Hegel founded and accepted the notion of a nation’s spirit in 15th century Germany. If we consider any sovereign nation-state as a spiritual entity, certain protection must be afforded those nation-states that effectively pursue positive actions in the international community. It should be safe to assume that Hegel would not have approved of the spirit of The Nazi Party at its peak, economic merits cast aside, see the Treaty of Versailles.3 Moreover, Hegel could have seen some of the destructive tendencies of the N.P., that would have run counter to his philosophy and teaching as a Lutheran -Protestant, and a Prussian nationalist. Yet, we see “Ethos” prominent in some nation-states through media, academia, and the national anthem. Who does this more effectively than the United States, particularly at major sporting events to showcase its military prowess. No one, save for Autocracies i.e. North Korea, China.
China has been steadily influencing international markets as a fairly recent member of the WTO, and is now known as the “factory of the world.” However, for all of the economic good-will and fury that developed nation-states have incurred through trade agreements with Beijing, the notion of human-rights receives short shrift from democracies that have an appetite for inexpensive Chinese goods.
This leads to another argument about augmenting our economies by outsourcing our most valuable commodity-human resources. It seems odd that we would put our own national – good or “ethos” at risk to benefit the exploits if a nation-state, that has a dubious human-rights record. Many of us can recall how the United States reacted to Cuba during the Cold War, see Helms- Burton 4, and is now only finding traction in Cuba with the reopening of the American embassy.
As China continues its hard-line policy towards Tibetan culture and the TGIE (Tibetan Government in Exile,) the continuation of self-immolations by Tibetans demonstrates a flawed outcome towards the Tibet policy by Beijing. Pouring Chinese capital into Tibet for infrastructure such as the Qinghai -Tibet railway, has seen major benefits for Tibet’s tourism industry, and Han – Chinese migrants that have steadily displaced Tibetan workers on their own territory.
A look at Chinese policy towards Buddhism, and followers of it, see Beijing’s policy’s within Tibet shifting the ethos that had been developed over centuries into a pro-Beijing , pro-commercialization of Tibetan land, religion and values, towards a homeostatic balance between Beijing and the director of Chinese affairs in Tibet- Losang Gyaltsen. Gyaltsan has continued to maintain Beijing’ hard-line approach towards Tibet, and, according to Reuter’s, was a teacher of Marxist ideology.
Therefore, we can feel ambivalence towards Tibetans, who occasionally “light-up” and self-immolate, and to Hong Kongers, who are subject to a deliberate, though muted approach to their freedom of universal suffrage, that took many years to instil under British colonialism.
Currently, Xi is preparing for a military parade on September 3, China’s growing strength in the region will be apparent to other nation-states to observe. Russian President Vladimir Putin and South Korean President Park Geun Hye, will attend; the latter to draw attention away from North Krea, the former, as a continuation of their working relationship in the economic zone- BRICS. It will seem obvious to China’s opponents in the region, such as, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, that this edition of China presents an opponent unlike the 20th century model that was victimized by Japanese oppression. The endgame is nukes and most developed nation-states have some in their arsenal. For Xi, as he pursues more control of the Spratly Islands from neighbours, Vietnam, Philippines,Malaysia and Brunei, he is commanding even the Coast Guard to disrupt shipments in the contested region.1.
Xi is no doubt promoting China’s “ethos” at home and abroad. He is careful to avoid a “tipping point” that would incite some of his best customers. One has to question, what is this tipping point, and is Xi aware of what it is. Most of us can postulate that the use of nukes or an attack on a smaller neighbour may be enough to rail the international community against it. After all, it has more to lose than North Korea, who has taken liberties with its neighbour to the south. In the case of Japan and South Korea, the Americans maintain a strong presence in the region. For Tibetans, it will take an Act of God or Buddha to wrest any control back despite American power in the area. As BRICS grows into a dominant economic zone, the possibility of India squeezing out the TGIE, remains a possibility. With approximately 5820 Tibetans living in Canada, they are well represented in the Parkdale community of Toronto, mostly. Of course, friendly Canadian skies will welcome them, as heretical, as that may appear. As Hegel said, “Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.’2
1.FlorCruz, Michelle. “Philippine-China South China Sea Dispute Over Spratly Islands: Human ‘Buffer’ Prevents Chinese Military Aggression.”International Business Times. 30 June 2015. 31 August 2015. <http://www.ibtimes.com/philippine-china-south-china-sea-dispute-over-spratly-islands-human-buffer-prevents-1990262>.
2.Hegel,GeorgWilhelmFriedrich.Wikiquote.30 August, 2015. 2 September 2015. <https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Georg_Wilhelm_Friedrich_Hegel>
3.Modern History Sourcebook: Treaty of Versailles, Jun 28, 1919.(c)Paul Halsall Aug 1997. 2 September 2015. <http://legacy.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1919versailles.html>.
4.PBS Newshour. 16 July 2001. 2 September 21015. <http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/latin_america-july-dec01-helms-burton_07-02/>.
Chariots of Fire: A Tibetan Historical Perspective
A history of the Tibetan Plateau to the present, with current concerns and potential solutions to China’s occupation.