This is an outrage. It is also shocking. Is America in the back pocket of the Chinese? Is Barack a typical scoundrel politician? He is starting to look like a fraud. He ran as a candidate who would be different from other politicians. And he turns out to be just like the rest. This kowtowing will only encourage China to try and intimidate America. That endangers our survival:
US President Barack Obama was facing criticism he succumbed to Chinese pressure as the Dalai Lama opened his first visit to Washington in nearly two decades without a presidential meeting.NY Times:
Tibet's exiled spiritual leader was set Tuesday to receive an award at the US Capitol complex a day after arriving for a week-long visit to the US capital that will also feature sold-out public talks on spirituality.
But for the first time since 1991, when the globetrotting Buddhist monk held his first presidential meeting with George H.W. Bush, the White House declined talks with the Nobel Peace laureate.
Obama has sought broader ties with China, a major trade partner and biggest holder of the soaring US debt. China sent troops into Tibet in 1950 and in recent months has ramped up pressure on other nations to shun the Dalai Lama.
[...]Some supporters of the Dalai Lama were outraged by Obama's decision, fearing that China could interpret it as carte blanche to clamp down on dissent in the Himalayan territory.
"This is a strategic snub that sends the wrong message to Beijing and to China's religious communities and rights activists," said Leonard Leo, chair of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, a non-partisan government panel.
"Tibetans are being harassed, tortured and jailed right now for simple devotion to the Dalai Lama," he said.
In an editorial Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal was aghast that Obama was willing to offend China by imposing tire tariffs but not meeting "a religious leader who has long been a friend to the US and an advocate of human rights."
"Perhaps the administration is hoping for a return favor from Beijing for snubbing the man Chinese leaders label a 'splittist' and a 'wolf in sheep's clothing,'" the conservative newspaper said.
"But rewarding China's bullying only encourages such tactics," it said.
China accuses the Dalai Lama of seeking to separate Tibet. The Dalai Lama espouses non-violence and says he is only seeking greater rights for Tibetans under Chinese rule.
State Department spokesman Ian Kelly denied that the administration was downplaying human rights and said that Maria Otero, the US special coordinator on Tibet, would meet the Dalai Lama on his current trip.
"We've decided to meet with the Dalai Lama because of our respect for his position, for the fact that he is a revered spiritual leader," Kelly told reporters.
"Our position regarding China is clear, that we want to engage China. We think China is an important global player," Kelly said.
The Dalai Lama's entourage politely accepted Obama's decision.
In June, the White House informed the Dalai Lama that President Obama was committed to meeting him, but not until after he visits Beijing in November, a senior administration official said.
Greeting the Dalai Lama, whom Beijing condemns as a separatist, weeks before Mr. Obama’s first presidential trip to China could be “substantially damaging to the relationship,” said this official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the delicate nature of the issue.
Some White House officials even worried that the Chinese might withdraw the invitation to Mr. Obama, the official said, though Beijing had not issued any direct or veiled threats that it would do so.
“We want to have a good U.S.-China relationship, not for its own sake, but because if we don’t, we won’t be able to help Tibet,” the senior official said. “If the Tibet relationship is seen as an irritant to the U.S.-China relationship, then that will cripple our ability to be of help.”
Every president since George H. W. Bush in 1991 has met the Dalai Lama when he came to Washington, usually in private encounters at the White House. In 2007, George W. Bush became the first president to welcome him publicly, bestowing the Congressional Gold Medal on him at the Capitol. Mr. Obama met the Dalai Lama as a senator.