Costs & Benefits of China’s Occupation of Tibet

December 3, 2014

Why does China occupy Tibet? Tendor illustrates the simple but powerful idea of cost and benefit analysis in a new video, and explains why every campaign and tactic the Tibet movement takes on needs to drive the costs of China’s occupation up and the benefits down.

In any decision, people (and countries) weigh the benefits and costs of their actions and choose the option where the benefits are higher than the costs. China maintains its occupation of Tibet because of the many benefits: rich natural resources, geopolitical advantage, the sheer area Tibet covers, and more. Of course, there are also steep costs: China spends huge amounts of money to deploy police and army personnel to suppress Tibetans, Chinese leaders are caught in embarrassing protests when they travel around the world, and despite its economic growth, China’s global standing is still tarnished by its miserable record in Tibet and on human rights.

The role of the Tibetan freedom movement is to increase the costs of the occupation that China faces in every way we can – economic costs, political costs, and social/reputational costs. Every tactic and campaign should be chosen with this strategy in mind, so that Tibet is no longer an asset to China, but rather a burden.