CHINESE ARE NOT AMERICAN INDIANS
example, projection of "collective guilt" over the mistreatment
of American Indians is with little doubt the psychological root
of most pro- Dalai activism. Unfortunately the pro-Dalai faction
has confused its own internal psychology with a foreign nation's
history. Just because they feel "liberal guilt"
about America's Indian minority does not mean that China's history
actually conforms to their internal guilt and historical misunderstanding.
is why so many western sympathizers of Tibetan independence are
taken aback, stunned even, when they discover that most Tienanmen
pro-democracy leaders do NOT support, and in fact vehemently oppose
Tibetan and Taiwan independence. The sympathizers' projection
has been so extensive that they are trapped in a "virtual
reality" of their own making.
relationship between majority Han-Chinese and minority Tibetan-Chinese
does NOT historically parallel that of European-Americans and
Native Americans. The territory of modern China includes Tibet
not because "the Han-Chinese conquered Tibetan-Chinese"
the way European-Americans conquered American Indians and Hawaiians.
(E.g., "Dances with Wolves").
both Tibetans and Hans were conquered by the Mongols under the
leadership of Genghis Khan and grandson Kublai Khan in the 13th
century. When the Mongol or Yuan Dynasty collapsed a century later,
it was supplanted by a Han-Chinese dominated Ming Dynasty, which
inherited jurisdiction over the Mongol empire, including the Tibetan
region. This is how Tibet, and of course Mongolia, became part
who insist on "victim-victimizer" dichotomies might
be tempted on leap to yet another equally simplistic conclusion,
that "both Tibetans and Hans were victims of Mongol aggression."
This ignores the fact that both "victims" and "victimizers"
subsequently intermarried extensively, not under duress, but of
their own volition, rendering the issue of victimization moot
bottom line is that Tibet was not "invaded" or
"annexed" by China in 1959. Because by then the Tibetan
region had been part of China for seven centuries, five centuries
longer than these United States of America have even been in existence.
One does not "invade" or "annex" what is already
one's own territory. Beijing dispatched troops to prevent secession
by the serf-owing elite which objected to the abolition of slavery,
not to implement annexation. Hardly the same thing.
can argue the merits or demerits of secession, but that is another
issue entirely. Rather than debate the issue honestly however,
the Dalai Lama and his Hollywood camp followers prefer to lie
about history. They are counting on popular ignorance of the details
about exotic and distant Cathay and Shangri-la, calculating that
the general public will believe whatever is fed them if it is
presented in a convenient and satisfying Manichean "good
versus evil" framework.
NOT RED HERRINGS
false equation of Tibetan-Chinese with American Indian has predictably
led to the false attribution of racist motivations to Beijing's
abolition of serfdom and crushing of Tibetan secession. Beijing's
Tibet policies are being falsely equated with everything from
Nazi genocide of Jews to Nato's allegations of Serbian "ethnic
one is determined to force the Chinese experience into an American
mold, one could perhaps equate the militarily powerful Mongols
with one of the aggressive, nomadic tribes such as the Comanche,
and Tibetans and Hans with less aggressive, agrarian tribes such
as the Hopi or Navahoe. The point is that all of China's
major ethnic subcultures are native Chinese, including so-called
that communism is dead, sympathizers of the Dalai Lama, many of
whom were sympathizers of Mao Zedong, seem to have forgotten what
communism was all about. Communism was a political ideology obsessed
with economic equality. Communism adjudged who was good and who
was bad on the basis of its fatally flawed economic theory. To
communist true believers the relevant question was to which economic
class do you belong. Are you a capitalist victimizer or a proletarian
victim? Ethnicity to communism was always irrelevant.
Chinese Communists were no exception. They committed their atrocities
because they were fanatical radical egalitarians, "coercive
egalitarians." The Lamaist theocracy was targeted because
it engaged in the economic exploitation of Tibet's serfs.
Red Guards vandalized monasteries in Tibet they were doing precisely
the same thing to Zen Buddhist monasteries, Taoist monasteries,
Christian churches, Jewish synagogues all over the rest of China.
They were not doing anything so narrowly parochial as singling
out the Tibetan subculture for "cultural genocide."
Rather they were motivated by disgust for what they perceived
as vestiges of unjust economic systems throughout China.
Dalai Lama's allegation that Chinese Communist violence against
Tibet's serf-owning elite was racially motivated ethnic cleansing
is a red herring. Chinese Communists were evil because they were
coercive egalitarians. Chinese Communists were never racist.
BE GENOCIDE, MAKE THE MOST OF IT
fact if the Chinese Communists had really been racially motivated,
they could have deliberately and cynically left Tibet's Ancient
Regime in place. Traditional Tibet's theocracy imposed a policy
of "er xuan yi" (from two choose one) and "san
xuan ER" (from three choose two) on the Tibetan people. They
dragooned enormous numbers of hapless Tibetan boys into the priesthood
, where they would remain celibate for life. This draconian policy
resulted in an alarming decline in Tibet's population in recent
to a religious practice of strict celibacy led to the eventual
extinction of the Shaker sect in America. Chinese Communist Party
failure to intervene in China's Tibetan region would have, by
default, abetted a similar process of Tibetan self-extinction.
CCP intervention has instead led to a population increase. Beijing
emerges an unlikely hero in this respect. Yet Beijing is ritually
and reflexively accused by self-styled do-gooders of "genocide,"
both "cultural" and racial. Ironies abound.
KHAN AND WILLIAM OF NORMANDY
fifty-six officially acknowledged ethnic groups in China, including
but not limited to Tibetan-Chinese, Moslem-Chinese, Mongolian-Chinese,
Manchurian-Chinese, and Han-Chinese, would be more instructively
compared with certain ethnic groups in the west and not others.
The relationship between Mongolian-Chinese and Han-Chinese, and
Manchurian-Chinese and Han-Chinese in particular, parallels that
between English of Norman descent and English of Saxon descent
following the Norman Conquest.
made me think of this was a corny old Hollywood movie which I
had seen before, but which just ran again on cable here in Taipei
"The Black Rose, " 1950, starring Tyrone Power, Jack
Hawkins and Michael Rennie.
hero, Walter of Gurney (Tyrone Power) is the illegitimate son
of a Saxon Lord denied his inheritance and birthright by the Norman
King Edward (Michael Rennie.) Embittered, Gurney abandons England,
which he feels is no longer his country and journeys to the middle-east,
joining Kublai Khan's army which is about to invade China. He
meets the title character "The Black Rose" who is not
a flower, but a woman named Maryam, a teenager played by an 18
year old actress who didn't look a day over 13. Tyrone Power and
sidekick Jack Hawkins rescue her from life as a concubine in Kublai
Khan's harem. She falls in love with the hero and a typically
chauvinistic 1950's type relationship follows in which he treats
her like a mere "wench."
the beginning of the film the Tyrone Power character vows undying
enmity for intolerable Saxon victimization under Norman rule.
By the end of the film however he is reconciled to a future in
which Saxons and Normans live together in peace. What is intriguing
to me is how the events in Britain and China occurred at very
nearly the same time, the 12th century, making the Marco Polo-ish
linkage chronologically consistent and unintentionally underscoring
the parallelism, at least for me.
aspect of the film that intrigued me was not the pyscho-sexual
"Lolita" subplot, but the Norman-ruled Britain parallel
to Mongol-ruled China. Let me stress that the historical parallel
with China was not something the filmmakers intended, but merely
a connection I made in my own mind.
AND SAXONS, MONGOLS AND HANS
settings are virtually clichés in swashbuckler action adventure
movies. Just as "The Black Rose" and countless Robin
Hood related tales center on the conflict between Norman conquerors
and Saxon conquered, so countless Taiwan and Hongkong swordfight
swashbucklers set in the Southern Sung dynasty and late Ming dynasty
deal with Mongol and Manchu conquerors and Han conquered.
as these once powerful animosities are "ancient history"
in modern Britain, so they are in modern China. Is there any Anglo-Saxon
Englishman alive today who actually nurses animosity toward "Normans"
for the Battle of Hastings? Is there any "Han" Chinese
(good luck finding a "pure" Han Chinese by the way)
alive today who actually nurses animosity toward "Mongols"
or "Manchus" for the fall of the Sung and Ming dynasties?
the British commander during the Gulf War? He was Sir General
Peter de la Billiere. Remember the writer/director of the Emmy
award winning British mini-series "Prime Suspect"? She
was Lynda LaPlante. Do westerners agitating for Tibetan/Uyghur/Mongolian
independence realize why these prominent British subjects have
the pajamas clad student leader of the Tienanmen protest movement
who demanded and got a conference with Li Peng? He was Wu ER Kai
Xi, a Uyghur. Do westerners agitating for Tibetan/Uyghur/Mongolian
independence realize why he and millions of Chinese have Tibetan,
Uyghur, Mongolian names ?
and Europeans who know nothing of Chinese history, yet shrilly
demand that Tibet, Xinjiang, or Mongolia be carved out of China,
do not realize how crazy and laughable their demands are. Imagine
modern day Chinese wringing their hands and criticizing Britain
for imposing the Anglo- Saxon tongue on Englishmen of Norman-descent,
characterizing that as "cultural genocide?" Should Englishmen
with Norman surnames secede from England? Crazy? Laughable? You
bet. If only they knew how crazy and laughable.
animosities between Normans and Saxons were quite powerful at
the time, as they were between Mongol and Han and Manchu and Han.
Yet Normans and Saxons did not form separate kingdoms, nor did
Mongol, Manchu and Han. If putting behind historical grievances
and intermarrying was possible and desirable for Normans and Saxons
in Britain, why do western acolytes of the Dalai Lama deem the
identical process of reconciliation and integration undesirable
for Hans and Tibetans in China? Their sanctimony is both historically
ignorant and morally inconsistent. If their folly weren't so widespread,
and hence, destructive, it wouldn't even deserve the time and
effort needed to rebut it.
WAS NOT THE WORLD'S ONLY MELTING POT
China looks ethnically homogeneous not because of "Aryan
racial purity," but because of millennia of what Ku Klux
Klansmen and neo-Nazis denounce as "mongrelization of the
races." China ranks among the most "mongrelized"
nations in the world. Even China's so-called "Han" majority
is in fact comprised of numerous Asiatic tribes which began intermarrying
as early as the Shang dynasty.
who emigrated to Kaifeng one thousand years ago are so thoroughly
assimilated they are indistinguishable from "native"
Chinese. Jews in Europe and even America remain physically distinct
due to incomplete assimilation.
IS PART OF CHINA, GET OVER IT
Gyatso, aka the Dalai Lama, rather than rejecting his identity
as a Tibetan-Chinese and demanding Tibetan racial purity along
the lines of his Nazi mentor, SS Captain Heinrich Harrer, should
instruct his band of reactionary theocrats huddled in Dharamsala
to forsake their quixotic dream of "restoring" a "Shangri-La"
that never existed, return to Lhasa, and shoulder to shoulder
with fellow Chinese, help illiterate serfs they once exploited
become the Andy Groves and Bill Gates of the 21st century.
Threat theorists, meanwhile, should get over their obsession with
"dividing and conquering" China. Their insistence on
seeing the Chinese people not as fellow human beings, but as an
insidious "Yellow Peril" to be exterminated, merely
reveals their own paranoia and racial bigotry.
(as invaders go) was a bit of a lad quite accomplished in warfare,
conquest and other kingly activities. He came from France (Normandy)
and was a Norman but rather confusingly the term Norman means
"men from the North" and they were originally Scandinavian.
The irony here is that when he stomped all over England he was
at least in part in conflict with earlier Scandinavian invaders
such as the Vikings. It's a funny old world!
was not altogether a nice guy. After he had invaded England he
got a bit miffed when the North refused to accept his dominion.
Being a touch peeved he sent forth an army to subdue the rebels
with instructions to "lay waste" the land from roughly
York to Newcastle. Farms were to be burnt and everyone killed,
man, woman and child. They did a pretty good job the legacy of
which shaped the region for centuries to come (but hey this is
just a personal observation).
WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR, or THE BASTARD, or WILLIAM OF NORMANDY,
French GUILLAUME LE CONQUÉRANT, or LE BÂTARD, or
GUILLAUME DE NORMANDIE (b. c. 1028 , Falaise, Normandyd.
Sept. 9, 1087, Rouen), duke of Normandy (as William II) from 1035
and king of England from 1066, one of the greatest soldiers and
rulers of the Middle Ages. He made himself the mightiest feudal
lord in France and then changed the course of England's history
by his conquest of that country.
the Conqueror Effects of the Conquest
effects of the Conquest were numerous and ran deep. One of the
most immediate and most serious was the almost complete transfer
of power at the top of society from Saxon to Norman hands.
consistently sought ways and excuses to remove Saxons from power,
but the Saxons themselves were most obliging. Many went into exile.
Many were killed in the invasion and later rebellions. Many more
were simply dispossessed. By 1086, 80% of the fiefs were in Norman
hands (some held by Flemings and Bretons).
brought with him the centralizing tendencies and techniques he
had followed in Normandy. William as king held one-fifth of all
land in England; this was a far greater estate than held by any
French king. A quarter was held by the Church. Half the fiefs
belonged to Norman lords, but their holdings were scattered rather
than concentrated, so they could never become rivals to royal
power. William was quite careful about this he did not want to
create another Earl of Wessex to rival the king.
element in William's control of England was a military innovation
he brought with him from France: stone castles. England had few,
if any, stone castles before the Conqueror. After him, the landscape
was transformed: 84 built by 1100. These castles were always given
to Norman lords and many were built in areas prone to rebellion.
The castles were all but impregnable and served as Norman anchors
in a Saxon sea.
long-term change was the change of language. The Normans spoke
French, and French now became the language of government and the
nobility. It remained so until the 15th c. Henry II, Richard the
Lionhearted, even Edward Longshanks, all spoke French. Language
was a barrier and a divide between the Norman lords and their
Robin Hood legend has strong echoes of the division. Remember,
all the bad guys in the legend are Normans, while all the good
guys are Saxons. Never mind that the ultimate hero is Richard
Lion-Heart, whose father was born in Anjou; the legend is filled
with anachronisms, like any good legend. But the antagonism between
Norman and Saxon in the Robin Hood stories reflected a real one
that lasted long after the death of the Conqueror.