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China issues demolition order on world’s largest religious town in Tibet (tchrd.org)
485 points by nu2ycombinator on June 18, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 235 comments

I was there literally three days ago. The place is nothing short of breathtaking. Nestled at 4200km, it was a three day motorbike ride from Chengdu. Even at its foothills, you have no concept of the scale of the town hiding in the hills.

This will truly be a tragic loss - the town is much more than the 'slum' it is represented as - it's arguably the most important Buddhist learning institution in the world..

Photos for the interested from my visit: http://travel.ninjito.com/dump/2016-06-15-Larung-Gar/index.h...

Edit: Got a good internet connection, uploaded decent photos.

Wow incredible pictures. Also, 4200km is in the exosphere: I think you mean 4200m :)

I think you're correct :D

I wouldn't put it past those monks to live in orbit ;)

How are solid and liquid wastes dealt with in this town? What does it smell like to walk around the area?

Edit: found an answer further down the thread:

> The hygienic conditions are very poor - people doing their business squatting on the streets, no toilets, rubbish everywhere. I am surprised that was not an argument being made by the government for the demolition.

Thanks so much for posting those pictures. Amazing place! Tragic that they'll be tearing much of it down.

Wow. Those are the most beautiful slums I've ever seen. Thanks for sharing!

I believe those photos are taken with a camera capable of HDR, which definitely puts it in better light than it is in reality - it almost looks photoshopped!

Reality (and our eyesight) is inherently HDR. HDR photos can more accurately represent what humans perceive.

The saturation is really high, which makes the colours look unreal.

Assuming most of those little structures are inhabited, how does this city sustain itself? The land around it does not appear to be cultivated, and there does not appear to be much of a commercial area. That's a lot of people to feed.

Whilst the town itself is built in the upper saddle of a hill, the valley itself is fecund and wide, with many farms.

I would assume that most supplies are brought in..

Most male student there, can get a scholarship from the school, about 200-500 USD per month.

It's seldom known to westerners but many knowledgeable Chinese know that there are financial aid programs for minorities. Similar to that of financial support from Canadian government to the natives in northern Canada.

In other words, the money from tax payers of developed areas in China feeds the people. The purpose of the programs is also quite similar to the Canadian government, (at least in the beginning): the people in those area need support.

Unbelievable? I choose some source which can not be some propaganda from Chinese government to partially collaborate my claim (the source of income): http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB868829960463522500 (BTW, the subjective speculation by the author about the motivation of the financial aid can satisfied the western readers but is far from the truth. These false claims happen all the time in almost all western media. The lies fuels anger and nationalism inside China which is not healthy in my personal view. Nobody in western world are aware of that)

Another policy that is favorable to the minorities is the notorious "One Child Policy": All the Han Chinese can have only one child while the minorities include Tibetans are not restricted by the rule.

Those information were never told by western journalist and Free Tibet Movement because they are opposite to the common belief that Chinese government is oppressive regime. The sprite of "Truth, nothing but truth" exist in science/technology/engineering. In politics and religion lies spread.

"Politics, like religion, is a topic where there's no threshold of expertise for expressing an opinion. All you need is strong convictions." --Paul Graham http://www.paulgraham.com/identity.html

Why should an entire nation of people be satisfied with 'minority' status? There's a much simpler solution: 'self determination'. Furthermore, in this instance, it has a compelling precedent: Tibet, which China invaded in 1950.

> Why should an entire nation of people be satisfied with 'minority' status?

Because they are not an independent nation, and actually are a minority in the bigger nation they are part of ?

It's pathetic that you are being downvoted for merely stating facts. I know this happpens on Reddit, but didn't think it would on HN.

Thanks for sharing the photos. There is one showing a metal rooftop with logs and rocks on top. Why are the logs and rocks on top of the roof?

Not OP but I'd guess they're to help keep the sheet metal from blowing off the roof.

I've seen the same sort of thing in pre-industrial-era Japanese house design. My guess, is that although the roof is fixed down, it helps to have it also weighted down with big rocks when the wind picks up. Japan gets typhoons, and I think Tibet is kinda windy on account of being high up.

Right, I had always assumed that it was to keep the roof on. For the reply below, temperatures vary wildly, as it's in altitude - even between the shade and sun in summer, there's a large variation, and in winter, it gets coooold.

It's probably a temperature thing? A metal roof probably gets really hot. I have no idea what the temperatures there are though...

Gorgeous pictures.

I know next to nothing about this area but my first uninformed thought is as neat and cool as the pictures are how do I know this isn't actually a slum? As an example the Kowloon Walled City arguably needed to be destroyed. It was amazing but its existence was arguably a human rights violation and its destruction was arguably the right thing to do, even though I personally found the place super intriguing.

Does any of that fit this situation? In the Kowloon case afaik the government provided housing for all those displaced. Not just housing but better and safer housing on probably nearly every axis.

Love the photos! Could you share info on what gear you used?

Thanks! Shot on a Canon 5D, with a very battered 70-200L F4, and a 16-35 F2.8.

Have a selection from the smartphone that came out very nicely too, surprisingly!

That looks like a clean and civilized first class city compared to parts of Mexico that I drive through regularly.

Fantastic photos, thank you for sharing

I've been to Kangding and Tagong before, how far is it from those places?

Not far from Kangding. You will pass Kangding if you go there from Chengdu.

Geez... thanks for sharing

thanks for the pictures,t they are amazing! So is the place... I hope China will revert its decision, it would be incredibly sad to loose this :(((


hey, what camera settings did you use for those pictures? they are amazing

Camera settings don't matter -- and they would vary from picture to picture and on different camera and lens models anyway. Plus, they won't apply as is to any other lighting condition.

It's all about the subject being inherently nice, and getting the framing as the photographer intended and the exposure right.

So sad. I wish India would step in and relocate them. Buddhism is one of the few religions that aim for legitimate rise of consciousness and it would be a shame to lose institutions dedicated to it.

It looks amazing, but it's still a slum. Unsafe structures, little to no policing, no sanitation or hygiene.

Rebuilding would destroy the history, but probably be better overall for the people living there.

I haven't seen any policeman at there. They are poor because their only income is donation. They are students without families. Even they have a new place, it won't change.

I visited Yaqing/Yachen mentioned at the bottom of the article about a month ago. The experience was surreal. In the middle of nowhere, 4 hours from the nearest city, the monastery is a sprawling complex of huts around the bend in a river in the tibetan tundra.

Here are some pictures: http://imgur.com/a/v4gYI

The hygienic conditions are very poor - people doing their business squatting on the streets, no toilets, rubbish everywhere. I am surprised that was not an argument being made by the government for the demolition.

There is some concern about foreign - especially American and British - influence on Tibetan Buddhists in the government. I am not sure this move will serve to diminish this influence.

Ps: on another note, a surprising number of these ascetic monks had an iPhone 6s+ or Samsung S7 in their pockets!

I visited the region (eastern Sichuan, Tibetan plateau) in 2006, and played counterstrike and diablo 2 against monks at the local internet cafe. Very surreal, getting shot in the head by a monk.

Heh I used to play CS 1.6 with my Catholic priest. He was very very good too, though his favourite game was Wolfenstein. Apparently shooting Nazis and their monsters was cathartic

Larung Gar is quite clean. Whilst the living conditions are basic, it's certainly not a slum. The surrounding towns definitely have a lower standard of living.

As you noted, I spent time hanging out in teahouses with monks passing their afternoons on their iphones w/ flawless 4G / LTE connections :)

>iPhone 6s

It's a funny thing with monks. Quite a few are former businessman who want to try something more spiritual for a change but still are wealthy. I walked a bit with a young monk on the way to Tengboche Monastery and his main interest as we talked seemed to be designer sunglasses and which brand would be good to get.

>It's a funny thing with monks. Quite a few are former businessman who want to try something more spiritual for a change but still are wealthy.

So mostly phonies being tourists in spiritual-land?

Renunciation is defined with reference to your mental attitude towards possessions, not the presence or absence thereof. See, for example the 'Royal Sage' (Raja Rshi).

Hypocrisy though is defined by "the presence or absence thereof".

Not really. Detachment from love of material possessions doesn't imply having no material possessions. It implies a lack of a disordered love for them. The true test of hypocrisy would be to see how one of those monks responds when his phone gets stolen.

That is a Western view of things where spiritual and material realms are different. Dharmic religions consider the spiritual realm to be a superset of the material, not separate from it.

You meant to write "the spiritual realm to be a superset…", I'm sure.


Attachment also applies to doctrine and ideas.

You're right, of course, but it's not binary (either you're attached or you're detached). Instead, the idea is to become attached to subtler (read: causing more lasting happiness) aspects of life, as a consequence of which one becomes detached from the grosser (read: causing more fleeting happiness) aspects. This moving in stages applies on physical, emotional and intellectual levels.

Jumping to absolute detachment is not really possible.

I'm not sure a former businessman being spiritual is particularly more phony than anyone else doing it.

Perhaps, but based on a similar experience I had with a Tibetan monk, I'd say there's actually quite a lot of room for flexibility. Just because someone has a handful of materialistic interests doesn't mean they're incapable of being a good person or teacher. That was probably the main lesson I learned from the monk I knew. As outsiders, we often have a very romanticized, storybook view of monkhood that doesn't line up with reality.

I do not understand the cowardice and fear the Chinese government seem to have of a small buddhist settlement in the middle of nowhere high up in the mountains of Tibet... It looks like they feel the opposite of a superpower and that a few buddhist monks might threaten them so much they have to destroy them. It's very easy to forget how free we are by comparison to those persecuted in occupied territories.

Chinese government is attuned to history. Chinese history is a constant cycle of disintegration and reunification and the current government knows it is not special. At some point, it too will disintegrate into 100 pieces. It's just that they don't plan on making that any time soon. Anything they can do to delay the inevitable, they will do so.

> At some point, it too will disintegrate into 100 pieces.

That generally doesn't happen with democracies; they could adopt democratic reforms.

China has a much longer history than the modern democratic nation-state. The US has held itself together for a couple of hundred years... that's not a bad track record but it is very, very short.

The U.S. has managed over 40 peaceful transitions of power in that period. Democracies around the world have demonstrated far more stability and effectiveness, not to mention justice, liberty and prosperity, than those other forms of government that had lasted for millennia. That's not just in the West, but in Japan and South Korea, and in parts of China itself: Taiwan and Hong Kong - the most free, stable and prosperous parts.

> The U.S. has managed over 40 peaceful transitions of power in that period.

Over 40 peaceful transitions, really? What about the Civil War and the assassination of JFK? Not to mention the recent Donald Trump fiasco. I'm pretty sure if he got elected, we would have a few more presidential assassination attempts coming our way. I mean if you want to prove that democracies bring stability, you need a better example than the U.S..

That's a pretty uninformed understanding of US culture and history, the western legal system dates back far longer than just a few hundred years (over a millennium).

A more apt comparison is the post cultural revolution government, which occurred during the last century.

> the western legal system dates back far longer than just a few hundred years (over a millennium).

But not western democracy. Notable mentions are Greece and Rome, but those cultures also became history.

And the Roman Republic lasted a while, but it was eventually replaced by the Empire.

It's just the totalitarian statist mindset. The State is the most important thing, and it is important to statists that they be able to impose whatever it is they want to impose, and that any individual liberty be quashed. They turn everything around such that someone just trying to live their life is somehow opposed to the state's authority unless they're in line with what the statists want.

Well there's always the Taiping rebellion in the 19th century [1] if you want an example about what happens when thing go bad with religion in China.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taiping_Rebellion

Self organized groups are just like fire to wood. They are deeply aware of this. Anything like that would be removed with top priority. On the other hand, Chinese nowadays have poor performance while working as non-top-down groups. We lost that DNA through the Ed system and social norms. It's really sad.

>It's very easy to forget how free we are by comparison to those persecuted in occupied territories.

Pretty insulated thinking there.. Try traveling to Indian reservations or gentrified urban areas.. Or perhaps research Japanese internment camps in WW2. Or hell even look up Guantanamo Bay today. Superpowers flexing their muscle on a "threatening few" is extremely common.

Ah, the old 'Tu quoque' fallacy. Even so, let's examine some of these claims a bit:

> Indian reservations

Yes, the state of the modern Indian reservation is tragic, but doesn't that have to more to do with too much government assistance[1][2] rather than government stepping in to destroy?

> gentrified urban areas

You're not trying to suggest that living in a neighborhood that's getting nicer and more expensive is somehow akin to the government coming in and demolishing the whole city block are you?

> Japanese internment camps in WW2

Well taken point, and a black mark on the history of the US government to be sure. But there's much to be said about the state of exception in wartime[3] and it seems unfair to compare measures taken during unprecedented war with China's actions during unprecedented peace.

> Guantanamo Bay

Yeah, this is a shame. But hardly seems comparable, considering the Chinese are literally putting thousands of families out of homes and seeking to destroy an entire religious minority, and at best Guantanamo Bay is an infringement on the civil liberties of a relative handful of individuals. Not that it's right, but it certainly is at the top of a long slippery slope on which China is currently racing to the bottom.

andy_ppp's comment is apt...we have problems, but we still are far more free than almost anywhere else. And it isn't insulated thinking at all; Americans are objectively freer than the Chinese by almost any metric.[4]

[1]http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2014/03/13/5-ways-the-g... [2]https://mises.org/library/native-american-reservations-%E2%8... [3]http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=23630 [4]http://www.heritage.org/index/ranking

Re: governments stepping in to destroy, how do you think American Indians ended up where they are today? It was hardly voluntary. And on top of that, the treaty rights they nominally have are often not enforced. Mineral rights are held "in trust" by the government and are not managed for the Indians' benefit.

What do those examples have to do with the parent not understanding the Chinese Government's cowardice and fear?

I don't regard it as insulated thinking at all. It makes perfect sense to be bewildered by such a disgusting display of cowardice and irrational fear by China.

Someone on a public forum says: X nation is doing a bad thing; one of the responses inevitably is: yeah but the US did a bad thing. There should be a 'law' named for that attempted topic distraction in public forums.

> There should be a 'law' named for that attempted topic distraction in public forums.

there kind of is: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/And_you_are_lynching_Negroes

Here are even more names for this fallacy: tu quoque and whataboutism.

Thanks. "Ad hominem once removed" was as close as I could get.

While this might apply in some cases, I feel for most it's about putting things in perspective.

To me, OP put things in perspective.

For example, do we attribute the US governments use of eminent domain to gentrify urban areas as "American Government's cowardice and fear?"

By putting things in perspective, we realize the "Other Nation" maybe isn't doing it for nefarious means, but rather just operating like any other Nation.

China is primarily Confucian today, with more rigid social structures/order and a "parental" ruling class or oligarchy, so any different ideology, especially one that does not advocate for social/political structures (as not typically involved) is seen as a threat.

This place is in Sichuan Province.

Allow me to share some of my perspectives.

I grow up in Seda County in the late 70 and early 80s, and am intimately familiar with culture there. Tibetan Buddhism is not what people in the west think what it is. It is actually quite repressive and brutal. After 1950s, many regular Tibetans were glad to worship the new religion of Chairman Mao instead. Yes, it was true. Chairman Mao was worshiped as one of major Gods at Tibet when I grow up there. Then Deng Xiaoping took power and demolished Chairman Mao worshiping (one of his major blunders, on the same scale as that of 89 Tienanmen massacre), now we got this huge slum town of "religious learning" at a hot basin of Buddhist rebellions. Yes, going unchecked, that town would surely become such a terrorists base, because Buddhist monks in that area had always been very militant and had launched numerous rebellions in 60 and 70s. As a child, I heard all kinds of horrific stories Tibetan monks and their rebellious army inflicted on the Chinese soldiers and civilians alike. For that reason, many Han Chinese families kept firearms at home in that area, a rare thing in China.

On the other hand, Tibetan people in general are good people. One of my cousins married a Tibetan man and we are good drinking buddies. However, Tibetan religious upper class are representatives of a theocracy at worst: greedy, deceptive and brutal.

I am surprised that this town was tolerated for so long. I guess Deng's power was still strong even after his death.

>As a child, I heard all kinds of horrific stories Tibetan monks and their rebellious army inflicted on the Chinese soldiers and civilians alike. For that reason, many Han Chinese families kept firearms at home in that area, a rare thing in China.

I'm guessing they didn't tell you about the horrific treatment many Tibetans suffered in the years after the PRC invasion. During the Cultural Revolution, the conservative estimates put the number of extra-judicial executions in Tibet at around 22,000.

Plus, over 6,000 monasteries, the vast majority that have ever existed, were ransacked during that time, which was only a few decades ago. It's rather one-sided to call the Tibetan religious leaders "brutal", and not acknowledge that they have been the recipients of far more brutality in the last few decades.

Of course we were told how those rebellions were subdued in the end, because the evidence was in plain sight. There was a ruin on the mountain across the river where we lived. I was told that it used to be a monastery. Some rebellious monks held up there for a long time and the army wasn't able to take it after suffered heavy losses, so they used heavy artillery to bombard it to the ground. When we played in the hills, it's not uncommon to pick up spent shells, etc.

As to cultural revolution, there's nothing special in Tibet. Fired up populace did all the damages. At that time, Tibetan common people were equally zealous about Chairman Mao, if not more so.

>going unchecked, that town would surely become such a terrorists base

Sounds a bit unrealistic to me. You haven't been getting your information from Chinese government controlled sources by any chance?

I see they called the Dalai Lama holding a prayer session for monks who had killed themselves terrorism in disguise so I can see how you could worry too much buddhism could lead to prayer. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/oct/19/dalai-lama-pra...

Nah, I grow up there. I knew the people. Using a Game of Throne analogy, Tibetan people are like free folks (or wildings) and Han people are like people south of the wall. When I was there growing up, every male Tibetan carry weapons (including boys) on their body. They are a militant people, yes they are deviant Buddhists too, but that doesn't mean they are not militant.

How funny. In some Korean websites I visit, I regularly see posts about Chinese workers carrying knives everywhere and how they're being a "menace" to the Korean society.

I guess demonizing neighbors is a universal human tendency.

Not really. Chinese in Korean is in a foreign land as a minority. Tibetan carries weapons on their own land as a majority, minority Han there do not carry weapon on their body (but they do keep firearms at home, especially officials).

Can I ask if you are Han on Tibetian? To use an analogy that puts the Tibetians as the savage outsiders suggests you come from the civilised "good" side. Even if Tibetians are militant, they were invaded, surely that says something about their oppressors?

It should be obvious that I am Han. I agree that this analogy would give some people an impression that I considered Tibetans savages. But no, that's not how I saw it. The way I saw them is not unlike the way Jon Snow saw the free folks. Tibetan and Han actually share the same ancestry. We happened to be separated by a natural barrier (unlike the wall in GOT that is man made) only a couple thousands years ago. We are basically the same people.

> It should be obvious that I am Han

Doesn't hurt to check!

If I were a Tibetan and had earned a Ph.D. in US. I probably would have been a member of the Tibetan elite, I would not be writing in the HN comments section here, but in the NYT opinion section to condemn the Chinese government by now. Wouldn't that be more realistic?

I am sure my cousin in law would not agree with whatever I could have written in NYT as a member of the Tibetan elite though.

What I am saying is that the elite may not represents the best interests of the people they claim to represent.

That statement applies to you being Han too - your level of education puts you into an elite category I'd have thought?

This is the thing. With the same background and education, I am a nobody when I am Han, and I am speaking for myself, not representing anyone. That would not be the case when I am Tibetan. I would be given a platform to broadcast my dissatisfaction with Chinese government, so on and so forth.

What does this tell you?

> With the same background and education, I am a nobody when I am Han, and I am speaking for myself, not representing anyone.

Why is this? Because of the government structure?

I had a Tibetan drinking buddy once also, not too long - someone who until shortly before was at the (lower rungs) of the 'theocracy' you're talking about - and have heard stories that are probably similar to what you've heard.

However, none of this seems to bring any "perspective" to what seems to be in store for the community and Larung Gar. It's really, really hard not to see this program as anything other than blatant cultural genocide - and a huge step backward for both China, and human civilization generally.

Nah, if Tibetan Buddhism is willing to reform itself, or reforms under pressure (like Catholics did in the face of Protestant), it will still be there for thousands of years. In that land, it is just hard not to believe in something supernatural.

On the other hand, theocracy is never a good thing. Separation of state and religion is.

Tibetan Buddhism is not what it seems and is actually very far from true Buddhism. Their culture, rituals/ceremonies are full of black magic and many call upon spirits. Many tourists unknowingly attend such rituals (where milk and other offerings are made) without knowing what's really happening. One should read up more on the history of Tibetan Buddhism, particularly the colored sects.

Tibetan monks are not as innocent, naive or pure as the world think.

Wow! It is amazing that we do not consider this a human rights violation. Oh well, gotta keep them prices low at Walmart!

China : Tibet :: Israel : Palestine, they are analogous in many ways. The human rights groups talk about the problems, we recognize it is bad, the weaker ethnic community suffers and is oppressed, the more powerful ethnic group makes slow but steady progress in exerting its wishes, and no real changes are effected by the international community.

Isn't that the nature of almost every conflict with an ethnic context? If there's no clear weaker and stronger you usually end up with two independent states.

The way Tibet was Incorporated into China, the nature of the Tibetan resistance, the way China governs Tibet, the reason China wants Tibet, the reason China represses Tibetans are all very very different from what's happening in Judea and Samaria. The Israeli Arab conflict is perhaps the most unique of all time.

The better analogies perhaps are some of the separatist leaning Russian Republics or India's Jammu and Kashmir

No, it's perfectly meaningful to talk about Israel/Palestine - and by extension the US - when criticizing actions by China. Otherwise you end up with the same narrative you get in pretty much every media outlet in the world; whatever the US does is good, no terrorism or support for murderous dictators there (cough south america..cuba...saudi arabia..iran...iraq...indonesia etc etc etc ), and whatever China does is bad.

China and Tibet is more like what would have happened if the Arab Legion and the other Arab powers weren't so blindingly incompetent in 1947.

There's a long, long history of China controlling Tibet, back at least to the Tang dynasty. The ChiComs are nastier about it than most of the previous Chinese governments, but that's what you get when you refute the old mandate of heaven/chakravartin mashup of political legitimacy espoused by the old empire for ... what justification do the ChiComs give for their political legitimacy? Having the biggest boot and the willingness to murder millions and imprison more, I suppose.

> what justification do the ChiComs give for their political legitimacy?

Well, it's right there in art. I of their own Constitution, I think: "The People’s Republic of China is a socialist state under the people’s democratic dictatorship led by the working class and based on the alliance of workers and peasants."

It might have its problems (will the country forever have "workers" and "peasants"? Does the working class include peasants? Who does a democratic dictatorship actually dictate to? etc etc) but it's still better than divine mandate, tbh, which might explain why it's not been toppled yet.

The same legitimacy every other large government has. At least they only piss in their own pool -- not mess with peoples all around the world.

You may want to visit Africa. The time China was insulated to it's own people only is long gone.

> You may want to visit Africa

Or the Pacific islands or South China Sea (where things are going bad fast). Even calling Tibet part of China is interesting. Ukraine is Russian now by that logic.

Chinese govenment's justification in Tibet is mainly legalistic, as follows: Tibet was a part of the Qing Empire. Qing handled over all administrative power peacefully to Republic of China. People's Republic of China overthrow Republic of China, therefore inherits all of its administrative rights. Of course, the later part is muddier because officially the civil war is not over.

On the ground, for the people, the real justification are different. It used to be the liberation of common Tibetan people from a regressive serfdom and a brutal theocracy, not unlike the communists' justification for themselves elsewhere in China. Similarly, after Deng, the justification is more about improving people's economic status and living conditions.

Discouraging. Demolishing Larung Gar was likely on China's to-do list, but was probably moved-up in response to Obama's meet with the Dali Lama last week. China's real motivation in Tibet is water, arable land and secondarily eliminating a religious threat to central party rule. Everything else is pretense. Israel's motivation in Palestine is its own security from universally acknowledged threats it faces from its neighbors. There is no longer any occupation, no Israeli sovereign claim over Palestinian sovereign territory, and there are no resources to grab and no pretenses needed for Israel to justify its actions. A better comparison would be Russia in Crimea, where under the pretense of protecting a pro-Russia minority, Putin makes a grab to control oil and natural gas resources in the area which Ukraine previously sought to exploit.

A lot of what you said is just not true. Israel takes a lot of West Bank water. And while the illegal jewish settlements might not be a sovereign claim by Israel. Israel isn't doing anything to stop them.

It's used as a cheap source of labour by many Israeli companies too. And while not occupied in the classical sense, everything's going in or out is controlled. The airspace is controlled, the place is heavily monitored and the populace are under no illusions as to has the power.

Its pretty clear everything going in and out is not controlled: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lists_of_Palestinian_rocket_at...

So some rockets and mortars were smuggled in? Let's ban most civilian use of road and kill the economy. At least that's what the Wikipedia article on the west bank says. It's compared to Apartheid South Africa for good reason.

Yes, and Nevada and California make the same complaint of Colorado. Cities and states inland of the US Great Lakes make the same complaint. Water rights are disputed globally, and that doesn't make Palestine the equivalent of Tibet. In Gaza (and Sinai), Israel gave up its settlements. In the West Bank there is one disputed formal settlement, and several nutcase Israeli squatter camps under dispute. The reality is that both the PA and Israel gain from the dispute in and around the West Bank because it appeases and gives fodder to hardliners on both side. No comparison to Tibet there, sorry.

> Nevada and California make the same complaint of Colorado

I hope this is supposed to be a joke. There is the small difference that citizens of Nevada, California and Colorado elect their representatives in the Congress and other institutions where the decisions on how to share the resources are made.

While Israel just takes what it wants by force, and the West Bank Palestinians have no say in it.

No joke. The 2008 Great Lakes protection compac provides the Great Lakes States authority over the water and neighboring states have no say in it. The Colorado river compac deal similarly with Mexico and several states. And, just like the Great Lakes and Colorado do supply water outside their boundaries, Israel's water authority does so for the West Bank and Gaza. In fact, Israel is working with Gaza on a desalinization plant. Water conversation is not an Israel-Palestine issue ... its a global issue. The bottom line is that Tibet != Palestine and China != Israel.

The Great Lakes compact was presented in the US Senate, passed through the House of Representatives, and was signed by the POTUS. All these are democratic organs that all the US citizens contribute to elect, meaning that all the states had a say in it. Palestinians don't have a say in what Israel does with their water, resources, economy and land.

auganov wrote:

> Isn't that the nature of almost every conflict with an ethnic context? If there's no clear weaker and stronger you usually end up with two independent states.

Your statement is sort of weird in the above. It presupposes that subjugation of a weaker ethnic group by a more powerful ethnic group is acceptable -- that is how these conflicts are resolved. It is counter to the idea of universal human rights that arose because of the the atrocities that arose because of the ethnic issues in WW2. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_human_rights#After_...

Your point of view, the powerful ethnic groups win and the weak lose and that is how the world works, justifies slavery, South African apartheid, and many other situations where one ethnic group is more powerful and wishes to impose its wishes on the less powerful. That is an allowable perspective, but that is antithesis to universal human rights.

No. My point was/is:

  1. Stronger vs Weaker is a common pattern in such conflicts.
  2. Tibet vs China :: Palestine/Arab states vs Israel differ in almost every other feature.
  3. There's places in the world that better mimic the Tibetan situation.
  4. Hence the analogy isn't very good.
I did not make any moral judgments.

>Your point of view, the powerful ethnic groups win and the weak lose and that is how the world works, justifies slavery, South African apartheid

Or a legal system, where blacks are hugely over-represented, the takeover of native american land, Puerto Rico, etc.

"Universal human rights" take usually less precedence to "my country, right or wrong".

> India's Jammu and Kashmir

Except there was no ethnic cleansing by the Tibetans like in Kashmir.


Yes China is doing it much better. No press, full military control, reincarnation is literally banned (this means the next spirtiual/political leader is decided by the communist leadership), followed by the settling of mainlanders in Tibet. These settlers in turn disdain and look down on the Tibetans and their existence.

And yet 5 posts away you see people blaming Israelis for refusing to expose themselves to that same treatment. The big detail always omitted is that Palestinians have their culture in a massive area, yet Israelis don't have one square meter more than what they have there. Oh, and the Palestinian culture is the one with the extensive history of violently oppressing other cultures and religions ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Christians ), including in Palestina itself ( http://int.icej.org/media/palestinian-christians ). All of the world, of course, is silent on that. Not that they just persecute Christians ( https://wikiislam.net/wiki/Persecution_of_Homosexuals_%28Pal... http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/12/08/what-it-s-l... etc.)

All of it doesn't matter. Nobody's willing to fight for Tibet, or for Atheists, or ... Fight, as in "fight, kill and die", credibly, against the dictatorship that rules China, against, well let's be honest here : against most Muslims, and I'm sure there will be occasionally some slight effort required against a Christian too.

Looking at a map of 1950's, finding China, and looking at China now will make anyone scared.

Can someone point me to a good Mandarin course ?

Please don't post any more political-religious-race war comments to HN. We don't want them here, and you've done this repeatedly.

J&K has nothing to do with ethnicity. There is a larger number of people who don't want to separate from India than there are who want to.

J&K is a territorial flashpoint - with ethnic unrest that is funded.

What are these differences?

We need generalisations to make sense of the world around us, but they always come at a cost of accuracy. Sometimes, the loss of accuracy is so great that the generalization does more harm than good. I think trying to equate the causes and possible solutions of this situation with the Israel-Palestine situation is one such example.

Yep. Human brains are made to see faces in clouds - and patterns everywhere. Because its the only way for that little brain to function. In reality nothing is the same unless it's identical (not a copy - but the exact same thing, maybe seen from different angles or at different times). We like our clever analogies, and they serve a purpose, but even when making them it's best to be aware that it's a product of our brain and to always be ready to question if it actually serves the intended purpose. Even if you can use a specific analogy in one context doesn't mean it's useful in another one. I think it's okay to make such analogies - as long as everybody including the person making them is aware of the shortcomings and that being able to make one is a very, very low threshold, given that it comes from brains that see animals and human faces in floating water vapor.

Doesn't Tibet lack a certain penchant for poorly aimed rockets and human shields in a way that detracts from this analogy?

> a certain penchant for poorly aimed rockets and human shields

As for that, I'm all in favour of giving Palestine high precision missiles and an Iron Dome system.

yompers888 wrote:

> Doesn't Tibet lack a certain penchant for poorly aimed rockets and human shields in a way that detracts from this analogy?

Tibetians have tried various tactics, including violence, to oppose Chinese rule but none of them have been effective:


This gets back to what I say in my original post, slow and steady achievement of the stronger ethnic groups goals over a period of decades in the face of ineffective resistance by the weaker ethnic group.

Sure and Tibetans are not packed in open air prisons and deprived of any rights whatsoever either.

How many terror acts do tibetian supporters commit on an average month in China?

You are advocating non-violent means, I think that is great. The main way to channel your energies into non-violent means of ending the situation in Israel-Palestine is to support the BDS movement. You can find out more here: https://bdsmovement.net/ It is based on the similar non-violent campaign against South Africa apartheid: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disinvestment_from_South_Afric...

Be warned those that the BDS movement is under attack though because it is viewed as a bigger threat to Israel's occupation than terrorism. Israel actually bars the top non-violent pro-Palestinian activist from leaving Israel recently as the BDS movement has had too much success.

Great interview by Glenn Greenwald:


BDS doesn't lead to peace — it's prclaiming a different kind of war. So far, it affected PA residents more, than israelis, stripping their sources of income and creating additional barriers between people, helping otherification. It aids the same culture of hate and intolerance that created the conflict in the first place and now helps keeping the palestinian opressors, from PA to Hamas, in power — and if you want peace in the region, they're exactly whom you should be rallying against.

The conflict wasn't created by a culture of hate and intolerance, as you'd like to believe. The conflict was created by millions of people immigrating to a land that didn't belong to them and then declaring a sovereign independent nation over it- something that would lead to a conflict in any part of the world (try this in the US). Israel doesn't want peace in the region - it wants its opponents rendered harmless in order to keep whatever has already grabbed and possibly keep grabbing more. It's just shameless.

Do your human rights diminish if you fight back in the "wrong" way?

If it's a choice between your human rights and someone else's life — obviously.

Also, "fight back in a wrong way" is a very curious way to label brutal attacks targeting civilians that go on non-stop for the last hundred years — long before any of alleged grievances that you would be "fighting back" against even began.

>attacks targeting civilians that go on non-stop for the last hundred years

Those go on non-stop from BOTH sides.

And statistically the side you seem to be siding with has caused 100 times the casualties --doing those "brutal attacks targeting civilians" with full military force, not ad-hoc weaponry (plus they have amassed all this land areas they didn't use to have). Or is that just a minor detail?

The important detail here, which you ignore, is targeting.

I'm not sure I follow. How is bombing and attacking people in their lands (and then taking them) not targeting them?

> If it's a choice between your human rights and someone else's life — obviously.

So if I unjustly imprison you, and the only way for you to escape is by killing me, will you willingly stay imprisoned forever? It's an... admirable stance, although so unpopular that you'll likely find not even Gandhi on your side.

(honestly, historical trivia is relatively irrelevant to the whole Israel/Palestine debate, which has great moral issues to argue -- if your people suffered apartheid and holocaust, are you justified in doing the same to others "in self-defence"? How long does it take for populations to forego ethnic grievances and land claims? Will nations ever renounce ultimate sovereignty to the UN? etc etc)

>So if I unjustly imprison you, and the only way for you to escape is by killing me

Completely wrong analogy. The killing doesn't help you escape at all, it just angers the jailer (who you can't touch anyway).

It was not an analogy, it was an hypothetical situation. If my human rights end where loss of life on your side begins, then according to that stated belief, the situation I mentioned is morally acceptable, is it not?

The standard you are applying is pacifism: do not use violence even if violence is being used on you.

No. Use violence if it can lead to less net violence — this is my standard. Terror acts are a direct opposite of this.

Except you don't know what will ever lead to "less net violence", nor do you have a way to quantify net violence beyond bodycount -- and I don't think you want that.

And in the meantime keep grabbing somebody else's land. You're a man of high principles, indeed.

You mean like Sinai and Gaza?

Let's talk seriously. Israel withdrew from Sinai and dismantled a few settlements in in the Gaza strip. It didn't relinquish its full control over Gaza's borders, air space and maritime space (which means, in fact, on the whole Gaza economy) such that Gaza is still considered by the UN an occupied territory.

In the meanwhile, Israel keeps expanding its illegal colonies in a foreign territory, the West Bank, contravening to the international law. It also unilaterally annexed the whole city of Jerusalem, also contrary to international law. And it unilaterally annexed the Golan Heights, demolishing over a hundred Syrian villages and giving the land to Israeli settlers, also against the international law (as was recently reaffirmed by the UN Security Council).

As of 2016, 750000 Israelis, about 10% of the whole population of Israel, lives in illegally occupied territories. This number has been steadily growing for the past 60 years.

Let me clarify the concept if these numbers seem a bit abstract. Israel is stealing houses and fields and destroying villages and driving out native populations, by economic and military oppression, in a quest for lebensraum for its own population. This is completely unacceptable by any modern western standard.

Israel and Palestine seems a bit more complex to me. They are trying to find a solution for two groups of people with very different cultural standards for how to live life to cohabit a small bit of land. Tibet is a pimple on a pimple in size compared to the rest of China.

But we do consider this a human rights violation, we have been considering it for 30 years: https://www.hrw.org/news/2000/06/13/human-rights-violations-...

And the solution was recruiting Tibetan from their homeland to U.S. and get them trained by CIA, send them back for fighting? It sounds so similar with what ISIS is doing.

What are you proposing we do? Cut off trade with China? Intervene militarily? Write a strongly worded letter?

What about Diplomacy? Increased recognition of Tibetan leaders and activists, sending diplomatic missions to problematic spots, etc.

It would also not hurt to stop with the constant demonization of "China" as a whole, which just serves to downplay criticism as bigotry.

Obama just this week met with the Dalai Lama in direct contravention of China's wishes.

And Obama criticizes Israel sometimes by stating that the murder of thousands of civilians or the expansion of illegal settlements are "unneccesary" or "not helpful to peace" too, but it's just window dressing and not to be taken seriously. Certainly it makes no difference to the outcome whatsoever, and never will.

Good thing I didn't elect a Chinese government in the US.

And what if China tries to do the same with our Native American Reservations?

For China it would be enough to acknowledge the Lacotah Republic to fire up the Civil War in the US.

> Cut off trade with China?

That would definitely be an interesting experiment. I suspect prices would rise slightly and we'd find out just how dependent we really are.

After a week or two there would be a joint statement of the leaders of the Western World that they have unanimously decided to support the Chinese action, in fact they'll come to help to cart rubble personally.

I'm not sure I follow your reasoning... are you implying that trade with China is more important for the entire western world than international trade with the all the west is to China?

I could certainly see leaders in certain countries such as France who have been actively selling weaponry to China going "to help cart the rubble personally" but there's no way Obama or his next successor would do that.

> are you implying that trade with China is more important for the entire western world than international trade with the all the west is to China?

Yes, we are utterly co-dependent at this point in time.

Cutting trade with China would take a decade or more if it can be done at all at this stage.

"Cutting trade with China would take a decade or more if it can be done at all at this stage."

But I could finally buy decent pliers made in the USA, like I once could 25 years ago.

You can still buy those. But probably not at a price that you are prepared to pay.

Sacrificial tools are great when you want to do a nasty chore, but wow is it irritating having tools disintegrate during use.

> Cutting trade with China would take a decade or more if it can be done at all at this stage.

This belief is clearly a failure of imagination.

> Cut off trade with China

Why not? Prices would rise marginally if at all. There'd be some supply issues for a while.

It was ok to sanction Iran, Iraq and South Africa and so on but not now in this globalised world? We put up with any old abuse from Israel and China because they're approved in some way?

I'm no diplomat, but there should be some consequences of significance.

Prices would rise significantly and it would create a very large black market. There would be supply issues for more than a decade. The US does half a trillion dollars worth of importing from China. Every major US retailer is designed around imports from China. Most of that is relatively low priced consumer goods. Where do you plan to buy decently priced microwaves, by the millions, that aren't made in China? That doesn't exist, it would take years to bring that production on-line. The same is true of television sets. Hell, just about anything you can name that is mass consumer oriented. The disruption to supply would destroy most US retailers instantly. Walmart and Amazon, both suddenly lacking 3/4 of their inventory, would go bankrupt in a matter of months. Walmart would have to fire upwards of two million low income workers that have no possible replacement jobs.

It would harm the bottom 50% in the US the most. That's enough reason to look at other options first.

I don't see the ramifications playing out remotely like that.

There'd be a diplomatic tit-for-tat leading up to sanctions, they wouldn't just be turned on at 00:00 tomorrow. So there'd be perhaps a year. Sanctions tend to start with specific items and scale up. So it's a process, with a timeline, over perhaps 2 - 10 years.

Plenty of time for significnt amounts of trade to move to india, Vietnam and the other developing economies.

China holds quite a bit of US currency, the risk of offensive use of this has been assessed by the US as not too severe, but 3.2 trillion is a lot. It might be better used hurting US interests abroad rather than devaluing the $US.

By we are you referring to the US? The US has a lot of capability here. I'm not going to go into a long winded post going into this. I just wanted to point out that unfortunately this kind of hand washing taking place in your comment is very effective.

That's what you did with Cuba and Iran and Iraq and Russia and etc., etc.

Yes but Cuba, Iran, Iraq, and Russia are not willing to supply US Companies with near indentured servants to make our stuff,then use the worthless paper they get for the stuff, to buy a different type of worthless paper that allows the US Government to build more war machines, and other things.

You sure can do all of these.

These all seem like pretty heavy-handed interventions. I'm sure funding could be found for some targeted assassinations, though.

China should really follow the US example and put them in reservations and let them govern themselves.

While it's sad and I'm tempted to cry human rights, try building anything like that in UK or probably most developed countries without planning permission and they'd be straight on you.

Yes but China is not the UK and I don't think this is the only place in china without planning permission.

That's not how 3rd world countries work (I know because I live in one...)

Here are a bunch of photos from the place: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2349761/Little-boxes...

"In 2001, Chinese authorities implemented similar crackdown on Larung Gar by destroying thousands of monastic dwellings and expulsion of monastic and lay practitioners, some of whom died of shock or resorted to suicide, while some were rendered mentally unsound."

This will bring the Free Tibet movement to the front again for the next POTUS.

I am sure China will put the 'safety' issue forward, and deflect the independence movement. Remember the earthquake of May 12, 2008 in Sichuan province, China, where over 68,000 people died, and more went missing. The focus in the media was on the houses not being up to standard building codes.

The earthquake in Nepal in 2015 surely affected Tibet too, but information was controlled by China, so the numbers are questionable. Larung Gar is a sprawl of houses for monks, worshipers, students and visitors that could be seen as a potential earthquake hazard area as spun by Chinese media.

China's obsession with the destruction of Tibet and its culture is truly troubling.

If China has its way, hundreds of years from now, Tibet will be gone, no record of it will exist, etc.

Who remembers the Tibetians?

Of all people the residents of the town will be the least unhappy about it. Because they truly know everything is impermanent. Its their practice and will see it as part of nature. Today I shall not buy anything Chinese. I wish there was a supermarket that sold things not made in China.

Remember when free trade was going to democratize and open China? What happened? This is terrible

THe free trade was never intended to do anything other than make a class of connected people richer.

The GP is referring to how it was sold to the public, not what its real intended effects were.

I didn't notice in the article any mention of why there is a population limit set for this town.

Is it explicitly a measure taken to limit solidarity in a religious/ethnic minority? Is there a concern about the food supply?

Why does any genocide happen?

Normally the people instigating it give a reason. I'm asking what reason has been given by the PRC in this case.

Also, it's not clear to me that this qualifies as genocide.

Genocide is the systematic eradication of an ethnic or religious group. You can't look at China's actions over the last fifty odd years and come to any other conclusion.

The reason given by the instigator (either for the top level or individual actions) is of interest but probably doesn't have much truth to it.

So what? This is a normal procedure. Authorities set ceiling of no more than 5000 dwellers there. That was ignored. Face the concequences.

For those curious - China is colonising Tibet, nothing wrong in industrial nation wiping out the weakling. When the British colonised Americas they did the same with more than 600 First Nations. They just did it earlier.

This is ass. It's time for a regime change.

Any way of getting the UN involved?

The UN is useless anytime the interests of the US, China, Russia or other veto wielding countries are involved.

Or friends of any of those. Which in essence renders the whole UN useless.

The UN isn't useless when dealing with countries that do not have many friends, like Iran or Somalia, etc. But yeah, the UN is useless when it comes to major powers and those protected by the major powers.

The UN is not stopping nuclear proliferation in friendless countries, which really undermines the entire purpose of the UN.

Not sure, China being a permanent member of UN's security council, they would just veto [1] anything going against their interest...

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Security_Counci...

UN is A joke.

UN is a joke because the major countries (US among them) want it to be.

Not saying this is right, but it sounds like the city exceeded their legal cap of 5k people? So it doesn't sound like it's a total surprise to them. Am I reading it wrong?

I partially agree with you. I've been there at last year. It is far from cites, about 10 hours driving to the nearest airport. When I got there, there were more than 20k people lived in the small valley, without TV/clean water/electricity. Most houses are made from wood. If there is a fire, I can't imagine how many people would die.

However, the gov do not give them another place to live and study. It is not a city or town, it is a college. Most people are studying at there. The highest degree is Kanbo. People need 15-20 years to get this.

That's just rationalization. Had the city population been 4200, the cap would have been set at 4k.

You're right, I guess it isn't clear when the cap was set. I assumed it was defined more than a few years ago.

I agree with you that this is a fair speculation, but nonetheless a speculation. There is no evidence before that Chinese government, despite being fairly un democratic, arbitrarily change how official rules are interpreted, AFAIK. I don't think HN welcomes such style of posting.

It's not clear to me that there was any legal cap; from what I can tell, it was set by this order.

Under what legal authority does that cap exist?

China is the colonial power; that's all the authority required.

Note that China did the same to the Han majority as well, for example in the destruction of the Hutongs in the major cities such Beijing this century, not to mention the destruction of the temples 70 years ago during the communist revolution.

When I read this context-free article all I could think of was Henry VIII's destruction and confiscation of the monasteries. Now it's just a historical aspect of a larger movement.

This feels tragic to me, but honestly it's hard to tell if it even is or not from that one article.

Except Henry VIII destroyed all monasteries and outlawed all monasticism in his realms. I'm sure there are Buddhist monasteries and seminaries (or whatever they are called) elsewhere in Tibet and China.

There are some still active, yes, though the Party is quite active to prevent them from becoming centers of unrest. The party controls th panache lama and wants to appoint the next dali lama as it does with catholic bishops, heads of monasteries etc. And like Henry, the government confiscated the wealth of the monasteries in the cultural revolution

Ah ok, thanks. What is China's motivation for removing these villages?

Avoid crowds.No crowds, No protests. Every year, more than 10k people are gathered at there on special days.

Th article doesn't say why in particular but in general the government is very sensitive to any organization that might challenge its authority. In addition, China is committed to Hanization of Tibet, so limiting opportunity for aggrieved people to get together is probably important to that objective.

It's China, so it falls under the authority of the CPC first, then any legal considerations second.

We marvel at how quickly they built up high speed rail, but when you can just seize land without regard to imminent domain, associated lawsuits and the like, things tend to get expedited.

Indeed every great human achievement had been accomplished with great human suffering and injustice. But perhaps that's the reality of the human condition, and nothing is ever going to change that.

>Indeed every great human achievement had been accomplished with great human suffering and injustice. No. How do you apply that logic to the last decade or two of advancements. Large Hadron Collider, SpaceX, gravitational waves, Mars explorer, human genome project etc etc.

But what constitutes a great achievement?

And yet people are more concerned about ancient statues blown up by muslim extremists. This seems like it shall be a greater tragedy by at least an order of magnitude.

What great sadness and folly. Oh may the future be free of such mindless pursuit of conquest.

China has some seriously evil leaders.

No mate, they are just practical people with pragmatic agendas.

If how to harvest more organs from prisoners is practical and pragmatic then they are experts.

Chinese are bullies. And bullies pee in their pants when faced with real resistance. That's the best way to describe it.

You can't post comments like this to HN. Thoughtful critique is fine, but putting things provocatively and offensively on purpose is not fine, and doing that to slur an entire people (whether or not their government did a bad thing) is a bannable offense. Please don't do it again.

We detached this comment from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11929011 and marked it off-topic.


We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11928168 and marked it off-topic.

Sorry, I edited the reply and removed the description of shower. My remark was not meant as a slight on them. I just want to show you what I know about them. Most people do not have a chance to see how poor Chinese lives, because the information you can get is controlled by China propaganda machine. Beautiful Beijing, huge international airport, rich buyers. Even you already have a Chinese Visa, you can't travel to Tibet without special authorization. In most cases, the officer would reject your application and tell you Beijing already has a big Buddhism Lama temple in its heart so you can get everything you want to know at there.

And, as we are talking about human rights here, please take a look on another side: The Tibet itself. If there were no communists, would it get a better human right record? How do they treat women? Why male student can get a scholarship but females can’t? Could the U.S. government offer any help to this? The people in this news lives in another society, none of them has western education, so you can’t wish them conforming to western standards. How can you convince them in a peaceful way?

Yes? They would get a better human right record eventually?

Firstly - China doesn't have a great human rights record right now. They have an excellent economy.

The earlier communists themselves have one of the worst human rights records.

And you don't "convince" anybody. You let them choose for themselves. Without that part - without being able to choose a bad choice, people can't learn from those mistakes.

You think the west learnt from someone else? People learn from their history and their context.

Remove that from them and well - you remove their ability to have their own identity and history.

Rights can only be understood by the masses after they have examples, leaders, or history which they can translate/relate to.

Thats why India has Gandhi, South Africa has Mandela.

Its very obvious whats happening here, civilization is being brought to the savages.

> You think the west learnt from someone else?

"The west" learnt diddly squat, but even if we assume "we" did -- the most significant turn-point of Western history in the last 150 years was the Holocaust. Are we saying any ethnic conflict on the planet will have to go through a holocaust before anyone "learns"?

> Thats why India has Gandhi

... and still discriminates and kills Muslims on a massive scale, even after partition.

> South Africa has Mandela

... and is now all but enacting white-discrimination in public institutions.

My point is that the concept of history as a progression of "lessons" is optimistic at best, and if we don't keep pushing at all times, things can revert to shit pretty quickly. UK news this week were a sober reminder that we are not all as civilized as we pretend to be.

> ... and still discriminates and kills Muslims on a massive scale, even after partition.

As an Indian, I'm shocked to hear this. Did you ever live in India? "Massive scale", my ass. At least India didn't wipe out its population in a "Cultural Revolution"... Do you want to talk about Falun Gong? The harvesting of organs from FG prisoners?

You've been posting uncivil and/or unsubstantive comments to Hacker News. Please (re)-read the site guidelines and stop doing that. Commenters here need to post civilly and substantively, or not at all, regardless of how provocative another comment may be.



Acknowledged. Sometimes I get stuck in "reddit" mode after switch from reading reddit to HN. :-/

Human nature is tribal, by evolutionary dictat. Not much ever will change that at a base level.

Small note: this place is in Sichuan Province, not the Tibet Autonomous Region. A Chinese tourist visa should be sufficient to visit.

Yeah, free speech only for people that you agree with. Gotcha.

You're downvoted because you violated political correctness of foreign affairs.

Political Correctness = Fine tuned reports from the media leading some topics + Lazy and emotional followers with little first-hand experience + Political groups representing a few radical protestors.

These politically correct people never reflect on their worldview despite repeat messup, because thinking like that makes them feel good and it's morally correct!

However, the realities are more complicated than the reported 'facts' with purposefully tuned spectrum.

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