Stupidity is allowing an economic bully to win over and over again by threatening individual countries one by one.
*It was "cowardice" in the face of economic reprisal that was responsible for the end of apartheid, I might add.
Location also dictates infrastructure, climate, culture, and cuisine. Places that optimize for those things will likely attract location-independent knowledge workers.
Regardless the truth in it, it is important to show countries respect on these matters. Keep in mind, other countries have invaded people who've harboured 'terrorists'.
In the meantime, the fact that he is considered a terrorist by the Chinese Govt makes them look like idiots - rather than him look like a terrorist. In the exact same way the US calling Maher Arar makes us look like fools.
Harboring people powerful governments consider terrorists is an extremely dangerous proposition. Always has been.
This is basically the same action that France took against Malcom X. Publicly, it was bowing to American pressure. Unofficially ... well I don't know the truth of it obviously ... but many are saying that the French had it on very good authority that Malcom X would likely be assassinated on that visit. They didn't want that happening on their soil. If the Americans had problems, the least they could do was keep the problems to themselves.
Believe me ... none of us has ANY idea what is going on behind the scenes ... or what the real story is. I think SA security orgs are getting tired of dealing with everyone's issues. A prominent rights activist AND a prominent Rwandan government opponent both had an assassination attempted on them right in the middle of the World Cup! Enormous resources are going into protecting exiles of conscience in SA right now. Security and intelligence resources I'm sure.
This is the terrain that SA government is operating in. Better to just say no to everyone else. SA is a nation with enormous problems of her own ... she has already done her bit. Let others invite the Dalai Lama if they care to.
It is important to tell China to go fuck themselves regarding this matter. But I see your point.
Tibet is a fairly complex issue, with the crux of it being that the british (!?) agreed to 'release' tibet from being a 'satellite' of china (without involvement from china).
The Chinese viewed this as an interference of their sovereignty (I don't think many nations would view it differently had it happen to them).
The Dalai Lhama is someone who represents that same cause (independence of tibet), which is in direct contradiction to China's (unification).
The moral (in)equivalence comes with: Someone is viewed as an 'enemy of the state' and friends/allies are indulging visits from them. China is not threatening military action, it is simply saying it doesn't like this occurring.
Trying to find a 'moral high ground' by viewing history through a selective lens is never really productive.
The Chinese govt has brought a lot of 'good' to the Chinese (and Tibetan) people (despite very horrible mistakes, like the GLF, and military invasion of Tibet).
The reason the West likes Tibet is that for the brief moment of clarity that the end of World War 2 brought (that also led to the EU, the UN, welfare, etc.), we saw that Tibet was the one place that had found the right culture to avoid the horrors that were bestowed upon Europe. Then China came in and destroyed that culture and went on to inflict horrors of similar magnitude.
Perhaps, but that culture was a feudal culture. There are many nuances to the story that simply aren't reflected in popular culture/media. Overview with references here: http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4111
"The only people who lost any rights under Chinese rule are Tibet's former ruling class, themselves guilty of cruelty and oppression of a magnitude that not even China can conceive. The vast majority of Tibetans, some 90% of whom were serfs, have enjoyed a relative level of freedom unheard of in their culture. Until 1950 when the Chinese put a stop to it, 90% of Tibetans had no rights at all. They were freely traded and sold. They were subject to the worst type of punishments from their lords [...]"
Moreover, I have been to tibetan plateaus, I can tell you, the peasants there are much richer than Chinese peasants. They have animals, cars, SUVs, etc. Chinese peasant only have their arms. Not to say Tibetans have a better life, though. It is not easy to live there, in these cold, arid and remote places. It is extremely beautiful too, obviously.
A very astonishing thing is that any small town has it's emormous lamasserie ("temple" if you will), filled with monks who do not exert any productive work. I don't say they should. Maybe for those who believe in their faith it is normal to have a consequent part of the population living of prayers, but, well, I guess these monks really do not share very much with hackers on HN.
China imposes trade bans on countries that offend it. As China has trade surplus with almost all countries, trade becomes a powerful blackmailing tool for it which is worrying, especially for economically weak countries.
Well we haven't seen any Buddhist monk teid up with a sucide bomb kill women and children in China.
As for the truth in it, I've already hinted at my answer to that: applying the label "terrorist" to any person or organization without a fair trial (or a trial at all) should be treated with the same disgust, regardless of whether it's done by the West or the East.
I say sincerely, WTF?!
In case there was any doubt: personally, I don't think the evidence to convict the Dalai Lama as a terrorist exists. The same probably cannot be said for the person we are so frivolously comparing him to.
> The Dalai Lama has cancelled a trip to South Africa after he was not granted a visa in time, an issue activists have blamed on Pretoria’s reluctance to upset China.
edit: In case people are wondering about my comment, the original post had negative votes earlier today.