China’s Posture on the Dalai Lama

The Communist Party leader in Chinese Tibet, Zhang Qingli, is condemning the close relations that the United States has maintained with the Dalai Lama and today, in the Chinese Communist Party’s 17th National Congress, he essentially forbade the U.S. from honoring the exiled spiritual leader in a coming awards ceremony. Such an award could have “an extremely serious impact” on Chinese – American relations, Zhang warned.

I doubt such an issue as the Dalai Lama’s independence/separatist sentiments could provoke any hostilities between China and the United States at this point. Taiwan, perhaps, but not Tibet. China and the U.S. need each other so much these days that neither will probably be willing to do too much to aggravate the other. If we really want to award the Dalai Lama (and I, for one, think he deserves it), then we’ll go ahead and award him. China will make hot air, and the whole issue will pass by. Let’s hope so, anyway.

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