Lanka’s decision to sign a 99-year lease with a Chinese state-owned company for the Hambantota port to service some of the billions it owes to Beijing has some observers concerned other developing nations doing business with China as part of China’s One Belt One Road initiative might fall into similar financial straits.
A trap, they warn, that may well have them owing more than just money to Beijing.
“China is, in many cases, the only party with the interest and the capital to deliver on these projects,” said Jeff Smith, a research fellow on South Asia at the Heritage Foundation in Washington DC. “The relevant question for everyone is: at what cost?”
‘A determined strategy by China’
China has for decades invested in Sri Lanka, particularly during moments in recent history when much of the international community held off.
As the European Union sought to punish Sri Lanka over human rights abuses during the decades-long civil war between government forces and the Tamil Tigers, China acted on its behalf diplomatically at the United Nations. It also supplied the Rajapaksa government with military aid and it promised to spend to rebuild the country’s damaged infrastructure. India had also sent in military help, but nowhere near the levels Beijing dispatched.
The civil war ended in 2009. Between 2005 and 2017, China spent nearly $15 billion in Sri Lanka. By comparison, the International Finance Corporation, which is part of the World Bank group, says that between 1956 and 2016, it invested over $1 billion.
Jeff Smith points out that along with the Hambantota port investments, Beijing loaned Sri Lanka $200 million in 2010 for a second international airport and a year later a further $810 million for the “second phase of the port project.”
There was more. $272 million for a railway in 2013 and more than $1 billion for the Colombo Port City project, ventures that hired mostly Chinese workers (one Sri Lankan report put the number of Chinese workers dedicated to projects in 2009 at 25,000), and all with money Sri Lanka could barely afford to repay.
By 2015, Sri Lanka owed China $8 billion, and Sri Lankan government officials predicted that accumulated foreign debt — both owed to China and other countries — would eat up 94% of the country’s GDP.
After an equity swap, an IMF bailout and more control over the projects ceded to Beijing, the terms of the debt were restructured, giving Sri Lanka some breathing space.
In 2017, however, the Hambantota port proved too costly for Sri Lanka to sustain.
“They (the Chinese) called in the debt, and the debt has been paid by Sri Lanka giving them the (Hambantota) port. That port then gives them not only a strategic access point into India’s sphere of influence through which China can deploy its naval forces, but it also gives China an advantageous position to export its goods into India’s economic sphere, so it’s achieved a number of strategic aims in that regard,” said Malcolm Davis, senior analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute in Sydney.
“This is part of a determined strategy by China to extend its influence across the Indian Ocean at the expense of India and it’s using Sri Lanka to achieve it,” he said.
Details of the new agreement between China and Sri Lanka have not been made public.
The port is an “important project aimed at spurring local economic growth based on equality and mutual benefits,” according to the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It declined to answer further when asked by reporters.
Construction workers operate heavy equipment at the base of Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port August 1, 2010. Some 350 Chinese staff helped in the first phase of construction.
‘Creating demand for Chinese goods’
China’s claiming of controlling stakes in strategic ports along critical shipping lanes — what analysts have taken to referring to as its “string of pearls” — beginning at the Straits of Malacca and dotting the Indian Ocean, should signal Beijing’s ultimate ambitions, said Davis.
“There’s a bigger picture here, that the more you invest in the Belt and Road initiative, the more the Chinese are in a position to force your country to align politically in terms of policy,” Davis told CNN.
“So you become dependent on their investment and their largesse, and you’re less likely to be critical of them and you’re more likely to accommodate their interests strategically.”
China launched its ambitious One Belt One Road (OBOR) development strategy in 2013, investing in projects that include thousands of miles of highways in Pakistan, an international airport in Nepal and a rail link between China and Laos. The initiative would come to span more than 68 countries and encompass 4.4 billion people and up to 40% of global GDP. Consisting of two distinct parts, the Silk Road Economic Belt would stretch from China to Europe and include a host of trade and infrastructure projects, and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road would be a sea-based network of shipping lanes and port developments throughout Asia and the Pacific.
Beijing’s other potential partners are finding difficulty with some of their own joint projects.
Last November the government in Nepal scrapped a $2.5 billion deal with a Chinese company to build the biggest hydropower plant in the Himalayan country because of “irregularities” in the award process. The current Nepalese government, which had replaced the cabinet that had approved the earlier deal, announced the contract would instead go to a state-owned Nepali company.
In Myanmar, a $3.6 billion dam project has stalled. The then-military backed government suspended work on the Myitsone dam in the north of the country in 2011, with talks regarding its future ongoing.
Pakistan withdrew from a $14 billion agreement with China for a dam last November because the conditions of the deal included China taking ownership of the project and were “not doable and against our interests,” Pakistan’s Water and Power Development Authority chairman Muzammil Hussain was quoted as saying. Like Nepal, Pakistan has since indicated it would also look to shoulder the cost of the dam rather than go to an outside investor.
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs claimed to be unaware of this when asked about the situation by reporters in Beijing in December. The country’s top economic planning agency later said that the two countries were discussing cooperating on the dam project but that there’d been no discussion of proposals to move it forward. The agency said “Pakistan media’s reporting on this project has been inaccurate, or only represented the views of certain officials.”
But China is still spending in Pakistan. It is building a hydroelectric power station in the Rawalpindi district, and it is developing the port of Gwadar, strategically located on the Arabian Sea.
In Malaysia, China is spending $7.2 billion on a new deep sea port in the Straits of Malacca and working on infrastructure projects on the country’s eastern seaboard.
China’s trade deal with the Maldives government included investments in developing the international airport and a bridge, but the Maldives in return has taken on a significant number of controversial loan obligations.
Last July, former President Mohamed Nasheed said the loan interest the traditionally Indian ally pays to service its foreign debt to China is more than 20% of the country’s budget. He said that part of the deal included China’s receipt of 16 “strategically located islands” in navigation sea-lanes.
A Sri Lankan soldier walks past a billboard bearing portraits of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, ahead of Xi’s visit to the Sri Lankan capital Colombo, September 15, 2014.
Dean Cheng, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC, said that the initial wave of Chinese investments in the Indian Ocean, the so-called string of pearls, was largely driven by economic considerations. The investments, he said, “would facilitate economic growth, which would benefit Chinese companies. Moreover, the construction projects would entail Chinese workers (a feature of most Chinese projects abroad, bringing their own work force), and create a demand base for Chinese goods.”
At the same time, he said the Chinese are clearly intent on creating a friendly political network of states. “There’s nothing inherently dangerous about political considerations in economic investments,” he told CNN. “It would be foolish to think that any state is wholly driven by economic considerations.”
Leaders attend China’s Belt and Road Forum
The ever-encroaching Chinese presence into India’s sphere of political and economic influence has been noted, but so far, says Manoj Joshi, New Delhi purports to be unruffled, as long as Hambantota remains a commercial port, and no Chinese naval vessels suddenly appear in the vicinity.
“In 2014 a Chinese submarine was spotted in Colombo harbor and that was the first time we saw that and the Indian side was a bit concerned,” said Joshi, a distinguished fellow at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi. At the time Indian defense officials expressed “serious concern” to their Sri Lankan counterpart, and naval chiefs from both countries met to discuss the incidents. Then-Defense Minister Arun Jaitley said the government “keeps a constant watch on all developments concerning our national security and economic interests and takes necessary measures to safeguard them.”
A Chinese submarine and a Chinese warship were allowed to dock at the Colombo port in November 2014, just under two months after another Chinese submarine called into the same port. At the time both China and Sri Lanka dismissed New Delhi’s concerns, saying the vessels were on refueling stops during anti-piracy missions. Colombo port regularly hosts ships from numerous navies, including the US. But as China’s own navy becomes more ‘blue water’ [as in, able to move in open oceans around the world and not just in its own surrounding waters] these appearances will be more commonplace.
A Sri Lankan commando stands guard on the Hambantota construction site, November 18, 2010.
“It’s geopolitical competition and India sees itself as the foremost nation in Asia and with the Chinese building a port, building and airport, building roads in Sri Lanka, they’ve emerged as big investors there and the Indians are obviously feeling somewhat nervous because India doesn’t have those kind of resources to compete with,” Joshi told CNN.
“What we worry about is, we already have a border problem with China and now that competition goes to the Indian Ocean region. That could be against our interests.”
India and China share a 2,500 mile-long border, and have regularly faced off over perceived intrusions on each other’s terrain as well as activity in uninhabited territory claimed by China and Bhutan, an Indian ally.
“Everybody talks about China and India being major rivals, I think China doesn’t see India as a genuine long-term rival, I think it looks at India and sees a classic case of democracy gone wrong,” said Yvonne Chiu, assistant professor in the politics department at the University of Hong Kong.
“India is incredibly corrupt, its infrastructure is terrible, and it is riddled with religious and demographic problems,” she told CNN. “Except it is very large. It does have a big population as well and it’s on the border. So it’s a regional rival, but I don’t think they take India seriously as a global rival.”
Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa, center, flanked by his eldest son and parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa, right, and Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne, left, tour the Hambantota construction site, November 18, 2010.
For its part, India is now taking an active interest in Hambantota. The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is reported to be in talks with Sri Lanka about taking over the airport near the port, which was built using Chinese funds that Beijing itself wants to manage and is pushing for control with the Sri Lankan government. During a media briefing last November, Raveesh Kumar, an official spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, would only say that New Delhi has “a lot of developmental projects” going on in Sri Lanka and declined to elaborate further. Colombo has yet to make a decision involving the airport.
And New Delhi continues to actively participate in large-scale naval exercises in regional waters alongside allies Japan, and the US, and into the future, possibly Australia too, all to Beijing’s continued consternation.
Last year’s Malabar exercises in the Bay of Bengal involving the US, Japan and India were the largest the region has seen in more than two decades.
“India, of course, remains highly influential in Sri Lanka, and would not look kindly on any effort to pressure the government on matters related to defense and national security,” said Jeff Smith. “Nor would the Sri Lankan military, which values its exchanges with the US.”
Modi will be in Singapore in June, attending the Shangri-La dialogue, an annual meeting of defense ministers, military chiefs and defense officials from the Asia-Pacific. His keynote address will be carefully watched for words on China’s maritime expansion.
A White House unable to compete with China
South Asia’s problems are not on Washington’s radar right now, says Hong Kong University professor Chiu. The White House has much of its focus — along with a substantial naval presence — directed towards the Korean Peninsula and the ongoing crisis there. And while the US is distracted, China is slowly and incrementally changing the seascape in the Asia Pacific. China claims disputed islands in the South China Sea as part of its territory and has been militarizing some of those islands, reclaiming land on others and turning sandbars into islands to assert sovereignty over the area.
“Everything that they do, like building these islands (in the South China Sea) and stuff that is illegal internationally, but nobody wants to get into a conflict over, it adds up and you have a new status quo and it’s too late to do anything about it,” Chiu said.
“China can’t afford to go to war over anything … it would most likely lose against a major power … but these kind of small incremental things, people will let them get away with. As long as they’re patient, it could have the same effect as going to war.”
Even as China has taken the long view, Dean Cheng argues it’s never too late for the US and its allies to do something to counter Beijing’s ambitions.
“The US, in cooperation with India, Japan and possibly the European Union, could offer alternative financing,” Cheng said. “They could help train local officials, lawyers, etc., to become better negotiators. They can push for transparency, especially in Chinese-sponsored institutions to make clear the terms of the loans, payback processes, as well as how contracts are rewarded.”
Sri Lankan police stand guard during a protest in Colombo against the lease of the loss-making Hambantota port to China, February 1, 2017.
Last October US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson gave a speech on the US relationship with India. Tillerson said it was up to New Delhi and Washington to “do a better job leveraging our collective expertise to meet common challenges while seeking even more avenues of cooperation.”
“We must also recognize that many Indo-Pacific nations have limited alternatives when it comes to infrastructure investment programs and financing schemes, which often fail to promote jobs or prosperity for the people they claim to help,” Tillerson said. “It’s time to expand transparent, high-standard regional lending mechanisms, tools that will actually help nations instead of saddle them with mounting debt.”
Tillerson told reporters that during the East Asia ministerial summit in August that the US had started “a quiet conversation with others about what they were experiencing, what they need.”
However, he also admitted Washington’s constraints. “We will not be able to compete with the kind of terms that China offers,” said Tillerson. “But countries have to decide, what are they willing to pay to secure their sovereignty and their future control of their economies? And we’ve had those discussions with them as well.”
China’s resources are nowhere near as limited as the US and its allies, says Yvonne Chiu from the University of Hong Kong.
“Right now, it can play on multiple fronts at once,” Chiu notes. “And they take a very long view. If you’re a power like the US, you’re really far away. That distance is going to limit how much attention you can pay to the region. The US has to pick and choose and it’s chosen East Asia. So, unless something really major happens, that’s probably where their attention is going to stay.”
A Chinese worker at the construction site of a Chinese-funded $1.4 billion reclamation project in Colombo, Sri Lanka in October 2017.
As 2017 wrapped up, the Chinese state news agency Xinhua published a dispatch from Colombo, describing how the Hambantota port was “now racing along a developmental fast-track.”
Chinese and Sri Lankan workers were building a highway north of the port, along with a bridge, and the Chinese Harbor Engineering Company is negotiating with the Sri Lankan government to develop a Logistics Zone that will include a natural gas power plant and refineries, the agency reported.
On the first day of the new year, the Chinese flag flew beside Sri Lanka’s at the port for the first time ever.
The Chinese Harbor Engineering Company began 2018 with a $1 billion investment to build three 60-story office towers in Colombo.
Rather than resist getting into further debt, Sri Lanka’s government appears to be making more deals with China that it will may yet struggle to pay back.
TROUBLE IN TIBET – ‘ONE BELT, ONE ROAD’ – IMPERIALISM AND NEOCOLONIALISM
Red China’s Chengdu-Lhasa Railway Project serves just one purpose; Security of Tibet’s military Occupation. Red China’s Policy of “ONE BELT – ONE ROAD” or ‘OBOR’ Initiative, Solidarity Strategy stands for her Imperialism and Neocolonialism.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162 USA
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Image Credit: Tibet Railroad image via Shutter Stock
China’s Chengdu-Lhasa Railway: Tibet and ‘One Belt, One Road’
A newly planned railway linking Tibet with central China will serve to provide stability for the Belt and Road.
By Justin Cheung for The Diplomat
May 27, 2016
It is no secret that Tibetan independence movements have long drawn the ire of Chinese authorities. Alongside heightened rhetoric in recent years over Tibetan unrest and the growing publicity of riots and self-immolations, China has sought to augment its capacity for crackdown in the restive province.
The swiftness of Chinese response to previous swells of separatist sentiment is best illustrated in the 2008 Tibetan unrest. During that time, the BBC reported that within days of the start of anti-government riots, over 400 troop carriers of the People’s Armed Police were mobilized. Ultimately, the speed with which the Chinese government was able to ferry troops into sites of unrest was a crucial factor in quelling the upheaval.
In more recent times, China’s “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) policy – Xi Jinping’s plan to expand the reach of Chinese trade routes to Europe through a land route in Central Asia and a sea route through the Indian Ocean and around the horn of Africa – has taken center stage as a cornerstone of modern Chinese foreign policy. Access to Pakistan and Central Asia are crucial to ensure the success of these trade routes, which incidentally must start or pass through Tibet or Xinjiang, historically separatist provinces. This has put particularly urgent pressure on the Chinese government to bring stability to its westernmost regions.
Furthermore, the implementation of the OBOR policy comes at a critical time for China. Recent downturns in economic growth and output have put leaders such as Xi Jinping in a bind, spending a great deal of political capital to restrict and cripple any seeds of social dissent. On a geopolitical level, ensuring robust strategic control over Tibet has never been more essential, for both propaganda and economic reasons.
With that said, China’s newly planned Chengdu-Lhasa railway – over 2,000 km of tracks – would serve as a crucially efficient connection between Sichuan province in central China with the heart of Tibet. The construction of the railway was recently announced; such an infrastructural feat would facilitate rapid travel between the two locations, bringing a multi-day trip down to just fifteen hours. A recent report by The Economist cited a Chinese expert as saying the railroad could be feasibly completed by 2030.
The implications of this railway’s construction are particularly diverse, but they all center on a particular purpose: expedited control. In an age where social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook can cause riots to explode into revolutions overnight (see: the Arab Spring), China must ensure that its ability to quickly muster a physical military presence can match the speed of modern rebellions. The Chengdu-Lhasa railway provides a means of quickly mobilizing armed forces and also facilitates the movement and migration of Han Chinese from more central regions of China into Tibet, a policy that China has long pushed in order to smother ethnic dissent.
This is not the first time that China has used “railway power projection” to assert its power in Tibet or Xinjiang. However, it is the most recent and the most ambitious project thus far. Most importantly, the timing of this undertaking highlights the effort and investment that Chinese leaders are willing to make to ensure that the crossroads of its budding OBOR policy remain firmly under Chinese control. Tibet is an important starting point for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and an equally important entryway to the Central Asian states where trade through the Caspian, Caucasus, and to Europe must begin.
As such, the construction of the Chengdu-Lhasa railway is separate from previous Chinese attempts to quell separatist movements. This time, there is much more at stake. The railway plays an important duality in optimizing China’s foreign and domestic geo-policy today: the necessity of political stability within its borders to ensure economic success from the outside.
Justin Cheung is a student in Stony Brook University’s 8 Year BE/MD Engineering Scholars for Medicine Program. He has been published in the Center for International Relation’s International Affairs Forum as well as in Soft Matter and ACS Macro Letters.
© 2016 The Diplomat. All Rights Reserved.
TROUBLE IN TIBET – RESETTLEMENT OF TIBETAN NOMADS – RED CHINA’S NEOCOLONIALISM
‘Trouble in Tibet’ has several faces and one of them is Resettlement of Tibetan Nomads. This Policy of Resettlement of Tibetan Nomads symbolizes Red China’s Neocolonialism; extension of political and economic control over Tibet using organizational, and technological superiority.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162 USA
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STRUGGLE IN THE CITY FOR TIBETAN NOMADS
By Benjamin Haas
Aba (China) (AFP) – By mid-morning, Lobsang’s leather cowboy hat is askew, his black robes dishevelled, and his breath stinks of booze. Once a nomad herder roaming the high Tibetan plateau, instead he stumbles around his sparse new concrete house.
For decades he and his wife grazed yaks and sheep, living a life little changed in centuries, until they acquiesced three years ago to government calls to give up their yak-hair tents for permanent housing.
Now they live in a resettlement village, row after row of identical blue-roofed grey shells, an hour’s drive from Aba in Sichuan province along winding mountain roads.
“Everything changed when we moved to this town,” said Tashi, who like her husband is in her 40s but not sure of her exact age. “First we ran out of money, then he couldn’t find suitable work and then he started drinking more and more.”
Chinese authorities say urbanisation in Tibetan areas and elsewhere will increase industrialisation and economic development, offering former nomads higher living standards and better protecting the environment.
Those who move receive an urban hukou — China’s strictly controlled internal residence permits that determine access to social services. The government offers free or heavily subsidised houses, medical insurance, and free schooling.
A woman walks in the snow in Kangding in the Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, southwestern China.
But critics say the drive has a one-size-fits-all approach and many former pastoralists have not prospered, despite its promises.
Unlike the voluntary urbanisation of the early 2000s, when many adults maintained subsistence lifestyles while sending children and the elderly into towns, Andrew Fischer, of the International Institute of Social Studies at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, said: “The policy lock, stock and barrel shoves nomads into these resettlements thinking that is good for them.
“But then that gives rise to a variety of related problems like unemployment, social problems, alcoholism, et cetera, which are typical hallmarks of rapid social dislocation,” he told AFP.
At the resettlement facility, many relocated former herders complained to AFP they lacked work or training.
Critics of China’s urbanization drive say it has a one-size-fits-all approach and many former pastoralists have not prospered.
Dolkar, 42, sold his last 13 yaks for 85,000 yuan (now $13,000) two years ago, a decision he now regrets, and has yet to find stable employment.
“I thought this was a lot of money, but I didn’t realise things in the town would be so expensive,” he lamented.
“A person from the government came and convinced me I should move, but now I see I’ve lost so much. I want to go back, but it’s too late.”
Now available urban jobs are low-wage, manual positions in construction or sanitation. But many nomads shun menial labour, having enjoyed wealthy status in the Tibetan community by virtue of their valuable livestock holdings.
Critics say one goal of the urbanisation campaign is to give authorities more oversight over the people of Tibet.
“It’s not like everyone can become a petty entrepreneur selling dumplings in the marketplace, the jobs need to be there and in the absence of that, the government moving them to urban areas isn’t going to help.”
Critics say one goal of the urbanisation campaign is to give authorities more oversight over the people of Tibet, which has been ruled by Beijing since 1951.
The resettlement village AFP visited is in what was Kham, the eastern part of pre-invasion Tibet, where Khampa warriors fought Communist forces, sometimes with CIA backing, until the late 1960s.
Since 2000, government statistics show that urban residents have leaped by about 60 percent in the Tibet region itself, where officials launched a programme five years ago to establish Communist cadre teams in every locality.
Across China, urbanisation is a top economic priority, with Premier Li Keqiang calling it the country’s ‘Grand Strategy for Modernisation’.
The region’s top Party official, Chen Quanguo, has said each village should become a “fortress” to “guard against and combat the infiltration of Tibetan separatist forces”.
Urbanisation efforts “concentrate people into areas where they are far easier to surveil and where they become more dependent on state subsidies to survive —- in other words, where they are easier to control”, Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch, told AFP.
Environmental experts also say that rather than protecting mountain pastures, the policy has damaged their ecology, allowing invasive weeds to proliferate and change the nature of the soil.
“Not using these grasslands long-term doesn’t work,” said Sun Jie, deputy director of the Grassland Research Institute at the Inner Mongolia Academy of Agricultural & Animal Husbandry Sciences.
“It’s always been natural for grasslands to be used for grazing, the plants and the soil need it for healthy growth,” she added. “Otherwise poor quality foliage moves in and contributes to soil decline.”
Across China, urbanisation is a top economic priority, with Premier Li Keqiang calling it the country’s “grand strategy for modernisation” at a 2014 policy meeting.
But benefits such as running water have come at the cost of Tibetan former nomads’ sense of identity, with many complaining their sons and daughters are taught almost entirely in Mandarin.
“My children will never know our history, they won’t understand our Tibetan traditions,” said Dorje, who moved into the resettlement camp six years ago and occasionally works odd jobs.
“My grandchildren will never know I used to be a respected and wealthy man, they will only know poverty.”
© 2016 AFP Yahoo – ABC News Network
TIBET CONSCIOUSNESS – RED CHINA – NEOCOLONIALIST
Red China’s Hydroelectric Dam across Yarlung Tsangpo, Yarlung Zangbo or Brahmaputra River in Occupied Tibet is evidence to establish Red China as a Neocolonialist. Neocolonialism is revival of colonialist exploitation by a foreign power of a nation that has achieved independence. Colonialism is the system or policy by which a country maintains foreign colonies especially in order to exploit them economically. Colonization refers to extension of political and economic control over a nation by an occupying state that has military and technological superiority. Imperialism gets translated into colonizing force. Red China occupied Tibet and is relentlessly oppressing Tibetans to exert pressure to assimilate Tibetans to Red China’s way of life.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162, USA
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China’s 9700 Crore Dam on Brahmaputra in Tibet is Now Working
All India Press Trust of India Updated: October 13, 2015.
India is concerned that if the waters are diverted, then projects on the Brahmaputra, especially in Arunachal Pradesh, may get affected.
Beijing, China: China today operationalised the largest dam in Tibet, built on river Brahmaputra, raising concerns in India over the likelihood of disrupting water supplies.
The Zam Hydropower Station has been built at a cost of $1.5 billion (approximately Rs 9764 crores).
All six of the station’s units were incorporated into the power grid today, the China Gezhouba Group, a major hydropower contractor based in Wuhan, capital of Hubei Province in central China, told state-run Xinhua news agency.
Located in the Gyaca County, Shannan Prefecture, the Zam Hydropower Station also known as Zangmu Hydropower Station, harnesses the rich water resources of Brahmaputra – known in Tibet as Yarlung Zangbo River – a major river which flows through Tibet into India and later into Bangladesh.
The dam, considered to be the world’s highest-altitude hydropower station and the largest of its kind, will produce produces 2.5 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity a year.
“It will alleviate the electricity shortage in central Tibet and empower the development of the electricity-strapped region. It is also an important energy base in central Tibet,” the company said.
Officials said when the electricity is ample in the summer season, part of the electricity will be transmitted to the neighbouring Qinghai province, Xinhua report said.
The first unit began operations last November.
Reports in the past said besides Zangmu, China is reportedly building few more dams. China seeks to allay Indian fears saying that they are the run-of-the-river projects which were not designed to hold water.
The dams also raised concerns in India over China’s ability to release water in times of conflict which could pose serious risk of flooding.
An Indian Inter-Ministerial Expert Group (IMEG) on the Brahmaputra in 2013 said the dams were being built on the upper reaches and called for further monitoring considering their impact on the flow of waters to the lower reaches.
The IMEG noted that the three dams, Jiexu, Zangmu and Jiacha are within 25 kilometres of each other and are 550 kilometres from the Indian border.
India has been taking up the issue with China for the past few years.
Under the understanding reached in 2013, the Chinese side agreed to provide more flood data of Brahmaputra from May to October instead of June to October in the previous agreements river water agreements in 2008 and 2010.
India is concerned that if the waters are diverted, then projects on the Brahmaputra, particularly the Upper Siang and Lower Subansari projects in Arunachal Pradesh, may get affected.
Story First Published: October 13, 2015 14:08 IST
© Copyright NDTV Convergence Limited 2015. All rights reserved.
TIBET AWARENESS – RED CHINA – LOOTING AND PLUNDERING OF TIBET
Red China used her military force to attack Tibet and occupied the country since 1950. After driving His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama into exile, Red China unleashed a systematic campaign to loot, plunder, pillage, sack, ransack, steal, and despoil Tibetan natural resources without any concern for international law. Red China is encouraging foreign companies to join her in illegal exploration for mineral wealth and criminal mining operations. Such activities get media attention if a disaster strikes mining operation. Gold and Copper mining operations in Gyama Valley, Maizhokunggar County of Lhasa came to world’s attention when a massive landslide on March 29, 2013 killed 83 employees of Tibet Huatailong Mining Development Company, subsidiary of the state-run China National Gold Group. Red China is world’s largest producer of Gold and other Rare Earth Minerals. Red China’s practices in Tibet; her indiscriminate taking of Tibetan national assets causing severe environmental pollution with toxic chemicals, massive hydro projects leading to major ecological disaster in Tibet, have to be treated as War Crimes. Red China must be tried by a War Crimes Tribunal and held accountable for stealing Tibet’s national wealth and property.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162, USA
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China Stages Mass Spectacle in Tibet to Mark 50 Years’ Rule
BEIJING — Sep 8, 2015, 9:22 AM ET
In this photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, a grand ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Tibet Autonomous Region is held at the square of the Potala Palace in Lhasa, capital of southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015. (Chen Yehua/Xinhua via AP)
The Associated Press
Schoolchildren waved flags and paramilitary troops marched in full battle dress at a mass spectacle China staged Tuesday to mark 50 years since establishing Tibet as an ethnic autonomous region firmly under Beijing’s control.
The event lauded Tibet’s economic successes under Communist Party rule, even as activists criticized its record on human rights.
Top political adviser Yu Zhengsheng stressed Tibet’s unity with the rest of China in his address to thousands gathered in front of the stunning Potala Palace in the regional capital of Lhasa,
once home to the Dalai Lama and now a museum.
“During the past 50 years the Chinese Communist Party and the Tibetan people have led the transformation from a backward old Tibet to a vibrant socialist new Tibet,” Yu told the audience of schoolchildren, soldiers, armed police and party officials applauding and waving flags.
People’s living standards have improved, infrastructure has been built across Tibet and its gross domestic product had grown 68 times, Yu said at the ceremony broadcast live on state television.
Yu’s speech was followed by a parade of goose-stepping marchers carrying the national emblem of China, along with portraits of past and present leaders, including President Xi Jinping. Dancers and musicians in traditional Tibetan dress also performed, although there was no visible participation by representatives of the Buddhist clergy that forms the backbone of the Himalayan region’s traditional culture.
Beijing sent troops to occupy the Himalayan region following the 1949 communist revolution. The government says the region has been part of Chinese territory for centuries, while many Tibetans say it has a long history of independence under a series of Buddhist leaders.
The region’s traditional Buddhist ruler, the Dalai Lama, fled in 1959 amid an abortive uprising against Chinese rule, and continues to advocate for a meaningful level of autonomy under Chinese rule.
China established the Tibetan autonomous region in 1965, one of five ethnic regions in the country today. While Tibet is nominally in charge of its own affairs, its top officials are appointed by Beijing and expected to rule with an iron fist. The region incorporates only about half of Tibet’s traditional territory, is closed to most foreign media and has been smothered in multiple layers of security ever since deadly anti-government riots in 2008.
Reinforcing the importance of strict control from Beijing, the party’s central committee said in a statement that; “Only by sticking to the CPC’s (Communist Party’s) leadership and the ethnic autonomy system, can Tibetans be their own masters and enjoy a sustainable economic development and long-term stability.”
Referring to the Dalai Lama, Yu said activities by him and others to “split China and undermine ethnic unity have been defeated time and time again.”
Free Tibet, a London-based rights group, said Beijing was trying to define Tibetan identity according to its priorities, and that Tibetans suffered restrictions on movement, censorship and lived in a system designed to punish opposition to the Beijing government.
“If Tibet’s people have a good news story to tell, why doesn’t Beijing let them freely tell it or give the world’s media the opportunity to freely see it?” the group said.
The 80-year-old Dalai Lama is in Britain this month for speaking engagements and had no immediate comment.
Tuesday’s event reflects Xi’s taste for organized spectacle, in a throwback to the mass rallies common in the early decades of communist rule. It comes less than a week after a massive military parade in Beijing to mark 70 years since Japan’s surrender at the end of World War II.
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CHINA’S FATE IS SEALED – BEIJING IS DOOMED
Red China after her act of military aggression in 1950 and occupying Tibet had several opportunities to make amends to her evil actions and return to peaceful relationships with her neighbors. By choosing to use evil force, Red China has sealed her own fate. She has opted to “Live by the Sword, surely, she will Die by the Sword.” What she conquered by Sword, she will lose by Sword.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162, USA
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China denies all universal rights to Tibet even after 50 years of rule (Part-II) , AniNews.in
Beta Sep 1 2015, 9:07 am
China denies all universal rights to Tibet even after 50 years of rule (Part-II)
Sep 1, 8:27 am
HONG KONG, Sep.1(ANI): Its been more than 50 years since China established complete control over Tibet and in this period China has institutionalised a system of two policies – one for the Chinese people and another for the Tibetans.
Hong Kong based Tibet watchers who on the condition of not being identified for fear of Chinese reprisal outlined a series of instances which prove that China has treated Tibet as nothing more than a Colony and as a strategic buffer against India.
Experts point to the fact that China has accepted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) as a member of the United Nations.
The declaration forms the basic charter of rights for all global citizens. However over the past many decades, adherence to the UDHR has been minimal at best as far as Tibet is concerned.
When it comes to Tibet and Tibetans, they count for less than an average Han Chinese citizen, and actually don’t enjoy the rights they are entitled to as per international laws.
The UDHR calls on governments to grant every human being these rights, but the reality is that not one of the UDHR rights is extended to the people of Tibet.
For example Article 16 of the UDHR says that men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to create a family. They are also entitled to equal rights as when to marry, how to manage their marriage, and to decide when to dissolve it.
The family, according to the UDHR, is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the state.
But, when comes to Tibet, since 1980, China has passed a series of measures related to marriage laws. Beijing has stopped the practice of polygamy in TAR, and has been actively promoting the mixed marriages between Tibetans and Han Chinese.
The local administration has reportedly announced offers of special treatment to children born of such unions. Such incentives are publicised heavily by the state media.
Tibetan poet Tsering Woeser says that “authorities use it as a tool”, and compared it to the Japanese police being encouraged to marry local women during Japan’s occupation of Taiwan.
On the issue of owning property, the UDHR says no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his or property, but in China-dominated TAR seizure of farmland for industry is arbitrary and common.
Joel Brinkley of the Chicago Tribune adds that “China has evicted more than 400,000 Tibetans from their homelands” over the past few years, and believes that the intent behind this is to exploit Tibet’s vast mineral and water resources.
The UDHR’s Article 18 talks about the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, but evidence has surfaced of the People’s Armed Police firing on unarmed Tibetan protestors calling for a semblance of religious freedom.
During the Cultural Revolution, most, if not all, Tibetan monasteries (97 percent were actually closed down) were reportedly ransacked by the Communist Party.
Currently, every monastery and nunnery is constantly under surveillance and subject to random checks by Communist Party officials. So-called Monastery Management Committees have been set up in increasing numbers to keep check on the activities of monks and nuns, and to control their numbers, particularly in the largest ones of Drepung, Sera and Ganden.
Such checks extend to night raids for images of the Dalai Lama and other such “subversive” objects.
For example, recently, a 13-year old nun, after participating in a peaceful protest, was held, interrogated, beaten and tortured.
She was sentenced for singing nationalist songs – which does not exactly exemplify “freedom of thought”.
On the issue of everyone having the right to express their opinion without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers, which is enjoined in Article 19 of the UDHR, China routinely cuts off internet and phone-messaging services after each incident of self-immolation in TAR, of which there have been over 140 in the past six years.
As for the right to expression and freedom of opinion, the armed crackdowns, the surprise arrests and the extrajudicial killings are indicative of a general intolerance to such niceties.
The right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association as enshrined in Article 20, is regularly stamped out and quickly, with violence if required.
Tibet and the Tibetan people have been compelled to identify with the People’s Republic of China. In April 2015, the Communist Party demanded that all Buddhist monasteries display the Chinese flag, or face punishment.
This latest move is part of a drive to make places of worship ‘secularised’, and in line with Beijing’s ideologues.
Article 21 of the UDHR allows every individual to take part in the government of his or her country, directly, or through freely chosen representatives, but in the case of China, democracy does not exist in the sense that it is understood the world over.
The political representatives of the Chinese are not freely chosen, but are designated by the Communist Party. As such, not only Tibetans, but all citizens under the authority of the People’s Republic of China have no right of participation in their governance.
Recently, China arrested ten Tibetans for protesting against the denial of welfare benefits to their community.
Tibetans have been subject to “city moats” which prevent their access to their own cities.
The ‘will of the people’ is a concept almost entirely alien to any Chinese citizen in conceptual and real terms.
The right to social security, as enshrined in Article 22 of the UDHR, which calls for realisation both through national effort and international co-operation, is used to violate the rights of Tibetans further.
Article 23 says everyone has the right to work, and to have free choice of employment, but in Chinese – ruled TAR, the resettlement policy violates this article, depriving Tibetan nomads of their free choice of employment.
As far as just conditions of work, Tibetans are forced to learn Chinese in order to access any gainful employment, even as a construction worker.
Tibetans claim that Chinese workers receive higher wages; the loss of jobs due to political activities is also very common.
Even China admits that there is no minimum wage in the TAR.
The right to rest and leisure, as well as reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay does not exist in Chinese-ruled TAR.
Here, re-education is promoted through labor camps, and there is no semblance of worker’s rights to be defended here.
Holidays, too, are out of the question, and there is no reasonable limitation on working hours.
What about the right to an adequate standard of living, as enshrined in Article 25 of the UDHR?
It simply does not exist in TAR. Pulmonary diseases are the most widespread affliction in Tibet. While prefectural and city hospitals are adequate in responding to such illnesses, there is very little recourse to proper medical care for nomadic tribes as village and township hospitals are extremely poor.
The medical system is “clearly inequitable.” Distances across Tibet have also led to Chinese healthcare works failing to immunize children as “they don’t want to travel so far.”
Access to medication is clearly segregated: Tibetan doctors are unable to purchase drugs from pharmaceutical companies, as only Chinese government workers and ‘officials with connections to the Chinese’ are given access.
While officially, China’s ‘One Child’ policy does not extend to Tibetans as a community, in practice, birth control has actively been promoted in the TAR.
Sterilisation can take place on the basis of volunteering or through forced abortions, which leaves a very chilling picture of healthcare in TAR.
Article 26 of the UDHR talks of the right to education and the right to have free education at the elementary and fundamental stages, but in TAR, schooling is compulsory until secondary education, nominally “bilingually”, and guidelines are applied arbitrarily.
The emphasis is on creating Chinese-medium schools in Tibetan areas despite the fact that Tibetan students want to be taught in Tibetan and learn more effectively when they are.
Tibet has six institutes of higher learning, but only 60 percent of those selected for university in TAR are ethnic Tibetans, compared to the 97 percent share of population they reportedly enjoy.
This demonstrates the fact that access to higher education is highly coloured by discriminatory policies. Indeed, state funds go disproportionally to schools where Chinese students predominate.
Chinese authorities in TAR are on record, as saying that the purpose of giving an education to Tibetans is to see whether they are “opposed to or turn their hearts to the Dalai Clique and in whether they are loyal to or do not care about our great motherland and the great socialist cause..”
China does not promote tolerance, but actively seeks to destroy it in TAR.
The right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community as enjoined in the UDHR’s Article 27, is absent in TAR. The Chinese, admittedly, are very happy to impose limits on Tibetan intellectual production.
Insofar as duties to the community are concerned, while keenly desired by the Tibetan people, is trounced upon, and all vestiges of rights for the minorities are virtually non-existent.
China has a long history of using the justifications of human rights and economic prosperity “for all” to oppress those in Tibet, and nothing seems likely to change.
The recently concluded 6th Tibet Work Forum on August 24 and 25 did not offer any guarantees for the future, but harped instead on the need to maintain stability, a buzzword to Tibetans that they can expect an even harsher regime ahead.(ANI)
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TAMING THE RED DRAGON AT BRITAIN’S GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama is visiting Britain for a week( from June 29 to July 05) to attend Glastonbury Festival and will be speaking in London about Tibetan Buddhism. As world embraces basic concepts of Voluntary Simplicity, Red China’s obession to dominate global markets will be contained. The dangers imposed by Red China’s Economic Expansionism can be resisted by the practice of the noble Eightfold Path; 1. Right Views, 2. Right Intentions, 3. Right Speech, 4. Right Conduct, 5. Right Livelihood, 6. Right Effort, 7. Right Mindfulness and 8. Right Concentration. In the years ahead, Britain, United States and other nations will be left with no political alternatives to face challenge of Red China’s economic power and dominance of world markets. Tibetan Buddhism can offer tools to reject compulsions of mass consumerism and seek natural lifestyles consistent with peace, harmony, and tranquility that people desire to experience in their personal lives.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162, USA
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Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization
June 25, 2015
Tibet: Dalai Lama to Visit Glastonbury Festival in Britain Just Before Chinese President’s First Visit
The Dalai Lama will visit Britain on the occasion of the Glastonbury Festival, where he was invited to deliver a speech. During his visit to Britain, he will also talk about Buddhism in London. Already in 2012, Britain and China had disputes as a consequence of a meeting between David Cameron and the Dalai Lama, as China considers him as a dangerous nationalist leader.
Below is an article published by Reuters
Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama will visit Britain next week [week from 29 June to 5 July] and again in September but will not meet any officials, his office said on Thursday, just ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s trip to the country in October.
The Dalai Lama will speak at the Glastonbury Festival – one of Europe’s largest music festivals – during his June 27-30 trip, said Wangdue Tsering, London-based secretary of the Office of Tibet, one of Dalai Lama’s representative offices in Europe.
The Dalai Lama is also due to give a talk on Buddhism in Aldershot, a town to the southwest of London.
Wangdue Tsering told Reuters that the Dalai Lama would not meet any officials during his trip and that his office did not request any meetings.
His September trip will include a public talk, but no other details have been released yet.
Beijing denounces the Dalai Lama as a dangerous separatist who wants an independent Tibet. He denies espousing violence and says he only wants genuine autonomy for his Himalayan homeland.
In 2012, British Prime Minister David Cameron had to put his trip to China on hold after Beijing took offense at him holding a meeting with the Dalai Lama.
President Xi’s October state visit is the first to Britain in a decade by a Chinese head of state.
China has ruled Tibet with an iron fist since troops “peacefully liberated” the region in 1950. The Dalai Lama fled into exile in India in 1959 after an abortive uprising against Chinese rule.
Representatives of the Nobel Peace laureate held rounds of talks with China until 2010, but formal dialogue has stalled amid leadership changes in Beijing and a crackdown in Tibet.
Photo courtesy of: Reuters
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