China Warns Obama On Meeting With Dalai Lama

China has warned Barack Obama not to meet with Tibet’s spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, saying such a meeting would harm bilateral relations. China considers the Tibetan leader a dangerous separatist, and opposes any such meeting. The Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959 following a failed uprising against Chinese rule. He claims he isn’t campaigning for Tibetan independence but only seeks ‘meaningful autonomy’ for Tibetan areas within the framework of Chinese sovereignty over Tibet. The Chinese government said that it would give “no concessions” on the issue of Tibet’s sovereignty but the “door remained open” for talks with the Dalai Lama.

Given that India has offered refuge to the Dalai Lama and the countless Tibetans who’ve fled their homeland, China’s strategy on Tibet lies in ‘waiting out’ the Dalai Lama.
Envoys of the Tibetan religious leader have been in Beijing this past week for the ninth round of talks with the Chinese government on the question of Tibet’s autonomy. The Dalai Lama maintains that his demands for greater autonomy were within the limits of the Chinese constitution. He wants the Chinese government to do more to protect the religious rights and ethnic identity of Tibetans, which he says have been eroded under the Communist Party’s rule. China said a meeting between the Dalai Lama and Obama would set back ties with the U.S. that have soured in recent weeks.

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