2008: China has unblocked access to foreign websites that provide news about
the unrest in Tibet. The violence in Tibet was more smoke than fire. Tibet is a
big place (1.2 million square kilometers, compared to 9.8 million for the U.S.)
, but has a tiny population of only about three million. Ten percent of the
population is Chinese, and this is growing. Many Tibetans have migrated to
China, for better economic opportunities. The total number of Tibetans in China
is about five million. Tibetans have always resented Chinese domination, which
has been going on for thousands of years. Most of the time, the Tibetans were
able to run their own affairs. But from time to time, the Chinese take direct
control. In 1950 the Chinese marched in and took over, and show no inclination
to leave. Parts of Tibet were added to China proper, but most of Tibet became
an "autonomous region."There are about 125,000 Tibetans living outside of
China, and are active in trying to get nations to pressure China to either
leave Tibet, or grant more autonomy. China treats this as a public relations
issue, and has no intention of letting it influence how it deals with Tibet. Tibetans
are active now mainly because of the Olympics, which will be held in China this
Summer. This provides a unique opportunity to spotlight the Tibetan situation,
and embarrass China.
2008: In western China, schools in Tibetan areas were re-opened. In Tibet,
police identified 53 people the police are seeking, as leaders of the current
2008: China released photos of 21 Tibetans suspected of being leaders of the
current unrest in Tibet, and offered rewards for information about them. The
photos were taken during the current unrest. Several hundred arrests have
already been made.
2008: China is denying reports that Sudan bought over $60 million worth of
Chinese weapons since 2003. But China offered no details, and there is ample
evidence that Sudan has many new Chinese weapons. China is basically being
accused of arming the men who have committed all the atrocities in Darfur
2008: China is recruiting and training a
force of at least 20,000 special security personnel for the Summer Olympics. These
men must be in good physical shape and at least 68 inches tall. They learn some
basic English phrases and are recruited mainly from northern China.
2008: In Tibet, and parts of China with large Tibetan populations, schools and
businesses were shut down.
2008: Chinese police and troops have locked down Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, making
it difficult to hold any additional demonstrations. This did not stop small
groups of demonstrators from moving around, setting fire to Chinese owned
businesses and government buildings, or beating up any Chinese they came
across. Police had orders to shoot-to-kill any arsonists they caught. At least
13 people were killed in this way, while at least 300 buildings were burned,
and thousands of Chinese owned businesses, mostly retail shops, were damaged or
destroyed. Over a hundred people have died, and many more were injured.
2008: The violence has spread to Tibetan populations in provinces adjacent to
2008: The anti-Chinese demonstrations have spread to Tibetans living outside
China. The goal is to embarrass China and threaten the Chinese hosted Olympics
2008: Protests continue in Tiber, but the police tend to outnumber the
demonstrators. Police are seeking those they consider anti-Chinese activists,
and arresting them. These are the most extensive actions since a similar
outburst in 1989.
2008: In Tibet, Chinese police dispersed 600 Buddhist monks, who were
demonstrating against the Chinese invasion of Tibet 49 years ago.