Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

Dalai Lama optimistic on spread of democracy [The Age]


Melbourne: the Dalai Lama arrives in Australia, arriving via Melbourne and saying yesterday- ”By force, the human mind never can change.”

Whether he will be meeting Julia Gillard is a question featuring heavily on the radar. Interestingly, former New South Wales Labor premier Bob Carr weighs in, ”Tibet has been part of China since the Manchu dynasty. There is no more reason China would accept a loosening of its ties with Tibet than we would accept West Australian autonomous status within the Australian federation…”

Official website here.

– – –

Dalai Lama optimistic on spread of democracy
Farah Farouque
Source – The Age, published June 11, 2011

CHINA’S authoritarian system could not remain forever impervious to democracy, the Dalai Lama has predicted.

While governments could control people by physical force, controlling the mind and desire for freedom was a different idea, the Nobel peace prize winner said yesterday. ”By force, the human mind never can change.”

Inevitably as China became more open, repressive regimes in Burma and North Korea would follow suit. ”Plenty of reason to be optimistic,” the Dalai Lama told the Melbourne Press Club.

His comments came as Prime Minister Julia Gillard continued to ponder whether she would meet the Tibetan spiritual leader, a global symbol for the aspirations of the Tibetan people who have been subjugated under Chinese rule. China remains a strong critic of the Dalai Lama.

While a number of Labor MPs are encouraging Ms Gillard to meet him when he arrives in Canberra on Tuesday, former NSW Labor premier Bob Carr offered a different view.

”The Prime Minister should feel no obligation to meet the Dalai Lama, indeed should feel an obligation not to meet him,” Mr Carr said. ”He is a religious leader but also a cunning one with a political agenda. His agenda is not in Australia’s interest.

”Tibet has been part of China since the Manchu dynasty. There is no more reason China would accept a loosening of its ties with Tibet than we would accept West Australian autonomous status within the Australian federation,” he said.

In 1950, communist China sent troops to enforce its claim on Tibet. At the end of the decade, the Dalai Lama was forced to flee Tibet and set up a government-in-exile in northern India, in effect becoming a refugee for half a century.

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Han, Influence, International Relations, Media, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, Strategy, The Age, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Tibet

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