Obama copies South Africa – Dalai Lama can visit later

By Daily Maverick Legacy 6 October 2009

Apparently trying to curry favour with China for support on world economic issues, as well as nuclear disarmament talks with Iran and North Korea, America has now told the Dalai Lama’s representatives to move his meeting with Obama until after Obama meets Hu Jintao next month. This will be the first time since 1991 that the Tibetan spiritual leader has been in DC and not met the president. While most of these visits have the “drop-in” familiar to addicts of “The West Wing”, George W. Bush met the Dalai Lama in a major ceremony and gave him the Congressional Gold Medal, the country’s highest civilian award. This decision is apparently part of an effort to downplay criticism of China’s human rights and financial stances, as well as supporting a bigger Chinese role in the IMF. The term for this is “strategic reassurance”. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton earlier said human rights could not "interfere with the global economic crisis, the global climate-change crisis and the security crisis" and Treasury officials no longer accuse the Chinese of deliberately deflating the exchange rate of the Renminbi to make its exports cheaper.

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