This book offers a definitive account of the origins and events of the 2008 Tibetan uprising, which began with peaceful demonstrations by monks of Lhasa's great monasteries on the anniversary of the 1959 revolt. Noted expert Warren Smith argues that the uprising was a widespread response to the conditions of Chinese rule over Tibet, which revealed much about Tibetan nationalism and even more about Chinese nationalism. Interpreting the Tibetan uprising as an attempt to spoil the Beijing Olympics, China's hard-line response was repression, "patriotic education," and propaganda blaming the disturbances on the "Dalai clique" and "hostile Western forces."
Smith contends that China's offensive is based upon a belief that China now has sufficient economic and political influence to make the world "thoroughly revise its mistaken knowledge" about the Tibet issue. He convincingly shows that far from becoming more lenient in response to Tibetan discontent, China has determined to eradicate Tibetan opposition internally and coerce the international community to conform to China's version of Tibetan history and reality.
Warren W. Smith —
Warren W. Smith, Jr. is a researcher and writer with the Tibetan Service of Radio Free Asia.
Smith, Warren W., Jr. Tibet's last stand?: the Tibetan uprising of 2008 and China's response. Rowman & Littlefield, 2010. 299p bibl index afp; ISBN 9780742566859. Reviewed in 2010jun CHOICE.
Smith (Tibetan Service, Radio Free Asia) draws upon Chinese and other sources in this examination of the mid-March 2008 demonstrations in Tibet. The opening chapter is an overview of the events of mid-March and the response of Chinese officials over the next two months. The next two chapters present in greater detail the repression and extensive propaganda initiative Chinese officials undertook through late 2009. The Patriotic Education Campaign, for example, portrays the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan government-in-exile, and other foreign provocateurs as the instigators of the demonstrations. The goals of the provocateurs, according to Chinese accounts, were to separate Tibet from China and by extension weaken China. Thus, Chinese officials view the Tibetan issue as a matter of national sovereignty and not one of human rights or regional autonomy as presented by the Dalai Lama and other critics. The strident nature of China's position on Tibet is highlighted in a chapter on China's forceful response to efforts to use the Beijing Olympics to soften China's position on Tibet. In the final chapter, Smith denotes the irreconcilable nature of Tibetan and Chinese nationalism and thus the impracticality of a negotiated settlement.
Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate, research, and professional collections. -- J. M. Peek, Lyon College