Dalai Lama meeting, a political gimmick?

Updated: 2015-02-02 07:44

(China Daily)

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In whatever form and on whatever occasion, should a president of the United States meet with the Dalai Lama, it will unquestionably step on China's toes and therefore cast a shadow over US-China relations. This should be clear to all US politicians.

So Washington seems to play a political gimmick by inviting the Dalai Lama to the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday (US local time), at which US President Barack Obama is due to deliver remarks. We have no idea whether it was the US president's idea to invite him. Neither do we know whether such an arrangement has been orchestrated so the meeting is not a specially arranged one, so that more room is left for the White House to respond to China's reaction.

But whatever the reason, Obama is acquiescing to the Dalai Lama's attempt to split Tibet from China.

Tibet is an inseparable part of China. The Dalai Lama's flight from China's Tibet in 1959 was because of his failed attempt to maintain the serfdom in the region, under which the majority of Tibetans were slaves leading a life of unimaginable misery.

Over the years, the Dalai Lama has never stopped conducting subversive activities in order to pursue his dream of an "independent" Tibet. This has not only caused a lot of trouble to China, but also negatively affected the social and political stability in the Tibet autonomous region.

However, some politicians in the US believe what he says and turn a blind eye to what he does. Some have even gone so far as to echo his calls for an "independent Tibet."

Obama should not be that unwise. He should know that meeting the Dalai Lama and thus endorsing what he has been doing constitutes interference in China's domestic affairs. It is also against international conventions, as it infringes upon China's territorial integrity.

China-US relations are not just in the interests of both countries, but also of importance to world peace and development. It is important for both sides to keep their relations on the right track by managing their differences and respecting each other's core interests.

Obama has met the Dalai Lama three times, which, instead of being a move to manage their differences, has caused damages to bilateral ties.

If he does cherish the smooth development of US-China relations and does treasure what such relations can achieve for a better world, he needs to think twice about his fourth meeting with the Dalai Lama.