Friday, February 19, 2010

You and What Army?

You know what they say- you should never provoke anyone who can answer that question with confidence. In the past few years, there has been a tug of war for public support between The People's Republic of China and a single man- the Dalai Lama. I doubt The Dalai Lama teases the Chinese Republic by proposing liberties then responding to discouragement by saying "you and what army?"...still - The Dalai Lama has been working overtime to keep civil liberties among the list of international conversation topics for governments and citizens alike.The civil liberties of the Tibetan people are a special focus for him, thus given the bitter history between Tibet and China, the end of the battle is but a thought. China's most visible stratagem has been the discouragement of meetings between the Dalai Lama and heads of governments across the globe.A few months back, the Dalai Lama claimed that he had a meeting arranged with President Obama for a future, albeit  uncertain date, and it appeared most doubted him, viewing it as an appeal than a confirmation. On Thursday Feb 18th,2010 The Dalai Lama met with President Obama at the white House, where he restated his hope for the recognized autonomy of Tibet with a succinct distinction from independence for Tibet.

The purpose of the meeting itself was not 'characterized' by the White House press secretary although a statement reveals that President Obama's "strong support for the preservation of Tibet's unique religious, cultural and linguistic identity, and the protection of human rights for Tibetans,".

President Obama did not respond in any manner  other than expected of the populist, politically correct,pacifier, while The Dalai Lama stood his ground on the Tibetan platform. I am curious as to why the president was happy to postpone his meeting with The Dalai Lama when he visited last fall in favor of meeting with Chinese president Hu Jintao, yet in the face of strained US-China relations, the president finds a blank spot on his calendar. I am inclined to believe that meeting with the Dalai Lama is an integral part of promoting and securing the reputation of President Obama as a genuine democratic concerned about the protection of democratic and civil liberties for all. A quick glimpse in a tv guide reveals upcoming specials by different networks , with the focus on evaluating President Obama's first year in office. After the first year, presidential approval and evaluation is often the media hot story, and the telling statistics may set the tone for the remainder of the term. The meeting was a strategically balanced move, to fortify the desired public opinion of the president , while providing a civil rights leader a platform for expression, despite lacking intent on the president's part to take definitive action. 

Appease the Tibetans and civil liberties activists a lot, and anger a the Chinese a little

According to CNN, Chinese officials have expressed to the US ambassador to China, their "strong dissastisfaction" in regards to the meeting. 

Nevertheless, for all intensive purposes, the status quo is maintained.

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