What Asian listeners are saying


2008.03.19
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"I would like to comment on how Chinese media have reported the March 14 Lhasa incident. The Chinese Communist Party has ruled China for almost 60 years. It was not just during troubled times such as the anti-rightist campaign and the Cultural Revolution that the Chinese media were unbalanced. The information the Chinese people get from state media is one-sided propaganda. Such is the case with the reporting on the unrest in Tibet." -- Henan man on RFA-Mandarin call-in program Listener Hotline, April 2, 2008

"I don't think the income gap between Tibetans and the Han is the major cause of the current problem. I think the main factors are religion and culture. Tibetans cannot have religious freedom, and their culture is being destroyed. The Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. To them, he is a god-like figure. But he is being insulted and vilified by the Chinese government. This is intolerable." -- Shandong man on RFA-Mandarin call-in program Democracy Salon, April 1, 2008

"I doubt that the foreign journalists who visited Lhasa on the government-organized tour were able to learn much. The Chinese government had ample time to conceal evidence and arrange things and actors like stage props. It would have been impossible for the journalists to freely interview anyone they wanted. The world is familiar with the tactics of the Chinese Communists. I even suspect that some of the rioters in Tibet were Chinese Communist agents in disguise … Although I am sympathetic to the Tibetan people, I am also a Han chauvinist who does not want Tibet to become independent. Tibet takes up a huge swath of land. If it becomes independent, then Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia may want the same. Then China would no longer be a country." -- Zhejiang man on RFA-Mandarin call-in program Voices of the People. March 30, 2008

"The Tibet issue is analogous to forcing a woman to marry a man. The man may give the woman food, clothing, and shelter, but material things cannot replace spiritual values. She is a human being. The Dalai Lama is the rightful leader of the Tibetan people. He is like a parent to them, and yet the Chinese government vilifies him and kicked him out of his own home. Stability based on force cannot last." -- Hunan man on RFA-Mandarin call-in program Listener Hotline, March 27, 2008

"Why do some Tibetans and Taiwanese want independence? It is because they cannot be granted due rights by an authoritarian government. If we were in their shoes, we would probably be seeking independence too. Although there is not an independence movement in Hong Kong, hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong citizens demonstrated [to demand universal suffrage]. The Chinese government refuses to give freedom to the people, and yet it wants peace and harmony …." -- Shanxi man on RFA-Mandarin call-in show Listener Hotline, March 27, 2008

"Could it be possible that Tibetans cannot accept the fact that their tradition and customs have been so radically changed by the Han?" -- Inner Mongolian man on RFA-Mandarin call-in program Listener Hotline, March 26, 2008

"How sad it was to listen to the Tibetans chanting their prayers. It was such a peaceful demonstration here in Brussels. I cried, wondering if God listens to their prayers." -- A Vietnamese woman living in Brussels, Belgium, speaking with RFA Vietnamese service, March 26, 2008

"I once believed what the officials told us about [the Tiananmen crackdown on] June 4th, 18 years ago. After this long period of time, I see it more clearly … [The Communist Party] is only a machine full of lies and violence. Like us, the Tibetans only pursue freedom. We should support the Tibetans." -- Chinese Communist Party member working in a state-owned enterprise, speaking with RFA Cantonese service, March 26, 2008

"You know the situation in Tibet? It is really like June 4th. I cannot express how angry and sad I am. Behind the blooming economy is clash, crackdown, death, and terror." -- Man in Guangzhou, China, in e-mail to RFA Cantonese service, March 26, 2008

"My understanding is that there was a peaceful march on March 10 to mark the anniversary of the 1959 uprising. It was nonviolent. Then I heard that two Tibetans were killed on March 14. I knew right away it would escalate, and I was right. Not only were armed police mobilized, but the military was called in. Whether the Tibetans seek independence or whether they want to express their feelings, the Chinese government should respect their rights. They had expressed their wishes peacefully, and yet they were suppressed with machine guns and tanks. The Tibetan people have a right to express their wishes. The government has defined the incident as 'beating, smashing, looting, and burning.' This means the government does not regard them as political dissidents but instead as common criminals so that they will be severely punished. The Tibetans are not like the Han. They are Buddhists. They are a kind people. If they had not been pushed to such an extent, they would not have fought back like that." -- Shanghai man on RFA-Mandarin call-in show Voices of the People, March 25, 2008

"Chinese media are inciting ethnic hatred. They are reporting nonstop on the beating, smashing, and looting in Tibet. If the government did not oppress the Tibetans, they would not have rioted. I think Tibetans and Tibetan monks are engaged in peaceful and rational demonstrations. I discussed this with others. But they asked me, 'Didn't you see on CCTV that they smashed the stores and killed people?' I countered by telling them that according to the international media, the government has suppressed the Tibetans and that shots were fired and many were killed. But they would say, 'Listen to that anticommunist person fabricating stuff!' Where is the Chinese people's sense of morality? Decades of brainwashing by the Chinese Communists has been very successful." -- Shandong woman on RFA-Mandarin call-in show Voices of the People, March 24, 2008

"I think Western media are very biased in portraying the beating, smashing, looting, and loss of many innocent lives as peaceful protests … If the government did not step in to restore order, the killing would have continued … More than 60 armed police were injured, some seriously. One was only 19, and he was almost hacked to death. The armed police did not hit people back when hit; they did not curse back when cursed … Although China is not democratic, although China is authoritarian, although there is corruption, as a Chinese you can rise against the government. You cannot rise against the nation and cause the nation to crumble to pieces …." -- Fujian man on RFA-Mandarin call-in show Voices of the People, March 24, 2008

"Religion in Xinjiang has almost been completely destroyed by the communists. It's so dirty. The mullahs at the local mosques do not have to be well educated. The position can be bought with money. Religious posts are controlled by the communists. As long as you have money, you don't need the education or cultural refinement; they will give you the position. As for Tibet … the Tibetans were bullied mercilessly. So they fought back. I admire the Tibetans." -- Xinjiang man on RFA-Mandarin call-in show Voices of the People, March 24, 2008

"People look at the Tibet issue in two different ways. The first one is from the point of narrow patriotism. If the Chinese media are telling the truth--that Tibetans were beating, smashing, and looting, even killing--then the crackdown is justified. Because the loss of lives should not be the price to pay for democracy. On the other hand, some Chinese feel the way I do, that it is a good thing. It's not just happening in Tibet; it is also happening in several other provinces and cities. I think it is a blasting fuse [that could lead to bigger incidents]. The thing is, there is no way to know the truth, because foreign journalists are not allowed to go to Tibet. If the Chinese government has nothing to hide, it would not be trying so hard to keep the lid on. It would open up Tibet and allow journalists to travel there freely. I feel there are things that cannot be shown to the world." -- Hebei man on RFA-Mandarin call-in show Voices of the People, March 24, 2008

"Chinese media are doing exactly what they did after the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown. They accuse the Tibetans of wrongdoing. But when Tibetans held peaceful rallies to call for democracy and human rights, the media did not report it. The situation in Tibet reminds me of 1989 …." -- Shandong woman on RFA-Mandarin call-in program Democracy Salon, March 24, 2008

"I heard that things have quieted down in Tibet these past two days. But in Qinghai you can still see military vehicles traveling westward. It's not clear why. Trains from and to Lhasa sometimes do not stop at the local train station. Security seems very stringent … I think the government screwed up. The Dalai Lama has adopted a low-key, even humble, approach. He did not seek independence; nor did he advocate violence. But the government ignored him all these years." -- Qinghai woman on RFA-Mandarin call-in program Listener Hotline, March 24, 2008

"The Chinese government would not allow Hong Kong reporters to cover the events in Tibet as they were happening. Instead, it said it would allow reporters to go there after two weeks or even a few months. What kind of news reporting is that? It would be meaningless. It just proves that the Chinese government knows it did something wrong and is trying to cover up." -- Jiangxi man on RFA-Mandarin call-in program Listener Hotline, March 24, 2008

"Tibetan cultural tradition has largely been destroyed. The railway has enabled even more Han Chinese to go to Tibet, and this has had a big impact on the environment and customs of Tibet … Photos taken by Western media clearly show machine guns and tanks, and yet it [the Chinese government] claims that no lethal weapons were used to quell the unrest. This is clearly a lie to fool those of us living in mainland China where the flow of news is restricted. It is meant to incite the public and to cover up its crime in Tibet." -- Shanxi man on RFA-Mandarin call-in program Listener Hotline, March 21, 2008

"[China's premier] Wen Jiabao said that the Dalai Lama was behind the riot. What evidence does he have? He made it up. A lot of people feel the same way I do … The Chinese Communist Party has to lie its way out of it. Wen Jiabao was facing the world media at a press conference. If he was telling the truth, why won't they allow foreign journalists to go to Tibet? Wouldn't the truth be known then? The Chinese government is afraid that the ugly truth--and its crime--will be exposed. The suppression of Tibetan monks, the suppression of ethnic minorities, the suppression of religion: this is a major political incident. The Chinese Communist Party has manufactured another major wrongful case." -- Inner Mongolian man on RFA-Mandarin call-in program Listener Hotline, March 21, 2008

“The Chinese Communists have once again raised their butcher knives. All citizens should have the freedom to demonstrate, to assemble, and to speak their minds. I condemn the crackdown. I protest the crackdown.”—Shanghai man, March 20.

“The Tibet situation involves many historical factors and ethnic and a host of other issues. It’s not something that can be resolved by sending in the troops. Suppression can only be counter-productive.” —Shaanxi man on RFA-Mandarin call-in program, Democracy Salon, March 20, 2008

“I think the fundamental solution to the Tibet issue, to ease tension in Tibet, is for the Chinese government to negotiate with the Dalai Lama, institute real autonomy in Tibet, and allow the Dalai Lama to return. What they are doing now is not going to solve the problem—it is actually the source of the problem.”—Shaanxi man on RFA-Mandarin call-in program, Democracy Salon, March 20, 2008

“As we all know, the Dalai Lama is seeking a high degree of autonomy for Tibet, not independence. But the Chinese government and Premier Wen Jiabao have accused him of seeking Tibet’s independence of Tibet. How can you communicate with them? They act like gangsters. …Of course it’s no good to use violence. I didn’t see the Chinese government provide any concrete evidence [that the riots were orchestrated from abroad by the Dalai Lama and his followers]. The Dalai Lama has done this for so many years peacefully—how can Dalai have done this? … If the Chinese government is behaving correctly, if the government is doing the right thing, why won’t they allow foreign reporters and organizations go into Tibet?”—Mr. Chen, from Zhanjiang, Guangdong province, speaking to RFA-Cantonese on March 19, 2008

“The shooting in Tibet is a sad thing, just after the meetings of the National People’s Congress and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference met and had speeches emphasizing social harmony. The government said its armed police never fired, and that all those killed were Han, not even including one Tibetan…It’s difficult for people to believe. This is propaganda… This is nonsense…. Their words are reminiscent of the statement made by the spokesman of the State Council, Yuan Mu, in 1989 that ‘not even one student died,’ which became a big joke.”—Mr. Wu, from Guangdong province, speaking to RFA-Cantonese, March 20, 2008

“The Chinese government is making a statement through the action it has taken to deal with the unrest in Tibet—specifically, through the house-to-house search—and the statement is that it regards the entire population as its enemy. That’s how I look at it. There is a difference between shooting at monks with machine guns and conducting a house-to-house search. Conducting a house-to-house search means the entire population is targeted. It means the government regards everyone as an enemy. Looks like they are determined to be the enemy of the people. I don’t think even the Japanese did that…I think they are in panic mode. I think their days are numbered.”—Beijing man on the RFA-Mandarin Listener Hotline program, March 20, 2008

“CCTV reported on the rioting in Tibet. The report blamed the smashing and burning on the Dalai Lama, saying that he is the mastermind behind it. Of course I do not believe it. The Chinese Communists are the most skillful liars. I even suspect that some of the looters were planted by the Chinese Communists in order to frame the Tibetans. They have ruled Tibet in a fascist manner. I am sure the Tibetans find it repulsive. Even the Han Chinese on mainland China are against the rule of the Chinese Communist; let alone the Tibetans in Tibet. Judging from the history of the Chinese Communist Party, we cannot believe the news broadcast by its mouthpieces. The Dalai Lama advocates peace. He could not have masterminded the rioting. Even if the Tibetans did start the riot, it was only because they saw no other way out. When human beings are cornered with no way out, they fight back. Look at the people on the mainland – they are petitioning, they are protesting. This is all the doing of the Chinese Communist Party."—Guangdong man, March 19, 2008

“Using Free Gate, I was able to see on the Internet that, in Lhasa, protesting monks were dealt with in a very rough manner, and that even tanks were mobilized. I think it was too much. I heard that people died. I used to work in areas with a lot of Tibetans. I have known many ethnic minorities. I am especially fond of Tibetans. Let me give you an example. If I lack food and water, I can knock on the door of any Tibetan home and they will take care of me. They will give me food and shelter. This actually happened to me and five or six of my friends. If they really tried to cause trouble, it was most likely because there was something inappropriate about our policy. I call on our Tibetan friends not to hate all Han Chinese. I am deeply saddened by what I saw.”— Beijing man, March 19

“I agree with Venerable Thich Quang Do’s opinion that we should have a citizen poll under supervision of other countries to solve the Tibet dilemma.”—Trung Nguyen, Australia, March 18.

Mandarin blog: “Pray for the Tibetan people.” March 18, 2008

“Only people who use to live under communism can understand the Tibet situation. The lower officials have to obey the higher ranking order. They fulfill the order, even if they have to kill many innocent people. Let’s take the Têt offensive in Vietnam on 1968 as an example. Local governments were ordered to kill innocent villagers, don’t care how much people die, if they meet their goals. Today, Tibet is in the same situation. Chinese soldiers—whether they like it or not—have to obey the instruction from Beijing that is to kill Tibetans. If not, their fate might be the same as the Tibetans.”—Anticommunist, March 16, 2008

"Can RFA, please, explain for me: Why has none of the 700 newspapers in Vietnam had stories on the Tibetan unrest? What are they afraid of or are they waiting for Vietnamese government’s order?"—U Nguyen Thai - Saigon, March 15, 2008

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