Dalai meeting ‘aimed at splitting China’

By Bai Tiantian Source:Global Times Published: 2016/6/16 0:13:01

Obama’s decision shows lack of political foresight: official

A senior Chinese ethnic affairs official on Wednesday called US President Barack Obama's planned meeting with the Dalai Lama a de-facto political act aimed at splitting China, adding that Obama's courting of the exiled spiritual leader, whom China considers a dangerous separatist, shows his lack of political foresight.

Zhu Weiqun, chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference's Ethnic and Religious Affairs Committee, told the Global Times on Wednesday that although Obama has never explicitly supported "Tibet independence," meeting with the Dalai Lama, the head of the Tibet secessionist group, is, in essence a political act meant to divide China.

"The ruling class of the US has never given up its scheme to use the Dalai Lama to split China. Even if they fall short of that goal, they would like to plant the seeds," Zhu said.

Obama and the Dalai Lama were reportedly scheduled to meet privately in the White House's Map Room Wednesday morning. They last met in 2014 in Washington DC.

Zhu said Obama wishes to portray himself as a leader of international human rights, but in fact fails to score points.

"Obama could have won respect and trust from the Chinese government and the Chinese people if he had taken a bold move and denied the meeting requests … But he failed to grasp the opportunity. When he steps down … the legacy he leaves to the next US president is that he failed to improve bilateral relations," Zhu said.

China has lodged diplomatic representations with the US. Foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a regular briefing on Wednesday that the meeting would encourage "separatist forces."

"If the US pushes through with this meeting, it will send the wrong signal to 'Tibet independence' and the separatist forces and harm China-US trust and cooperation," Lu said.

Any attempt to take advantage of the Tibet question and undermine stability will fail, Lu said, saying China "resolutely opposes" the plan.

Zhu said the Dalai Lama intends to delay the disintegration of his clique by meeting with the US president, but even Obama cannot reverse the trend. He said even the Dalai Lama's followers are aware that the clique depends too much on one person, and as the exiled spiritual leader ages, the group's collapse is inevitable.

"As the leader of a global power, it shows misjudgment and a lack of political foresight to risk offending another major power by courting someone like the Dalai Lama, who is behind the times," Zhu pointed out.

Posted in: Diplomacy

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