By now some of you would have read this somewhat weird report about Miss Tibet pageant in Dharamsala in the Chinese Government newspaper Global Times.
Although Global Times claims to be different from the official Chinese media organs, it is but another aspect of Chinese propaganda, somewhat softer. In fact this story about the Miss Tibet in Dharamsala is clearly part of the sophisticated public relations diplomacy on the part of the Chinese Government. If anyone has doubt about Global Times’ relationship with the Chinese Government’s propaganda machinery you can just look at the People’s Daily reposting of the Miss Tibet article under its Opinions category.
I was intrigued by the Global Times report in two ways.
First, the Chinese reporter seems to have visited Dharamsala in recent past. Although the text of the story does not say so, the caption to the photo of Dharamsala alongside it connects it to her name saying, “A busy street in Dharamsala in India Photo: Lin Meilian/GT.” Given the open society that is India there is no reason why a Chinese journalist could not visit Dharamsala. However, I wonder whether any of the Tibetan organizations or even the Central Tibetan Administration was aware of her visit.
Secondly, the story may be the first time ever that a Chinese government media organization has interviewed Tibetans in exile and quoted them in its publication. The Global Times reported says she had “e-mail interview” with Miss Tibet Tenzin Yangkyi as well as the pageant’s organizer Lobsang Wangyal, who is based in Dharamsala. So far Chinese media organizations have looked at each and every Tibetans in exile as the enemy. Therefore, this embracing of the enemy was a bit interesting to me. The times are certainly becoming interesting globally, if you know what I mean!