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April 01, 2005

Comments

Andrew

"How utterly laughable from a government which wouldn't even allow the death of one of its former top officials from being covered by the media, for fear of stirring up pro-democracy sentiments."

But surely it is reasonable for Chinese *people* to criticize the postwar Japanese government for, at times, whitewashing WWII-era war crimes?

On apologies: the 1995 apology was issued by Tomiichi Muruyama, the first Socialist prime minister in decades (head of a Socialist-LDP coalition goverment), who resigned after only 18 months in office. The more conservative LDP has had power since then, and is generally the one being criticized (several LDP MPs strongly opposed Muruyama's apology). Also, the Japanese Diet at the time refused to support the apology by a 2:1 margin, following intensive debate in which an initial strongly worded resolution was greatly watered down (so that it expressed "regret," not an "apology") and passed with 230 votes out of 502 MPs (252 abstained). A former Education Minister gathered 4.5 million signatures opposing the apology (4% of the adult population). Meanwhile, the 1998 apology by Keizo Obuchi was to Korea specifically, not China (in fact, when Jiang Zemin visited Japan that year, Obuchi expressed "deep remorse" but refused a written apology). [By the way, this information was obtained off Google, so if anyone has more authoritative sources that contradict this, I'd be glad to hear it.]

It seems to me that the debate is over whether the apologies and expressions of "remorse" are enough; the difference between 'hansei' and 'owabi', etc. I guess reasonable people will disagree about this (it is a matter of degree, and carefully calibrated words, after all). However, my point of reference is Germany, which seems to me to have been more apologetic and open about its past than Japan. For example, Berlin has a Jewish Museum and is building a Holocaust Memorial; while the Japanese Prime Minister recently visited the Yasukani shrine which contains a name list with several Class A war criminals. (I am unaware of any museums for Japanese war crimes in Japan - please correct me if I'm wrong.)

At least Japan is better than Turkey, I guess...

Abiola Lapite

When Britain, France, Russia and the United States get around to issuing grovelling German-style apologies for their own misdeeds, maybe all the arguments about "insufficient" Japanese apologetics will be worth listening to. It's absurd to make Willy Brandt's apology for Nazism the standard by which all others should be measured: as bad as the Japanese were, they weren't as bad as the Nazis, or even the Soviet and Chinese Communist parties, and I'll be damned if I've ever seen a memorial anywhere in Britain or France acknowledging large-scale mistreatment of "natives" anywhere, let alone apologizing for same. The United States couldn't even bring itself to apologize for slavery and Jim Crow under the watch of the "Black President", yet everyone expects the Japanese to grovel for an imperialism that was adopted in emulation of the British, French and the Germans, and spurred on by American anti-Japanese policies? Ridiculous.

This "apology" business is a load of hogwash, and the Chinese *people* might do well to demand that their own government give them the freedom to speak freely about matters of their own choosing before engaging in the next stupid frenzy over things that occurred more than 60 years ago.

Abiola Lapite

By the way, you might want to read the following, which contains a formal Japanese apology for the crimes committed against China, dating back to - 1972!

https://www.taiwandocuments.org/japan01.htm

["The Japanese side is keenly conscious of the responsibility for the serious damage that Japan caused in the past to the Chinese people through war, and deeply reproaches itself."]

That was Kakuei Tanaka issuing said apology in Beijing in the presence of Zhou Enlai, so it is simply a lie on the part of the Chinese media that Japan has never apologized for its actions, a lie deliberately fostered to spur anti-Japanese sentiment. The truth is that by some reckonings Japan has apologized up to *17 times* for its imperialist adventures; how many times has Communist China ever apologized for *anything?* I'm sure the Vietnamese would love an apology ...

Andrew

Of course, point taken that many countries have committed atrocities for which they have not formally apologized, or, indeed, officially acknowledged or memorialized. But that doesn't mean that it is okay that Japan has arguably not (sufficiently). (Personally, I would criticize all of them for not apologizing...) And anyway, it is understandable that Chinese people focus on Japan rather than the US, Britain, etc. since Japan has caused their country more harm than the others. As for those who ignore the Chinese government's own misdeeds - well, point taken there.

On the Joint Communique of 1972, I did say after all that the debate is centered in large part on carefully calibrated words - on the use of 'regret' instead of 'apology' among other things. And the Communique carefully avoids saying 'apology,' opting for 'deeply reproaches itself' instead. I'm curious to see the 17 instances of Japanese apology... My guess is that most of them dance around 'apology' with 'regret,' 'reproach,' 'remorse,' etc. And that most of them were issued by government officials speaking individually, none passed by the Diet or cabinet. But please, prove me wrong.

Abiola Lapite

"But that doesn't mean that it is okay that Japan has arguably not (sufficiently). (Personally, I would criticize all of them for not apologizing...)"

That's fine in theory, but why should the Japanese be held in practice to a higher standard than anyone else? China suffered grievously at the hands of the British, French and the Germans during the 19th and early 20th centuries, but I don't see any Chinese running about demanding apologies for those actions. By the norms of international relations, Japan is actually doing better than the average.

"And the Communique carefully avoids saying 'apology,' opting for 'deeply reproaches itself' instead"

Since when did an apology have to explicitly mention that it was an apology? That's like requiring that a politician say "I am currently giving a speech" before being willing to recognize what he says as one.

"And that most of them were issued by government officials speaking individually, none passed by the Diet or cabinet."

As was Willy Brandt's getting on his knees. How many times has *any* Western representative body passed such legislation? Imperial Japan was not Nazi Germany, and until you can point me to a single Western country other than Germany which has engaged in the grovelling the Chinese and Koreans want, I'm going to continue to write their gripes off as a lot of whining.

Andrew

"That's like requiring that a politician say "I am currently giving a speech" before being willing to recognize what he says as one."

But when Japan actually refuses to say, "The Japanese government formally apologizes for atrocities committed by the wartime government," that's different. The language in all these communiques is carefully negotiated. A refusal to use 'apologize' reflects a willingness to go so far, and no further. (I mean, diplomacy is a field where countries will argue bitterly over the difference between "respect" and "recognize" - that 1972 communique you pointed me to shows Japan very pointedly saying it "understands and respects" China's position on Taiwan.)

"China suffered grievously at the hands of the British, French and the Germans during the 19th and early 20th centuries, but I don't see any Chinese running about demanding apologies for those actions. "

Right. British, French, and German soldiers performed experiments on Chinese prisoners, forced thousands of Chinese women to be "comfort women," participated in an orgy of rape and massacre in China's capital city... European powers certainly humiliated and dominated China (and did invade on at least one occasion that I recall, though it was a limited force), and quasi-pseudo-colonized it, but it's pretty clear to me that Japan's wartime atrocities were an order of magnitude worse. (Similarly, I would acknowledge that Japan did not set out to systematically annihilate the entire Chinese population and so its war crimes are distinguished from the Holocaust. Though, I think you could compare Japan's treatment of Chinese to Germany's treatment of the conquered Eastern European peoples...)

Abiola Lapite

"But when Japan actually refuses to say, "The Japanese government formally apologizes for atrocities committed by the wartime government," that's different."

Show me an independent nation that gives carte blanche to any other nation to write its statements for it. It's ridiculous to demand that Japan has to say such and such in precisely such and such a manner for it to count.

"The language in all these communiques is carefully negotiated."

Precisely, and the Chinese government of the day eventually agreed to the language used. We aren't talking about language which was unilaterally imposed by the Japanese government, so why does China's rulership keep fanning the flames of nationalism as if they didn't acqueisce to the agreement? If they didn't like what was on offer, they ought to have held out.

"A refusal to use 'apologize' reflects a willingness to go so far, and no further."

Or it could simply reflect a refusal to allow others - especially others as soaked in blood as the Chinest Communists - to put words of their own choosing in one's mouth. Besides, this is still further than any Western power other than Germany has ever gone - and even modern Germany isn't willing to apologize for its annihilation of the Herero, showing that its expressions of regret over the Holocaust was a special case.

"Right. British, French, and German soldiers performed experiments on Chinese prisoners, forced thousands of Chinese women to be "comfort women," participated in an orgy of rape and massacre in China's capital city..."

Perhaps you want to look up the burning of the Summer Palace and the suppression of the Boxer Rebellion before being so glib; the things those soldiers did in Beijing were not a credit to their military reputations. Besides, turning an entire nation into a bunch of opium junkies hardly counts as a minor offense.

"European powers certainly humiliated and dominated China (and did invade on at least one occasion that I recall, though it was a limited force), and quasi-pseudo-colonized it, but it's pretty clear to me that Japan's wartime atrocities were an order of magnitude worse."

Worse or no, it still wasn't as bad as Nazi Germany's crimes, and no other power has apologized for crimes of similar magnitude as Japan's, not Belgium with the Congo, not the USA and slavery or Native Americans, not Britain and the Boer War, the suppression of the Sepoy Mutiny or many other colonial massacres, none. Britain has yet to apologize for gassing Iraqis during the 1920s.

"Though, I think you could compare Japan's treatment of Chinese to Germany's treatment of the conquered Eastern European peoples..."

You'd think wrong: Japan never had anything like "Generalplan Ost" in store for the peoples it conquered, and never engaged in a policy of deliberate starvation of millions of Chinese captives; a more accurate comparison would be with Italy and the conquest of Ethiopia, or America's takeover of the Phillipines, both of which were brutal.

Andrew

"Perhaps you want to look up the burning of the Summer Palace and the suppression of the Boxer Rebellion before being so glib"

Yes, I knew about those, thank you very much. (I have, in fact, been to the Summer Palace (Yiheyuan) which was burned after the Boxer Rebellion and the ruins of Old Summer Palace (Yuanmingyuan) which was destroyed in 1860.) That's still quite a lot different from the Rape of Nanking, which itself was only a few months out of several years of occupation.

"no other power has apologized for crimes of similar magnitude as Japan's, not Belgium with the Congo, not the USA and slavery or Native Americans, not Britain and the Boer War, the suppression of the Sepoy Mutiny or many other colonial massacres, none. Britain has yet to apologize for gassing Iraqis during the 1920s."

Well, they should.

"We aren't talking about language which was unilaterally imposed by the Japanese government, so why does China's rulership keep fanning the flames of nationalism as if they didn't acqueisce to the agreement?"

For the reasons you mentioned in your post. That still doesn't mean that Japan shouldn't apologize.

"Or it could simply reflect a refusal to allow others - especially others as soaked in blood as the Chinest Communists - to put words of their own choosing in one's mouth."

I find it highly unlikely that Japan has marked out its limited apologies purely out of general obstreperousness, especially when there is pressure from the right-wing that "we've apologized enough" and Japanese parliamentarians bicker about exactly how much to apologize, producing a resolution that expresses 'regret' and explicitly throws out the word 'apologize'.

Abiola Lapite

Should, should, should - all these "shoulds" are nice and dandy, but again I ask why the Japanese people or the Japanese government should be expected to be willing to adhere to a standard no one else is willing to? There are all sorts of things which one can state governments "should" do, but to expect anyone to buy the notion that the Japanese should be expected to feel any special responsibility to apologize which no one else does is deeply unrealistic. There aren't any nations waiting with bated breath on formal Western apologies for past misdeeds for the damn good reason that they know they won't be getting them, and it's well past time the Chinese and Koreans approached the same level of maturity.

The bottom line: Japan is no more guilty of an unwillingness to recognize its past misdeeds than any other power, and Korean and Chinese posturing as if it were is simply childish and pointless. What they claim to be demanding isn't going to happen and they know it, and all this agitating about "apologies" is nothing more than a means of guilt-tripping the Japanese into holding back from asserting their claims - that it also happens to satisfy Sino-Korean longings for a safe scapegoat on which to practice the "two minute hate" is a considerable added benefit.

PS: By the way, here's an article which suggests that the main reason why the Murayama initiative ("Document 1") failed to pass in the Diet wasn't LDP opposition, but a feeling on the part of Komeito representatives that it didn't go *far enough*:

https://www.umich.edu/~iinet/journal/vol3no1/jpnwar.html

Had all those who wanted something stronger voted for what was actually on offer, the resolution would easily have sailed through the Diet, which shows how the good can often be the enemy of the best. You never see the fact that its failure was because it was deemed insufficient mentioned in China's nationalist press though: they content themselves with stating that 47% of Diet members opposed the bill, as if the reason for opposition obviously *had* to be a lack of remorse.

Also interesting to note is that according to the article, Morihiro Hosokawa had also used the phrase "fukai hansei to owabi" to apologize for Japanese actions back on August 23, 1993, and in front of the Diet to boot: as I said, Japanese leaders have in fact issued several apologies, and even if they don't meet the ultra-precise demands of nationalist grievance-mongers in Korea and China, they're still a damn sight more than any imperialist power outside of Germany has done.

PPS: Let it also be noted that Koizumi also used the ever-so-important "owabi" word to apologize on October 8, 2001, both during his visit to an anti-Japanese memorial (!) *and* while speaking with Jiang Zhemin on the same day. Is it any surprise that the Japanese look upon yet more calls for apologies with irritation, given this history? As soon as they meet with the demands of some specific formula, the Chinese and the Koreans simply shift the goalposts.

Jim

Apologies are hogwash. That is the point. Slavery in the US was destroyed in a bloody, bloody civil war. That ocean of blood is worth more than all the apologies any government could make.

As for judging the Japanese for crimes that pale in comparison to what the Chinese have committed in Tibet, that is laughable.

Nobody cares about an apology in China unless you can make it pay somehow. Holding this guilt over the heads of the Japanese seems to be paying off prety well. The Chinese can assuage their feelings of technical and economoic inferiority with a sense of moral superioty. they may be able to use this guilt against the Japanese in negotiations.

As for turning a whole country into opium addicts, it never went that far. Most addicts were in the official and merchant classes that Mao ended up destroying anyway. The Europeans, including the Americans, certainly didn't do anything in China that the Manchus didn't do much more thoroughly, and that includes burning buildings. The humiliation in the European episode has to do with the fact that these barbarians never felt any need to assimilate. The humiliation was cultural rather than political.

Back to apologies - the Japanese may not apologize to the same narcissistic extent as the Germans; well, you can't get blood out of a turnip. Call it good and move on. On the other hand, when the Japanese start going on about Hiroshima, they should be told to shut the f*ck up.

Andrew

"Had all those who wanted something stronger voted for what was actually on offer, the resolution would easily have sailed through the Diet, which shows how the good can often be the enemy of the best. You never see the fact that its failure was because it was deemed insufficient mentioned in China's nationalist press though: they content themselves with stating that 47% of Diet members opposed the bill, as if the reason for opposition obviously *had* to be a lack of remorse."

As I read that article, the weaker resolution did, in fact, pass. What I meant was that the stronger resolution (using the word 'owabi' which would have matched what Murayama said, as sponsored by the Socialists) was abandoned because of opposition from conservative MPs.

Morihiro Hosokawa was also not a member of the LDP, but the New Japan party - that government was a coalition of anti-LDP parties which only lasted a couple years, and now the LDP is back again. Then again, I suppose no one complains that Clinton was a Democrat when he apologized for the Tuskegee syphilis tests, so this is perhaps not so bad.

On Koizumi: I stand corrected. If anyone is interested, here is a link:

https://www.csis.org/pacfor/cc/0104Qjapan_china.html

"Most addicts were in the official and merchant classes that Mao ended up destroying anyway."

That doesn't mean that this wasn't bad for Qing dynasty China! It probably hastened its decline. And you would surely agree that from the point of view of societal cohesivness, governance, etc, addicting the official and merchant classes gives the greatest "bang for the buck" in harm done per person addicted.

"The humiliation was cultural rather than political."

As if that were any better!

JuJuby

>>As for judging the Japanese for crimes that pale in comparison to what the Chinese have committed in Tibet, that is laughable.

And just what were these "crimes" that "pale in comparison to what the Chinese have committed in Tibet..."?

Abiola Lapite

Just thought I'd point anyone reading these comments to the following material:

https://www.jcie.or.jp/thinknet/pdfs/new_green.pdf

["Their foreign ministries attempted to stabilize relations on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the normalization of relations, declaring 1997 the “year of China” in Japanese diplomacy, but that celebration did not last beyond a disastrous summit between President Jiang Zemin and Prime Minister Obuchi Keizo in November 1998. At that summit, the Chinese insisted on a formal Japanese expression of apology (owabi) and remorse (hansei), the same formula Obuchi had given to visiting South Korean President Kim Dae Jung the month before. Unlike Kim, however, the Chinese leader was not willing to accept the apology as the final word, insisting on apologies in all future bilateral sessions, as well. As a result, the Chinese received only an expression of remorse."]

So an unreasonable demand meets with an appropriate response, but is the absurd demand ever brought up in non-Japanese reporting on the issue? Not on your life. This whole "apology" business is nothing but a ginned-up controversy, useful for distracting the restless Chinese masses from their lack of freedom to dissent or criticize by pointing them to a foreign power they can safely hate.

Jim

"And just what were these "crimes" that "pale in comparison to what the Chinese have committed in Tibet..."?"

You must have been out of town or off the planet for the last few decades. The Chinese government has destroyed the moansteries and clergy of Tibet, the repository of its culture, on a massive scale. It has planted huge numbers of Chinese in Tibet to overwhelm the Tibetan population, exactly the policy the US government used in the northern Plains to ensure that the lakota and Cheyenne became minorities in their own land. Chinese policy may be called either genocide or ethnocide, but their intention to exterminate Tibet as a separate entity is not open to question.

Jim

"That doesn't mean that this wasn't bad for Qing dynasty China! It probably hastened its decline."

The point was that the decline of the Qing Dynasty is not something one would expect a modern and patriotic Chinese to complain about. The standard line is after all that the whole feudal system was rotten, right?

By the way, China has officially admitted that it used a similar strategy against the US in fostering heroin production the Golden Triangle. Tough shit. Who forced us to buy all that heroin?

As for which kind of humiliation is worse, the point in pointing out that the humiliation was cultural was that it was self-inflicted; the humiliation was so humiliating especially because of Chinese cultural hubris.

JuJuby

You must have been out of town or off the planet for the last few decades. The Chinese government has destroyed the moansteries and clergy of Tibet, the repository of its culture, on a massive scale. It has planted huge numbers of Chinese in Tibet to overwhelm the Tibetan population, exactly the policy the US government used in the northern Plains to ensure that the lakota and Cheyenne became minorities in their own land. Chinese policy may be called either genocide or ethnocide, but their intention to exterminate Tibet as a separate entity is not open to question.

No, you were (or are) the one "out of town" or perhaps off the planet. You can't compare the cultural destruction that occured during the cultural revolution in Tibet with the viscious Japanese occupation and suggest that the what the "Chinese" did to the Tibetans were far worse. That is just stupid. Anyone who uses the word genocide in such a intellectually dishonest way is completely morally and probably intellectually bankrupt.

Fact is, there was no and is no genocide in the form of ethnic cleansing in Tibet. To suggest so is to show a complete ignorance of history. The UN agrees that there was no genicide either in the form of ethnic cleansing nor in the weaker sense of "cultural genocide" in Tibet today or in the past by Chinese.

No serious historian of modern Asian history has EVER claimed that the Chinese ever even attempted to systematically kill off Tibetans or where there ever any policies to ethnically cleanse them. There simply is no evidence of this and for good reason. No historian of modern Asian believes that the policy of migrating Hans are an attempt to cleanse ethnic Tibetans.

Read up on modern Tibetan history. I suggest A Tom Grunfeld's "The Making of Modern Tibet" and Melvyn Goldstein's books. Books are your friend!

JuJuby

>>This whole "apology" business is nothing but a ginned-up controversy, useful for distracting the restless Chinese masses from their lack of freedom to dissent or criticize by pointing them to a foreign power they can safely hate.

I think if you had actually lived in China, you'd be surpirsed at just how wrong you are here.

Abiola Lapite

"I think if you had actually lived in China, you'd be surpirsed at just how wrong you are here."

So I take it that the Chinese press is full of free-flowing criticism of the Communist Party leadership, right on down to sloganeering of the "Hu Jintao is a Moron!" variety? That must explain the recurring statements from the likes of Reporters Sans Frontiers that journalists are routinely harassed and jailed in that country ...

JuJuby

Just to clear some things up. I don't deny that there wasa plenty of cultural dewstruction that happened throughout China to all of China's cultures. But to suggest that this is a result of "cultural genocide" is to strtetch this meaning beyond its current usage and alsu suggests that the person who uses it in this way is being completely intellectualkly dishonest. This is not comparable to the cultural genocide that happened in the US to Indians or in Germany to Gypsies and Jews since it had nothing to do with one ethnic group replacing the culture of another with their own. It was cultural destruction on a massive comprehensive scale perpetrated by communists as opposed to one ethnic or cultural group against another.

To toss around the term "genocide" in the form of ethnic cleansing is not only intellectually dishonest but also morally dispicable.

JuJuby

>>So I take it that the Chinese press is full of free-flowing criticism of the Communist Party leadership, right on down to sloganeering of the "Hu Jintao is a Moron!" variety? That must explain the recurring statements from the likes of Reporters Sans Frontiers that journalists are routinely harassed and jailed in that country ...

Unfortuntely, the Chinese mass press is not as "free" in regards to criticisms as I would like it to be nor is it as free in the complete coverage of potential negative stories as it should be but as far as personal criticism of government and expression, there is far more freedom than most Westerners think. As for palpable personal freedom, I really don't see any difference living in the US and in China. People there say whatever they wish against the government and many do have very harsh vocal critiques.

The main diference I see between Americans and Chinese is that Chinese people usually know when they are being fed propaganda but Americans usually don't. Chinese diffintely have a healthy distrust of their news even though I don't see any reason overall why they should over the average American in as far as basic accuracy.

Jim

Jujuby,

Apologizing for Chinese actions in Tibet is what is morally despicable.
What happened in the northern areas of the US or what the Europeans did to Jews and Gypsies was not "cultural genocide", it was physical genocide. It is completley immaterial that it is being carried out by an ideologically motivated party as opposed to some ethnic group, and it is intellectually dishonest to imply that there is some moral difference. The Tibetans are being displaced and wiped out as a separate ethnicity in their homeland as a result of deliberate Chinese policy. Only a moral cripple would claim otherwise.

"The main diference I see between Americans and Chinese is that Chinese people usually know when they are being fed propaganda but Americans usually don't."
This kind of generalization about simple-mined, childish and ignorant.

JuJuby

>>Apologizing for Chinese actions in Tibet is what is morally despicable.
What happened in the northern areas of the US or what the Europeans did to Jews and Gypsies was not "cultural genocide", it was physical genocide.

Actually, it was both cultural and physical genocide in the case of the Europeans and Americans.


>>It is completley immaterial that it is being carried out by an ideologically motivated party as opposed to some ethnic group, and it is intellectually dishonest to imply that there is some moral difference.

Morally, both the destruction of a culture from teh perspective of either political ideology or cultural/racial centrism are both immoral and indefensible. But I wasn't making excuses for the crimes of the communists and I agree that they were heinous. I am talking about YOUR use of the word genocide that is morally dishonest in the case of comparing what happned in the CR because it is historically inaccurate and repulsive to use such a loaded word to something that it is not aplicable to. However, this is just intellectually dishonest IMO by diminishing the word's impact and value.

But to falsey accuse a people there of physical genocide and ethnic cleansing of another group is just down right morally dispicable.

Again, I don't doubt that there was serious mistakes and grave cultural crimes and human rights abuses that occured frequently in Tibet in the past as with much of China during the CR but it certainly wasn't genocide in any sense of the word.

Andrew

"The point was that the decline of the Qing Dynasty is not something one would expect a modern and patriotic Chinese to complain about. The standard line is after all that the whole feudal system was rotten, right?"

Actually, the interesting thing about the resurgence of nationalism is precisely that it fills the ideological gap caused by the decline of Communist ideology's grip on China. So my guess is that few people in China these days despise the old empire as "feudal" in the same way that good communists used to. In any case, by "decline of the Qing Dynasty" I meant to refer to the decline of China, in general - which Chinese nationalists would naturally be upset about, even 150 years later. (After all, I bet Irish nationalists are still pissed about Cromwell invading Ireland in the 1600's; or some of the more rabid Serbian nationalists seemed to be attached to Kosovo because they were defeated by the Ottomans there in 1389.)

And even the CCP melded nationalism to Marxism-Leninism to some extent. When Mao proclaimed the PRC in 1949, I think he said something to the effect of "China is standing up strong in the world once again," and this was one reason why the CCP was popular in the first few years (new Mandate of Heaven and all that). So the humiliation of China in the 19th century was not made up for by the eventual destruction of the feudal system.

On whether or not China has committed genocide in Tibet, cultural or otherwise, here's a report from 1960 by the International Commission of Jurists (https://www.icj.org/), which argues that there is a prima facie case for genocide in Tibet, though it submitted the matter to the UN for further investigation:

https://www.tibet.com/Resolution/icj59.html

JuJuby, you mentioned that the UN said it was not genocide, but my brief Google search turned up mostly "free Tibet" websites so I didn't find it - I'd appreciate a link!

Jim, I am well aware of the crimes that China has committed in Tibet, but it seems absurd to say that Japan's wartime atrocities -- including the Rape of Nanking, Unit 731, etc. -- "pale in comparison." (Clearly Japan did not attempt genocide in China, but China had about 450 million people in 1940 and had been the dominant culture in East Asia for 3000 years. If China had been a sparsely populated, isolated region, I wouldn't be surprised if Japan would have committed genocidal acts during a 40 year occupation.)

Jim

Andrew,

More point about the collaspe of the Qing is simply this: if a load of new barbarians show up, this time from the sea, but otherwise the same as before, who really is at fault for the defeat? It is just palin embarrassing to blame your troubles on a pack of barbarians you should have been able to handle. That's all I meant.

Comparing disters and horrors never really makes for any useful insights, but what I meant was that the effect of China's actions on the Tibetans as a nation or ethnicity is quite out of proportion to anything the Japanese did or could do to the Chinese as a nation. That only matters when you are talking about genocide, which by defintion concerns people in groups. On an absolute moral level, raping, mutilating and torturing to death one person is as heinnous as it gets, period, and repeating that by 100K, 500K or 1M times just can't go much further off an already pegged meter for me.

JuJuby

>>On whether or not China has committed genocide in Tibet, cultural or otherwise, here's a report from 1960 by the International Commission of Jurists (https://www.icj.org/), which argues that there is a prima facie case for genocide in Tibet, though it submitted the matter to the UN for further investigation:

Andrew, the report by the ICJ stated that there was no evidence for genocide on behalf of the Han against the Tibetans but that there are evidence to suggest a "cultural genocide"

“The COMMITTEE did not find that there was sufficient proof of the destruction of Tibetans as a race, nation or ethnic group as such by methods that can be regarded as genocide in international law.” (Legal Inquiry Committee, "Tibet and the Chinese People's Republic, Geneva ICJ, 1960)

You may think that the ICJ is some independent committee of human rights watchers but they actually grew directly from a group called the Investigating Committee of Free Jurists, also known as the Investigating Committee of Freedom Minded Lawyers from the Soviet Zone and League of Free Jurists. This group was created by American intelligence operatives in 1949 for the purpose of producing anti-Communist propaganda and for recruiting agents in East Germany to work for the CIA.

See the American Bar Association’s journal #41 1955, p. 415. The ICJ was formed “whose primary purpose is to gather evidence and document evidence through out the world of systematic communist injustice behind the Iron Curtain.

Between 1958 and 1964, the CIA funded the ICJ US $650,000 for their activities. Also see “The Making of Modern Tibet” by A. Tom Grunfeld for a complete analysis of ICJ’s connection with the CIA and other anti-communist organizations for the purpose of anti-communist propaganda during the Cold War.

Also, see the links below.

https://muse.jhu.edu/cgi-bin/access.cgi?uri=/journals/kritika/v005/5.2epstein.html&session=78852946

https://64.233.187.104/search?q=cache:5XEKTcoipWMJ:www.absoluteastronomy.com/encyclopedia/I/In/International_Commission_of_Jurists.htm+%22International+Commission+of+Jurists%22+cia&hl=en

Also see, “The CIA's Secret War in Tibet” by Kenneth Conboy and James Morrison.

The sole source of “evidence” the committee was able to attain were not physical evidence but only from eye witness accounts by refugees right after they had followed the Dalai Lama into India.

Almost unbelievably, the committee also concluded from said eye witness that “It must, therefore, be pointed out that serfdom never existed in Tibet in any form whatsoever.” ( Tsepon Shakapba) and “Almost every Tibetan engaged in [an] agricultural occupation, however poor he may be relatively, has, in his possession a minimum of 5 to 6 cattle and 30 sheep.” (Dalai Lama) No historian would ever believe this tale and neither do they believe in the stories of genocide told by these refugees as there is simply no ( and I mean none) evidence of it. The accounts of the Dalai Lama and his refugees are the basis of almost all the accusations today. Even from other eye witnesses, these refugees’ stories could not be confirmed by western journalists, other Tibetans, Western missionaries, and Chinese who where there at the time of the exodus.

>>JuJuby, you mentioned that the UN said it was not genocide, but my brief Google search turned up mostly "free Tibet" websites so I didn't find it - I'd appreciate a link!

The UN’s definition simply does not recognize what happened in Tibet as “genocide”.

https://www.religioustolerance.org/genocide6.htm

“The convention would not cover the many instances where governments have destroyed, or attempted to destroy, the culture of a group, while allowing its members to survive.”

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Notes for Readers