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China and America: The Tibet Human Rights PsyOp

Michel Chossudovsky | 14.04.2008 10:03 | Analysis | Anti-militarism | Globalisation | London | World

The human rights issue has become the centerfold of media disinformation.

China is no model of human rights but neither are the US and its
indefectible British ally, responsible for extensive war crimes and human
rights violations in Iraq and around the World. The US and its allies, which
uphold the practice of torture, political assassinations and the
establishment of secret detention camps, continue to be presented to public
opinion as a model of Western democracy to be emulated by developing
countries, in contrast to Russia, Iran, North Korea and the People's
Republic of China.

The human rights issue has become the centerfold of media disinformation.

China is no model of human rights but neither are the US and its
indefectible British ally, responsible for extensive war crimes and human
rights violations in Iraq and around the World. The US and its allies, which
uphold the practice of torture, political assassinations and the
establishment of secret detention camps, continue to be presented to public
opinion as a model of Western democracy to be emulated by developing
countries, in contrast to Russia, Iran, North Korea and the People's
Republic of China.

*Human Rights "Double Standards"*

While China's alleged human rights violations in relation to Tibet are
highlighted, the recent wave of killings in Iraq and Palestine are not
mentioned. The Western media has barely acknowledged the Fifth "anniversary"
of Iraq's "Liberation" and the balance sheet of the US sponsored killings
and atrocities perpetrated against an entire population, in the name of a
"global war on terrorism".

There are more than 1.2 million Iraqi civilian deaths, 3 million wounded.
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) [1] indicates a
figure of 2.2 million Iraqi refugees who have fled their country and 2.4
million "internally displaced persons":

"Iraq's population at the time of the US invasion in March 2003 was roughly
27 million, and today it is approximately 23 million. Elementary arithmetic
indicates that currently over half the population of Iraq are either
refugees, in need of emergency aid, wounded, or dead." (Dahr Jamail, Global
Research, December 2007 [2] )

*The Geopolitical Chessboard*

There are deep-seated geopolitical objectives behind the campaign against
the Chinese leadership.

US-NATO-Israeli war plans in relation to Iran are at an advanced state of
readiness. China has economic ties as well as a far-reaching bilateral
military cooperation agreement with Iran. Moreover, China is also an ally of
Russia, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in the
context of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Since 2005, Iran has
an observer member status within the SCO.

In turn, the SCO has ties to the Collective Security Treaty Organization
(CSTO), an overlapping military cooperation agreement :between Russia,
Armenia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan.

In October of last year the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO)
and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) signed a Memorandum of
Understanding, laying the foundations for military cooperation between the
two organizations. This SCO-CSTO agreement, which was barely mentioned by
the Western media, involves the creation of a full-fledged military alliance
between China, Russia and the member states of SCO/CSTO. It is worth noting
that the SCTO and the SCO held joint military exercises in 2006, which
coincided with those conducted by Iran. (For further details see Michel
Chossudovsky, Russia and Central Asian Allies Conduct War Games in Response
to US Threats, Global Research, August 2006) [3]

In the context of US war plans directed against Iran, the US is intent upon
weakening Iran's allies, namely Russia and China. In the case of China,
Washington is is seaking to disrupt Beijing's bilateral ties with Tehran as
well as Iran's rapprochement with the SCO, which has its headquarters in

China is an ally of Iran. Washington's intention is to use Beijing's alleged
human rights violations as a pretext to target China, an ally of Iran.

In this regard, a military operation directed against Iran can only succeed
if the structure of military alliances which link Iran to China and Russia
is disrupted. This is something which Chancellor Otto von Bismarck
understood in relation to the structure of competing military alliances
prevalent prior to World War I. The Triple Alliance was an agreement between
Germany, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Italy formed in 1882. The Triple
Alliance ultimately came to an end in 1914, when Italy withdrew from the
Triple Alliance and declared its neutrality, leading the outbreak of World
War I.

*Encircling China*

With the exception of its Northern frontier which borders on the Russian
Federation, Mongolia and Kazakhstan, China is surrounded by US military

**The Eurasian Corridor*

Since the 2001 invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, the US has a military
presence on China's Western frontier, in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The U.S.
is intent upon establishing permanent military bases in Afghanistan, which
occupies a strategic position bordering on the former Soviet republics,
China and Iran.

Moreover, the US and NATO have also established since 1996, military ties
with several former Soviet republics under GUUAM (Georgia, Ukraine,
Uzbekistan and Moldava). In the post 9/11 era, Washington has used the
pretext of the "global war against terrorism" to further develop a U.S.
military presence in GUUAM countries. Uzbekistan withdrew from GUUAM in
2002. (The organization is now referred to as GUAM).

China has oil interests in Eurasia as well as in sub-Saharan Africa, which
encroach upon Anglo-American oil interests.

What is at stake is the geopolitical control over the Eurasian corridor.

In March 1999, the U.S. Congress adopted the Silk Road Strategy Act, which
defined America's broad economic and strategic interests in a region
extending from the Eastern Mediterranean to Central Asia. The Silk Road
Strategy (SRS) outlines a framework for the development of America's
business empire along an extensive geographical corridor.

The _successful_ implementation of the SRS requires the concurrent
"militarization" of the entire Eurasian corridor as a means to securing
control over extensive oil and gas reserves, as well as "protecting"
pipeline routes and trading corridors. This militarization is largely
directed against China, Russia and Iran.

The militarization of the South China Sea and of the Taiwan Straits is also
an integral part of this strategy which, in the post 9/11 era, consists in
deploying "on several fronts".

Moreover, China remains in the post-Cold War era a target for a first strike
nuclear attack by the US.

In the 2002 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), China and Russia are identified
along with a list of "rogue States" as potential targets for a pre-emptive
nuclear attack by the US. China is listed in the NPR as "a country that
could be involved in an immediate or potential contingency". Specifically,
the Nuclear Posture Review lists a military confrontation over the status of
Taiwan as one of the scenarios that could lead Washington to use nuclear
weapons against China.

China has been encircled: The U.S. military is present in the South China
Sea and the Taiwan Straights, in the Korean Peninsula and the Sea of Japan,
as well as in the heartland of Central Asia and on the Western border of
China's Xinjiang-Uigur autonomous region. Moreover, as part of the
encirclement of China, "Japan has gradually been amalgamating and
harmonizing its military policies with those of the U.S. and NATO." (See
Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Global Military Alliance: Encircling Russia and
China, Global Research, 10 May 2007 [4] )

*Weakening China from within: Covert Support to Secessionist Movements*

Consistent with its policy of weakening and ultimately fracturing the
People's Republic of China, Washington supports secessionist movements both
in Tibet as wall as in the Xinjiang-Uigur autonomous region which borders
onto North Eastern Pakistan and Afghanistan.

In Xinjiang-Uigur, Pakistani intelligence (ISI), acting in liaison with the
CIA, supports several Islamist organizations. The latter include the Islamic
Reformist Party, the East Turkestan National Unity Alliance, the Uigur
Liberation Organization and the Central Asian Uigur Jihad Party. Several of
these Islamic organizations have received support and training from Al
Qaeda, which is a US sponsored intelligence asset. The declared objective of
these Chinese-based Islamic organizations is the "establishment of an
Islamic caliphate in the region" (For further details see Michel
Chossudovsky, America's War on Terrorism, Global Research, Montreal, 2005,
Chapter 2 [5] ).

The caliphate would integrate Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan (West
Turkestan) and the Uigur autonomous region of China (East Turkestan) into a
single political entity.

The "caliphate project" encroaches upon Chinese territorial sovereignty.
Supported by various Wahabi "foundations" from the Gulf States, secessionism
on China's Western frontier is, once again, consistent with U.S. strategic
interests in Central Asia. Meanwhile, a powerful U.S.-based lobby is
channeling support to separatist forces in Tibet.

By tacitly promoting the secession of the Xinjiang-Uigur region (using
Pakistan's ISI as a "go-between"), Washington is attempting to trigger a
broader process of political destabilization and fracturing of the People's
Republic of China. In addition to these various covert operations, the U.S.
has established military bases in Afghanistan and in several of the former
Soviet republics, directly on China's Western border.

The militarization of the South China Sea and of the Taiwan Straits is also
an integral part of this strategy. (Ibid) [5]

*The Lhasa Riots*

The violent riots in Tibet's capital in mid-March were a carefully staged
event. In their immediate aftermath, a media disinformation campaign
supported by political by Western leaders directed against China was

There are indications that US intelligence played a behind the scenes role
in what several observers have described as a carefully premeditated
operation.(See our analysis below).

The Lhasa event in mid-March was not a spontaneous "peaceful" protest
movement as described by the Western media The riots involving a gang of
mobsters were premeditated. They had been carefully planned. Tibetan
activists in India associated with the Dalai Lama's government in exile
"hinted they were indeed expecting the disturbances. But they refuse to
elaborate how they knew or who their collaborators were" (Guerilla News [6]

The images do not suggest a mass protest rally but rather a rampage led by a
few hundred individuals. Buddhist monks were involved in the rampage.
According to China Daily (March 31, 2008), the Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC)
based in India, considered by China as a "hard-line organization" affiliated
to the Dalai Lama, was also behind the violence. The TYC's training camps
are funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). (See the text of
the Congressional Hearings regarding NED support to the TYC [7] )


Video footage confirms that civilians were stoned, beaten and in some cases
killed. Most of the victims were Han Chinese. At least ten people were
burned to death as a result of acts of arson, according to statements of the
Tibet government. These statements were confirmed by several eyewitness
reports. According to a China Daily report:

"five shop assistants at a clothing store were burnt to death before they
had any chance to escape. A 1.7-meter-tall man named Zuo Yuancun was torched
down to chunks of horrid flesh and skeletons. A migrant worker had his liver
stabbed and bled by mobsters. A woman was beaten hard by the attackers and
had her ear sliced off." (People's Daily, March 22, 2008 [9] )

Meanwhile, the Western media casually described the looting and arson as a
"peaceful demonstration" which the Chinese authorities suppressed with the
use of force. There are no accurate reports (from Chinese and Western news
sources) on the nature of the Chinese police operation launched to repress
the riots. Western press reports point to the deployment of more than 1000
soldiers and police in the Tibetan capital.

Businesses, schools were attacked, cars were set on fire. According to
Chinese reports, there are 22 dead and 623 injured. "Rioters set fire at
more than 300 locations, mostly private houses, stores and schools, and
smashed vehicles and damaged public facilities."

The planning of the riots was coordinated with the media disinformation
campaign, which accused the Chinese authorities of having instigated the
looting and arson. The Dalai Lama accused Beijing of "disguising its troops
as monks" to give the impression that Buddhist monks were behind the riots.
The claims were based on a four year old photograph of soldiers dressing up
as monks in a theatrical stage performance (See South China Morning Post, 4
April 2008).

The mainland newspaper {People's Daily] said the security forces quelling
riots in Lhasa could not possibly have been wearing the uniforms shown in
the photograph because they were summer uniforms, unsuitable for the cold
March weather.

It also said the PAP had changed to new uniforms in 2005, which feature
shoulder emblems. The armed officers shown in the photograph were in
old-style uniforms which had been phased out after 2005. ... Xinhua said the
photograph was taken during a performance years ago, when soldiers borrowed
robes from monks before performing on stage. (Ibid)

The Dalai Lama's claim that the Chinese authorities had instigated the
riots, quoted in the Western media, is supported by a statement of a former
Communist Party official Mr. Ruan Ming who "claims the CCP carefully staged
the incidents in Tibet in order to force the Dalai Lama to resign and to
justify future repression of the Tibetans. Mr. Ruan Ming was a speechwriter
for former CCP General Secretary Hu Yaobang." (quoted in The Epoch Times)

A2003 photograph was used by the media to accuse China of having
deliberately instigated the riots.
"_This [2003] photo was apparently made when soldiers were ordered to put on
robes to play as actors in a movie."__

*The Role of US Intelligence*

The organization of the Lhasa riots are part of a consistent pattern. They
constitute an attempt to trigger ethnic conflict in China. They serve US
foreign policy interests.

To what extent has US intelligence played an undercover role in the current
wave of protests regarding Tibet?

Given the covert nature of intelligence operations, there is no tangible
evidence of _direct_ CIA involvement. However, there are various Tibetan
organizations linked to the Tibet "government in exile" which are known to
be supported by the CIA and/or by the CIA's civilian front organization, the
National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

The CIA's involvement in channeling covert support to the Tibetan
secessionist movement goes back to the mid-1950s. The Dalai Lama was on the
CIA's payroll from the late 1950s until 1974:

The CIA conducted a large scale covert action campaign against the communist
Chinese in Tibet starting in 1956. This led to a disastrous bloody uprising
in 1959, leaving tens of thousands of Tibetans dead, while the Dalai Lama
and about 100,000 followers were forced to flee across the treacherous
Himalayan passes to India and Nepal.

The CIA established a secret military training camp for the Dalai Lama's
resistance fighters at Camp Hale near Leadville, Colorado, in the US. The
Tibetan guerrillas were trained and equipped by the CIA for guerrilla
warfare and sabotage operations against the communist Chinese.

The US-trained guerrillas regularly carried out raids into Tibet, on
occasions led by CIA-contract mercenaries and supported by CIA planes. The
initial training program ended in December 1961, though the camp in Colorado
appears to have remained open until at least 1966.

The CIA Tibetan Task Force created by Roger E McCarthy, alongside the
Tibetan guerrilla army, continued the operation codenamed "ST CIRCUS" to
harass the Chinese occupation forces for another 15 years until 1974, when
officially sanctioned involvement ceased.

McCarthy, who also served as head of the Tibet Task Force at the height of
its activities from 1959 until 1961, later went on to run similar operations
in Vietnam and Laos.

By the mid-1960s, the CIA had switched its strategy from parachuting
guerrilla fighters and intelligence agents into Tibet to establishing the
Chusi Gangdruk, a guerrilla army of some 2,000 ethnic Khamba fighters at
bases such as Mustang in Nepal.

This base was only closed down in 1974 by the Nepalese government after
being put under tremendous pressure by Beijing.

After the Indo-China War of 1962, the CIA developed a close relationship
with the Indian intelligence services in both training and supplying agents
in Tibet." (Richard Bennett, Tibet, the 'great game' and the CIA, Global
Research, March 2008 [10] )

*The National Endowment for Democracy (NED)*

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which channels financial support
to pro-US opposition groups around the World has played a significant role
in triggering "velvet revolutions" which serve Washington's geopolitical and
economic interests.

The NED, although not formally part of the CIA, performs an important
intelligence function within the arena of civilian political parties and
NGOs. It was created in 1983, when the CIA was being accused of covertly
bribing politicians and setting up phony civil society front organizations.
According to Allen Weinstein, who was responsible for setting up the NED
during the Reagan Administration: "A lot of what we do today was done
covertly 25 years ago by the CIA." ('Washington Post', Sept. 21, 1991).

The NED provided funds to the "civil society" organizations in Venezuela,
which initiated an attempted coup against President Hugo Chavez. In Haiti,
the NED supported the opposition groups behind the armed insurrection which
contributed to unseating President Bertrand Aristide in February 2004. The
coup d' Etat in Haiti was the result of a carefully staged
military-intelligence operation. (See Michel Chossudovsky, The
Destabilization of Haiti, Global Research, February 2004 [11] )

The NED funds a number of Tibet organizations both within China and abroad.
The most prominent pro-Dalai Lama Tibet independence organization funded by
the NED is the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT), founded in Washington
in 1988. The ICT has offices in Washington, Amsterdam, Berlin and Brussels.
Distinct from other NED funded Tibet organizations, the ICT has a close cozy
and " overlapping" relationship with the NED and the US State Department::

Some of ICT's directors are also integral members of the `democracy
promoting' establishment, and include Bette Bao Lord (who is the chair of
Freedom House, and a director of Freedom Forum), Gare A. Smith (who has
previously served as principal deputy assistant secretary in the U.S.
Department of State's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor), Julia
Taft (who is a former director of the NED, the former U.S. Assistant
Secretary of State and Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, has worked
for USAID, and has also served as the President and CEO of InterAction), and
finally, Mark Handelman (who is also a director of the National Coalition
for Haitian Rights, an organization whose work is ideologically linked to
the NED's longstanding interventions in Haiti).

The ICT's board of advisors also presents two individuals who are closely
linked to the NED, Harry Wu, and Qiang Xiao (who is the former executive
director of the NED-funded Human Rights in China).

Like their board of directors, ICT's international council of advisors
includes many `democratic' notables like Vaclav Havel, Fang Lizhi (who in
1995 - at least - was a board member of Human Rights in China), Jose
Ramos-Horta (who serves on the international advisory board for the
Democracy Coalition Project), Kerry Kennedy (who is a director of the
NED-funded China Information Center), Vytautas Landsbergis (who is an
international patron of the British-based neoconservative Henry Jackson
Society - see Clark, 2005), and until her recent death, the 'mid-wife of the
neocons'' Jeane J. Kirkpatrick (who was also linked to `democratic' groups
like Freedom House and the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies).
(Michael Barker, "Democratic Imperialism": Tibet, China, and the National
Endowment for Democracy Global Research, August 13, 2007 [12] )

Other NED funded Tibet organizations include the Students for a Free Tibet
(SFT) referred to earlier. The SFT was founded in 1994 in New York City "as
a project of US Tibet Committee and the NED-financed International Campaign
for Tibet (ICT). The SFT is most known for unfurling a 450 foot banner atop
the Great Wall in China; calling for a free Tibet." (F. William Engdahl,
Risky Geopolitical Game: Washington Plays `Tibet Roulette' with China,
Global Research, April 2008) [13] .

The SFT together with five other Tibet organizations proclaimed last January
"the start of a 'Tibetan people's uprising" ... and co-founded a temporary
office in charge of coordination and financing." ( Ibid)

"The NED also funds the Tibet Multimedia Center for 'information
dissemination that addresses the struggle for human rights and democracy in
Tibet,'' also based in Dharamsala. And the NED finances the Tibetan Center
for Human Rights and Democracy. (Ibid)

There is a division of tasks between the CIA and the NED. While the CIA
provides covert support to armed paramilitary rebel groups and terrorist
organizations, the NED finances "civilian" political parties and non
governmental organizations with a view to instating American "democracy"
around the World.

The NED constitutes, so to speak, the CIA's "civilian arm". CIA-NED
interventions in different part of the World are characterized by a
consistent pattern, which is applied in numerous countries.

*PsyOp: Discrediting the Chinese Leadership*

The short-term objective is to discredit the Chinese leadership in the
months leading up to the Beijing Olympic games, while also using the Tibet
campaign to divert public opinion from Middle East war and the war crimes
committed by the US, NATO and Israel.

China's alleged human rights violations are highlighted as a distraction, to
provide a human face to the US led war in the Middle East. Moreover, US
sponsored war plans directed against Iran are barely acknowledged by the
Western media. Moreover, with Tibet making the headlines, the real
humanitarian crisis in the Middle East is not front page news.

More generally, the issue of human rights is distorted: realities are turned
upside down, the extensive crimes committed by the US and its coalition
partners are either concealed or justified as a means to protecting society
against terrorists.

A "double standards" in the assessment of human rights violations has been
instated. In the Middle East, the killing of civilians is categorized as
collateral damage. It is justified as part of the "global war on terrorism".
The victims are said to be responsible for their own deaths.

*The Olympic Torch *

Carefully timed demonstrations on China's human rights violations in Western
capitals have been set in motion.

A partial boycott of the Olympic games seems to be underway. French Foreign
Minister Bernard Kouchner (a strong protagonist of US interests who has a
relationship to the Bilderbergs), has called for a boycott of the opening
ceremonies of the Olympics. Kouchner said the idea should be discussed at a
meeting of EU foreign ministers

The Olympic torch was lit at a ceremony in Greece, which was disrupted by
"pro-Tibet activists". The event was sponsored by "Reporters Without
Borders", an organization known to have links to US intelligence. (See,
Diana Barahona, Reporters Without Borders Unmasked, May 2005 [14] ).
"Reporters Without Borders" also receives support for the National Endowment
for Democracy (NED).

The Olympic Torch is symbolic. The Psychological operation (PsyOp) consists
in targeting the Olympic torch in the months leading up the Beijing Olympic

At each phase of this process, the Chinese leadership is denigrated by the
Western media.

*Global Economic Implications *

The Tibet campaign directed against the Chinese leadership could backlash.

We are at the crossroads of the most serious economic and financial crisis
of modern history. The unfolding economic crisis bears a direct relationship
to the US sponsored military adventure in the Middle East and Central Asia.

China play a strategic role with regard to US military expansionism. So far
it has not exercised it Veto power in the United Nations Security Council in
relation to the several US sponsored UNSC resolutions directed Iran.

China also plays a central role in the global economy and financial system.

Resulting from an accumulated trade surplus with the US, China's now holds
1.5 trillion dollars worth of US debt instruments (including US Treasury
bills). It has the ability to significantly disrupt international currency
markets. The US dollar would plunge to even lower levels, were China to sell
off its dollar denominated debt holdings.(For further details see: F.
William Engdahl, op cit) [13]

Moreover, China is the largest producer of a wide range of manufactured
goods which constitute, for the West, a significant share of monthly
household consumption. Western retail giants rely on the continued and
uninterrupted flow of cheap labor industrial commodities from China.

For the Western countries, China's insertion into the structures of global
trade, investment, finance and intellectual property rights under the World
Trade Organization (WTO) is absolutely crucial. Were Beijing to decide to
curtail its "Made in China" manufacturing exports to the US, America's
fragile and declining manufacturing base would not be able to fill the gap,
at least in the short run.

Moreover, the US and its coalition partners including the UK, Germany,
France and Japan have important investment interests in China. In 2001, the
US and China signed a bilateral trading agreement prior to the accession of
China to the WTO. This agreement allows US investors, including the major
Wall Street financial institutions, to position themselves in Shanghai's
financial and trading system as well as in China's domestic banking market.

While China is, in some regards, the West's "cheap labor industrial colony",
China's relationship to the global trading system is by no means cast in

China's relationship to global capitalism has its roots in the "Open Door
Policy" initially formulated in 1979. (Michel Chossudovsky, Towards
Capitalist Restoration. Chinese Socialism after Mao, Macmillian, London,
1986 [15], chapters 7 and 8)

Since the 1980s, China has become the main supplier of industrial goods to
Western markets. Any threat against China and/or military venture directed
against China's Eurasian allies including Iran could potentially disrupt
China's extensive trade in manufactured goods. China's export oriented
industrial base is the source of tremendous wealth formation in the advanced
capitalist economies. Where does the wealth of the Walton family, owners of
WalMart, originate? WalMart does produce anything. It imports cheap labor
commodities "Made in China" and resells them in the US retail market at up
to ten times their factory price.

This process of "import led development" has allowed the Western
"industrialised" countries to close down a large part of their manufacturing
outlets. In turn, China's industrial sweat shops serve to generate
multibillion dollar profits for Western corporations, including the retail
giants, which purchase and/or outsource their production to China.

Any threat of a military nature directed against China could have
devastating economic consequences, far beyond the familiar upward spiral in
the price of crude oil.



Michel Chossudovsky
- Homepage:


Display the following 6 comments

  1. Human Rights — Brian B
  2. Whats wrong with being one-sided ? — daggle
  3. Media has had an Effect — Brian B
  4. Morning Star — Strongtea
  5. What about China in Tibet? — daggle
  6. What about China in Tibet? — daggle
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