With violence erupting in Tibet this week, the stars aligned to make China look especially naughty, and as the summer Olympics draw near, everyone’s favorite Communist giant is getting a thorough grilling from the press. The Economist examined the Dalai Lama’s role in the mess, arguing that the bespectacled holy man might be China’s only hope for compromise. Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal took note of the tightrope that Olympic sponsors walk as complaints grow about China’s involvement in the Darfur conflict.
And then, of course, there’s the whole censorship thing, which everybody weighed in on. The Los Angeles Times provided a near-comic report on China’s latest PR campaign, in which the country plays victim to Tibetan aggression. The Journal and TechCrunch also looked at the Internet blackout (a world without Google or YouTube? Inconceivable!) — and how Google might respond.
So what do the Tibetans have to say for themselves? The Journal had a great piece about fired-up youth creating their own “Free Tibet” movement — sans the Dalai Lama. And there’s more trouble brewing: The New York Times ran a thoughtful piece about class strife between the wealthier Han Chinese and poorer Tibetans.
But if this week’s violent imagery has you feeling sorry for the Tibetans, take comfort in Saveur‘s recent piece on the tea made from yak butter that sustains them in these cold, hard times.