CNN says in this news report that Miss Tibet took herself out of a beauty contest in Malaysia because the Chinese authorities put pressure on its organizers to use the name Tibet-China (like the good people of the Republic of China). Good thing for the guys who run Miss World that this year’s contest, held in China, was over and done with. But imagine the embarrassment for China next year, when the U.S. Congress puts pressure on the corporations that run Miss World and Miss Universe. The Bush administration will be of no help to China, because it will have to lean on a Democratic Congress in an election year. That is, if Miss Tibet shows up again.
According to this Sankei article, Ichirō Ozawa should be able to feel Miss Tibet’s pain, because the DPJ had to cancel a 28 November study group meeting on the plight of the Uighur in China to facilitate Mr. Ozawa’s upcoming trip to Beijing. Sankei itself was thrown out of China during the Cultural Revolutions in the 1960s when it refused to lick Mao Zedong’s… well, I hope for the sake of correspondents from a couple of other newspapers at the time that rumors about Mr. Mao’s aversion to showers were only a myth. So, although it hasn’t found the smoking gun, it has good reason to suspect China of leaning on the DPJ to deep-six the Uighur meeting.
China is one of the last empires left standing; democracy is a luxury it can ill afford in dealing with minorities.