Protests in Tibet partially spurred by environmental resentment
Violent protests that rose this week against Chinese rule in Tibet were spurred in part by anger about environmental destruction in the Himalayas, an area that Tibetans consider sacred. A Beijing-to-Lhasa railway opened by the Chinese in 2006 has provided easy access for Chinese miners to the pristine Tibetan highlands, where they’ve begun digging up copper, iron, lead, and other minerals. Tibetans are also none too happy about a Chinese plan to divert water from melting Tibetan glaciers and funnel it through canals to feed China’s Yellow River. Whether China will be able to quell unrest and put on a happy face in time for the already controversy-riddled Summer Olympics remains to be seen.