Back in 2006, China was crucified in the Western media due to one unarmed Tibetan being shot dead attempting to illegally cross the border into India. It was called the Nangpa La Pass Shooting Incident. If you Google it, you’ll find a lot of anger and allegations about what happened.
USA Today reported, “China said Thursday that soldiers posted near its border with Nepal clashed with some 70 people attempting to flee the country, killing one person on the spot and injuring two others, including one who died later of altitude sickness.” io9.com says, “Altitude sickness is relatively unstudied because of how quickly and unpredictably it goes from nausea to coughing up blood to death.”
Another headline shouted: “International Anger Grows Over Tibet Shooting. Human Rights groups are calling for a UN Investigation into the killing of a nun by Chinese border patrol guards, writes Jonathan Watts in Beijing.”
Then I read another story I’d never heard of before that the U.S. media has ignored. I read this in The Economist, a publication in the UK, of another border where similar killings happen often, but I couldn’t find any demand of a UN Investigation in the Western media or from human rights groups for those killings. Even The Economist, that reported the story, didn’t call for an investigation.
Maybe the difference is that the border killings reported by The Economist took place between two democracies—India and Bangladesh. After all democracies are special, aren’t they?
I couldn’t find a report of this India-Bangladesh incident in English on YouTube
The Economist reported, “On January 7th India’s Border Security Force (BSF) shot dead Mr. Nur Islam’s 15-year-old (daughter) Felani, at an illegal crossing into Bangladesh from the Indian state of West Bengal. Felani’s body hung from the barbed-wired fence for five hours. Then the Indians took her down, tied her hands and feet to a bamboo pole, and carried her away. Her body was handed over the next day and buried in the yard at home.”
“The BSF (India’s Border Security Force) kills with such impunity along India’s 4,100-kilometer (2,550-mile) border with Bangladesh that one local journalist wonders what the story is about. According to Human Rights Watch, India’s force has killed almost 1,000 Bangladeshis over the past ten years.”
Should we conclude from this that the one Tibetan killed attempting to illegally cross China’s border is worth more than the 1,000 who were shot dead attempting to illegally cross the border from Bangladesh to India?
What about deaths along the US border?
According to Rodolfo Acuña, Professor Emeritus of Chicano Studies at California State University, “Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported 117 cases of human rights abuses by US officials against migrants from 1988 to 1990, including fourteen deaths. During the 1980s, Border Patrol agents shot dozens of people, killing eleven and permanently disabling ten.”
On May 28, 2010, Anastasio Rojas, a 42-year-old Mexican migrant worker, was tased and beaten at the San Ysidro border crossing by more than a dozen U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers. According to the witnesses, he was face down on the ground and handcuffed.
On June 2010, a 15-year-old Mexican citizen was shot to death on the Mexican side of the border near El Paso, Texas. The U.S Border Patrol reported that the officers responded to a group of suspected illegal immigrants who were throwing rocks at them.
Hey, China, did you get that? China’s border guards are not allowed to shoot anyone who is illegally crossing its borders, but the United States and India can kill as many as they want—sort of like the fictional character James Bond, who has a license to kill from another democracy.
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the lusty love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.
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HI Lloyd, when I lived in Qingdao some years back, where a high percentage of Koreans live to do business, I met a number of “Chao Xian” people – the ethnic group that in english might be referred to as Korean. these people live on the border. Many of them would come to Qingdao to find work as translators for the (south) Korean people doing business there.
It wasn’t till I got to know some of these people more closely that I was told about just that – relations who came across the river, to trade, make money – and back again.
So certainly I can vouch for that from personal experience.
You make a good point about your granddad. “modern” countries like USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, all relied on immigrants. Our countries were all founded on immigrants.
In Australia, where refugees often come by boat, we are reminded that go back a generation or three, and we were all “boat people” – apart from the indigineous populations.
Donald Trump’s ideas are crazy. Lets hope he gets nowhere fast with these ridiculous ideas.
If Donald Trump gets elected, we are seriously going to consider moving to another country.
It never ceases to amaze me that the majority of people don’t seem to realise they actually get who they vote for. Then they complain that they don’t like the policies. Most people vote as a knee-jerk reaction to a government they don’t like, and dont consider details beyond that.
Too many people do not read and they listen to only those who say what they want to hear. Then they don’t question; they don’t check the facts.
China, by far. Part of their decades-long brutal suppression of the Tibetan people. Countless people in jail or worse for trying to hold on to their culture and religion. Complete dishonesty in discussing (or not!) the topic. Like in most other areas, where the world is supposed to quietly swallow their self-centered fantasies. But I won’t have to hear this propaganda again, as I’m unsubscribing from this rather dubious blog.
Michael, they say ignorance is bliss – then you must be in 7th heaven. Of course, you aren’t alone in your ignorance. Millions have been fooled by the propaganda out of the Dalai Lama’s headquarters in India where he lives with Tibet’s 1% who want their land and power back over the serfs they left behind when the fled. I’m not saying that the Chinese Communist Party leadership is pure, but they are no worse—and might even be somewhat better—than many of the leaders of other countries.
1st, why no mention of the suppression of native North Americans by the United States? The U.S. passed legislation in the 19th century that made it illegal for native Americans to practice their own religions, children were taken from their families and moved to prison schools where they were given severe corporal punishment for daring to speak the native language they were born to. In fact, why no mention of the U.S. occupation of the Phillipeans after the Spanish American War where U.S. troops slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Philippine people to suppress their desire for their own republic and freedom.
2nd, why not mention what the British Empire did to the other races and religion around the world–especially India. Have you ever seen the film about Ghandi and what the British did to India and the millions of Indians they let die in famines.
3rd – the horrendous brutality of the Spanish Empire in the Americas and in the Philippines for more than a century.
4th – in 1950 when Chinese troops reoccupied Tibet—it was not an invasion of a country that had never been occupied by China before—as they had already been there starting in the 13th century with the Yuan Dynasty, continued by the Ming and then the Qing Dynasties up until about 1911 when the British Empire convinced the Tibetan Dalai Lama to break from China at the same time that the Qing Dynasty was collapsing. In 1950, the average life span in Tibet was age 35. Today that average life span is about age 65+. In fact, China mandated that Tibetan children must attend public schools so they are all getting an education. Before 1950s, there was no mandatory public schooling in Tibet, and more than 90% of Tibetans were illiterate and lived in severe poverty.
You might want to get hold of a copy of the October 1912 issue of National Geographic Magazine—and read the piece written by a Western trained Chinese Doctor who was sent to Tibet for three years by China’s Emperor in 1907—to educate yourself about what Tibet was like before 1950 and what a miserable place it was for 99% of the people who were treated more like slaves than freedom loving people—Tibet has never been a democracy or a republic. It was a religious state ruled over by a Dalai Lama, a living god for life.
As for your claim of China’s brutal suppression of the Tibetan people, I want to refer you to an issue of National Geographic Magazine that offers another side to this exaggerated story of brutality in Tibet.
2nd, you mention China throwing countless people in jail, or worse, but offer no valid evidence that this is a fact, and why no condemnation of the United States—the so called land of the free—for throwing more people in prison than any other country on the planet?
1st place – United States with 2.2+ million or—ranked #2—698 inmates in prison for each 100,000 people
2nd place – China with 1.657 million inamtes or, ranked # 126, 119 inmates for every 100,000 people.
People in jail for practising their culture and religion? Oh, then I
m wondering about the thousands in the teashops in Hangzhou, the tens of thousands in the Xuan Miao Guan in Suzhou, the tens of thousands in Han Shan Si, the hundreds of thousands in temples all over China. Millions, perhaps. “Pracising their culture”? – oh, you mean the tens of thousands of old folk who use large water brushes to write water-characters in the parks? the hundreds of thousands practicing tai ji chuan in the mornings and evenings in the parks, along the streets, in the housing compounds? Or the 2% of the population who go to Christian churches openly across the country?
Micheal, the Cultural Revolution is long dead and gone.
“Dubious” ? Oxford and Cambridge dictionaries define this as “not completely true and not to be trusted” and also meaning “not proven”. Lloyd’s blog is one of the most referenced blogs around. Lloyd ALWAYS gives his sources, making it thus REFERENCED for VERACITY ( ie truthful).
on the contrary, Micheal, where are your references? where on earth did you get the impression that people are jailed for holding onto their culture and religion? Have you been here recently? At all?
I’m sure if someone in China posted that in the USA people are jailed for practising their culture and religion, and you read that post to friends and colleagues, they would laugh, and dismiss it as propaganda.
Same here, really. People in country, on the ground, just laugh and look around them when they think that north americans think they are being jailed for pracising their culture and religion as they drink tea in teashops, practise taiji sword, and buy incense to worship their gods.
Haha, brutal suppression of the Tibetan people. Sure, by India. What? Do you know part of Tibet is currently occupied by India, which was invaded and annexed by India in 1951, four years after India’s creation? Do you know that India imposed a law there that allows the government to detain or kill anybody with impunity? Do you know that the South Tibetans often face racial slurs by Indians and the situation got so bad that there were huge demonstration in New Delhi about this? No?
By the way you mentioned religious suppression. Do you know that Chinese people and East Asians in general don’t have this concept of religious piety like in the West? What is the reason behind all these religious suppression anyway? Just wondering.
The contrast and double standards are obvious to anyone who looks. thanks for helping us all look, Lloyd. The tradgedy of the little girl in Bangladesh is awful.
You’re welcome. And then there is this that I just discovered: “The 50,000 or so North Koreans living illegally in China are testament to Chinese toleration of North Korean migration as are the very frequent repeat border crossings by thousands of North Koreans who have found ways to frequently cross over to China and then go back home again; hence the phenomena of some advocacy agencies referring to North Koreans having ‘escaped’ North Korea on numerous occasions. There are very well established trading routes across the border, some of these authorized and many not, but most are unimpeded by Chinese authorities – See more at: https://www.wilsoncenter.org/publication/explaining-north-korean-migration-to-china#sthash.vS54O4KU.dpuf
Imagine the United States being that tolerant of illegal border crossings from Mexico. Instead, we have a flock of GOP presidential candidates who want to not only seal of the border and make Mexico pay for building that kind of impenetrable fence, we one candidate in particular, Donald Trump, who wants to take away citizenship from any child who was born in the United States—that is if it can be proven that their parents arrived here illegally. What happens if their parents were born here too but there is no documentation because they were too poor to go to a hospital and delivered at home?
I wonder if that would include me. My grandfather, who has been dead for decades, was born just inside the 3 mile limit on a ship. He wasn’t legal yet. That means my dad, long dead, could lose his citizenship in addition to his fathers, etc. Of course, in my case maybe my mother would make it okay for me to keep my citizenship since she traced her ancestors back to the Pilgrims when they illegally invaded North America to establish colonies and drove out the natives by force or death, who had lived here for more than 15 thousand years. But according to European laws, maybe the natives were here for 15 thousand years or more were here illegally all that time because they didn’t have any documentation to prove they owned the land.