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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Poll: Most Americans say Tibet should be independent

February 19, 2010

February 18, 2010

Most support Tibetan independence from China, CNN poll says
Poll also suggests 56 percent of Americans have favorable view of Dalai Lama
President Obama to meet with exiled Tibetan spiritual leader on Thursday

Washington (CNN) -- Nearly three-quarters of all
Americans think Tibet should be an independent
country, according to a new national poll.

However, the CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey
released Thursday also indicates that most
Americans think it is more important to maintain
good relations with China than to take a stand on Tibet.

The poll's release came as President Obama was to
meet with the Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual
leader in exile, at the White House.

The Dalai Lama is popular with Americans,
according to the survey, with 56 percent holding
a favorable view of him and only 18 percent having an unfavorable impression.

"That puts him in the same neighborhood as other
major religious figures," says CNN Polling
Director Keating Holland. "Favorable ratings for
the pope, at 59 percent, and Billy Graham, at 57
percent, are virtually identical to the numbers for the Dalai Lama."

The poll also indicates that 53 percent say it's
more important for the United States to take a
strong stand on human rights in China than to
maintain good relations with Beijing, with 44
percent saying good relations are more important.

Analysis: Meeting could hurt relations with China

By a 6-point margin, the survey also shows that
more Americans say taking a strong stand on
Taiwan by force is more important than maintaining good relations with Beijing.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll was conducted
February 12-15, with 1,023 adult Americans
questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling
error is plus or minus 3 percentage points for the overall survey.
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