Tibet Through Chinese Eyes

When something big happens somewhere in the world, my first instinct is to seek to learn more by looking at what was written before it happened. I have been reading up on two things this weekend: Barack Obama’s long standing and close relationship with the pastor he refers to as his “mentor” and recent “incidents” in China’s Western region.

I learned a considerable amount about “the feelings” surrounding Tibet by reading a 1999 article written by Peter Hessler (he of Oracle Bones and River Town fame).

Hessler’s article is described as follows:

Many Chinese working in … [this region] regard themselves as idealistic missionaries of progress, rejecting the Western idea of them as agents of cultural imperialism. In truth, they are inescapably both.

The article is Tibet Through Chinese Eyes, and part 1 is here, Part 2 is here and Part 3 is here. They make for a very thoughtful and very sad read. Definite analogies to Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.