Wednesday 18 Jul 2018 | 15:20 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 18 Jul 2018 | 15:20 | SYDNEY

Poll: China, please restrain yourself


Fergus Hanson


19 March 2008 11:48

A poll, released today, of three Western and three Asian countries shows a harsh assessment of China’s approach to Tibet. The poll was conducted between late January and late February, before the recent Tibetan protests captured world headlines, so may well understate current feelings. South Koreans were most critical (84%), followed by France (75%), the US (74%), the UK (63%) and Indonesia (54%). Only Indians were divided  (37% critical, 33% supporting China and 31% not taking a position), with Indians living closer to Tibet and the Dalai Lama much more critical of China than Indians elsewhere.

My college Malcolm Cook wondered yesterday 'what will happen when the Dalai Lama is no longer the lightning rod for the Tibetan cause. Will it be the end of the cause of an independent or autonomous Tibet, or will the movement be taken over by the younger, more radical, elements willing to challenge Beijing directly?' The poll found ‘on average across all six countries, a bare majority of 52 percent is critical of China among those with less than a high school education, rising progressively to 78 percent critical among college graduates’. I wonder how strong this graduate support is: does it depend on the Dalai Lama's Hollywood-like image or will they just as readily join the confrontational radicals if they gain the upper hand?