Merrill Goldman lecture transcript
Tuesday, December 5, 1995
LYDIA PERRY: I’m Lydia Perry, acting director of community programs here. This evening’s program is part of the series “Genocide and Mass Murder in the Twentieth Century: A Historical Perspective.”
Tonight’s session, “The Chinese Case: Was It Genocide or Poor Policy,” will be presented by Merrill Goldman, professor of history at Boston University, and a leading specialist on the dissident movement in China.
Dr. Goldman is a prolific author of numerous books and papers on the issue of dissidents and human rights in China. Her most recent book is Sowing the Seeds of Democracy in China. It is an honor to have Dr. Goldman here with us tonight.
MERRILL GOLDMAN: Thank you very much. When I was first asked to speak on China and genocide, I said “No; I’m not sure if that is the correct way to describe China.” The person who called me said well, if that’s the case, then, you should explain why it isn’t.
I then went and looked up various definitions of “genocide.” The one I found in my dictionary defined “genocide” as the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, religious, cultural or political group. I began to think about that definition and decided that perhaps I could talk about genocide in China not as racial or political, but perhaps as cultural genocide.
I also looked at the definition given by Helen Fein, who wrote an extraordinary book called Accounting for Genocide. She uses a definition given by the European social scientist, Raphael Lemkin in 1944. He defined genocide as “the attempt to destroy a nation or an ethnic group by depriving them of the ability to live or by killing them directly.”
Fein elaborates on this definition as an effort of a government to marginalize a people or a group not just as alien to the community, but to stigmatize and demonize them. Thus, I would like to use these definitions to talk about the issue of genocide in China in modern times.
The point I’m going to make tonight is that there has been large-scale killing in China in the twentieth century, but this was caused by warfare, war-lordism and anarchy; it was not due to a deliberate or systematic policy. Also while there has been discrimination against various ethnic and religious groups, this discrimination did not involve deliberate killing of these groups. The events of the Mao Zedong era (1949-76)-- the killing off of Chinese landlords, the persecution of intellectuals, the death of millions of peasants in the Great Leap Forward (1958-1960) and the attack on the skilled urban population in the Cultural Revolution (1966-76)—were a political form of genocide, caused by the imposition of Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought onto China in those years.
This ideology and system of rule came from the West; it is not a product of Chinese culture or history. It’s only when China encounters the West, in the late nineteenth century, and then of course in full force in the twentieth century, that the Chinese begin to adapt some of the methods, practices and ideas from the West. It is not that China did not have wars, conflicts and large-scale killing in its pre-Western history, but they were not carried out with the deliberation and systematization that characterized the Mao era.
There is one dynasty in China’s pre-modern period, however, whose methods came close to those used in the twentieth century. This was early in its history, when the whole of China was united into one kingdom, in the year 221 B.C., under an emperor who established the Qin Dynasty (221-205 B.C.).
One could say that its first emperor carried out a form of genocide. He literally buried alive the Confucian scholars who had criticized him and burned their books. They had criticized his repressive and destructive policies and he sought to annihilate them. If there was any one example in Chinese history of genocide, this form of political genocide would fit the definition.
The first emperor’s reign was very short because it was so at odds with the Chinese reality. He was overthrown by a remnant group of scholars, feudal lords and peasants. Then, in the first major dynasty of the Chinese empire, the Han Dynasty, starting in 202 B.C., lasting almost 400 years, there was the establishment of Confucianism as a state ideology. With the establishment of this secular state ideology, based on rule by scholars and infused with moral values, such forms of genocide stopped.
This doesn’t mean that there wasn’t repression and discrimination. China was also an imperialist nation. Its dynastic regimes repressed those whom they perceived as threatening them politically and ideologically. They conquered large parts of Central and East Asia and brought all kinds of tribal groups under their reign. They persecuted those who challenged them, but they didn’t discriminate against whole groups of people.
If one were willing to accept the Confucian form of governance and study to be a scholar, then China’s pre-modern rulers were willing to use their services. China’s rulers conquered large numbers of Koreans when they moved to the northeast, as well as Vietnamese when they moved toward Southeast Asia. They also had Moslem and Jewish traders living in their midst. But all of these people could become part of the Chinese empire and even officials, if they were willing to play by the rules, which meant learning and believing in Confucianism.
They didn’t impose Confucianism with force and with the sword. Rather Confucianism was a process of learning and acculturation. It is not what we would call a religion. It was a code for governance, family relationships and moral behavior. It teaches that upright, honest, learned scholars should govern. It puts great emphasis on the family and though patriarchal, it emphasized reciprocal relationships within the family. It’s a humanistic kind of philosophy. Today, it would be called “secular humanism.”
So making this a state philosophy produced a very different kind of society and civilization than we have known in the West. There were no religious wars in China’s history. A Chinese dynasty did not go to war against any group within their borders or outside their borders for purely religious reasons. As long as one practiced one’s religion without threatening the state, one was left along. Only when members of that religion were be believed to be challenging the state, did China’s rulers move against them. One might be killed, as well as one’s family and one’s clan, but not all the believers in that religion. It was a limited kind of persecution. The Chinese empire and Confucian doctrine sought to co-opt rather than suppress different groups of people.
Since we are in the Holocaust Museum, I thought tonight that I would use the example of what happened to the Jews who went to China, in terms of showing you how the Chinese treated a different ethnic and religious group; a group that in many ways was totally alien to the Chinese. There were some similarities, auch as the emphasis on the family and on learning, but the Jews came from a very different society and practiced a Western religion.
The first evidence we have of Jews coming into China was during the Tang Dynasty, which was the dynasty that ruled China from the beginning of the seventh century till the beginning of the tenth century. It was another successful dynasty. At that time, China was the largest, richest, and most advanced civilization in the whole world. That was around the time of the Western Middle Ages. By any standards, Chinese civilization was really at its highpoint.
The Tang dynasty was also the period in which Buddhism comes into China from India. Instead of discriminating against this foreign religion, the Tang rulers allowed the Buddhists to distribute their religious texts, build their temples and monasteries, and practice their religion. The only time there was any discrimination against the Buddhists was when the dynasty began to decline, and a few monasteries began to gather around them various warriors, expand territorially and challenge the government. Thus, for a short period, from 842 to 845, there was a brief period of discrimination against the Buddhist monks. A few monasteries were closed down, and perhaps some Buddhist monks were killed. But most pre-modern Chinese governments were relatively tolerant until modern times.
For the most part, Buddhists were allowed to practice their faith without much discrimination. What we find is that a scholar might be a Confucian when he is in office, but he might retire to a Buddhist monastery or he might become a Daoist, which was a Chinese native religion.
In other words, even though Confucianism was the state ideology, China was a pluralistic society. One could rule like a Confucian, but could be a Buddhist, a Daoist or anything else that one wanted to be once out of office or even in one’s spare time.
During this great Tang dynasty, hundreds, perhaps even thousands -- we don’t have exact figures – of Jewish merchants began to come to China along the silk route from the Middle East, Persia, and other parts, along with the Moslem traders. They came first to the city now called Xi’an, China’s old ancient capital and began trading there. Then, several centuries later, they settled in the city of Kaifeng. Though the government had them live separately from the native population, along side the Muslim traders, they were not stigmatized or discriminated against in any major way.
After living in Kaifeng for a number of years, they were allowed, if they wished, to take the Confucian exams. If they studied Confucianism and passed the exams, they became officials. They were allowed to take Chinese surnames, if they wanted to, which they did. They began to intermarry into Chinese society, which I’m sure Chinese families were not thrilled about it, but intermarriage was not prohibited. As one might expect, given this treatment, very quickly this Jewish community assimilated.
The experience of the Jews in China maybe one of the few examples in world history where a Jewish community assimilated almost completely. They lost virtually all contact with the outside world because they were so far away. So their ties to Jews outside of China were broken. After several generations, their rabbis no longer knew Hebrew. They still had their synagogue and when the synagogue burned down, the Chinese government helped finance its rebuilding. By helping to rebuild the synagogue, the government kept surveillance over the community. The government allowed people to practice whatever religion they wanted. The only thing they couldn’t do was to challenge the government with their religion. Because the Jewish community was treated with a kind of disinterest, it literally died out.
The next group of Jews to settle in China came from Persia in the late nineteenth century, along with British imperialism. Most of them settled in Shanghai and Tianjin, another free port under British control. They became British subjects. They practiced their religion and built large synagogues and community centers. They also became an extremely wealthy community.
Over time, they, too, assimilated. The major families were the Sassoons and the Hardoons. The Sassons died out and the Hardoons married into the Chinese community. The third major family was the Kedourie family. They founded the Kedourie School in Israel, from which Israel’s major generals, Itzak Rabin and Moshe Dayan had graduated. The Kedourie family established the first Zionist organization in 1900 in Asia. This family kept its ties with the Jewish community worldwide and in particular with Israel. It was their ties to the outside Jewish community that played a role in their retention of a Jewish identity.
With the 1949 Chinese revolution, most of the Jews in China either went to Israel or to the United States. The Kedouries went to Hong Kong, became a major presence there, and are now back in China involved in major joint projects. But they still maintained their Jewish identity, at least till the end of the twentieth century.
The next group of Jews who came to China arrived in the early twentieth century were Russian Jews fleeing the pogroms in Russia. They came in through China’s northeast, Manchuria, and settled in the city of Harbin. A well-known economist at MIT named Evsey Domar was 17 at the time. He describes his stay in Harbin as coming into paradise. Nobody bothered or discriminated against them nor paid any attention to them. They settled in and set up their own schools, their own newspapers, their own cultural centers, and their own Zionist organization. They were a thriving community. They had virtually no contact with the Chinese nor did the Chinese have contact with them. Even when the Japanese invaded Manchuria, they continued to live relatively peacefully, but gradually moved southward to Shanghai when Japan launched its war against China.
Then, of course, the last group of Jews to come to China were those fleeing Hitler’s Germany. They came to the free port of Shanghai in the late 30s and early 1940s for which they didn’t need a visa. Again, they may not have been welcomed, but they were not discriminated against either. Actually, even when Shanghai came under the control of the Japanese and the Japanese were allied with the Nazis, except for being herded into specific areas, most Jews did not feel persecuted.
The Kedourie family was imprisoned, not because they were Jewish, but because they were British subjects. Though the refugees fleeing Hitler were moved to segregated quarters, few died because of this.
In fact, the Japanese counsel in Lithuania, named Sugihara and his wife, like Raoul Wallenberg, stamped visas morning, noon and night so that thousands of Jews were able to go to Kobe, Japan, and then the Japanese government sent them to Shanghai.
So it could very well be that there is something in the non-Christian world that made the Japanese, as well as the Chinese, not stigmatize the Jews. There was no history of anti-semitism. In fact, anti-semitism arrived in China in the nineteenth century with China’s contact with the West and Christian missionaries.
The Christian missionaries began coming to China in the sixteenth century. The first ones were the Jesuits. At that time, they were a highly intellectual group, led by a man called Matteo Ricci, who was a great scholar. He spent many years in the island of Macao, which was under Portugese control, studying Chinese so that when he arrived in China, he knew the Chinese language. He literally memorized the Confucian classics. He dressed like a Chinese scholar and lived in a Chinese house. He was totally assimilated.
Because of that, he was able to reach very far into Chinese society. Some Jesuits even became advisors to the Chinese emperor. The Kang Xi emperor of the early Qing dynasty was not in the least bit interested in Christianity; but he was intrigued by Western technology. The Jesuits brought with them clocks, watches and prisms from the West, which the Chinese were fascinated with because they didn’t have them at that time.
In the process, Christianity under the Jesuits became Confucianized. In other words, they infused Confucianism into Christianity. This set off a factional struggle in the Catholic world, because the Franciscans and Dominicans asserted that this was blasphemy; this was not Christianity. The Pope listened to the Franciscans and Dominicans, and he ordered the Jesuits home. It was at this point that the Chinese Emperor became furious and asked, “who is this Pope?” “How dare he tell me what to do in my land?” The Chinese are still saying this today about outsiders who tell them how to run their affairs. The emperor was very angry that the Pope had sent home the Jesuits, who had become his friends and advisors. He then banned all Christians at that time.
They returned in the nineteenth century with Western imperialism and tried to make converts. The impact of Christianity on China, however, has been minimal in terms of numbers of converts. Missionaries did build Westernized schools, universities and hospitals and introduced Western medical education, which did make an impact. But when they traveled into the Chinese countryside and started proselytize, the came into with the local Chinese gentry, who rose up against the Christian missionaries. Not because they disagreed so much with what they were saying, though they did, but because they saw these missionaries as a threat to their power.
Christianity did not make many inroads in China; in part, because of the persistance of Buddhism and Daoism. The Confucians believed Christianity was superstitious. They couldn’t understand the concept of the father and the son and the idea of original sin was alien to Confucianism, which believes people are born good.The irony is that the way in which the West finally planted roots in China was not through Western religions, but was through Marxism- Leninism. When we talk about the Western impact in China, its most profound influence came through Marxism and Leninism, and that, of course, happened in the twentieth century. Frankly, that is when large-scale persecution occurs in China. But even then, this persecution cannot be called genocide.
When I went through the Holocaust Museum today, some of the exhibits reminded me of some of the things that went on in China under Mao Zedong, Mao came to power in the 1949 Marxist-Leninist revolution. His first job was to get rid of the landlords. The estimates of the numbers of landlords that he had killed off varies from about 5 million to 20 million. We don’t have exact figures on that. He eliminated them to bring about a social revolution. He mobilized the whole country against them, very much the way in which Hitler mobilized the population against the Jews as an enemy. In the landlords’ place he placed party cadres as the new leaders in the countryside.
Thelandlords’ children were also stigmatized as the enemy, which put them in a lower class, but they were not killed off. The whole idea of these class categories, by the way, were alien to China until Marxism-Leninism came along. They didn’t even talk about classes until the revolution. So these ideas and concepts come in with Marxism-Leninism.
Then, in the mid -1950s, as Mao sought to mobilize the population to carry out his first five-year plan, which was initially based on the Soviet model, various intellectuals said the plan wouldn’t work in China. Mao then launched a campaign against intellectuals -- first, in 1955 and then in 1957. He called them “rightists,” because he believed they were undermining his ideas. He mobilized the country against them in his great effort to modernize China overnight. They became pariahs, but were not killed off.
Here, another Western concept became rooted in China. This is the idea of a utopianism of the future. The idea was to develop a new revolutionary person, a new man and new woman and literally create a totally new society overnight. This is not the utopianism of the Chinese rebellions; when peasants rebelled against a bad ruler and a new dynasty comes to power. This idea of creating a totally different, ideal society comes from the West.
No ruler in China before Mao wanted to create a utopia overnight and to transform society. Most Chinese rulers, whether they were reformers or just status quo kind of rulers, saw the Confucian system as pretty good, but with a few problems that could be dealt with through education and maintaining a harmonious society. It was not through transforming people and using force against people. One used peaceful means to reform the way that people act and think, but not use force to impose utopian visions.
Mao then launched a mammoth campaign called the Great Leap Forward in the late 1950’s, which was an effort to reach Communism, literally in 15 years. He planned to set up communes, self-sufficient communities all over China. Once that happened, Mao said China would reach Communism before the Soviet Union. That was his great plan. He wanted to become the leader of the Communist world.
The Great Leap Forward was a totally ill-conceived, destructive idea. It led to great starvation in the countryside and to the deaths of 30 to 40 million Chinese peasants. But again, this wasn’t a systematic or planned-out process. He really believed in this idea. He didn’t know, as he later said, much about economics. How could he know that millions of people would be killed because of his utopian idea?
Finally, the most destructive movement of the Maoist era, of course, was the Cultural Revolution, 1966-1976. Here again, many of the practices of this movement can be traced to Western practices, policies and ideas that Mao absorbed. Mao never went abroad, except to the Soviet Union. He didn’t know any Western language. But he was fairly well-read in nineteenth century Western political thinkers, and very well-versed in Marxism-Leninism.
During the Cultural Revolution, he came to believe that in addition to the intellectuals, his own party associates were plotting against him. After the Great Leap Forward, he believed that they no longer trusted his policies and they no longer trusted him, which was true. So Mao felt he had to carry out this final great Cultural Revolution in order to ensure that these people would not undermine his power and also to indoctrinate the population in his effort to create a new revolutionary society that would live on after he died.
This effort to establish a society based on a set of utopian ideas, to which everyone actively pledged their allegiance and loyalty, did not exist in China until the twentieth century. The concepts and methods for these ideas came to China through the West. Even though Confucianism was a state ideology, in pre-modern China people believed in many different things at the same time. There was never a belief in one god or one religion. The Chinese believed in many different kinds of gods, certainly the ordinary people did. The Confucian scholar believed in Confucianism, which was a form of secular humanism, but at the same time he could also believe in Buddhism , Daoism, Islam or Judaism.
The Cultural Revolution was modern China’s most destructive episode. It is estimated that 100 million people were persecuted and about five to ten million people, mostly intellectuals and party officials lost their lives.
The intellectuals who survived -- they call themselves survivors -- say that what happened to them in the Cultural Revolution was comparable to the Holocaust in Nazi Germany. When I ask them to explain, they say it’s because they were persecuted, not for what they did, but for who they were. In other words, like the Jews, they were persecuted for being who they were, intellectuals. They didn’t turn against Mao, but he thought they had, even though they still expressed belief in him. A small number had become disillusioned with Mao and his policies, but most intellectuals were loyal to him until the Cultural Revolution.
But again, is this genocide? Mao couldn’t even use his own party to purge his party because he no longer trusted the party. He had become so paranoid by 1966, that he mobilized the youth, the Red Guards, and told them to overthrow party authority. In the process of overthrowing authority, anarchy and great destructiveness ensued. But this effort was not systematic, deliberate killing of a certain group of people. Intellectuals and party officials were attacked because of their political views or what Mao thought were their political views. Nevertheless, they were not persecuted in a systematic, well-organized way. It was an anarchistic movement that led to terrible tragedies.
So China’s history in the twentieth century is a different history than in the pre-modern period. That doesn’t mean that in the pre-modern period there weren’t large-scale killings and destructiveness. But nothing on the scale and order that occurred in the twentieth century.
During the period of Mao Zedong, 1949-1976, virtually one billion people, the whole Chinese population, was affected by Mao’s destructive policies. During the Great Leap Forward, the peasant population of 800 million people were affected by that destructive, utopian policy and in the Cultural Revolution, the 200 million who lived in the urban areas were affected by its destructiveness.
Another aspect of in explaining the destructiveness of the Mao era was that the Chinese Communist political structure was built on the Leninist party-state. As we saw in the former Soviet Union, the Leninist party-state gave unlimited power to the top leadership that could not be restrained, whether it was Stalin or Mao.
When Deng Xiaoping came to power in late 1978, there was a retreat from Mao’s utopian policies. Deng was not a man who can be readily stamped with any kind of ideological persuasion. He was a pragmatist, who believed in literally nothing except perhaps the Leninist party-state, though he himself rejected any effort to build up a personality cult around him as had been done with Mao as well as Stalin.
In pre-modern China, the emperor had unlimited power -- at least theoretically. But what happened, in fact, was that the emperor was hemmed in by all kinds of restrictions. He was restrained by precedents and rituals he had to follow; Confucian advisors he had to listen to; and by huge bureaucracies that restricted him. Also Confucian doctrine dictates that one cannot oppress the people too harshly, and that a Confucian scholar has the responsibility to speak out and criticize the emperor when he deviates from the Confucian way and abuses his power. So even though theoretically, he had unlimited power, in actual fact, he did not.
Mao Zedong theoretically and in fact had unlimited power. There were no limits on what he could do until he died. As many Chinese said afterwards, that’s when they began to see why democracy was so important, because there was no way to stop Mao until he died. There were no limits on his power.
There’s a famous economist, the Indian economist. Amartya Sen, who has written a fascinating article in which he compares India and China. What he shows is that if one compares life expectancy and education, China is way ahead of India. China’s life expectancy is that of a developed country, even though it is still a very poor country. That was even true under Mao.
The literacy rate in China is over 70 percent, whereas in India, Sen says it’s closer to 40 to 50 percent. But he said, India could never have a Cultural Revolution or a Great Leap Forward as in China because its democratic structure would have voted out or limited the ruler from doing anything so destructive. After Ms. Gandhi declared martial law, she and her party were voted out of office in the next election, Thus, while Mao was able to make some great changes, his policies also proved so destructive because there were no limits or restraints on his power.
When Deng Xiaoping came to power after Mao died, he re-established the Leninist party. But it was a much weaker party because it had been decimated by the Cultural Revolution. It was not the party it was under Mao. Deng was a strong leader, but nothing on the order of Mao. In fact, he did not want to be. In reaction to Maoist policies and to his own persecution in the Cultural Revolution, he and his associates promised, in language that one hears from survivors, that they would “never again” persecute their countrymen the way that Mao had done. Yet, when the students demonstrated in the spring of 1989, and began to call for the overthrow of Deng Xiaoping and for democratic government, Deng sent in troops against them. It is believed that1000 students and bystanders were killed on June 4th, 1989. That, of course, is the major blight on his rule.
But Deng allowed religion to come back, Buddhism, Daoism, Christianity, any religion could practice as long as it did not challenge or threaten the government. That is a major condition. He allowed people to live their lives relatively freely. They could choose their own marriage partners, choose the clothes they wanted to wear, and study what they wanted, but again, as long as they did not threaten his rule. But that is very different from the Mao era and much closer to China’s pre-revolutionary era.
Various churches, particularly the Christian churches, which had gone underground during the Cultural Revolution, reemerged. Once Deng allowed these religions to reemerge and practice their faith, they literally came out from underground. But there is one area in which some of the policies of the Maoist period continued; that is in the treatment of any religion that places the authority of religion, of God, of the Pope, above that of the government and state.
In other words, one can practice one’s religion as long as one does not challenge the government. Consequently, in northwest China, for example, where large groups of Moslem Chinese live, there have been some insurgent fundamentalist Islamic movements which the Chinese have put down very harshly. The government is frightened by religious fundamentalists of any sort, but particularly by religious believers who do not accept the state’s authority.
The Chinese population makes up 93% of China. What we call Han Chinese. Seven percent are minorities. The largest minority is Moslem. They are about 5 percent of the population. With a population of 1 billion, 200 million people, that’s over 50 million Moslems in China. That’s a large number, though only a small minority of that number are fundamentalists.
Another religious group that the Chinese government has repressed is Tibetan Buddhists. Tibet has been under China’s rule off and on since pre-modern times. After the fall of the Qing Dynasty in 1911, Tibet gained some degree of autonomy, though not too much, because the British became a major player in that part of the world.
When Mao Zedong came to power in 1949, China sent troops into Tibet once again. By 1950, Tibet had come under Chinese rule. When in 1959, the Dalai Lama led a rebellion against Chinese rule, the Chinese sent in massive numbers of troops. The Dalai Lama, with about 100,000 followers, escaped, to India and has remained there ever since. A large portion of the Tibetans feel their first loyalty is to the Dalai Lama; not to the government in Beijing. That is where the conflict comes.
I read an op-ed piece in the New York Times on Sunday which said that 1.2 million Tibetans had been killed off in Tibet. I don’t know where that figure came from. Tibetans, who maintain their loyalty to the Dalai Lama and Tibetan Buddhism, are suppressed and imprisoned. Scores, perhaps hundreds of Tibetan monks and nuns have been killed in the process of suppression. But since Tibetans in Tibet number no more than about two to three million in the 1990’s, with about an equal number in the surrounding provinces, we certainly would have heard about and been made aware of the fact that such a large number had been killed. If genocide is defined in the narrow sense, that is the systematic destruction of a group of people, as defined by Fein and Lemkin, then the use of the term genocide is not applicable to China’s treatment of the Tibetan people. If the term genocide is defined in the broader sense of the effort to extinguish a religion or a culture, then the term of genocide is applicable. In other words, the effort of the Chinese Communist government to extinguish Tibetan Buddhism can be called cultural or religious genocide, but not ‘genocide’ in the narrow and more accepted use of the term.
The conflict between church and state is epitomized in this clash between Tibetan Buddhism and the Chinese state. That tension has existed through a large part of Chinese history, but it did not become such a sharp conflict until the later half of the twentieth century when China’s Communist government refused to accept any higher loyalty than to its authority. Therefore, loyalty to the Dalai Lama and his teachings had to be suppressed. Yet, as I said, it has not been a systematic effort.
In fact, the Chinese are constantly writing about all the great things they’re doing for Tibet. They allowed Tibetans to have more children than Chinese, who can have only one child. That’s true, by the way, of the Moslems as well. They’re trying to build new roads and new infrastructure in Tibet. Nevertheless, when people want to interpret their own religion in their own way it does not matter what a foreign occupier may do for them. The conflict between the Chinese government and Tibetan Buddhism will continue, because until China’s party-state is changed, the government will not allow Tibetan Buddhists to practice their religion freely. At the same time, it is unlikely that the Tibetan Buddhists will forego their religion, short of cultural or religious genocide, which as China becomes increasingly integrated into the world community, will be more difficult to carry out. Thus, I end where I started this talk-- I’m still not sure the term genocide can be strictly applied to what has happened in China even in the later half of the twentieth century.