IN THE “NO-MAN’S LAND” OF TIBET

 EVALUATING CHINA’S NOMINATION OF HOH XIL NATURE RESERVE TO BECOME A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE NATURAL PROPERTY #1 of a series of 3 blogs   The cute Tibetan chiru antelope mascot of the Beijing Olympics is to be saved, by making its winter pastures and summer birthing grounds UNESCO World Heritage. Before China reached  the Tibetan …

INSPECTING THE STRAIGHT LINES OF THE CHINESE DREAM

XI JINPING COMES TO AMDO QINGHAI Xi Jinping’s recent tour of inspection of Qinghai province suggests all is well in the northern half of the Tibetan Plateau, which, in China’s usage has become hyphenated, as the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, or QTP. Although the Tibetan Plateau is one unit, in any sense –geographically, tectonically, altitudinally, culturally, linguistically, …

VOICES OF THE HIGH GROUND

HOLDING CHINA TO ACCOUNT FOR CLIMATE CHANGE When you talk with European diplomats about China and climate change, they sigh. Not only have China’s fast rising emissions negated all of Europe’s efforts at cutting emissions; China berates Europeans who raise the issue, calling them imperialists using climate as an excuse to try to hold China …

TIBET’S ABRUPT ENTRY INTO THE ATOMIC AGE

CONFLICT MINERALS OF TIBET: #4 IN A SERIES: URANIUM This series of blogs highlights the specific minerals extracted from the Tibetan Plateau, despite the protests of Tibetan communities determined to protect their livelihoods, sacred mountains and pilgrimage routes. This series also introduces, to Tibetan readers, the new conflict minerals regulatory regime which effectively bans the …

TIBETAN LITHIUM IN YOUR POCKET

CONFLICT MINERALS OF TIBET: #2 IN A SERIES: LITHIUM   This series of blogs highlights the specific minerals extracted from the Tibetan Plateau, despite the protests of Tibetan communities determined to protect their livelihoods, sacred mountains and pilgrimage routes. This series also introduces, to Tibetan readers, the new conflict minerals regulatory regime which effectively bans …

GOLD FROM TIBET: AN UPDATE

CONFLICT MINERALS OF TIBET: #1 IN A SERIES: GOLD This series of blogs highlights the specific minerals extracted from the Tibetan Plateau, despite the protests of Tibetan communities determined to protect their livelihoods, sacred mountains and pilgrimage routes. This series also introduces to Tibetan readers, the new conflict minerals regulatory regime which effectively bans the …

WITNESSING DEVELOPMENT

CCP’s SIXTH WORK FORUM ON ALL TIBETAN AREAS The Chinese Communist Party’s Sixth Work Forum on Tibet has just wrapped. Like the previous high-level conclaves, it will take time to find out what its real significance is, such as new policies or strategies. These filter out slowly, often as neibu (insider-only) documents strictly for senior …

TIANJIN CYANIDE EXPLOSION:

 THE TIBET CONNECTIONS Why were 700 tons of sodium cyanide sitting in a Tianjin warehouse waiting to explode? What was all that cyanide for? Tianjin is a very long way from Tibet, yet they are historically connected, and the cyanide, primarily used in gold extraction, adds another link. Tianjin is China’s  entry point for imported …

THE GREATEST CLIMATE CHANGE MOVIE EVER

RIVER ROAD Two brothers set off on the road, the road home, leaving behind the school and its insistent rote learning of modernity. The road is the river bed, bereft of water and vegetation, a flat sandy bed along which these young boys, neither older than 12, wander with their camels. They are born cameleers, …

Dancing the Canadian Chinese mining two-step

Tibet, Congo or Papua New Guinea When, in 2012, I wrote a book about mining in Tibet, it seemed China’s appetite for minerals was insatiable, having survived the great global recession of 2009 onwards with hardly a blip in demand. By then the global commodity boom had been rolling on nonstop for a decade and …