China and their horrific rule of the Tibetan Buddhist Plateau

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Nuclear Tibet

Nuclear Monitor Issue:



(June 11, 1993) Few aspects of China’s rule over Tibet have created as much anger as allegations of nuclear mismanagement on the Tibetan plateau. Now “Nuclear Tibet”, a new report published by the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT), reveals details about a previously-secret Chinese nuclear facility there. Says John Ackerly, the report’s author, “While the report presents a body of credible and substantiated information on aspects of the nuclear program in Tibet, it is only a beginning in understanding the human impact and the full strategic value of the plateau to China in terms of the nuclear cycle.” The following are extracts from an article by Ackerly, which was published in the spring 1993 issue of China Rights Forum.

(392.3818) WISE Amsterdam – It took only 32 months during the 1960s — a decade of chaos, failure and famine — for China to enter the nuclear age. This extraordinary achievement required enormous intellectual and material resources at a time when intellectuals were being purged and materials were scarce. It also required concentrating these people and supplies in an elite, secluded setting. The location was a closely guarded state secret and the security was absolutely top-notch. The place was the Tibetan plateau, in Haibei Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, 100 kilometers west of Xining.

The selection of the Tibetan plateau for China’s primary nuclear weapons research and development base was the first in a series of decisions that put China’s nuclear infrastructure — including test sites, nuclear processing facilities and nuclear weapons production — in regions populated by non-Chinese peoples. There is little doubt that China’s nuclear program has had an inordinate impact on the Tibetans, the Uygurs and the Mongolians. From land appropriations, to nuclear fallout, to toxic and radioactive pollution in rivers, lakes and pastures, the story about the ugly side-effects of China’s nuclear program is just beginning to emerge.

As with many of the critical environmental problems facing China and Tibet, the government has repeatedly restricted public debate even among experts, and has not shown much willingness to establish measures which would effectively monitor hazardous facilities and hold officials responsible for safety. Stringent restrictions on any types of organizations outside government or Party control make it virtually impossible for citizens to effectively mobilize to oppose the siting of dangerous installations near their communities.

Until recently, China’s nuclear program has been overwhelmingly military [see box]. Now, China is opening a new chapter with the construction of civilian nuclear power plants. Its present program is only a fraction of the size of those in the US and the former Soviet Union in terms of its nuclear arsenal, number of test explosions and the volume of nuclear waste generated. But in nuclear proliferation, lack of worker safety and irresponsible waste disposal, China’s record is as poor, or even worse, than those of the other nuclear powers. The implications of this for the Tibetans, the Uygurs and the Mongolians is frightening.


CHINA’S NUCLEAR PROGRAM Nuclear Power: China has only one nuclear power plant on-line at Qinshan Bay in Zhejiang Province and two more under construction. All are in coastal regions.

Nuclear Testing: All of China’s nuclear tests have occurred at Lop Nor, in Xinjiang. China has now conducted approximately 40 nuclear test blasts (compared to 900 for the US, and over 700 for the former Soviet Union). China was the last country to conduct an above ground nuclear explosion (16 Oct. 1980 — the US and the Soviet Union stopped in 1962) and is currently the only country in the world still conducting nuclear tests.

Domestic Nuclear Waste: According to news reports in Hong Kong and US media, China’s nuclear waste has been haphazardly disposed of in shallow land fills and concrete “basements”. Some high-level radioactive materials have been taken to central storage facilities in Gansu Province and other sites in the northwest.

Foreign Nuclear Waste: China has discussed storing nuclear waste from Germany, Taiwan and other countries in return for significant monetary and technological transfers, according to press reports. Germany has since dropped such plans, but it appears that a shipment of high-level nuclear waste from Taiwan is expected at any moment (reports that a shipment has already been made are questionable). According to Xue Litai, co-author of China Builds the Bomb, foreign nuclear waste would most likely be dumped in Gansu Province, or in Tibetan Autonomous prefectures in Qinghai Province (Amdo).
Source: China Rights Forum (US), Spring 1993.

Tashi Dolma, a Tibetan doctor who fled to India in 1990 and now lives in the US, conducted a medical survey in the vicinity of a nuclear research facility which China called by the code name of the “Ninth Academy” and which is located on the Tibetan plateau. “We surveyed over 2,000 people in three counties, and in two of the villages — Reshui and Ganzihe — the local Tibetans and their animals were coming down with unusual symptoms and diseases — these were the two villages closest to the nuclear weapons plant,” Dr. Dolma said.

Later she worked at a hospital in Chabcha in Hainan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture where she treated Tibetan nomads who grazed their sheep near the nuclear facility. The children of these nomads were developing a cancer that caused their white blood cell count to rise uncontrollably. Seven of these children, ages 8-14, died during the five years she was at the hospital. A doctor from Pittsburgh who was doing research on high blood pressure at the hospital told Dr. Dolma that these symptoms were similar to those of children who died following the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

The choice of the northern Tibetan plateau by the Chinese leadership for their primary nuclear weapons research and development base was undoubtedly linked to China’s assumption of direct control over Tibet. During the 1960s and 1970s, the area known as Amdo to Tibetans and Qinghai Province to the Chinese was run almost exclusively by officials from the Chinese military. Those with a role in governing the region were trusted Chinese military men who had served, or were still serving, in the First Field Army that invaded Tibet in 1950.

Some say the increased deaths in communities surrounding the uranium mines in this area are Mao Zedong’s revenge on the Tibetans who kept ambushing his army during the Long March. According to Edgar Snow’s account in Red Star Over China, this was the first time Mao met a populace that was united in its hostility to his army. The Communists’ sufferings on this part of the trek exceeded anything that had gone before. Dick Wilson in The Long March says high ranking officers in the PLA openly talked of settling accounts with the Ngaba Tibetans, and geological bad luck put the largest commercially-viable uranium deposits on the Tibetan plateau under their land.

There are apparently two separate sites at which uranium is mined. One is a mine near Tewe, in Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, and the other is in Ngaba Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture where Tibetans have been falling ill and dying. In both cases, villagers have pointed to the source of the pollution as stream water below the uranium mine (see also WISE NC 390.3799).

The largest existing uranium mines in China are in the east, in Jiangxi Province. But one Chinese official told a reporter that the largest deposits are around Lhasa, Tibet’s capitol. So far, the latter have not been commercially mined, but if they were they could represent a major health threat to both Tibetans and Chinese around Lhasa and bring even greater Chinese domination over the area.

Another major issue for Tibetans is the deployment of nuclear missiles in Tibetan regions. China currently has at least 300-400 nuclear warheads, of which several dozen are on the Tibetan plateau in Amdo. The stationing of nuclear weapons there began in 1971 when a DF-4, China’s first intercontinental ballistic missile, arrived in the Quidan basin several hundred kilometers west of the Ninth Academy. Currently nuclear missiles are deployed at least three sites, including a new nuclear missile division which was reportedly established in the early 1980s on the border between Qinghai and Sichuan provinces.

In his Five Point Peace Plan, the Dalai Lama appealed to China, and to the world, to make Tibet a nuclear free zone. In a public response to the Dalai Lama’s concerns over dumping from a nuclear weapons facility (the Ninth Academy), the Chinese government called the allegations “pure fabrications.” Beijing went on to say that “Tibet”, meaning the Tibetan Autonomous Region, was nuclear free. But the Dalai Lama was including the traditional northeastern province of Amdo, where he was born, when he said “Tibet”.

In May, there was unrest in Lhasa as Tibetans protested the measures Chinese authorities took to prevent them from talking with members of a European Community commission visiting Tibet. It is clear that the EC is not very fond of talking about the human rights situation and the suppression by the Chinese. There are a lot of economic interests with China at stake. According to a Dutch participant of the trip (the Dutch ambassador in Beijing, Van Houten), the human rights situation is better than before (which tells more about the past than the present), and stories of Tibetans picked up by the Chinese authorities for writing a letter describing the situation are “exaggerated and doubtful”….


  • “A Poisonous Atmosphere: Nuclear Installations on the Tibetan Plateau”, by John Ackerly, China Rights Forum, Spring 1993, pp.4-8.
  • Trouw (NL), 29 May 1993

Contact: Copies of “Nuclear Tibet” are available for US$7.50 (plus $1.50 postage in US, $3.50 international) from the International Campaign for Tibet, 1518 K Street NW, Suite 410, Washington DC 20005, US. For more information contact Tashi Delek or Ned Gardinar, tel: +1 (202) 628-4123; fax: (202) 347-6825.


Nuclear Threat

TIBET holds a unique position among the countries of the world. Not only does its territory cover the highest plateau on the planet, but also Tibet, alone among all nations, chose to abandon the path of aggression and military technology to pursue instead the creation of a society devoted to spiritual development and peace.Following the philosophy of the Buddha, Tibetans created spiritual universities where thousands of people were trained.

The most basic principle of Buddhism is ahimsa (nonviolence); one should help others whenever possible and avoid causing any harm. So traditionally, the Tibetan Government kept only a small army. The well-armed and the massive Chinese army invaded Tibet in 1949.

Nuclear weapons, which can destroy all life forms and turn our beautiful green planet into a barren dust-bowl, are the antithesis of Buddhist philosophy. They can kill indiscriminately and continue killing over thousands of years. His Holiness the Dalai Lama poignantly asks, “We know that in the event of a nuclear war there will be no victors because there will be no survivors. Is it not frightening to contemplate such inhuman and heartless destruction? And is it not logical that we should remove the cause of our own destruction when we know it and when we have both the time and means to do so?”

It is especially disturbing for Tibetans to report that their motherland, once dedicated to the peaceful development of the human mind, has become the storehouse of Chinese nuclear weapons and a place for dumping radioactive waste. On top of this China, for financial gain, has reportedly been encouraging foreign countries to ship their toxic waste to Tibet.

This chapter brings to light some of the information available regarding the nuclearisation and militarisation of the altar of the earth — Tibet — and to explain why this is especially critical for the countries “downstream”. In fact, we are all “downstream” from Tibet.


Nuclear weapons are explosive devices developed by harnessing the potential of atomic nuclei. Nuclear weapons get their destructive power from the transformation of matter in the nucleus of an atom into energy. They include missiles, bombs, artillery, shells, mines and torpedoes. The weakest nuclear weapons are far more destructive than the most powerful conventional weapons. The atom bombs dropped during World War II in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were nuclear weapons.

This Chapter Aims To:

• Document the development of nuclear weapons on the Tibetan Plateau

• Bring to light China’s destructive military activities in Tibet and their impact on the environment

• Create global consciousness about the effects of the nuclearisation and militarisation of the Tibetan Plateau

• Awaken the spirit of Tibetan people and their supporters to restore and conserve the fragile ecology of Tibet

• Seek international participation in the restoration and conservation of the Tibetan Plateau.

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In 1949 People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers entered Eastern Tibet. In the spring of 1950, China’s “18th Army” invaded Tibet through Dartsedo (Ch. Kanding) in the east, and through Amdo in the northeast. The “14th Division” entered through Dechen in southeast Tibet. After occupying Kham and Amdo, the advance party of the “18th Army” reached Lhasa on 9 September 1951, followed by the unit’s main force on 26 October 1951. This was only the beginning of the vast Chinese military build up in Tibet, which continues to this day (DIIR 1996c).

The first known nuclear weapon was brought onto the Tibetan Plateau in 1971 and installed in the Tsaidam (Ch. Qaidam) Basin in northern Amdo (Ch. Qinghai). China is currently believed to have 17 secret radar stations, 14 military airfields, eight missile bases, at least eight ICBMs, 70 mediumrange missiles and 20 intermediate range missiles in the whole of Tibet (DIIR 1998; DIIR 1996c).

The Ninth Academy

The Northwest Nuclear Weapons Research and Design Academy, known as the “Ninth Academy” or “Factory 211,” was built by the Ninth Bureau of the Chinese Nuclear Production Establishment in the early 1960s to produce China’s early nuclear bomb designs. It is China’s top secret nuclear city located in Tsojang (Ch. Haibei) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Amdo, 100 km west of Siling (Ch. Xining).

The construction of the Ninth Academy was approved by the late Chinese leader, Deng Xiaoping, who was then the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party. The Ninth Academy is situated at 36.57 N, 101.55 E, with an elevation of 10,000 ft (3,033 m) above sea level, 10 miles (16.1 km) east of Lake Kokonor, and lies in a watershed which drains into the Tsang Chu River (Ch. Xichuan-he). This becomes the Machu (Yellow River). In the late 1970s the Ninth Academy further established a chemical industry institute to conduct experiments on reprocessing highly enriched uranium fuels. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the Ninth Academy operated under emergency conditions to build China’s nuclear weapons capability. An unknown quantity of radioactive waste in the form of liquid slurry as well as solid and gaseous waste was dumped by the Academy. The disposal of waste was haphazard and their record-keeping dismal. Initially radioactive waste was dumped in shallow and unlined landfills (Ackerly 1993a; ICT 1993).

According to the official China news agency, Xinhua, in a report dated 20 July 1995, the Ninth Academy was decommissioned in 1987 and the base was moved to sites in
Sichuan Province in Eastern Tibet. However, Tibetans living near the Ninth Academy informed the Tibetan Governmentin- Exile in 1996 that Chinese security personnel still secretly guard the Ninth Academy around the clock.

A direct railway line connects the Academy with Lake Kokonor, the largest lake on the Tibetan Plateau. Nuclear waste experts believe that radioactive waste was also dumped into the lake. A reliable report from a Chinese man whose father was a nuclear scientist in Lanzhou, Gansu, states that in 1974 there was an accident leading to nuclear pollution of the lake (ICT 1993). The Ninth Academy is located on marshy land allowing polluted water and radioactive particles to easily seep into the groundwater, which flows into Lake Kokonor. Massive road networks access military installations Lake Kokonor is sacred to Tibetans. Throughout history they have protected the natural beauty and sanctity of this lake through sustained spiritual practices and ecological respect. The principle lama of Rebgong Monastery in Amdo, Je Kalden Gyatso, has explained: “Today the island at the centre of Lake Kokonor is called the abode of Maha Dewa (Lord Shiva). It has historical connections with Tibet’s great king Songtsen Gampo and also Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava). It is the abode of klu (beings who inhabit water bodies) and jangchub sempa (bodhisattvas). It is a
pilgrimage site for many kings and saints” (Palbar 1994).

Anti-Frigate Missile Centre at DrotsangUntitled-1 copy
A new missile production centre is located at Drotsang (Ch. Ledu; 36.05N, 102.5E), 63 km east of Siling. The secret code number of this centre is 430. It was originally set up in 1986 and was massively expanded in 1995. It is a surrogate of the Ninth Academy and has been producing anti-frigate missiles which are being tested in Lake Kokonor (Chutter 1998).

Land-Based Nuclear Warheads
When Major-General Zhang Shaosong, the Political Commissar of the PLA in Tibet, was asked point-blank whether there were nuclear weapons in Tibet by the BBC’s Mark Braine in 1988, he replied, “Whether there are nuclear weapons in Tibet or not, it is up to the authorities to decide.” And he smiled (Kewley 1990).

Tsaidam’s Nuclear Missile Launch Sites
The Ninth Academy was ready to produce nuclear weapons by 1971. The first batch of nuclear weapons manufactured at the Ninth Academy was reportedly brought to Tsaidam Basin and stationed at Small Tsaidam (Ch. Xiao Qaidam) and Large Tsaidam (Ch. Da Qaidam) in the extremenorthwest of Amdo province (Ch. Qinghai). Tsaidam Basin is known to be one of most advantageous deployment sites for China because of its high altitude and isolation. China established the nuclear missile deployment and launch site for DF-4 missiles in the Tsaidam Basin in the early 1970s.

The Large Tsaidam site located in northern Tibet (37.50N and 95.18E) has two missiles stored horizontally in tunnels near the launch pad. Fuel and oxidizers are stored in separate tunnels with lines to the launch pad (Fieldhouse 1991). According to various reports, a launch site for Dong Feng Four (DF-4) missiles, which are equivalent to Russia’s CSS- 2, was built in Tsaidam. These missiles, located at Large Tsaidam and Small Tsaidam (37.26N, 95.08E), are reported to have a range of over 4,000 km placing the whole Indian sub-continent within striking distance. The DF-4 is China’s first intercontinental ballistic missile. During the 1970s its range was extended from 4,000 km to 7,000 km allowing the modified version now deployed on the Tibetan Plateau to target Moscow and the rest of the former Soviet Union (Fieldhouse 1991).
The Small Tsaidam site in Northern Tibet is presumably organised in a similar way to the Large Tsaidam deployment and launch site. The missiles were moved to these sites on the Tibetan Plateau in 1971 (Lewis & Xue 1988). According to diplomatic sources informing the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) in Washington DC, nuclear missiles are stationed in Small Tsaidam and are only moved to Large Tsaidam in times of emergency.

Terlingkha Nuclear Missile Launch Site
Another nuclear missile launch site is located at Terlingkha (Ch. Delingha; 36.6N, 97.12E), 217 km southeast of Tsaidam. It houses DF-4 and Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM). Terlingkha is the missile regiment headquarters for Amdo which consists of four associated launch sites. The organisation of the sites are similar to Large Tsaidam (Chutter 1998; ICT 1993).

New Long Range Missile Division
A new nuclear missile division has also been established on the Tibetan Plateau on the border between Qinghai and Sichuan provinces, in the Tibetan province of Amdo. Four CSS-4 missiles are deployed here, which have a range of 8,000 miles (12,874 km), capable of striking the UnitedStates, Europe and anywhere in Asia. Amdo Province is home to four Chinese nuclear missile launch sites, two at Tsaidam, one at Terlingkha and one at the border between Amdo and Sichuan Province (Chutter 1998).

Underground Base at Nagchuka
In the 1970s numerous reports surfaced regarding the stockpiling of nuclear weapons. These reports also confirmed that in 1970 missile base construction work had started about 10 miles (16.1 km) north of Nagchuka (Ch. Nagqu), in the ‘Tibet Autonomous Region’ and that there was a considerable build up of Chinese military personnel in the area. On 14 October 1987, an article in the Sydney-based national newspaper The Australian reported the presence of nuclear missiles at Nagchuka. Subsequently, the Australian Nuclear Disarmament Party, in a press release dated 28 October 1987, expressed its grave concern over the intermediate-range ballistic (IRBM) and medium-range missiles (MRBM) stationed in Nagchuka. Tashi Chutter’s book, Confidential Study on Deployment of Chinese Occupational Force[s] in Tibet, published in 1998 confirms that there are nuclear missiles permanently stationed at Nagchuka. The missiles are housed in underground complexes beneath Risur mountain, 25 km southeast of Nagchuka. The Risur site has reportedly been developed by the Chinese government for two major reasons; to provide an alternative to the Lop Nor nuclear test site in Eastern Turkestan (Ch. Xinjiang) and to store as well as test China’s upgraded air defence missiles and nuclear weapons. Nagchuka is reported to have the largest airforce unit stationed at any secluded site.

Rocky Funnels House Missile Base
Like the Risur site, another missile base is located at Tagho Mountain (Tib. Horse-Head Mountain) in the remote valley (32.15N, 89.42E) of Pelok, which lies to the east of Nyima Dzong under Nagchuka administrative division of ‘TAR’. Missiles possibly of a nuclear nature are reportedly stored in the underground rocky tunnels of Tagho Mountain. The entire region is described as a desolate desert where only military vehicles are allowed to enter (Chutter 1998).

Underground Missile Storage Near Lhasa
Dhoti Phu is located 3.5 km to the northwest of Drapchi Prison and one kilometre to the west of Sera Monastery. It came into existence between the late 1960s and 1970s. It was observed that occasionally 20 to 25 trucks loaded with elongated objects wrapped in canvas cloth were seen enteringthe storage site. The movement of these vehicles took place only at night. The sophisticated underground storage complex of Dhoti Phu reportedly contains missiles known as di dui kong (ground-to-air) and di dui di (surface-to-surface). In Lhasa during Chinese Army Day (1 August), a number of missiles of these types were displayed to the public on missile guiding vehicles (Chutter 1998).

Missiles Complex in Kongpo
A large underground missile storage facility is located near Payi Town in Nyingtri (Ch. Nyingchi) region of Kongpo, ‘TAR’ under the secret code number 809 (Ch: Pa Ling Jue). It is controlled by the Chengdu Military Logistic Division. Supplies are brought in by the 17th, 18th and 20th Transport Regiments from Chengdu and some supplies are also brought in from Lhasa. A few low ceilinged barracks were noticed near the foothill of a mountain in Payi where there is an entrance leading to an underground storage complex. Long convoys of military trucks belonging to the transport regiments have been observed entering the storage facility. When fresh supplies arrive at the facility, storage complex drivers replace the regular drivers inside the complex.

It is reported that ground-to-air and surface-to-surface missiles are stored at this site. During mock military exercises a large number of such missiles are taken out of this complex. At one time about 80 missiles were observed. They were mounted on 20 trucks, each truck carrying four missiles. Each missile measured about one and a half times the length of the trucks and some had fins. During these exercises, missiles were launched vertically and horizontally to hit prearranged targets (Chutter 1998).

Airbases with Nuclear Weapons
There are three types of aircraft in China currently available for nuclear bombing missions: the Hong-6 bomber, the Hong- 5 bomber, and the Qian-5 attack jet. The Hong-6 has a combat radius of over 3,000 km and can reach targets in the former Soviet Union and India. The Hong-5 has a combat radius of 1,200 km (Fieldhouse 1991).

During the 1960s and 1970s the three main military airbases in Tibet were in Lhasa, Chabcha and Golmud. During the 1960s, Chabcha and Golmud airfields were used as refuelling stations for Chinese aircraft on their way to Tibet and the Indian border. The Gongkar airfield, located 97 km southwest of Lhasa, has been the main military airfield and the main supply centre for the Chinese forces in the border area.

At Shigatse military airport, four or five IL-28 bombers were deployed with some jetfighter aircraft. Military transport aircraft such as the AN-32 and the Russian made IL-18 were noticed in frequent operations at the airport. Every autumn, these bombers carried out bombing exercises at a place known as Logma Thang, 50 km west of the airport. During the rest of the year the aircraft practice flight manoeuvring exercises (Chutter 1998).

A classified Pentagon report quoted by The Washington Times states that missile launch complexes in Jianshui, near the China-Vietnam border and at Datong in Amdo are equipped with CSS-2 and CSS-5 launchers that can hit targets which cover “most of India”. Other targets include Russia, Japan and Taiwan, as specified in a classified study prepared by the National Air Intelligence Centre (NAIC). According to the NAIC report, China now has about 40 CSS-2 re-fire capable launchers at six field garrison and launch complexes. The launchers at Datong missile garrison can target Russia as well as India. The CSS-2 training sites have also been observed by US spy satellites in nearby Haiyan.

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Russia is selling 100 advanced artillery systems with precision guided shells to China in secret arms deals, including modern aircraft, destroyers and other high-tech arms. China purchased some 50 SU-27 flanker warplanes from Russia and has plans to purchase 250 more of the jets by 2005. The SU-27s will be fitted with AA-11 air-to-air missiles, a very effective radar guided rocket with electronic countermeasure pods (The Tribune 5 July 1997). It is evident that China is modernising its nuclear weapons and developing multiple warhead missiles. The Chinese now have intercontinental nuclear capability. Intercontinental ballistic missiles can reach most of the USA, according to General Habiger, Commander of the US Strategic Command.

General Habiger added that China’s new intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) include the DF-31, a road-mobile missile with a range of more than 4,500 miles (7,242 km), and a second new ICBM with a range of more than 7,000 miles (11,265 km) (The Tribune 3 April 1998). China continues to violate the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of 1963. It exploded an underground nuclear device at Lop Nor test site in Eastern Turkestan (Xinjiang), directly north of Tibet, on 17 August 1995, and thereafter it exploded two nuclear bombs on 8 June 1996, and 29 July 1996.

China has so far exploded 45 nuclear bombs since its detonation of an atomic bomb in 1964 at Lop Nor. China’s 45th nuclear explosion of 29 July 1996 came just a few hours before delegates sat down to negotiate the final stage of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) at the United Nations Conference on Disarmament in Geneva. China has land, sea and air-based missiles, nuclear missiles on submarines, and it continues to develop various smaller nuclear warheads. These nuclear warheads are loaded onto a multiple warhead missile, thereby greatly enhancing its ballistic capability. China’s total nuclear power is estimated to be 16,000 times greater than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima (20,000 kilotons of TNT) which killed 140,000 people in Japan. Yet China claims it needs more tests to ensure the safety of its nuclear devices (DIIR 1996a).

CNN World News on 7 April 1998 announced that France and the United Kingdom ratified the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) to prevent international nuclear proliferation for a nuclear-free world. China is one of the nuclear states in the world, along with the US and Russia, who are yet to ratify the CTBT. China signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1992.

However, no matter what is signed or declared on the international stage, China evidently does not comply or yield ground. No country dares to upset the Asian giant for fear of losing its lucrative trade. Tibet and its people, because of their “crime” of not being represented at the United Nations, continue to suffer humiliation as many countries of the world indulge in double-talk about international norms of good conduct. These nations continue to ignore nuclear proliferation on the Roof of the World.


As I was saying

Buddhism, Culture, Education, ethics, Health, History, Human Rights

vanessa may 2016

Do you tune in to the Sky Business Channel on Foxtel? Why? Do you think they report well on business? For a while now, since the mining boom, which some say is over, we were all about trading iron ore and so forth with China, that so called great trading partner. Our important trading friend. What nonsense.

Why do they buy our iron ore? To build navel vessels designed to take away our fight for freedom. China hates Tibet. What was Tibet? China’s aim was to take over the world and invade everywhere. China said, “once Tibet falls under Chinese Communist control, we, China, take over everything;” (Mao Tse Tung (not that he’s worth quoting)). People watching the business channel probably couldn’t give two hoots. Well, if you bothered to educate yourself according to an authentic Buddhist system, one designed to defeat the causes of suffering, the cycle of samsaric existence, you would learn it’s the only valid education system really. Gosh, that’s a big statement to make, but it’s reliable and safe.

I can say, having watched the genocide of over one million people, negative karma hurts. China, aren’t you worried? The Sky Business Channel really doesn’t have a clue. What do you think, and I suppose you could argue, as long as they, (China), are building ghost cities, what concern is that of ours? However, what if they, China,  are preparing for a military takeover? These people, Xi Jinping (who pongs by the way) are just mass murderers, uninterested in justice, freedom, or in preserving human rights. China’s track record stinks.

When I was young, I reported for Amnesty International on human rights abuse cases. Some of the stories I documented include the following:

China – it’s red army- under the leadership of Mao Tse Tung, ordering the murder of people in such a way; children as young as four or five years of age given a gun and ordered to shoot dead their parents in front of the red army or be shot themselves. Well, only the red army really survived, but they have rebirth in hell ahead (which is obviously necessary). Secondly, burying Tibetans alive in upright coffins. Thirdly, capturing 1500 Tibetan farmers and loading them onto a truck to take them to a deserted place on the Tibetan Plateau, to shoot them dead in a mass grave.

Fourthly, taxing the Tibetan people 90% of their income to make it impossible for them to find the income to eat; in other words starving Tibetan Buddhists to death.

The incident with the death and shooting of the Tibetan farmers happened no more that ten – fifteen years ago, under other communist leadership, (or lack thereof).

Aren’t you concerned? Why do you prefer dealing with murderers and torchurers in trade, than developing your own understanding of the heart and the mind, of realizing proper mind science that can set you free once and for all, from suffering and it’s causes. No amount of business properganda or bullshit can change these facts. If you practice religious freedom correctly, under the guidance of the Dalai Lama’s system, you can actually solve your problems forever by relying upon a proper understanding of the small, medium and great scope stages of the path to Buddhahood. China, it’s not a liberator. It’s a mass murderer, a genocidal criminal and thief, and a raper of more than just the environment.

Copyright © Vanessa Anne Walsh 2019




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The Deafening

Silence on China’s Human Rights Abuses

Where is China headed in 2018? President Xi Jinping promised “world peace” for the new year – but his 2017 track record suggests otherwise. Remember the singular stain of the July death of 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, surrounded by state security? Many condemned China’s conduct, but such interventions are fewer and further between these days. Increasingly, abusive Chinese authorities are garnering international support for their principles and policies.

In a single December week, the Chinese Communist Party hosted an international political forum in Beijing attended by representatives of political parties from democracies including New Zealand and the United States, seemingly unbothered that their hosts run an authoritarian, one-party state.

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the State Council Information Office held an international symposium in Beijing on human rights – attended by United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, a UN body that, unlike two dozen other UN agencies, is systematically denied the ability to operate in China.

And China held another global information technology summit on connectivity – attended by Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, who in the US argues hard for privacy rights but in China lauds Beijing’s plans for a “common future in cyberspace” despite rampant censorship and electronic surveillance.

The term “normalising” is in heavy use these days, typically to mean the implicit or explicit acceptance of problematic behaviour. In diplomacy, it means two countries establishing formal diplomatic relations.

But it’s now also a perverse hybrid in contemporary international politics: individuals and institutions from parts of the world where human rights are generally protected aren’t just cosying up to, but also increasingly publicly praising, their Chinese counterparts – while failing to defend the principles and institutions that underpin their very existence. In doing so, they enable a whitewash of an abusive regime, one with global aspirations to change and set the rules of modern political life.

While it’s true that many people across different realms – academia, business, politics – have, over the years, pushed the Chinese government to adopt international human rights standards and end its persecution of peaceful critics, few now stand against Beijing’s intransigence. Many now choose to engage on Beijing’s terms, even when doing so is perverse and even harmful to their interests. Will Apple still thrive if China’s vision of state control of all sources of information and the use of artificial intelligence to monitor all citizens’ behaviour becomes a reality?

Those who participate in these kinds of gatherings invariably insist that it’s better they engage than not: after all, the logic goes, who else will set out different or higher standards on everything from democratic governance to corporate social responsibility?

But, increasingly, they simply don’t bother to set out or defend those standards. Did any of the political party conference attendees publicly dissociate themselves from their hosts’ closing statements praising President Xi’s leadership, or offer up publicly available remarks reflecting concern about the lack of elections or multiple political parties in China? No. Did anyone at the human rights conference make a public statement, while in China, about the death penalty, or torture by police? No.

While Chinese authorities host these substantively through-the-looking-glass gatherings and proclaim international support for their vision, increasingly they exploit openness elsewhere to do the same, often through state organisations like the United Front Work Department. Australian politicians have been discovered receiving political donations from Chinese businesses.

The Chinese authorities have been limiting access of human rights groups to the country. Police from Cambodia to France have capitulated to pressure from Chinese law enforcement or Party “discipline” officers and handed over allegedly corrupt fugitives without any semblance of due process. Universities struggle with ferocious complaints from Chinese diplomats about whether the institutions may describe Taiwan as an independent country, or have the Dalai Lama as a commencement speaker.

The question for democracies or businesses isn’t whether to engage: it is how to engage in a principled manner. This means treating China like many governments treat US President Donald Trump when he makes outrageous statements or adopts retrograde policies. Democratic leaders condemn Trump’s remarks about “fake news” – but don’t condemn China for its censorship or propaganda. They criticise Trump for his hostility towards the UN, but have nothing to say on China’s efforts to weaken the institution.

It is time for new standards to reverse these highly abnormal relationships with China. Forty years into China’s “reform era”, Beijing has made clear it’s not moving on democracy, a free press, or an independent legal system, though courageous people continue to push for these at considerable personal risk. If powerful outside voices mindlessly engage, they not only stab these brave people in the back – they may also find themselves obliged to dance to the tune of a highly repressive government.


Nights in the Moon Lily Garden – Chapter Eight

art, Culture, Education, History

Death of All That Is Familiar

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After spending the weekend at one of my friend’s houses, Mother realised things needed to change quickly if there was to be any hope of averting a complete disaster from taking place the following year, my final year at school. Taking me to a coffee shop after school, she did her best to address the dysfunction that had all but entrenched itself into our family unit.

“Darling,” she said as we sat down in a quaint little coffee shop. “I have something to tell you that I think will really make you happy.”

I looked at her with hope in my eyes, but not without a certain level of naivety and innocence.

“What is it Mum,” I asked hopefully.

Reaching over, she held my hand before continuing, “I’ve been thinking very seriously about everything you have said to me. I realize you feel I have not been working hard enough to ensure we all continue in our abilities to live happily and comfortably together. I am sorry if you feel I have let you down.”

I stared back at her, a little surprised by her confession.

My mother continued to speak. “I have found a nice flat near school which we will start renting in a few weeks. I intend to leave your father now and to get a divorce. You will have to help me, Oceané, with the move. I have arranged for some removalists to come, but I am worried about what will happen when your father finds out.”

“He doesn’t have to find out Mum,” I replied full of determination.

“What do you mean, Oceané? Once I tell him we are leaving, all hell will break loose.”

I leaned forward, full of insistence. “Mum, you’re not going to tell him. We will move out in secret. You will arrange to have the removalists come on a night when you know he will be staying at Francesca’s (his mistress). If the truck comes close to midnight, we will have enough time to get all our belongings and the furniture out of the house. That is the only way it will work Mum. There is no point tackling Dad head on. You will only walk away the loser from such a fight.”

“I hadn’t thought of that,” said my mother looking a little worried. “Do you really think such a plan will work?”

“Of course it will,” I said confidently.” But you can’t tell anyone. Not even Lucy. She is too young and may inadvertently spill the beans to Dad. This is our secret. I will help you, but you must promise not to say anything to Dad or anyone else.”

My mother hesitated. I squeezed her hand tightly in mine.

“This is not a time for fear Mum. You must be strong, for all of our sakes. I will write a letter to Dad and explain our reasons for leaving. I will leave it for him to read once we have left. No one can reason with him at the moment. The time for discussion is over. You need to be clear and resolute in your planning and thinking, and to break yourself out of this rut we have all fallen into.”

As we drank our coffee, the conversation continued as we planned the coming move together. I had my doubts about Mum’s ability to stick to this plan, but remained hopeful that she would realize taking on Dad in a headlong confrontation would only result in her being more victimized than ever.

Feeling a small sense of hope, I felt that perhaps our situation would improve after all, now that my mother had agreed to a plan for change. I felt my duty lay with doing all that I could to help her stick to the plan and avoid caving in at the last minute. It seemed like a tall order at the time, but I had a renewed sense of vigor and determination to ensure that we moved away quietly from Dad and avoided any more nasty confrontations.

Copyright © Vanessa Anne Walsh 2019


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Nights in the Moon Lily Garden – Chapter Seven

art, Culture, Education, History

I am So Sad I Am Unable To Study

December, 1985

On an overcast Sunday afternoon, Oceané sat in her bedroom reading and trying to focus on her studies when she heard her parents starting to argue. Her exams were only a week away, and yet she had to endure daily disruptions to her studies as tensions reached breaking point in the house. Both her parents had continued to argue on a daily basis, which always climaxed with screams and shouts. As she sat listening to the argument intensify, she wondered how she would ever create the conditions conducive to achieving a set of good exam results. A few moments later, Oceané realized Lucy was standing in the hallway, trying to follow the argument between their two parents.

“Lucy,” Oceané whispered. “Come in here and sit with me. It is better not to get involved.”

“Leave me alone,” snapped Lucy ferociously, not comprehending the damage that would result from getting involved in an argument she didn’t understand. “I want to be with Mum,” she hissed, before running to join her mother.

Oceané sighed with frustration and returned to her desk, gazing out of the window as she tried to block out the tension and distress arising from her parents’ heated attacks. Her eyes returned to the page she had been studying, but her heart was empty and desolate. Every year close to exam time, the arguments between her parents would increase in intensity and frequency. With the house full of tension and distress, Oceané found it impossible to concentrate in such a fractured environment.

As she sat in her chair trying to concentrate, she could feel herself getting inextricably caught up in the daily drama and tension of her parents failing marriage and gradually, her enthusiasm to study and memorize the material in front of her eroded away. Grace, Edward and Lucy were all ignorant of the absolutely damaging effects of their own ignorance, attachment and hatred. Unable to settle their disputes in a quiet and reasonable manner, daily fights and arguments were the norm, creating an unhappy and deeply disturbing environment for all concerned.

Edward had been having affairs with various women for many years, and all the ensuing unhappiness surrounding that had worn away at Grace’s health, leaving her in a state that could only be described something very close to death.  Unable to see a clear path forward, nor a happy future, Oceané’s heart sank in despair. Although she knew both parents expected the best from her, Oceané struggled to find a path to inner peace and happiness.

As the screaming continued, Oceané found that she too became focused upon the content of her parents’ argument.

“I want a divorce,” cried Grace.

“You can have your f…king divorce,” Edward replied. “Take your two children and get the hell out of my life.”

“Aren’t you forgetting they are also your children?” Grace demanded.

“I don’t give a stuff about the children. You turned them away from me a long time ago.”

“Your alcoholic habits are the cause for all the damage,” Grace replied bitterly.

“Fuck you,” he screamed. “Get the hell out of my house!”

“This is my house,” cried Grace.

“Not any more it isn’t. I got you to sign over the assets that were in your name when you were too f…king weak and stupid to know what you were doing.”

Oceané jumped from her seat. Realizing Edward had gone too far, she ran down the hallway to the living room and into the maelstrom unfolding all around her.

“What the hell is going on?’ Oceané cried. “Have you both gone completely mad? I am trying to study and you are not giving me a single chance to get anything done with this constant screaming and fighting. My exams are next week, and I can’t concentrate with you both at each other’s throats. I really can’t stand it anymore Dad. You’re threatening to take away our home and run off with that horrible tart who is only trying to take you for all your money, and yet you still demand high results from me despite the fact there is mayhem all around.”

“And what about you, Mum? Can’t you just try to ignore his attacks and not respond to his attempts to provoke you?”

“Oh, he is doing far more than that, Oceané. He has already emptied the family trust of the money that was set aside for you and Lucy’s future. His aim is to leave us with nothing.”

“You got what you deserve,” barked Edward.

“Stop it,” cried Oceané. “Do you want me to end it all now?” she cried as she picked up a large knife that lay on the kitchen table. “I have had enough. This fighting has been going on for years and years. I don’t have a hope of being able to focus clearly with this hell going on around me and a family disintegrating before my very eyes. Can’t you see how selfish you both are being? Why do you always ramp up the fights right around the time of my exams? Are you purposely trying to put me off my studies?”

“Oceané, put the knife down,” cried Grace in an empty and dispassionate tone of voice.

“Why? Why should I behave responsibly when you two are going crazy and refusing to sort things out in a calm and civilized manner? I’ll withdraw this threat when you bring some peace and stability back into our lives. Otherwise, there is no point hanging around. I can’t bear to hear this day after day, year after year. You do this to me every time I have work to do and need some peace and quiet. You expect me to be responsible? Well how about setting a better example for your children to follow?”

“See what you’ve done, Edward?” cried Grace.

“Don’t blame me, you f..cking stupid bitch,” he thundered, while reaching for another glass of scotch.

Oceané looked at them both in despair. “Well, I can see neither of you have any intention of changing,” said Oceané as she slammed down the knife in disgust and burst into tears. “I’m leaving,” she said, before running back to her room.

Crying and sobbing, Oceané blindly grabbed her small canvas wallet, checking through the wall of tears streaming from her eyes to see if she had enough money for a train ride to the other side of town. She grabbed her school bag and some clothes before running to the front door, just as her mother appeared behind her.

“Wait, Oceané, wait! Where are you going? Don’t leave me here on my own.”

“What is the point of staying Mum?” Oceané sobbed, gasping for breath as her sobbing became more uncontrolled. “You will never get it together with Dad. I can’t live with this aggressive arguing and abuse anymore. How can I work and be happy with both of you tearing each other to pieces day after day? You need to leave him Mum,” Oceané continued, “or you won’t have anything left of your life to save. He is going to take us all to the cleaners and he doesn’t mind if he buries you along the way. Look at yourself. You’re a nervous wreck and you’re health won’t hold up much longer under these conditions.” She focused intently on her mother’s eyes to see if her message was getting through.  “It’s over Mum. We have to get out while we can. He doesn’t care about us anymore. He only wants to live with that horrible home wrecker he is now hitched up with. So please, let’s go while we still have a chance.”

There was a moment’s silence as Oceané and Grace stood looking at each other, with Oceané wondering if her mother had fully realized that the end had indeed come for their life together as a family. Their life together could be characterized as deeply turbulent, and materially focused, with no insights or understanding whatsoever into their true spiritual potential and innate abilities to each achieve deep states of inner peace, happiness and freedom.

“I am going to stay with some friends for a few days,” Oceané continued. “I need to get out of this horrible atmosphere. I have exams to focus on Mum. Can’t you see it is impossible to work here under these conditions?”

“Where are you going to stay, Oceané? Please don’t leave.”

“I don’t know where I’m going,” Oceané cried helplessly. My friends don’t really care about me either. They are only interested in distracting me too, and making sure we make life at school just a place for games and fun, rather than using the opportunity we have to actually learn something useful. I will go somewhere that’s a bit more peaceful and harmonious than here, so I can find somewhere to relax.”

Turning away, she walked down the pathway towards the street. Oceané knew her plan was flawed and perhaps a pathetic means of finding a solution, but she wanted to make a point. Feeling as though she couldn’t bear to be in her parents company for a moment longer, she walked towards a train that was already waiting at the station. Although she knew she had nowhere stable to go, and no refuge or means to secure real freedom from the miserable state she found herself in, she continued to walk away from her family home, towards a cold and desolate world, which in reality was no different from the unhappiness she was trying to leave behind. A bitter wind cut through her bones and bit at her nose and ears. Everything appeared totally lifeless and grey, as though she was surrounded by a sea full of desolate concrete and steel, with nothing to protect her from the pain in her heart, or from the acute and dark well of suffering and despair.

Copyright © Vanessa Anne Walsh 2019


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Nights in the Moon Lily Garden – Chapter Six

art, Buddhism, Culture, ethics, Freedom, Happiness, Health, Human Rights, Philosophy, wisdom culture

Mayhem and Misery – Catastrophic Suffering

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Donations can be made to Vanessa Anne Walsh COMMONWEALTH BANK BSB; 062948 ACCOUNT NUMBER; 27641400

Ignorance breeds confusion.

When you lack discipline and a proper understanding of ethics, or turn away from the dharma, from the types of mental states and actions that hold one back from suffering, only disappointment and unhappiness, degradation and mayhem will follow.

To raise a child without a deep grounding in the dharma can only be described as absolutely stupid. Forget what the world thinks. Worldly attitudes are born from a lack of understanding and knowledge. What the world rates as important is often based upon some egotistical and false view of the self, of I and mine.

I remember when I was just about to finish school, looking upon the adult world with a deep feeling of hopelessness. All the people my parents held in high regard appeared to be caught in a vicious cycle of misery. Even though they had attained some wealth and worldly status, not even doctors from the western world appeared to have all the answers to the pervasive type of suffering we were all immersed in. When your parents suffer a brutal failure in their marital relationship, when you are surrounded by people who are only interested in bullying the smartest at school into a state of submission and decline, when there is a lack of adequate role models for the young and the worldly blindly chase after material gains as though it’s the only solution to all of life’s problems, confusion takes hold causing wreckage and an enormous degree of emotional and physical suffering. Without the sword of wisdom to guide one through failure and disintegration of all that is familiar, one is truly as helpless and directionless as a dead leaf blown violently by the winds of change, uncertainty and darkness.

Although I was a straight A student throughout all my years of school, when it came to my final HSC exams, instead of blitzing all the subjects in the manner I had done in the past, I only achieved an average set of results. I didn’t even bother studying in the last week of swat vac. I went out and partied with friends who had already completed their exams.

I’m not proud of that, even though I did still manage to get into a course I was actually well suited to at university. However, the problem was, I fell into an unhappy cycle of regret, having been used to getting near perfect results in every subject. As I have said, a lot can be gained from having a high degree of intelligence, but without a proper understanding and realization of the dharma, of wisdom and compassion, you are still at the mercy of karma and delusions. This means that suffering will continue unless you actually cut the root of suffering itself. The root of suffering comes in the form of a false view of I, of self and of phenomena. Until one fully realizes that all phenomena lack inherent existence and one is able to let go of all negative emotions, one will remain like a bucket travelling up and down in a well, without the proper means to escape the cycle of existence.

Copyright © Vanessa Anne Walsh 2019


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Gorgeous Darling. I’m in.

The story of Harold the cook and the dharma practioner

art, Buddhism, Culture, Fashion, Health, Human Rights, Philosophy

It’s cold outside today, but I am going to dress appropriately. Appropriately for a dharma practitioner. What’s a dharma practitioner? A mind scientist. What is the mind. The mind is clear and knowing and resides at the heart, in the chakras, in the channels. The right channel is white, the left channel is red and the central channel is blue. You have six chakras. Don’t dispute it. At the secret place, the stomach, the heart, the throat, the forehead and crown. Look at yourself. Study the mind. Don’t be distracted. Abandon your obsession with the five sense objects and focus clearly, virtuously on the mind. At your heart sits Chenrezig, the Buddha or Guru of Compassion, watching, observing with his omniscient mind, your every move. Be aware of your own actions of body, speech and mind, by relying upon mindfulness, alertness and introspection to develop the actions of the white path that lead towards a higher rebirth, liberation and Buddhahood.

In western countries, even perhaps in the East, such a to-do regarding appearance. What does a dharma practitioner look like? Virtuous, kind-hearted, not impatient. The Buddha has many qualities of body, speech and mind. Why not study that for a change, instead of burying your unhappy subjective, stupid mind in a magazine that offers nothing but misery?

Anyway, I’m going to dress like Amogasiddhi in green. Anything wrong with that? Apparently so. I now look like a Tibetan business woman to Harold the cook. What am I wearing that looks so business like? Well just a belt; a green chuba, brown woollen jacket, sky blue shirt, grey socks, brown sneakers. That’s means business and Tibetan to some and Buddha-dharma to others. It’s warm, practical, modest, colourful, comfortable, sensible, groovy and cool.

What would you wear to go and get breakfast. To purify the place? It’s not the case that dharma practitioners only wear burgundy or marrone. Doctors of Tibetan Buddhist philosophy wear gold and burgundy, thai monks wear orange or yellow. Japanese monks wear black and cream. I am a dharma practitioner who today wears green, brown, sky blue and cream. What’s the big deal. I keep my vows. Do you keep yours? That’s what a mind that is attached to appearance doesn’t understand. Your inner freedom and wisdom is to do what is wise, not harmful, decent and unattached which opposes, cuts off and abandons the small minded desires, hatred and  ignorance of the common or ordinary world.


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