Wednesday, February 26, 2020

China’s destruction of Tibet worse than any crime by British colonists

Mar 03. 2019
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Re: “Shameless farang still praising colonial thuggery”, Have Your Say, March 1.

Prasan Stianrapapongs takes a swipe at Al in Asia for praising the effects and legacy of British imperialism, which were mostly, but not entirely, positive. But Khun Prasan then embarks on a far greater “whitewashing” exercise in heaping praise on China. The appalling destruction and genocide carried out by the Chinese in Tibet during the 1950s and 1960s exceeded anything that occurred in the British Empire. Nearly all of Tibet’s Buddhist temples were destroyed, and thousands of monks and nuns slaughtered or imprisoned. It was cultural vandalism on a vast scale, aimed at eliminating the distinct cultural traditions and beliefs of the Tibetan people. 

Within China itself, an unknown number of “enemies of the people” were exterminated by the communists before and after their assumption of power. Mao’s “Great Leap Forward” in the 1950s was so mismanaged that tens of millions of Chinese died of starvation, and the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s, directed by Mao, resulted in the deaths of thousands of innocent people, and the wholesale destruction of much of China’s priceless historical artefacts.

The writer states that China is a communist country, but it isn’t any more, whatever its leaders may claim. It is a dictatorship where freedom of speech and other basic human rights are suppressed, often brutally. When China was actually a communist country it was a miserable, disease-ridden, poverty-stricken backwater. It was only after many of the fundamental economic and social principles of communism were gradually discarded from the 1980s that the inherent intelligence and industriousness of the Chinese people were given an opportunity to flourish, with the remarkable effects we see now. However, their hard work was of course also enhanced by the widespread theft of technology from the West, a process that still continues today.

Robin Grant

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