Once again, China has expressed indignation over President Barack Obama’s meeting with the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, on February 21st at the White House.
China had forewarned the US to not to entertain the Dalai Lama, and in response to the meeting it declared the presidential courtesy to the spiritual leader as an attempt by the US to interfere into Chinese internal affairs with a view to support the demand for the independence of Tibet. Although Mr. Obama reiterated that the US did not support the issue of Tibetan independence and the White House appeared to attempt to assuage China’s anger by playing down this meeting simply as a formal courtesy which occured in the Map room and not in the official Oval Office. China reacted very seriously and summoned a senior American diplomat, Daniel Kritenbrink, to express its strong disaproval over this meeting.
The Chinese Vice Foreign Minister, Mr. Zhang Yesui went on to say, while protesting to the diplomat, that this meeting has “seriously undermined” the US-China bilateral relations and also “seriously violated the US commitment of not supporting Tibetan independence” because this issue is “the domestic affair of China” and the US “bears no right to interfere.”
President Obama said that the Dalai Lama himself, in his “middle way” approach, wanted genuine autonomy for Tibet instead of its independence, and the US concern was only to support for Tibet’s religious, cultural and linguistic identity besides preventing human rights violations in Tibet. China appears far from satisfied with this American explanation and accused the Dalai Lama as a “splittist,” thereby strongly condemning the US role in the same way as it had when the president held previous meetings with the spiritual leader.
The Chinese perpetuation of its forced annexation of Tibet, which the entire world including India silently watched, is a matter of serious concern for the community of nations. Further, the US has always tried its best, “to fish the troubled waters,” as the famous adage says, just for sake of its own interests, and that too under the pretext of protecting democracy and human rights all over the world. This concern should be addressed only through the authority of the United Nations and in a legal way strictly observing a legal course of action. The US should understand this fact and should not meddle into other country’s affairs because it has military power. China should be pressured by the UN General Assembly, global forums and other regional organisations to address the genuine grievances of Tibetans and their desire for independence from China.