Smith contends that China's offensive is based upon a belief that China now has sufficient economic and political influence to make the world "thoroughly revise its mistaken knowledge" about the Tibet issue. He convincingly shows that far from becoming more lenient in response to Tibetan discontent, China has determined to eradicate Tibetan opposition internally and coerce the international community to conform to China's version of Tibetan history and reality.
A vivid account of China's unstoppable quest to build a railway into Tibet, and its obsession to transform its land and its people
In the summer of 2006, the Chinese government fulfilled a fifty-year plan to build a railway into Tibet. Since Mao Zedong first envisioned it, the line had grown into an imperative, a critical component of China's breakneck expansion and the final maneuver in strengthening China's grip over this remote and often mystical frontier, which promised rich resources and geographic supremacy over South Asia.
Through the lives of the Chinese and Tibetans swept up in the project, Fortune magazine writer Abrahm Lustgarten explores the "Wild West" atmosphere of the Chinese economy today. He follows innovative Chinese engineer Zhang Luxin as he makes the train's route over the treacherous mountains and permafrost possible (for now), and the tenacious Tibetan shopkeeper Rinzen, who struggles to hold on to his business in a boomtown that increasingly favors the Han Chinese. As the railway--the highest and steepest in the world--extends to Lhasa, and China's "Go West" campaign delivers waves of rural poor eager to make their fortunes, their lives and communities fundamentally change, sometimes for good, sometimes not.
Lustgarten's book is a timely, provocative, and absorbing first-hand account of the Chinese boom and the promise and costs of rapid development on the country's people.
The violent protests in Lhasa in 2008 against Chinese rule were met by disbelief and anger on the part of Chinese citizens and state authorities, perplexed by Tibetans’ apparent ingratitude for the generous provision of development. In Taming Tibet, Emily T. Yeh examines how Chinese development projects in Tibet served to consolidate state space and power. Drawing on sixteen months of ethnographic fieldwork between 2000 and 2009, Yeh traces how the transformation of the material landscape of Tibet between the 1950s and the first decade of the twenty-first century has often been enacted through the labor of Tibetans themselves. Focusing on Lhasa, Yeh shows how attempts to foster and improve Tibetan livelihoods through the expansion of markets and the subsidized building of new houses, the control over movement and space, and the education of Tibetan desires for development have worked together at different times and how they are experienced in everyday life.
The master narrative of the PRC stresses generosity: the state and Han migrants selflessly provide development to the supposedly backward Tibetans, raising the living standards of the Han’s “little brothers.” Arguing that development is in this context a form of “indebtedness engineering,” Yeh depicts development as a hegemonic project that simultaneously recruits Tibetans to participate in their own marginalization while entrapping them in gratitude to the Chinese state. The resulting transformations of the material landscape advance the project of state territorialization. Exploring the complexity of the Tibetan response to—and negotiations with—development, Taming Tibet focuses on three key aspects of China’s modernization: agrarian change, Chinese migration, and urbanization. Yeh presents a wealth of ethnographic data and suggests fresh approaches that illuminate the Tibet Question.
Contributions by: Elif Akçetin, Bridie Andrews, Tim Barrett, Felix Boecking, Michael C. Brose, Marjorie Dryburgh, Imre Galambos, Stanley E. Henning, Christian Hess, Clara Wing-chung Ho, Judd Kinzley, Fabio Lanza, Peter Lorge, Julia Lovell, Rana Mitter, Barbara Mittler, Ruth Mostern, Peter C. Perdue, Hai Ren, Andres Rodriguez, Tansen Sen, Elliot Sperling, Naomi Standen, Wasana Wongsurawat, and Ling Zhang.
In The Dust of Empire, Karl E. Meyer examines the present and past of the Asian heartland in a book that blends scholarship with reportage, providing fascinating detail about regions and peoples now of urgent concern to America: the five Central Asian republics, the Caspian and the Caucasus, Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan and long-dominant Russia. He provides the context for America's war on terrorism, for Washington's search for friends and allies in an Islamic world rife with extremism, and for the new politics of pipelines and human rights in an area richer in the former than the latter. He offers a rich and complicated tapestry of a region where empires have so often come to grief—a cautionary tale.