3:46 PM, Mar 25, 2014 • By ELLEN BORK
General Secretary Xi Jinping of China is in Lyon, France today, the second stop on a European swing, his first trip there since taking over the leadership of China’s Communist party. He has already visited Amsterdam, where he met with President Obama. After France, including a visit to Paris, Mr. Xi will continue on to Germany and Belgium.
Chinese leaders have grown accustomed to warm welcomes in Europe. In 2004, Xi’s predecessor Hu Jintao arrived in Paris to find the Eiffel Tower bathed in red light, the Champs Elysee given over to a Chinese cultural march, and Jacques Chirac promising to scrap the EU arms embargo on China.
But this time, Mr. Xi may find his French and German hosts a bit less solicitous than in the past. A new poll by the International Campaign for Tibet shows strong majorities in favor of their leaders pressing Mr. Xi on Tibet and resisting Chinese pressure to renounce the Dalai Lama. (Incidentally, I am a member of the board of ICT.)
• 83 percent of French and Germans surveyed want their leaders to meet with the Dalai Lama.
• 78 percent of French want their president and 83 percent of Germans want their chancellor to make Tibet an issue with Xi Jinping.
• An overwhelming majority of French and German citizens want their leaders to press Xi Jinping on human rights in China while a bare majority in France and under half in Germany want heavy Chinese investment in their economies.
These poll results send a strong message, even beyond France and Germany. China is engaged in a relentless campaign to get European leaders to isolate the Dalai Lama and abandon Tibet. This poll indicates it has failed to sway the French and German publics. It’s hard to see how results in other countries would be any less strong – certainly not among the formerly Communist occupied Baltic states, where two leaders have defied Chinese pressure and received the Dalai Lama.
The next step for Europeans is to work together to coordinate principled policies on human rights in Tibet and China – and meet the Dalai Lama on his next visit to Europe.
9:46 AM, Mar 6, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The Dalai Lama opened today's Senate session with a prayer:
"Firstly, as usual, I am Buddhist monk ... so pray to Buddha and all other Gods," he started before slipping into his native tongue.
2:55 PM, Sep 11, 2013 • By ELLEN BORK
Today, President Dalia Grybauskaite welcomed His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet, to Vilnius, Lithuania. Two years ago, her Estonian counterpart, President Toomas Ilves, also defied Beijing by meeting the Dalai Lama. Their gestures of principle and graciousness, made in the face of Chinese pressure, are very significant.
5:02 PM, Apr 24, 2012 • By ELLEN BORK
The Chinese Communist party’s preoccupation with its leadership transition, expected to be made final next fall when Xi Jinping becomes general secretary, should not dissuade the U.S. from making a “strong intervention at the highest level” regarding Tibet, according to Lodi Gyari, who spoke yesterday at the Council on Foreign Relations.
5:31 PM, Aug 8, 2011 • By ELLEN BORK
Lobsang Sangay was sworn in today as head of Tibet’s democratic exile government in Dharamsala, India. He succeeds Samdhong Rinpoche, the first directly elected Kalon Tripa, or chief of cabinet, who served two terms.
4:07 PM, Mar 10, 2011 • By KELLEY CURRIE
During his annual address to the Tibetan people on March 10, the fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet announced that he wished to complete his decades-long effort to divest political authority from the Dalai Lama’s own institution.
10:48 AM, Apr 19, 2010 • By KELLEY CURRIE
The U.S. Geological Survey maintains that the earthquake that hit the remote Tibetan town of Jyeku (the Chinese call it Yushu) in the early morning of April 14 measured 6.9 on the Richter scale, while the Chinese government has said that the quake's intensity was 7.1 (which would mean that it was approximately the same strength as the brutal earthquake that recently hit Haiti). By any measure, though, this was a strong quake that has devastated an area largely untouched by China's economic miracle.
Another week, another China policy snafu for the Obama Administration.12:25 PM, Mar 8, 2010 • By KELLEY CURRIE
Last week, it was reported that Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg, the State Department's point man on China, and his National Security Council counterpart Jeffrey Bader headed to China on a low profile mission to repair frayed ties. Steinberg had planned to go to China in February, but the Chinese cancelled his trip as part of the blowback over proposed arms sales to Taiwan and President Obama's meeting with the Dalai Lama.
And it isn't pretty.10:03 AM, Feb 20, 2010 • By KELLEY CURRIE
It takes a special talent to aggravate the Chinese government, the White House press corps, and the followers of the Dalai Lama all in one fell swoop. But the Obama administration managed to pull off that trifecta on Thursday with its poor handling of the Dalai Lama's meeting with the president.
The Chinese always work themselves into high dudgeon over these meetings, and this time was no exception. The Obama White House thought they could lower the volume of China's tantrum by trying to keep the meeting "low-key" and private. The meeting took place in the Map Room (known by female visitors to the White House as that room you go through to get to the ladies room) instead of the Oval Office. There was no joint public appearance, and the White House press secretary issued a tortured statement expressing support for the preservation of Tibetan culture against some unnamed threat.
Meeting with President Obama is a means to an end for the Dalai Lama, too.7:00 AM, Feb 17, 2010 • By KELLEY CURRIE
President Obama’s long-awaited meeting with the Dalai Lama takes place this week. And one can expect that the Washington media and punditocracy will be focused on the political calculus by Beijing and the Obama administration, as they wonder how this session factors into the increasingly fractious U.S./China relationship. But there is something else, arguably more important, at work here: the Dalai Lama's own political calculations. For him, this meeting will take place against a backdrop of renewed talks with China, and a new push by Beijing to pacify Tibet through a combination of increased economic development and continued repression. While it might be merely an entertaining sideshow in Washington’s political circus, this meeting plays a significant role in the Dalai Lama’s ongoing efforts to engage Beijing in serious negotiations on the future of Tibet.
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