The British left has always been diffident about the Tibet issue, unable to shake off the memory of our own imperial designs, and uneasy at the CIA’s role in the 1950s and 60s in the Tibetan resistance (two of the Dalai Lama’s brothers worked with them).A few years ago New Left Review (NLR) broke through this barrier, publishing a conversation between the Chinese scholar-activist Wang Lixiong and the leading Tibetan historian Tsering Shakya which launched a new debate. The dialogue, with subsequent analyses from both writers, now appears in The Struggle for Tibet, an excellent and informative book from Verso (the publishers founded by NLR)….
…There are many voices coming out of China these days, but do we always listen? Our questions are often predictable: will Chinese economic growth continue? Will China overtake the US? Will it rule the world? This focus on the country’s future has led to a de facto collusion with the Chinese government in ignoring its past. According to this script, Mao was a monster, socialism a dead end and the story only begins with the post-Mao economic reforms.
Read the full review here.