A 2009 statement See Here (jointly issued by France and China) highlights the saddening degree of appeasement, that so commonly forms foreign policy towards China. On the subject of Tibet the Diplomatic communiqué asserts:
“France fully recognizes the importance and sensitivity of the Tibet issue and reaffirmed that it sticks to the one-China policy and its position that Tibet is part of Chinese territory in accordance with the decision taken by General de Gaulle has not changed and will not change. In this spirit and the principle of non-interference, France denies any support for Tibet’s independence in any form whatsoever.”
This craven display of endorsing China’s tyranny over occupied Tibet has at its core the profitable matter of trade, however it is based too upon a flawed legitimacy, in that by acknowledging China’s bogus claims that Tibet is a part of China, France is acceding to the notion that military invasion and subsequent colonization over-rides international law and removes the right of a people to national self-determination. Within international law of course there are grave questions as to the validity of such a questionable conclusion, particularly with respect to Tibet, which remains an independent nation under illegal occupation. Not that France’s government is concerned by such legal considerations, as like many other states it is too focused upon securing economic and political advantages from China. In declaring this latest example of appeasement France is placing itself in a shameful and invidious position in its willingness to accept the lie that Tibet is part of China.
It is also forgetting some major aspects of its own history, both ancient and modern, that in terms of principle and ethics should enable France to express unreserved solidarity with Tibet’s just cause for national freedom. The ‘reasoning’ which enables France to extend to China such uncritical acceptance of its claims is based upon the premise, conquest equals legitimacy, it endorses as legitimate, that a nation possessing all the features of an independent state, once invaded and colonized by another dominant country, subsequently loses all claims to territorial and political sovereignty. Such a conclusion is both flawed in terms of international law and offensive, as it is saturated with imperialistic and colonialist thinking, the sort of mindset convinced that Algeria was French. Perhaps that dark legacy of France’s past linger still in the minds of its Diplomatic Service who have so willingly grovelled before China to announce as ‘truth’ China’s great lie on Tibet.
Yet it is of course a nonsense to base as legitimate the sovereignty of a nation, or territory on the grounds of military occupation, either present or former, and of all nations France should of course know this to be so. Take for example its region of Aquitane, during the 14th Century occupied and under the military and political control of English Kings, if France considers Tibet to be part of China, would it also concede England has a legitimate and historical right to that region? In that analogy at least it was an English army and Monarchs that invaded, in the case of Tibet, the two periods claimed by China as ‘proof’ of its claim over Tibet, were in fact nothing to do with China, as at those times it was under the domination and occupation by Mongolia and Manchuria (Yuan and Q’ing Dynasties respectively) and its was those peoples, not China, that established relations with Tibet.
Such historical facts however did not deter China’s scribes and propagandists from rewriting history to create the deception that it was Chinese control over Tibet, and therefore on such imperialist reasoning proved ‘legitimacy’ to its claims. That of course in terms of fact and international law is a nonsense, a reality recently made public by a noted Chinese scholar Link Here
Diplomats of course rarely trade in truth, a far too expensive and inconvenient commodity, better to exchange on the basis of accommodation and Realpolitik, even at the expense of justice, freedom and human rights. We wonder though how the exiled government of France would have reacted to the claim of a Foreign Embassy (subscribing to the erroneous premise that military annexation transfers the legitimate sovereignty of a nation to the aggressor) that following invasion and annexation France was German territory?
In the pursuit of national interest and ever mindful of trade with China the much celebrated French diplomatic service has forgotten the experience of occupation by a foreign invader, the struggle of an exiled authority, hoping to regain independence for France, strengthened by the knowledge and conviction that France was an independent nation, its people and culture forming a distinct national identity. Inside occupied Tibet the Tibetans are engaged in a similar struggle to regain their rightful nation, it is particularly sad that the home of liberty, fraternity and equality promotes commercial and political relations with China’s bloody regime over the truth of Tibet’s independence and just cause of its people.
Please express your concern and opposition to France’s Position on Tibet’s Independence By E-mailing its Beijing Embassy. An E-mail can be sent via HERE see the link “réagir à l’article” at the bottom of the page to reply.