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Unwise for Obama to meet Dalai Lama: U.S. - China expert

February 18, 2010  (People's Republic of China)
February 17, 2010

NEW YORK, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- It is "unwise" for
President Barak Obama to meet with the Dalai Lama
because the session would negatively affect
American ties with China, says an expert on U.S.-China relations.

Instead, Obama should spend additional time with
Chinese leaders and focus on more important
issues instead of harming U.S.-China relations by
meeting with the Dalai Lama, Fred Teng, a member
of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, told Xinhua on Tuesday.

"We need more constructive relations between the
United States and China and it will be in the
best interest of both the American and Chinese
people," said Teng, who also is president of the
Chinese Community Relations Council.

In an op-ed article published in the Huffington
Post on Tuesday, Teng said that in recent weeks,
the U.S.-China relationship have been rocked by a
number of geopolitical crises, some unforeseen
and others a result of archaic policies that
"should no longer exist in our current political climate."

"During this critical time, President Obama
should focus on building a constructive
relationship with China, and not divert his
attention from the end goal of building mutual
understanding and trust," Teng wrote.

On the heels of an arms sales to Taiwan and at a
time when the U.S. relies heavily on China on a
number of thorny geopolitical issues worldwide,
"if President Obama now invites the Dalai Lama to
visit the White House, he will be instigating a
potentially destructive downward spiral in relations," Teng wrote.

Tibet was part of China long before Hawaii became
a U.S. state, Teng noted. He pointed out that the
American Congress passed a law known as the
Apology Resolution, which apologized for the
government's role in supporting the 1893 overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii.

"However, Hawaii is still a solid part of the
U.S. sovereignty. How would the U.S. government
react if the government of China supported a
leader of the Hawaiian sovereignty movement?" he wrote.

"For the time being, it is unwise to fete an
exile leader and further offend the most
important foreign partner of the United Sates," Teng said.

Obama should spend more time engaging with
Chinese leaders on "real priorities," Teng said,
such as trade, climate change, and the U.S. national debt.

"It is unwise to sidetrack U.S. foreign policy.
We need more constructive U.S.-China relations,
for the people of the U.S. and for the people of China," he said.
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