frandroid: The letter "L" followed by Mao's face, making the LMAO acronym. (mao)
China ready to discuss Tibet

But the decision to talk also reveals a "dilemma" the Chinese Communist Party leadership is now facing, caught between the burgeoning forces of Chinese nationalism on the one hand, and the demands of world civil society on the other. "This will definitely be seen as a climbdown by many people in the nationalist movement," Hughes predicted.

What is this? The "nationalist movement"? Who is the biggest promoter of nationalism in China but the Chinese government? Mao was so successful in part because of his deft use of nationalism (in the light of an anti-colonial struggle) to rally the Chinese people to his side. The "nationalist movement" is not something that is exogenous to the government.

If the Chinese government is afraid of nationalist fervour preventing them "climbing down" on Tibet, they only have themselves to blame. The only kind of demonstrations that have been allowed in China for years have been those that have stoked nationalism, in the face of perceived anti-Chinese actions abroad, in particular the visits to the Shinjuku shrine by the Japanese leaders.

Anyway, if the Chinese government is willing to acknowledge that the Dalai Lama is human after all, it's a good first step, and a vindication for all the violence of the pro-Tibet movement in recent weeks. Violence that pales greatly, it must be said, by the nearly 60-year campaign of cultural genocide by the Chinese government against Tibet, with thousands imprisoned and killed.

(This is no laughing matter, but this is also my only Chinese icon.)

*** ETA:
With a little more than 100 days until the opening ceremonies, the government is keen for its citizens to welcome Westerners, and everyone from around the world.

Of course, the government itself is the not most welcoming to foreigners right now, greatly limiting visas to pre-Olympics visitors.

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