31 August 2009

Religion and Security in China

I sometimes wonder if China realizes or cares about its strategic communications. If it did, it would work a lot harder to not seem evil to the Dalai Lama.

The Chinese government seems intent on trying to cast this man as the biggest threat to peace and order in the world. I understand why they do so, in that he represents the focal point of the best-organized, most high-profile secessionist movement in China, but it neglects the fact that most people in the world see in him the loving, doting grandfather they wished they had. Even if he was to secretly support the subjugation of the entire Han race under a Buddhist tyranny, most of the world would still love him and consider him on par with the Pope. (Actually, with the current pope, the Dalai Lama may be better loved.)

To be fair to China, I understand that a (maybe) secessionist leader being invited by a political party that advocates secession for a province that's already a separate country probably looks like the grand alignment of secession. Never mind that, just as the Dalai Lama has no power in Tibet, the DPP is out of power in Taiwan as well, and the current Taiwanese president has been busting his ass to play nice with China.

It is particularly telling that the Chinese government accuses the DPP of inviting the Dalai Lama in order to sabotage cross-strait relations, as if the actual damage was being done by the Taiwanese, instead of by Chinese anger.

In the end, of course, like all things involving Tibet or Taiwan, this will blow over and China will remain in the dominant position. China has been careful not to sabotage relations with President Ma, but it still does not help their image around the world any.

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