Isn't the purpose of government to make lives better the people they govern? If they fail at that, then wouldn't they lose their "mandate of heaven" (the Chinese term for the loss of an emperor's right to rule)?
That is logical, however, as I will get into later, China wasn't trying to help the people, but help themselves here, so they aren't the most fit to rule either.
The point is, the overall people of Tibet, IMHO, has benefitted greatly from the occupation of China. There is no majority in Tibet asking for independence or dissenting.
Didn't that prove that China's "occupation" of Tibet is somewhat legitimate?
Yes, they have benefitted in standard of living. Without a doubt. But if China really gave a damn about that, why did they forceably take Tibet over instead of just giving aid? I guess we can rule out that China was more interested in the valuable asset that Tibet would be (sarcasm).
Who has more say in what the Chinese has done for Tibet in the last 50 years? The exiles who are bitter and have not been in Tibet for decades, or the common people benefitting in Tibet from Chinese help?
They may vouch that they benefited in their standard of living, but the common people of Tibet are hardly existent anymore anyways. Why? Because they were educated by the Chinese. It was a good way to eliminate resistance. The Tibetans get brought up by them and are then as Chinese as any citizen of China.
Now, name who has suffered from China's occupation. I can't think of any.
How about the people that were tortured? Admittedly, this would be relying on those exiles you called liars.
If the people benefit, doesn't that give legitimacy to the rulers? I think it does. Which is more important? 20 million Tibetians? Or 500 monks who were abusing their power anyways?
You are right on that point, however, there are many cases of human rights abuses in Tibet by China. Also, China had the option of helping Tibet rather than taking them over. I think that China cared far more about the region of Tibet than the actual people.
I think that what China has done for Tibet is second best for the people.
On a scale from worst to best:
1. What the Tibetans had before China came in.
2. China conquering Tibet, but aiding the people.
3. China aiding the people, and helping them help themselves.
China is helping the people, not because they really deeply care for the Tibetans, but because Tibet is an asset. If they cared for the Tibetans, than they would have just helped them, not conquered them. Helping Tibetans was never a main interest for China. China has melted down some of the Tibetan's gold statues, and have done other forms of looting to Tibetan temples. China cares nothing for the people (or atleast their spiritual beliefs), but still have helped them.
Based on this, I believe that what China did was wrong, and Tibet did deserve it's independence, however, at this point, the idea of freeing Tibet would cause conflict in a area that has already settled down. In the same way that things have more or less settled down with the Native American's in America.
If people cared about the Tibetans, they should of helped them retain independence, and then helped them develop, but no one did that. No one was willing to act, so I am inclined to agree that America's only interest in Tibet was to spread anti-communist propaganda.
Most powerful countries have done what China did with Tibet at some point (colonization, kicking out the native americans, for some examples). In all cases it has been wrong, but it is like a Standard Operating Procedure in conduct among countries who feel they can get away with it.