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Barack Obama cancels meeting with Dalai Lama 'to keep China happy'

 
 
Reply Thu 8 Oct, 2009 09:29 am
Has this been posted already? Jon Stewart made commentary about it last night.

Quote:
The decision came after China stepped up a campaign urging nations to shun the Tibetan spiritual leader.

It means Mr Obama will become the first president not to welcome the Nobel peace prize winner to the White House since the Dalai Lama began visiting Washington in 1991.

The Buddhist monk arrived in Washington on Monday for a week of meetings with Congressional leaders, celebrity supporters and interest groups, but the president will not see him until after he has made his first visit to China next month.

Samdhong Rinpoche, the Tibetan prime minister-in-exile, has accused the United States and other Western nations of "appeasement" toward China as its economic weight grows.

"Today, economic interests are much greater than other interests," he said.

Mr Obama's decision dismayed human rights and Tibetan support groups, who said he had made an unnecessary concession to the Chinese, who regard the Dalai Lama as a "splittist", despite his calls for autonomy rather than independence for Tibet. The Chinese invaded in 1950, forcing the young leader to flee.


Rest continued here

Obama has some strange Foreign Affairs ideas...

http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2009/04/18/alg_obama-chavez.jpg

http://ahrcanum.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/obama-bow-to-saudi-king1.jpg

http://www.cristyli.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/Libyan-Terrorist-Thug-B.-Hussein-Obama.jpg

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Type: Discussion • Score: 8 • Views: 4,757 • Replies: 79
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DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Oct, 2009 10:48 am
@McGentrix,
Quote:
Barack Obama cancels meeting with Dalai Lama

OK.

Quote:
'to keep China happy'

Apparent supposition. The phrase "to keep China happy" only occurs in the headline; it is not a quote from anyone in the article.

Quote:
President Barack Obama has refused to meet the Dalai Lama in Washington this week

OK. "Refused", though? The article indicates in places that the decision was mutual.

Quote:
in a move to curry favour with the Chinese.

Supposition again. Nobody in the article says it is to curry favor with the Chinese.




There are indications in the article that the decision was mutual:
Quote:
A White House official said the administration and the Tibetans had "agreed the timing would be best after the visit".

"Both sides attach importance to a strong US-China relationship," the official said. "There are benefits in that to our goals for Tibet, as we have been working to resume discussions between the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama’s representatives.”



I'd say this is a case of sloppy reporting or sensationalism or both.
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Thu 8 Oct, 2009 10:56 am
I'm no fan of the Dalai Lama (or any theocratic leader whose leadership comes from supposed "rebirth") so this doesn't bother me at all. Now if we can get Obama to snub the pope I'd be even happier.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Oct, 2009 10:58 am
@DrewDad,
DrewDad wrote:
Apparent supposition. The phrase "to keep China happy" only occurs in the headline; it is not a quote from anyone in the article.


The administration has said that they can best help Tibet by keeping dialogue with China, and that this was one of the reasons they didn't want to meet the Dalai Lama before his trip to China in November.

So while it's certainly sensationalized, and fails to capture the full nuance of the position (namely that by avoiding a largely ceremonial meeting with the Dalai Lama they can avoid bad relations with China which would not help Tibet) it is somewhat accurate.
McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Oct, 2009 11:01 am
http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-october-7-2009/hell-no--dalai

0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Oct, 2009 11:05 am
@Robert Gentel,
My objection is that they utilized quotation marks (even if they were single quotes) on a phrase that mis-characterizes the administration's position.

More accurate would be to report "Barack Obama cancels meeting with Dalai Lama as part of a 'larger Tibet strategy'."
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Thu 8 Oct, 2009 12:06 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:
Now if we can get Obama to snub the pope I'd be even happier.


Not to forget the 'Defender of the Faith and Supreme Governor of the Church of England'. Wink
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Oct, 2009 06:45 pm
Well, I guess the photos in the original post have been ignored.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Oct, 2009 07:18 pm
@Foofie,
Not by you, you ole sharp eyed devil you.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Oct, 2009 01:16 am
Have I got this right?: There was a previous arrangement that the president of the United States meet with the Dalai Lama during his visit to the US, but the meeting was suddenly canceled? So the Dalai Lama will receive a human rights award behind the scenes during his visit, but President Obama will not be meeting with him before his (Obama's) scheduled visit to China.

If this is correct, I'm very disappointed. Why? Because China has a well documented history of human rights violations (check out Amnesty International for details, if you like ) & is extremely sensitive to any focus on such issues from other countries.

For example, there has been considerable pressure (which could more accurately be called bullying) from Chinese authorities on my own country, Australia, concerning the Dalai Lama's last visit here . Which caused considerable consternation for the prime minister & the leader of the opposition at the time:

Quote:
CHINA has entered the debate over the Dalai Lama's visit to Australia, warning Western nations to beware of his "splittist" tendencies.

"The words and deeds of the Dalai Lama in the past decade have shown he is not purely a religious figure but a political exile … aimed at splitting China," said a foreign ministry spokeswoman.

"He represents forces advocating Tibet's independence which the Chinese Government and people resolutely oppose."

She did not mention Australia by name, but was responding to a question from The Age about the possibility that Prime Minister John Howard and Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd will both meet the Tibetan spiritual leader.

Mr Howard is yet to accept an invitation to meet the Buddhist leader of Chinese-controlled Tibet.

Mr Rudd has said he will try to make room to meet him after initially saying he would not. This prompted Mr Howard to label Mr Rudd a hypocrite, given that he had previously attacked Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer for snubbing the Dalai Lama, who is vocal on human rights abuses in his country .....


http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/china-issues-warning-on-splittist-dalai-lama/2007/05/17/1178995324605.html

Who would have thought meeting the "spiritual leader" of Tibetan Buddhists could be such a scary thing? But it obviously was.

Then, when the Melbourne film Festival programmed Rebiya Kadeer's film, "The 10 Conditions of Love", this was the response from the Chinese representative in Melbourne:

Quote:
....Melbourne international film festival's Richard Moore fielded a phone call from an angry cultural attaché at the Chinese consulate in the city, over the inclusion of the film about businesswoman Kadeer. Beijing accuses her of instigating the ethnic violence responsible for the deaths of a reported 184 people in Xinjiang province earlier this month. She is the focus of the documentary The 10 Conditions of Love, which will premiere at the festival on 8 August.

Moore said he was surprised to receive the call from attaché Chunmei Chen, apparently a new arrival in Melbourne, reeling off a list of Kadeer's alleged crimes.

"We had a strident conversation," Moore said. "Ms Chen urged me to withdraw the film from the festival and told me I had to justify my actions in programming it. I told her that under no circumstances would I withdraw the film, that I had no reason to do so. I don't need to justify my actions, unless it's in relation to our own sense of morals....


http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2009/jul/15/rebiya-kadeer-melbourne-film-festival

The film was not withdrawn from the program, but the Festival's website & booking arrangements were subsequently severely disrupted (jammed) by "supporters" of the Chinese government's position. So much for free speech. However, to their credit, Melbourne's film goers attended the film in droves. The screenings were a huge success.

Then there's the case of the Chinese/Australian businessman who is still in jail, months after activities that "subverted" a much-wanted Chinese business deal in Australia, involving minerals. He was labeled a spy. But enough already. <sigh>

But, to state the bleeding obvious obvious, Australia is just small fry in the Chinese government's scheme of things. (Though our economy depends enormously on trade with China.) If we have been the recipients of such pressure (bullying), what sort of pressure would be applied to more important & influential countries who depend on Chinese money & trade? And what message would caving in to that sort of pressure send to the Chinese government?
~
Here's a list of the BBC's (UK) articles recent articles about Chinese government "issues" about the Dalai Lama's reception in various counries, particularly the UK.:

http://search.bbc.co.uk/search?go=homepage&scope=all&q=dalia+lama+%2B+visits+to+other+countries+%2B+Chinese+government&Search=Search
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Oct, 2009 01:38 am
@msolga,
But what benefit does meeting the Dalai Lama have? I like Obama's position, China's human rights issues don't get any better by talking to the Dalai Lama either. Staying on good terms with China are better for that reason to.

Meeting the Dalai Lama only helps the Dalai Lama.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Oct, 2009 02:18 am
@Robert Gentel,
The main benefit I see, Robert, is that the Dalai Lama is the main (the only?) "voice" of the Tibetan people who crave autonomy from China. (Whether you or I agree that this would be in the Tibetans' "best interests" or not. I strongly support the goal of self determination of oppressed peoples, whether it be in Tibet, Burma, or East Timor, etc, etc, etc. ) He makes known the human rights violations Tibetan people endure under Chinese rule. And this, of course, is the core Chinese government's problem with him. He is inconvenient. If the Chinese government would allow journalists to actually report on what is happening in Tibet, we might not depend so much on the Dalai Lama for information.

http://cpj.org/2009/03/china-must-address-press-freedom-in-tibet.php

As for Obama. Well I think he's being pragmatic. I can understand why he might take this approach, in the interests of the United States, but I really believe he's undermined his "bargaining" position with China by caving in to pressure. Say nothing of undermining the credibility of the US as the leader of the free world.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Oct, 2009 02:31 am
@msolga,
But you haven't outlined any benefit of Obama meeting the Dalai Lama right now, just reasons why you like the Dalai Lama. <shrugs>
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Oct, 2009 02:33 am
@Robert Gentel,
But I think I have. Wink
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Oct, 2009 02:34 am
@msolga,
Ok, what is the benefit? Is it tangible? Or is it just Dalai Lama = good so meeting with Dalai Lama = good?
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Oct, 2009 02:37 am
@msolga,
To put it bluntly, Robert, He has kowtowed to Chinese "sensitivities" at the expense of human rights concerns ... in the interests of US interests.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Oct, 2009 02:38 am
@msolga,
I see, I guess I just don't see this as being at the expense of human rights concerns like you do.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Oct, 2009 02:43 am
@Robert Gentel,
You don't live in Tibet, Robert. How would you know?

Why shouldn't I believe what information which manages to get through?

Why shouldn't I believe Amnesty International?
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Oct, 2009 02:51 am
@msolga,
I don't think you understand what I am saying.

I am not saying that there are no human rights concerns in Tibet, I am saying that I think meeting the Dalai Lama does absolutely nothing to improve the situation while bringing the risk of reducing our ability to use our influence to help the situation.

As such, I don't think this decision comes at the expense of the human rights situation in Tibet. As I understand, you feel differently about this.
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Oct, 2009 03:00 am
@msolga,
Have you diligently worked towards lightening the oppression of Australian aboriginals in Australia who have lost all their land and most are living in poverty or is it you have racial dislike of China?
 

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