The Question Of Tibet – Essay Example

The Question of Tibet “The question of Tibet” being an issue at the heart of human rights, is highly sensitive for China in relation to various debates between China and Tibetans as well as many Western nations, activists and human rights organizations both inside and outside China. The anti government clashes in Tibet and other regions of China in March 2008 stimulated the decades-long dispute, once more gaining attention of the international spot light. All this western media coverage was then back lashed by the Chinese people highlighting the apparent difference of opinions (U.S./China media brief).
The extent of the clashes that arose in 2008, actually act as a testimony to the depth of historical disagreement over the territory of Tibet. Clashes between Tibet and China date back to the time when the People’s Republic of China was formed in 1949. Chinese authorities use the claim of Tibet as being a part of China for many centuries, to support their sovereignty over the territory. On the other hand, this claim is refuted by many proponents of Tibetan independence by emphasizing to the periods of history when Tibet enjoyed self rule. China’s policies such as restrictions on cultural and religious freedom in Tibet, attempts to change the demographics of region as well as an unwillingness to open dialogue, has played a major role in triggering the riots (Bajoria).
The Chinese government after 1978 began to develop infrastructure to help in the economic growth of Tibet with the hope that economic development and improved standards of living would stimulate the Tibetans to be less religion-bound. Though Tibet did benefit from the reforms being introduced at that time, many Tibetans especially rural peasants were left behind. The government’s incentive to non-Tibetans to move to Tibet with the purpose of economic development made the Tibetans feel like they are treated as second class when it comes to gaining benefits such as those of jobs. The Chinese policy makers admitted themselves that most of the money poured into Tibet by China eventually landed in the hands of ethnic Han migrants leaving behind an angry group of unemployed and uneducated Tibetans behind. (U.S./China media brief).
References
Bajoria, J. “The Question of Tibet”, Council on foreign relations. [Online] Accessed 2nd May 2010 http://www.cfr.org/publication/15965/
“The Question of Tibet” U.S./China media brief [Online] Accessed 2nd May 2010 http://www.aasc.ucla.edu/uschina/hr_questiontibet.shtml