Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Dalai Lama visit could damage U.S.-China relations, Chinese officials say

Chinese officials have said that this week’s U.S. congressional ceremony to honor the Dalai Lama could have “an extremely serious impact” on relations between the two countries, The New York Times reported today.

The Dalai Lama, who has been in exile since 1959 after the Chinese army crushed an uprising in Tibet, is scheduled to receive the Congressional Gold Medal on Wednesday.

“We are furious,” Zhang Qingli, Tibet’s Communist Party boss, said. “If the Dalai Lama can receive such an award, there must be no justice or good people in the world.”

Chinese officials condemned the Dalai Lama as a resolute separatist, and said foreign leaders must stop encouraging his “splittest” mission. China has pressured the United States to stop the award event for months.

China recently cancelled its human rights dialogue with German Chancellor Angela Merkel after she met with the Dalai Lama.

Both Washington and Beijing, however, say relations have been warm, and China often uses strong language without taking action. According to the article, the United States has often tried to protect Chinese dissidents and retain ties to Taiwan.

For the full article, click here.

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