Richard Gere: ‘There Will Be a Tibetan Spring Eventually,’ ‘We Have to Be Patient’

Richard Gere: 'There Will Be Tibetan
Matej Divizna/Getty Images

'I am welcomed by the Chinese people, but not by the Chinese government'

KARLOVY VARY, Czech Republic — Richard Gere predicted a Tibetan Spring at a press conference on Saturday at the Czech Republic’s Karlovy Vary Film Festival.

The actor, who received the festival’s Crystal Globe for outstanding contribution to world cinema on Friday, was addressing a question regarding Chinese control of Tibet, which China has occupied since an invasion in 1950.

Gere is a follower of the Dalai Lama, the India-based spiritual leader of Tibet, and an advocate for the liberation of Tibet. He disputed a suggestion from a journalist that he was not welcome in China. “I am welcomed by the Chinese people, but not by the Chinese government. I haven’t been able to (visit China) since 1993. But you guys can understand that. The Czech Republic understands Communism very well,” he said.

Gere rejected the suggestion that there were negotiations going on behind the scenes that would lead to an improvement in relations between the Tibetan Buddhists in exile and the Chinese government.

He was asked what would happen when the Dalai Lama, who is 80 years old on July 6, dies and the Tibetan Buddhists sought out the next Dalai Lama. Gere referred to an episode in Tibetan history when the Panchen Lama, the second-highest Tibetan lama, spoke out against the Chinese treatment of Tibetans in 1989, and died in “mysterious” circumstances soon thereafter. When the Panchen Lama’s successor, a 6-year-old boy, was named by the Tibetan Buddhists, he was “kidnapped” by the Chinese Communist authorities, Gere said, and “has not been seen since.” The Chinese then selected their own Panchen Lama, whom the Tibetans regard as “bogus,” Gere said. This scenario could be repeated when the Dalai Lama dies, Gere claimed.

“There is a fear — which is based in reality — that the Chinese will try to co-opt the next incarnation of the Dalai Lama. In fact the Chinese Communist Party has said that it is only up to the Chinese to decide who the Dalai Lama will incarnate as,” he said. “So there is a drama going on now about who will decide who is the next Dalai Lama.”

He continued: “The Dalai Lama has said: ‘Well, first of all, he is not going to incarnate inside of China if it is still controlled by the Chinese Communists.’ In any event it is up to him where he, and how he incarnates, not the Chinese Communists, so there is this absurd line of reasoning and declarations from the Communist Party.”

Gere added that the Czechs, because of their experience of living under Communism, could identify with such “absurdity.” “You have such experience with the absurdities of a Communist party, so you’ll understand the position of the Tibetans quite well. It will change eventually as it changed here, and there will be a Prague Spring in Tibet,” he said, referring to the anti-communist uprising in Czechoslovakia in 1968, that was unsuccessful, and the Velvet Revolution in 1989, which ended communist rule in the country. “Things will change,” Gere said. “We have to be patient and we have to keep Tibetan culture alive in the meantime, because the Chinese are doing their best to completely eradicate it.”

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 34

Leave a Reply

34 Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Tim says:

    Richard doesn’t go self-immolation anyway.

  2. patrik says:

    R. Gere – good man/us actor(film remake the Jackal). China of – good us business, Tibet of – not us business.

  3. NemRac says:

    This atrocity must be stopped Mr Gere
    What can we do? The fear shown by these animals is horrifying! But so are aborted babies but the animal outcry seems to trump human?! Thousands of dogs, cats slaughtered during annual Chinese festival (VIDEO) — RT News

  4. Bradwell Jackson says:

    Do Michael Bolton and Brad Pitt have as much guts as Richard Gere?

  5. NemRac says:

    Thousands of dogs, cats slaughtered during annual Chinese festival

    Richard how do we stop this annual event
    The fear in these animals eyes is simply incredulous & horror

  6. NemRac says:

    Chinese still like to eat dogs of many types
    When can we send them a Message Mr Gere re animal cruelty
    Will post a news clip recently of shaking dogs in cages being readied for their killing simply horrifying !

  7. IT 2 IT says:

    Globalist mafia ‘EYE–CON’—job! —-RED ALERT!

    GERE kept you looking the other way, ‘easing’ your conscience
    during the very primetime of the CFR –RED CHINA TREASON OP.

    GERE has NEVER said a word about the horrendous KOREA status quo.

    MILLIONS have perished there while GERE was acting globalist mafia escort
    of the DOLLY LA MA.

    DO NOT be TAKEN IN!

  8. Lama says:

    If Richard Gere had bothered to study the history of the world’s countries, he would not be that blind.

  9. landess says:

    This blog is full of Chinese trolls who login under Western name. Pathetic Chinese.

  10. eddie says:

    tibet is about water, 7 rivers start in tibet that supply 43 percent of the water used in china, china will never, never, allow the supply of water to be in danger, if tibet could control the flow of the water, they would be rich, the indus river to india starts in tibet, china can starve india of water in future conflicts, china does not care about history, religion, culture, screw all of that, this is about water for an overcrowded developed country, the rest is just bs talking points.

  11. tc says:

    Commented should not be moderated, if you believe in Freedom of Speech. you say what you want to say, you should not restrict others for such privilege.
    It is to be noted barely 55 years ago,
    95% of Tibetans were miserable slaves without education and basic human dignity. The offspring of those slaves are getting education and decent family living. Why you want to destroy it with Tibetan Spring? See what is happening North Africa and Middle East.

  12. herrumph says:

    Tibet for the West has always been about covering up their crimes against humanity. People who comiited genocide against Native Americans and others all over the world caring about Tibet? You would even say China wouldn’t have an economy if it weren’t for the US. And because of that you admit your greed is more important than Tibet. Maybe you’ll be like anti-outsourcing Donald Trump and feign he was helpless and forced to outsource his signature line of products. So why is Tibet a concern now when so long silent. Maybe to cover up that nine people were killed in a church because they were black? Another distraction from their crimes. Thought racism didn’t exist anymore? What else do the hypocrites think was a part of the past but isn’t? Those that don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. And people who are denial don’t learn easily.

    • gavin says:

      Dear Chinese nationalist, what the eff are you talking about? Are you comparing Native Americans from hundreds of years ago to people of Tibet today? We cannot control what happened to Native Americans hundreds of years ago. We did not commit genocide against them. We weren’t alive. We had nothing to do with it. The Chinese occupation of Tibet, however, is happening today. People of good conscience have a responsibility to stop it. If anything is trying to distract from the truth, it’s your crazy rant and your fellow comrades.

  13. henry says:

    Richard Gere has no sense of geography. Tibet was part of China from the 13th Century
    & will remain part of China forever. Even Kuomintang said so in their manifesto.
    If China had not reclaimed Tibet the Indian Colonialist in New Delhi would have march right
    into Tibet.
    India marched into Goa, Sikkim & Assam state that wants independent badly from India.

    I HOPE YOU CAN HAVE AN ASSAMESE SPRING FOR ASSAMESE.

  14. herrumph says:

    History will tell that Richard Gere and his Western narcissism prevented the Dalai Lama from ever returning to Tibet. Gere forgets colonial history and oppression in China. That’s why China will never yield to countries that committed so many crimes in China acting like they’re the good guys. To the Chinese, Gere looks like a colonialist trying to hide Western crimes by making China into the villain instead.

    • Uncle Sam says:

      Wow! The CCP works fast sending one of their trolls to sway opinion. Your desperation gave you away.

  15. Tghi says:

    Wishful thinking, it’s never going to happen, too late and no reliable leader for the people of Tibet, that Dalai Lama guy is a joke and charlatan too.

  16. José Ramón Herrera says:

    Gere’s prediction is based on John McCain and Victoria Nuland meddling in the Ukraine «spring». This time I doubt both would be permitted entrance in Tibet.

  17. Musika Vanhu says:

    “Richard Gere: ‘There Will Be a Tibetan Spring Eventually,’ ‘We Have to Be Patient’”

    Yes, evil european invader & criminal neo-colonizer; you are going to have enough “patience” to last more than 10 thousand years; because the Chinese people, who ARE ALSO indigenous to that Asian geography, WILL NOT be going anywhere.

    Every Tibetan with a brain will know by now that european interference in Asian affairs has only WORSEN their Asian circumstances.

    And so, the last thing that Asian people of Tibet need, is for the beastly neanderthals of Europe to be playing their usual role of ‘divide and dominate’ among Asian peoples!

    Tibet is an ASIAN geography and for ASIAN PEOPLE to decide among themselves how they will coexist … as they have been and always will coexist in a common geography!

    Tibet has nothing to do with the ever-interfering and evil europeans … FROM A DISTANT GEOGRAPHY!

  18. Hugh says:

    ‘I am welcomed by the Chinese people, but not by the Chinese government’. 1.3 billion Chinese people, just wondering how many welcome you, or even know you. Lame.

    • Uncle Sam says:

      Umm… Quite a lot… Chinese people does not mean only Chinese people in China.

      • herrumph says:

        I believe he is talking about China because why would he mention a date? Also just as the Dalia Lama you’d figure they would coordinate with Chinese groups, You don’t see that either. So regular Chinese people are not much on their radar. Gere’s remarks are like Donald Trump trying to spin.

  19. Tsewang Namgyal says:

    Indeed, there will be a Tibetan Spring. If not during my life time, definitely during my children’s life time Coz oppression cannot last forever.

  20. m says:

    Absolutely hats off to Richard Gere for his bravery in speaking what he believes in.

    Unfortunately, due to China’s improved economic power the only way Tibet can be free is when a tiny meteor lands in Beijing. Or less dramatically, their economy cripples or when their behind the scenes jostle for power reaches a dramatic boiling point.

    • herrumph says:

      China was poor when t took control of Tibet. Crippling the economy if that’s what you’re conspiring is only going to make it worse.

      • Rick says:

        Poor but under communist rule. If China’s economy is crippled, the CCP regime will fall like Diarrhea.

  21. Bry says:

    A powerful prediction. Not sure what Gere’s track record is with the accuracy of forecasting political upheaval, Despite the size of China’s markets and the importance of all those newly-minted moviegoers to the film industry, one could make the case that it was a strategic error on the part of US leadership to allow them to grab the high ground of Tibet when they began military operations in the Qamdo area of Western Kham in October 1950.
    This late in the game we face a China that has thrown around its economic weight in Pakistan to the point where it is building a port on the doorstep of the Persian Gulf, destroyed reefs in the South China Sea for military bases with which it can threaten Indonesian oil fields and expanded its ability to create a fleet of aircraft carriers. Given China’s current economic prowess, the prospects for a Tibetan Spring and America’s ability to enable it, however noble the cause, are likely starry-eyed and wishful thinking at best.

    • herrumph says:

      Track record in forecasting political upheaval? He’s an actor! His tactics have failed if you haven’t noticed. He didn’t predict China’s box office rise to which no studio will put him in a movie where Hollywood now depends on the global box office for fear of being shut out of China. He’s stuck with independents. Yeah and I also love how the Buddhist has a big enough ego, not selfless as a Buddhist is suppose to be, to break-up two marriages.

      • herrumph says:

        Luke, Got that wrong like everything else. I’m American born in the USA. Is that your only way to argue is to insult? Like that was original. Typical of those who hide behind Buddhism to cover up their horrid personality. If Gere was so powerful, why hasn’t he succeeded? Wouldn’t the world back Gere? Yet we see nothing of the sort. Just like Gere is only liked because of his fame. Ever read what he was like on movie sets? Very un-Buddhist like of him. More Hollywood ego.

      • Luke Webb says:

        Judging by the quality of studio films, Gere would choose independents over them irregardless. I didn’t believe the poster above at first, but judging by your poor command of “Chinese translated English” you really seem like a CCP paid shrill.

More Film News from Variety

Loading