by Amarynth for the Saker Blog
There has been a slight pause in these sitreps. This writing became overshadowed with current events, fully covered in the Saker Blog by other writers. Because of length, we will upgrade this one today from sitrep to guest analysis.
A shortlisting of four major events since the Sitrep paused:
1.Meng Wanzhou’s triumphant return to China and a win against the Long Arm of the Law. Meng is back at work this morning. https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202110/1237211.shtml
2.The failed visit (yes another failed diplomatic visit) which resulted in this comical and humorous tweet from Escobar
US-CHINA IN 30 SECONDS
- Jake Sullivan – “We wanna talk about Uyghurs, Hong Kong, Taiwan, human rights.”
- Yang Jiechi – “No.”
- Sullivan – “Climate change.”
- Yang Jiechi – “Maybe. If you listen.”
- Sullivan – “So we’re coming after you big time.”
- Yang Jiechi – “Bring it on.”
Uhm, how did that climate change maybe thing work out? Well it turns out not so well. Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping are among several world leaders who will not be attending the big climate summit COP26 scheduled to begin this week in Britain. The two leaders will not even give it a pretense of legitimacy. Now, that is how to give a perfect diplomatic snub! Or is it only a diplomatic snub? I think both China and Russia are expressing that any attempt to do productive work with a naked insane emperor is now futile. We will probably see light speed changes from now on into multipolarity to hopefully gain a world that is now insisting on decent human values and most of all, peaceful resolution of differences.
3.The other big event was the forming of Aukus, obviously in an attempt to create a mini-NATO against first China and Russia.
4.At the height of all of these were and are still the Taiwan issues and we will take a look at Xi Jinping’s speech a little later in this writing.
One soon finds that it becomes almost impossible to approach China from a generalist perspective. But, we have help. On the economics side, we have Michael Hudson. On the historical side, we have writers such as Godfree Roberts, Jeff J Browne and many others. On the anti-China propaganda side, we have me and a number of reliable commentators on the Saker Blog and on the social, community, and humanity side, we have a host of excellent bloggers, documentary makers, and distributors of information as if one is walking in the streets and in the countryside with your own feet. And of course, China is now taking its rightful place in the world as a leader and has improved markedly in information dissemination; they are taking their place on the world stage as wolf warriors, (Uhm, no, I did not mean to write that, of course, I meant to write ..) diplomats.
Sidebar: China is a massive country and in landmass second only to Russia. But even in this simple measurement, the west tries quibbling techniques. Read it and weep. China is only second but Canada is bigger if we measure waterways. And really, China is really smaller than the US. Take a look at the quibble: https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/largest-countries-in-the-world
In this year, the year of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party, we experience an almost complete restatement and refinement of China’s goals in our world. We see internal nomenclature such as national rejuvenation, a modern socialist country, and continual reformation with comprehensive plans and strategy, and a peaceful and united domestic environment. Toward the world, we see phrases such as maintaining a revolutionary spirit, the courage to carry out a great struggle with contemporary features, courage, and skill, safeguard sovereignty, and protect security and development interests. We hear that China intends to assume a greater role in and for the world. Aggression and hegemony are not in the blood of the Chinese people and they will strive for a human community with a shared future. There are specific goals set out. China will:
- endeavor to improve the global governance system
- engender peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy and freedom
- work to strengthen solidarity of people of all other countries
- engage in all efforts to oppose hegemony and power politics
What is the difference between Putin’s Optimistic Reasonable Conservatism and Xi’s Human Community with a Shared Future and moderately prosperous society? I cannot see too big of a difference as the qualitative values expressed are similar although the civilizational socialization is different. As Putin expressed his non-acceptance of woke ‘values’ in his Valdai speech, so China in the last few months took real action. They threw the feminine men out of their television programs. The feminine men is an inheritance from Japan to a lesser degree and Korea, to a larger degree. China does not want girly men to become role models for their children. They pulled the rug out from underneath expensive additional schools, acting as funnels to expensive university programs, and tutoring that basically burdened the Chinese children. They have strengthened the Chinese schools to offer all additional education necessary, in order to have consistent educational standards. They simply stopped computer games for younger children and limited this to no more than 3 hours per week. They increased physical programs and education to get the kids out and about with healthy activities. And in stark contrast to the western sphere who wants to control the kids, China just put the responsibility by law, properly and correctly in the parents’ hands. “On Saturday, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee adopted a new law stating that China’s parents are responsible for family education.”
On Taiwan, we see Xi Jinping expressing the following: “The Taiwan question arose from weakness and chaos and will be resolved with national reunification, the one-China principle, and 1992 resolution”.
Regarding military action; we see even Putin expressing that Xi Jinping does not need to take military action. The verbose threats come from the US and Australia.
There are three aspects that Putin and Xi Jinping express as in one voice.
- We are in a time of momentous changes in the world.
- Both Russia and China are prepared and can ride the waves of change in a manner that is helpful, peaceful, and supportive in and for the world.
- The UN (and it has been said a number of times that it needs to be updated) is still the only venue where world problems can be discussed. From Russia, our Law is the UN Charter and this is expressed by China as well. The rules-based concept does not feature whatsoever.
These concepts are fully supported by Putin’s speech at Valdai, and Xi Jinping’s speech at the occasion of the 50th anniversary of China’s formal joining of the United Nations.
During the years since the cold war, another momentous alliance grew almost from a grassroots level. This is the Russia / China treaty of Good Neighborliness. Here, with subtitles is what the Chinese office of foreign affairs thinks of this treaty at its 20th anniversary. China and Russia are not allies, but closer than allies:
'China and Russia are not allies but closer than allies' – Spokesperson on Putin's remarks pic.twitter.com/uePzp2epIf
— Ignorance, the root and stem of all evil (@ivan_8848) October 22, 2021
In this atmosphere of global chaos, Xi Jinping delivered a speech this morning at the occasion of the 50th anniversary of restoration of People’s Republic of China’s lawful seat in the UN:
Speech by H.E. Xi Jinping
President of the People’s Republic of China
At the Conference Marking the 50th Anniversary of the Restoration Of the Lawful Seat of the People’s Republic of China
In the United Nations
25 October 2021
Your Excellency Secretary-General António Guterres,
Your Excellencies Diplomatic Envoys and Representatives of International Organizations,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Fifty years ago today, the 26th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted, with an overwhelming majority, Resolution 2758, and the decision was made to restore all rights of the People’s Republic of China in the United Nations and to recognize the representatives of the Government of the People’s Republic of China as the only legitimate representatives of China to the United Nations. It was a victory for the Chinese people and a victory for people of the world.
Today, on this special date, we are here to review the past history and look to the future, and that makes our gathering all the more significant.
The restoration of New China’s lawful seat in the United Nations was a momentous event for the world and the United Nations. It came as the result of joint efforts of all peace-loving countries that stood up for justice in the world. It marked the return of the Chinese people, or one-fourth of the world’s population, back to the UN stage. The importance was significant and far-reaching for both China and the wider world.
On this occasion, I wish to express, on behalf of the Chinese government and the Chinese people, heartfelt gratitude to all countries that co-sponsored and supported UN General Assembly Resolution 2758, and to pay high tribute to all countries and people that stand on the side of justice.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The past five decades since New China restored its lawful seat in the United Nations have witnessed China’s peaceful development and its commitment and dedication to the welfare of all humanity.
— For these 50 years, the Chinese people have demonstrated an untiring spirit and kept to the right direction of China’s development amidst changing circumstances, thus writing an epic chapter in the development of China and humanity. Building on achievements in national construction and development since the founding of New China, the Chinese people have started the new historical era of reform and opening-up, and successfully initiated and developed socialism with Chinese characteristics. We have continued to unleash and develop productivity and raise living standards, and achieved a historic breakthrough of leaping from a country with relatively low productivity to the second largest economy in the world. Through much hard work, the Chinese people have attained the goal of fully building a moderately prosperous society on the vast land of China, and won the battle against poverty, thus securing a historic success in eradicating absolute poverty. We have now embarked on a new journey toward fully building a modern socialist country and opened up bright prospects for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
—For these 50 years, the Chinese people have stood in solidarity and cooperation with people around the world and upheld international equity and justice, contributing significantly to world peace and development. The Chinese people are peace-loving people and know well the value of peace and stability. We have unswervingly followed an independent foreign policy of peace, stood firm for fairness and justice, and resolutely opposed hegemony and power politics. The Chinese people are a strong supporter of other developing countries in their just struggle to safeguard sovereignty, security and development interests. The Chinese people are committed to achieving common development. From the Tazara Railway to the Belt and Road Initiative, we have done what we could to help other developing countries, and have offered the world new opportunities through our own development. During the trying times of the COVID-19 pandemic, China has been active in sharing COVID response experience with the world, and has sent large quantities of supplies, vaccines and medicines to other countries, and deeply engaged in science-based cooperation on COVID-19 origins tracing, all in a sincere and proactive effort to contribute to humanity’s final victory over the pandemic.
—For these 50 years, the Chinese people have upheld the authority and sanctity of the United Nations and practiced multilateralism, and China’s cooperation with the United Nations has deepened steadily. China has faithfully fulfilled its responsibility and mission as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, stayed true to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and upheld the central role of the United Nations in international affairs. China has stood actively for political settlement of disputes through peaceful means. It has sent over 50,000 peacekeepers to UN peacekeeping operations, and is now the second largest financial contributor to both the United Nations and UN peacekeeping operations. China has been among the first of countries to meet the UN Millennium Development Goals. It has taken the lead in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, accounting for over 70 percent of global poverty reduction. China has acted by the spirit of the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and earnestly applied the universality of human rights in the Chinese context. It has blazed a path of human rights development that is consistent with the trend of the times and carries distinct Chinese features, thus making major contribution to human rights progress in China and the international human rights cause.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The trend of the world, vast and mighty, prospers those who follow it and perishes those who go against it. Over the last 50 years, for all the vicissitudes in the international landscape, the world has remained stable as a whole, thanks to the concerted efforts of people of all countries. The world economy has grown rapidly, and innovation in science and technology has kept breaking new ground. A large number of developing countries have grown stronger, over a billion people have walked out of poverty, and a population of several billion are moving toward modernization.
In the world today, changes unseen in a century are accelerating, and the force for peace, development and progress has continued to grow. It falls upon us to follow the prevailing trend of history, and choose cooperation over confrontation, openness over seclusion, and mutual benefit over zero-sum games. We shall be firm in opposing all forms of hegemony and power politics, as well as all forms of unilateralism and protectionism.
— We should vigorously advocate peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom, which are the common values of humanity, and work together to provide the right guiding philosophy for building a better world. Peace and development are our common cause, equity and justice our common aspiration, and democracy and freedom our common pursuit. The world we live in is diverse and colorful. Diversity makes human civilization what it is, and provides a constant source of vitality and driving force for world development. As a Chinese saying goes, “Without achieving the good of one hundred various schools, the uniqueness of one individual cannot be achieved.” No civilization in the world is superior to others; every civilization is special and unique to its own region. Civilizations can achieve harmony only through communication, and can make progress only through harmonization. Whether a country’s path of development works is judged, first and foremost, by whether it fits the country’s conditions; whether it follows the development trend of the times; whether it brings about economic growth, social advancement, better livelihoods and social stability; whether it has the people’s endorsement and support; and whether it contributes to the progressive cause of humanity.
— We should jointly promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, and work together to build an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity. The human race is an integral community and Earth is our common homeland. No person or country can thrive in isolation. Humanity should overcome difficulties in solidarity and pursue common development in harmony. We should keep moving toward a community with a shared future for mankind, and jointly create a better future. To build a community with a shared future for mankind is not to replace one system or civilization with another. Instead, it is about countries with different social systems, ideologies, histories, cultures and levels of development coming together for shared interests, shared rights and shared responsibilities in global affairs, and creating the greatest synergy for building a better world.
— We should stay committed to mutual benefit and win-win results, and work together to promote economic and social development for the greater benefit of our people. As ancient Chinese observed, “The essence of governance is livelihood; and the essence of livelihood is adequacy. Development and happy lives are the common aspirations of people in all countries. Development is meaningful only when it is for the people’s interest, and can sustain only when it is motivated by the people. Countries should put their people front and center, and strive to realize development with a higher level of quality, efficiency, equity, sustainability and security. It is important to resolve the problem of unbalanced and inadequate development, and make development more balanced, coordinated and inclusive. It is also important to strengthen the people’s capacity for development, foster a development environment where everyone takes part and has a share, and create a development paradigm where its outcome benefits every person in every country more directly and fairly. Not long ago, at the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly, I proposed a Global Development Initiative with the hope that countries will work together to overcome impacts of COVID-19 on global development, accelerate implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and build a global community of development with a shared future.
—We should step up cooperation, and work together to address the various challenges and global issues facing humanity. The international community is confronted by regional disputes as well as global issues such as terrorism, climate change, cybersecurity and biosecurity. Only with more inclusive global governance, more effective multilateral mechanisms and more active regional cooperation, can these issues be addressed effectively. Climate change is Nature’s alarm bell to humanity. Countries need to take concrete actions to protect Mother Nature. We need to encourage green recovery, green production and green consumption, promote a civilized and healthy lifestyle, foster harmony between man and Nature, and let a sound ecology and environment be the inexhaustible source of sustainable development.
—We should resolutely uphold the authority and standing of the United Nations, and work together to practice true multilateralism. Building a community with a shared future for mankind requires a strong United Nations and reform and development of the global governance system. Countries should uphold the international system with the United Nations at its core, the international order underpinned by international law and the basic norms of international relations based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. International rules can only be made by the 193 UN Member States together, and not decided by individual countries or blocs of countries. International rules should be observed by the 193 UN Member States, and there is and should be no exception. Countries should respect the United Nations, take good care of the UN family, refrain from exploiting the Organization, still less abandoning it at one’s will, and make sure that the United Nations plays an even more positive role in advancing humanity’s noble cause of peace and development. China will be happy to work with all countries under the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits to explore new ideas and new models of cooperation and keep enriching the practice of multilateralism under new circumstances.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
A review of the past can light the way forward. Standing at a new historical starting point, China will stay committed to the path of peaceful development and always be a builder of world peace. China will stay committed to the path of reform and opening-up and always be a contributor to global development. China will stay committed to the path of multilateralism and always be a defender of the international order.
As an ancient Chinese poem reads, “Green hills immerse in the same cloud and rain. The same moon lights up towns however far away.” Let us join hands, stand on the right side of history and the side of human progress, and work tirelessly for the lasting and peaceful development of the world and for building a community with a shared future for mankind!
To my great surprise, Xi Jinping did not say one word about Taiwan, but sketched out the past as a harbinger of the future while cementing the legal status of China, which is not the legal status of Taiwan. I guess he feels that the contretemps with Taiwan is not important enough.
On the speeches, we may say that those are lofty ideals. But we also see practical and real interaction between China and Russia. The two countries just completed a first joint naval patrol in waters of the West Pacific, between October 17th to the 23rd, according to the Chinese Ministry of Defense. The patrol was held right after China and Russia wrapped up a joint naval exercise in the Sea of Japan from October 14th to 17th.
5 Chinese vessels and 5 Russian destroyers and frigates accompanied by six carrier-based helicopters made passage through the Tsugaru Strait (which caused Japan to run for the Prozac). Yet this Strait is not territorial waters, and warships from any country have the right to transit, which means the transit of the Chinese and Russian vessels was in line with international law. The Tsugaru Strait is narrow, only 12 miles wide at its narrowest point from the Sea of Japan to the Pacific Ocean. This RT link has the photography and videos: https://www.rt.com/news/538265-russia-china-pacific-patrol/
What is also very interesting is that it is said that the sea lane between these two islands is specifically maintained for quick access of US submarines to the Pacific Ocean. A Chinese expert opined as follows:
Encircling Japan, particularly sailing to the east side of Japan, is of significance because many key military installations are located on that side, including the US Navy base in Yokosuka, a Chinese military expert who requested anonymity told the Global Times.
Many US military provocations on China in places like the Taiwan Straits and the South China Sea were launched from these bases, the expert said, noting that the joint patrol by Chinese and Russian vessels could be seen as a warning to the US and Japan, which have been rallying up to confront China and Russia, serves the goals of US hegemony, and undermines regional peace and stability.
“The joint maritime patrol is aimed at further developing the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for the new era, elevating the joint action capabilities of both nations and jointly maintaining international and regional strategic stability. It’s a part of the annual cooperation plan between the two nations …”
In bold are the most important words, and this is not a lofty ideal, but a very hard challenge to the western power and of course Japan. Also, if one looks at that area with a strategic eye, it breaks up the supposed ‘ring of fire’ to keep China contained. In addition, it is also a warning for Japan, which has been dragging its feet to come to an agreement with Russia on islands further North in the island chain.
So, we have to ask, was this a threat? No, not at all on the surface of it, but it was a stark reminder that the so-called freedom of navigation game that has been constant in the South China Sea and the Straight of Taiwan can be played by more than one player.
It is also notable that from 2019, air forces from China and Russia have conducted annual joint strategic air patrols over the East China Sea and Sea of Japan. We are now seeing very visibly one of the aspects of the development of the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for the new era.
Did you see that? Did you see the evolution of the Russia / China treaty of Good Neighborliness to the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership?
As is usual, we look at a few of the China data points and I want to remind that you the Chinese governance is always refining, always testing, and prototyping new methods and systems across the spectrum of modern life, and always this is done on a grassroots level.
China is in trouble, clapped-out economically, and is going to bring the west down with it, is the message that we see with monotonous regularity. The reality is different. Chinese GDP expanded a whopping 9.8% in the first three quarters of 2021, and major indicators are within a reasonable range.
Evergrande – caused by poor management and that is all and the Chinese government will both let them burn, and also make them take responsibility to Chinese people first. There will be no monopolies or other behemoth-type business structures in China that can challenge the state. The Chinese people come first. https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/3152530/china-evergrande-crisis-caused-poor-management-exception?utm_source=rss_feed
(Evergrande has no option but to resume work and they did so today on 10 projects. There is no quick bankruptcy for them, and certainly no bail-out).
Chinese banks have foreign-currency deposits of $1 trillion for the first time, an opportunity for Beijing to liberalize the country’s capital account. A resilient economy and strengthening currency have attracted record foreign purchases of bonds and stocks while surging demand for goods meant exporters brought back more dollars. The pace of the influx has tested the authorities’ tolerance for a strengthening yuan, with the currency now near a five-year high against a basket of its peers.
Exports grew 20% in September, up from 15.7% in August. September’s gain was higher than the median estimate of 13.3% in a Bloomberg survey of economists. Growth in imports slowed to 11% in September from 23.1% in the previous month.
China-Korea semiconductor industrial complex starts construction amid Beijing’s push for tech self-reliance. The municipal government of Wuxi and memory chip giant SK Hynix have teamed up to develop the China-Korea Integrated Circuit Industrial Park. The city is expected to become home to 19 new semiconductor-related projects with a combined investment of US$4.7 billion.
A Chinese herbal formula for coronavirus patients is undergoing clinical trials in the US for possible approval for people with mild-to-moderate symptoms of the disease. Qingfei Paidu, most commonly called QFPD, is a 21-herb formula whose name literally means lung cleansing and detoxification.
China, which pioneered controlling Covid-19 with lockdown orders and tight border rules, will “wait and see” about adjusting its zero-tolerance policy. “We are discussing about the new strategy in China … everything is dynamic. We are ready for any possible reassessment”. (Please do not consider this comment and the previous as an open sesame to start discussing Covid on the Saker Blog. You all know the blog policy).
Between 1985 – 2019, the average height of a 19-year-old Chinese increased 3.5 inches, or 9 cm, supporting President Xi Jinping’s declaration in July that the country had achieved its goal of establishing a “moderately prosperous society” in time for the Party’s centenary. This is a result of a relentless project to bring the Chinese people out of abject poverty.
An important question in auto showrooms: Can I sing karaoke in this car? The only acceptable answer is yes, as Nio and XPeng know well. Western rivals are scrambling, “We’ve identified this as a challenge,” said BMW’s Christoph Grote, “Chinese consumers are the most demanding when it comes to digital technology in the car.”
The dreaded Social Credit System which is abhorred in the West by most that do not have an idea what it is about: China’s social credit system is more of a bureaucratic interface for existing legal and regulatory systems than the widespread Western perception of a dystopian algorithm that uses “big-data collection and analysis to monitor, shape, and rate individual’s behavior”. Social credit includes new enforcement mechanisms but is an extension of the law rather than an independent rule-making authority, and all data collection and penalties require a legal basis.
This was mentioned before but as a reminder. When the Chinese students started being hunted and haunted specifically in the US, all the major universities opened campuses in China (they could not afford to lose the Chinese money). For Harvard, it did not take too long to become part of the propaganda war on China and they are moving their Chinese language program from Beijing to National Taiwan University, replacing a partnership with Beijing Language and Culture University. Harvard’s Jennifer Liu said the decision was made because of a perceived lack of friendliness from the host institution, Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU).
This gives a taste of what is happening in China and now we need to give the regular shout-out to Godfree Roberts’ Here Comes China newsletter that supplies these data points. Subscribe here – it is worth it!: https://www.herecomeschina.com/#subscribe
In the next few China Sitreps, I will post a selection of documentaries and information on those aspects of China’s history that remain western talking points, whether correct or not. This is Tibet, Tiananmen, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and the border skirmishes with India as a shortlist. Today we start with Tibet.
Tibet – if you have the romantic western mindset about Tibet, let’s revise that. Your knowledge most certainly comes from a book, movies, and a whole Shangri-La industry spawned in the wake.
Tibet was a dramatically brutal theocratic serfdom and never-ending debt peonage. Under the Dalai Lama in Tibet before China’s takeover:
- 98% of the population were serfs or slaves or kept in debt peonage.
- Disobedient serfs endured torture
- The 14th Dalai Lama’s family owned 6,000 serfs
- 95% of the population were illiterate
- In 2015: 0.52% were illiterate
- And in 2020: extreme poverty was eliminated in Tibet
From this documentary, you will learn that Tibetan Buddhism was not the sweet, and romantic Buddhist religion based on peace and high ideals and spinning colorful prayer wheels and praying in monasteries. It was based on the Indian Caste System where an extreme minority controlled the vast majority and kept them in abject poverty.
You will also learn why, on the death of a Dalai Lama (meaning God on earth), the successor, the soul boy was always found and appointed from a very poor family, in order to avoid any power struggles between the very few rich families. The connection with the Roman Catholic Pope will astound you. And then you will see brutal sights of religious and shamanic powers whipped into inhumane forces. You will learn that Dalai Lamas regularly fled Tibet, sometimes to flee British Forces.
Tibet was the first lever that was used by at that time British forces, and this lever was seamlessly taken over by the rest of the west, to break up China, even after some territory had to be given to Japan and some even to Korea. You will learn how the Brits just simply carved out pieces of Chinese land from the Indian side. This effort to break up China is still in full swing today, by the current hegemon in its frenzied dying attempts to own the whole world using weapons, war, lawfare, internal destabilization, the appointment of external presidents, propaganda, kidnapping of high officials, outright assassinations, drugs, biological substances, and poison. Of course from the 1950s, CIA involvement around Tibet is well documented even to training ethnic Tibetans in Colorado for a planned Tibetan revolution.
You will also see one of the reasons why China will not let itself be hegemonized today, specifically with its history of never fighting a war of conquest in its 4,000 years of existence. The population stands firm and resolute. Never aired footage in the west will have you take part in the joy when religions serfdom and debt peonage was abolished in 1959 and the Tibetan Religious Serfs could burn their debt peonage documents.
If your stance in life is ‘Free Tibet’, which mine was, once upon a time before I did my homework, consider if you were romanticized by the CIA and a novel called Lost Horizon (1933) by English writer James Hilton. Two movies followed (Frank Capra directing one), a Broadway play, and the world’s first mass-produced paperback, all called Lost Horizon, set in a fictional utopian lamasery called Shangri-La, high in the mountains of Tibet. ‘Free Tibet’ for you may just be based on the fiction of Shangri-La.