China, Burma, Afghanistan: Future Members Of SAARC
|English: The Seventh Dalai Lama, Tsangyang Gyatso (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
I don't take China at face value. The China of the future that I see is a China where Taiwan is fully integrated, where Hong Kong is not an island of democracy, but China itself has gone through political reforms and has become plural, where there is federalism, and Tibet is a state, and there is religious freedom. The Dalai Lama is the religious leader, but the Chief Minister of Tibet is duly elected by the people. I want China to keep growing at double digit rates. I am an admirer of the fact that China has lifted more people out of poverty than any power in human history.
Having said that, I think Tibet is very much part of South Asia. That has been true for thousands of years. And since Tibet is part of China, it only makes sense that China should be a member of SAARC. As should Burma and Afghanistan.