Agents Provocateur?

When the Olympic torch was carried through Paris, the Chinese scored a propaganda coup when a group of Tibetan protesters attacked a young woman in a wheelchair who was, at that time, bearing the torch. One of the protesters got through the French police and actually wrestled the woman for the torch, but she fended him off until he was pulled away by policemen. This photo of the attack by the protester, who sported a Tibetan flag on his head, was widely publicized around the world, especially in China:

ProtesterAttacksTorchBearer81.jpg

The pretty young woman, Jin Jing, became an instant heroine:

A wheelchair-bound Chinese fencer who carried the Olympic torch in Paris has rocketed to national fame after she fended off pro-Tibet protesters.

Jin Jing, a 27 year-old amputee and Paralympic fencer, has been called the “angel in a wheelchair” and is being celebrated on television chat shows, in newspapers and in online musical videos

She fiercely defended the Olympic torch during the Paris section of the troubled international relay.

Most of the protesters were wrestled away by police but at least one reached her wheelchair and tried to wrench the torch away.

Jin clung tenaciously on until her attacker was pulled off.

Shots of the fiercely determined sportswoman shielding the torch have inflamed simmering public anger in China against the Tibet protests.

In this incident, the Chinese seem to have caught a lucky break–one of the few, lately, in regard to the Olympics. But Chinese-origin bloggers in Japan have been doing some research, and Dafydd ab Hugh’s wife Sachi, who reads those blogs in Japanese, notes that they made an interesting discovery: there are other photographs of the protester who attacked Jin Jing, taken the same day, including this one, which shows him in the company of a group of pro-China protesters:

TibetanProtester21.jpgagents provocateur, and that the “Tibetan” attack on the wheelchair-bound torch bearer was orchestrated by the Chinese government.

Other oddities have appeared. Dafydd writes that Chinese bloggers have circulated this photo of a group of Chinese soldiers, each of whom is carrying a Tibetan monk’s robe:

ChineseSoldiersWithFakeMonksRobesSmall.jpg

I don’t think these photographs are conclusive, but the question whether some “Tibetan” protesters are in fact false-flag Chinese agents certainly warrants looking into.

UPDATE: An email writes that the third photo has been debunked by someone as a still from a movie. That’s plausible; it does have a professional look. No debunking reported yet with respect to the first two.

FURTHER UPDATE: Dafydd ab Hugh writes:

The argument is raging, but so far, nobody has really shown anything except that the soldiers are wearing summer uniforms, though March and April are still officially winter in Tibet. Mostly likely, the photo was taken earlier… but we still don’t know what they were doing. (China is constantly finding reasons to crack down on Tibet, and they have been especially active since they were awarded the 2008 Olympics in 2001; it’s entirely possible that if the “movie” explanation is false, that if it’s a real false-flag operation, that it occurred during an earlier crackdown.)

The detractors claim that the soldiers are only there to appear in a movie, though they keep changing the name of the movie; they claim that the photo appeared in 2003 on the back cover of a Tibetan human-rights magazine (the 2003 annual report of the India-based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy), but nobody can produce either the magazine or a scan of its back cover. I plan to try to track it down today.

But the picture is largely a sideshow. The pro-Chinese sources focus on the photo of the soldiers because that is the only piece of evidence they have even a prayer of explaining.

They have no plausible explanation for the photos of the guy who attacked the wheelchair-bound fencer marching in with a group of obviously pro-Chinese spectators. The best they can offer is that the pro-Chinese spectators and the supposedly militant anti-Chinese, pro-Tibetan protesters fought vicious street battles and beat each other, assailing each other worse than Armenians and Turks around massacre day; that the Chinese Communists have slaughtered upwards of 200 Tibetans in the past month or so (nobody disputes this); yet even so, *they’re really all good buddies*! (I am not exaggerating; that is literally the only explanation offered.)

More at Big Lizards.

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