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Argument: Independence would allow Tibet to tailor its economic policies to its particular economy

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Supporting quotes

  • Ketsun Lobsang Dondup. "Independence as Tibet’s Only Option: Why the ‘Middle Path’ is a Dead End". January 25, 2007 - "The economic interests of Tibet and China are simply different. For example, joining the World Trade Organization (WTO) is good for China’s manufacturers and exporters, and bad for its farmers. Chinese officials have decided to make this trade-off, hoping that unemployed farmers can find jobs in the cities. Tibet, however, is much more dependent on agriculture and pastoralism than China, and Tibetan cities are not able to absorb unemployed farmers in the same way. So when lower tariffs cause falling barley prices in Tibet, what are Tibetan farmers to do? Tibet would have been better off if it were able to determine when and how to join the WTO (for example, with Least-Developed Country exemptions). Similarly, China is raising interest rates and reserve requirements to cool off its coastal economy, but why should we think this is good policy for Tibet? Tibetans would benefit not from being economically dependent on China, but from being able to shape our own economic policies based on our own circumstances."
Finally, I should mention the enduring relevance of nationhood and sovereignty in the modern world. One only has to look at the E.U. – the most prominent embodiment of post-modern, globalized ideals – to see that states and peoples are still very much concerned with protecting their sovereignty and traditions (for example, see the rejection of the European Constitution). And even in highly developed states like the U.K., Canada, and Spain, one finds nationalism and a desire for self-determination among groups such as the Northern Irish, Scots, Quebecois, and Basques. The experience of the former Soviet Union shows that socialism is no better at erasing nationalism. It is incorrect, therefore, to think that economic development leads to the end of how much a people values its nationhood. The situation in Tibet is no different."

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