- By Isaac Stone Fish
Isaac Stone Fish is associate editor at Foreign Policy. Previously a Beijing correspondent for Newsweek, he wrote stories on such subjects as the Dalai Lama’s effect on international trade, China’s love affair with rogue states, and crystal meth in North Korea. His articles have also appeared in the International Herald Tribune, the Economist, and the Los Angeles Times.
Everything’s coming up roses in the Tibetan capital, according to the government-run China Daily, which has the largest circulation of any English-language newspaper in China:
"Lhasa, the city of sunlight, topped an annual survey of residents’ sense of happiness in Chinese cities. The capital of the Tibet autonomous region has ranked at the top of the survey conducted by China Central Television for five consecutive years."
There have been at least 50 self-immolations in Tibet and Tibetan areas of China since March 2009 and massive riots shook Lhasa in 2008. Many Tibetans resent the arrival of Han Chinese into the region as well as restrictive policies that prohibit freedom of religion, freedom of assemgly, or even mentioning the Dalai Lama. Western journalists have been denied access to Lhasa for months, if not years; in all likelihood the current situation in Lhasa is pretty grim.
The survey doesn’t mention any of these things. The article states that of the 100,000 households polled from 104 cities "the results showed income level most affected people’s sense of well-being (55.5 percent), followed by health (48.9 percent) and quality of marriage or love life (32 percent)." The article doesn’t specifically explain why residents of Lhasa are so happy.
In other Lhasa happiness news, on Aug. 19th the city hosted the "2012 Happy City Mayor Forum" where mayors and experts from more than 20 cities and came up with a "Happiness Action Promise" to make residents more joyful.
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at email@example.com.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C.| The Cable |