First of all, let me say this: I find all conflict unfortunate. This includes, but is not limited to, the incidents that have happened in Tibet recently. I wish there was a better way to resolve conflicts than by force.
That being said, it should be an internal Chinese affair. Tibet is a part of China, period. I don’t have a problem with people protesting against the violence, as long as it is part of a greater protest against violence in general, not something directed simply at the Chinese. But stop calling for a “free Tibet”. Or if you do, support freedom struggles everywhere. Free the American Indians. Give them their land back. Free Iraq. Free Northern Ireland. Free Palestine.
The protesters in Tibet took the opportunity in light of the upcoming Olympic Games. The reaction was predictable, and most likely what the protesters wanted. They succeeded in getting China to be seen as a major global villain, alongside Islam. Of course, those countries that invaded Iraq are not villains. When you rule the world you define what is good and bad. And what you do is good. When others commit the same acts as you do, they are bad. Inconsistent, yes, but consistency is unimportant when you dominate the world.
The failed policies of trying to bring change by force hasn’t worked before, so why should it work in the case of China? They were going to bring democracy to Iraq, and look what happened. Iran even developed democracy by itself in the 1950s, only to have it destroyed. Who destroyed it? Take a guess. The exporters of democracy. The very same people who are now going bring democracy to Iran.
The western concept of freedom is really freedom to be exploited by us. People are concerned that China is destroying the traditional way of life in Tibet. First of all, look into what traditional Tibetan society actually looked like before defending it. But more importantly, if Tibet were to be given independence, it wouldn’t take much time before giant corporations turned it into a thriving tourist destiny, complete with the type of modern hotels that the western tourist has come to expect, proto-Buddhist or not. So much for that traditional way of life.
Then again, maybe the anger against China isn’t really about Tibet. The protests against Tibet happen in mostly in countries who don’t even regard the majority of their own populations, so why should they be so concerned about the population of Tibet? I think it has to do with the fact that China is beginning to assert its position in the world. It is challenging hegemony.
The more I think about it, the more a believe that this is what the issue really is. These darn Chinese are competing with us. They are taking our jobs. They are flooding our markets with cheap goods. They are not being obedient. They are not being the useless communists that we all love to hate, but they listened to us and adopted the market principles that we told them were superior. How bad of them!
Instead of boycotting China boycott the corporations that are sponsoring the Olympics. Their crimes are far worse than those of the Chinese government. Or boycott your own country for oppressing the majority of its own people. Protest against the artificial barriers that prevent people from moving around freely.