Western countries have misunderstanding over Tibet: Austrian lawmaker

Negative news and information from western media and books have led to and are leading to people’s misunderstanding over Tibet-related issues, which have become a “weapon” used by some western countries to be against China, said a Austrian lawmaker on June 20 when talking with a Chinese cultural exchange delegation visiting Austria.

Huebner, member of Austrian National Assembly made the above remarks after listening to the detailed introduction of Tibet’s current and past situation made by Hao Shiyuan, researcher with the Chinese Academy of Sciences. She said, "There’s little positive news about Tibet in the West now, and the Tibet and Dalai issues have become a “weapon” Western countries use to be against China. Western media often set the negative tone first and then use this to guide media coverage and public opinion. Austrian journalists have publicly acknowledged that it’s hard to provide positive coverage of Russia and China’s Tibet. ”

Lawmaker Weitman said that Austrian society has indeed misunderstood the situation in Tibet, especially under the influence of Nazi Halle’s book about Tibet. Halle in his book described Tibet as the “paradise” Westerners yearn for, thus misleading a lot of Western readers by ignoring the reality of the cruel serfdom system. Halle’s own status as a Nazi wasn’t revealed until 1996.

Hao Shijyuan said that Halle was mainly in contact with senior monks from old Tibet rather than ordinary Tibetans. Many Westerners visited Tibet in the past and recorded the bleakness of old Tibet, but it never managed to attract the attention of Western society.

Li Xiaosi, Chinese Ambassador to Austria said he would welcome Austrian friends to visit Tibet and learn more about the real situation there.