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10:23 Mar 05 2010

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U.S. values seen behind the "Tibet issue"
10:18, March 05, 2010  

Barack Obama is an actor, just the same as the Dalai Lama – The script for their meeting had been prepared beforehand, their general working schedule had already been fixed, and it was just necessary to select an appropriate time to stage the show. The meeting between Obama and the Dalai Lama created a new friction for China-U.S. relations in 2010, a year that is universally viewed as a "strained year for China-U.S. relations."

Why has the U.S. always been enthusiastic about directing such an absurd show?

The reason is directly related to the U.S.'s national interests of "containing the rise of sub-super powers to maintain its hegemony" as well as to "be committed to the values that the systems in U.S. are the best and the U.S. ought to promote other countries' democracy." To fulfill their psychological comfort, some people in the west do not expect Tibet to achieve modernization, revealing the selfishness in their values. From the perspective of the interests of Tibet and Tibetan people, it is undeniable that Tibet needs to achieve modernization, said Ye Hailin, deputy director of the Asia-Pacific Studies Institute under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in an exclusive interview with People's Daily Online.

The west's subjective "Tibet illusion" is full of curiosity and selfishness.

"It is not important whether the U.S. or the western world's various understandings of Tibet are factual or not. The key is whether they are willing to and whether they need to understand Tibet. It is evident that they are covering their eyes and ears,"Ye said.

Firstly, it has to be admitted that because of the hype, the Dalai Lama has had a very high advertising effect. When the Dalai Lama was exiled in 1959, his English was just mediocre and he did not have an in-depth understanding of the west. However, following the several decades of studying and cultivation abroad, he has been familiarized with western cultural and their value systems, and is aware of how to rebuild his image with words and symbols that westerners are familiar with. To western society, the Dalai Lama, who is an important figure of Tibetan Buddhism that is filled with oriental mysticism, and obviously has a considerable advertising value.

In addition, the western world has the passionate "Tibet illusion." Westerners view Tibet as a cultural symbol with cult value, hold the novelty-seeking ideas toward Tibet and take Tibet as a pure and holy land. Such curiosity will be increasingly higher, because the west has entered a highly-institutionalized and rationalized post-industrial era of civilization since the middle of the twentieth century. And although westerners enjoy the achievements of the industrial civilization, they have yet to fulfill their psychological comfort due to the limitation of their culture. They therefore need to find some alien, particularly anti-modernization, representatives to serve as their psychological dependence. This is the source of the idea of seeking a pure and holy land. Tibet simply satisfies their imagination.

Ye pointed out, "Most Americans or westerners do not want to see a modernized Tibet. And the most contradictory and unacceptable aspect of the western industrial civilization is not their prejudice against Tibet, but that they intentionally want Tibet stuck in a preindustrial state to meet their psychological needs, which is actually rather selfish."

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http://chinatibet.people.com.cn/6909818.pdf