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Realpolitik on China hits Dalai Lama’s cause

Posted by Author on October 7, 2009

By Geoff Dyer in Beijing, The Financial Times, October 7 2009 –

Still jet-setting at 74, the Dalai Lama has been in Washington this week to receive an award in Congress and attend a conference on meditation. But, for the first time since 1991, the Tibetan religious leader’s visit to the US capital has not included a trip to the White House.

Barack Obama, US president, is to make his first visit to China next month and any meeting with the Dalai Lama, which would doubtless raise hackles in Beijing, has been put on hold.

The perception in some circles that the Dalai Lama has been snubbed by the administration is the latest indication that western countries are taking a softer approach to human rights in China in the face of its growing economic and diplomatic power.

As well as being the largest single holder of US Treasury bonds, China is now a central player in big global issues, from Iran’s nuclear programme to climate change, undercutting the leverage of western governments when it comes to human rights……. (more details from The Financial Times)

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