Posts Tagged ‘shanxi’

A practical, though lethal, gift for the Dalai Lama

A practical, though lethal, gift for the Dalai Lama

“The Chinese authorities seem to guard the Dalai Lama closely,” Baron Gustaf Mannerheim wrote in his diary in July 1908. The Russian colonel, who was on a secret intelligence-gathering mission in China, had just arrived at Wutai Shan, the most sacred of four Buddhist mountains in China. One of its mountaintop temples was, he wrote, “the present abode, not to say prison, of the Buddhists’ pope, the Dalai Lama.”


CHAPTER 16

CHAPTER 16

Taiyuan: Opium of the People In 1908, Gustaf Mannerheim noted the rich coal and mineral deposits of Shanxi province. “In the future,” he wrote in his military report, “its material riches will be an inexhaustible source for the state treasury.” Its modern mining and steel industries were still nascent and largely dependent on foreign investment, [...]


CHAPTER 17

CHAPTER 17

Wutai Shan: The Wanderer At first, Wutai Shan seems like an odd stopover for Gustaf Mannerheim, a Russian spy tasked with assessing China’s strength and the loyalty of its ethnic minorities, particularly Muslims, Mongols and Tibetans. It is one of four sacred mountains for Chinese Buddhism, and is located in a remote knot of mountains [...]