FPI's Ellen Bork highlights Richard Gere's remarks on China's repressive policies toward Tibet

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“China is the largest hypocrisy in the world,” Richard Gere told an interviewer from Indian television station NDTV yesterday, while attending a major Buddhist teaching by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Bodh Gaya. In the lengthy interview, the transcript of which can be read here, Gere argues that China’s policies of repression in Tibet and in China will not succeed, notes the importance of the democratic Tibetan government-in-exile for the future, and identifies”money” or “truth” as the world’s choice in dealing China. Gere is the chairman of the International Campaign for Tibet.

On China’s failure to understand that policies to develop Tibet economically by inundating it with Han Chinese migrants will not achieve Communist Party’s objective of transforming Tibet:  

I think they have so wrongly gauged the Tibetan people, thinking they could subvert the deep, deep, deep religious beliefs and make them true Communists. It's never going to happen. Their whole lives have revolved around Buddhism, around their teachers, around their gurus, around Buddhism, the high ideals of Buddhism. They are not going to change that in a hundred years, two hundred years, a thousand years, that will never go away. We have seen this all over the world. These things that are part of people deep in their hearts, they never go away. They will always emerge, and the Chinese have really misgauged this. So no matter how many roads they build, or how many skyscrapers, or how many, … million Chinese settlers… it is not going to change.

On the Dalai Lama’s commitment to democracy and his handover of political power to a prime minister elected by Tibetan exiles to carry on the movement after the Dalai Lama, now 76, passes away:

His Holiness's motivation is impeccable…. If [the government] it is so centered around him obviously it will be chaos after he leaves. This movement towards a true democracy is very important. And the Tibetan Prime Minister Lopsang Sangay is a very capable and highly capable man to lead them in this process.

On the hope that China’s leaders recognize that the Dalai Lama’s objective in Tibet, as he has stated for decades, is not independence but protecting Tibet’s people and religion:

What's so mystifying to me, and most people, who have been following this a long time, is that things could change so radically if the Chinese would see clearly what the situation is. … They can run Tibet in terms of being part of China, that the issue to him is the preservation of the people, the heart of the people, which are their religion and their culture.

On the choice the world has in dealing with China: money or truth:

Are we more interested in money or are we more interested in the truth? …[T]the Chinese themselves have to look at themselves that way. I mean they have enormous turmoil, when artists are being thrown in jail, when lawyers are being thrown in jail, human rights workers are being thrown in jail, when local people are tired of their land being taken away and corruption. If these things continue in that society, they are not going to have [the support of the] people other than having the security system, which is employing everyone to look at each other…. Eventually you have to bow to the will of the people …. No one wants to live in hypocrisy, and China is the largest hypocrisy in the world right now.

Read more here.

- Originally posted on The Weekly Standard Blog

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