BEIJING (AP) – A planned visit by the Dalai Lama to the United
States could damage relations between Washington and Beijing,
China’s state-controlled media warned yesterday, dismissing the
spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism as a “political plotter.”

“The United States should not confound right from wrong on the
Tibet issue and push the Dalai Lama to go along the way of ‘Tibet
independence’,” the state-controlled newspaper China Daily said in
a commentary.

“The best resolution for the Dalai Lama is to return to the
negotiating table with the central government as soon as
possible.”

Anything less, the commentary added, “will cause damage to
Sino-U.S. relations.”

The Chinese government says the Dalai Lama is to visit the
United States for nearly three weeks beginning Sept. 4. Beijing
views the Dalai Lama as a divisive force in Tibet, which it
occupied with military force in 1951. According to the communist
leadership, Tibet has been part of China for centuries.

“Exactly why the United States has taken such a high-profile
interest in meeting with an exile is worthy of careful
consideration,” the commentary said. “The Dalai Lama is by no means
a purely religious person. He has proven to be a political plotter
scheming to separate the Tibet Autonomous Region from China.”

China refers to Tibet as an “autonomous region,” although it is
tightly controlled both by Han Chinese and by ethnic Tibetans who
work for the Beijing government.

Informal meetings between representatives from the Dalai Lama’s
so-called government-in-exile in Dharmsala, India, and
Beijing-based government officials have taken place in China in
recent months.

Last week, though, Tibet’s new governor said the Dalai Lama
could come back to Tibet only if he stops political activity and
becomes a Chinese citizen.

The commentary was also carried by the government’s official
Xinhua News Agency and the People’s Daily, the ruling Communist
Party’s official newspaper. Beijing regularly reacts with vehement
objections whenever the Dalai Lama tries to claim the international
stage.

“History demonstrates the Dalai Lama has repeatedly taken
advantage of every opportunity to propagate his separatist
activities and try to rally international support for this purpose
under the guise of religious expression,” the commentary said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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