One does not know whether to laugh or cry.
When China, one of the modern world’s peacefully rising nations, equates the revered and freedom-loving Dalai Lama with the German Nazis of Adolf Hitler’s regime in the 1930s and 1940s because its propaganda minions falsely say he advocates policies that would expel light-skinned Han Chinese from darker-skinned Tibetan regions, one knows something is very wrong with China.
However, that is exactly what a state-run newspaper in China has recently done, accusing the Dalai Lama of having “Nazi” tendencies.
Recently, one of the mouthpieces of China’s state-run news media tried to equate the Dalai Lama, a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, with the Nazis and their genocidal war on European minorities, from Jews to Roma.
How do I know this screed appeared in China?
I read it online in the New York Times in free and democratic Taiwan. If you get the Times in English where you live or online, maybe you should read it too.
The Times article — describing the nerve of one Chinese “journalist” who called the Dalai Lama a “Nazi” — is online for anyone to read, plain as day.
However, in case you missed it, here is what the propaganda commentary said: “The remarks of the Dalai Lama remind us of the cruel Nazis during the Second World War ... How similar it is to the Holocaust committed by Hitler on the Jews.”
Andrew Jacobs, a Times reporter based in Beijing, who has also produced and directed a touching documentary about elderly Holocaust survivors living out their sunset years in the Catskills, wrote: “As the Chinese government’s relationship with the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, has gone from bad to worse over the years, Beijing’s propaganda machine has churned out increasingly florid descriptions of him.”
“He has been called a jackal, a wolf in sheep’s clothing and, routinely, a splittist,” Jacobs wrote.
Now China’s propaganda mavens want to equate the Dalai Lama with Hitler?
Is Hollywood satirist Mel Brooks directing this tragedy, or does Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) really think he can get away with this nonsense?
The “Dalai Lama is a Nazi” commentary was posted on the China Tibet Online Web site and it was also carried by state-run Xinhua propaganda agency, which is similar to the TASS “news” agency of the former Soviet Union.
The propaganda piece said that the Dalai Lama was “advocating policies that would result in the expulsion of ethnic Han Chinese from traditionally Tibetan parts of the country.”
Do the Chinese have a word for paranoia in Mandarin? You bet they do.
“How similar it is to the Holocaust committed by Hitler on the Jews,” the article says.
I will let Tsering Tsomo, female director of the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy in Dharamsala, India, have the final word.
She lamented that such statements diminish the stature of the Chinese government as it tries to play a greater diplomatic role in world affairs.
“Many countries depend on Chinese cooperation on important issues and this kind of behavior doesn’t help their standing [in the world],” she said.
When China starts calling the Dalai Lama a Nazi, you know something is very rotten in Bejing.
Shame on Beijing’s propaganda puppets for such ugly name-calling.
Dan Bloom is a freelance writer based in Taiwan.