NEW YORK, US, 29 December 2016
As smog shrouds the skies of Beijing with their massive industrial revolution on the back of the natural wealth sucked out of the plateau of Tibet, as Aleppo crumbles to dust and Obama watches from the sidelines for over three years, as Brexit ushers in populism, as Trump becomes the president of the Divided states of America, as ISIS failingly attempts to establish a caliphate, as Russia hacks to influence the biggest election in the US — nothing weighs ever so selfishly more than what impacts any of these paradigm-shifting events would have on Tibet and its future.
Every time we feel that Tibet is getting the media coverage it needs, with every new self-immolation lighting up the veil of darkness on Tibet, somehow with the political volatility of the world Tibet’s issue is always overshadowed by newer imminent news that is politically less risky for the world to engage in. And just like any other nuisances, it is brushed under the hypocritical carpet for the time being. And ever so evidently, this has been going on for over fifty-seven years now. And the United Nations has but become another towering wall of concrete and glass that is sound-proofed especially to the cries of the suppressed people and taken hostage by the wrath of the veto powers upon totalitarian states bestowed by the security council.
To quote Trump when he was critical of the UN, “the UN has such tremendous potential, but it’s not living up to their true potential. What you see is UN solving problems but they don’t. They cause problems. If it lives up to the potential, it’s a great thing. If it doesn’t, it’s a waste of both time and money.”
Amongst everything that’s happening, the newly-elected president of the United States is probably the remotest person to even know a thing about Tibet, unless he comes across a Twitter follower that bears the name of “Free Tibet” to stir his obscure imagination.
But one thing that he has done that no American president-elect did in the modern era, is to stir the hornets nest without any political correctness and pull the eccentric dragon by its tail with his China-bashing campaign rhetoric, which was further accentuated by acceptance of a congratulatory call from the Taiwanese president on the eve of his election victory.
Just the acceptance of a congratulatory call from the Taiwanese president, whether it was calculated or risk averse, the seismic reverberation it caused within the Chinese politburo was magmatic in itself. The instant Chinese condemnation was barraged with blunt tweets from Twitter addict Trump, but still able to cause, calculated or not, a major crater onto the Great Wall and perturbed the subdued sanctity of US-China relationship that was always built on suspicion, apprehension, and battered politics.
The act, whether of diplomatic acumen or ineptness, was fuelled on the belief that it could be used as leverage for hammering better trade deals and as a bargaining chip, but this inadvertently gave proof of life to the dead elephant in the house of US foreign policy, and emboldened some kind of legitimacy on Tawain’s independent status and every state under China’s brutal leash.
The madman theory: Where risk outweighs rewards but sometimes works wonders and might actually be rewarded by instilling fear enough to scare your enemies away and at times create an opening of a sort for a suppressed people and help their voice gather strength like the rolling ball of snow getting bigger as it rolls down.
You might think I may be stupid to hope for anything less than chaos from the most-rejected president even before being ironically elected by a flawed electoral system. But just as every bee gets attracted to a different flower of their liking, I am attracted to Trump’s non-conciliatory, non-appeasement, defiant stance against a totalitarian government (of course still condemning the xenophobic, bigoted, and racist campaign he ran) that destroyed not just my country but swears on the Maoist red book to wipe out our civilization and butcher my people at a holocaustic level for so many decades now.
Just like a callous pundit, I can predict that Trump’s 4-8 years of presidency, unless of course, he faces impeachment which is highly unlikely since he ditched many of his impossible campaign promises and the historical fact of the incumbent always winning.
It won’t be easy for China either, with the globalized economy soon closing in and the playing field once thought levelled is landscaped. America, with its already massive economy and infrastructure built-in and enough land and human resources at hand, will pound on China to correct the trade deficit, iron their crooked attempts on their roguish currency manipulation tactics, and pull them by their ears for their technological and intellectual theft.
Will the spreading rift between these two countries created by Trump knowingly or unknowingly, create a favourable wave that will ferry and embolden the hopes and cries of the suppressed people under the Chinese regime.
Will the “madman theory” stereotyping Trump’s erratic unpredictable moves, harbour reward more than risk for the people of Taiwan, Tibet, and Uighurs is a wishful selfish thinking, based on one’s political self-interest, at the cost of bringing the world closer to an exaggerated fear of thermonuclear war! This acerbated fear, fanned by Trump’s power-wielding rhetoric of increasing nuclear war heads could actually act as a war deterrent rather than trigger the arms race.
America has already fought many wars, but China in the last fifty years hasn’t fought any except for a brief war with India, and for them to stand up against America’s real might as a bully Tiger drawn on paper is a far cry from reality.
This China bashing might actually strengthen the nerves of the suppressed people within China, who probably until now were so used to seeing their leaders being appeased by the world and now face a different reality. The defiant American President-elect, not able to reason through the one-China policy, has but given rise to and in turn brought the Chinese leaders with their now submissive stance to lose respect on the streets of Beijing and the alleys of Shanghai.
What we see of the crater formed by Trumpquake could actually cause the recipe of one-party dictatorship to collapse, bringing life to the lifeless in the Chinese gulags and hope to the hopeless for the many suppressed races including my own that this Maoist party wanted to erase from the face of this earth.
We are left to just wait and see how this will all unfold. But one thing is for sure that apart from trade wars with China that a new Cold War has begun, the old Cold War if we remember ended with the collapse of the USSR and formation of many new democracies. Only time will tell what will come of this new world order.
About the author
Ugyen Gyalpo lives in Woodside, New York, and works as an insurance agent for United Health Group, New York.
More articles by Ugyen Gyalpo on Tibet Sun.