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China Daily Website

Obama-Dalai meeting hurts Sino-US ties

Updated: 2014-02-22 14:02
By Wang Hui (

China was fully justified to express strong indignation as well as lodge strong representation over US President Barack Obama’s meeting with the Dalai Lama on Friday. It warned the move would be a gross interference into China’s internal affairs before the meeting. By going his own way on the Tibet issue, Obama is shaking the very premise of the mutual trust between the two countries. Hence, Washington should be held solely responsible for the damage the meeting incurred on China-US relations.

Obama's meeting, his third with the Dalai Lama, time again exposes a political drama the presidents of both parties in the US have been playing for years: While claiming that the US recognizes Tibet as part of China and does not support "Tibet independence", they met the Dalai Lama, the chief head of the secessionist group seeking "Tibet independence", under various excuses.

It would be wrong if the US calculates that by repeatedly testing China's bottom line on the Tibet issue China would accept the US president’s meeting with Dalai Lama as a normal practice. Beijing will never back off from its stance that the Tibet issue is an important issue concerning the principles of maintaining China’s unification while opposing secession.

With more and more people in the world arena seeing through the Dalai Lama's religious disguise, the US allegation that it views him as a cultural and religious figure sounds increasingly ironic. It is just a pretest the US has used to interfere into China's internal affairs.

In recent years, both Beijing and Washington have been putting a lot of efforts to better manage their relationship and steer it onto a more stable terrain. Yet, the world's most important pair of nation-to-nation ties is unable to break the undesirable circle of ups and downs due to the fact that the US has more often than not acted in disregard of China's core interests and major concerns. Each time, the US president's meeting with the Dalai Lama would throw bilateral ties off balance and trigger diplomatic and political tensions between the two sides.

This year marks the 35th anniversary of the founding of diplomatic relations between China and the US, which presents a good opportunity for both countries to review the past and forging more substantial and meaningful cooperation between them. Friday's meeting has definitely contaminated the atmosphere for both sides to work towards that direction.

China-US relations not only concern the interests of the two peoples but also have international significance. Washington should be told that any mishandling of sensitive issues between them, the Tibet issue included, would produce negative impact on both bilateral ties and the world at large.

The ball is now in the court of the US’ side. It must take the responsibility to quell the repercussions brought up by Obama's meeting with the Dalai Lama. It must take concrete actions to regain trust of the Chinese government and the people.