Thanks Hillary & Barack, China Relents!
by fairleft, Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 08:39:32 AM EDT
Thanks in part to activists' Olympics opening ceremony boycott campaign (supported by few on the 'left' blogosphere -- see Anti-Hillary Pseudo-Left Disappears Olympics Boycott), China has relented and agreed to meet with an aide to the Dalai Lama. Presidential politics-wise, thanks first to Hillary but also to Barack (see Obama joins Clinton on Boycott!) for helping out by joining the opening ceremony threat. I hope the success of the open ceremonies boycott threat effort -- part of which (sorry, bama backers!) did involve pressuring Barack to join Hillary and create a united Democratic Party front, -- will teach us about how it's possible to get (not earthshaking but) real positive things done even (or ESPECIALLY) in the midst of a presidential political campaign. Nuff said, here's the news:
China says it's ready to meet with aide to Dalai Lama
BEIJING - China's government agreed Friday to a meeting with an envoy of exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama, a step that follows weeks of calls from world leaders for dialogue in the wake of anti-government protests in Tibet. . . .
"In view of the requests repeatedly made by the Dalai side for resuming talks, the relevant department of the central government will have contact and consultation with Dalai's private representative in the coming days," the official Xinhua News Agency said, quoting an unidentified official. . . .
The Xinhua report said China had committed only to a meeting and appeared to attach routine conditions for opening a dialogue with the Dalai Lama, including a demand that he stop plotting for Tibet's independence "so as to create conditions for talks."
The prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile said he had not received any official Chinese confirmation of the report. He sounded a cautious note on any potential talks.
"The Dalai Lama is always open to have a dialogue but the present circumstances in Tibet do not appear to be an appropriate platform for a meaningful dialogue," Samdhong Rimpoche told The Associated Press in the Indian hill town of Dharmsala.
"But let the official confirmation come from the Chinese. We will give our response," he said.
After a meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso called the Xinhua announcement encouraging and said China appeared prepared to discuss all issues except sovereignty.
"So if the concern of the Dalai Lama is, as he has always stated, respect of cultural identity, religious identity and autonomy inside China. I believe, I believe, there's real room for a dialogue," Barroso told reporters. . . .
EU lauds planned China meeting with Dalai Lama envoy
Fri Apr 25, 2008 10:24am EDT
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union on Friday welcomed an announcement by China of a planned meeting with a representative of the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism whom Beijing blames for a wave of unrest. . . .
China's Xinhua news agency earlier quoted official sources as saying Chinese officials would meet a private representative of the Dalai Lama. . . .
Earlier this month, the European Parliament urged EU leaders to boycott the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics this summer unless China started talks with the Dalai Lama.
The EU presidency and EU officials have condemned violence in Tibet and called on Beijing to open a dialogue with the Dalai Lama but stopped short of any call to boycott the Games. . . .
[European Commission President Jose Manuel] Barroso reiterated earlier on Friday that he did not support a boycott of the Olympics. . . .