In an attempt to gain favor with China, the United States pressured Tibetan representatives to postpone a meeting between the Dalai Lama and President Obama until after Obama’s summit with his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao, scheduled for next month, according to diplomats, government officials and other sources familiar with the talks.
For the first time since 1991, the Tibetan spiritual leader will visit Washington this week and not meet with the president…The last time he was here, in 2007, however, George W. Bush became the first sitting president to meet with him publicly, at a ceremony at the Capitol in which he awarded the Dalai Lama the Congressional Gold Medal, Congress’s highest civilian award.
The U.S. decision to postpone the meeting appears to be part of a strategy to improve ties with China that also includes soft-pedaling criticism of China’s human rights and financial policies…Obama administration officials have termed the new policy “strategic reassurance.”
Mind you, I think the Dalai Lama is an overrated gasbag who’s never accomplished much of anything, and that many Western supporters of the Holy Lord, Gentle Glory, Compassionate, Defender of the Faith, Ocean of Wisdom are dippy pretend Buddhists. Still, he does represent the people of Tibet and it’s sad that Obama appears to have even less courage than George W. Bush when it comes to accommodating the Chinese government.