China's Tibet?: Autonomy or Assimilation Review

China's Tibet: Autonomy or Assimilation
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China's Tibet: Autonomy or Assimilation ReviewI read Warren Smith's book with much interest. To my knowledge no
specific work has been published dealing with China's efforts to
assimilate Tibet and to rewrite Tibetan history to conform to this new
reality. The chapters laying out the historical background are impressively
thorough. It is quite evident that Smith's understanding of Tibetan
history is not only broad and objective, but is appreciative of the
Tibetan intellectual point of view.
Smith's coverage of the present Sino-Tibetan dialogue, and the lack of
any kind of development in this regard, is probably one of the most
dispassionate, critical and detailed accounts we have to date. This
alone will make the book worth reading for many students of Tibetan
affairs. Smith makes clear that not only is there no hope of "genuine
autonomy" for Tibet as the Dalai Lama has been advocating but that the
very idea of even a minimal autonomous status for Tibet was never one
that had ever been entertained with any degree of sincerity by Beijing,
even when the guarantee of autonomy was first undertaken by Chinese
leaders at the signing of the 17 Point Agreement in 1951. Smith
effectively underlines his contention with a hard-nosed exposition of
the doctrinal realities involved "The ultimate goal of
Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist-Maoist nationalities doctrine was not
autonomy, but assimilation. Autonomy in Marxist-Leninist theory and
practice was a temporary tactic intended to reduce minorities'
resistance to incorporation into Communist states."China's Tibet: Autonomy or Assimilation Overview

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