In April, China warned President Obama not to meet with Nobel laureate the Dalai Lama, the spiritual and political leader of Tibet. Of course, dictating who a foreign leader can meet would usually be considered interfering in a sovereign country's internal affairs -- something the Communist leadership in Beijing vociferously opposes. Beijing's double standards notwithstanding, Tibet watchers have wondered whether President Obama would cave to Chinese pressure and refuse to meet with the widely revered Tibetan leader during his upcoming visit to the US. Well the answer is in -- and guess what? Obama is choosing NOT to engage with the Dalai Lama, at least until after Obama makes his pilgrimage to China in November. The Dalai Lama has met with every U.S. president since George H.W. Bush in 1991. Tibet's Prime Minister-in-exile reacted strongly, terming the refusal to meet "appeasement." Obama confidante Valerie Jarrett met with the Dalai Lama in India this week to break the news he was not welcome in Obama's White House. China even complained about that meeting. President Obama decided to appease his labor base by slapping tariffs on imports of Chinese tires and now tries to appease China by stiffing a noble man of peace. China's campaign to isolate those they consider "splittists" (Dalai Lama, Uigher leaders, Taiwan) seems to be gaining traction in the Obama White House. Instead of standing up for human rights, cultural autonomy, and the long-suffering Tibetan people, Obama kowtowed to Beijing. Maybe if his name were Chavez, Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong Il or Assad, Tibet's leader could get a White House meeting.
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