Friday, February 19, 2010
Good for Obama! And for the Tibetans? Let us see
China is today so powerful that not doing what its leadership wants (or dictates) is a 'defy', even when it comes from the lone superpower of the planet?
One thing is sure, the meeting was good for President Obama's image at a time his popularity is tumbling fast (mainly due to domestic policies and his position in Afghanistan).
As for the Dalai Lama and the Tibetans, I am not sure, though, I am pretty certain that it will not change anything. The Chinese leaders are today too arrogant to listen to anything coming from Washington. In fact, they resent any advice from the West.
And let us not forget, the United States are an indebted country.What can a nation with such a huge debt towards China impose on the Middle Kingdom? Nothing!
The Tibetan issue is more complex (even for China) than some Western analysts make it to be and the present leadership in Beijing does not have the courage or the charisma to take the plunge and offer a 'genuine' solution to the Tibetan leader. It is pity because he is perhaps the only person who could help sort out the contradictions of today's China. But we should also acknowledge that a 'genuine' solution would bring about tremendous changes inside China and perhaps the collapse of the present system under a Party unique.
In any case, there is one lesson for Obama and other Western leaders: the loud noises coming from the mouth of the spokesperson of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs is more for the show (though it often works), bilateral relations will continue as usual. The Chinese leaders will keep fighting for what they perceives as their 'national interests'. Meeting or not meeting does not change the fundamental position of Beijing which has remained the same for the past thirty years.It is what I have shown in my book on the 'negotiations that never were'.
For his good conscience (and the good conscience of the people of the United States), Obama will probably grant of few millions dollars to the 'most successful refugees of the world', but they will remain refugees.
Defying Chinese anger, Obama meets Dalai Lama
February 19, 2010
Ignoring strong objections by China, United States President Barack Obama on Thursday met exiled Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama, who is set to seek his help in resolving the vexed Tibet issue.
The two Nobel Peace Prize laureates met away from the cameras in the White House Map Room, in what is being billed as a low-key meeting, which the US administration calls private. But an angry China has warned that the meeting could worsen relations between the two powerful countries.
The Map Room in the mansion is the place where presidents stage private meeting. The parleys with the Dalai Lama are not taking place at the more stately Oval Office where Obama frequently meets with world leaders.
Terming it as an important meeting, Dalai Lama's Special Envoy Lodi Gyari said the 74-year-old Buddhist monk will speak about Tibet, and the two are also likely to discuss global concerns.
"His Holiness will be asking the President to help find a solution in resolving the Tibet issue that would be mutually beneficial to the Tibetan and Chinese people," Gyari said in a statement issued soon after the arrival of the Dalai Lama in Washington on Wednesday.
The visit comes despite stiff opposition from China, which urged the Obama administration to cancel the meeting, warning that it would damage Sino-US ties.
Analysts said the meeting will be muted because a public appearance by Dalai Lama and Obama would enrage China, which believes that official foreign contact with the monk infringes on its sovereignty over Tibet.
"China resolutely opposes the visit by the Dalai Lama to the United States, and resolutely opposes US leaders having contact with the Dalai Lama," according to foreign ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu.