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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

President Bush says he told Chinese leaders not to fear His Holiness the Dalai Lama

November 15, 2010

12 November 2011

Dharamshala: In his new memoir "Decision Points" former US President George W Bush has made references to Tibet and his meetings with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Mr Bush talked about a meeting with Chinese president Hu Jintao to convey his plans to attend the US Congressional Gold Medal ceremony in 2007. “At the 2007 APEC summit in Sydney, I told President Hu that I planned to attend a ceremony where the Dalai Lama would receive the Congressional Gold Medal. The Buddhist leader was a source of distress for the Chinese government, which accused him of stirring up separatists in Tibet."

"I met with the Dalai Lama five times during my presidency, and found him to be a charming, peaceful man. I told China’s leaders they should not fear him," Mr Bush said.  

“This is not meant as a slap at China,” he said, “but as a measure of my respect for the Dalai Lama and for the US Congress.  You know my strong belief in religious freedom.”

“This is a politically sensitive issue in China,” President Hu replied.  “...It will draw a very strong reaction from the Chinese people.” What he meant was that it would draw a strong reaction from the government, which did not want me to be the first American president to appear with the Dalai Lama in public."
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