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Strategies of Attrition (III)

GermanForeignPolicy.com [1]
[See also Strate­gies of Attri­tion (I) [2] and Strate­gies of Attri­tion (II) [3].]

LHASA/BEIJING/ULAAN BAATAR/BERLIN
(Own report) — Last week­end, par­lia­men­tar­i­ans of the Ger­mano­phon­ic minor­i­ty in North­ern Italy (“South Tyrol”) vis­it­ing the head­quar­ters of the Tibetan “exile gov­ern­ment” in India, declared Tibet’s being part of the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Chi­na to be “ille­gal” and called for the seces­sion of this West­ern Chi­nese autonomous region. South Tyrolean pub­lic author­i­ties are col­lab­o­rat­ing with fore­front orga­ni­za­tions of Ger­man for­eign pol­i­cy and have been coun­sel­ing the “exile gov­ern­ment” for sev­er­al years on ques­tions of Ger­man “Volks­grup­pen” (eth­nic group) poli­cies. A mem­ber of the cur­rent del­e­ga­tion is demand­ing the seces­sion of “South Tyrol” along the lines of the Mon­tene­grin mod­el. These attacks on Chi­na’s ter­ri­to­r­i­al integri­ty are com­ing just a few days after the Ger­man gov­ern­ment launched its anti-Chi­nese offen­sive. Berlin is sup­port­ing Tibetan sep­a­ratists also through large scale lob­by­ing in Mon­go­lia and is seek­ing to pit the pop­u­la­tions of all autonomous regions in West­ern and North­ern Chi­na against the cen­tral gov­ern­ment. Sim­i­lar polit­i­cal con­cepts date back to the 1920s and are being echoed still today in Japan, the for­mer Axis part­ner of the Ger­man Reich, and Chi­na’s fiercest rival.

Last week, a del­e­ga­tion of North Ital­ian par­lia­men­tar­i­ans held exten­sive talks with the Tibetan self-pro­claimed “exile gov­ern­ment” at its head­quar­ters in Dharam­sala, North­ern India. This is impor­tant for the for­eign pol­i­cy of Ger­many, because “South Tyrol” has many links to the net­works of eth­nic Ger­man “Volks­grup­pen” pol­i­cy. Franz Pahl’s par­ty (leader of the del­e­ga­tion), the Südtirol­er Volkspartei (South Tyrolean Peo­ple’s Par­ty), is a mem­ber of the Fed­er­al Union of Euro­pean Nation­al­i­ties (FUEN), that was found­ed by Nazi “Volks­grup­pen” experts and is today still financed by the Ger­man gov­ern­ment. The FUEN is also sup­port­ed by the Autonomous Region Trenti­no — South Tyrol and the Autonomous Province of Bozen. The “South Tyrol” auton­o­my is pat­terned after con­cepts of the Ger­man “Volks­grup­pen” pol­i­cy and was estab­lished after a series of ter­ror­ist attacks, insti­gat­ed by Ger­man res­i­dents. For­mer “South Tyrol” ter­ror­ists are still shel­tered on Ger­man soil.[1]

Tibet for the Tibetan
All rel­e­vant Tibetan exile orga­ni­za­tions par­tic­i­pat­ed in the talks with the North­ern Ital­ian del­e­ga­tion: the “exile gov­ern­ment”, the “exile par­lia­ment”, exile admin­is­tra­tions, social and cul­tur­al asso­ci­a­tions, as well as the exiles’ con­tro­ver­sial spir­i­tu­al and world­ly leader, the Dalai Lama. For years, Tibetan exiles have been coun­seled on the ways and means of Ger­man “Volks­grup­pen” pol­i­cy in Bolzano, the cen­ter of “South Tyrolean” auton­o­my (german-foreign-policy.com reported).[2] “Chi­na’s occu­pa­tion of Tibet is ille­gal”, the del­e­ga­tion leader Franz Pahl assert­ed: “We sup­port the Tibetan cause and are doing every­thing in our pow­er to strength­en it.”[3] “Tibet for the Tibetan!” demand­ed Eva Klotz, who par­tic­i­pat­ed in the del­e­ga­tion: “Tibet must be lib­er­at­ed”. Eva Klotz, a mem­ber of the region­al par­lia­ment, is a descen­dant of an influ­en­tial fam­i­ly of the Ger­manophone minor­i­ty. Only recent­ly she had been in the news because she demand­ed “South Tyrol’s” seces­sion from Italy — pat­terned on the Mon­tene­grin model.[4]

Before the Olympics
The Bolzano Tibet offen­sive, suc­ceeds the Ger­man chan­cel­lor’s meet­ing with the Dalai Lama and Prime Min­is­ter of Hesse, Roland Koch’s announce­ment that west­ern sup­port for Tibetan sep­a­ratism will increase before the Olympic Games.[5] Berlin is flank­ing its activ­i­ties against Bei­jing with lob­by­ing projects, that, at first sight, seem to have noth­ing to do with Chi­na but to gain influ­ence in anoth­er sov­er­eign state: Mon­go­lials.

Raw Mate­ri­als
This sum­mer the Ger­man gov­ern­ment con­spic­u­ous­ly inten­si­fied its coop­er­a­tion with Mon­go­lia. The Ger­man Min­is­ter of Eco­nom­ics, Michael Glos, vis­it­ed that coun­try in July 2007, accom­pa­nied by a large busi­ness del­e­ga­tion. In August, a del­e­ga­tion of man­agers from the Ger­man Asia-Pacif­ic Busi­ness Asso­ci­a­tion fol­lowed. Already in the first semes­ter of 2007, busi­ness between the two coun­tries had increased by approx. one-third. Berlin’s busi­ness endeav­ors are focus­ing “par­tic­u­lar­ly on min­ing coop­er­a­tion” accord­ing to the min­is­ter of economy.[6] Mon­go­lia is rich in met­al (cop­per, gold) deposits. “Ger­many and Mon­go­lia are splen­did­ly sup­ple­ment­ing one anoth­er” cooed Ger­man Par­lia­men­tary Pres­i­dent, Nor­bert Lam­mert to his Mon­go­lian coun­ter­part, last Sep­tem­ber: “you have the raw mate­ri­als that we need, and we can con­tribute to your knowl­edge and tech­nol­o­gy for the refine­ment and pro­cess­ing of your raw materials.”[7]

Genghis Khan
From the “for­eign pol­i­cy dia­logue” con­clud­ed between Berlin and Ulaan Baatar in April 2006, it is evi­dent that Berlin’s influ­ence is not only direct­ed at a depen­dent sup­pli­er of resources need­ed by Ger­man indus­try. Pos­si­ble lines of impact were exposed in a spec­tac­u­lar exhib­it, inau­gu­rat­ed a year ear­li­er by Chan­cel­lor Ger­hard Schroed­er, in the com­pa­ny of the Mon­go­lian Prime Min­is­ter, in the gov­ern­men­t’s Art and Exhi­bi­tion Hall in Bonn. With much pub­lic­i­ty, the results of Ger­man research in Mon­go­lia were pre­sent­ed under the mot­to “Genghis Khan and his Her­itage.” This occurred just before the 800th anniver­sary of the found­ing of the Greater Mon­go­lian Empire was to be cel­e­brat­ed with much pageantry in Ulaan Baatar in the pres­ence of the Ger­man par­lia­men­tary president.[8] The exhi­bi­tion in Bonn also caught the atten­tion in Inner Mon­go­lia, an autonomous region in North­ern Chi­na, that holds Genghis Khan in high esteem — as the sym­bol of aspi­ra­tions of a Greater Mon­go­lia.

Espi­onage
Ger­man inter­ests in Mon­go­lia and the Chi­nese Inner Mon­go­lian region extends back to the 1920s. Berlin invit­ed the Mon­go­lian min­is­ter of edu­ca­tion to make a tour of Ger­many in 1924. Ulaan Baatar sent 35 stu­dents to Ger­many for class­es in 1926. The goal was to cre­ate a long-term close rela­tion­ship, to coun­ter­act Mon­go­li­a’s strong depen­dence on Moscow. In 1927, the Ger­man for­eign min­istry sent an expe­di­tion to Inner Mon­go­lia and Xin­jiang (today anoth­er autonomous region of Chi­na [9]). As recent inves­ti­ga­tions show, Berlin sent sev­er­al mil­i­tary per­son­nel, cam­ou­flaged as researchers, to Chi­na to accom­pa­ny the pro-Ger­man Swedish sci­en­tist, Sven Hedin, to do espi­onage in the rebel­lious minor­i­ty regions.[10] Both ini­tia­tives were unsuc­cess­ful. In the spring of 1928 Bei­jing refused to allow the Ger­man mil­i­tary expe­di­tion to con­tin­ue its jour­ney and due to pres­sure from Moscow, the Mon­go­lian stu­dents had to return home in 1929/1930.

Buffer State
The idea of gain­ing a foothold in Asia with the coop­er­a­tion of Mon­go­lia and forces strug­gling for a Greater Mon­go­lia has nev­er been aban­doned. As the Wehrma­cht con­tin­ued its east­ward advance in 1942 and Japan­ese troops reached the bor­ders of Tibet, the plans to cre­ate a buffer state (a “Pan-Mon­go­lian Fed­er­a­tion”) between the world powers,[11] were reac­ti­vat­ed. This Fed­er­a­tion, com­prised of Tibet, seek­ing to enhance its rela­tions with Berlin, Mon­go­lia [12] and Inner Mon­go­lia, that in 1937, with the aid of Japan, had won its sov­er­eign­ty, would be under the hege­mo­ny of Ger­many and Japan. Only the defeat of the World War II aggres­sors thwart­ed the appli­ca­tion of these plans.

Dalai Lama
Since the mid 1980s, Ger­many has been active­ly reviv­ing its tra­di­tions of coop­er­a­tion that had been estab­lished by the SS in the 1930s.[13] Rela­tions to Mon­go­lia have been sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly inten­si­fied since 1991. Good con­tacts to Inner Mon­go­lia have main­ly been main­tained by Berlin’s Axis part­ner, Japan. The 3 regions are not only unit­ed in their aspi­ra­tions to achieve com­pre­hen­sive inde­pen­dence from Chi­na, they also main­tain close cul­tur­al ties to one anoth­er. Tibetan Bud­dhism is the main reli­gion in Mon­go­lia and Inner Mon­go­lia, and the reli­gious leader, the Dalai Lama is high­ly revered. As the god king him­self explained in a recent inter­view in the Ger­man press, even­tu­al upheavals in Tibet will also have “reper­cus­sions” on Inner Mongolia.[14] Berlin’s Tibet offen­sive is not moti­vat­ed by its con­cern for a minor­i­ty cul­ture, as it likes to pre­tend, it is the repeat­ed attempt to lay hand on about half of the Chi­nese ter­ri­to­ry and to use its pop­u­la­tion for the strug­gle against Bei­jing.

Please read also Strate­gies of Attri­tion (I) and Strate­gies of Attri­tion (II).

[1] see also Schutz­macht-Klausel, Mul­ti-Par­ti­san Direc­torate, Min­der­heit­en­rechte and Rezen­sion: “Neue Kom­mentare”

[2] see also Strate­gies of Attri­tion (I)

[3] Vis­it­ing Trenti­no-South Tyrol par­lia­men­tary mem­bers con­demn Chi­na’s pol­i­cy on Tibet; phayul.com 29.09.2007

[4] “Wenn alle, jed­er an seinem Platz, dafür arbeit­et, dass wir freie Tirol­er wer­den, so kön­nen wir dieses Ziel auch erre­ichen! Das zeigt das Beispiel Mon­tene­gros. Vor einem Jahr haben sich 55,5% der Wäh­ler für die Loslö­sung von Ser­bi­en aus­ge­sprochen. Heute ist Mon­tene­gro in aller Welt als unab­hängiger Staat anerkan­nt.” SÜD-TIROLER FREIHEIT startet Mit­gliederkam­pagne; Pressemit­teilung der SÜD-TIROLER FREIHEIT 17.09.2007

[5] see also Strate­gies of Attri­tion (II)

[6] Staatssekretär Dr. Walther Otrem­ba zieht pos­i­tive Bilanz über die deutsch-mon­golis­chen Wirtschafts­beziehun­gen; Pressemit­teilung des Bun­desmin­is­teri­ums für Wirtschaft und Tech­nolo­gie, 13.09.2007

[7] Lam­mert: Mon­golei und Deutsch­land ergänzen sich; Pressemit­teilung des Deutschen Bun­destags, 20.09.2007

[8] see also Mon­golei: “Wertvoller Rat­ge­ber” für Ostasien, Zivilge­sellschaft and Iden­tität

[9] s. dazu Haupt­sitz und Druck ausüben

[10] Hans Boehm: Finanzierung der Zen­tralasienex­pe­di­tion Sven Hedins. “Streng­ste Geheimhal­tung wird von allen Beteiligten als uner­lässlich ange­se­hen”, in: Erd­kunde. Archiv für wis­senschaftliche Geo­gra­phie 57 (2003), S. 40–54

[11] Rein­hard Greve: Tibet­forschung im SS-Ahnenerbe, in: Lebenslust und Frem­den­furcht. Eth­nolo­gie im Drit­ten Reich, her­aus­gegeben von Thomas Hauschild, Frank­furt am Main 1995

[12] Ein Jahr später, 1943, wur­den die 35 Schüler, die sich in den 1920er Jahren zur Aus­bil­dung in Deutsch­land aufge­hal­ten hat­ten, der Spi­onage bezichtigt und zu langjähri­gen Haft­strafen verurteilt.

[13] see also Strate­gies of Attri­tion (II) and Peter Mier­au: Nation­al­sozial­is­tis­che Expan­sion­spoli­tik

[14] “Chi­na mis­cht sich auch in Deutsch­lands Angele­gen­heit­en ein”; Süd­deutsche Zeitung 21.09.2007. Der Dalai Lama rech­net für diesen Fall auch mit Unruhen in Xin­jiang. Dort ist zwar der Islam die dominierende Reli­gion, doch dürften die nord­westchi­ne­sis­chen Sep­a­ratis­ten (“Uig­uren”) jede Schwächung Bei­jings für ihre Zwecke nutzen. Auch sie find­en Unter­stützung in Deutsch­land: Haupt­sitz and Druck ausüben.