[Buddha-l] The current crisis in Tibet--comment from Oz

jkirk jkirk at spro.net
Tue Apr 8 23:53:39 MDT 2008


Playing Games on Chinese 
Ann Kent 
The current crisis in Tibet represents a turning point not only for China
but for the international community as a whole. 

For China, dissent in Tibet threatens the successful staging of the Olympic
Games, which was planned to crown its triumphant re-entry into the
international community. For the international community, and in particular
Western states, China's suppression of that dissent represents a challenge
to international norms and rules which, if not correctly handled now, may
jeopardise that value system and critically distort China's sense of its
place in the world. It will also set back change in China, where, at this
very moment, some Chinese intellectuals are calling for an end to oppression
in Tibet. 

The Olympic Games is an occasion of mega-symbolism, signifying the
brotherhood of man. Symbolism is very important to China. If the 2008 Games
are allowed by the international community to pass as if nothing had
happened in Tibet, the message to China will be that human rights are of no
account before the towering realities of its economic and military

Ann  Kent is a Visiting Fellow in the ANU College of Law and author of
_Beyond  Compliance: China, International Organizations and Global Security_
Stanford  CA: Stanford University Press, 2007.

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