No one in China more exposed to Tibet independence campaigns than the country’s Netizens. No matter how intensely the Chinese government would like to block such websites, these “Free Tibet” pitches somehow see through the cracks of the Great Firewall. But prompted by national education campaigns regarding the Tibetan independence movement, Chinese citizens are taking a different view, defending their country. Chinese micro-bloggers, such as the “Hidden Harmonies of China” blog, even claim that these pro-Tibet defamation campaigns are groundless slanders motivated by racist and insincere sentiments against China.
Those who believe in the “Free Tibet” movement adhere to the sentiment that the Chinese have committed a sort of genocide on the Tibetan people. This popular rhetoric against the Chinese government and the Chinese people continues to spread as if the genocide is happening right now. The Dalai Lama’s own website uses phrases such as “the final solution,” “genocide,” and “ethnic cleansing” to describe what the Chinese have done and are still doing to the Tibetans.
Under the pen-name Melektaus, the writer of “Hidden Harmonies of China” adamantly argues that there is no evidence of the allegations set forth by the Tibetan Government in Exile (TGIE). Melektaus includes sources and publications to back up his argument from legal scholars, Tibetologists, historians of Central Asia, UN human rights experts, and political scientists.
Melektaus refutes the claim that the Chinese government implemented a mass sterilization program on the Tibetans in the 1950’s, saying there is no evidence to support this claim. He asserts there hasn’t been a single Tibetan brought forth with signs of forcible sterilization. This position also has some support from research by the International Committee of Jurists, a western human rights organization.
TGIE’s second allegation is of infanticide committed by China within Tibet. Melektaus cites case studies from anthropologists and from Tibetologists Melvyn Goldstein and Cynthia Beall from The Center for Research on Tibet at Case Western Reserve University, that conclude that rge “evidence” failed to substantiate claims of infanticide.
The third claim from TGIE is that the Chinese have slaughtered no less than 1.2 million Tibetans. But the blog points out that London’s former director of the “Free Tibet” campaign exposed this figure as a hoax. Although the figure has been deemed false, it is widely accepted internationally, including by the US government. Melektaus argues that all three claims come from an anti-Chinese sentiment and are “all fabrication invented by Tibetan emigres to garner worldwide sympathy.”
Chinese microbloggers take the view that all this propaganda is a libel against themselves (Chinese citizens), suggesting they are the perpetrators of cultural genocide. Chinese bloggers also claim that this dehumanization of the Chinese people adds to misunderstanding and tension between the Hans (the dominant ethnic Chinese group) and the Tibetans. Worst of all, bloggers argue that the Chinese Government will be less inclined to negotiate if supporters of – and propagandists for — the Dalai Lama continue to spread this collective defamation.
Certainly, the view from the mainland on the bitter issue of Tibet would suggest that, at the very least, there are at least two sides to this controversy.