Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

Beijing lashes out as Obama meets Dalai Lama [The Age/AFP]

Every meeting the U.S. has with the Dalai Lama urks the Chinese as it takes up significant mindshare in popular imagination. As China grows in its use of public diplomacy, this act of the U.S. meeting and giving ‘face’ to Tibet, no matter how significant in its application, is taken as the U.S. not giving face to China.

For more, the Tibet Sun’s headlines are all about this meeting today.

– – –

Beijing lashes out as Obama meets Dalai Lama
Source – The Age, published July 18, 2011

The Dalai Lama speaks to the media after his first meeting with US President Barack Obama in February last year. Photo: AFP

CHINA has lashed out at Washington after US President Barack Obama welcomed the Dalai Lama to the White House, saying the meeting has damaged relations between the two countries.

”Such an act has grossly interfered in China’s internal affairs, hurt the feelings of Chinese people and damaged the Sino-American relations,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said in a written statement yesterday.

Mr Obama’s meeting with the Tibetan spiritual leader was a low-key affair, held away from the Oval Office where presidents traditionally meet world leaders.

Beijing regards Tibet as an ”inseparable” part of China and the Dalai Lama as a ”splittist” bent on dividing the country. The Dalai Lama says he is peacefully seeking greater human rights in Tibet and accepts Chinese rule.

”We demand the US side to seriously consider China’s stance, immediately adopt measures to wipe out the baneful impact, stop interfering in China’s internal affairs and cease to connive and support anti-China separatist forces that seek Tibet independence,” Mr Ma said.

The Foreign Ministry also issued an ”urgent summons” to the US charge d’affaires in Beijing yesterday morning to protest against the meeting, according to a report by the state-run Xinhua news agency.

China had warned the US not to receive the Dalai Lama and lodged an official protest after the meeting – Mr Obama’s second in office with the Buddhist leader – was announced.

After the meeting, the Dalai Lama said he felt close to the President at a ”human level” and the US leader shared his concerns about the situation in Tibet, which the Buddhist leader fled in 1959 for safety in India.

China has held nine rounds of talks with the Dalai Lama’s envoys. But the dialogue has yielded no tangible progress, leading many Tibetans to believe Beijing is trying to wait out the 76-year-old monk’s death in the hope that his calls for greater rights will wither away without him.

The visit comes at a delicate moment in US-Chinese relations, with rising tensions in the South China Sea between Beijing and five other countries in the region that also lay claim to strategic waters there.

The Obama administration has sought stable relations with China, a growing military and economic power and major holder of US debt. In January, Washington rolled out the red carpet for President Hu Jintao.



Filed under: AFP, Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Human Rights, Influence, International Relations, Media, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Resources, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Territorial Disputes, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Tibet, U.S.

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