As a big fan of China, Tourism, and individual freedoms and rights I think a solution to the challenges facing Tibet are these (I wrote this a few years ago at my website that features the Qinhai-Tibet Railway sometimes called the pan-himalayan railroad, Llhasa Express, Tibet Train. As with all conflicts, there is no “overall solution” because people’s needs are different, but there are many “win win” scenarios where things that are NOT in dispute can be resolved to everybody’s satisfaction. Everybody wants the children of Tibet to be healthy, happy, well fed, and given good medical care. Everybody wants Tibetans to be allowed to practice Buddhism, and everybody wants a way for others to experience the wonder of Tibet. Tourism can make all that happen.
Here is my proposal for a “win win” situation in Tibet:
Given that most of the people of China want a strong connection with Tibet and Tibet wants and needs a strong connection with China:
* China grants greater autonomy to Tibet in a relationship that is modelled after Hong Kong and respects Buddhist traditions and the right for people.
* Tibetans agree to work with China to make this relationship beneficial to all.
* China continues to build on the region’s infrastructure, including the Pan Himalayan Railway.
* Tibetans embrace tourism as their primary agent of economic development, recognizing that the cultural and religious history of the region is a very powerful theme for travel marketing and a dramatic increase in regional tourism.
* China agrees that the region will be the key beneficiary of the tourism boom that will come from regional stability and national promotion of the wonders of Tibet.
* Tibetans will share their cultural and religious traditions as much as is culturally comfortable for them. The region can become another jewel in China’s tourism crown as the country prepares to become one of the world’s top travel destinations.
Wow, I’m doing some research for an Oregon retirement website and just learned that according to recent survey the 2004 book called “Retirement Places Rated” out of hundreds of retirement areas in the USA two of the top ten places to retire in the USA are right in my back yard – one of them actually includes my back yard because it’s the Medford / Ashland area here in Southern Oregon. The other is Florence, Oregon – number one in the survey of over 300 places. I travel there often and personally prefer this area due to much better weather and our abundant big-city amenities in a small city, but Florence Oregon is a really nice place too and it’s the home of Oregon Coast Magazine and our Online Highways websites including this great Oregon Travel section in case you are planning a trip to Oregon. Our Travel Blog is here and I’ve posted a few good Oregon travel references as a warmup to the big blog I’m starting this month that will cover the entire state of Oregon. More on that later.
Locals call this the “Rogue Valley” and historically our wonderful region does very well in national “best places to retire” and “best places to live” surveys. I’ve lived in the East, Midwest, several California cities, and here in the Rogue Valley and it’s hard to imagine a better place to raise a family or retire. The houses are relatively expensive and the economics for a wage earner are the most challenging aspect here which may be why the population remains modest, though growth in some of our areas has been dramatic.