The New York Times has taken to reprinting press releases from the Chinese Politburo, witness an article in today’s paper (“Police Detain 59 in Tibet, China Reports”).
The Times uncritically passed on the following from China’s state media: Police are sweeping the markets in Lhasa (“capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region of China”) looking for CDs containing banned “reactionary songs” intended to “spark violence and damage Lhasa’s political stability.”
The Times notes that these subversive elements “are accused of threatening national security by advocating for an independent Tibet and by expressing disdain for the ethnic Han migrants who now dominate commerce in Lhasa and other Tibetan cities.”
Parroting Chinese propaganda again, the paper notes that “rioting” in Tibet last March – “left at least 21 people dead and traumatized Beijing.” China’s state security forces killed 21 Tibetan protestors and Beijing is “traumatized”? The poor communists, how they must suffer.
The New York Times fails to note the following which would put the current crackdown in perspective:
- There is no “Tibet Autonomous Region of China.” The People’s Republic invaded and conquered Tibet (an ancient kingdom with a distinct language, religion and racial composition) in 1949 and made it a territory of China. The Times routinely, and incorrectly, refers to the “Israeli occupied West Bank.” Why not “Chinese occupied Tibet”?
- China has been flooding Tibet with those “Han migrants” in order to destroy the country’s unity and make the Tibetans a minority in their own land.
- In March, state security forces murdered at least 21 people who demonstrated for Tibetan independence. Of 4,000 arrested (many of whom were tortured), over 700 of the detainees are still unaccounted for.
If The New York Times is going to act as a conduit for Beijing’s propaganda, at least it should have the decency to run it as press releases from the China News Service, instead of pretending it’s reporting the news.