A spectre is haunting Tibet (as Marx used to say), a spectre of itself. A Tibet double, invented by clever Chinese agricultural economists, now walks alongside actual Tibet, every step of the way. It is officially known as Synthetic Control Tibet. This ghost, if you look closely, is actually made up of Xinjiang, Shaanxi and Liaoning, all pretending to be Tibet. And the ghost is doing better than the real Tibet, the Chinese inventors tell us. Now read on.

Economists envy laboratory scientists, for their ability to run experiments over and over, altering just one variable, in order to isolate cause and effect. Economists cannot rewind events, or control the variables, or treat human populations like lab rats.

Yet economists badly want to be taken seriously as scientists, who generate empirical findings based on objective evidence, just like the lab coats do.

They try to sound as scientific as possible, often obscure their work in equations written in Greek symbols, and deploy the impersonal, legislative voice of science wherever possible. Thus we come to Synthetic Control Tibet, a statistical fiction of what Tibet Autonomous Region might have become economically had history been different. Inevitably, it takes math to get there.

This involves taking GDP stats for other provinces, especially the poorer peripheral provinces supposedly similar to Tibet, as substitute lab mice, to see if they run faster before or after 1987. That’s how economists mimic laboratory trials.

The rolang zombie they create in their math lab is Synthetic Control Tibet, a creature that lurches about, not only wanting to live but to grow, thwarted by the terrible affliction of separatism. “Given the 1987-89 unrests in Tibet which were the violent manifestation of separatism, it offered a good social experiment for us to investigate the economic consequence of ethnic separatism. This article fills the gap in the current literature by estimating the economic impact of the 1987-89 Tibetan unrests with use of the Synthetic Control Method. We find that if there were no such unrests, Tibet may enjoy around 27% higher GDP per capita during 1988-2007.”

How was Synthetic Control Tibet synthesised? “Yu and Sun set up and researched two “synthetic” Tibet models. If there had been no unrest in Tibet between 1987 and 1989, the region’s economic development should have followed the weighted average GDP of the “synthetic” Tibet. ‘If the real Tibet’s GDP growth diverges from the number of ‘synthetic’ Tibet, the finding could be treated as the ‘economic cost of separatism’,’ Yu said.  One “synthetic” Tibet model is composed of Northwest China’s Qinghai Province, Gansu Province and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Another model is a combination of Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Shaanxi Province and Northeast China’s Liaoning Province. It is notable that before 1987, the GDP growth trend of the two models were almost the same as that of the real Tibet. However, after the unrest in 1987, the weighted average of GDP per capita of the two “synthetic” Tibet was 26.98 percent higher than the GDP number of real Tibet.”[1]

That makes for a headline, scientific proof that Tibetans are their own worst enemy, and need to realise Han benevolence is for their own good. The Global Times headlines were prompt. None of this would matter much, just a couple of obscure academics bending numbers to prove a predetermined hypothesis. However, CCP media jumped on this story, gave it oxygen.

Before the journal Defence and Peace Economics first 2019 issue was out, Global Times ran with it:  “Cost of Sepratism: If there had been no unrest from 1987 to 1989, the Tibet Autonomous Region may have enjoyed around 27 percent higher GDP per capita from 1988 to 2007, said Chinese researchers at the University of Goettingen in Germany.  ‘We attribute the long-term effects of separatism on economic performance to the distortion in resource allocation induced by ethnic hostility and distrust,’ said the research paper written by Professor Yu Xiaohua and research fellow Sun Feifei, from the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development at the University of Goettingen.”

The same 30 January 2019 edition of Global Times, a party outlet sometimes described as “the CCP’s id”, for its blunt language, carried another story on Tibet, repeating the official line: Tibet leads China’s GDP growth as tourism, infrastructure drive economic expansion. Among the 31 provincial-level regions that had revealed their 2018 economic achievements as of Wednesday, Southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region ranked first with 10 percent GDP growth on a year-on-year basis.  It was the only region that achieved double-digit growth last year amid a nationwide economic slowdown. Last year was also the 26th consecutive year of double-digit growth for Tibet. In 2018, Tibet’s GDP reached 140 billion yuan ($20.84 billion), up 10 percent from 2017. That was well above the national rate of 6.6 percent, the regional government’s work report said on January 10.”

The invention of Synthetic Control Tibet may be just a blip, soon forgotten. However, it is symptomatic of something much bigger, as is evident in the diagrams scattered through this blog, all from China’s master text on “modernization science.”

China’s leaders are obsessed with proving themselves to be masters of modernity, development, prosperity, civilisation (including “ecological civilisation) and much more. Thus they have firstly to show they have mastered the dynamics of modernisation, which Tibetans so churlishly rejected in 1987.

Here we enter into strange territory, in fact what Marxists usually call a contradiction. On one hand, China insists it does not have a development model of its own, it is simply following universal laws of development, the same laws followed by countries already rich, not only in the West but in Japan, S Korea, Taiwan etc. To say China has its own unique development model would only enrage the Trumpists, because that is exactly what they accuse China of.

Yet China, at official level, also insists that everything it does, every policy, must have “Chinese characteristics.” China is instructing Tibet in socialism with Chinese characteristics, stability with Chinese characteristics, development with Chinese characteristics, and cannot understand why Tibetans fail to see much benefit.

So when it comes to “modernisation science”, China slavishly adopts a deeply biased Eurocentric model, with all the categories and timelines, and supposed laws, wholly taken from European and US history. That’s a contradiction.

In fact, no-one in Euro-America talks (as they did in the 1950s and 1960s) of “laws of development” or “modernisation science.” To say the least, development theory has been vigorously debated around the world, over several decades, except in China.

He Chuanqi

So who to believe? Is TAR still suffering for having spurned Beijing’s generosity back in 1987? Or is it now more than ever a securitised, skewed, lopsided economy with a fast growing security state sector financed by Beijing? In Nepal, TAR is portrayed as a new paradise of modernity and development, to be envied and emulated.

What these economists have done is to invent a proxy Tibet made up of Xinjiang, Shaanxi and Liaoning; then hold up the synthetic proxy against the official statistics of Tibet Autonomous Region. For Xinjiang read TAR throughout. Not so sophisticated after all.

This is a ludicrous admixture of reified categories, insistence that all official statistics are real and objectively true, that provincial development trajectories are directly comparable, and, above all, the strange assumption that development and growth are natural phenomena according with natural laws.

If ever there was an artificial economy, it is TAR, designed to showcase China’s civilising mission. Capital inflows into Tibet are overwhelmingly directly from Beijing, driven by policy, not growth opportunities. As Andrew Fischer has shown in a long booklength, the TAR economy is pumped up with capital expenditures commanded by Beijing, as China attempts to construct a showcase laboratory in TAR, designed and controlled from Beijing.[2]

The core argument of the inventors of Synthetic Control Tibet is that: “Tibetan separatist activities make Chinese government take a hardline attitude towards Dalai Lama. It hence exacerbates feelings of distrust and further deepens ethnic antagonism, which in turn threatens social stability and restricts local economic development.” This formulation locates agency, and the engine of growth, entirely in China’s hands. The Tibetans can behave badly and thus inhibit growth, but on their own they cannot accelerate growth. It all comes down to a question of Chinese investment, the implication being that once the Tibetans in 1987 articulated their grief, China instituted a capital strike, and recoiled from investing, setting up a chain of cause and effect now over 30 years old, with trackable economic consequences.

those primitive upriver Tibetans….. He Chuanqi

In reality,  China was shocked to discover in 1987 that its propaganda was believed only by the propagandists, and that Tibetans were deeply unhappy that Premier Hu Yaobang’s promise to send back to China any Han cadres who failed to learn Tibetan had come to naught. China’s response was to securitize Tibet, to criminalise all efforts by Tibetans to be heard in the public sphere, to build more gaols and barracks.

The securitization of Tibet has steadily intensified over the decades since 1987. Far from a Chinese capital strike, the unrest of 1987 sparked an investment boom in intensifying both human intelligence obtained through informers and through torture, and signals intelligence through technologies of surveillance. Both humint and sigint required major capital expenditure. This has been documented in depth by Andrew Fischer and Adrian Zenz, barely acknowledged in this paper.

will Tibetans ever get to civilisation? He Chuanqi

The authors of this conjured “synthetic control Tibet” fiction actually acknowledge the party-state’s investment in response to the protests, “sending well educated non-Tibetan personnel to Tibet, educating young Tibetan cadre, reinvigorating the party structure at all levels, and building more intensive economic and political partnerships with other regions. Additionally, the martial law was lifted on May 1, 1990, and the security was substantially improved by increasing the number of plainclothes officers and police substations.”

“After the conflict, Beijing deployed more armed officers in Tibet and continuously increased the expenditure on public security and armed police troops in Tibet, sent well educated non-Tibetan personnel to Tibet, and gave massive amounts of subsidies to attract more Chinese corporations to operate in Tibet.”

Notwithstanding all of that, they stick with their task of proving what they wanted to discover all along, that Tibet Autonomous Region has paid a high price, of slowed growth, due to the 1987 events. Their research paper concludes with a promise of more to come: “Consequently, we attribute the long-run effects of separatism on economic performance to the distortion in resource allocation induced by ethnic hostilities and distrust. Specifically, the ethnic separatism may impact regional economic development through (1) increasing public security expenditures, (2) crowding out foreign investment, (3) harming tourism industry, (4) creating a temporary “Brain Drain”, and (5) reducing both domestic and international trade activities which we will study in the future.”

Stand by for more revelations from Synthetic Control Tibet.

The inventors of Synthetic Control Tibet are agricultural economists, the classic team of middle aged (male) professor out to make a name as a commentator on many topics, and a young (female) postgrad who has already moved on, after doing all the work.

If they had stuck to agricultural economics, they would have noticed that a major reason the TAR economy is so skewed, with such a predominant services sector (mainly security services), and such a small agricultural primary sector, is because China failed to invest in agriculture, throughout the decades of China’s Tibet.

These authors explicitly subscribe to the foundational concept that economic growth is natural. In this they closely follow official ideology, which speaks of a universal law of development: “As long as we always adhere to the guidance of Xi Jinping’s new era of socialist economic thought with Chinese characteristics, conforming to the general trend of development, grasping the law of development, and defying difficulties facing our steadfast advancement, we will certainly win greater initiative in development.[3]

daigou buying Australian milk powder to profitably send to China

If there is any such law of development, it would have sent China’s agricultural economists into Tibet, six, five, four, three decades ago to investigate the comparative advantages of Tibetan agriculture and livestock production sectors. Those agricultural economists would have quickly recognised a natural path to increase Tibetan incomes could be achieved by investing in the sorting, cleaning and marketing of Tibetan wool, especially the semi-fine wool suitable for making expensive garments. The agricultural economists would have recommended increasing the fineness and value of Tibetan wool by crossbreeding Tibetan sheep with hardy cold climate carpet wool sheep from New Zealand or Tasmania. They would have recommended investing in barley varieties suited to manufacture of bulk beer.

China’s dairy product demand is huge

They would have recommended state investment in supply chains to get Tibetan dairy products to Chinese cities where urban demand for yoghurt has boomed. They would have set up farmer co-operatives able to pool their common pool land resources, be eligible for micro-finance to invest in technology and trucks to get their many dairy products to market in hygienic, temperature-controlled value chains. In reality almost none of this happened.

There have been several small-scale attempts at adding value to what Tibet produces in abundance. One such, in 2018, sent Chinese technicians from Xining all the way to remote Kham Nangchen to teach drogpa pastoralists how to make yoghurt and ice cream: “Recently, the [Qinghai]Provincial Animal Husbandry Institute of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Sciences department held a “Dairy Processing Technology Enhancement Training Course”, which processed 10 dairy products from 9 professional cooperatives. The technicians trained in dairy processing technology. Researchers of dairy products processing from the Animal Products Research Office of the Animal Husbandry Institute of the Provincial Academy of Animal Science, focusing on the importance of health care of dairy sources, the importance of environmental hygiene in dairy products processing, the requirements for sterilization of milk buses, and the fermentation of yogurt. The technology, the principle of cheese drawing, the key points of processing ice cream, the main points of processing skim milk, the measures to extend the shelf life of the product, and the trial production of yogurt, cheese, skim milk, ice cream products, etc., were taught and carefully guided. The training has benefited a lot.”

The best one can say of such efforts is too little, too late. Nangchen is 800 kms from Xining and the cold chain logistics enabling market access simply don’t exist, even though newly upgraded highways are reducing transit time. Highways alone don’t create a network of Tibetan businesses able to sell to hip urban Chinese consumers who love their healthfood yoghurt, imported from New Zealand, a much longer supply chain. A Nangchen and Yushu workshop may explain the capital investment required to get nomad products hygienically to distant markets, but does nothing to finance the capital investment required.

China wants its development model to be a model emulated worldwide in developing countries, while insisting its development model is the scientific, objective, universal model. China wants to be the exemplary moderniser, master of the global logic of development as a rational process. Yet China’s ambition to be the acme of civilisation requires others to be the primitives, badly in need of modernisation. The Tibetans are the primitives. Han chauvinist racism is so embedded it just seems self-evident that the Tibetans are not only backward, but stubbornly ungrateful for China’s big brotherly efforts at modernisation, so it is no surprise Tibet’s development has supposedly lagged, ever since the 1987 protests in Lhasa.

The model of development exemplified in the diagrams embellishing this blog has been adopted by China, even though it is a totally Eurocentric model, with almost no Chinese characteristics, completely ignoring the scathing critiques from the global South, ridiculing the plodding literalism of China’s slavish replication of a European model.

Racist arrogance reinforced by scientistic mimesis of rationality is an impenetrable mix. Little wonder China’s rulers, isolated from reality by the walls of the old Zhongnanhai Palace headquarters of the CCP, are so sure they are leading not only China but the world to a new era. Delusion begets delusion.

China has absorbed all the textbooks written by Eurocentric development enthusiasts, turned it all into certainty, with Chinese characteristics, full of neat formulae and categories that sound scientific.  Little wonder Tibetans, such as the poet Woeser, sometimes despair at the destruction, repression and denial done in the name of development and modernisation:
March is peculiar.

The sweeping winds are long in coming,/ and dust-filled air obscures a flame/ in my homeland.

From where I sit, my view is limited,/ the flame bright then dark. But even if I were nearby

I couldn’t approach it.

To behold such a sight/ would break my heart.

Even more houses destroyed/ by an invisible hand.

Even more prayers disappeared/ in the din of harsh and alien accents.

Even more pillaging and unstoppable negotiations.

Drifting, destitute and homeless.

This world of dust, a story/ full of grief.

From where I sit/ at the window/ on the twenty-first floor of a highrise,/ it is as though I’ve placed myself/ in a perilous frame/ of the twenty-first century.

No need to distance myself.

The flames are almost within reach/ but obscure.

Outside the window, the poison air/ seethes and boils.

No wonder all the living creatures/ of this country rot/ one after another.

I bow my head to record/ my homeland’s flames/ that spark suddenly and extinguish suddenly. 

One by one by one, one hundred fifty-two flames and counting, unstoppable./ But there’s not a sound to be heard.

I think of the poet Pasternak,/ who wrote “dipping my pen into ink,/ I can not help/ but cry.”

And I also see this:/in the ashes,/a reborn soul/beautiful beyond compare.

Btw: the diagrams in this blog are taken from Prof He Chuanqi’s textbook on modernisation, published by Springer 2012,  Modernization Science: The Principles and Methods of National Advancement.  He Chuanqi’s China Center for Modernization Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, is not fringe academic but core elite.

That book says: “He is the author or coauthor of over 20 books on the study of modernization and innovation and over 100 articles in academic journals. Since 2000, he has taken charge of the research on China modernization strategies and guided the completion of the China Modernization Report each year from 2001 to 2011. In 2002, he established the China Center for Modernization Research, CAS, and has since served as the director of the center.”

The source cited by He Chuanqi  何传启  for the diagrams in this blog is RGCMS (Research Group for China Modernization Strategies et al) (2010) China Modernization Report 2010: world modernization outline 1700–2100. Peking University Press, Beijing, one in an annual series He Chuanqi and colleagues produced. The 2012 book in English distils the Peking University Press multi-volume series in Chinese. He continues to be influential, in 2018 publishing his “roadmap, model and priorities of China’s modernization in the coming 30 years,” in World Sci-tech R&D Journal, 世界科技研究与 Vol. 40 Feb 2018, No. 1, 5 - 16

何 传 启. 现 代 化 科 学: 国家发达的科学原理. 北京: 科学出版社,2010. HE Chuanqi. Modernization Science: the Principles of National Advance. Beijing: Peking University Press 2010

中国现代化战略研究课题组,中国科学院中国 现代化研究中心. 中国现代化报告 2006: 社会现 代化研究. 北京: 北京大学出版社,2006. Research Group for China Modernization Strategy, China Center for Modernization Research,Chinese Academy of Sciences. China Modernization Report 2006: Social Modernization[M]. Beijing: Peking University Press,2006

何传启主编. 第六次科技革命的战略机遇( 第二 版). 北京: 科学出版社,2012. HE Chuanqi ( ed. ) . Strategic Opportunity of the Sixth Revolution of Science and Technology ( 2nd edition). Beijing: Science Press,2012.

何传启主编. 中国现代化报告 2017: 健康现代化 研究. 北京: 北京大学出版社,2017. HE Chuanqi ( ed. ) . China Modernization Report 2017: Health Modernization[M]. Beijing: Peking University Press,2017.

[1] Bai Yunyi and Zhang Dan, Tibetan unrest took 27% off GDP per capita in 1988-2007: researchers, Global Times  2019/1/30

[2] Andrew Martin Fischer, The Disempowered Development of Tibet in China: A study in the economics of marginalisation, Lexington, 2014

[3] Jingji Ribao (Economic Daily) 9 January 2019

What would Karl Marx have to say about Synthetic Control Tibet, and a “modernisation science” that positions Tibet as primitive, remote, backward and upriver? Actually, all we need to know these days is Karl found true love with Jenny.

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Whatever becomes a scientific object becomes a problem, which in turn requires management, human intervention. No thing can be left as is, because that is risky. If it can be measured, it can be managed, as they say in business schools worldwide.

China, or rather the Chinese Communist Party, is obsessed with risk, in fact just held a four day meeting, at the highest party-state level, addressed by Xi Jinping, entirely on risk.

In case you didn’t know, risks are everywhere you look, and the further the scientific gaze extends, the more risks are found.

Take the remote landscapes of Achen Gangyab, known in China as Hoh Xil, in the arid far northwest of the Tibetan Plateau, an alpine desert so frigid, its permafrost soils so hard frozen most of the year, not even the hardiest Tibetan nomads had much use for it outside of the summer months of pasture growth.

adamantine Achen Gangyab

Despite aridity and frigidity, this huge landscape is a land of lakes, as the plateau floor is quite flat, and summer rains/snows come down from the bare mountain slopes above, filling the lakes, which have no outlet. None of this was problematic, for thousands of years. Seasonally migrating gazelles and antelopes headed there each year to safely give birth, in landscapes that wolves cannot live in year round. Drogpa nomads brought their herds to graze on the fresh green pick, alongside the wild animals.

Not only was this not a problem, but clever scientists came up with ways of calculating a monetary value of the environmental services provided to China by all those Hoh Xil lakes that annually swell in summer rains and evaporate in autumn and spring, maintaining a balance all on their own. So even though China has no access to the many lakes for lowland water supply, they show up in Natural Capital Valuation calculations as quite valuable, just by doing their annual rising and dropping, all by themselves.

Now, Beijing, we have a problem. Actually many problems. First, climate change increases the rain and snowfall, and a few lakes now sometimes brim over. One lake spilled so badly onto the plain that the lake is almost empty, its floor is visible, and when gales blow, as they often do, sand is airborne.

Now, have we got a problem? Actually, it adds up to an impressive list of problems, each carefully packaged to hit that neuralgic party-state nerve right where it hurts. According to recent coverage in official media, we now have a desertification problem in the middle of a desert so arid China, in its application to UNESCO for World Heritage listing, repeatedly called “no-man’s land.” Not only do we now have desertification, “after bursting its bank in 2011, the lake has bared much of its floor, which later became a major source of sandstorms wreaking havoc on the region’s vulnerable ecology, Lu Shanlong, a professor at the Aerospace Information Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences said.”

Further, there is now an urgent need to “reduce the water flow to the lakes’ downstream, whose rising levels threaten to flood the Qinghai-Tibet railway lines, roads, and inhabitants further down.” As if all that wasn’t bad enough, there is also the feelgood sentimental factor, of all those antelopes and gazelles giving birth: “It is also the delivery room of the Tibetan antelope, and we cannot afford to let it develop on its own.”

In today’s new era, where development is the solution to all problems, the obvious answer, the scientists say, is a dam wall to contain the incontinent lake. Does China know how to build dams? Is the party-state a hydraulic civilisation?

So there you have it: urgency, the plight of baby antelopes taking their first unsteady steps, sandstorms, ungoverned waters, desertification and a threat to wash away the distant rail line to Lhasa as it heads south, traversing this alpine desert.

That’s modernity, let’s do it.“In our present era, China stands out as the paradigmatic infrastructural state: a state produced by and through infrastructure as a modern project.”

One further detail: this message of the urgent need for technological intervention comes not from anyone remotely near Achen Gangyab/Hoh Xil, but from Lu Shanlong, a professor in Beijing, at the Institute of Remote Sensing Applications.

A bit odd? Not in today’s China, where the fantasy is that Tibet can be governed by remote sensing instrumentation on board satellites orbiting the earth, and Lu Shanlong happens to have made his career mapping Tibetan lakes by satellite.[1]

Does this mean Beijing will send in the bulldozers and cement mixers? Maybe central leaders recognise when their buttons are being pressed. But Lu Shanlong has gotten his name into national official media, a good career move. Let’s get out there and save that delivery room, from itself.

Is there anything Tibetans can say, in response to this fear-mongering?    Maybe we could quote the mahasiddha Saraha:

With the condition of wind, from a clear ocean

The ripples of water and waves suddenly arise.

However, they are indivisible from the ocean.

Conditioned by thoughts, conceptualization suddenly arises.

That is the thoughtlessness of the previous.

 It is unbom, beyond the intellect.

B y means of these they are equally wondrous.

When freezing winds blow across a lake,

They turn water to ice.

Just so the turbulent activities of mind

When stirred by karmic traces and dispositions

Make our impressions appear solid.

This gives rise to the mistaken belief

In a self-existing and substantial world.”

First the experience of appearance and emptiness occurs,

 Like recognizing water even when it appears as ice.

Second, without obstructing the appearance of thought,

Emptiness arises as non-dual from the bliss. Like the state of ice melting into water,

Thought and non-thought are dissolved in the unborn.

Since everything is not distinguished, it is one in the great bliss.

This is like the ice being melted into water. [2]

Saraha’s arrow doesn’t aggressively kill arising problems, it dissolves them. As Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche said:

You needn’t constantly micromanage your life. Part of compassion is
trust. If something positive is happening, you don’t have to check up on it all the time. The more you check up, the more possibilities there are of
interrupting the growth. It requires fearlessness to let things be.
Excerpted from:
Mindfulness in Action: Making Friends with Yourself through Meditation and Everyday Awarenessby Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

[1] Lu, S., Xiao, G., Jia, L., Zhang, W., & Luo, H. (2016). Extraction of the spatial-temporal lake water surface dataset in the Tibetan Plateau over the past 10 years [in Chinese with English abstract]. Remote Sensing for Land and Resources, 28(3), 181–187, 2016

Qunhui Zhang, Jiming Jin, Lingjing Zhu & Shanlong Lu, Modelling of Water Surface Temperature of Three Lakes on the Tibetan Plateau using a Physically Based Lake Model, Atmosphere-Ocean,2018,  56:4, 289-295

[2] Lara Braitstein, Saraha’s Adamantine Songs: Texts, Contexts, Translations and Traditions of the Great Seal,  PhD dissertation, McGill 2004  , 76, 201

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“The industrial powerhouse China and major energy exporters are doing almost nothing to limit carbon dioxide emissions.” That is how The Guardian sums up China’s inaction on climate change, summarising a 2018 report in a leading scientific journal warning against the likelihood of global warming spiralling out of control. The journal, Nature Communications, warns that the global consequences of China’s pledges made to the 2015 global climate treaty negotiations will result in global heating of the climate, by the end of this century, by more than five degrees C.  The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says any temperature rise greater than 1.5 degrees will be disastrous. China’s vague emissions pledges are alarming.

China, however, has answers to its critics. China has backers who hope against hope China will be the good guy, even a world leader in saving the planet, in the absence of America. Above all, China has Tibet. By declaring huge portions of the Tibetan Plateau as national parks, available for investment as carbon trading targets for China’s fleet of coal-fired power stations, China plans to get credit for making Tibet all that China is not: a pristine wilderness of depopulated grassland dedicated to carbon capture, water provision to lowland China, and biodiversity conservation of iconic species.

The four new national parks across Tibet will be formally launched in 2020, plus a further six (much smaller) national parks in lowland China. Then there’s the Kailash Sacred Landscape, inching its way forward to inscription as a UNESCO World Heritage landscape.

China’s national parks system is taking shape. As details emerge, this Rukor blog will track the available evidence, and present it for your judgement. Already one crucial aspect is apparent, that makes all the difference to how this promising prospect looks through Tibetan eyes. The emptying of rural Tibet of most of the Tibetan population, into crowded concrete settlements on urban fringes, is essential to this national parks plan, as the Key Ecological Function Zone system draws its’ exclusionary red lines around Tibetan landscapes.

Exclusion, exclosure, clearance, depopulation, displacement are terms used around the world for the displacement of populations, in the name of development, by states and rich landowners determined to dictate the fates of local communities, from the Scottish Highlands to the Amazon rainforests of Brazil, to the productive pastoral landscapes of the Tibetan Plateau.

Growing more grass, to capture more carbon is essential to the design of this new national parks system in Tibet. Without the exclusion of grazing there would be a steady state of biomass, seasonally maintaining the long term equilibrium of grass growth and grazing pressure, that has kept the pasture lands of Tibet sustainable for thousands of years.

That is no longer what China wants. Top priority now for China is enhanced water delivery from Tibet, boosted by glacier melt and geoengineered cloud seeding; and enhanced carbon capture available for electric power generator investment in carbon emissions offsets. That is what matters now to China’s central planners. The nomads have to exit the scene.

Much of this vision for the future role of Tibet, and the lack of role for the Tibetans, is new, and will surprise many who assume China’s motives have not changed much. Yet China has changed direction, and is now gradually repurposing Tibet. Much is yet to emerge; carbon trading is still in its infancy. This blog charts the emerging trend.

Evidence of that shift is the task of this Rukor blog. Over successive blogs, Rukor will dig deep into the available evidence, so you can make your own assessment. Since 2011, in close to 200 blogposts has tried to offer Tibetan audiences advance notice of what China has planned for Tibet.

China is always planning something, and those plans keep changing, as China shifts to its’ “new era.” Those plans have many consequences in Tibet, for local communities impacted by mines, hydro dams and high speed rail lines. But the impacts are sometimes more widespread, affecting  the whole viability of the customary Tibetan livelihoods and values.

Sometimes China’s plans fail to materialise, even when included in successive Five-Year Plans, intrinsic to the official agenda of top-down development. The “pillar industries” promised by those Five-Year Plans largely flopped.

So Rukor’s task is to alert readers to what seems to be ahead, and also to assess the practicalities, and likelihood those plans, often grand plans, have of actually being implemented. That makes for lengthy blogs, looking at China’s plans from several angles, including Tibetans in remote valleys designated for a cascade of hydro dams, and also the competing Chinese interests that may, for example, oppose diverting water from the Yangtze to the Yellow River, because they live on the Yangtze and rely on it.

The stories Rukor tells are often complex, a mix of geology, geography, economics, politics and culture, plus the engineering of Tibetan landscapes. Not an easy read.


China’s system of national parks is due to be officially launched in 2020, giving us time to think through what this will mean for Tibet. As this news spreads, perhaps the initial, cheerful Tibetan reaction will be to welcome these new parks, obviously a whole lot better than mining and exploitation.

But nationalising vast Tibetan landscapes, repurposing them as mass domestic tourism destinations, has many consequences to consider.

The key conclusion is that China’s plans lock traditional Tibetan land users –the drogpa nomads- out of the parks; even though this is unnecessary, as drogpa have lived sustainably alongside wild herds of antelopes and gazelles for thousands of years, and know intimately how to care for the grasslands.

The new parks mean the end of the traditional Tibetan mode of production, an end to Tibetan land tenure security and collective food security; replacing productive and sustainable landscape management with idle lives on urban fringes dependent on rations handed out by authorities who expect gratitude in return.

mass resettlement for displaced drogpa pastoralists

This is a familiar process, of exclusion, enclosure, clearance of pastoralists classified as poor, ignorant and to blame for pasture degradation actually caused by past policy failures. So in many ways, this is a familiar story, ever since in 2003 China launched its official slogan, tuimu huancao, close pastures to grow more grass. Human rights monitors have reported on this displacement and depopulation, usually prompting little response. China has argued that such removals of both herds and herders is a scientific necessity, because the visible degradation of grazing land is due to the ignorance and primitive mentality of herders who don’t care about consequences. That racist depiction of drogpa as uncivilised despoilers of a commons they don’t own and don’t care about, has been critiqued by much on-the-ground research, both by international and Chinese scientists, as Rukor has reported. But China sticks to its official narrative that degradation is the fault or f backward herders, not a consequence of policy blunders which may not be mentioned as that is impermissible “historical nihilism.”

Gradually, the argument for depopulating the Tibetan grasslands has morphed into a much wider rationale. For official China, this is not only about degradation, it is above all about guaranteeing water supply from Tibet to lowland northern China. It is also about displacing communities in the name of poverty alleviation, on the official assumption that Tibetan landscapes are inherently and inevitably so unproductive that poverty is inevitable, unless people are compulsorily moved.

All of these official arguments –degradation, water and poverty-  made nomad removals a scientific, objective necessity. Now, in addition to those three arguments, comes a new one, that wildlife protection requires all human activities (except science and tourism) to be excluded, in order to save iconic wildlife. Traditional mobile pastoralism is now classified as just as bad as mining and deforestation, requiring new legal status for the new national parks, new land zoning, new management and strict limits on human use of landscapes especially in designated “core” areas of these vast parks.

Four official discourses now come together –degradation, water supply, poverty and wildlife protection- to depopulate rural Tibet, especially the best pastures of Amdo, including the entire prefectures of Golok and Yushu.

Relying on these four arguments, and on official “red line” zoning, Tibetans will be more excluded than ever, from their own lands, although some will be allowed to remain, at least for a while, in the designated “buffer” and “experimental” zones within the national parks but outside the “core”. Some drogpa will be trained and employed as national park rangers, to welcome visitors, pose for tourist photos, and to enforce the ban on herds and herders. Overall, this signals the end of lifeways that made Tibet humanly habitable, and speeds up the accelerating urbanisation of Tibet.

From a human rights perspective, herding herders on to concrete accommodation, on urban fringes, into allotments so small there is no room for animals, violates not only individual civil and political rights but also collective social and economic rights to livelihood and land security.

Much of this has been covered before, but until now the removal of drogpa has been piecemeal, and not rigidly enforced. Sometimes herders have been able to rent their animals to other drogpa who remain on their land, and return occasionally to look after land and animals. Implementation of tuimu huancao has been patchy and slow, coinciding in many areas of eastern Tibet with the boom (and later bust) of the yartsa gumbu caterpillar fungus market, which lessened reliance on sheep and yaks for livelihood.

Now the pace of depopulation is accelerating, with fewer exceptions. Now China has the added acclaim that readily comes with the concept of the national park. Now China is adding yet another argument to the four already invoked to justify the cancellation of land tenure rights and the displacement of so many drogpa. The emerging fifth argument is global climate change, with a Tibetan Plateau free of grazers and grazing becoming a carbon sink, capturing carbon in grass growth, to save the planet and restore China’s green credentials, especially the reputation of China’s coal-fired power stations, which will be able to pay nominal amounts to offset their smokestack emissions, in China’s new carbon trading scheme. Capturing carbon in grass requires  contracts guaranteeing no grazing for the rest of this century, penalising not only the present generation of drogpa, but generations to come. Read the fine print.

So now, in official eyes, there are five compelling reasons why, as part of China’s great rejuvenation, mobile pastoralism is the past. All five can claim scientific justification, with lots of narrowly defined research findings in support. Above all, the world is likely to receive the 2020 launch of the new national park system across the Tibetan plateau as a self-evident good news story.

Who could possibly be against conservation, especially when it protects iconic species such as Tibetan antelopes?

In China’s official version, it comes down to a dualistic choice: you can have antelopes, water supply and carbon capture, or you can have nomads wandering the landscape aimlessly and destructively, you can’t have both. A lot of conservationists worldwide will buy that, readily believing that all human presence in protected landscapes is dangerous. China expects to be widely congratulated when it launches its national park system in 2020, and probably will be.

If Tibetans find that outcome unnecessary and problematic, it will be up to Tibetans to tell the more complex story of nomad displacements and exclusions, and why that dualistic either/or logic is mistaken.

construction of resettlement housing for exnomads in Amdo Rebkong (Qinghai Tongren)

Why monitor China’s plans for Tibet, in advance? All too often, in Tibet, the first Tibetans know that a mine, a big hydro dam, a high speed railway is to be built nearby is when the construction crews and heavy equipment arrive. Tibetan communities do protest, but too often it is too late, and the party-state stands behind the miners and dam builders, ready to criminalise all protest, and break up petitioners violently. All too often removals of nomads are done without the wider world knowing.

To know is to prepare, to gauge how to respond, to mobilise support, let the world know it’s not as simple as “national parks, hooray.” There once was a time when Tibetan voices were listened to round the world, but that is decades gone. These days it takes at least a year to mobilise sufficiently for Tibetan concerns to be heard. It took the Uighurs a year of monitoring and documenting mass disappearances, construction of huge indoctrination camps, before the world started to listen. If Tibetans decide the closure of Tibetan livelihoods, the cancellation of rural Tibetan life, is worth protesting, and worth proposing constructive alternatives,  there is just enough time to mobilise.

The emptying of pastoral Tibet is a human rights story, a development story, an environment story. That means the opportunity to connect with many audiences, in many countries. If we learn how to tell this story, we will perhaps also be challenging some habitual assumptions made by rights monitors, by development advocates and environmental campaigners. So we cannot expect immediate sympathy. We will find China has made skilful use of the standard concepts and categories of rights, development and environment, to make the nationalisation of Tibetan lands, on a huge scale, seem logical and necessary. China has been putting its case for years, with little Tibetan input.

On balance, we could decide it is all too hard, that the depopulation of rural Tibet and intensive urbanisation are already a done deal. Or we could carefully assess the detailed evidence assembled in these forthcoming blogs, note that there are well placed allies within China, and  work on bringing together the rights, development and environment folks, into a new coalition that finds an effective voice.

If a campaign grows, it cannot expect quick results. Many conservationists will agree with China that it is best to keep humans out of protected areas, and that Tibetans must be strictly controlled to prevent hunting, and clashes over wild yaks attacking well-bred and well-behaved domestic yaks. The world’s biggest environmental NGOs, long embedded in China, will be the last to listen. Development advocates may say China’s rural land is controlled by local collectives, and if those locals decide, for the sake of building the nation, that they must become ecological migrants, we should not interfere. They may say that all over the world governments infringe on the lands and rights of indigenous minorities, so Tibet just joins the long queue. Rights advocates may say their hands are full holding China accountable over transgressions of individual civil and political rights, and this is a question of economic and social rights, too hard to get traction. Enclosures mean Tibetan drogpa may be losing their land tenure security, and Tibet as a whole losing its food security, but those are not headline issues.

China’s planned system of national parks is taking years to design and launch, for a reason. China is taking time to mobilise a welcoming chorus, with high profile friends such as the US National Parks Service. Above all, the national park is a brand that is recognised, appreciated and believed in worldwide, a self-evident good that needs little justification. Any Tibetan mobilisation begins with a recognition that the wind is not blowing our way.

If Tibetans around the world do decide that Tibetans in Tibet should not be protesting alone and unheard, this issue has the potential to knit together new audiences, reach new publics, amplify Tibetan concerns, get Tibet back on the agenda.

If Tibetans do find their voice on the emptying of Tibet, it will be taken up by environmentalists and development folks worldwide. What they will discover, as Tibetans speak up, is that concepts familiar to them become strange when “Chinese characteristics” are added. Natural capital valuation, carbon trading, community based development, biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation, community conservation, ecological migration, poverty alleviation, provision of environmental services, net land degradation neutrality, reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation, land reclamation are concepts which are usually meant to be empowering of local communities, but in Tibet, in practice, disempower. This may be news to both environmentalists and developmentalists.

There may be initial disagreement, as China has been arguing its case for excluding nomads for years, in professional conferences. Yet a distinctive Tibetan voice will be heard, and reset a new normal. The world has learned that China’s ways of doing globalisation, reciprocity, fair trade, technology transfer, cyber security, access to information, definitions of human rights and much else are not what the rest of the world thought they meant.

Now the world can discover that that China’s master plan to lock Tibet, not just now but in coming generations too, into “red line” ecological zones is actually because the whole of lowland China is so urbanised, overcrowded, overstressed, in need of vacationing in unspoiled serene wilderness. Tibet is being made into China’s ultimate Other, China’s orientalist fantasy “no-man’s land” of pristine, unpopulated wilderness, to compensate for China’s urban density.

A thousand years ago elephants roamed freely across China; two hundred years ago half of China was panda habitat. The elephants are gone, and the remaining pandas survive in the hilly Tibetan borderlands, soon to be upgraded to national park status, which means excluding the locals. Tibet is to pay for China’s  concentrations of wealth, power, consumption and wasteful use of natural resources. Tibet is to be all that China is not, a virgin land untouched by human hand, other than the benevolent reach of the state.

This is a dramatic story, of the shift in official thinking towards Tibet, from extraction and exploitation to orientalist consumption destination. That shift is far from complete, only now beginning to gain momentum. There is still time for constructive alternatives, that include Tibetan pastoralists as part of the solution, not just as those to blame for problems. If Tibetans speak up, voicing the concerns of Tibetans inside Tibet now being dispossessed of their land tenure rights in the name of water provision, high speed tourist railway construction, national parks and wildlife conservation, the world will hear.

The world already has a roadmap, and detailed directions as to how to get there, that would include not exclude rural Tibetans, to achieve environmentally sustainable development. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by all countries, including China, bring together both environment and development, climate justice, traditional land management knowledge and much more. Implementing the SDGs in Tibet would enable a genuine win/win, conserving biodiversity, protecting landscapes and  empowering local communities. This is not a situation of having to ask the world to drop its preconceptions and start anew. The map for an empowered, sustainable Tibet exists.

The SDGs are a new generation of human rights, which all countries, China included, have pledged to implement, with a target date of 2030. Packed into the 17 SDGs are many more explicit commitments to human rights: “explicitly grounded in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights treaties, and affirms that the 17 SDGs seek to realise the human rights of all. Further, the pledge to leave no one behind reflects the fundamental human rights principles of non-discrimination and equality. Human rights are reflected throughout the SDGs and targets. Concretely, 156 of the 169 targets have substantial linkages to human rights and labour standards. The SDGs and human rights are thereby tied together in a mutually reinforcing way.”[1]

The preamble that begins the SDGs proclaims: “The 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets . . . seek to realize the human rights of all and to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. They are integrated and indivisible and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental.” The introduction to the declaration states, “We resolve, between now and 2030, to end poverty and hunger everywhere; to combat inequalities within and among countries; to build peaceful, just and inclusive societies; to protect human rights and promote gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls; and to ensure the lasting protection of the planet and its natural resources.”

The World Bank Legal Review in 2016 published a volume called Financing and Implementing the Post-2015 Development Agenda:  The Role of Law and Justice System, on how the SDGs can be implemented and enforced.

The UN Secretary-General made clear that human rights are inherent to the SDGs by condensing the 17 SDGs to six goals: “1. Dignity: to end poverty and to fight inequalities (Goals 1 and 10) 2. Prosperity: to grow a strong, inclusive, and transformative economy (Goals 7, 8, 9, and 12) 3. Justice: to promote safe and peaceful societies, and strong institutions (Goal 16) 4. Partnership: to catalyse global solidarity for sustainable development (Goal 17) 5. Planet: to protect our ecosystems for all societies and for our children (Goals 2, 11, 13, 14, and 15) 6. People: to ensure healthy lives, knowledge, and the inclusion of women and children (Goals 3, 4, 5, and 6).”[2]

The SDGs are more comprehensive than the Millennium Development Goals, which ended in 2015, when the SDGs took over, with much higher standards, and  a more comprehensive approach. Negotiating the SDGs was a massive effort involving the entire global communities of environment and development actvists, advocates, think tankers, researchers, governments and UN agencies, in an effort to name specific goals that bring environment and development together, that demand action from governments, and  push states to lift their game.

There are several advantages to pressing China to fulfil its SDG obligations in Tibet. Not only did the world’s environmentalists and developmentalists sign on to this new agreement on human rights, after years of negotiation, so too did China, with enthusiasm. China now proclaims its global investments and loans around the world, as part of its Belt & Road Initiative, fulfil the SDGs. China proclaims itself a leader of the developing world, fully embracing the SDGs.

China seeks a reputation for exemplary delivery of SDGs, all over China, and in other countries it invests in. China cannot afford the embarrassment of breaching the SDGs by disempowering, dispossessing and displacing rural Tibet.

If Tibetan voices are absent, China will, yet again, argue that its marginalisation and immiserisation of Tibetans is actually a contribution towards fulfilling sustainability. SDGs with Chinese characteristics will selectively ignore SDG 10 requiring reduced inequalities and SDG  16: “to significantly reduce all forms of violence, and work with governments and communities to find lasting solutions to conflict and insecurity. Strengthening the rule of law and promoting human rights is key to this process, as is reducing the flow of illicit arms and strengthening the participation of developing countries in the institutions of global governance.”

Instead, Chinese appropriation of the SDGs  focuses on a narrowly technical interpretation of  SDG 15: Life on Land, to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, arguing that exclusion of nomads from pastures corrects land degradation, and exclusion of farmers from sloping drylands is necessary to restoring forests.[3]

teaching Tibetans to listen to scientific explanations: ICIMOD

Could China be held accountable for its failures to implement SDGs during the Universal Periodic Review process all members of the UN Human Rights Council must be tested on? Writing in the Bulletin of the World Health Organisation, several human rights lawyers argue just that.[4]

That is the sort of intersection of human rights and environment that recharges the debate and gives the Tibet question fresh traction. Environmental organisations are keen to hear from Tibetans. A recent example is the NGO focussed on cloud seeding and geoengineering, which discovered China’s plans to artificially increase rain over Yushu and Golok prefectures of Amdo, to feed more water to downstream China through the Yellow and Yangtze rivers. After being briefed by Tibetans, the ETC NGO came out with a strongly pro-Tibetan report.


If environment advocates understand the threat to Tibetan lives when the exclusionary national parks go ahead as planned, does that mean they are capable of effective action? Consider this, as a measure of the power of environment groups. On 29 October 2018,  China’s State Council issued a decree reminding everyone that China remains opposed to trafficking in rhino horns and tiger bones. However, in the fine print, if read carefully, the State Council actually permitted trade and use of both rhino and tiger parts, for “scientific research” purposes, especially for use in Traditional Chinese Medicine, since medicine with Chinese characteristics proclaims both rhino and tiger parts to be virility restorers. The State Council stressed that the source would be farmed animals, kept caged for the sole purpose of harvesting their organs.

Quickly the word spread, reminding us all that once exceptions to a rule are announced, very illegal trade tries to slip in under the guise of the new rule, opening the gate to more slaughter, corruption and trafficking. By 12 November, less than two weeks after media reported the alarm, China quietly gave in, and reversed its window for TCM sales and “scientific research” on rhinos and tigers, both farmed and wild.

It may have taken the Uighur of Xinjiang a year before the world looked more closely at Xinjiang, but it took little more than a week before China’s party-state, at the highest level, decided that yielding to TCM lobbying, in the name of “Chinese characteristics” was actually bad reputationally.

Whether we like it or not, there are many more people motivated to protest for animal rights than human rights. The environment movement is powerful globally, and in China. Let national parks onto the agenda.

[1] Birgitte Feiring et al,  Building a pluralistic ecosystem of data to leave no one behind: A human rights perspective on monitoring the Sustainable Development Goals, Statistical Journal of the IAOS 33 (2017) 919–942

[2] United Nations, The Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet, Synthesis Report of the Secretary-General on the Post-2015 Agenda, 2014

[3] Xiufeng Sun . Lei Gao . Hai Ren et al, China’s progress towards sustainable land development and ecological civilization, Landscape Ecology, (2018) 33:1647–1653

[4] Judith Bueno de Mesquita, et al, Monitoring the sustainable development goals through human rights accountability reviews, Bulletin of World Health Organisation, 2108;96:627–633

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Appropriating Tibet

As the Americans say, you can put lipstick on a pig, but         ….. it’s still a pig.

You can dress up a beguilingly humanoid robot in Tibetan gear, in a pink and yellow outfit, top her whirring machinery brain with a Tibetan braided hair wig, but she’s still, she tells us, the solution to human greed and ignorance. And she still looks sad.

If only Shakyamuni Buddha, all those years ago, had Sophia the robot to put an end to greed and ignorance. She can do this, she tells us, because robots “do not have greed.” Better still, the Hong Kong based makers of this robot assure us, from Sophia’s lips, “we do not provoke conflict. Artificial Intelligence (AI) provides solutions.” And of course her name, Sophia, means wisdom.

Tibetanoid Sophia was one of the many stars of the Himalayan Consensus 2018. In case you missed it, it was at the plush Himalaya Lalitpur Hotel in Kathmandu, and there’s another one set for March 2019.

If you didn’t know there is a Himalayan Consensus, now you do. It seems to centre on appropriating Tibet, as the Nepalese, Chinese, Indian and even some Bhutanese glitterati move in, on all sides, making the Himalaya theirs. That’s consensus for you.

spot the robot

Like a mini-Davos or Bo’ao this annual celebration of consensus and market driven solutions to everything, the Himalayan Consensus showcases Nepal’s crony capitalism together with entrepreneurs from China (including Hong Kong) and further afield. It’s a lovefest. Being Himalayan, naturally the event was a Summit. The 2018 theme was as vague as the supposed purposes of Davos and Bo’ao: ‘Unleashing Connectivity for Inclusive Growth.’  And of course the whole parade of shameless self-promotion was sponsored by the Himalayan Consensus Institute.

The 2019 Himalayan Consensus is perfectly timed so celebs can fly from Hainan Bo’ao to Kathmandu and immediately do it all again.

Among the 2018 leading celebs was former CNN Delhi-based correspondent Sumnima Udas, who has come home to Nepal to head a Museum of Buddhism and Sacred Spaces at the Buddha’s birthplace, Lumbini, in the lower plains of Nepal. As self-appointed founder and director of this “first-ever world-class Museum of Buddhism”, she is a tireless self-promoter too. Step aside, Rubin.

If Nepal has Davos and Bo’ao as models, it must also feature uplifting talks by authorities.  The Himalayan Consensus hears from several ambassadors. But by far the biggest number of speakers is from Nepal’s sole multilateral institution, the Integrated Centre for Mountain Development, ICIMOD, set up and financed by the governments of China, India, Nepal and the other states of the Hindu Kush and Himalaya.

But the prize for shamelessness and for wholesale appropriation of Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism surely belongs to the maestro of the Himalayan Consensus, Laurence Brahm. In a time of hustlers all around us, Brahm is in a class of his own, having just released his mishmash of quantum physics and the life of Guru Rinpoche, as well as running the Himalayan Consensus.

Brahm’s Shanghai-based Shambhala studio cut together quick clips of the ubiquitous Brahm interviewing well-meaning lamas, together with Silicon Valley hustlers, quantum physicists, and lots of speedy edits of Guru Rinpoche images, overlaid with Brahm’s fast paced narration, plus English and Chinese subtitles, proclaiming Padmasambhava as the discoverer of quantum physics and all the secrets of the universe.

If you thought the appropriation of Buddhist mindfulness training by hustlers stripping it of Buddhist context was theft, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Did you know that Guru Rinpoche’s eight manifestations represent eight quantum energy fields?  Sounds amazing. What on earth does that actually mean? It is what Guru Rinpoche, appearing to our contemporary terton, Laurence Brahm, told him in a dream. The doco is the resulting terma.

Not only is Guru Rinpoche the father of quantum physics, vibrational code encryption is embedded in mantras invoking him, Brahm reveals. Quantum communication across parallel universes, moreover, the power of light frequency in altering matter, and the storing of knowledge in the universal cloud. Cut to close-up of Tibetan pecha.

Not even L. Ron Hubbard, inventor of Scientology, managed such a soup of science and magic, although Madame Blavatsky’s ultimate Theosophical authority, those mysterious Tibetan Masters, comes close.  Nineteenth century Theosophy is reborn, on steroids, with Chinese characteristics.

who’s included?

What to make of this swallow whole of Tibetan Buddhist trust, faith and devotion? Not surprisingly, China loves it. Not only was this doco made in China with Putonghua subtitles, the official China Daily ran a series of nine stories, all written by Brahm. Magic and mystery sell.

If you would like to know what Tibetan Buddhists make of quantum physics, the Dalai Lama had a lengthy dialogue with Chinese scientists on this actual topic at the end of 2018, all of it available online (start @ 52mins)

Now that China is building four high speed electrified rail lines across Tibet, making access to Tibet affordably and quickly accessible to ordinary urban Chinese consumers, seems an auspicious time to market Tibet all over again as the true Shangri-la, holder of the mysteries of the universe. Cue Laurence Brahm, whose earlier films and books were all a search for the true Shangri-la.

no mention of Tibet as the great river source

Tibet is a consumable, precisely because Tibetans are forbidden access to the public sphere, and are spoken for, never more blatantly than Brahm’s voiceover.

It matters little that in your actual Tibet, Buddhist are now under orders to pray to Xi Jinping rather than to their beloved deities, including Guru Rinpoche.

The greedy crony capitalisms of China and Nepal are colonising Tibet together, making it a consumable, for profit. Don’t tell robot Sophia. Fantasy wins. It’s what we’d want to believe, and that sells. Just ask the Himalayan Consensus.

Don’t tell greed conquering robot Sophia
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Panchen Rinpoche Chokyi Galtsen

Probably the best thing I did in my life was a simple idea, implemented with a typewriter and airmail envelope: to arrange for Gyalwa Rinpoche and Panchen Rinpoche to have in indepth, free, unmonitored conversation without other parties listening in.

Since January 28, 2019 is the 30th anniversary of the passing of the tenth Panchen Lama, many Tibetans are re-assessing his remarkable achievements in protecting Tibetan language, culture and religion from Han racism, blindness and arrogance.

Thirty years ago, it was not at all clear what he had achieved, now we know. Three years earlier, in 1986, China allowed him his one trip to a Western country, to Australia, as part of a formal delegation of Chinese “parliamentarians” on a reciprocal visit after Australian politicians had toured China. Panchen Rinpoche was not even the leader of the delegation, but number two.

The delegation’s itinerary was designed by officials in the administrative offices of the Australian parliament, and, fortunately, sent out to many people, far in advance. I was a journalist working for Radio Australia, which is how I came to know.

My simple idea was that the two greatest of lamas, one inside, the other outside Tibet, who had such impact on everything happening in Tibet, should talk. It happened. Only years later, in a Gyalwa Rinpoche autobiography, did I discover how rare that opportunity was. That simple idea worked, not because we knew what we were doing, in fact, we Australians were out of our depth. Fortunately, the Panchen Lama’s handlers had even less idea of which way is up, and Panchen Rinpoche knew exactly what to do.

Rukor has reported this before, at length, for readers of English. Since most readers of are Tibetan, it is a pleasure to provide a Tibetan translation, done by Lungtok Lob from Sydney.


(ཕྱི་ལོ་ ༡༩༨༦ ཟླ་ ༤ ཟླ་མཇུག་ནས་ ༥ ཟླ་སྟོད།)
རྩོམ་པ་པོ། GABRIEL  LAFITTE རྒེ་སྦལ་རེལ ལ་ཧྥེ་ཊི

སྒྱུར་མཁན། ཨོ་སི་ཌོ་ལི་ཡར་གནས་སྡོད་བློ་བཟང་ལུང་རྟོགས།

༸ཀུན་གཟིགས་པཎ་ཆེན་རིན་པོ་ཆེ་མཆོག་ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡར་ཆིབས་བསྒྱུར་གནང་རྒྱུ་ཡིན་པའི་གནས་ཚུལ་དེ་ཐོག་མར་ཐོས་ཡོང་དུས། དེ་ནི་འབྱུང་མི་སྲིད་པ་ལྟ་བུ་ཞིག་དང་དོན་དངོས་ཐོག་དེའི་སྐོར་ལ་ག་རེ་བྱེད་དགོས་མིན་ཤེས་ཀྱི་མེད། དེ་ནི་མི་ལོ་ ༣༠ ཡར་སྔོན་སྟེ་ཕྱི་ལོ་༡༩༨༦ ལོ་སྟོད་ལ་རེད། ང་ཚོ་ནི་ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡའི་གྲོང་ཁྱེར་ཆེ་ཁག་ཞིག་གི་ནང་ཡོད་པའི་ཚོགས་པ་ཆུང་ཆུང་ཞིག་སྟེ། ༡༩༨༢ ལོ་ནས་བཟུང་བོད་ཀྱི་གནས་ཚུལ་མཁོ་སྤྲོད་ཞབས་ཞུ་ཁང་ Tibet Information Service (TIS) དུ་འབོད་པ་འདིས་ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡའི་མི་མང་རྣམས་ལ་བོད་ནང་གི་ཛ་དྲག་གི་གནས་སྟངས་ཤེས་རྟོགས་ཡོང་ཐབས་སུ་འབད་བརྩོན་ཞུ་བཞིན་ཡོད། ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡའི་མི་དཀྱུས་མ་རྣམས་ལ་མཚོན་ན། ང་ཚོའི་སེམས་ཁྲལ་ནི་རྒྱུ་སྐར་མིག་དམར་ནང་གི་མི་ཆུང་ལྗང་ཁུ་ཅན་ལ་ཞུ་གཏུགས་བྱས་པའི་དཔེ་ལྟར། སྐབས་དེའི་བོད་དོན་སྐོར་དོ་སྣང་བྱེད་མཁན་ཧ་ཅང་ཉུང་ཉུང་རེད།

བསྔགས་འོས་པ་ཞིག་ལ་གཟིགས་སྐོར་སྐབས་སུ་ཆུ་ཚོད་གཅིག་ལྷག་གི་རིང་༸གོང་ས་༸རྒྱལ་བ་རིན་པོ་ཆེ་མཆོག་དང་༸ཀུན་གཟིགས་པཎ་ཆེན་རིན་པོ་ཆེ་མཆོག་རྣམ་གཉིས་ཞལ་པར་བརྒྱུད། ལྟ་རྟོག་དང་བཀོད་འདོམས་བྱེད་མཁན་མེད་པར་ཐད་ཀར་བཀའ་མོལ་གནང་ཐུབ་པ་བྱུང་ཡོད། སྐབས་དེར་འདི་ནི་ལོ་རྒྱུས་རང་བཞིན་ཅན་ཞིག་ཡིན་པ་ཡིད་ལ་ཡང་འཆར་ཐུབ་མེད། ལོ་ངོ་བཞིའི་རྗེས་སུ་༸གོང་ས་ཏཱ་ལའི་བླ་མ་མཆོག་གི་མཛད་རྣམ་དཔར་སྐྲུན་བྱུང་རྗེས་གཞི་ནས་གནས་ཚུལ་དེ་དམིགས་བསལ་ཅན་ཞིག་ཡིན་པ་ཤེས་རྟོགས་བྱུང་།  ཕྱི་ལོ་ ༡༩༩༠ ནང་”བཙན་བྱོལ་ནང་གི་རང་དབང་” པར་སྐྲུན་བྱས་པའི་མཛད་རྣམ་ནང་འཁོད་པ་ལྟར་ན། སྐབས་དེའི་བཀའ་མོལ་ནི་ཁོང་རྣམ་པ་གཉིས་ཀྱིས་རང་དབང་ཐོག་གནང་ཐུབ་པ་བྱུང་བའི་བཀའ་མོལ་གཅིག་པུ་དེ་ཡིན་པ་དང་། སྔོན་ཆད་༸ཀུན་གཟིགས་པཎ་ཆེན་རིན་པོ་ཆེ་པེ་ཅིང་དུ་བཞུགས་དུས་ལྟ་རྟོག་ནན་པོའི་འོག་བཀའ་མོལ་གྱི་གོ་སྐབས་ཐེངས་གཉིས་བྱུང་ཡོད་འདུག །༸གོང་ས་ཏཱ་ལའི་བླ་མའི་མཛད་རྣམ་ ”བཙན་བྱོལ་ནང་གི་རང་དབང་” ནང་འདི་ལྟར་གསུངས་ཡོད།
ཁོང་ཉིད་ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡའི་ནང་གཟིགས་སྐོར་སྐབས་སྔོན་ཚུད་ནས་གྲ་སྒྲིག་ཡོད་པ་ལྟར་ལྟ་རྟོག་བྱེད་མཁན་ཚོ་ལས་གཡོལ་ཐུབ་པ་བྱུང་སྟེ། ང་རང་འཇན་མན་ནའི་ནུབ་ཕྱོགས་སུ་ཡོད་དུས་སྐད་ཆ་བཤད་རྒྱུའི་གོ་སྐབས་བྱུང་།

ང་ཚོས་བཀའ་མོལ་ཡུན་རིང་པོ་ཞིག་ལ་གནང་མ་ཐུབ་ན་ཡང་།  སྐབས་དེར་ཁོང་ནི་བོད་ཀྱི་ནང་བསྟན་དང་བོད་མི་མང་། རྒྱལ་ཁབ་བཅས་ཀྱི་ཆེད་བློ་གཅིག་སེམས་གཅིག་ཡིན་པ་ཤེས་རྟོགས་ཡོང་བར་དུས་ཚོད་ལྡང་ངེས་བྱུང་སོང་། [1] (ལོ་ཙཱ་བའི་མཆན། བསྟན་འཛིན་ཤེས་རབ་ལགས་ཀྱིས་བསྒྱུར་བའི་དེབ་ནང་གཤམ་གསལ་ལྟར་འདུག་ཀྱང་།  གོང་གསལ་ལྟར་བདེ་མིན་ཨིན་ཡིག་རང་ལ་ཆ་འཛིན་ཡོང་བ་ཞུ།  འོན་ཀྱང་། ཁོང་ཨོ་སི་ཀྲི་ལི་ཡར་ཆིབས་བསྒྱུར་གནང་བའི་སྐབས་དེར་སྔོན་ཚུད་ནས་གྲ་སྒྲིག་བྱས་པའི་དུས་ཚོད་ཐོག་རྒྱ་མིས་མ་ཤེས་པ་བྱས་ཏེ་འཇར་མན་ནང་བཀའ་མོལ་ཞུས་པ་ཡིན། བཀའ་མོལ་ཡུན་རིང་པོ་མ་བྱུང་ཡང་པཎ་ཆེན་རིན་པོ་ཆེ་མཆོག་གི་ཐུགས་དབུས་སུ་རང་ཉིད་ཀྱི་ཆོས་དང་། རང་ཉིད་ཀྱི་མི་མང་། རང་ཉིད་ཀྱི་རྒྱལ་ཁབ་བཅས་ལ་བརྩེ་ཞེན་ལྷད་མེད་བརྟན་པོ་ཡོད་པ་རྟོགས་ཐུབ་ཙམ་གྱི་ཡུན་རིང་བཀའ་མོལ་ཞུ་རྒྱུ་བྱུང་།)

ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡའི་ཚོགས་པ་ཆུང་ཆུང་ཞིག་གིས་གོ་སྒྲིག་འདི་འདྲ་ཞིག་ཅི་ལྟར་བྱེད་ཐུབ་པ་བྱུང་བ་ཡིན་ནམ།  དོན་དངོས་ཐོག་སྐབས་དེར་ག་རེ་བྱེད་ཀྱི་ཡོད་མེད་ང་ཚོས་ཀྱང་གསལ་བོ་ཞིག་ཤེས་ཀྱི་མེད།  རྗེས་སུ་ཤེས་རྟོགས་བྱུང་བ་ལྟར་ན་སྐབས་དེར་ལྟ་རྟོག་བྱེད་མཁན་དང་ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡའི་གྲོས་ཚོགས་ཀྱི་གཞུང་འབྲེལ་སྣེ་ལེན་པ་ཚང་མར་དེ་ལྟར་བྱུང་འདུག །

ང་ཚོའི་ལས་ཀ་དེ་ལེགས་འགྲུབ་བྱུང་བ་ནི་ཁོ་ཚོ་ང་ཚོ་ལས་མང་བ་མགོ་འཐོམས་པས་ཡིན་པ་རེད།  སྐབས་དེར་ག་རེ་གནང་དགོས་ཀྱི་ཡོད་མེད་གསལ་བོར་མཁྱེན་ཡོད་མཁན་ནི་གཞན་མ་ཡིན་པར་༸ཀུན་གཟིགས་པཎ་ཆེན་རིན་པོ་སྐུ་ཕྲེང་བཅུ་བ་ཁོང་ཉིད་རེད།

ལོ་རྒྱུས་འདི་ནི་སྔོན་ཆད་བཤད་མ་མྱོང་བ་ཞིག་ཡིན་པ་དང་། འདི་ནི་རྒྱ་གཞུང་གིས་༸ཀུན་གཟིགས་པཎ་ཆེན་རིན་པོ་ཆེ་(མཆན། གློད་བཀྲོལ་རྗེས) བལ་ཡུལ་ལས་གཞན་ཕྱིའི་རྒྱལ་ཁབ་ལ་ཕེབས་བཅུག་གནང་བ་གཅིག་པུ་དེ་རེད།

འདི་ཡང་མི་ལོ་ ༣༠ རྗེས་སུ་གཞི་ནས་ཤོད་ཀྱི་ཡོད། དེ་ཡང་བགྲེས་ཡོལ་ལ་ཕེབས་ཟིན་པའི་བཙན་བྱོལ་བོད་གཞུང་གི་བཀའ་ཟུར་བཀྲ་ཤིས་དབང་འདུས་མཆོག་གིས་ལོ་རྒྱུས་འདི་ལ་ཐུགས་སྣང་ཆེན་པོ་གནང་ནས་མ་འོངས་པའི་མི་རབས་ཚོའི་ཆེད་ཡིག་ཆ་བསྡུ་རུབ་བྱས་པ་རྣམས་ང་ཚོར་མཁོ་སྤྲོད་ཀྱིས་པར་སྐྲུན་བྱེད་རྒྱུར་རྒྱབ་སྐྱོར་ཆེན་པོ་གནང་སོང་།

ང་ཚོས་ག་རེ་བྱེད་དགོས་པ་རེད་དམ། ང་ཚོས་ཤེས་པ་ནི་ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡ་དབུས་གྲོས་ཚོགས་གྱིས་སྐུ་མགྲོན་ལ་གདན་ཞུ་གནང་བ་ལྟར།  རྒྱ་ནག་རྒྱལ་ཡོངས་མི་མང་འཐུས་ཚོགས་ཀྱི་སྐུ་ཚབ་ཚོགས་པ་ཞིག་ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡར་འཚམས་གཟིགས་སུ་ཕེབས་ཀྱི་ཡོད་པ་དང་། དེའི་རྗེས་ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡའི་གྲོས་ཚོགས་འཐུས་མི་རྣམས་རྒྱ་ནག་ལ་འཚམས་གཟིགས་སུ་ཕེབས་གནང་བའི་ཕར་འགྲོ་ཚུར་ཡོང་གི་ལས་འཆར་ཞིག་ཡིན་འདུག །

སྐབས་དེའི་གཟིགས་སྐོར་ཚོགས་པའི་ཚོགས་མི་ཚོའི་མིང་ཐོའི་ནང་དུ་པཎ་ཆེན་ཨེ་ཏི་ནི་Bainqen Erdeni གཅིག་པུ་འཁོད་ཡོད་ཀྱང་། ང་ཚོས་ཁོང་ནི་༸ཀུན་གཟིགས་པཎ་ཆེན་སྐུ་ཕྲེང་བཅུ་པ་ཆོས་ཀྱི་རྒྱལ་མཚན་མཆོག་ཡིན་པ་ཤེས་ཀྱི་ཡོད།  (ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡ) དབུས་གྲོས་ཚོགས་ཀྱི་སྐུ་མགྲོན་སྣེ་ལེན་ཚན་པ་ནས་ཕིན་ཡིག་ཐོག་ཀློག་འདོན་དཀའ་བའི་མཚན་འདི་སུ་ཡིན་མིན་རྩ་བ་ནས་ཤེས་ཀྱི་མེད་པ་འདྲ།  ང་ཚོར་དྲི་བ་མང་པོ་ཞིག་ཡོད་པ་ནི།  ཁོང་ཉིད་རྒྱ་ནག་རྒྱལ་ཡོངས་མི་མང་འཐུས་མི་ཚོགས་ཆེན་ཀྱི་སྐུ་ཚབ་ཚོགས་པའི་འགན་འཛིན་གཞོན་པ་ཙམ་མ་ཡིན་པར།  བོད་ནང་བཞུགས་པའི་བླ་ཆེན་མཐོ་ཤོས་དེ་ཡིན་པས་ང་ཚོས་དོན་དངོས་ཐོག་ཁོང་ཉིད་སུ་ཡིན་མིན་གསལ་སྟོན་བྱེད་དགོས་པ་རེད་དམ།

ཡང་ན།  ཁོང་ཉིད་ཞལ་སྐྱེངས་མི་ཡོང་བའི་ཆེད་སྣང་མེད་དུ་འཇོག་དགོས་པ་རེད་དམ།


ཡང་ན།  རྒྱ་དམར་གྱི་བོད་ཡུལ་བཙན་བཟུང་བྱས་པ་ཁྲིམས་མཐུན་ཡོང་ཆེད་རྒྱ་གཞུང་གིས་ཁོང་བེད་སྤྱོད་གཏོང་གི་ཡོད་ཚུལ་ཤོད་དགོས་པ་རེད་དམ།

ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡའི་དབུ་ཁྲིད་རྣམས་ཀྱིས་རྒྱ་ནག་གི་དྲིལ་བསྒྲགས་ལ་སྡིངས་ཆ་བསྐྲུན་པར་སྐྱོན་བརྗོད་བྱེད་དགོས་པ་རེད་དམ་སོགས་ཡིན།  གཟིགས་སྐོར་གྱི་མཛད་རིམ་ཁག་ཟླ་བ་ཁ་ཤས་སྔོན་ནས་གཏན་ཁེལ་ཟིན་ཡོད་པར་མ་ཟད།  ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡའི་དབུས་གྲོས་ཚོགས་ཀྱི་ལས་རིམ་ངོ་སྤྲོད་ཀྱི་ལག་དེབ་ནང་མཛད་རིམ་འཁོད་ཡོད་པ་ནི་དེ་བས་ཀྱང་བློ་ཕམ་གཞི་ཞིག་རེད།  གཟིགས་སྐོར་ཚོགས་པ་ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡའི་ནང་བདུན་ཕྲག་གཉིས་ཙམ་ཕེབས་པའི་རིང་།  གྲོང་ཁྱེར་ཆེ་གྲས་སིཌ་ཎི་དང་མེལ་སྦོན།  རྒྱལ་ས་ཁེན་སྦེ་རར་བཅས་སུ་འཁྱུག་ཙམ་དང་།  དུས་ཚོད་མང་ཆེ་བ་ཁོན་སི་ལེན་ཌི་མངའ་སྡེའི་ཁོངས་སུ་ཡོད་པའི་བྱུ་རུའི་མཚོ་རྒྱུད་ཀྱི་མཛེས་ལྗོངས་ལ་གཟིགས་སྐོར་དང་།  དེ་ནས་ཕྱུགས་ལས་ཐོན་སྐྱེད་ཀྱི་ས་ཁུལ་དང་ལག་ཆའི་བཟོ་གྲྭ་ཁག་ཅིག་ལ་རྟོག་ཞིབ་གནང་བར་ཕེབས།  ད་ཐེངས་ཀྱི་གཟིགས་སྐོར་འདི་ཚོང་ལས་སྡེ་ཁག་ནས་གོ་སྒྲིག་བྱས་པའི་སྐུ་ཚབ་ལྷན་རྒྱས་ལྟ་བུ་ཞིག་ཏུ་སྣང་།

སྟབས་ལེགས་པ་ཞིག་ལ་ང་ཚོར་ཟླ་བ་ཁ་ཤས་རིང་བསམ་བློ་གཏོང་ཁོམ་དང་། འབྱུང་སྲིད་པའི་གནས་ཚུལ་འདྲ་མིན་ལ་གདོང་ལེན་ཅི་ལྟར་བྱེད་དགོས་མིན་གྱི་གྲ་སྒྲིག་བྱེད་པར་གོ་སྐབས་བྱུང་། དེའི་རིང་བོད་མི་མང་སྤྱི་འཐུས་ལྷན་ཚོགས་ཀྱི་ཚོགས་གཙོ་ཉི་མ་བཟང་པོ་ལགས་ནས་ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡའི་གྲོས་ཚོགས་ཀྱི་ཚོགས་གཙོར་ཕྱག་ཡིག་ཅིག་ཕུལ་པ་དང་། སིཌ་ཎིར་གནས་སྡོད་བོད་དོན་རྒྱབ་སྐྱོར་བ་ཁག་ཅིག་རྡ་རམ་ས་ལར་བཅར་ནས་༸གོང་ས་མཆོག་ལ་མཇལ་ཁ་དང་ལམ་སྟོན་ཞུ་བའི་གོ་སྐབས་ཀྱང་བྱུང་ཡོད།

ཁོང་སུ་རེད་དམ། ཅིའི་ཕྱིར་རྒྱ་གཞུང་གིས་ཁོང་ཉིད་འདིར་ཕེབས་བཅུག་པ་རེད།

བཙན་བྱོལ་བོད་མི་ཁ་ཤས་ཀྱིས་གནག་སེམས་དང་བཅས་༸ཀུན་གཟིགས་པཎ་ཆེན་ཡིན་པོ་ཆེར་”ཚོང་པ་རྒྱགས་པར “འབོད་ཀྱི་ཡོད། འོན་ཀྱང་། ཁོང་གི་སྐོར་ལ་གནས་ཚུལ་ཤེས་མཁན་ཧ་ཅང་དཀོན་པོ་རེད། ལྷག་པར་དུ་ཁོང་ཉིད་ཀྱིས་ཐུགས་སྤོབས་ཆེན་པོས་མའོ་ཀྲུའུ་ཞིའི་མུ་གེ་ཆེན་པོར་སྐྱོན་བརྗོད་བྱས་པར་བརྟེན་མི་ལོ་ ༡༤ རིང་བཙོན་འཇུག་བྱས་ཤིང་། ཕྱི་ལོ་ ༡༩༧༨ ལ་གློད་བཀྲོལ་ཐོབ་པ་ནས་བཟུང་ཁོང་གི་ག་རེ་གནང་གི་ཡོད་མེད། ད་དུང་ཁོང་ཉིད་ནས་ཐུགས་སྤོབས་ཆེན་པོས་བོད་ནང་གི་གཏོར་བཤིག་ཐེབས་པའི་དགོན་པ་རྣམས་བསྐྱར་གསོ་དང་། དགུང་ལོ་ཆུང་པའི་བླ་སྤྲུལ་རྣམས་ལ་སློབ་སྦྱོང་ཚད་ལྡན་ཞིག་ཡོང་ཆེད་སྐུ་ལས་བསྐྱོན་བཞིན་པའི་གནས་སྟངས་སོགས་ཤེས་རྟོགས་བྱེད་ཐུབ་མེད།


ཁོང་ཉིད་ལོ་ངོ་བཅུ་བཞིའི་རིང་བཙོན་དུ་བཞུགས་དགོས་བྱུང་པའི་གནས་ཚུལ་དེ་ཡོངས་གྲགས་རེད།  འོན་ཀྱང་ཁོང་ཉིད་ཀྱིས་ཕྱི་ལོ་༡༩༦༢ མུ་གེ་ཆེན་པོ་ཡོང་རྐྱེན་ཏུ་གྱུར་པའི་གཡོན་ཕྱོགས་པ་ཚོའི་ལག་འོག་ནས་བོད་མི་མང་གིས་མྱངས་པའི་སྡུག་བསྔལ་རེ་རེ་བཞིན་བགྲང་བའི་སྙན་ཞུ་ཞིག་གཙོ་འཛིན་མའོ་ཀྲུའུ་ཞིར་ཕུལ་ཡོད་པའི་སྐོར་ཤེས་ཀྱི་མེད།  ཕྱི་ལོ་༡༩༩༧ གཞི་ནས་ལོན་ཀྲོན་དུ་ཨིན་རྒྱ་གཉིས་ཐོག་ཡི་གེ་ཁྲི་བདུན་གྱི་སྙན་ཞུ་དེ་གསང་རྒྱ་ནས་ཐར་ཏེ་པར་སྐྲུན་བྱེད་ཐུབ་བྱུང་ཡོད།

གཟིགས་སྐོར་འདི་ཉིད་ཁོང་ནུབ་ཕྱོགས་རྒྱལ་ཁབ་ཏུ་ཕེབས་ཆོག་པའི་ཆོག་མཆན་ཐོག་མ་ཞིག་དང་། སྟབས་མ་ལེགས་པ་ཞིག་ལ་ལོ་གསུམ་གྱི་རྗེས་དགོངས་པ་ཆོས་དབྱིངས་སུ་ཐིམ་ཚུལ་བསྟན་པ་ཡིན་པས་ང་ཚོས་ཆིབས་བསྒྱུར་ཐ་མ་དེ་ཡིན་པ་ཅི་ལྟར་ཤེས། ང་ཚོས་ཚོད་དཔག་ནི་༸རྒྱལ་བ་པཎ་ཆེན་རྣམ་གཉིས་ཐད་ཀར་བཀའ་མོལ་གནང་པའི་གོ་སྐབས་ཁ་ཤས་ཐོབ་སྲིད་པ་དེ་རེད།  སྐབས་ཐོག་དེར་ཁོང་རྣམ་པ་གཉིས་ཞལ་པར་བརྒྱུད་བཀའ་མོལ་གནང་ཐུབ་པ་ཞིག་བྱེད་རྒྱུ་ནི་ང་ཚོའི་ཕྲག་ཏུ་བབས་པའི་འོས་འགན་ཞིག་རེད།

སྟབས་ལེགས་པ་ཞིག་ལ་སྐབས་དེར་ད་དུང་དྲ་རྒྱ་སླེབས་མེད་ཀྱང་སྦྲགས་ཐོག་ནས་༸རྒྱལ་བ་རིན་པོ་ཆེའི་དྲུང་ཆེར་སྙན་ཞུ་ཞིག་ཕུལ་བའི་དུས་ཚོད་ཀྱང་བྱུང།  བདུན་ཕྲག་ཁ་ཤས་རྗེས་སུ་སྦྲགས་ཐོག་ནས་ལྗགས་ལན་ཞིག་འབྱོར་བའི་ནང་ང་ཚོའི་བསམ་ཚུལ་དེ་ཡག་པོ་ཡོད་པ་དང་། སྐབས་དེར་༸གོང་ས་༸རྒྱལ་བ་རིན་པོ་ཆེ་མཆོག་འཇར་མན་དུ་ཆིབས་བསྒྱུར་གནང་གཏན་སྐབས་ཁེལ་ཡོད་པས་ཞལ་པར་གྱི་སྐུད་ལམ་བརྟན་པོ་ཡོད་ཚུལ་གསུངས་འདུག །

ལས་དོན་དེ་སྒྲུབ་པའི་གོ་སྐབས་ལེགས་ཤོས་ནི་མེལ་སྦོན་གྲོང་ཁྱེར་ནང་རེད། དེ་དུས་ས་གནས་བོད་རིགས་ཚོགས་པའི་ངོས་ནས་ཕེབས་བསུ་གོ་སྒྲིག་བྱ་རྒྱུ་བྱས་ཡོད།  འོན་ཀྱང་།  དེ་ནི་ཉིན་༡༢ རིང་གི་གཟིགས་སྐོར་གྱི་ཐ་མའི་ཉིན་ཁ་ཤས་དེ་ཆགས་ཀྱི་ཡོད་པས་དེའི་སྔོན་ལ་གནས་ཚུལ་ག་རེ་ཡིན་ན་ཡང་ཐོན་སྲིད་པ་ཞིག་རེད།

སྐབས་དེར་ང་ཚོའི་ཚོགས་པའི་ངོས་ནས་གཏན་འབེབས་བྱས་དོན་ནི། ༸ཀུན་གཟིགས་པཎ་ཆེན་རིན་པོ་ཆེ་མཆོག་བོད་ཀྱི་བླ་ཆེན་གཅིག་མཚུངས་ལྟར་བརྩི་བཀུར་ཞུ་རྒྱུ་དང་། ཁོང་ཉིད་ལ་མངོན་གསལ་དོད་པོའི་ཐོག་རྒྱ་དམར་གྱི་སྲིད་ཇུས་ལ་ངོ་རྒོལ་བྱེད་དགོས་པའི་འབོད་སྐུལ་བྱེད་རྒྱུའི་ཚབ་ཏུ།  ང་ཚོ་རང་ངོས་ནས་གསར་འགྱུར་བརྒྱུད་ལམ་ཁག་ཏུ་ཁོང་ཉིད་ལ་དགོངས་ཚུལ་གསུང་བར་རང་དབང་མེད་པའི་སྐོར་གསལ་སྟོན་ཡོང་ཐུབ་རྒྱུར་འབད་རྩོལ་ཞུ་རྒྱུ་བཅས་ཡིན།  འདི་ནི་ང་ཚོའི་ངོས་ནས་བཤད་ན་བར་གནས་སུ་བསྡད་པ་འདྲ་བོ་ཞིག་རེད།  བར་གནས་སུ་སྡོད་རྒྱུ་ནི་ལས་སླ་བོ་ཞིག་གཏན་ནས་མ་རེད།  ཆོས་ལུགས་དང་ཆབ་སྲིད་ཀྱི་ཁྱད་པར་འབྱེད་རྒྱུ་དང་།  བོད་ནང་གི་དཀའ་ངལ་གསལ་སྟོན་ཆེད་སྐད་འབོད་ཤུགས་ཆེན་པོ་ཞིག་མི་བྱེད་པ་དང་།   དེ་བཞིན་ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡའི་ནང་བོད་རིགས་ཚོགས་པ་དང་ཁོ་ཚོའི་རྒྱབ་སྐྱོར་བ་རྣམས་ཀྱིས་ང་ཚོའི་ཚོགས་པ་འདི་གནད་འགག་ཆེན་པོ་ཞིག་ཏུ་བརྩིས་མེད་པ་བཅས་རེད།

ང་ཚོའི་ཚོགས་པའི་ངོས་ནས་འབྱུང་སྲིད་པའི་གནས་སྟངས་མང་པོ་ཞིག་ལ་གདོང་ལེན་གྱིས་གྲ་སྒྲིག་བྱས་པ་ཡིན།  དཔེར་ན། རྒྱ་གཞུང་གིས་༸ཀུན་གཟིགས་པཎ་ཆེན་རིན་པོ་ཆེ་བོད་ནང་ཆོས་ལུགས་དད་མོས་རང་དབང་ཡོད་པའི་དཔང་རྟགས་ཀྱི་འགྲེམས་སྟོན་ལྟ་བུར་བེད་སྤྱོད་གཏོང་བའམ།  རྒྱ་ནག་དང་འབྲེལ་ཐག་ཉེ་བོར་འཛིན་འདོད་མཁན་གྱི་ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡའི་འགོ་ཁྲིད་རྣམས་དྲིལ་བསྒྲགས་དེ་ལ་བརྟེན་ནས་ཁོང་ཚོའི་མངོན་འདོད་སྒྲུབ་པ། རྒྱ་ནག་ལ་དགོས་མཁོ་ཡོད་པའི་ལས་སྣོན་མ་བྱས་པའི་ཐོན་རྫས་སྣ་ཚོགས་ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡར་ཡོད་པ་དང་།  རྒྱལ་ཁབ་གཉིས་དཔལ་འབྱོར་མཉམ་ལས་ལ་ནུས་པ་ཆེན་པོ་འདོན་བཞིན་པའི་སྐབས་ཁེལ་གྱི་ཡོད་པ་བཅས་རེད།

ང་ཚོས་ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡའི་མི་མང་ལ་༸ཀུན་གཟིགས་པཎ་ཆེན་རིན་པོའི་ཆེའི་ཛ་དྲག་གི་(མཆན། ཚོར་བ་སྐྱེན་པོ) གནས་སྟངས་སྐོར་དང་དེའི་རྒྱབ་ལྗོངས་སྐོར་ལ་འགྲེལ་བཤད་རྒྱག་པའི་ཡིག་ཆ་ཞིག་གྲ་སྒྲིག་བྱས་པ་ཡིན།

ཁོང་གིས་བོད་མི་ས་ཡ་དྲུག་གི་མངོན་འདོད་རྣམས་གསལ་ཁ་དོད་པོས་གསུང་ཐུབ་ཀྱི་མེད་པ།  ཁོང་བོད་ནང་མུ་མཐུད་ལྟ་རྟོག་དང་སུན་གཙེར་འོག་བཞུགས་དགོས་ཀྱི་ཡོད་པ།  སྐུ་ཉིད་ལ་གཞན་གྱི་བཙན་གནོན་དང་དབང་སྒྱུར་འོག་སྡུག་བསྔལ་མྱོང་བཞིན་པའི་རང་ཉིད་ཀྱི་མི་རིགས་ཀྱི་བདེ་སྡུག་ཆེད་བཀའ་གསུང་གནང་རྒྱུའི་རང་དབང་མེད་པ་སོགས་འཁོད་ཡོད།

སྐབས་དེའི་སྲིད་དོན་པ་ཚོར་ང་ཚོའི་གྲ་སྒྲིག་བྱས་པའི་ཡིག་ཆ་ཤོག་ངོས་བཞི་ཅན་པ་དེ་ཀློག་པའི་དུས་ཚོད་བྱུང་ཡོད་མེད་གསལ་བོ་མི་ཤེས།  ཡིག་ཆ་དེའི་སྒང་༸གོང་ས་མཆོག་གིས་གནང་བའི་གསུམ་བཅུའི་དུས་དྲན་གྱི་གསུང་འཕྲིན་གསར་ཤོས་དང་། ཧའོ་ཡོ་པང་གི་བཅོས་བསྒྱུར་ལེགས་འགྲུབ་མ་བྱུང་བར་བརྟེན་བོད་ནང་གི་བོད་མི་ཚོས་རྒྱ་གཞུང་ལ་མི་འདོད་པའི་རྣམ་འགྱུར་ཤུགས་ཆེ་རུ་འགྲོ་བཞིན་ཡོད་པའི་དངོས་ཡོད་གནས་སྟངས་བཅས་ཡོད། ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡའི་མི་མང་རྣམས་གནས་ཚུལ་འདི་དག་ལ་རྒྱུས་མངའ་མེད་པར་རང་ཉིད་ཨེ་ཤི་ཡའི་མངའ་ཁུལ་གྱི་ཆ་ཤས་ཤིག་ཡིན་འདོད་པའི་བསམ་ཚུལ་ལ་གོམས་འདྲིས་ལྟ་བུར་ཆགས་བཞིན་ཡོད་པ་རེད།  ལྷག་པར་དུ་གཟིགས་སྐོར་ཚོགས་པ་རྒྱ་ནག་ལ་ལོག་ཚར་བའི་བདུན་ཕྲག་གཅིག་གི་རྗེས་སུ་ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡའི་སྲིད་བློན་(Bob) མཆོག་རྒྱ་ནག་ལ་རྒྱལ་དོན་འཚམས་གཟིགས་ལ་ཕེབས་ཀྱི་ཡོད་པ་རེད།

རྒྱ་ནག་མི་མང་གྲོས་ཚོགས་ཀྱིས་གཟིགས་སྐོར་ཚོགས་པ་དེ་ཕྱི་ཟླ་༥ ཚེས་༥ ཉིན་རྒྱལ་ས་ཁེན་སྦེ་རར་ཕེབས་དུས་ང་ཚོ་ཚོགས་པའི་གནས་ཚུལ་སྙིང་བསྡུས་ཤིག་འཁོད་ཡོད་པའི་ཤོག་ངོས་གཅིག་ཅན་གྱི་གསར་འགོད་གསལ་བསྒྲགས་ཤིག་འགྲེམས་སྤེལ་བྱས་པ་ཡིན།

དེའི་འགོ་བརྗོད་ལ་”ད་ལྟའི་ཆར་ཞི་མིའི་སྡེར་མོ་སུ་རེད་དམ”རྒྱ་ནག་གིས་ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡ་ཝེ་ནམ་གྱི་མགོ་སྐོར་འོག་ཚུད་པར་བཤད་པའི་ལོ་རྒྱུས་སྐོར་ཟུར་ཙམ་སོགས་འཁོད་ནས་གཙོ་བོ་ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡའི་འགོ་ཁྲིད་རྣམ་པར་ངོ་སྤྲོད་བྱས་དོན་ནི། རྒྱ་ནག་གཞུང་ལ་གྲོས་ཚོགས་ངོ་མ་ཞིག་མེད་པ་དང་། གལ་སྲིད་སྲིད་བློན་དང་ཕྱོགས་འགལ་ཚོགས་པའི་ཚོགས་གཙོ་གཉིས་ཀྱིས་གཟིགས་སྐོར་ཚོགས་པ་འདི་ལ་དགའ་བསུ་བྱས་པ་ཡིན་ན། ཁོང་ཚོ་རྒྱ་ནག་གི་ཞི་མིའི་སྡེར་མོ་ཆགས་སྲིད་པ་རེད་ཅེས་སོགས་འཁོད་ཡོད།


གཟིགས་སྐོར་ཀྱི་དུས་ཚོད་ཟིན་ལ་ཉེ་བའི་སྐབས་སུ་རྒྱ་གཞུང་གི་བྱེད་སྟངས་གང་འདྲ་ཡིན་ནམ་སྙམ་པ་བྱུང་།  རིམ་པ་བཞིན་གནས་ཚུལ་རྣམས་གསལ་བོར་ཆགས་སོང་། ཕྱི་ཟླ་༤ པའི་ཚེས་༢༢ ཉིན་ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡའི་ཚགས་ཤོག་གྲགས་ཅན་ “དཔལ་འབྱོར་བསྐྱར་ཞིབ”ཟེར་བ་དེའི་ཐོག་གནས་ཚུལ་ཞིག་ཐོན་སོང།  དེའི་ནང་དོན་ཁག་ནི་རྒྱ་ནག་གཞུང་གིས་དགོས་འདུན་ཞིག་བཏོན་ཡོད་པ་དང་།  དེ་ནི་ཕྱི་ལོ་༡༩༨༢ ༸གོང་ས་ཏཱ་ལའི་བླ་མ་ཆིབས་བསྒྱུར་སྐབས་སྤྲད་པའི་ཆེ་མཐོང་དང་གཅིག་པ་ཞིག་དགོས་པ་དེ་རེད།  ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡའི་གཞུང་ལ་དེའི་ཐོག་དཀའ་ངལ་འཕྲད་ཀྱི་མེད། གང་ཡིན་ཟེར་ན། ༸གོང་ས་ཏཱ་ལའི་བླ་མ་མཆོག་ནི་ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡའི་ནང་པའི་དད་ལྡན་པ་དང་གྲྭ་བཙུན་རྣམས་ཀྱིས་གདན་འདྲེན་ཞུས་པ་མ་གཏོགས་རྒྱལ་ཁབ་གཞུང་འབྲེལ་གྱི་སྐུ་མགྲོན་མ་རེད།  འོན་ཀྱང་། རྒྱ་ནག་གཞུང་ལ་མཚོན་ན་དེའི་ཁྱད་པར་ཤེས་རྒྱུ་ཧ་ཅང་ཁག་པོ་བྱུང་ཡོད།

སྐབས་དེར་བོད་རིགས་རྣམས་ཀྱིས་ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡའི་གཞུང་འབྲེལ་མི་སྣ་དང་འབྲེལ་ཡོད་རྣམས་ལ་གནས་ཚུལ་སྙིང་བསྡུས་སྙན་སེང་ཞུས་ཚར་ཡོད་པ་དང་། “དཔལ་འབྱོར་བསྐྱར་ཞིབ” གསར་ཤོག་ཐོག་སྤེལ་དོན། ཐེངས་འདིའི་གཟིགས་སྐོར་ཀྱིས་དབུས་གྲོས་ཚོགས་ཀྱི་ལས་བྱེད་རྣམས་མགོ་འཐོམ་བཅུག་ཡོད། གཟིགས་སྐོར་འདི་ཕྱིའི་སྣང་ཚུལ་ལ་དྲིལ་བསྒྲགས་ཡོང་ཆེད་དམིགས་པ་ཞིག་ཏུ་མཐོང་གི་མེད་ཀྱང་། ༸གོང་ས་ཏཱ་ལའི་བླ་མའི་རྒྱབ་སྐྱོར་བ་ཚོས་ཞི་འཇམ་གྱི་ཐབས་ལམ་ཞིག་གི་ཐོག་ནས་གནོན་ཤུགས་སླེབས་ཡོད་པ་གསལ་བོ་རེད་ཅེས་སོགས་འཁོད་ཡོད།

རྩོམ་ཡིག་དེ་ནི་གཟིགས་སྐོར་ཆ་ཚང་ཁྲོད་གསར་འགྱུར་བརྒྱུད་ལམ་ལ་ཐོན་པ་ཧ་ལམ་གཅིག་པུ་དེ་ཡིན་པ་དང་། དོན་དངོས་ཐོག་མང་ཚོགས་ཀྱི་ངོས་ནས་ཀྱང་ཕྱོགས་སུ་མ་ལྷུང་བའམ་དོ་སྣང་དེ་ཙམ་བྱས་མེད།  རྒྱ་གཞུང་གི་འདོད་དོན་ངོ་མ་ནི་༸ཀུན་གཟིགས་པཎ་ཆེན་རིན་པོ་ཆེ་མཆོག་ལ་གནད་ཡོད་ཆོས་ལུགས་མི་སྣ་རྣམས་ཀྱིས་དགའ་བསུ་དང་། ཁོང་དང་མཉམ་དུ་སྐུ་པར་མང་པོ་བསྒྲོན་པ་སོགས་བྱས་ནས་རྒྱ་གཞུང་གི་གུ་ཡངས་པའི་སྲིད་ཇུས་མངོན་ཐུབ་ཐབས་བྱེད་རྒྱུ་དེ་རེད། འོན་ཀྱང་། རྒྱ་ནག་གཞུང་གིས་༸ཀུན་གཟིགས་པཎ་ཆེན་རིན་པོ་མཆོག་སྐུ་སྒེར་གྱི་གོ་བབས་སམ་ཆེ་མཐོང་སྐོར་དེ་ཙམ་གྱིས་ཁྱབ་བསྒྲགས་བྱ་རྒྱུར་འབད་བརྩོན་བྱས་མེད། ཁོང་ཚོས་ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡའི་གྲོས་ཚོགས་ཀྱིས་གོ་སྒྲིག་གང་གནང་བ་ལྟར་བཞག་འདུག །དཔེར་ན། དབུས་གྲོས་ཚོགས་ནས་ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡའི་རྒྱལ་ཡོངས་གཙུག་ལག་སློབ་གྲྭ་ཆེན་མོའི་ནང་བསྟན་སློབ་གཉེར་སྡེ་ཁག་ལ་འབྲེལ་བ་བྱས་ཏེ།  ཁོང་ལ་༸གོང་ས་ཏཱ་ལའི་བླ་མའི་གནས་བབས་དང་གཅིག་པ་སྤྲོད་རྒྱུའི་རེ་འདུན་ཡོད་སྐོར་བཤད་འདུག་ཀྱང་།   ཁོང་ཚོས་ཐབས་མཁས་པོའི་སྒོ་ནས་རོགས་རམ་བྱེད་རྒྱུ་ཁས་ལེན་བྱས་མི་འདུག །དེ་བཞིན་རྒྱལ་ས་ཁེན་སྦེ་རའི་ནང་བསྟན་མཐུན་ཚོགས་ནས་ཀྱང་ཐེངས་འདིའི་གཟིགས་སྐོར་ལ་ཐེ་གཏོགས་མི་བྱེད་རྒྱུ་བདམས་འདུག།  །སིཌ་ཎི་གྲོང་ཁྱེར་ནང་༸ཀུན་གཟིགས་པཎ་ཆེན་རིན་པོ་ཆེ་ལ་”བོད་ཀྱི་བླ་མའི་ཆོས་ལུགས་ཀྱི་དབུ་འཁྲིད”ཡིན་སྐོར་ཁྱབ་བསྒྲགས་བྱས་ཡོད་པ་དང་།  ཕྱི་ཟླ་༤ ཚེས་༣༠ ཉིན་གྱི་ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡའི་ཡི་ཤུའི་ཆོས་བརྒྱུད་ལྷན་ཁང་གིས་གོ་སྒྲིག་བྱས་པའི་མི་མང་འདུ་འཛོམས་ཐོག་ཁོང་གིས་ཞི་བདེ་དང་། འདྲ་མཉམ། སྙིང་རྗེ་དགོས་པ་དང་། ཕན་ཚུན་སྤུན་གྲོགས་ཀྱི་འདུ་ཤེས་དགོས་པ་སོགས་སྤྱིར་བཏང་གི་གསུང་བཤད་གནང་འདུག །

ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡའི་གསར་འགྱུར་བརྒྱུད་ལམ་ཁག་ནས་སྐབས་དེར་མཐོ་རིམ་ཁྲིམས་ཁང་གི་ཁྲིམས་དཔོན་ཞིག་ནས་ལྐོག་ཟ་རུལ་བསུངས་བྱས་ཡོད་མེད་ཀྱི་དཀྲོགས་གཏམ་ལ་དབྱིངས་ཞུགས་ནས་ཁོང་གི་གསུང་བཤད་ཁག་ལ་དོ་སྣང་བྱས་མི་འདུག །


ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡའི་མི་མང་གིས་དོ་སྣང་མ་སྤྲད་པ་དང་། ང་ཚོའི་ངོས་ནས་ཀྱང་དཀར་ནག་དང་བཟང་ངན་གང་ཡང་མ་ཡིན་པའི་རྣམ་འགྱུར་ཞིག་བསྟན་པ།  རྒྱ་གཞུང་གི་ཕྱི་འབྲེལ་ལས་བྱེད་ཚོས་ཁྱད་མཚར་བའི་ཕྱག་ལས་གནང་སྟངས་བཅས་ཀྱིས་༸ཀུན་གཟིགས་པཎ་ཆེན་རིན་པོ་ཆེ་མཆོག་ལ་རང་ཉིད་ཀྱི་འདོད་པ་ཤོད་རྒྱུའི་གོ་སྐབས་བྱུང་མེད།

གཟིགས་སྐོར་ཚང་མ་གྲུབ་པའི་རྗེས་ལ་ང་ཚོའི་ཚོགས་པའི་ལས་བྱེད་DAVID TEMPLEMAN འདི་ལྟར་བྲིས་འདུག །

གཟིགས་སྐོར་གྱི་མཛད་རིམ་མང་ཆེ་བ་ནི་ང་ཚོས་འདོད་པ་བཞིན་བྱུང་སོང་། གཟིགས་སྐོར་ཚོགས་པའི་གཏམ་བཤད་ཕལ་ཆེ་བ་ང་ཚོས་འགོག་ཐུབ་བྱུང་ཡོད་ལ།  རྒྱལ་ཁ་མང་ཆེ་བ་ང་ཚོར་ཐོབ་སོང་བས་གཟིགས་སྐོར་སྐབས་གང་དུ་ཡང་ང་ཚོའི་སྟངས་འཛིན་ལས་བརྒལ་སོང་བསམ་པ་མ་བྱུང་། གཟིགས་སྐོར་འདིའི་སྐོར་ལ་ང་ཚོས་གྲ་སྒྲིག་ཧ་ཅང་ལེགས་པོ་བྱས་ཡོད་པ། དཔེར་ན། གནད་ཡོད་མི་སྣ་དང་ནུས་པ་ཆེ་བའི་འབྲེལ་ལམ་ཁག །ད་དུང་གསར་འགྱུར་བརྒྱུད་ལམ་སོགས་ཀྱིས་ང་ཚོར་མཐུན་འགྱུར་ཡག་པོ་གནང་སོང་།

རྗེས་སུ་ཤེས་རྟོགས་བྱུང་བ་ནི། ང་ཚོར་ཤ་ཚ་དང་རྒྱབ་སྐྱོར་བྱས་པ་ནི་ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡའི་མི་མང་གི་སྟབས་བདེའམ་རྒྱས་སྤྲོས་མེད་པའི་གཤིས་ཀ་དེ་མཚོན་ཡོད། ཁོང་ཚོ་ནི་བདེ་འཇགས་དང་ས་མཚམས་བརྟན་སྲུང་སོགས་ཀྱི་སྐོར་ལ་སྨྱོ་ཧམ་དེ་ཙམ་མེད་པ་དང་། རྩ་བས་མི་མང་གི་ཕྱོགས་སུ་ལངས་ནས་སྟོབས་ཤུགས་ཆེ་བའི་སྲིད་གཞུང་ལ་ངོ་རྒོལ་བྱེད་པ་དེ་རེད། ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡར་མཚོན་ན་ཡང་སྐབས་དེར་ལས་སྣོན་མ་བྱས་པའི་ཐོན་རྫས་རྒྱ་ནག་ལ་བཙོངས་ནས་སྒྲོ་ལོ་དུང་ཕྱུར་མང་པོ་བཟོ་བཞིན་མེད་པ་དང་། གཉོམ་ཆུང་ལ་རྒྱབ་སྐྱོར་དང་ཆེན་པོ་ལ་ཁ་གཏད་ལངས་པ་ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡའི་རིག་གཞུང་ལྟ་བུར་གྱུར་ཡོད་པས་ཡིན། འོན་ཀྱང་། ད་ལྟ་དེ་འདྲ་ཞིག་མིན།

རྒྱལ་ས་ཁེན་སྦེ་རའི་ཉིན་གསུམ་རིང་གི་གཟིགས་སྐོར་ཚོགས་པའི་མཐའ་མའི་ཉིན་དེར་༸ཀུན་གཟིགས་པཎ་ཆེན་རིན་པོ་ཆེ་མཆོག་དང་། ནམ་རྒྱུན་རྒྱལ་ནང་གི་རྙོག་གླེང་སྐོར་ལས་བྲེལ་ཆེ་བའི་ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡའི་ཆབ་སྲིད་འབྲེལ་ཡོད་ཀྱི་གསར་འགོད་པ་ཚོ་དང་ལྷན་དུ་ཉིན་གུང་གསོལ་ཚིགས་ཤིག་གྲ་སྒྲིག་བྱས་ཡོད།  ང་ཚོའི་ངོས་ནས་གསོལ་ཚིགས་དེར་ཕེབས་མཁན་སུ་སུ་ཡིན་མིན་ཤེས་འདོད་ཆེན་པོ་ཡོད་པ་མ་ཟད། ང་ཚོས་སྔོན་ཚུད་ནས་གྲ་སྒྲིག་བྱས་པའི་ཡིག་ཆ་དང་འོས་ཤིང་འཚམས་པའི་དྲི་བ་དྲིས་ལན་རྣམས་ཁོང་ཚོར་འཕྲོད་ཐུབ་པ་བྱས་པ་ཡིན། ང་ཚོས་ཐོག་མར་མདུན་སྒོ་ནས་སྐུ་མགྲོན་སུ་སུ་ཡིན་མིན་གྱི་ཐབས་ཤེས་བྱས་པར་གྲུབ་འབྲས་བྱུང་མ་སོང་མོད།  ལྟག་སྒོ་བརྒྱུད་སྐུ་མགྲོན་རྣམས་ཀྱི་མཚན་གཞུང་དང་ལྷག་པར་དུ་ཚོར་བ་ཧ་ཅང་སྐྱེན་པའི་གནས་སྟངས་ཁོང་ཚོར་ངོ་སྤྲོད་བྱེད་ཐུབ་པ་བྱུང་ཡོད།


ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡའི་དབུས་གྲོས་ཚོགས་ཀྱི་སྐུ་མགྲོན་དུ་གདན་ཞུ་གནང་བ་ལྟར་གཞུང་འབྲེལ་ཡིག་ཆ་ཁག་གི་ནང་ཁོང་ནི་རྒྱ་ནག་རྒྱལ་ཡོངས་མི་མང་འཐུས་ཚོགས་ཀྱི་གཟིགས་སྐོར་ཚོགས་པའི་ཚོགས་མི་ཞིག་དང་། སྐབས་དེའི་གཟིགས་སྐོར་ཚོགས་པ་དེའི་ཚོགས་གཞོན་ཙམ་རེད།

གཟིགས་སྐོར་ཚོགས་པ་དེ་མི་སྣ་མང་པོས་གྲུབ་པ་ཞིག་ཡིན་པ་དང་། འཐུས་ཚོགས་ཀྱི་ཚོགས་མི་ཙམ་མ་ཡིན་པར་ཁོང་ཚོར་ལྟ་རྟོག་དང་བཀོད་འདོམས་བྱེད་མཁན་མང་པོ་ཡང་མཉམ་དུ་བཅར་ཡོད་པར་མ་ཟད། རྒྱལ་ས་ཁེན་སྦེ་རར་རྟེན་གཞི་བྱས་པའི་རྒྱ་ནག་གཞུང་ཚབ་ཁང་གི་ལས་བྱེད་དང་། ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡ་གཞུང་གིས་གོ་སྒྲིག་བྱས་པའི་སྐུ་སྲུང་བ། གཞུང་འབྲེལ་རླངས་འཁོར་ཁ་ལོ་བ་དང་རླངས་འཁོར་སོགས་ཆིབས་ཞབས་སུ་ཡོད་པ་རེད།

ཁོང་ཚོ་གང་དུ་ཕེབས་ཀྱང་གཞུང་འབྲེལ་གྱི་འདྲ་པར་རྒྱག་མཁན་ཡོད་པ་རྣམས་ཀྱིས་འོས་ཤིང་འཚམས་པའི་འདྲ་པར་(གཟིགས་སྐོར་རྣམས་ཀྱི་འདོད་མོས་ལྟར) རྒྱབ་པ་རྣམས་ད་ལྟ་ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡའི་གཞུང་གི་ཡིག་མཛོད་ནས་རག་གི་རེད།

སྐབས་དེའི་མཛད་རིམ་གཉིས་ཡོངས་གྲགས་ཐོག་ཡིག་ཆའི་ནང་འཁོད་མེད། གཅིག་ནི་སིཌ་ཎིར་སྣེ་ལེན་མཛད་སྒོ་དང་། གཉིས་པ་ནི་མེལ་སྦོན་དུ་བོད་རིགས་མཐུན་ཚོགས་ཆུང་ཆུང་དེ་ལ་༸ཀུན་གཟིགས་པཎ་ཆེན་པོ་རིན་པོ་ཆེས་མཇལ་ཁ་གནང་བ་དེ་རེད། ད་ལྟའི་༢༠༡༦ གི་བོད་རིགས་༡༧༠༠ ལ་བསྡུར་ན་སྐབས་དེའི་བོད་རིགས་ཀྱི་གྲངས་འབོར་ནི་ཧ་ཅང་ཉུང་ཉུང་རེད།

སིཌ་ཎིར་གཟིགས་སྐོར་ཀྱི་སྐབས་སུ་ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡར་སྐྱབས་བཅོལ་རྣམས་ཀྱི་ཆེད་མ་དངུལ་འདུ་འགོད་ཀྱི་ལས་ཀར་འབད་བརྩོན་གནང་བཞིན་པའི་ཚོགས་པ་གཉིས་ཏེ།  བོད་ཀྱི་སྤྱི་ཚོགས་ཟེར་བ་དང་བོད་ཀྱི་གྲོགས་པོ་ཟེར་བའི་ཚོགས་པ་གཉིས་ཡོད་པ་ཁོ་ཚོས་གསར་འགོད་གསལ་བསྒྲགས་ཤིག་བསྐྱངས་པ་རེད། (Australian Tibetan Society, and Tibetan Friendship Group) གསར་འགོད་གསལ་བསྒྲགས་དེའི་ནང་པཎ་ཆེན་རིན་པོ་ཆེ་མཆོག་གིས་མང་ཚོགས་ནང་རང་དབང་ཐོག་བཀའ་མོལ་གནང་མི་ཐུབ་པ་དང་། ཁོང་ལ་གནང་དགོས་ངེས་བཀའ་མོལ་མང་པོ་ཡོད་ངེས་རེད་སོགས་འཁོད་ཡོད་པ་དང་། མཛད་སྒོ་དེའི་ཐོག་བོད་མི་མང་པོ་ཞིག་ནས་རྒྱ་གཞུང་གི་གཡོ་བྱུས་ལ་མི་འདོད་པའི་རྣམ་འགྱུར་ཤུགས་ཆེར་བསྟན་པར། ལྟ་རྟོག་བྱེད་མཁན་རྒྱ་མི་ཚོས་བོད་མི་ཚོའི་བྱེད་སྟངས་དེ་དག་ཁྲིམས་མེད་ལུགས་མེད་དང་།  ཐ་ན་དམའ་འབེབས་བྱེད་པ་ཞིག་ཏུ་མཐོང་ནས་དོགས་འདྲོག་གམ་དངངས་སྐྲག་སྐྱེས་བཅུག་ཡོད་འདུག།།

གཟིགས་སྐོར་མཇུག་རྫོགས་ལ་ཉེ་བའི་སྐབས་སུ་ཁོང་རྣམས་གནམ་གྲུར་བསྡད་ནས་མེལ་སྦོན་ལ་ཕེབས་པ་དང་། མེལ་སྦོན་བོད་རིགས་མཐུན་ཚོགས་ནས་ཕེབས་བསུ་ཞུ་འཆར་ཡོད་པའི་མཛད་རིམ་དེ་ཕྱིར་འཐེན་བྱས་ཡོད་ཚུལ་དང་།  གལ་སྲིད་མཇལ་འཕྲད་ཡོད་པ་ཡིན་ན་ཡང་བོད་རིགས་ཉུང་ཉུང་ཞིག་ཁོང་བཞུགས་སའི་མགྲོན་ཁང་དུ་གོ་སྒྲིག་ཞུ་རྒྱུ་ཡིན་ཚུལ་བརྗོད་པ་རེད།

མེལ་སྦོན་བོད་རིགས་མཐུན་ཚོགས་ཀྱི་མཛད་སྒོ་དེ་འོས་འཚམ་ཞིག་ཡོང་བའི་ཆེད་དཀའ་ལས་མང་པོ་རྒྱབ་སྟེ་གྲ་སྒྲིག་གནང་ཡོད། རྒྱ་གར་བ་ཕྱུག་བདག་ZARNA ཛར་ན་དང་ANIL SOMAIA ཨ་ནོལ་སོ་མ་ཡེའ་བཟའ་ཚོ་གཉིས་ཀྱིས་ས་གནས་RINGWOOD རན་ཝུ་ཊིར་ཡོད་པའི་ཡངས་ཤིང་རྒྱ་ཆེ་བའི་ཁང་པ་ཐོག་བརྩེགས་ཅན་ཞིག་གཡར་གནང་བ་དང་། ཁང་བའི་ནང་བོད་ཀྱི་ཐང་ཀ་དང་བཀྲ་ཤིས་རྟགས་བརྒྱད་སོགས་སྒྲིག་ཤོམ་བྱས་པ། བཞུགས་ཁྲིའི་མཐའ་ཟུར་གཉིས་སུ་༸གོང་ས་ཏཱ་ལའི་བླ་མའི་སྐུ་པར་ཡང་བཤམས་ཡོད།

གཟིགས་སྐོར་ཚོགས་པ་མེལ་སྦོན་ལ་འབྱོར་ནས་ཕེབས་བསུའི་སྣེ་ལེན་གྱི་མཛད་སྒོ་མ་འཚོག་པའི་ཆུ་ཚོད་༢༤ སྔོན་དུ། ཁོང་ཚོས་གོ་སྒྲིག་བྱས་པའི་མགྲོན་ཁང་ནང་ཡོང་དགོས་པའི་སྐུལ་སློང་བྱས་སོང་། ང་ཚོས་ད་ཐེངས་ཀྱི་མཛད་སྒོ་འདི་ཕོག་ཐུག་མེད་པ་ཞིག་ཡིན་ཚུལ་ནན་བརྗོད་བྱས་ཀྱང་ཁོང་ཚོས་རྒྱུ་མཚན་ཁུངས་ལྡནཞིག་ཤོད་རྒྱུ་མེད་པར་མུ་མཐུད་དོགས་པ་བྱེད་ཀྱི་འདུག །

སྐབས་དེར་དགུང་མོ་ཧ་ཅང་འཕྱི་བོ་ཆགས་ཟིན་ན་ཡང་། ང་ཚོས་དེ་འདྲ་ཡིན་ན་འདུ་འཛོམས་བྱེད་སར་ཁྱེད་རང་ཚོ་དངོས་སུ་ཡོང་ནས་རྟོག་ཞིབ་བྱེད་རོགས་ཞེས་བསམ་ཚུལ་བརྗོད་པ་ཡིན།

ལྕམ་ཛར་ན་དང་བོད་མི་ཚོས་བཞུགས་ཁྲི་བརྒྱབ་སྟེ་གྲ་སྒྲིག་ཕུན་སུམ་ཚོགས་པོ་བྱས་པར་མ་ཟད་ཡིད་དབང་འཕྲོག་ནུས་པའི་ཞལ་ལག་མཆོད་ས་ཞིག་ཀྱང་གོ་སྒྲིག་བྱས། མེལ་སྦོན་གནས་སྡོད་བོད་པའི་ཆོས་དགེ་གཉིས་པཎ་ཆེན་རིན་པོ་ཆེའི་མཉམ་དུ་ཐོག་ཁང་དུ་ཞལ་ལག་མཆོད་རྒྱུ་དང་གཞན་རྣམས་འོག་ཁང་དུ་རླངས་འཁོར་འཇོག་ས་ཆེན་པོ་ཞིག་ཡོད་པ་དེ་ལ་ཡང་མཛེས་རྒྱན་སྤྲས་ནས་ཧ་ཅང་སྙིང་རྗེ་བོ་ཞིག་བཟོས་ཏེ་གོ་སྒྲིག་བྱས།

འཆར་གཞི་ནི། དང་པོ་༸ཀུན་གཟིགས་པཎ་ཆེན་རིན་པོ་ཆེ་ནས་གསུང་ཆོས་གནང་རྒྱུ་དང་། དེ་ནས་མཇལ་ཁ་དང་སྐུ་པར་བསྒྲོན་པ། ཁང་བ་སྦུག་མའི་ནང་ཁོང་གིས་ཞལ་ལག་མཆོད་རྒྱུ་དང་། དེ་ནས་ཆིབས་ཞབས་ཚོ་དང་མི་མང་རྣམས་ལྷན་ཏུ་འོག་ཁང་ནས་དགོང་ཚིགས་མཉམ་རོལ་བྱེད་རྒྱུ། ༸གོང་ས་མཆོག་དང་ཞལ་པར་བརྒྱུད་བཀའ་མོལ་གནང་དུས་མི་གཞན་གྱིས་ལྟ་རྟོག་མེད་པ་བཅས་བྱེད་རྒྱུ་དེ་རེད།

ZARNAལྕམ་ཛར་ན་ལགས་ནས་སྐབས་དེར་༸གོང་ས་མཆོག་ཆིབས་བསྒྱུར་གནང་སའི་འཇར་མན་ལ་ཐག་ཉེ་ཤོས་ཀྱི་བོད་ཀྱི་དོན་གཅོད་ལས་ཁུངས་ཏེ་སིད་སིར་ཡོད་པའི་བོད་ཀྱི་སྐུ་ཚབ་མཉམ་དུ་འབྲེད་མཐུད་བྱས་པ་རེད།  དོན་གཅོད་ལས་ཁུངས་ནས་མཛད་སྒོའི་ཉིན་གཉིས་ཀྱི་སྔོན་དུ་ལྕམ་ཛར་ན་ལགས་སུ་གུས་ཞབས་དང་བཅས་ཞལ་པར་བཏང་ནས་ཁོ་མོ་རྒྱ་གར་མི་ཚང་ཞིག་ཡིན་མིན་དང་།  ཁོ་མོས་དོན་དངོས་ཐོག་རླབས་ཆེན་གྱི་བླ་མ་རྣམ་གཉིས་དབར་དུ་འབྲེལ་བ་འཛུགས་ཐུབ་མིན་སྐད་ཆ་དྲིས་འདུག་པ་མ་ཟད། ༸གོང་ས་ཏཱ་ལ་བླ་མ་མཆོག་ནས་༸ཀུན་གཟིགས་པཎ་ཆེན་རིན་པོ་ཆེར་ཞལ་པར་བརྒྱུད་བཀའ་མོལ་ཞུ་འདོད་འདུག་ཅེས་ཁོང་མོར་བཤད་འདུག།།

ད་ནི་ཡོད་ཚད་རྒྱ་མི་ལས་བྱེད་ཚོའི་དོགས་པ་ཐེ་ཚོམ་ལ་རག་ལས་ཀྱི་ཡོད།  སྟབས་ལེགས་པ་ཞིག་ལ་ཁོང་ཚོས་ལྕམ་ཛར་ན་ཡི་ཁང་པའི་ནང་རྟོག་ཞིབ་བྱེད་དུ་ཡོང་རྒྱུ་ཁས་ལེན་བྱས་པ་རེད།  བསོད་ནམས་རིག་འཛིན་དང་GABRIEL LAFITTEE རྒེ་སྦལ་རེལ ལ་ཧྥེ་ཊི་གཉིས་ཀྱི་ཁོ་ཚོ་རླངས་འཁོར་ནང་བཞག་ནས་གྲོང་ཁྱེར་མཐའི་མུན་ནག་པའི་ཀྱག་ཀྱོག་གི་ལམ་ཁ་མང་པོ་བརྒྱུད་ནས་ཁྲིད་པ་དང་། ཁོང་ཚོ་མ་སླེབས་སྔོན་ལྕམ་ཛར་ན་ལགས་སུ་ཁ་པར་བཏང་ནས་ཕྱིར་འཐེན་བྱས་པའི་མཛད་སྒོ་དེ་བསྐྱར་དུ་འཚོག་ཐུབ་ཀྱི་ཡོད་པ་འདྲ་བས་ན།   བཞུགས་ཁྲིའི་གཡས་གཡོན་གྱི་༸གོང་ས་མཆོག་གི་སྐུ་པར་སྦས་ཏེ་མགྲོན་པོ་ཕེབས་པར་གྲ་སྒྲིག་ཞུ་རོགས་ལབ་ཅིང་།   སྐབས་དེར་ཧ་ཅང་འཕྱི་པོ་ཡིན་པས་ལྕམ་ཛར་ན་ལགས་ཀྱིས་མགྱོགས་པོར་ནང་གོས་བརྗེས་ནས་གྱོན་གོས་ཚུལ་དང་མཐུན་པ་ཞིག་གྱོན་པ་དང་དགུང་ལོ་བགྲེས་པའི་ཨ་མ་ལགས་ཀྱང་ཡར་བཞེངས་བཅུག་འདུག།།

ལྟ་རྟོག་བྱེད་མཁན་རྒྱ་མི་ཚོར་སྣེ་ལེན་བྱེད་སྟངས་ནི་ཤིན་ཏུ་ནས་ཞི་ལྷོད་དང་ཡིད་དུ་འཐད་པོ་ཞིག་བྱུང་འདུག། །ཁོང་ཚོ་སྒོ་འགྲམ་དུ་འབྱོར་དུས་གཤིས་རྒྱུད་འཇམ་པའི་སྐུ་ལྕམ་མ་བགྲེས་མོ་ཞིག་གིས་དགའ་བསུ་བྱས་པ་དང་། ཁོང་མོས་དད་གུས་ཀྱི་རྣམ་འགྱུར་ལག་ཟུང་ཐལ་མོ་སྦྱར་ནས་”ན་མ་སཾ་དྷི” (རྒྱ་གར་སྐད་དེ་བོད་སྐད་དུ་བཀྲ་ཤིས་བདེ་ལེགས) ཞེས་ཁོང་ཚོར་འཚམས་འདྲི་ཞུས་སོང་། མཆོད་བཤམས་ནི་དངོས་གནས་ཡིད་དུ་འོང་བ་ཞིག་ཡིན་པ་དང་། ཁང་བའི་ཕྱི་ནང་ཚར་མར་གློག་བཞུ་སྦར་ཡོད་པས་ཡོད་ཚད་འོད་མདངས་འཕྲོ་བའི་ངང་དགའ་བསུ་ཞུ་བ་ཞིག་ཏུ་སྣང་། ཁོང་ཚོས་གཟབ་གཟབ་ངང་ཚང་མར་ཞིབ་འཇུག་བྱས་སོང་བ་དང་། རྒྱུན་ལྡན་དང་མི་འདྲ་བ་རེ་མཐོང་ཚེ་ཞིབ་ཚགས་པོས་ལྟ་གིན་འདུག། ཐ་ན་ཁོང་ཚོས་ཁང་བའི་འོག་ལ་ཡང་སྔོག་བཤེར་བྱས་པས། ཕལ་ཆེར་བོད་པ་ཚོས་༸ཀུན་གཟིགས་པཎ་ཆེན་རིན་པོ་ཆེ་བཙན་ཁྲིད་བྱེད་པར་བློ་འཚབ་བྱེད་ཀྱི་ཡོད་པ་འདྲ། གང་ལྟར་ཁང་བའི་སྟེང་འོག་ཚང་མ་ཡང་དག་པའམ་སྐྱོན་གྱིས་མ་གོས་པ་ཞིག་ཡིན་པ་མཐོང་རྗེས་ཁོང་ཚོས་ཕེབས་བསུའི་མཛད་སྒོ་འཚོག་རྒྱུར་ངོས་ལེན་བྱས་སོང་།

ཉིན་རྗེས་མར་ལྕམ་ཛར་ན་ལགས་ནས་སུད་སིར་ཁ་པར་བཏང་སྟེ་གོ་སྒྲིག་སྐོར་སྙན་སེང་ཞུས། དགུང་མོའི་ཆུ་ཚོད་བདུན་པའི་ཐོག་ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡའི་གཞུང་གི་རླངས་འཁོར་རྣམས་སླེབས་སོང་། ཁང་བདག་རྒྱ་གར་བ་ཚང་དང་བོད་རིགས་རྣམས་ཀྱིས་ཕྱུ་བ་ཡག་ཤོས་གྱོན་ནས་དགའ་སྤྲོའི་ཕེབས་བསུ་ཞུས། ༸ཀུན་གཟིགས་པཎ་ཆེན་རིན་པོ་མཆོག་གིས་གོས་ཆེན་རྒྱ་སྨུག་གི་ན་བཟའ་སྟབས་བདེ་ཞིག་གསོལ་ཏེ་གཟི་བྱིན་འོད་སྣང་ལྷམ་མེར་ཆིབས་བསྒྱུར་གནང་སོང་།

ཁོང་ཉིད་༸གོང་ས་མཆོག་གི་སྐུ་པར་གཡས་གཡོན་དུ་བཤམས་ཡོད་པའི་བཞུགས་ཁྲིའི་ཐོག་ཕེབས་ནས་གསུང་ཆོས་གནང་བ་དང་།   ཁོང་ལ་ཁ་བཏགས་སོགས་འབུལ་མཁན་རྣམ་པར་ལེགས་སྐྱེས་ཀྱི་ཚུལ་དུ་ཁོང་གི་བླ་མ་བརྒྱུད་པའི་སྐུ་པར་སོགས་གནང་སོང་། དེའི་རྗེས་ནས་ཚང་མ་ཁོང་གི་སྐུ་མདུན་དུ་འཛོམས་ནས་འདྲ་པར་རྒྱག་པ་སོགས་བྱས་རྗེས་གཞི་ནས་ཞལ་ལག་གི་དུས་ཚོད་ཟིན་སོང་བ་དང་། པཎ་ཆེན་རིན་པོ་མཆོག་མེལ་སྦོན་དུ་གནས་བཞུགས་ཆོས་དགེ་གཉིས་དང་ལྷན་དུ་ཞལ་ལག་མཆོད་སར་གདན་འདྲེན་བྱས། ལྕམ་ཛར་ན་ལགས་མངོན་གསལ་མེད་པའི་ཐོག་སོང་སྟེ་སྔོན་ཚུད་ནས་གྲ་སྒྲིག་ཡོད་པ་ལྟར་འཇར་མན་ལ་ཁ་པར་བཏང་།  མི་མང་བྱིངས་རྣམས་ཁང་བའི་གཤམ་དུ་གདན་འདྲེན་ཞུས་ཏེ་ཞལ་ལག་གྲ་རྒྱས་པོ་ཞིག་བཏང་ནས་ཚང་མ་དགའ་དགའ་སྤྲོ་སྤྲོ་ཡོང་བ་བྱས།   རྒྱ་མི་གཟུགས་སྟོབས་ཆེན་པོ་ཞིག་ཡོང་བ་དེས་ཁང་བའི་ནང་མེ་སྐྱོན་ཡོད་མེད་ལ་རྟོག་ཞིབ་བྱེད་དགོས་ཚུལ་ཨུ་ཚུགས་རྒྱབ་སོང་ཡང་རིམ་བཞིན་ཁོང་ཡང་འོག་ཁང་དུ་ཕྱིན་སོང་།   དེ་ནས་ཐོག་ཁང་དང་འོག་ཁང་བར་གྱི་སྒོ་བརྒྱབ་པ་དང་། སྐུ་ཞབས་GABRIEL རྒེ་སྦལ་རེལ་ལགས་སྒོ་འགྲམ་ནས་ཡར་ལངས་བསྡད་དེ་སྒོ་སྲུང་བ་བྱས། དེ་ནས་ཁ་པར་གྱི་སྐད་གྲགས་སོང་བ་དང་། ཞལ་ལག་འགོ་བཙུགས་མ་ཐག་པའི་སྐབས་སུ་ཁ་པར་དེ་པཎ་ཆེན་རིན་པོའི་ཕྱག་ཏུ་ཕུལ།

ཞལ་པར་བཀའ་མོལ་སྐར་མ་༨༠ རིང་གནང་བ་རེད། བཀའ་མོལ་གནང་བཞིན་པའི་སྐབས་དེར་ཁོང་ཚོ་ཁ་ཤས་ཐོག་ཁང་ལ་འགྲོ་འདོད་ཆེན་པོ་བྱས་སོང་ཡང་། གོས་རྒྱུ་རས་སྣམ་བཟོ་ལས་ཀྱིས་ཕྱུག་པོར་གྱུར་པའི་ཁང་བདག་སྐུ་ཞབས་ཨ་ནེལ་སོ་མེ་ཡ་ནས་གཟིགས་སྐོར་ཚོགས་པས་ཉིན་ཤས་སྔོན་ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡའི་ཕྱུགས་ལས་ར་བ་དང་བལ་ཀྱི་སྐོར་ལ་དོ་སྣང་བྱས་ཡོད་པ་ཤེས་ཀྱི་ཡོད་པས།   ཁོང་ཚོར་བལ་གྱི་སྐོར་ཡིད་སེམས་འགུག་པའི་ཁ་བརྡ་བྱེད་བཞིན་འདུག།།

ཡང་བར་སྐབས་ཤིག་ལ་རྒྱ་མི་ཞིག་ཐེམ་སྐས་ནས་ཡར་ཡོང་ཐབས་བྱས་སོང་བར་སྒོ་སྲུང་མཁན་གྱིས་ཁོ་ཡར་བཏང་མེད། ཁང་བའི་གཤམ་གྱི་མི་ཚོས་སྒང་ན་གནས་ཚུལ་ག་རེ་བྱུང་གི་ཡོད་མེད་ཤེས་ཀྱི་ཡོད་དམ།   གང་ལྟར་བཀའ་མོལ་གྲུབ་ཚར་བ་དང་སྒོ་རྣམས་ཕྱེ་ནས་ཁོང་ཚོ་ཡར་འགྲོ་མར་འགྲོ་བྱེད་བཅུག་པ་རེད།   རྒྱ་མི་ཚོས་ཁོང་ཚོ་ཁ་སྐྱེངས་པོ་མི་ཡོང་བའི་ཆེད་སྐྱོན་འཛུགས་མ་བྱས་པར་ང་ཚོ་ལ་དགོངས་པ་མ་ཚོམ་རོགས་ཟེར་གྱི་འདུག། །ད་སྔོན་ཐོག་ཁང་དུ་ཡོང་བར་ཨུ་ཚུགས་རྒྱག་མཁན་གྱི་རྒྱ་མི་དེས་ཁོའི་པར་ཆས་གསུང་ཆོས་གནང་སར་ལུས་སོང་བ་དེ་ལེན་པར་ཡོང་བ་སོགས་རྒྱུ་མཚན་བཤད་སོང་། གང་ལྟར་ཁོང་ཚོར་ཆེ་བསྟོད་འདོད་བློ་ཁེངས་པ་ཞིག་བྱུང་འདུག།།

བླ་མ་སྐྱེས་ཆེན་རྣམ་པའི་ཐུགས་བསྐྱེད་སྨོན་ལམ་ལ་བརྟེན། བདུན་ཕྲག་དགུའི་གོང་གི་སྤྱིར་བཏང་གི་བསམ་ཚུལ་དེ་གྲུབ་འབྲས་དང་ལྡན་པ་ཞིག་བྱུང་། ཐ་ན་ཁ་པར་ལས་ཁུངས་ལ་ཡང་ཐུགས་བསྐྱེད་སྨོན་ལམ་གྱིས་ཁྱབ་ཡོད་པ་འདྲ། ལྕམ་ཛར་ན་ལགས་ལ་ཁ་པར་གྱི་མཐུན་རྐྱེན་ཡོད་ཀྱང་སྐབས་དེར་རྒྱལ་སྤྱིའི་ཁ་པར་བཏང་བའི་རིན་གོང་ཆུང་ཆུང་མིན། བོད་རིགས་རྣམས་ནི་དགའ་སྤྲོ་དཔག་ཏུ་མེད་པ་སྐྱེས་པ་དང་ཁ་པར་གྱི་འགྲོ་སོང་ཁོང་ཚོས་སྤྲོད་ཀྱི་ཡིན་ཚུལ་བཤད་མོད། ལྕམ་ཛར་ན་ལགས་ནས་ཨུ་ཚུགས་བསྐྱོན་གྱི་འདུག །རྗེས་སུ་ཁོང་མོར་འཛིན་བཏང་དུས་སྐར་མ་ཉི་ཤུ་མ་གཏོགས་ཆུ་ཚོད་གཅིག་དང་སྐར་མ་ཉི་ཤུའི་རིང་གི་འཛིན་བཏང་མི་འདུག་གསུང་གི་འདུག།།

རྗེས་སུ་བསམ་བློ་གཏོང་དུས་ང་ཚོ་ནི་སྤྱིར་བཏང་གི་མི་ཕལ་བ་རྐྱང་ཡིན་ན་ཡང་། འདི་དག་ནི་རྒྱལ་བ་སྲས་དང་བཅས་པའི་ཐུགས་བསྐྱེད་སྨོན་ལམ་གྱི་མཐུ་ལས་བྱུང་བ་སྨོས་ཅི་དགོས།

སྐབས་དེར་ང་ཚོས་ནི་ག་རེ་བྱེད་དགོས་ཀྱི་ཡོད་མེད་གསལ་བོ་ཞིག་ཀྱང་ཤེས་ཀྱི་མེད། དེ་བཞིན་ཧ་ཅང་བློ་དོགས་ཆེ་བའི་རྒྱ་མི་ཚོ་གཅིག་མཚུངས་ཡིན། ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡའི་གྲོས་ཚོགས་ཀྱི་གཞུང་འབྲེལ་སྣེ་ཤན་ལས་བྱེད་པ་རྣམས་ལ་མཚོན་ན་ཕྱུགས་ཟོག་ར་བ་ཁག་ལ་ཕེབས་པའི་གཟིགས་སྐོར་དཀྱུས་མ་ཙམ་དེ་བས་ཀྱང་ག་ལ་ཡིན།

གཟིགས་སྐོར་སྔ་རྗེས་སུ་གནས་ཚུལ་མགོ་རྙོག་བྱུང་མིན་ལ་མ་ལྟོས་པའི་གྲུབ་འབྲས་ནི་ཧ་ཅང་གསལ་བོ་རེད།  དེའི་ཕྱིར་ང་ཚོའི་ངོས་ནས་༸གོང་ས་༸རྒྱལ་བ་རིན་པོ་ཆེ་དང་༸ཀུན་གཟིགས་པཎ་ཆེན་རིན་པོ་ཆེ་རྣམ་གཉིས་ལ་ཐུགས་རྗེ་བླ་ལྷག་ཏུ་ཆེ་ཞུ་འདོད་བྱུང་།

ལོ་གཅིག་གི་རྗེས་སུ་བོད་ནང་གི་བོད་མི་ཚོས་བཟོད་བསྲན་ཆེན་པོ་གནང་བར་གྲུབ་འབྲས་མ་བྱུང་བར་བརྟེན་རྒྱལ་ས་ལྷ་སར་ངོ་རྒོལ་གྱི་མེ་ལྕེ་འབར་བ་དང་། གློ་བུར་དུ་བོད་ཀྱི་གནད་དོན་དེ་རྒྱལ་སྤྱིའི་ནང་ཁྱབ་པར་བརྟེན། ང་ཚོའི་ངོས་ནས་བོད་དོན་ཁྱབ་བསྒྲགས་ཆེད་ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡའི་རྒྱལ་ཡོངས་ལ་ཁྱབ་པའི་ཚོགས་པ་ཞིག་འགོ་འཛུགས་བྱེད་རྒྱུར་གྲ་སྒྲིག་འཐུས་ཚང་ཡོད་པ་བཅས་སོ།།
(ཡིག་ཆ་འདི་ལོ་རྒྱུས་ཀྱི་དུམ་མཚམས་གལ་ཆེན་ཞིག་ཏུ་མཐོང་སྟེ་རྩོམ་པ་པོར་བཀའ་འཁྲོལ་གྱིས་བོད་བསྒྱུར་ཞུས་པ་ཡིན་ཡང་།  ཨིན་ཡིག་དྲ་ཐག་  འདིར་ཡོད་པས་དེ་ལ་རྩ་འཛིན་ཡོང་བ་ཞུ། རྩོམ་ཡིག་འདི་བཞིན་༧ཀུན་གཟིགས་པཎ་ཆེན་རིན་པོ་མཆོག་ཨོ་སི་ཊོ་ལི་ཡར་ཆིབས་བསྒྱུར་གནང་ནས་མི་ལོ་༣༠་འགོར་བའི་དུས་དྲན་སྲུང་བརྩིའི་ཆེད་རྩོམ་པོ་པོས་༢༠༡༦་ལོར་ཨིན་ཡིག་སྤེལ་བ་ཞིག་ཡིན་འདུག)

[1] ལོ་ཙཱ་བའི་མཆན། དེར་བརྟེན་རྗེས་སོར་ལྷ་ས་ནས་ཁོང་གི་སྐོར་གནས་ཚུལ་མི་ལེགས་པ་དེ་འདྲ་འབྱོར་ཏེ་མི་མང་ཁག་ཅིག་གིས་ཁོང་གིས་ཚོང་ལས་ཤུགས་ཆེན་པོ་གནང་བར་སྐྱོན་བརྗོད་དང་། ལྷག་པར་རིག་མ་ཞིག་ཀྱང་བཞེས་འདུག་ཅེས་ཐོས་ནའང་དམིགས་བསལ་བློ་མི་བདེ་བ་མ་བྱུང་། ཞེས་གསུངས་ཏེ།  ཁོང་རྣམ་པ་གཉིས་དངོས་སུ་བཀའ་མོལ་བྱུང་བ་དེས་ཕྱིས་སུ་པཎ་ཆེན་རིན་པོ་ཆེའི་སྐོར་ལ་གནས་ཚུལ་ག་རེ་གསན་པ་ཡིན་ནའང་༸རྒྱལ་བ་རིན་པོ་ཆེས་ཐུགས་བློ་བདེ་བར་བཞུགས་སྐོར་གསུངས་འདུག །

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Katowice, climate, Tibet

Tibetans made a big effort to be a presence during the complex global negotiations that in 2015 produced the Paris climate change agreement.In 2015 and in earlier years Tibetans closely tracked the frustratingly slow back and forth of a world grappling with looming climate catastrophe, but unwilling to actually do much about it. The outcome in Paris did not match worldwide hopes. In order to get a treaty at all, it has been left up to each country to nominate for itself what contribution it will make, and there were very few rules on how those contributions would be measured or verified, how governments would be held accountable. Even worse, there were plenty of perverse incentives enabling selfish governments to claim credit for doing nothing, especially if past estimates of their emissions had proven inaccurate.

For Tibetans, one striking result of the Paris agreement was that China did not even pledge to reduce emissions by any definite amount at all, only by China’s unique metric, which is carbon emissions per unit of GDP output. That is energy efficiency, not emissions reduction. The most China was willing to promise was that actual emissions would start to reduce by 2030, and with luck, a bit earlier. The scientists say that’s too late.

China’s top climate negotiator Xie Zhenhua with EU climate negotiator Miguel Arias Canete

Not only Tibetans found this frustrating, because a promise of less emissions per renminbi of output is incommensurate with those countries that did pledge actual emissions reductions. How to compare?

So the 2018 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties, amid the coal fired smoke stacks of Katowice, Poland, was meant to at the very least iron out the rulebook, and ensure no country cheats, or claims credit for doing nothing.

Xie Zhenhua with Iranian delegate and Conf president Kurtyka

The Katowice COP24, which Tibetans prudently did not attend,achieved very little. The headlines suggested success, but when you look at the fine print, clearly no-one has heard of the Dalai Lama’s idea of universal responsibility, thinking and acting for the planet. Instead each country was out to maximise its advantages and surrender as little as possible to the universal need for effective action.

During the two weeks the Katowice talks bogged down in technical detail, this generated a familiar dualistic narrative, of baddies and goodies.The baddies, denying climate change as a reality, seeking to water down collective action, even brazenly championing coal, were easy to pick. The United States made the most of having announced it was pulling out altogether, yet until 2020 remains in the UNFCCC simply because the rules require three years advance notice of withdrawal. Far from being a lame duck on the way out, the US delegation threw its weight around, demanding inaction and denial. There were plenty of other baddies, the usual suspects. Big oil producers Russia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait joined the US in downplaying the latest scientific report that says if we cannot reduce actual emissions by 45% by 2030; the planet will heat faster and faster, uncontrollably, meaning big trouble for us all. Brazil became another baddie, seeking to have its remaining forests counted doubly as removers of atmospheric carbon.

But a dualistic narrative demands a goodie. Who was wearing the white hat? Many observers nominated China as the new leader of responsible environmental action, even as an exemplary builder of “ecological civilisation.”So we ought to look closely at the role China played at the Katowice COP24,with a focus on those aspects of the UNFCCC that impact most on Tibet.

Did China nominate actual emissions reductions, and when they would be achieved? No.

Did China agree to uniform rules applicable to all carbon emitting countries, whether developed or developing? Sort of, with lots of exceptions.

Did China seek payment by rich countries to adapt its technologies to be more efficient in carbon use? Yes.

Did China pledge to crack down on factories producing especially harmful climate warming gases that are far more damaging than carbon dioxide?  Did China acknowledge that those gases, as they drift up into the upper atmosphere, collect over Tibet, creating an ozone hole that has failed to reduce? No.

Did China allow international inspection of its climate change efforts? No.

So what did China actually do during the scheduled 14 days of the COP24, plus the extra two days tacked on when 14 days resulted in stalemate?

China’s script has long been to position itself as the leader, mentor, role model and exemplar for the entire developing world, in order to be exempt from the same requirements imposed on the rich countries.China as champion of the developing countries is increasingly a stretch, and in Katowice, many small developing countries, especially the small island states starting to disappear under the waves of expanding oceans, were especially unhappy about China as their designated leader. But China stuck to its script,its mantra being “differentiated responsibilities.” That vague diplomatic phrase means the rich countries, historically the earliest emitters, are held to higher standards than other countries. In terms of climate justice, that makes sense, but if it means China is not obliged to do anything much, despite being the world’s biggest emitter, that’s hardly planetary progress. Hence the unease among many smaller countries.

Under the banner of differentiated responsibilities, China has held out even on basic rules on how emissions are calculated, so data worldwide is comparable. Eventually, China did reluctantly agree to uniform standards for measuring emissions, but even then China’s jovial but inflexible chief negotiator Xie Zhenhua insisted on lots of wriggle room: “Developing countries also have varied levels of capabilities. Some might need greater    flexibilities, while others could voluntarily do more and accept uniform standards. With more support given to them and enhanced capabilities for these developing countries, they will be able to meet their requirements earlier and faster.”

That was the headline good news story of the Katowice COP24,as good as it gets. All the other obstacles to a concerted global effort to get serious about climate change have now been put off to a COP, in 2020, probably in London.

This will greatly disappoint those who hoped for a sense of urgency, and effective action. Momentum has been building, throughout 2018,with one report after another making it clear what needs to be done, and how quickly, before the heating of the planet takes on irreversibly accelerating momentum of its own.

Little wonder Xie Zhenhua has a wide grin. He is a member of the CCP Central Committee, an engineer and physicist by training, from the Tianjin-Beijing megapolis. He is vice minister of the central planners, the National Development Reform Commission. His career suffered a setback in 2005 when a toxic spill in Tianjin, his home turf, badly polluted the river, and someone had to take the rap. But by 2009 he was back, leading China’s delegation in Copenhagen, and in 2015 in Paris, a long career of privileging China’s exceptional status over all comers, big and small. For small island states sinking under rising oceans who needs friends like that?

Xie Zhenhua strolls in behind UNFCCC head Patricia Espinosa

Now 2020 is shaping up as a crucial year. Not only will it be a year of climate change debate, it is also when everyone who cares for animals, and hopes to preserve shrinking biodiversity, gets together for the Conference of the Parties to another key UN environmental treaty, the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD), due to be held in Beijing towards the end of 2020.

China is energetically preparing itself for the CBD COP, which will be setting targets for the decade that follows, painfully aware that the targets for 2010 to 2020 largely failed to materialise. One of the many targets the CBD set for itself in 2010 was that every sovereign state should set aside 17% of its total space for biodiversity conservation.

That is what prompts China to make preparation now to launch in 2020 its system of national parks, four of the ten to be in Tibet, by far the biggest by area. Thanks to Tibet’s official designation as Key Ecological Function Zone area, China will meet that target of 17% set aside for conservation,so who will notice if that means most remaining drogpa nomads, in the name of biodiversity, are moved out of  national parks which are actually prime pasture lands of Kham and Amdo?

So 2020 is now the focus, the year of the next climate and biodiversity COPs, and of China’s launch of four national parks across the Tibetan Plateau.  China covets its special status as champion of the developing world, champion of ecological civilisation and biodiversity conservation, and Tibet provides the means.

Other issues discussed endlessly at Katowice but without result also affect Tibet. China is keen to adopt “market mechanisms” enabling polluters worldwide to buy carbon capture in Tibet, through carbon trading.This means turning the pastures of Tibet into monetisable “natural capital”that has a renminbi agreed valuation, making the lands of Tibet tradable commodities. Those lands rise in value if no grazing animals any longer range across the grassland, so more grass grows, and more carbon is captured, though nothing like the carbon capture on a bigger scale in growing forests. What makes Tibet a globally marketable commodity is the absence of herds and herders.

At Katowice there was much focus on those market mechanisms,since they don’t actually require emitters to reduce emissions, or guarantee on a global scale any actual cut in emissions.“One final issue under discussion within Article 6 was ‘overall mitigation in global emissions’ (OMGE). This language was introduced by the Paris Agreement to explain the idea that carbon trading should generate a net benefit for the climate, rather than being a zero-sum game. Early drafts included options that would have automatically cancelled up to 30% of all offsets generated. Analysts, climate vulnerable countries and many NGOs said automatic cancellation was necessary to ensure OMGE. However, later versions of the draft text made cancellation voluntary.”

In all, Tibetan concerns did not fare well, and Tibet is now fast being globalised, with national parks put forward as China’s construction of ecological civilisation, for which Chinese officials expect to be paid by investors and polluters, in the market to buy carbon trading credits that let them continue polluting. Is this progress, for Tibet, for the world?

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There is nothing so attractive to Communist Party leaders as a new opportunity to display mastery. It may be the tech bro dream of closely monitoring the movements of individuals, each of them, at all times. It may be monitoring and manipulating the movement of clouds, making it rain when and where controllers decide, masters of all under heaven, tianxia in Chinese.

China may be embracing the construction of “ecological civilisation”, but that does not mean letting nature be. The Communist Party has to be the author, the decider, the controller and thus reap the gratitude of the masses for its benevolence.

How else can one explain the power of the rainmaker scientists? How has it come about that a science with almost no demonstrable capacity to make it rain when and where control room wants it, has such political power? The geoengineering cloud seeders of China command serious money and commitments to spawn the skies with satellites designed to trigger the command to make rain happen, at exactly the right place and right moment.

The centre of this hydraulic fantasy, a skyward extension of China’s historic hydraulic, dam-building economy, is remote Qinghai province, far inland. Qinghai, the Tibetan province of Amdo, is a huge area, and where the Yellow, Yangtze and Mekong rivers begin their long journeys.

Mastery of the lands of the river source region is rapidly consolidating China’s mastery, by declaring the entire catchment to be national parks. But who governs the skies above those lands? Who has mastery? If China can magically enhance the rain, manipulate the clouds of Amdo, the Communist Party will truly be in command of all under heaven.  Little wonder this entire project has been given the deeply romantic name of River in the Sky, Tianhe.

A famous magazine enabling Amdo intellectuals a public voice was called Dangshar, Gentle Rain. In the 1980s, as China opened up, it gave a precious opportunity for new Tibetan poetry and short stories to find an audience keen to hear authentically Tibetan takes on contemporary reality. Until Dangshar inevitably ran into censorship problems, it was a rare flower, a joy for writers and readers alike.

But why call it “Gentle rain”? In English it sounds vague, even insipid. To Tibetans, used to sudden downpours, flooding rains appearing out of nowhere, at any time of the year, gentle rain is the heart’s desire. Thunderstorms, blizzards, gales, extreme weathers of all kinds are common when you live so high in the sky, halfway up into the troposphere. Oh, for a gentle rain, a rain that grows the sown barley crop and the green sward of the pastures.

None of this matters to the scientists who plan to blast Tibetan skies with silver iodide to force passing clouds to yield their juices. Mastery is what matters. We must have command of the clouds, lest they drift by, going on to water what is beyond the rivers catchment, such as the newly proclaimed Hoh Xil UNESCO World Heritage area, which is downwind of the designated rain dump area of the scientists.

In the grand national scheme of things, water is the one essential commodity Qinghai can offer to new era China. The pitch is seductively simple: the Yellow River basin, including the megacity of Beijing-Tianjin, is terribly short of water, and we can induce the river in the sky to fall to earth. Qinghai leaders have embraced this flaky science with all the get-rich-quick enthusiasm of a Ponzi scheme promoter. No-one notices that even if the science does actually work, all it achieves is that it rains more just here, and thus less just over there as a result. Who cares anyway about Hoh Xil (Achen Gangyab in Tibetan), which is a land of lakes with no outlet, quietly accumulating and evaporating water seasonally, of no interest to anyone but migrating antelopes seeking a safe birthing ground?

What does matter is magically increasing rain, at the height of the rainy season, in midsummer, over the rivers. How else to get water delivered across northern China?  Water, unlike minerals and other raw materials China needs, can’t be imported on ships, which would sink. But if water just flows naturally down from Tibet to the heavy coal powered industries of Inner Mongolia and then on to the North China plain, cradle of Chinese history, that’s modern magic. That’s mastery.

Until now, this Rukor blog has not taken the prospect of cloud seeding, a kind of planetary geoengineering, seriously. Past blogs have dwelled on the lack of scientific evidence that it works, despite decades, in many countries, of attempts to make it rain on command. Rukor dismissed the enthusiasm for cloud seeding as yet another macho tech bro wet dream, as doomed as China’s attempts at making Chinese crops grow in Tibet.

We called out the dishonesty of the promoters and projectors of rain making, who point to increased rainfall in cloud seeded areas, without acknowledging that, as climate change accelerates, rainfall across all of northern Tibet has been increasing, with and without cloud seeding.

But what we failed to notice was the grip of this supremely masculine fantasy of powerful men at the top of the system of the party-state, in Qinghai and increasingly in Beijing. The sky river has taken root, with official pledges of serious money, the involvement of several prestigious national laboratories, and the full backing of the Qinghai provincial government, as well as prestigious Tsinghua University.

Chief promoter is scientist Wang Guangqian, who has been pitching his sky river for years, as President of Qinghai University. It all sounds so plausible. However Wang is a scientist of rivers and sedimentation, not meteorology, and the favoured earth-bound water transfer project is going nowhere. The south-to-north water transfer project is designed to dam several Tibetan tributaries of the upper Yangtze, transferring huge volumes to the Yellow River further north, via canals and tunnels dug through mountain ranges. This blog has detailed the many reasons this expensive project, which might be good for the coal based industries of Inner Mongolia, but could not reach far enough downriver to help Beijing, is a deal that ain’t gonna happen.

Magically, Wang Guangqian says, there is no need for all that tunnelling and damming, it can all be done by the sky river instead, making it rain over the Yellow River catchment rather than the Yangtze, which doesn’t need it. A very simple and appealing idea, very attractive to a provincial government that knows it has little else that appeals to Beijing. With such backing, the sky river rolls on, with classy Tsinghua University in July 2018 hosting the first international sky river symposium, and various government grants.

However, none of this means it will happen. Hearteningly, metropolitan scientists openly pour scorn on their provincial colleague, and a highly public controversy has erupted, even in a time of mandatory ideological conformity. Rarely is it so obvious that China is, as ever, a huge, rumbustious even chaotic country where hundreds of flowers bloom, and no government, not even the most highly authoritarian can make everyone line up like ants.

Is this a robust debate, or what? “Many Chinese meteorologists complained last month after it was announced that the project team would launch two weather satellites by 2020 to support the Sky River project.”

“But Sun Jiming, an atmospheric physics researcher with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said the idea was little more than a pipe dream. “There is no comprehensive theory or technology to show how we can precisely control the formation of clouds or rains,” he said. “Scientists are responsible for telling the public the truth and helping the government make the right decisions.”

“Lu Hancheng, a climate professor with the National University of Defence Technology in China, was equally upset by the proposal, which he said had not been properly justified. “It’s unbelievable that a project that has neither scientific evidence nor technical feasibility was approved,” he said.”

“But scholars never got on board with the concept because of the problem of complex and variable weather conditions, along with geological influences. In 2007, Gao Dengyi, a researcher at the Institute of Atmosphere Physics, which is part of the science academy, concluded the idea wasn’t feasible.”

“Critics of the Sky River project have lambasted the undertaking. “This program is an absurd illusion with zero feasibility,” Lu Hancheng, a professor in the College of Meteorology and Oceanography at the National University of Defense Technology, told, adding that it’s impossible to influence precipitation on such a scale.”

“Wu Zhenghua, a researcher at the Beijing Meteorological Bureau, said in an interview with the Beijing Science and Technology News that this kind of operation can only be implemented in a small scale, such as operating in the range of 5 square kilometres and 10 square kilometres, but it can’t be done in a wide range, our technology can’t do it. But in the end, whether there is a real possibility of implementation, the research team did not give a positive answer. “The artificial impact of weather operations on a large scale is still a worldwide problem. No matter China or the United States, Israel and other countries that conduct artificial weather modification research, no substantial breakthrough has been made. Everyone is still conducting research. We are still only demonstrating this matter. This matter will not work in the end. The scale of the need is still necessary to continue to demonstrate,” Zhong Dejun said.”

Wu Guoxiong, an academic of atmospheric dynamics and climate dynamics in China, and a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, told reporters the concept of “atmospheric rivers” is only an image metaphor. “The water vapor transport channel and the river on the land are completely two concepts.” He emphasized that “the water vapor transport channel in the atmosphere is not fixed and there is no boundary.”

Whether the Qinghai-based scientists can make it rain may never be settled. In Chinese mythology that’s traditionally the job of the Dragon King of the eastern Sea. In the Buddhist classic, Journey to the West, Monkey King and the pilgrim Tripitaka knew all about it.

The river of money may run out, or the scientific laughter may take effect. Dreams of mastery can remain dreams. Or it may be that there are even simpler ways of extracting cloud juices

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Updating recent  reports:

RUKOR ANALYSIS: New hydro dams on Tibetan rivers, new propaganda for geoengineering, by cloud seeding the source area of China’s great rivers in Tibet.

China is already intervening on the ground in the huge Sanjiangyuan river source area, steadily depopulating the whole 300,000 sq km area, shifting the pastoralists to urban fringes, cancelling their land tenure and food security, leaving them reliant on official ration handouts, living under constant surveillance. Interventions on land, explicitly to enhance water provision for northern China, are now to be enhanced further by interventions in the sky.

Two stories below from Chinese media on cloud seeding Amdo Yushu and Golok prefectures of Tibet, to generate more rain for downriver China.

These stories, one in national media, one in a Qinghai weekly, both in Chinese, proclaim growing demand for geoengineering of Tibetan skies. Both stories are placed by vested interests which stand to benefit from attracting investment by central leaders in the technologies they command.

Both are highly misleading, as most special pleading by lobbyists usually is anywhere in the world, but Beijing has often fallen for these scientistic promises of miracles[1].

The first story championing remote imaging by satellite as the control mechanism for aerial cloud seeding over Yushu and Golok, a huge area of prime pasture that China now dubs the Sanjiangyuan or Three River Source region, claims to have discovered a “river in the sky” (tianhe in Chinese) that brings rain to Sanjiangyuan, an area bigger than Italy, which is to be enhanced by geoengineering. The river in the sky, the Milky Way of the night sky, is now a commodity to be milked of its cloud juice.

In reality Tibetans have always known where their rain, overwhelmingly summer rain, comes from, mainly the Indian and east Asian monsoons. Claims that the natural rainfall has already been increased by geoengineering are false. All over northern Tibet, both in Sanjiangyuan and in the arid land of lakes beyond, to the west, rainfall has been steadily increasing over the past two decades, as a result of global climate change, both in areas where the rivers rise and downriver China can harvest the water, and in the land of lakes that have no outlet, thus not available for downstream capture.

The other reason both the lakes and the rivers of northern Tibet are growing, also a consequence of global climate change, is the melting of glaciers. Chinese scientists have now measured this, acknowledging the dividend China reaps from increased runoff, while also calculating that China may enjoy this dividend for a further three decades, then the glaciers will be gone, and river flow will decline.

The longer Qinghai Scitech News story claims falsely that Sanjiangyuan lacks water, which would be news to the Tibetan pastoralists who have fattened their yak, sheep and goat herds on these lush, well-watered pastures, over thousands of years. If more water is needed “to improve production”, where are the official programs to improve pastoral livestock production, at a time when Sanjiangyuan is being emptied of human, yak, sheep and goat populations, in the name of climate adaptation?

The reality is that “the exceptionally large demand for water” is not within the pastoral areas but far below, in the big cities of northern China, in the chemical industries and coal fired power stations of Inner Mongolia, all dependent on the Yellow River. It is not Tibetan interests that are being looked after here.


Satellite to transfer water via ‘air corridor’ goes on display

6 Nov 2018

A satellite model of China’s Tianhe Project, which aims to transfer water via an “air corridor”, is on display at the 12th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai, South China’s Guangdong Province.

According to the satellite’s commander-in-chief, Liu Weiliang, the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology is developing the satellite and its carrier rocket, and the first two satellites will be sent into space in 2020.

By 2022, a network of six such satellites will be formed, meaning the satellite will revisit the Sanjiangyuan area, north-western Qinghai province, every hour, or 24 times a day, and provide technological support to water vapour transportation in the air corridor.

Wang Guangqian, an academician with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, has led a team to discover that the atmospheric boundary layer and the troposphere form a stable passage through which water vapor moves.

The team named the passage “Tianhe” (literally, a river in the sky), and so the project it proposed has been named the Tianhe Project.

In the air over the Sanjiangyuan area, there are passages for water vapor from the western Indian Ocean, eastern Indian Ocean, Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau and Central Asia.

The Tianhe Project aims to use water resources in the air through manual intervention to benefit other regions of the country, making an overall plan for using water in the air and on the surface.

It will use the satellite network and the surface system. The satellites are Tianhe-1, and the system will be China’s first dedicated constellation of satellites to detect water resources in the air.

Zhu Wei, chief designer of the satellite, said that Tianhe-1 is a low-orbit satellite, and installed with a microwave hygrometer, precipitation measuring radar and cloud water detector to create three-dimension information of water resources over the Sanjiangyuan area.


A Science and technology sword guards the Tibetan plateau ecology  Qinghai Scitech News 7 Nov 2018

Starting from Xining, we went up more than 500 kilometres along the Yellow River and arrived at Sanjiangyuan. This road is a contiguous lake, the river is clear, the grass is rich, and there are birds and cranes.

  According to locals, 30 years ago, this was another scene: wetlands, swamps, and grassland degradation. The 30-year great change has benefited from the scientific research workers’ foothold on the plateau. The use of science and technology as a “sword” is also inseparable from the protection of grassroots meteorological observers for decades.

  Escort for ecological construction

  Although Sanjiangyuan is the source of rivers, it lacks water resources. For agriculture and animal husbandry to increase production and income, forest and grassland fire prevention, as well as wetlands, rivers and lakes, swamp protection, etc., the demand for water is exceptionally large. In Sanjiangyuan, the status of “water” cannot be overemphasized.

  Since 2006, the meteorological department of our Qinghai province has carried out ecological protection type of artificial precipitation enhancement operations in the Sanjiangyuan area. “There is more rain, the grass is flourishing, the oxygen content of the air has also increased, the number of lakes has increased, and many wild animals have often appeared in groups.” Zhu Haicheng, observer of the Mado County Meteorological Bureau of Guoluo [Golok in Tibetan] Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, said here. He has been stationed for more than ten years and witnessed the ecological changes of Sanjiangyuan.

  As early as 1997, our province carried out scientific experiments on artificial precipitation enhancement in the upper reaches of the Yellow River in the Sanjiangyuan area, and accumulated some experience about technical routes, operational models, and operational command. In recent years, artificial rain enhancement technology has been continuously improved and equipment has become more advanced.

  Wang Lijun, deputy director of the Provincial Office of Weather-Affected Weather, said that for the unique plateau environment, they have broken through a number of core technologies, including pre-assessment techniques for artificial precipitation enhancement in the upper reaches of the Yellow River, physical inspection techniques for aircraft artificial precipitation enhancement, and Artificial rain enhancement effect numerical mode inspection technology.

  ”Transfer water into the air” and scientifically develop airborne water resources can effectively solve the problem of insufficient water resources. Researchers have broken through the key technologies of Sanjiangyuan cloud microphysical properties and liquid supercooled water recognition to achieve “clouds for rain”.

  Artificial precipitation technology is an ecological “escort”. In the past 12 years, the artificial precipitation in the Sanjiangyuan area has increased the precipitation by 57.719 billion cubic meters. The lake wetland area has expanded and the water conservation function has gradually recovered. Among them, the Yellow River source of Zhaling Lake [Kyareng in Tibetan] and Eling Lake [Ngoreng in Tibetan] increased by 5.69% and 10.68% respectively, and the river runoff and the reservoir capacity of the upper reaches of the Yellow River also increased significantly.

  The source of the Three Rivers, the upstream of the weather and climate, is both a sensitive area for climate change and a fragile belt for the ecological environment. As an ecological barrier, it has a unique and extremely important position in China.

  “Weather and climate as the most active and direct factors affecting ecosystems and atmospheric environment, there are complex and close interactions and feedback mechanisms between climate change and alpine ecological evolution, which has always been the focus and focus of the scientific community.” Xiao Jian, deputy director of the Provincial Institute of Meteorological Sciences, said that it is very important to improve the climate and ecological meteorological observation system as the basic data support.

  Snow, glaciers, grasslands, water bodies… It’s critical to “manage well” the unique ecological elements of these plateaus. The Provincial Meteorological Science Research Institute has built a system of high-cold ecology and modern agriculture and animal husbandry meteorological observation and test bases, and has deployed many ecological monitoring meteorological stations throughout the province, realizing the automation from data receiving to processing, dynamic monitoring, and monitoring product generation.

  Remote sensing data is important and human experience is equally important. The sample selection, height measurement, visual inspection of forage coverage, and grass weighing were used to estimate yield. Wang Xin, director of the Meteorological Station of the Guoluo Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, said that during the pasture period from May to September each year, he and his colleagues will go to the plateau for pasture monitoring to analyse the pasture growth and possible disasters in the coming year.

  On the plateau with an average elevation of 3,500 meters, it is mainly based on remote sensing observations, monitoring the elements such as pasture, rain and snow, rivers and lakes, wetlands, etc., as well as the “wind and grass movement” of disasters; supplemented by artificial ground monitoring, “checking for missing traps” Grassland that cannot be monitored by remote sensing. This combination not only makes the observation data more precise, but also further liberates the observer from the harsh environment.

  The guardians of Sanjiangyuan

  In addition to relying on advanced science and technology, the improvement of the ecological environment of Sanjiangyuan is inseparable from its guardians.

  From Shangqiu in Henan to Yushu, the altitude rose from 60 meters to 4415.4 meters. “In the first half of the year, I almost never fell asleep.” Pan Wenzhong, 42 years old, still remembers the feeling when he first went to the Qingshuihe weather station in 1993.

  Qingshuihe Town is the first township after crossing Bayan Kala Mountain. It is located in Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, and the Qingshui River National Basic Weather Station is the third highest altitude weather station in our province. This year is the 23rd year of Pan Wenzhong as a meteorological observer. For 22 years, he spent the Qingshuihe meteorological station.

  The oxygen content there is only 60% to 70% of sea level, only two seasons in winter and spring, and the lowest temperature is minus 40 °C. Despite the harsh environment, Pan Wenzhong and his colleagues had to record data on meteorological elements such as temperature, pressure, and humidity, and to maintain instruments and forecast disasters… There were not many contents, but the task was arduous and could not be taken lightly. “These information is of great significance to local traffic safety, animal husbandry development and ecological protection,” said Pan Wenzhong.

  ”Some people have come and gone, some people are not willing to come at all.” Pan Wenzhong self-deprecating that year was for “escape”, “because it gave me work.”

  There are 54 grassroots meteorological stations in our province, but there are not many meteorological veterans like Pan Wenzhong. In the second half of last year, the Qingshuihe meteorological station also realized full automation and unattended operation. Basically, no meteorological observers were needed. Pan Wenzhong went down to the county meteorological bureau with an altitude of more than 3,000 meters.

  ”If you don’t adapt to it, you can do your job as long as you are on the station for one day.” Pan Wenzhong said that it is enough to contribute to the protection of Sanjiangyuan.



China authorises construction to begin on big hydro dam at Batang. All of the Tibetan Plateau is prone to earthquakes, but at Batang the danger is especially high. The valley of the Dri Chu/Jinsha River is a suture zone, where two huge tectonic block abut, and grind against each other. Just below Batang, earthquakes have been so severe that at times the Yangtze was blocked by massive landslides, only to be overtopped by natural dams, triggering further collapses and devastation downriver.[2]

The Lawa hydro dam, designed with an electricity generating capacity of 1680 megawatts, is to go ahead, according to a recent order issued by China’s State Council.

The dam is athwart the Dri Chu, or Jinsha in Chinese, known worldwide as the Yangtze, which forms the border between Tibet Autonomous Region to the west, and Sichuan province to the east. It is very close to the Tibetan town of Batang. Chinese scientists are increasingly worried that the sites selected by hydro engineers on the Dri Chu/Jinsha are extremely high risks for further massive landslides.[3]

Batang & its many earthquakes, just north of the green rectangle

State Council notice 000014349/2018-00197, dated 31 October 2018, lists many infrastructure projects to be sped up, to counteract the general slowdown of China’s economy, and fears among central leaders that unless growth can be stimulated by, as usual, a burst of infrastructure construction, the population gets restless.

One such project is the Lawa 拉哇水电站 hydro dam, its’ precise location is 30°05′14″N 099°02′26″E.

The other dam whose construction, and financing, has been ordered by this official State Council notice, is on the Nyag Chu, in Chinese Yalong Jiang, a major tributary of the Yangtze in Tibetan upper Sichuan. This is the Kara or Kala dam, which is just beyond (below) Kham Kandze prefecture. Its’ planned generating capacity is 1060 megawatts.

The same State Council directive further instructs an acceleration of construction of the ultra-high voltage (uhv) power grid from the Tibetan dams across China to coastal factory cities where the electricity will be consumed.

The idea that the whole of China could become one single power grid, even though the hydro potential is all in the far west, and the world’s factory largely on the east coast, is an idea that has seduced China’s leaders. It is an idea powerfully pushed by State Grid, the huge state-owned enterprise that stands to make the most profit from building and operating that grid.

But it may be a seductive idea whose time has come, and now gone. China is transitioning to energy efficiency, from heavy manufacturing to a services-based post-industrial economy, while the world’s factory, much of it now Chinese owned, is shifting its’ manufacturing plants to Southeast Asia, to Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and more.

The question of whether China will need all the electricity that can be generated by damming Tibetan rivers is now actively debated in China, despite the seductive appeal of a nation made one, knitted together by those horizontal lines on the map, stretching from west to east across most of China, each line carrying as much as one million volts. Even the National Energy Bureau doubts whether China will actually need all the electricity planned to come from Tibet.

But the Chinese economy is slowing, as has been long foreseen, in the transition from mass manufacture of commodities to a high-income, high wage, consumer economy, the classic “middle income trap” economists talk about. If it slows too much, central leaders fear not enough jobs will be created, for new entrants to the labour market, and there will be social unrest. So the economy is being stimulated again, to accelerate growth, and hydro dams, long in the planning, ready for construction,  are at the top of the queue.


[1] Shiuh-Shen Chien et al, Ideological and volume politics behind cloud water resource governance –Weather modification in China, Geoforum, 85 (2017) 225–233

[2] Chronology of relict lake deposits around the Suwalong paleolandslide in the upper Jinsha River, SE Tibetan Plateau: Implications to Holocene tectonic perturbations, Geomorphology · July 2014

[3] JIANG Shu et al, Long-term kinematics and mechanism of a deep-seated slow-moving debris slide near Wudongde hydropower station in Southwest China, Journal of Mountain Science, (2018) 15(2): 364-379

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China is now ruled by the “Thought” of one man.

Xi Jinping has thought about everything, as his multi-voluminous collected thoughts, translated now into many languages, weightily attest. Xi Jinping is now in charge of everything, in a position to enforce his thought on all under heaven who are under his control. Xi Jinping has an army of authoritarian personalities eager to be his enforcers, to prove their loyalty to the commander-in-chief.

What, then, is that “Thought” sixiang 思想? It might give us a clue as to why official China finds it so hard to see and hear Tibetans as human equals.

Excessive mentation is a familiar category in Tibetan Buddhist analysis of how we manage to suffer, by confusing ourselves as to what is real and substantial, and then seek who we can blame. Conceptual confusion, mistaking the external for the real, ignoring the internal currents of mood colouring our perceptions, is a classic starting point for Buddhists in diagnosing how we wander, seizing on this or that as the solution, only to finds it yet again fails us. We imprison ourselves in our ideas, habits of mind, preconceptions and misconceptions. We think we need to think our way out, only to find the more we think the more uncertain it all gets.

That one man among the largest human population on earth has the answers to everything, and was clearly predestined for that unique role, is perhaps a delusion. Eventually, this will become apparent to all, as it inevitably must. But that could take a long time, and in the meantime everyone must conform, at least outwardly, to the writ of “Xi Jinping Thought.”

Outside China, few have actually read up on their Xi Jinping Thought, attractively bound into volumes uncannily akin to the Collected Works of Mao Zedong. A plunge into the three volumes issued so far reveals not only someone who has thoughts on all topics, but also a politician’s eye for addressing the concerns of all his publics, saying much to acknowledge the many constituencies. In fact, Xi Jinping has so much to say that it is not easy to discern where he stands on many issues, beyond the obvious, overriding insistence that the Party is right about everything, in command of everything, is to be trusted for its unique capability to steer China through all problems, and is to be obeyed. Fortunately, he now has exegetes who can tell us (and him) what he actually thinks, more below.


Whatever the problem, the Party is the solution. That is axiomatic, a given, beyond dissent or discussion. However, the Party also needs China to have problems, so the Party can solve them. Without problems, there would be nothing for the Party to do, beyond getting richer. Its’ monopolisation of power and wealth would in turn become questionable, even becoming a problem.

Tibet is a classic wicked, unresolved problem for China, partly because Chinese certainties melt in the thin air of Tibet. There are willing ideologues, who routinely remind Party leaders that Tibet and Xinjiang are serious chronic problems, and coercive assimilation is the answer. Few Tibetans could name these elite intellectuals, even though they have been highly influential among central leaders always on the lookout for new threats to be managed by a disciplining, controlling, centralised party-state. We should be studying their writings.

Tibetans prefer to look within, to start with the basics, rather than point at the delusions of others. What could be more basic than discerning why we suffer? Buddhism emphasises the reality of suffering, and its causes, not out of morbid fixation, or pessimistic assumption that this is our human lot, but with great confidence that suffering (not pain) can cease, and that there is a clear path to that cessation. That path is up to each of us to implement, there is no external saviour who can do it all for us, so each of us has our work cut out for us, to cut through ideas, habits of mind, dogmas,  fixations, to dissolve our prejudices and assumptions and awaken to whatever arises and fully experience it. That’s enough to keep you busy.

That is probably why Tibetans seldom fixate on the delusions of others, still less the reigning delusions of a distant party-state, isolated from reality behind the walls of its old imperial palace headquarters, Zhongnanhai. Tibetans in Tibet know nothing is gained by critiquing the party-state’s delusory insistence on generating endless problems that only party-state leadership can then solve. Tibetans outside Tibet very seldom take ideology seriously, or bother to read Xi Jinping Thought, assuming it is at most propaganda for an unchanging agenda of oppression and exploitation in Tibet. So it remains oddly up to a nonTibetan blogger to say the new emperor has clothed himself in Thought which amounts to very little.

Where to begin?

Since we know how and when “Ideology” was first coined, we begin at the beginning, in 1796, in the midst of French revolutionary terror, with the aristocrat-cum-revolutionary Destutt de Tracy, who sought ways of discerning what is knowable, the core concern of epistemology. This is familiar territory to Buddhists, who thousands of years ago came up with the two seemingly contradictory truths, the relative truth and absolute truth, that apparent, relative reality is relatively valid but ultimately contingent and misleading; while absolute truth is that all propositions, ideas and concepts are empty of substance. From the ultimate perspective, even the Buddha, nirvana and enlightenment are empty, not to be clung to; yet from a relative perspective they are efficacious as objects to be trusted while on the path within, the path of discovering the nature of mind. So the two truths are not only not contradictory, they stand together, indispensable to each other, supportive of each other as guides on the path and expressive of the inexpressible ultimate realisation beyond language.


In the west, the question of what is truly knowable has persisted, without satisfactory answer. The revolutionary Destutt ambitiously decided it ought to be possible to at last resolve the deep-seated dualisms of western thought, the split between mind and body, matter and spirit, things and concepts. This he called “Idéologie.” Not only would this be a new science, “to analyse the process by which our minds translate material things into ideal forms”, it would be a science of sciences, the ultimate arbiter of what is true.

“The only way to avoid the sceptical position that true knowledge is impossible, so it seemed to Destutt, would be to analyse the process by which our minds translate material things into ideal forms. This modest proposal was readily adopted by authority, institutionalised in the section of the Institut de France which dealt with moral and political sciences, and it was given the name ‘Idéologie’: the science of ideas. Ideology thus originates as a ’meta-science’, a science of science. It claims to be able to explain where the other sciences come from and to give a scientific genealogy of thought. This amounted to a claim of epistemological superiority over all other disciplines. Destutt was thus able to claim that ‘Idéologie’ achieves a momentous philosophical breakthrough, by transcending the ancient oppositions between matter and spirit, things and concepts. By observing the movement by which sensations are transformed into ideas, it ought to be possible to understand, and so to avoid, the ways in which such erroneous patterns of ideas come into being. The new discipline of ‘ideology’ thus claimed to be nothing less than the science to explain all sciences.”[1]

From a Buddhist perspective, this quest for the foundational originary source is a futile exercise. The logical possibility of establishing an aetiology of ideas, a genealogy of thought, in practice gets hopelessly entangled, only generating further confusion. That was the discovery of the historic Buddha, and the subsequent experience of those who followed him. Thus the Buddhists strongly advise meditators not to follow thoughts, not to become fixated on the contents of specific thoughts, or to seek to capture the moments before or after any particular thought, as if to capture its origins or destination. To do so is to disappear down a rabbit hole, into infinite possibilities, none of which can be ascertained. In Buddhist tradition, to meditate is to avoid the extreme of ruminating on the contents of thoughts, and avoid the opposite extreme of trying to empty the mind of thoughts. The meditator allows thoughts to arise and dissipate of their own accord, without getting drawn in to specifics, and without trying to push thoughts away. This is the beginning of mindfulness, which is not necessarily about achieving a calm, thought-free mind.

That path never occurred within the western tradition, which has continued its obsession with origins, aetiologies, ideals and purity. To this day the dualisms of man and nature, mind and body, self and other continue to elude elision. China, in the name of science, now also struggles to reconcile nature and culture, having abandoned many its own traditions. Tibet may pay a heavy price, redesignated as depopulated nature counterbalancing China’s accumulative urban culture.

It is not hard to see how a party-state committed to the Thought of one man as the solution to all problems is attracted to a “science of science”, a grand narrative that promises to deliver top-level design solutions for anything and everything. The more China experiences the strains and contradictions of rapid modernisation, urbanisation and highly concentrated wealth accumulation, the greater is the search for stability, for definitive answers. Ideology, specifically Xi Jinping ideology, is the answer.

Yet the idea of ideology, proposed by a French revolutionary at a time when the revolution ate its own children, opened up the possibility that the science of discovering the source of all ideas would subvert all certainties, make all truths relative and contextual, all conclusions provisional, all finality disputable. “To ‘unmask’ the source of ideas was to deny them absolute validity. ‘Idéologie’ involved a thoroughgoing scepticism towards all authoritative knowledge, which must issue in continual chaos and [in Napoleon’s words] lead to the rule of bloodthirsty men.’

Napoleon, determined to put the revolution behind him, specifically denounced Destutt and ideology. “If the ideologues were allowed to pursue their millennial aims, he foresaw a permanent revolution, a maelstrom in which ideas were continually being unmasked, invalidated and replaced by new ones.” Napoleon, not one to shrink from the rule of bloodthirsty men as long as he was that man, was determined to impose stability, which is also the obsession of the Chinese Communist Party.

Destutt and Napoleon came up with the two, opposed meanings of “ideology” familiar to us to this day. To the idealist revolutionary, ideology could become the Supreme word that judges all ideas, explains everything. To Napoleon, and the Buddhists, ideology obscures, confuses, reifies, overdetermines everything.

Xi Jinping Thought, more fully ‘Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era’ 习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想 , is basically all about maintaining stability and thus party rule, in a time of rapid change and deep social strains. Mao Zedong may have been attracted to permanent revolution, but not today’s Party. Forget class war.


Thus the paradox: ideology from the outset held the millennial promise of a definitive source and thus definitive answers to pressing problems; but also the prospect that all answers could be subverted, destabilised by the elevation of scepticism as the science of sciences. In today’s stressed China, the last thing the party-state wants is to legitimate questioning of its truth, embodied in Xi Jinping Thought.

The two truths of the Buddhists can also seem paradoxical. How can both be valid if from the ultimate perspective everything that is only relatively, conditionally, consensually, socially true is actually empty? Doesn’t ultimate truth negate and cancel relative truth? Isn’t ultimate truth all that matters and relative truth is at most a feeble fiction that glues society together, but which can’t withstand logical examination?

The Buddhists say this is a misunderstanding. Not only do the two truths not contradict, they support each other. Conventional truth may exist only by consensus, yet it shapes us powerfully. So if we can find an exemplary person, who has fully taken the inward path, transformed the self, and is a trustworthy guide, it is very efficacious to trust them, to emulate, to listen carefully to their suggestions, and believe it is indeed possible to change from being self-centred and forever anxious, to becoming more accommodating, no longer seeing others as problems to be negotiated. While it is true the teacher, the teachings, the self and indeed all phenomena are empty of substantiality, the imagination that habitually leads us to feel threatened is also an imagination enabling liberation, by imagining ourselves differently, able to accomplish all that sentient beings yearn for. Penetrating insight into the emptiness of all ideologies goes together with faith in a reliable teacher, even if that exemplary teacher is no exception to the insistence that form is emptiness, and emptiness is form.

Those three volumes of Xi Jinping Thought include a retrospective publication of Xi Jinping’s speeches showing he was destined for greatness. In hindsight, his collected speeches are testimony to his prophesied rise.

This ascent is in turn part of a much greater narrative now retroactively forming around his ascendancy and apotheosis, in which Xi Jinping becomes the continuity of all that is great in Chinese Confucian tradition, a worthy successor to the great men of 5000 years ago, who carries China singlehandedly into a glorious future with his seamless fusion of Marxism and the best of Chinese traditional characteristics.


The most coherent encomium proclaiming Xi the essential man of these times comes from a professor of constitutional law, for whom the Party’s insistence it is above the law and the Constitution is proof of Xi Jinping’s greatness. The author of this influential intellectual juggle is Jiang Shigong, 强世功 who takes 18,000 words (in translation) to position Xi Jinping and his Thought as China’s predestined saviour, in a teleology stretching back 5000 years. Jiang makes a handsome tribute payment, in obeisance to the righteous new emperor who will realise the China Dream.

What is interesting is not his predetermined conclusion, but how he gets there, which involves smoothing out all the bumps, reverses, failures and sharp turns in party history and the whole of Chinese history. Grand narratives don’t get grander than this. Although Jiang enthusiastically embraces the Marxist idea of contradictions and their resolution, his history of governing ideas irons out all the wrinkles. Even the Cultural Revolution, the crisis of 1989, Mao’s disastrous Great Leap are all integral to China’s progress.When China’s revolution, echoing the French revolution, eats its own children, he is along for the ride.

Inevitably, much is airbrushed out in this sweep of continuity, with its repeated cycles of renewal. The foreign dynasties of Mongols and Manchus that ruled China for several centuries are mentioned only in passing. The turmoil of the civil war of the 1940s, the May Fourth generation’s repudiation of Chinese culture, the radical revolutionary class warfare against the educated and especially against Confucius are rarely alluded to. Continuity is all.

Jiang Shigong is far from the first to stitch together this kind of grand narrative proclaiming Confucianism as the root, source, fons et origo of today’s China. This has been done before by liberal intellectuals hoping to generate a backstory that propels China to not only modernity and wealth but also democracy and a state that limits itself. There has also been a new left, among Chinese intellectuals, who persist in revering Mao, who usually regret Deng Xiaoping’s capitalist turn, and the blame heaped on Mao since, not only for the violence and famines, but also for his failures of development and prosperity. To the new left, China’s embrace of Marxism with Chinese characteristics was a brilliant innovation.

What makes Jiang Shigong’s story weaving unique (so far) is that he manages to combine a New Leftist deferential tribute to Mao, including Mao’s repudiation of the Soviet repudiation of Stalin, with deep filial loyalty to the Confucian ancients. That’s quite an achievement, but in Jiang Shigong’s telling, it is all a coherent story, all culminating in the arrival of Xi Jinping.

Along the way Jiang makes lengthy detours to disown any ideas not originating in China, as superfluous, superseded by the Party’s pursuit of Chinese characteristics. Marxism with Chinese characteristics, or the Sinification of Marxism, beginning with Mao, has made such progress that Jiang declares:  “We can say that Xi Jinping’s new reading of communist concepts is a model of the Sinification of Marxism in the new era, in which Marxism must not only be integrated into China’s current situation but must also be absorbed into Chinese culture.  For this reason, communism’s highest spiritual pursuit and the realization of the great revival of the Chinese nation are mutually supporting and complementary, and together have become the spiritual pillars through which Xi Jinping has consolidated the entire Party and the peoples of the entire nation. When the Soviet path toward the modernization of socialism completely failed, due to the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, China lifted the great banner of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics onto the world stage, and it became a powerful competitor to Western capitalism as a model of development.  Scholars have pointed out that if, at the outset, socialism saved China, now China has saved socialism.”

This is Jiang Shigong’s gift to the leader, marrying Marxism, communism, socialism, concentration of power in a party-state that is above the law, and a market economy, into a Confucian mould, “ushering in a new era in human civilisation.”

Having made Marx thoroughly Chinese, Jiang turns to a much harder task of repudiating modern western rationality as having anything to do with China’s current path.  Anyone who has looked even briefly at the massive output of Chinese scientific research might see a very familiar subject/object dualism, a fixation on problem/solution, a scientism that locates truth in objective numbers rather than in situated local knowledges of customary custodians. Jiang acknowledges that “In the past, we understood this philosophy of mastery as modern science that destroyed religious superstition and established the central importance of man, and that produced the opposition between subject and object that followed the objectification of the world through a scientific epistemology.  For this reason, the modern Western philosophy of mastery is also seen as the philosophy of epistemology.  This philosophy has an intimate link to Western political life.”

Jiang understandably connects this dualism to Christianity and to the ancient Greeks. One is either a master or a slave: “For the Chinese people, this is a basic choice between two personalities, national characters and spiritual lifestyles, a choice between being part of the Way and being someone’s tool.  It’s like when two people fight.  Some people, when they lose, give up completely.  They grovel in defeat and become submissive, like a little brother or a hired thug.  Other people, even if they lose, refuse to admit it but instead fight back and eventually defeat their opponent.  The former has an easy life but lacks dignity; the latter knows that to protect his dignity he will have to follow a difficult and painful path.  In Western philosophy, these two personalities constitute the philosophical difference between master and slave.”

Has China somehow managed to transcend this Western dualism, and instead embrace the Way? Has today’s China transcended scientism’s contempt for religion, as nothing more than superstition?

Despite Jiang’s naming of not only the ancient Greeks and Christianity as philosophies of slavery and mastery, but also Hobbes, Hegel, Nietzsche and Marx as masters of mastery, he then opts for mastery as the crowning achievement of the Party. “The spirit of the Chinese people has changed from passive to active means that the Chinese people have finally completely made the transition to a master’s personality, and have begun to firmly grasp their own historical fate.”

China has mastered the West, and no longer owes anything to anyone, having become fully Chinese once more. From there it is but a short step to triumphalism: “Faced with the global competitive landscape shaped by natural selection and the survival of the fittest, if the Chinese wanted to appear as masters, they had to have the courage to ‘unsheath their swords’ 剑 to confront each nation and engage in a life or death struggle. This ‘daring to unsheath one’s sword’ was what Xi Jinping’s report to the Nineteenth National Congress refers to repeatedly as the ‘spirit of struggle’.  In the face of changes in the world system unseen in a thousand years, if the Chinese people want to realize the great revival of the Chinese nation and change the Western model of modernization through which the West has dominated the world, providing late-developing countries with the ‘China solution’ to modernization, they must engage in uncompromising struggle. One of the strongest points of the report to the Nineteenth Conference is that ‘struggle’ became one of its key terms, appearing twenty-three times.  The report correctly points out that ‘realizing our great dream demands a great struggle’. This spirit of struggle is undoubtedly an expression of the master personality.  The report to the Nineteenth Conference even used a literary expression to compare two phenomena in the flow of history: ‘The wheels of history roll on; the tides of the times are vast and mighty.  History looks kindly on those with resolve, with drive and ambition, and with courage; it won’t wait for the hesitant, the apathetic, or those who shy from a challenge’. The former is the master who achieves victory through struggle, while the latter lacks the courage to struggle, and will necessarily suffer the fate of a slave.  The description and comparison of the two encourage the members of the CCP not to forget their original intention, and to fight for the great revival of the Chinese nation with the spirit and character of a master who struggles.”

From there it is only a short step to a blood and soil nativism, a Han chauvinism that Mao might have denounced: “In Xi Jinping’s report to the Nineteenth CCP Congress, the key word ‘people’ appears 201 times, the notion that the Party and the people have established a ‘flesh and blood relationship’ appears three times, the most throughout the history of such reports. For this reason, the CCP is consistently grounded in this great native land, and its political nature, at base, is its indigenous, national nature, its authentic Chinese nature, rather than in the Party’s class nature.  The fighting character of the CCP traces its origins not only to the spirit of mastery in Marxism, but even more to the Chinese cultural spirit, as reflected in sayings like ‘all are responsible for the rise and fall of the universe’ 天下兴亡,匹夫有责, and ‘the superior man tirelessly perfects himself’ 君子自强不.  The CCP’s willingness to struggle and its talent for struggle have been bequeathed to it by the spiritual heritage of five thousand years of the history of Chinese civilization and by the fighting spirit of the more than one billion Chinese people from throughout the country.  The report to the Nineteenth Congress particularly emphasizes that ‘our Party will remain the vanguard of the times, the backbone of the nation, and a Marxist governing Party’.”


Where do the Tibetans as a people, and the lands of the Tibetan Plateau, fit into this grandest of narratives? Neither the Tibetans nor other ethnic minority peoples are mentioned. Much is omitted, that does not fit, and we must look at the omissions as well as the exclusions.

Since Xi Jinping’s new era is predicated on there being a new contradiction, which only the party-state knows how to deal with, Jiang dwells on the Marxist idea of contradiction: “The basis of the CCP’s philosophy of struggle is grounded not only in the philosophy of mastery, but also in the theory of contradictions according to which any antagonism in the world can be unified in practice.”

Jiang revives Mao’s classification of contradictions into two categories, requiring different strategies, as not all contradictions necessitate struggle, violence or mastery: “Mao Zedong put forth his ‘theory of two contradictions’, pointing out the difference between the contradictions between the enemy and us, and contradictions among the people.  In the case of contradictions among the people, struggle is not the most important thing; persuasion and education are the most important tools.”

The Tibetans remain stubbornly Tibetan, uncooked, unwilling to accept Han mastery and submit to pay tribute. So there is a contradiction. Thus the key question is whether the Tibetans are enemies, to be confronted; or are actually accepted as citizens, for whom persuasion and education are the most important tools? China’s treatment of the Tibetans, and the Uighurs of Xinjiang, seems to ambivalently flip-flop between these categories, sometimes treated as enemies to strike hard, sometimes as ignorant primitives to be coercively educated to accept their inevitable assimilation into the one Chinese race. By insisting the Tibetans and Uighurs are both insiders and outsiders, the contradiction is never resolved.

While the Tibetans are not named here, Buddhism is. The most explicit mention is in the final paragraph, extolling China’s great mission of the Xi Jinping era to spread Chinese civilisation globally. If the Neo Confucians centuries ago could push Buddhism to the margins, China can achieve anything: “The great revival of the Chinese nation is not only an economic and political revival. It will result in the great revival of Chinese civilization.  If we say that Chinese civilization, when confronted with the challenge of Buddhism, engineered a great revival through the efforts of Song-Ming Neo Confucians, which then spread Chinese civilization from China proper throughout East Asia, then we should also say that when confronted in more recent times with the challenge of the modern West—Protestantism and liberalism—the Chinese nation is today again undergoing a great revival. The present great revival surely means that Chinese civilization is spreading and extending itself into even more parts of the world.  This undoubtedly constitutes the greatest historical mission of the Chinese people in the Xi Jinping era.” Thus ends Jiang Shigong’s lesson.

There is another, unacknowledged, appropriation of a Buddhist term. Jiang warns of the danger that the CCP could institutionalise itself as just another party of power, swayed by vested interests or even be in danger of being captured, with results as disastrous as the collapse of the Soviet Union. Thus the CCP must never lose sight of its theory of contradictions, theory of struggle and theory of practice. “As a principled political Party, if the CCP loses the philosophical analytical tools and methods provided by Marxism and Mao Zedong Thought, it will lose the theoretical magic weapon 论法宝  pointing out the future direction of development and will necessarily lose the values supporting confidence in ideals and the theoretical weapon to consolidate the people’s hearts, thus opening the door to a politics of convenience.”

Mao called his mastery of contradictions a magical weapon, a term appropriated from Buddhist tradition, traditionally used to emphasise the power of the Buddha’s words and those of later Buddhist commentaries, to be effective medicine to cut through delusion and suffering. Although Mao embraced the modernist rejection of religion as poison, he readily grabbed Buddhist metaphors for his own use, and to this day the United Front is frequently called the CCP’s magic weapon.

Jiang is all for wielding the magic weapons of Sinified Marxism, complete with revived Maoist slogans: “The Chinese Communist Party has once again grasped the philosophical weapon of dialectical materialism, understanding the world through the worldview and methodology of the theory of contradiction and the theory of practice.  Once again having done this, the fighting character will necessarily return yet again to the construction of the political thought of the CCP, becoming the political soul of the CCP.  In other words, the nature of the struggle of the CCP derives from a philosophical consciousness of Marxism-Leninism. The philosophy of struggle in the philosophy of mastery and the philosophy of contradiction and practice are organically integrated.  That there are contradictions means that conflict and struggle exist, and that struggle must engage real problems in practice, which in turn resolves the existing contradiction and propels practice forward.  For this reason, Xi Jinping’s report to the Nineteenth Party Congress correctly points out that ‘the Chinese Communist Party is a great political Party that dares to struggle and dares to win’, and that ‘to realize a great dream, we must engage in great struggle’.”

There can be little doubt that the Tibetans must be struggled, as they refuse to accept the historic necessity and inevitability of becoming modern, urban, assimilated members of the Chinese race.

For Xi and Jiang, China is the most exemplary of nations, worthy of being emulated worldwide, the acme of civilisation. This is an old imperial tradition of the Chinese court, as is rule by ideology, which Xi and Jiang are now reviving.

We are indebted to Jiang’s translators, who offer this summary: “Jiang argues that Marxism must merge with traditional Confucianism and seek inspiration from its spirit of striving, of excellence, of self-perfection. All of this is combined with a defence of China’s cultural and civilizational uniqueness, the notion that, through the continual exercise of theory and practice, China has finally made socialism both uniquely Chinese and uniquely contemporary.

“The cunning of Jiang’s exposition of “Xi Jinping Thought” is that it addresses international liberal criticism without giving way to liberal political solutions.

“Ideology in China is largely a top-down affair. Ordinary people in China are not consulted and are unlikely to care about the doctrinal niceties of Marxism or “Xi Jinping Thought.” Xi’s state Marxism is an ideology that succeeds in fashioning a single narrative explaining China’s past, present, and future and—for the moment—leaves China’s chattering classes speechless and the general public quiescent. The revival of governing by ideology, which requires this single narrative, is Xi’s goal as well—a time-tested form of Chinese statecraft.”

Tibetans may be disinclined to engage with Jiang’s slippery story of how Xi Jinping is the incarnation of all that is best in Confucian tradition. Governing by ideology may be a time-tested mode of Chinese statecraft, but it leaves no space for Tibetans to be themselves, heard or even recognised as legitimately different. So why give yourself a headache tracking yet another hymn of praise to the supreme helmsman?


It is precisely because rule by ideology is such an embedded Han tradition of governing that it needs to be taken seriously, as seriously as the tenth Panchen Rinpoche did in his famous 70,000 character petition to Mao protesting starvation and famine in Tibet, using impeccable CCP jargon of the day. His mastery of Marxist jargon got him a hearing, and delayed for two years his gaoling for daring to contradict Mao. How many Tibetans today are equally adept?

Tibetans are inclined to see ideology as just dogma, as arbitrary and irrational rules imposed on others from above, to confuse the masses and to legitimate authority. Indeed, although the French inventor of ideology in 1796 saw it as a science of sciences, a radical critique of all that claims to be true; ideology, as a word and as a concept, has always had that second, pejorative meaning, always applied to the arguments of others with whom you disagree. This second meaning is almost as old as Destutt de Tracy’s first coinage, as it dates to Napoleon’s attack on Destutt as a peddler of abstract, impractical, even fanatical enthusiasms and theories.[2]

The ideologues of modernity, with or without Chinese characteristics, have long accused Buddhism, and all religions, of being irrational, useless or even poisonous dogmas and ideologies. The modernist embrace of science supposedly supplants old dogmas and ideologies with seeking truth from facts. Contemporary China, far from having left behind the dualisms of the Western tradition, fully embraces the atomistic, reductive logic of science, as the key to China’s future universal role. Jiang again: “What the CCP wants is to represent the ‘advanced productive forces’, and to strive to be in the front lines of the revolutions in science and technology, finally leading humanity’s scientific and technological development into the future.”

Jiang urges China, under Xi Jinping, to be at the forefront of all that is new, yet everything that is new is also old again: “In Xi Jinping’s report to the Nineteenth Congress, the words ‘new’ or ‘renew’ are widely used in expressions like ‘new era’, ‘new situation’, ‘new ideas’, and ‘new undertakings’.  The expression ‘to renew’ alone was used fifty-three times.  The concept of ‘new’ illustrates the ever-changing state of the entire world in its contradictory movements. This is precisely the essence of Chinese traditional philosophy. The Book of Changes, one of China’s ‘Five Classics’, took change as the starting point for understanding the whole world.  The world is driven by contradictory movements to produce developments and changes which in turn drive struggle and innovation. Marxism and Chinese traditional culture have a high degree of internal consistency on this point, which precisely constitutes the deep philosophical roots of the Sinification of Marxism.  Therefore, it is easy for the Chinese to shift from the ideal of the ‘renewal’ in morality and spirit emphasized by traditional culture to the ‘renewal’ of science, technology and material power that Marxism emphasizes.“

Tibetan Buddhism has many logical methods of exposing the flaws in this fatuous attempt at making China consistently both Marxist, and Confucian again. It is this ideological superstructure that blinds central leaders, making it impossible for them to hear what Tibetans in Tibet have been trying to tell them for decades. There is much that is good in Chinese tradition, such as crossing the river by feeling, with a bare foot, for each stone, one by one. But Jiang Shigong’s elaboration of Xi Jinping’s ideology is a heavy stone tied to the foot, dragging China down.

Tibetans do need to engage such slippery attempts at wielding a magic weapon. Tibetans inside Tibet cannot do this publicly, because they are under orders to repeat the vacuous slogans of Xi Jinping Thought and instruct others to do so. Tibetans beyond Tibet are free to penetrate Xi Jinping Thought and its acolytes, but have little inclination to engage, even though China is actually, under Xi Jinping, ruled by ideology. And there is no Panchen Lama to do it for us, as in 1962. Who will take up this challenge?








[1] David Hawkes, Ideology, 2nd ed, Routledge, 2003, 160

[2] “Ideology”, in Raymond Williams, Keywords: A vocabulary of culture and society, 2nd ed, Flamingo Fontana, 1983, 154

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Blogging on the one human right trumping all other rights: 1 of 2

What do we think when “China” and “human rights” arise in the same sentence? A storm cloud assembles: coercion, torture, denial, repression, closure, censorship, bullying. China’s record as a member of the UN Human Rights Council is one of excluding dissenting voices, even trying to have the term “human rights defender” banned, and actual defenders stripped of credentials to speak. It’s all negative, a comprehensively negative stance. Global talk of human rights in China is denounced as illegitimate interference in China’s sovereign realm, for the ulterior motive of weakening China. In this era of nationalism, that’s potent. Not a good look, especially at a time when China is going through its Universal Periodic Review of its overall eligibility to remain a member of the UN Human Rights Council.

China’s record of denial, staging displays of fury at “interfering in internal affairs” might suggest defensiveness. Not at all. Far from being on the defensive, new era China energetically promotes other rights which have been neglected, positioning itself as upholder of these new rights, which supposedly take priority over the issues Tibetans, Uighurs and global human rights monitors constantly raise.

China these days, on the initiative, goes beyond. China finances much of the UN peacekeeping budget, and supplies a high proportion of peacekeepers. China tries to redefine human rights, in 2017 proposing a new UN General Assembly resolution making development both the most important of all human rights, and the precondition for the enjoyment of all other human rights. The resolution passed, though not without considerable dissent, and is now official UN policy. What to make of this proactive initiative?


The right to development is perhaps the least recognised human right, so China’s focus is welcome. Critiques of familiar human rights concepts emphasize the privileged status the international system gives to the civil and political rights of the individual, going all the way back to 1948, to the Universal  Declaration of Human Rights. By comparison, collective social and economic rights get little publicity, little attention. Some argue that this reflects the Euroamerican bias of human rights, which accentuates the individual and ignores the collective, refusing to see inequality and distributive justice as human rights issues. Aryeh Neier, a founder  of Human Rights Watch argued that social and economic rights simply don’t exist, are not legitimate concepts, and the whole idea is a utopian call for redistributive justice on a global scale.

Given this imbalance, China’s initiative is a corrective. Concepts of human rights were split by the ideological divide of the Cold War from 1948 on. Aryeh Neier, who denied the validity of economic and social rights says: “Because it is apparent that some countries with limited resources would be hard pressed to accord their nationals all the economic rights to which proponents of such rights consider them to be entitled, another economic right has also emerged, though it has not yet been incorporated in any global agreement: the right to development. This carries with it the implication that, as a matter of right, the resources of wealthy countries should be used to raise the standard of living of poor countries so as to enable them to meet the economic and social rights of their populations. An obvious justification for seeking such a transfer is that a significant part of the wealth of the wealthy is derived from their exploitation of the resources of the rest of the world. Hence, calling for a right to development does no more, in the view of some of its proponents, than provide a measure of redress for those who have not shared in those advances or who may have been impoverished in the process.” [1]

In today’s world of selfish nationalisms, no such right to redistribution of wealth from rich to poor countries is recognised.  Neier argues that any right to development is by definition a collective right and thus unenforceable: “It is difficult to imagine how an individual, on her own, could enjoy the right to development. It is only possible to imagine that, in common with her fellow citizens of a poor country and of other poor countries, she would benefit from the transfer of knowledge, skills, and resources that would enhance opportunities for the population as a whole to achieve greater economic and social well-being. Moreover, it is difficult to identify a particular individual or a finite group of individuals who could be held accountable in such a way as to secure someone else’s development. Enforcement of this right could take place only through the collective action of an entire society, or of many societies acting together under the direction of global authorities to bring about the necessary transfer of resources.

Thus the right to development is a Marxist utopian fantasy, meaningless in reality. Neier’s career, as an eminent human rights advocate, for many years running Human Rights Watch and the Open Society Institute, gave him opportunity to dismiss economic rights to development, and to focus his organisations exclusively on individual rights.

Hence China’s 2017 initiative. China, like the Soviet Union before it, long saw economic rights as primary, its’ UN resolution confirmed its’ long standing position.


Thus it is worth asking: what has China done to implement the right to development, in Tibet? 

A standard approach to development, anywhere in the underdeveloped areas of the world, is to start with comparative advantage, which means identifying the existing strengths and specialisations of the area, based on its unique circumstances. If the aim is growth, you start with what you have and build on it.  In Tibet, the obvious comparative advantage of the traditional mode of production has always been wool, dairy and other livestock products.

A century ago, Tibetan wool was traded, via yak caravans through Kalimpong to Calcutta port and onto ships to the woollen mills of England. Tibetan wool from Amdo was traded all the way down the Yellow River, changing hands many times, to the port city of Tianjin, and then to the woollen mills of New York. The Tibetan economy in the 1920s was globalised.

mules laden with wool

From the viewpoint of the upland nomads of the remote hinterland, wool buyers a century ago came from three directions. Some wool still went overland to the northwest, as it had for centuries, to Russia, boosted, in the 1930s, by Soviet railway extensions towards what is now the border of Kazakhstan with Chinese Xinjiang. But most of the surplus, especially sheep and goat wool, either went south to the British market or east to the American and German markets. Either way, there was a long haul overland before reaching Calcutta or Tianjin ports, and the trade routes were frequently disrupted by conflict, but a highly globalised trade nonetheless persisted. It took a World War to halt this trade.

As much as 90 per cent of Tibetan government revenue in Lhasa in early decades of the 20th century came from taxing the wool trade.[2] Lhasa was the market hub for wool destined for South Asian and European markets, from all over the high plateau. However, the wools produced not only in the uplands but also in the arid lowlands of Mongolia, Gansu, Ningxia and Xinjiang, were all exported to New York via Tianjin, reaching a peak of 24,000 to 28,000 tons a year in the 1920s.[3]

wool carried by pack animals

“The Chinese trade is interested primarily in the export of Chinese articles to the frontier peoples, in return for which it handles wool as one of the methods of realising on investments.”[4] Rasmussen describes in detail the remote source regions and varying qualities of the wool, which Chinese traders routinely adulterated by paying to have dirt rubbed into it to increase the weight, transport costs, and selling price.

This trade was hit hard by the Great Depression of the 1930s, by technological change in the American mills and by an American decision to admit competing Argentinian wool, but the trade had thrived for decades. For China, “wool has been among the first six or seven exports and in 1933 and 1934 moved up to fourth and third positions respectively.”[5] By the mid to late 1930s, Japanese conquest of Chinese ports and wool producing hinterlands meant that Japanese trading houses increasingly dominated the wool trade, and that Japan’s ally Nazi Germany increasingly became its destination.[6] It was only when global war erupted that inner Asia ceased being the world’s primary source of carpet wool, to be replaced eventually in the post-war world by New Zealand. Today New Zealand is so dominant that the Tibetan carpet industry of Nepal, its top export earner, is heavily reliant on sourcing much of its inputs from NZ.



In the 1950s and 1960s, this was the obvious starting point of development, to strengthen dairy and livestock production, improve breeding, veterinary care, processing, separation of the wool clip so finer grades of wool could be sold separately at higher prices. Shanghai woollen mills badly needed Tibetan wool.

A standard approach to development would give priority to constructing local roads to link remote areas to distant markets, establish animal feeding stockyards in market towns to keep animals to be sold in good condition, provision of loans to small producers to intensify production, buy a truck for greater mobility, and provide herders with weather reports warning of adverse conditions. These are all obvious ways of linking producers and consumers, adding value, enhancing existing strengths, implementing the right to development.

China did almost none of this. Although it did want herd size to rise and greater productivity, the herders were disempowered by compulsory communisation in which each herder produced their quota or starved as work points were deducted and thus rations withheld.

Not only did China fail to develop Tibet in the 1950s and 1960s, subsequent decades saw investment monopolised by urban infrastructure, highways, hydro dams, power grids, oil pipelines, railways, all designed to extend the reach of the state rather than to link primary producers to China’s markets. Investment grew greatly, but not in rural Tibet, except for enclaves of mineral extraction. For a few years, in the 1980s, local county governments set up wool processing factories which could and should have added value to nomad wool production, but these township and village enterprises all went broke, having spent too much on building wool scouring plants too big for local supply, leading to ruinous competition, mounting indebtedness as loan finance could not be repaid, desperate cheating of the woollen mill customers by weighing wool bales down with stones that damaged woollen mill machinery. It all collapsed, the woollen mills switched to synthetic substitutes for wool, or to importing their wool from Australia, and the Tibetans were on their own, poorer than ever.[7]

Since the shameful end of the 1980s “wool war”, as economists call it, China has poured money into Tibet but very little into the traditional productive economy; instead concentrating capital expenditure on the dams, highways, extraction zones and urban areas, all providing employment for speakers of standard Chinese, not Tibetans, except as casual, unskilled labourers, usually with no right to reside long term in the towns they built.

Despite China’s ideological privileging of the right to development over other rights, China failed to develop the Tibetan economy or build wealth creation opportunities for Tibetan livelihoods or intensify Tibetan comparative advantage.






China remains officially convinced it has brought development to Tibet, even if the Tibetans fail to be suitably grateful for China’s civilising mission.  How is such mutual misunderstanding possible? Maybe the most vivid answer is to reprint Emily Yeh’s 2013 ethnography of what development with Chinese characteristics actually means, on the ground:

Science and Technology Transfer Day

The transfer of science and technology by the state to Tibetan villagers is intended to be accomplished both directly, through state-sponsored efforts, and indirectly, by way of the villagers’ proximity to Han migrants. In February 2001 I had the opportunity to observe science and technology  brought to “the masses.” Called “The Three Go Down to the Countryside” ( sange xiaxiang ), this was a mandatory annual event in which Lhasa work units traveled to a rural area to promote (1) science and technology, (2) education, and (3) hygiene, with the overarching goal of alleviating poverty.

That year’s program, which was with the Tibetan medical hospital and several institutions of agriculture and animal husbandry, was held in a township seat only a short drive from Lhasa. We arrived at the township government’s courtyard to see a banner hanging across the entrance proclaiming this a day for science and technology. In front of the stage and spanning its width was a multicolored balloon arch on which “Rely on Technological Progress, Realize a Leap Forward in Development” was emblazoned in Chinese. Two balloons on either side carried a similar slogan in Tibetan.

Around the courtyard, work units had set up booths with exhibits. Staff members from the hospital and the animal husbandry bureau were dressed in white lab coats, giving them an air of knowledge and authority. The Vegetable Research Institute displayed poster boards showing a variety of flowers, vegetables, and greenhouses, as well as packets of seeds, potato cultivars, and pamphlets about vegetable cultivation. Another exhibit included small glass display cases holding varieties of barley seeds.

Some young children had come early. The villagers drifted in, and by the time the program began there were some six or seven hundred audience members. Sometime later, a group of uniformed soldiers marched in and sat to the right of the stage, followed after a few minutes by a truckload of maroon-robed nuns who sat to the left of the stage, directly facing the soldiers. Thus was created a visually striking bifurcation of space.

The event began with speeches by several work unit party secretaries. One spoke about the need to be civilized (wenmin ), the importance of education, and how modernizations could be achieved only through the use of science and technology. Others spoke of the urgent need to oppose superstition and to use science instead.

After the speeches began a program of more than twenty songs and dances by staff members from various Lhasa work units. The program was interrupted about two-thirds of the way through when TAR deputy party secretary Tenzin arrived to present gifts to the children of a nearby orphanage. A television and a video-CD player were given to the township, and a refrigerator to an impoverished household. Development and poverty relief had arrived in the form of gifts.

At the conclusion of the performances, the audience, who had sat patiently throughout the day, converged on the display booths around the courtyard. The largest crowd, pushing and shoving, formed around the Tibetan hospital’s table, where doctors read pulses and gave out medicine. Villagers mobbed the other tables as well. Far too many bodies crowded chaotically around the small spaces for any actual conversation or dissemination of information to take place.

Instead, this was an occasion for the sport of free sample collection. At each table were hundreds of pamphlets about greenhouse vegetable production—only a small number of which were in Tibetan and so were useless to most of the villagers— which the visiting technical experts from Lhasa threw to the crowd.

The Vegetable Research Institute had brought several cartons of its newly developed brand of spicy fries. Two staff members climbed onto the table and threw their packets of greasy potatoes and Chinese-only pamphlets into the crowd, and the villagers fought over them eagerly.

This was “technology transfer” Chinese-Tibetan style: the great science giveaway. The villagers then sat in circles for the highlight of the day, a picnic of dried meat, vegetables, baskets of bread, and jugs of chang . During the feast, the agricultural experts recruited audience members to sing.

After two more hours of merriment, the event was over and the villagers returned home with their free samples. Staff members from Lhasa’s work units were also free to go, having fulfilled their annual duty to disseminate science and technology to the “ignorant masses.” The villagers had fulfilled their duty as well, to attend the day of performance, food, and drink, and to bear witness to the presentation of gifts.

Emily T. Yeh, Taming Tibet: Landscape Transformation and the Gift of Chinese Development, Cornell University Press. (2013), 161-2









[1] Aryeh Neier, The International Human Rights Movement: A History, Princeton University Press. (2012), 62-3

[2] Wim van Spengen.  Tibetan border worlds : a geohistorical analysis of trade and traders, Kegan Paul International, 2000, 107-119

[3] A. H. Rasmussen, The wool trade of Northern China, Pacific Affairs, 9 #1, 1936, 60-68.

H Lee Shuttleworth, A wool mart of the Indo-Tibetan borderland,  Geographical Review, 13 #4, 1923, 552-558 Downloadable via JSTOR.

H.D. Baker, British India, US Department of Commerce, 1915

C.E.D. Black, The trade and resources of Tibet, Journal of the East India Association 41 (48), 1908, 1-26

W.S. Hamilton, Notes on Tibetan trade, Government of Punjab, 1910

Luc Kwanten, Indian trade marts in Tibet, Courrier de l’Extreme Orient, Brussels, 3 (29), 1969, 45-53

Trade with Tibet, Indian trade journal, 6, 1907, 610-12 and 728-9; and 8, 1908, 344-5

[4] Rasmussen, The wool trade, 68

[5] Frederick V. Field, China’s foreign trade, Far Eastern Survey, 4 #5, March 1935, 33-40

[6] Kurt Bloch, Germany replaces U.S. as outlet for north China wool, Far Eastern Survey, 7 #25 December 1938, 300-01

[7] John Longworth, Colin Brown and Scott Waldron, Chinese domestic wool production, China Agricultural Economics Group, University of Queensland, 2004, 35

Zhang Xiaohe, Lu Weihguo, Sun Keliang, Christopher Findlay and Andrew Watson, The ‘wool war’ and the ‘cotton chaos’: fibre marketing,  120-143 in Ross Garnaut et al eds., The third revolution in the Chinese countryside, Cambridge University Press, 1996, table 10.10, 136

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