The Instigator
Ennui2778
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
Daysuit
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

A Pro-stance is in favor of the Chinese; a Con-stance is in favor of the Tibetan separatists.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/26/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,029 times Debate No: 2228
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (3)

 

Ennui2778

Pro

The 2008 Beijing Olympics, and the inevitable storm of protests thereof, have touched off on an important issue. That issue is whether the People's Republic of China can maintain a just, capable and above all, legitimate claim to the Tibetan Autonomous Region.

Opponents of the Chinese presence are largely religious in nature. The most ardent opponent of the Chinese presence in Tibet is His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, better known to the West as the Dalai Lama. It is the belief of His Holiness that the People's Republic of China is stifling the religious rights of the inhabitants of the Tibet Autonomous region. Following the annexation of Tibet, surrogates of both the People's Republic of China and His Holiness signed the Seventeen Point Agreement. Among the stipulations of the Seventeen Point Agreement was that the "policy of religious freedom would be protected." (1) The Chinese themselves are protecting the religion of the People of Tibet. The People's Republic of China does not intend to even alter the course of the religion in the region, as once more stipulated by the Seventeen Point Agreement; "The Central Authorities will not effect any such change in the income of the monasteries." (1) The Chinese have asserted their will and have made no attempts to stifle the religious freedom of the people of Tibet.

There is also not any such attacks on the culture of Tibet itself. His Holiness once claimed that the People's Republic of China is trying to stifle the culture of China by restricting use of the indigenous language of Tibet. This is quite simply not true. Polling- not connected in any way with either involved party- has shown that the ninety-six of all Tibetans of a reasonably literate age can speak as well as read native Tibetan. Ninety-six percent of them. To put this in perspective, more Tibetans speak Tibetan then Americans speak English! (2)

The Tibet of the past, thanks largely to the efforts of Tibetan advocates abroad, has been widely portrayed as a religious shangri-la, with no need for written codes of law because of the firm, constructive rapport between the well-cared for peasants and the enlightened monks of the Tibetan region. This is the activists' greatest triumph. It too, is a lie. The average Tibetan serf a mere fifty years ago had a lower life expectancy than slaves in America before the Civil War. (2)

There are also many, well documented, accounts of brutalities inflicted on the Tibetan serfs during the monastic rule. One of the most poignant examples of such abuse is Tsereh Wang Tuei. For a petty theft, the man had had both his eyes gouged out and a hand rendered useless by a beating ordered by a Holy Lama. Well before this incident, Dr. A.L. Waddell spoke of the "intolerable tyranny of the monks" detailed the myriad punishments and superstitions instilled by the monks amongst the people of Tibet to keep them down. (1)

I am not stating that the issue of Tibet is clean cut or black and white. But I believe that the people of Tibet are far better off under Chinese leadership than they were under the iron-fisted theocracy of Tibet's (regrettably) idealized past. Those advocates of Tibet separation from China are simply advocating a return to the tyranny and banality fostered by a group of esoteric fanatics that, I believe, are too out-of-touch to effectively run a country.

(1) Roberts, JAG; The Complete History of China. 3rd. Gloucestershire Publishing.

(2) Parieti, Michael; Friendly Feudalism. 1st. Parieti Political Archive.
Daysuit

Con

For my opening statement I would like to say that my opponent has drawn out a very clear and competent argument. Now let me tell you why his stance is wrong.

I'm not arguing that Tibet is the greatest place for people to live, or that their form of government and religion are perfect either. The matter that concerns me more is that by allowing China to annex whatever neighboring society they want, sets precedence for them to annex other countries they feel are supposed to have to make the PRC whole. Thus by allowing them to take Tibet for their own with the excuse of living conditions as their argument, they can use just about any reason to take whatever they believe is theirs.

If you or anyone else has seen a map of how China draws its borders and how the rest of the world draws its borders you will see a big difference. For example, the PRC truly believes that Mongolia is theirs, as is Taiwan, Myanmar and portions of 12 other nations. As it is the PRC believes these areas are just being tended to by their local governments but it is really the land of the PRC. The Tibet province was taken by force, as a showing of power, in the spirit of a manifest destiny with the excuse of living conditions to invade.
Debate Round No. 1
Ennui2778

Pro

I would like to begin by thanking my opponent for his prompt and concise consideration in this matter. However, the simple facts will show that his argument is flawed.

I believe that my opponent and I can agree to the fact that conditions for the Tibetan citizenry have improved since the Chinese entered the region.

My opponent claims that the annexation was largely the act of an organ within the People's Liberation Army or the Communist Party of China. This is a misconception, and not a trifling one. The vast majority of "aggressive" campaigns were waged by a splinter group of indigenous Tibetans known as the Tibetan Red Guards. The group pledged its loyalty to China and fought in the name of the Chairman and the Communist Party, but it was largely through the efforts of the Tibetans, rather than the citizens or government of the People's Republic of China that the Tibetan Autonomous Region is a region within China. (1)

My opponent also fears that the People's Republic of China is "setting a precedent" with their presence in Tibet and fears that this precedent will allow for aggressive campaigns on the part of China in other regions of the world. However, despite my opponent's claim, the People's Republic of China does not interfere with the internal affairs of Mongolia, Myanmar, Taiwan and the other such regions named by my opponent. While the People's Republic may not formally recognize the Republic of China, there has been an exchange of diplomats and the People's Republic is aware of the fact that they have no true ability to affect change in the region, or the other regions named by my opponent, thus invalidating any "precedent" that my opponent claims that resulted after the occupation of the Tibetan Autonomous Region. His own arguments are self-defeating, if the People's Republic acknowledges that the inhabitants of the region in question are being ruled by a local government. If the Chinese government acknowledges this, while taking no action to affect, or alter the course of internal events in the country, then there is really no merit to the claim.

My opponent has stated that there was military conflict between the Chinese and the Tibetan indigenous minority. Nobody will deny that, but if anything, the "show of force" that my opponent claims was undertaken was largely done by the Tibetans.

As per the agreement of the Simla conference in 1914, the only recognizable government within Tibet would be the de facto government of China Proper(2). The actions of the Tibetan people, as urged by the factional leaders were an act of secession, a "show of power" undertaken, not by the Chinese, but by the Tibetan leadership. The actions undertaken by the People's Republic of China were not a "manifest destiny," as claimed, rather they were the legitimate efforts of a government to protect that own government's interest in the region.

I am well aware of the fact that, over the short course of these events, from the Simla Conference to the latest actions in the Tibetan Autonomous Region, that the government of China Proper has changed several times, but it still remains that there are multiple treaties and agreements stating that the Tibetan Autonomous Region is, and for a long time, existed as, a legitimate, region of the People's Republic of China.

(1) Mackerras, Colin; China's Minority Cultures Since 1912, New York, Longman 1995
(2) Bell, Charles; Tibet Past and Present, 1924,
Daysuit

Con

Daysuit forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Ennui2778

Pro

Ennui2778 forfeited this round.
Daysuit

Con

Daysuit forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Daysuit 9 years ago
Daysuit
No big deal, I'm busy too. I'm getting ready to go to Iraq. Good Debate.
Posted by Ennui2778 9 years ago
Ennui2778
Regrettably, circumstances unforseen will prevent me from continuing into future rounds. I concede this debate and will be absent from the site for an extended period of time, I thank you for your consideration and ardently apologize for this absence. I do hope that we will be able to debate some time in the future when I am not thus occupied.

Once more, I apologize, and great job with your debate.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by batman_is_dumb 9 years ago
batman_is_dumb
Ennui2778DaysuitTied
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Vote Placed by Lithobolos 9 years ago
Lithobolos
Ennui2778DaysuitTied
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Vote Placed by Ragnar_Rahl 9 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
Ennui2778DaysuitTied
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