Area Studies
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THE POTOMAC CONFERENCE, October 5 - 6, 1992

October 5, Afternoon Session I:

Wang Ruowang, Special Guest

James D. Seymour, Introduction

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Before we begin our panel on the environmental and economic issues, we 
have a very special treat.  We did not know that this would be possible 
when the program was put together.  

Very recently, as probably everyone knows, Wang Ruowang was able to 
leave China and, although he probably needs little or no introduction - I 
think it should be pointed out that he has endured considerable sacrifice 
in recent years, spent most of the time under house arrest - and he is, 
of course, a very prestigious and well-known Chinese intellectual and 
spokesman for the cause of democracy in China.  He has written a great 
deal on many subjects.  His most famous book - that is, the best known in 
English - is I think under the title _Hunger: Trilogy_.  So it is a great 
honor and privilege to introduce Wang Ruowang, who will speak to you for 
about five minutes.


[in Chinese]  Ladies and gentlemen, I am very pleased to have the 
opportunity of getting together with you to discuss the questions about 
the future of Tibet today.  In the interests of time, I would like to 
make a few observations. 

Mr. Zhu Jiaming in his speech mentioned that there was a story about 
Princess Wencheng in China, wherein the emperor of the Tang Dynasty 
married his daughter to the religious leader of Tibet in order to placate 
Tibet, which is a very long ways away, to conciliate the religious 
leadership in Tibet.  The author of the story originally wanted to prove 
that Tibet had always belonged to China since ancient times.  However, 
this story did not achieve this goal.  On the contrary, the drama 
demonstrates that, in the Tang Dynasty, the emperor respected the Tibetan 
nationality very much - he didn't want war, he wanted to make peace to 
settle all the issues by peaceful means - and he attempted to make peace 
with Tibet by various methods, even by marrying his daughter of the 
imperial family to the Tibetan king.  Therefore, you can say that the 
precedence of what the emperors of the Tang Dynasty had done is 180 
degrees contrary to the actions of the Chinese Communist Party.

First, in the Tang Dynasty, the Emperor did not use military force to 
occupy Tibet; the Emperor did not send his secretary or party committee 
to Tibet as an overlord ["as the father of the king"]; the Emperor did 
not attempt to suppress the Tibetan people; the Emperor did not 
confiscate their livestock or destroy the Tibetan people's monasteries 
and did not make them go hungry by forbidding them to feed cattle and 
sheep.  Moreover, more than two thousand years later, the one party 
authoritarian regime of the Communist Party is not just and peaceful, it 
is embarked on an unjustifiable path, a non-peaceful path.  They even 
went so far as to pursue a policy of discrimination and suppressing the 
national minorities which forced the Tibetan people and their religious 
leader, the Dalai Lama, to claim, to demand self-government and the 
independence of Tibet.

I think this demand under present circumstances is just and we should 
support it.  This is their sacred, unalienable right.  As a Han, 
actually, the Han nationality should not have any difficulty 
understanding the Tibetan people.  Now, actually, if we talk about unity 
- and we are talking here about the unity between the wolf and the sheep 
- what kind of unity are we seeking?  At least we should learn from the 
emperor of the Tang Dynasty, who used peaceful means.  In fact, the 
method of marrying daughters of the imperial family to the minority 
nationalities can be traced back to the Han Dynasty.  Using blood ties, 
maybe this is a little backward.  In fact, the daughter who married a 
minority leader became a _hostage_.  In this way, the emperors of Han 
Dynasty made peace with other nationalities.  One thing we should be 
aware of is that in the Han Dynasty, the minority countries were not 
dependencies of the Han Dynasty.  The drama with the Princess Wencheng 
indicates that the emperor of Tang Dynasty did _not_ treat Tibet as a 
state of the Tang Dynasty.  He still respected Tibetan tradition and 

In 1983, I went to Tibet.  But the Tibet that I saw was seriously 
damaged - it was like a wasteland, a barren place.  As we all know, in 
the Cultural Revolution, many monasteries were destroyed - were in 
complete shambles - by the Chinese Communist Party.  Because of this, the 
Tibetan people were very angry, had great indignation, at what the 
Chinese did to them.  They said that, in the past, in all of Tibetan 
history, the Chinese Communist Party has been the only one who has ever 
done such incalculable damage to their land.  In the past, even the 
British invasion into Tibet did not result in such atrocities being 
committed.  Only the Chinese Communist Party has destroyed all these 
sacred monasteries.  In addition, they also introduced the socialist 
practices, in which all the livestock were all owned by the public.  As a 
result, in Tibet, one of the major pastoral areas in China, the people 
there did not have enough beef and mutton to eat.  Many people died of 
starvation in Tibet.  I know now these facts from my own on-the-spot 
investigation in Tibet.

I can never forget the evil, the historical crimes the Chinese Communist 
Party has committed in Tibet.  Therefore, my hope is that the Tibetan 
people and the people of the Han nationality can have peace from 
generation to generation.  The prerequisite, however, is terminating the 
cruel rule of the Chinese Communist Party.  Short of this, it can never 
be accomplished.

Thank you very much!