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Unrest in Tibet; Elections in Taiwan; English In the Air (21 Mar 2008)

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Throughout the week, more troops have been pouring into Tibet and nearby provinces. Demonstrations began in Lhasa on March 10th, the anniversary of a 1959 revolt against Chinese rule that was crushed by the army. By March 14th they had developed into the biggest anti-Chinese protests in decades. There were rumours that the beating of two Buddhist monks by police triggered the riots. At the root of the dissatisfaction lie both political and economic issues. China claims Tibet has been part of the Chinese nation since the mid-13th Century, so should continue to be ruled by Beijing. Many Tibetans argue that the Himalayan region was an independent kingdom for many more centuries, and that Chinese rule over it has not been constant. Many Tibetans are angry at the increasing numbers of Han Chinese migrants that have arrived in the region, and – they say – taken many of the best jobs. They feel the economic boom the coastal provinces have enjoyed has left them behind, but are still suffering from China's accelerating inflation. The day after our show Taiwanese voters will be voting for their next president. According to most polls, Ma Ying-jeou, the candidate for the Nationalist Party or Kuomintang, is likely to beat Frank Hsieh of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party. The outcome could bring major changes to the political landscape, and to relations with mainland China. Last Sunday, 125 young people went to Chek Lap Kok airport to take to the skies above Hong Kong. They were on a trip to ... Chek Lap Kok airport. The flight was arranged by Cathay Pacific, who had arranged a similar free flight for Tung Chung residents last October. This time the aim was to improve students' language skills.

Program: 
The Pulse
Publish Date: 
Friday, March 21, 2008
Station: 
RTHK
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