Book Review: Exposing ‘Younghusband’ by Patrick French (2022) 

I was disgusted to see displays in the Museum of the Royal Fusiliers (situated within the grounds of the Tower of London) which featured displays on Tibet (1904) and Korea (1950-1953). These openly imperialistic adventures were next to the exhibits from WWII – where the British Army was on the right-side fighting fascism. The other two displays, of course, were celebrating blatant British imperialism. Chinese history, of course, mentions at least three British invasions into Tibet, other than the well-known 1903-1904 incursion. The earlier invasions are hardly, if ever, mentioned within Western discourse. The Chinese history records (referenced below) mention three other invasions of Tibet by British troops in 1885, 1886 and 1888.  

The 1885 invasion saw the British enter the ‘Gambazong’ area of Tibet from Sikkim in the name of enforced commerce (whilst seeking minerals). These British soldiers were firmly opposed by local Tibetan officials, the military and civilians loyal to the Qing Dynasty, and were not allowed to advance. The two sides were at a stalemate for several months, with the British trying to force the situation with the threat of a ‘crusade’ which would ‘wipe-out’ Buddhism and replace it with Christianity! As nothing could be settled – the British withdrew.  

In 1886, the British sent a large number of troops to cross the southern border of Yadong, Tibet, to carry out armed provocations. Armed with a few old muskets, bows and arrows, knives, spears and other obsolete weapons, the Tibetan army vowed to defend the territorial integrity of the Chinese motherland and managed, through an odd occurrence, to repel the British aggression. The Tibetans had lifted an old Qing cannon out of the local Buddhist temple it was kept in (where it was ‘worshipped’ alongside the Buddha), and placed it on the high ground covering a third valley of approach. The problem was that there was only one cannon ball left to fire from it! The British soldiers advanced through the first and second valleys of approach killing and wounding Tibetans as they went – but then they entered the final third valley where the cannon awaited them. The fuse was lit but the cannon failed to fire! This led to laughter amongst the attacking British soldiers who continued their attack. Suddenly, the cannon fired and the British soldiers crouched low to the ground – covering their heads – but the cannon-ball fired wildly over their heads and flew into the mountainside! More British laughter followed and the soldiers continued their attack. However, a sudden and growing ‘rumbling’ soon spelled disaster as the entire British contingent was covered with a massive avalanche of snow! To this day it is believed that China (and Tibet) was saved by the ‘divine cannon’!  

This Victory inspired more men to join the Tibetan army and prepare to face any imperialist invasion. This happened just two-years later, during August, 1888, when the British invaded the Tibetan area of China once again. A much larger Tibetan army confronted the British – but the British possessed much better weapons and quickly defeated – having to retreat back to Mount Zerela – where consequently, the Qing government had to enter negotiations with the British and make concessions.  

On September 8th, 1903, the British imperialists invaded through Yadong yet again. In the following year or so, the invaders burned, killed, raped, looted and committed all kinds of heinous crimes against the Tibetan people. Thousands of Tibetan people were killed by the modern weapons of the invading British army; historic temples and important cultural buildings were destroyed by the cannons of the invaders; precious cultural relics and numerous treasures were looted by the greedy invaders.  

Of course, none of the above ‘genuine’ Chinese and Tibetan history is mentioned in the hideously Eurocentric book featured above, authored by ‘Patrick French’ – which reeks of Pro-Tibetan Movement anti-Chinese racism, distortion, inversion and anti-intellectualism! He writes a narrative history of the equally racist ‘Francis Younghusband’ – super-imposed with Pro-Tibetan Movement ideology and racist rhetoric – a historical figure who is responsible for all the death and destruction the British unleashed upon Tibet in 1903-1904 without any sense of irony! As Patrick French is not interested in the genuine history of either China or its Tibetan region – and continues to perpetuate the ‘myth’ of a Chinese ‘invasion’ in 1950 – he makes no mention to the above historical facts! Tibet was part of China for at least a thousand years before Younghusband showed-up, and was part of China during the Qing Dynasty and during the Republic of China (1911-1949) – and continued to be part of China post-1949! China did not invade itself in 1950 – as Patrick French suggests! (The 1997, film entitled ‘Red River Valley’ [红河谷 – Hong He Gu] directed by Feng Xiaoning [冯小宁] tells the story of Tibetans and Chinese fighting together against Younghusband and British imperialism!) 

Indeed, his book reminds of the ramblings of those who are intelligent but are otherwise suffering from mental illness. A mental illness that cannot discern fact from fantasy and which seeks to generate narratives which sees the distorted reality of fantasy superimposed over narratives that purport to explain concrete reality. Every time French encounters an ethnic Tibetan in Tibet who does not understand or comprehend the Eurocentric and racist nonsense he is espousing, French invariably utters the phrase (like a nervous twitch) ‘Cultural Revolution’! Just why the publishing industry allows this blend of far-right racism and misleading interpretation to masquerade as legitimate history is an interesting question. Just as Younghusband’s racism is played-down, the racist misrepresentation of Chinese and Tibetan people is played-up! Westerners are always playing upon the idea of divide and conquer – and French is no exception to this rule. Within China today, the Chinese and Tibetan people are Comrades and very close ethnic groups. It is only within the racist Western mind that they are imagined to be a) apart, and b) antagonistic to one another!  The Pro-Tibetan Movement grew out of the 14th Dalai Lama’s tutelage under Nazi German advisors during and after WWII. Again, a reality ignored by people like French who have been duped by the CIA – which has ‘employed the Dalai Lama for decades! What this book does is convincingly demonstrate that a ‘cult-mentality’ can be utilised to write a narrative history which possess the power to mislead as it reveals! Just like Francis Younghusband – Patrick French knows nothing about the genuine history or culture of Tibet – despite both men having actually visited Tibet!

Chinese Language Article: 

https://k.sina.cn/article_1460169451_57086aeb001001lyz.html

1888年英国人入侵西藏得意忘形,在对藏族士兵的嘲笑声里迎来雪崩 

路生的微博 

03月17日18:00关注 

西藏自古以来就是中国领土不可分割的一部分。但近代以来,随着晚清政府的日趋衰朽,西藏地区曾遭到英帝国的两次武装侵略。 

第一次武装侵略发生1885年,英国人以考察商务和矿产为名,从锡金进入岗巴宗,遭到当地官员和军民的坚决反对,不准他们前进。双方相持数月,英人不能前进,竟然威胁要派兵“讨伐”。1886年,英人又派大批队伍集结在西藏亚东以南边境,进行武装挑衅,并在1888年2月对设卡防守隆吐山的藏军发动突然进攻,藏军进行了勇敢坚决的抵抗,他们守军手持土枪、弓箭、刀、矛等兵器誓死捍卫祖国领土完整,并击退了英军的第一次进攻。 

在这场战斗中,发生过一件鲜为人知的“怪事”,甚至可以称得让是奇迹,它见证了藏族人民的保卫家园、保卫祖国的英勇不屈。 

经过几天的鏖战,英国人节节胜利,西藏军队却是节节败退。英国人分明有些得意忘形了,武器落后的的藏族士兵在他们的眼里不堪一击。但藏族士兵并没有因此而害怕甚至妥协,从一座寺庙里抬出了一门大炮。大炮是当年清军进藏时留下来的,仅剩下了最后的一颗炮弹。藏族士兵并没有指望用这门大炮去打击英国侵略者,因为大炮在寺庙里久经香火,藏族士兵认定它已经变成了“圣物”,一定会对战事有利。甚至,有人还对着大炮祈求心中至高无上的佛保佑战事的胜利。 

大炮被布置在了一处阵地的关口,高高在上地注视着战场的局势。 

英国兵来了,藏族士兵坚决还击,用长矛与火枪与持有来福枪的英国兵展开较量。英国兵一枪一个准,西藏士兵一个接一个倒下。仿佛没费什么力气,英国兵就冲破了两道关口,来到被布置了大炮的第三道关口前,此时,他们进入到了一条山谷,高处的大炮让他们有些发怵。但很快便发现,大炮是个“废物”,而且,西藏士兵很有可能不会用它。 

英国兵有些轻蔑地笑了,开始向第三道关口发起进攻。 

因为有一定的距离,藏族士兵的火枪根本没法射击到英国兵,而英国兵很快就会来到眼前,仅剩的几个藏族士兵不想让阵地丢在自己的手里,不约而同地想到了那门大炮。他们将最后的一颗炮弹填入炮膛,点燃了火药,大炮呼啸而出。 

山谷里的英国人一片恐慌,他们没有想到为数不多的几个藏族士兵还会用炮,会用那门古老得不能再古老的老式火炮,不由双手抱头蹲在地上躲避。但过了一会儿,他们忽然立起身来大笑了起来,因为那枚炮弹并没有爆炸,而且,不知道“跑”到了哪里,并没有落到他们所在的山谷。 

看着英国人的嘲笑,藏族士兵绝望了,他们几个人根本抵挡不住眼前成片而来的英国人。 

英国人肃整队伍朝着藏族士兵高处的阵地继续前进,但就在他们认为阵地唾手可得的时候,奇迹发生了——那枚被藏族士兵射出的炮弹爆炸了,突然地发出一声巨响,让英国人猝不及防,双手抱头蹲在地上躲避。 

时间一秒一秒地流失,但大炮在巨响之后却没了动静。英国人站起来大笑。这一回,他们笑得前合后仰,甚至把自己笑得在高原缺氧的环境里无法迅速起身逃离。当然,他们并不知道危险正在悄无声息地向自己靠近,他们得意得有些早了,甚至没有了再爬起来的气力。 

然而,就在英国人的笑声里,山谷里忽然传来一声闷响,它虽然不是大炮的声音,但却有着足够的能力把英国兵埋藏——因为那枚炮弹的爆炸,山谷里发生了雪崩,狂妄的英国人没有了挪动脚步的力气,只能眼睁睁地看着自己被被雪流淹没。 

就这样,藏族士兵在大炮的“护佑”下打退了英人的第一次进攻,直至8月英军在大量增援后再次对藏军发动攻击。 

在后来的战事中,藏军虽然人数众多,但因武器装备落后,实际力量比英军差很多,造成战败,不得不退回到则列拉山。随后,清政府开始与英人谈判,让英国通过第一次侵略西藏的战争取得了许多利益。但是。英国帝国主义者并不以此为满足,积极准备对西藏进行更大规模的侵略。 

1894年中日甲午战争中,中国被日本打败,帝国主义列强掀起瓜分中国的狂潮。1900年八国联军侵略中国后,英国认为有机可乘,又一次对西藏发动了侵略战争。 

1903年9月8日,英国侵略军入侵亚东,在此后的一年多时间里,侵略军所到之处,烧杀抢劫,无恶不作,对西藏人民犯下了滔天罪行。成千上万的藏族人民被侵略军的现代化武器所杀害;历史悠久的寺庙、庄园建筑被侵略者的大炮所摧毁;珍贵的文物和众多的宝藏被贪婪的侵略者抢劫一空。 

时至今日,这段历史距我们已经有百余年,但爱好和平的中国人民并没有将它忘记,大约是在1997年,由冯小宁执导的电影《红河谷》就以文艺作品的形式演绎了这段汉藏儿女并肩抗战英帝的英雄故事。在成千上万的西藏人民不畏强暴与入侵的英军展开浴血奋战的镜头里,告诉世人中华民族为保卫家园、保卫祖国领土完整永远英勇不屈,也没有任何一支力量能将西藏从祖国的怀抱里分割出去。(文/路生) 

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