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Deplorable for Obama to meet Dalai Lama

By Huang Xiangyang (chinadaily.com.cn)
Updated: 2010-02-03 20:01
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It is pathetic to see that US President Barack Obama is likely to succumb to domestic politics and go ahead with a plan to meet the Dalai Lama.

The fact that the meeting is still being planned, as confirmed by White House spokesman Bill Burton on Tuesday, bodes ill for Sino-US relations, already battered by the latest announcement of a $6.4 billion arms sale package to Taiwan.

The long-term US policy of publicly supporting the Dala Lama stems from the Cold War mentality, which requires Washington to use all means to contain what it believes threats from communist China. Declassified US intelligence documents reveal that for much of the 1960s, the CIA provided the Tibetan exile movement with $1.7 million a year for operations against China, including an annual subsidy of $180,000 for the Dalai Lama himself.

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Times have changed. But those ideology-driven politicians and China bashers in the US still don't realize that the ground has shifted beneath them. They still persist with this meeting with the Dalai Lama as a ritual to trumpet what they believe are "core democratic principles".

Yes, the meeting may serve as a morale booster for Tibetan separatists. It may appear as a symbolic act to show the US on "moral high ground". But it will never change the fact that Tibet was, is, and will always be part of China.

Obama, with all his intelligence, of course knows the nature of the meeting and its ramifications. It would be deplorable if he decides to continue playing this age-old dull political game that will serve no interests for the US but only stoke anger among the Chinese. As the president of the world's only superpower, Obama is free to meet anybody at anytime on his own soil. But just don't paint this farce with a moral hue. We call that audacity of shame.