Thursday, April 22, 2010

Did Hu Jintao preach Buddhism in Tibet?

Tsering Tsomo

A popular columnist at Saipan Tribune believes so. (yes, it took the wind out of me!)

On February 25, Jaime R. Vergara, a columnist at the daily wrote a lengthy piece on the “peaceful harmonious” diplomacy of the Chinese president Hu Jintao in an article titled “The Diplomacy of Harmony” ( In it, he said Hu Jintao not only preached Buddhism in Tibet for three years but also “honed his skills at resolving conflict through peaceful means”.

Here’s an excerpt:

“Not being a member of the Shanghai ‘mafia’ of the Communist Party, Hu’s meteoric rise to leadership included stints in Guizhou (south of Sichuan, and north of Yunnan) and Xizang (Tibet) - the hinterlands, where he honed his skills at resolving conflict through peaceful means. In the ‘60s, Hu followed Buddhism, even preaching the Buddhist principle in Tibet for three years.”

Another misinformed intellectual is Shelley Hawks, a “China expert” and assistant professor of social science at College of General Studies in Boston University. In a February 22 interview ( with BU Today, Hawks said Hu Jintao received promotion for his “handling of student demonstrations in Tibet”. She did not mention that Hu as the party secretary in Tibet Autonomous Region was responsible for the year-long martial law in Tibet and the violent crackdowns on Tibetan demonstrations during 1988, 1989 and 1990. Many died from gunshots and many more were detained and tortured. How could she? She just transplanted Tiananmen Square from Beijing to Lhasa. The BU Today did not allow my comment on the article.

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