President Obama will welcome the Dalai Lama to the White House later this month. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs didn’t give a date, but the Tibetan monk will be in DC February 17-18. This meeting will be sure to further fuel the underlying tensions between the United States and China. The Chinese government believes the Dalai Lama is pushing too hard for Tibetan independence, and that the United States is encouraging this.
With the Dalai Lama coming to the States to have a sit-down with Mr. Obama, it could possibly weaken our ability to rely on China for help in dealing with Iran and North Korea, two countries that have nuclear capabilities. Add this to the recent $6.4 billion arms package we sold to Taiwan, and our criticizing China for Internet censorship, and it doesn’t look as if we are remembering that China holds the majority of our debts.
Wang Baodong, spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Washington, has urged the Obama Administration to not even have this meeting with the Dalai Lama, “so as to avoid further negative impact on bilateral relations.”