US must not use Dalai Lama against China

Updated: 2014-02-22 07:26

By Deng Yushan and Zhou Yan(China Daily)

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For nearly two decades, the "middle way" rhetoric has been the Dalai Lama's trump card in his ploy to rally international sympathy and support. Yet in practice, Tibetan secessionists have resorted to violence contradicting the very human rights Washington claims to defend, making the approach a camouflaged attempt at "Tibetan independence".

The 14th Dalai Lama advocates "true autonomy" in the proposed "Greater Tibet", a region that also covers Tibetan-inhabited areas of the provinces of Qinghai, Gansu, Sichuan and Yunnan. This is an obvious attempt to overthrow China's system of governing its regions inhabited by diverse ethnic groups.

Since such a secessionist plot still tops his agenda, the Dalai Lama has not renounced the "Tibetan Exile Constitution", an illegal document similar to the "Future Tibet Constitution" drafted in 1963, which proclaims the establishment of an "ethnically unified state led by the Dalai Lama".

No matter what Obama discusses with the Dalai Lama this time, it will have no bearing on China as far as the Tibet issue is concerned.

Obama is meeting with the Dalai Lama either because the Tibetan secessionist leader has used his "sweet talk" to trick the White House or because US politicians seek once again to put pressure on China using an unscrupulous old trick. But irrespective of the reason, the Dalai Lama's attempt to press for "Tibet independence" is doomed to fail and China-US relations are certain to suffer a setback.

The US and China are one of the most important bilateral relationships, and they need to cooperate more closely to deal with different global challenges.

For this to happen, US politicians have to abstain from using US-China ties as a handy tool to achieve short-term gains. Instead, they should help ensure that Washington works with Beijing to keep bilateral ties moving in the right direction. Respecting each other and prudently handling bilateral differences and sensitive issues should be a good start.

The authors are with Xinhua News Agency.

(China Daily 02/22/2014 page5)

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