Strategies of Attrition (III)


LHASA/BEIJING/ULAAN BAATAR/BERLIN (Own report) - Last weekend, parliamentarians of the Germanophonic minority in Northern Italy ("South Tyrol") visiting the headquarters of the Tibetan "exile government" in India, declared Tibet's being part of the People's Republic of China to be "illegal" and called for the secession of this Western Chinese autonomous region. South Tyrolean public authorities are collaborating with forefront organizations of German foreign policy and have been counseling the "exile government" for several years on questions of German "Volksgruppen" (ethnic group) policies. A member of the current delegation is demanding the secession of "South Tyrol" along the lines of the Montenegrin model. These attacks on China's territorial integrity are coming just a few days after the German government launched its anti-Chinese offensive. Berlin is supporting Tibetan separatists also through large scale lobbying in Mongolia and is seeking to pit the populations of all autonomous regions in Western and Northern China against the central government. Similar political concepts date back to the 1920s and are being echoed still today in Japan, the former Axis partner of the German Reich, and China's fiercest rival.

Last week, a delegation of North Italian parliamentarians held extensive talks with the Tibetan self-proclaimed "exile government" at its headquarters in Dharamsala, Northern India. This is important for the foreign policy of Germany, because "South Tyrol" has many links to the networks of ethnic German "Volksgruppen" policy. Franz Pahl's party (leader of the delegation), the Südtiroler Volkspartei (South Tyrolean People's Party), is a member of the Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN), that was founded by Nazi "Volksgruppen" experts and is today still financed by the German government. The FUEN is also supported by the Autonomous Region Trentino - South Tyrol and the Autonomous Province of Bozen. The "South Tyrol" autonomy is patterned after concepts of the German "Volksgruppen" policy and was established after a series of terrorist attacks, instigated by German residents. Former "South Tyrol" terrorists are still sheltered on German soil.[1]

Tibet for the Tibetan

All relevant Tibetan exile organizations participated in the talks with the Northern Italian delegation: the "exile government", the "exile parliament", exile administrations, social and cultural associations, as well as the exiles' controversial spiritual and worldly leader, the Dalai Lama. For years, Tibetan exiles have been counseled on the ways and means of German "Volksgruppen" policy in Bolzano, the center of "South Tyrolean" autonomy ( reported).[2] "China's occupation of Tibet is illegal", the delegation leader Franz Pahl asserted: "We support the Tibetan cause and are doing everything in our power to strengthen it."[3] "Tibet for the Tibetan!" demanded Eva Klotz, who participated in the delegation: "Tibet must be liberated". Eva Klotz, a member of the regional parliament, is a descendant of an influential family of the Germanophone minority. Only recently she had been in the news because she demanded "South Tyrol's" secession from Italy - patterned on the Montenegrin model.[4]

Before the Olympics

The Bolzano Tibet offensive, succeeds the German chancellor's meeting with the Dalai Lama and Prime Minister of Hesse, Roland Koch's announcement that western support for Tibetan separatism will increase before the Olympic Games.[5] Berlin is flanking its activities against Beijing with lobbying projects, that, at first sight, seem to have nothing to do with China but to gain influence in another sovereign state: Mongolia.

Raw Materials

This summer the German government conspicuously intensified its cooperation with Mongolia. The German Minister of Economics, Michael Glos, visited that country in July 2007, accompanied by a large business delegation. In August, a delegation of managers from the German Asia-Pacific Business Association followed. Already in the first semester of 2007, business between the two countries had increased by approx. one-third. Berlin's business endeavors are focusing "particularly on mining cooperation" according to the minister of economy.[6] Mongolia is rich in metal (copper, gold) deposits. "Germany and Mongolia are splendidly supplementing one another" cooed German Parliamentary President, Norbert Lammert to his Mongolian counterpart, last September: "you have the raw materials that we need, and we can contribute to your knowledge and technology for the refinement and processing of your raw materials."[7]

Genghis Khan

From the "foreign policy dialogue" concluded between Berlin and Ulaan Baatar in April 2006, it is evident that Berlin's influence is not only directed at a dependent supplier of resources needed by German industry. Possible lines of impact were exposed in a spectacular exhibit, inaugurated a year earlier by Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, in the company of the Mongolian Prime Minister, in the government's Art and Exhibition Hall in Bonn. With much publicity, the results of German research in Mongolia were presented under the motto "Genghis Khan and his Heritage." This occurred just before the 800th anniversary of the founding of the Greater Mongolian Empire was to be celebrated with much pageantry in Ulaan Baatar in the presence of the German parliamentary president.[8] The exhibition in Bonn also caught the attention in Inner Mongolia, an autonomous region in Northern China, that holds Genghis Khan in high esteem - as the symbol of aspirations of a Greater Mongolia.


German interests in Mongolia and the Chinese Inner Mongolian region extends back to the 1920s. Berlin invited the Mongolian minister of education to make a tour of Germany in 1924. Ulaan Baatar sent 35 students to Germany for classes in 1926. The goal was to create a long-term close relationship, to counteract Mongolia's strong dependence on Moscow. In 1927, the German foreign ministry sent an expedition to Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang (today another autonomous region of China [9]). As recent investigations show, Berlin sent several military personnel, camouflaged as researchers, to China to accompany the pro-German Swedish scientist, Sven Hedin, to do espionage in the rebellious minority regions.[10] Both initiatives were unsuccessful. In the spring of 1928 Beijing refused to allow the German military expedition to continue its journey and due to pressure from Moscow, the Mongolian students had to return home in 1929/1930.

Buffer State

The idea of gaining a foothold in Asia with the cooperation of Mongolia and forces struggling for a Greater Mongolia has never been abandoned. As the Wehrmacht continued its eastward advance in 1942 and Japanese troops reached the borders of Tibet, the plans to create a buffer state (a "Pan-Mongolian Federation") between the world powers,[11] were reactivated. This Federation, comprised of Tibet, seeking to enhance its relations with Berlin, Mongolia [12] and Inner Mongolia, that in 1937, with the aid of Japan, had won its sovereignty, would be under the hegemony of Germany and Japan. Only the defeat of the World War II aggressors thwarted the application of these plans.

Dalai Lama

Since the mid 1980s, Germany has been actively reviving its traditions of cooperation that had been established by the SS in the 1930s.[13] Relations to Mongolia have been systematically intensified since 1991. Good contacts to Inner Mongolia have mainly been maintained by Berlin's Axis partner, Japan. The 3 regions are not only united in their aspirations to achieve comprehensive independence from China, they also maintain close cultural ties to one another. Tibetan Buddhism is the main religion in Mongolia and Inner Mongolia, and the religious leader, the Dalai Lama is highly revered. As the god king himself explained in a recent interview in the German press, eventual upheavals in Tibet will also have "repercussions" on Inner Mongolia.[14] Berlin's Tibet offensive is not motivated by its concern for a minority culture, as it likes to pretend, it is the repeated attempt to lay hand on about half of the Chinese territory and to use its population for the struggle against Beijing.

Please read also Strategies of Attrition (I) and Strategies of Attrition (II).

[1] see also Schutzmacht-Klausel, Multi-Partisan Directorate, Minderheitenrechte and Rezension: "Neue Kommentare"
[2] see also Strategies of Attrition (I)
[3] Visiting Trentino-South Tyrol parliamentary members condemn China's policy on Tibet; 29.09.2007
[4] "Wenn alle, jeder an seinem Platz, dafür arbeitet, dass wir freie Tiroler werden, so können wir dieses Ziel auch erreichen! Das zeigt das Beispiel Montenegros. Vor einem Jahr haben sich 55,5% der Wähler für die Loslösung von Serbien ausgesprochen. Heute ist Montenegro in aller Welt als unabhängiger Staat anerkannt." SÜD-TIROLER FREIHEIT startet Mitgliederkampagne; Pressemitteilung der SÜD-TIROLER FREIHEIT 17.09.2007
[5] see also Strategies of Attrition (II)
[6] Staatssekretär Dr. Walther Otremba zieht positive Bilanz über die deutsch-mongolischen Wirtschaftsbeziehungen; Pressemitteilung des Bundesministeriums für Wirtschaft und Technologie, 13.09.2007
[7] Lammert: Mongolei und Deutschland ergänzen sich; Pressemitteilung des Deutschen Bundestags, 20.09.2007
[8] see also Mongolei: "Wertvoller Ratgeber" für Ostasien, Zivilgesellschaft and Identität
[9] s. dazu Hauptsitz und Druck ausüben
[10] Hans Boehm: Finanzierung der Zentralasienexpedition Sven Hedins. "Strengste Geheimhaltung wird von allen Beteiligten als unerlässlich angesehen", in: Erdkunde. Archiv für wissenschaftliche Geographie 57 (2003), S. 40-54
[11] Reinhard Greve: Tibetforschung im SS-Ahnenerbe, in: Lebenslust und Fremdenfurcht. Ethnologie im Dritten Reich, herausgegeben von Thomas Hauschild, Frankfurt am Main 1995
[12] Ein Jahr später, 1943, wurden die 35 Schüler, die sich in den 1920er Jahren zur Ausbildung in Deutschland aufgehalten hatten, der Spionage bezichtigt und zu langjährigen Haftstrafen verurteilt.
[13] see also Strategies of Attrition (II) and Peter Mierau: Nationalsozialistische Expansionspolitik
[14] "China mischt sich auch in Deutschlands Angelegenheiten ein"; Süddeutsche Zeitung 21.09.2007. Der Dalai Lama rechnet für diesen Fall auch mit Unruhen in Xinjiang. Dort ist zwar der Islam die dominierende Religion, doch dürften die nordwestchinesischen Separatisten ("Uiguren") jede Schwächung Beijings für ihre Zwecke nutzen. Auch sie finden Unterstützung in Deutschland: Hauptsitz and Druck ausüben.