Comment: Dalai's US visit will hurt relations
( 2003-09-01 07:15) (China Daily)
Talks are under way between the United States and the Dalai Lama about the political exile's forthcoming visit to the United States. In his 20-day visit to Washington, scheduled to start on September 4, the Dalai Lama will possibly meet with President George W. Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell and other senior officials.
Exactly why the United States has taken such a high-profile interest in meeting with an exile is worthy of careful consideration.
The Dalai Lama is by no means a purely religious person. He has proven to be a political plotter scheming to orchestrate Tibet's independence from China.
Since his escape to India in 1959 following an abortive uprising against the central government, the political exile has not ceased various activities aimed at separating Tibet from China.
History demonstrates the Dalai Lama has repeatedly taken advantage of every opportunity to propagate his "Tibet independence'' theory and try to rally international support for this purpose under the guise of religious expression.
In May 2001, he once again tried to trumpet his political agenda in the United States by taking advantage of a meeting with Bush and Powell to expound his separatist views..
It is therefore predicted his upcoming trip to the United States will in no way be confined to religious affairs.
Tibet is an integral part of the Chinese territory, and the United States' granting permission for a visit by this political exile constitutes a serious intervention into China's internal affairs. By doing so, the United States also breaks its past commitment to China that it acknowledges Tibet as part of China and does not back an "independent Tibet.''
It is an undeniable fact that Tibet has achieved substantial progress in political, economic and cultural fields since its emancipation from the fetters of the backward serfdom system. And today Tibetans enjoy an ever-improving lifestyle thanks to the support and policies of the central government.
It is the central government's long-held stance that the door is open to the Dalai Lama for talks under the basic premise that he gives up "Tibet independence'' proposal, stops all separatist activities, and acknowledges that Tibet is an inalienable part of China.
The United State should not confound right from wrong on the Tibet issue and push the Dalai Lama to go along the way of "Tibet independence.''If the United States is genuinely concerned about the welfare of Tibetans, it should realize the best resolution for the Dalai Lama is to return to the negotiating table with the central government as soon as possible.
Anything less will cause damage to Sino-US relations.
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