The Dalai Lama has met with Barack Obama at the White House, where the US president expressed his support for preserving Tibet’s identity and protecting Tibetans
The Dalai Lama spoke after the meeting:
“He telephoned me after he had become president, you see, he always shows his genuine concern and including his recent visit to Peking, you see he expressed his concern about Tibet and besides other sorts of global issues like that. So I expressed my thanks to him.”
The meeting has infuriated Beijing and China has warned the talks will certainly harm relations with the United States. Beijing considers Tibet’s spiritual leader as a “separatist” who wishes to take Tibet out of China’s hands.
However, the Nobel Prize laureate says he favours greater autonomy for Tibet and not independence.
The pair met in the Map Room as opposed to the more formal Oval office in order to placate the Chinese.
Some Sino-affairs watchers claim the Chinese could hit back by suspending political discourse with the US. However, it is believed that neither country can afford such a stand-off to develop.