Is China’s Tibet Policy Bad for Business?

When it comes to Tibet, the increasingly sophisticated and pragmatic Chinese leadership seems more like a throwback to the Mao era, with its haranguing propaganda and coercive policies. For foreign investors, that could mean reputational damage back home and, increasingly, vulnerability to nationalist sentiment in China itself.

When a Chinese government security official recently accused followers of the Dalai Lama of organizing suicide attacks – merely the most extreme of a barrage of allegations against the “Dalai clique” – it was as though the Cultural Revolution were still raging. Indeed, particularly where Tibet is concerned, the increasingly sophisticated and pragmatic Chinese leadership seems more like a throwback to the Mao era, with its haranguing propaganda and coercive policies. Do foreign investors have reason to be worried by all this?

While there is arguably a genuine possibility that the recent protests in Tibet will prompt the authorities to change course, early signs are not promising. So far, the regime has merely applied the same blunt measures that fueled Tibetans’ grievances in the first place. International pressure alone will not change this. Domestic pressure could, but any such opportunity has perished on the battlefield of a public-relations war.

On one hand, some international media painted a black-and-white (and not always entirely objective) portrait of the March violence as a brutal Chinese crackdown on peaceful Tibetan monks. On the other hand, official Chinese media have stoked domestic anger at perceived Western anti-Chinese bias. With nationalist sentiment aroused, few Chinese are asking why the violence occurred.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.

required

Log in

http://prosyn.org/zav8npe;
  1. Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

    The Brexit Surrender

    European Union leaders meeting in Brussels have given the go-ahead to talks with Britain on post-Brexit trade relations. But, as European Council President Donald Tusk has said, the most difficult challenge – forging a workable deal that secures broad political support on both sides – still lies ahead.

  2. The Great US Tax Debate

    ROBERT J. BARRO vs. JASON FURMAN & LAWRENCE H. SUMMERS on the impact of the GOP tax  overhaul.


    • Congressional Republicans are finalizing a tax-reform package that will reshape the business environment by lowering the corporate-tax rate and overhauling deductions. 

    • But will the plan's far-reaching changes provide the boost to investment and growth that its backers promise?


    ROBERT J. BARRO | How US Corporate Tax Reform Will Boost Growth

    JASON FURMAN & LAWRENCE H. SUMMERS | Robert Barro's Tax Reform Advocacy: A Response

  3. Murdoch's Last Stand?

    Rupert Murdoch’s sale of 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets to Disney for $66 billion may mark the end of the media mogul’s career, which will long be remembered for its corrosive effect on democratic discourse on both sides of the Atlantic. 

    From enabling the rise of Donald Trump to hacking the telephone of a murdered British schoolgirl, Murdoch’s media empire has staked its success on stoking populist rage.

  4. Bank of England Leon Neal/Getty Images

    The Dangerous Delusion of Price Stability

    Since the hyperinflation of the 1970s, which central banks were right to combat by whatever means necessary, maintaining positive but low inflation has become a monetary-policy obsession. But, because the world economy has changed dramatically since then, central bankers have started to miss the monetary-policy forest for the trees.

  5. Harvard’s Jeffrey Frankel Measures the GOP’s Tax Plan

    Jeffrey Frankel, a professor at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a former member of President Bill Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers, outlines the five criteria he uses to judge the efficacy of tax reform efforts. And in his view, the US Republicans’ most recent offering fails miserably.

  6. A box containing viles of human embryonic Stem Cell cultures Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

    The Holy Grail of Genetic Engineering

    CRISPR-Cas – a gene-editing technique that is far more precise and efficient than any that has come before it – is poised to change the world. But ensuring that those changes are positive – helping to fight tumors and mosquito-borne illnesses, for example – will require scientists to apply the utmost caution.

  7. The Year Ahead 2018

    The world’s leading thinkers and policymakers examine what’s come apart in the past year, and anticipate what will define the year ahead.

    Order now