Obama has gotten himself, and the White House, into some hot water with China. On Saturday, China accused the White House of “grossly” interfering with its internal affairs after President Barack Obama had the Dalai Lama at the White House for a 45 minute meeting.
Praise for the Dalai Lama
Obama praised the Dalai Lama for looking for nonviolent means to express himself, while saying that the United States does not support independence for Tibet. Obama’s words seemed to fall on deaf ears in China, as the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said, “Such an act has grossly interfered in China’s internal affairs, hurt the feelings of Chinese people and damaged the Sino-American relations. We demand the US side to seriously consider China’s stance, immediately adopt measures to wipe out the baneful impact, stop interfering in China’s internal affairs and cease to connive and support anti-China separatist forces that seek ‘Tibet independence’.”
While meeting with the Dalai Lama, Obama stressed how important the relationship with China is to him. As White House spokesman Jay Carney said after Obama’s meeting, “The president reiterated his strong support for the preservation of the unique religious, cultural and linguistic traditions of Tibet and the Tibetan people throughout the world.” He encouraged “direct dialogue to resolve long-standing differences, and that a dialogue that produces results would be positive for China and Tibetans.”
Warnings from Beijing
Beijing recently warned the United States to keep its nose out of their affairs before Obama’s meeting with the Dalai Lama. Such strong words came after the House of Representatives speaker John Boehner and the top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi met with the Dalai Lama last week.