#1Dalai's "Virtual Tibet" Just a Fad: US Scholar Tom Grunfeld (Xinhua)
Xinhua is the official news agency of the People's Republic of China

BEIJING, Jul 27, 2001 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Dr. Tom Grunfeld, a distinguished Tibetologist and professor from the State University of New York, said here Friday that Dalai Lama's creation of a "virtual Tibet" is totally different from the real one.

The Dalai Lama's description of the Tibet under his serfdom rule as "Shangri-La" has led to an infatuation with Tibet, which is a fad that will soon fade and become inconsequential in American history, he said.

Grunfeld made the remarks Friday at the 2001 Beijing Forum on Tibetology, and his view was supported by many Chinese and foreign Tibetologists.

The author of "The Making of Modern Tibet," Grunfeld pointed out that the Dalai Lama has succeeded "in nurturing and increasing interest and fascination with himself, his cause and Tibetan Buddhism in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and, especially, the United States."

This fascination has led to an infatuation with Tibet, a Tibet which was a gentle and peaceful land where non-violence predominated and where monks were all-knowing; yet the fascination is not with the real Tibet but a fantasy version, he said.

Fascination with the virtual Tibet has "propelled Hollywood movies, rock concerts, and celebrities practicing Buddhism, which have all combined to make the Dalai Lama a household word," Grunfield said.

He also noted that those people do not know that the old Tibet they are fascinated with is actually a virtual Tibet, not a real one. "A dose of the real Tibet would leave them deeply disillusioned."

The America's most prominent China-bashers supported the Dalai Lama "only because he is useful in the campaign against China," Grunfeld said.

Grunfeld has been to China 16 times and has been to Tibet for field research.

In an interview with Xinhua, he stressed he is a historian on Chinese history. His research of Tibetan history has been carried out from the point of view of the whole of Chinese history.

Though some Americans support the Dalai Lama and the independence of Tibet, they are only noises that won't change the policy of the U.S. government, which is that Tibet is part of China, he maintained. A unified, stable and developing China is in line with the ultimate interests of the American people, he added.

Professor Xirao Nima from the Central University for Nationalities said that a clear distinction should be drawn between popular culture and the academic study of Tibetology researchers.

Hu Yan, an expert on minority group religions, and some other scholars called on the academic circle to expose the illusions purported by the Dalai Lama and make the truth clear.

#2...An article about Chinese Propaganda (AD)
Apple Daily by Jonathan Mirsky 12 Aug. 2001

For over 40 years I have felt that articles published by the New China News Agency, Xinhua, should carry this warning: "What you are about to read may deceive you." Here is what I believe to be irrefutable justification.

On 27 July Xinhua carried a dispatch from Beijing concerning a "Forum on Tibetology," which concentrated on the contribution of an American professor, A. Tom Grunfeld. It seemed unlikely to me that Professor Grunfeld would have said the things attributed to him. I now have his reply to the article and, with his permission, I quote him.

He describes the article as " a hodgepodge of accuracy and inaccuracy. " Speaking as a journalist, I call that the most damaging kind of reporting, because the reader can be easily misled.

The article calls him a "a distinguished Tibetologist." Professor Grunfeld says this is "erroneous," although the article later correctly says he is an "historian of China."

The article states that he referred to "the Dalai Lama's creation of a virtual Tibet" and his "description of Tibet under his rule as Shangri-la.. " as " a fad that will soon fade. " Professor Grunfeld replies " I do not believe that the Dalai Lama has participated in the creation or the perpetuation of the Shangri-la myth. " He goes on to say that "in the 1960s and early 1970s the Dalai Lama did not discourage stories about a Shangri-la-like society before the Chinese came...But I would say that the Dalai Lama played the most minor role in the continuation of this myth. "

The article states that according to Professor Grunfeld Tibet has become " an infatuation...a fantasy" in the West. Professor Grunfeld replies that he did say that that Western popular interest in Tibet was "a fad that would fade before too long. However, the political campaign led by the Dalai Lama and the academic interest in Tibet would not fade and the latter would probably grow."

The article states that " his view was supported by many Chinese and foreign Tibetologists." Referring to this as "the most glaring fiction," Professor Grunfeld says, " In my panel, where I gave the paper, there were no other foreigners...At no time did any of the foreigners at the conference discuss my paper with me. " He says that "the Chinese who did comment did so exclusively to counter my criticisms of Chinese policy in Tibet."

The article states that "His research on Tibetan history has been carried out from the point of view of the whole of Chinese history." Professor Grunfeld replies that "I strongly reject and resent" that sentence. "I believe this was meant to convey the notion that I was more amenable to the Chinese position on Tibet. My training has been to be aware of my prejudices and compensate for them. The only point of view I write history from is my own and I take full responsibility for my views."

I have never met Professor Grunfeld nor, until this matter, have we ever communicated, but he is clearly a man interested in the truth and in protecting his reputation. These are respectable goals and if anything his description of the article as a "hodgepodge" is too gentle. The words "fabrication" and "lies known to all," spring to mind. They are commonly used in Beijing to describe Western comments or even questions about events in China and especially in Tibet.

If Xinhua were a responsible news organisation, it would have checked with Professor Grunfeld before publishing its article which after all is about him. It should now publish a "correction." Agencies like Reuters do just that. If I were Professor Grunfeld I would consider bringing a libel suit against Xinhua in a Hong Kong court, where he would receive a fair hearing. Academics rarely do this; they usually write to the source of the falsehood and expect publication. That would be useless in the case of Xinhua.

All that remains is shame. For Xinhua. Everyone knows what it's like. But like the cigarette companies it continues to spread its poison. If you must read it, do so sparingly and immediately seek out a powerful antidote of the truth.

#3—The False Charges of "Genocide Under Mao"
Revolutionary Worker #764, July 10, 1994

Exiled Tibetan nationalists charge that the Maoist revolution was not intended to liberate the masses of Tibetan people--but that it was an act of so-called "Chinese imperialism" that pursued a "final solution" for the Tibetan people. As evidence, the Lamaists point to the current Chinese government's policy of moving Han immigrants into previously Tibetan nationality areas. Han people are the majority people of China and traditionally do not inhabit the Tibetan highlands.

The Dalai Lama's supporters then claim that this anti-Tibetan immigration policy was an extension of earlier plans, laid by the revolutionary leader Mao Tsetung. These charges of "genocide," leveled against Mao Tsetung and the revolution, are based on deliberate lies that need to be exposed.

In 1952 Mao Tsetung stated to a visiting Tibetan delegation that he could envision the Tibetan highlands with a prosperous population of 10 million. Lamaists insist that Mao was talking about importing 10 million Han into Tibet. This is a fabrication --Mao was talking about the flourishing of minority nationality populations in their regions, including the Tibetans. Any honest analysis of the Maoist policy toward China's minority nationalities reveals that the Maoist revolutionaries fought for the expansion of minority populations.

Under Mao, there was no mass immigration of Han people into the central highlands of the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR)--even the Dalai Lama's propagandists concede this fact. At the time of the anti-Maoist coup, most sources agree that the Han population in central Tibet was about 13 percent--most of them revolutionary cadre, technical specialists and soldiers, and most stationed in Tibet only temporarily.

Nothing about Mao's policies was "cultural genocide"--in fact, Mao waged constant struggles within the Chinese Communist Party against "Han chauvinism" and Maoists fought to create a new socialist Tibetan culture in the TAR itself.

Lamaists accuse Mao of conducting "genocide" in certain border areas outside of the Tibet Autonomous Region, where Tibetan, Han and other peoples live side-by-side. This charge is based on lamaist claims to a territory that extends three times the area of the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR)--including the neighboring province of Qinghai, most of Sichuan and some of Yunnan. In Tibetan these regions are called Amdo and Kham.

Under Mao, many grasslands of these Qinghai and Sichuan border regions were transformed into productive farmlands--with new socialist communes including both Tibetan and Han peasants. Lamaists consider this agricultural expansion "cultural genocide" because many Han peasants now farm grasslands once exclusively inhabited by Tibetans. Because of the close and friendly relations of the various peoples of these former grasslands, there has been a great deal of intermarriage. Like many narrow nationalists, the Tibetan lamaists consider such intermarriage to be "cultural genocide."

In addition, many lamaists consider abortion to be "murder"--and so accuse the Maoist revolution of "genocide" when it made birth control and abortion available. Under Mao, Han people were sometimes encouraged to limit the size of their families--but such campaigns were not conducted in minority areas like Tibet where major efforts were made to increase the population. Even the major pro-Lamaist collection published by Germany's Greens, The Anguish of Tibet, acknowledges that population control policies have consistently been more lenient in Tibet than in majority-Han areas.

When all else fails, lamaists simply insist that "over a million Tibetans died during the Maoist revolution." They can never offer evidence because their charge is a lie.

Their method is to claim that there were once 6 million Tibetans--and then to claim that there has been a major population decline. Though the Dalai Lama's numbers are repeated in the U.S. mainstream press for propaganda purposes, the research of specialists like Professor A. Tom Grunfeld suggests that these figures have been manufactured by the Dalai Lama without any evidence.

Though there has never been a reliable census in Tibet's history, most specialists estimate that the total population of Tibetans was two to three million when the Maoist revolution started. Although there has been sharp class struggle within Tibet and probably dislocations in food production at times, the Tibetan population within China almost certainly increased during the years of Maoist revolution--because of improvements in medicine and hygiene, because many tens of thousands of monks had married, and because of leaps in agricultural productivity.

In short, charges of "genocide under Mao" are simply baseless. The lamaist feudalists, who genuinely oppressed the Tibetan people, are forced to manufacture lies in order to smear the Maoists, who led the Tibetan masses toward genuine liberation. ------------------------------------------------------------------------

This article is posted on Revolutionary Worker Online Write: Box 3486, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL 60654 Phone: 773-227-4066 Fax: 773-227-4497 (The RW Online does not currently communicate via email.)


Dear Editor,

Be the first one to break the Tibetan myth!

Many Chinese Americans are disturbed by the lies spread by the Tibetan movement. This movement misrepresents the traditional multiple-ethnic heritage of the Chinese Americans. It is portraying the Chinese as a mono-ethnic, aggressive race. It is denying the identity of millions of minority people in central China. As an individual who understands their feelings, I hope your press will present a balanced view on this issue.

China contends Tibet first joined China during the Yuan Dynasty (Mongol) in 1260 A.D. The Tibetan movement has created a myth about a "peaceful country that had no disease, no hunger, until the Chinese invaded her." If the Tibetans' claim is true, then a mathematical calculation shows that a SINGLE Tibetan family alive during 1260 A.D., assuming only 2 children who reach adulthood per generation, and 27 years per generation, should have produced around 67 million descendants now.

The total population of Tibet is only 6 million. What reduced the Tibetan population so drastically under such peaceful, happy conditions?

The Chinese people know that millions of Tibetans reside in central China. Their migration into central China did not happen overnight, but happened over 700 years of integration.

Please be a ground-breaking journalist, and inquire any Tibetan refugees you interview on what his or her answers are to these questions:

"How many Tibetans do you think there are in central China?"

"Do you consider them Chinese citizens, or Tibetan citizens?"

"How do you think the Tibet independent movement will affect these Tibetans?"

The Tibetans in exile have generally dodged these questions on electronic message boards, because they know the wrong answers can mean they will lose the support of millions of Tibetans across China.

While they claim Tibet was an independent country, they have totally ignored the plight of their fellow Tibetans in central China. It is time resourceful journalists question them about it.

Please check for further details and ample background in articles by some Chinese Americans on this subject. The Tibet issue is a thorn in the U.S.-China relationship. A proper understanding of this issue will improve our future world peace. Thank you.

More articles about Tibet>>>>