The Anti-Empire Report
Read this or George W. Bush will be president the rest of your life
March 29, 2008
by William Blum
Propaganda as an Olympic competition
The latest protests in Tibet and crackdown by Chinese authorities have brought up the usual sermonizing in the West about Chinese government oppression and illegitimate control of the Tibetans. Although I have little love for the Chinese leaders — I think they run a cruel system — some proper historical perspective is called for here.
Many Tibetans regard themselves as autonomous or independent, but the fact remains that the Beijing government has claimed Tibet as part of China for more than two centuries. The United States made its position clear in 1943:
The Government of the United States has borne in mind the fact that the Chinese Government has long claimed suzerainty over Tibet and that the Chinese constitution lists Tibet among areas constituting the territory of the Republic of China. This Government has at no time raised a question regarding either of these claims.
After the communist revolution in 1949 US officials tended to be more equivocal about the matter.