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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

China furious about Dalai Lama’s visit

June 4, 2009

Expatica Netherlands

Wednesday 3 June 2009


De Telegraaf reports China was furious with the Danish prime minister, who officially received the Dalai Lama in spite of Chinese objections.


“European countries which roll out the red carpet for the Tibetan spiritual leader must count on serious harm to their ties with Beijing” reports the paper.


The paper said the Netherlands apparently had a fortunate escape due to Prime Minister (Jan Peter) Balkenende’s refusal to meet the Tibetan during his visit.


The Dutch parliament, however, will receive the Dalai Lama on Friday with all the due formalities. Dutch MPs had called on the prime minister, in vain, to meet with the Tibetan spiritual leader.


China is all bark and no bite

In an interview with De Pers, John Fox of the European Council on Foreign Relations strongly criticises Prime Minister Balkenende for “letting a foreign power dictate who he will, or will not, meet”.


Fox said that the prime minister is frustrating European attempts to formulate a united policy. “The message to China is: it helps to keep bullying.”


Fox, a former British diplomat who worked in Beijing, does not believe the Netherlands has that much to fear from China. “Just as little as the other government leaders who received the Dalai Lama.”


However, he admitted China did impose sanctions against France when it was EU president.


China was very angry with France, but even in that case the sanctions were symbolic. China is not stupid and will not do anything to harm its interests. The Netherlands is, and will remain, an important distribution country for China. If there is a dispute there will be a lot of barking, but little biting.”

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