Reading a list of Chinese regions, I realized why so many Chinese might be pissed off at the west for focusing on Tibet.
So I made a graph. Look for Tibet.
That's right: Tibet has only 3 million people. (The U.S. is on the right, for comparison.) There are probably hundreds of problems in China that affect as many people as what's happened in Tibet, but get next to no attention in the West.
There are two other things that strike you:
1. Social dynamics within China might be unique -- there's nowhere else with as many people who share a language and culture (more or less). Ideas could propagate differently. We'll have to readjust our thinking to get a grasp on what's happening.
2. There's a whole huge-ass part of the world -- comparable to Europe and the U.S. put together (that's without counting the people in dire poverty) churning out culture and architecture and whatever else, which I know next to nothing about, relatively speaking.
I like that; it's exciting.
I've been following the current wave of chinese nationalism through wikipedian Andrew Lih, and I hesitated posting this because I thought it might be seen as promoting that nationalism (which is just about as stupid as the Freedom Fries stuff preceding the american invasion of iraq).
But then I remembered that this blog is inaccessible in the chinese mainland (last I heard, a couple years ago). :P