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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."

Double whammy

September 17, 2009

by C. Raja Mohan
www.indianexpress.com - Sep 16, 2009

In just one weekend, Washington has turned the much fancied notion of
building a 'Group of Two' with Beijing on its head. Washington's punitive
tariffs on Chinese tyre imports and Beijing's threat to retaliate by
targeting American exports of chicken and auto parts has triggered the talk
of a 'trade war' between US and China.

Coming on top of Obama's anticipated economic measure - he was under
pressure from the trade unions - was his decision to send a close personal
friend from Chicago and currently top adviser in the White House, Valerie
Jarrett to meet with the Dalai Lama in Dharamshala. Jarrett was accompanied
by a senior state department official. This high level visit from Washington
to Dharamshala appears to be part of Obama's effort to revive the stalled
dialogue between Beijing and the Dalai Lama. Obama's two predecessors,
Presidents Bush and Clinton sought to nudge Beijing into cutting a deal with
the Dalai Lama on Tibetan autonomy. Neither of them had much of an effect on
China.

"We are firmly opposed to any foreign official meeting with the Dalai Lama,"
Beijing said in a terse response on Tuesday. Beijing is also likely to
launch a protest with Delhi for allowing top American officials to visit the
Dalai Lama. The escalation of Sino-US tensions comes days before President
Hu Jintao arrives in the United States for the summit of the G-20 nations in
Pittsburgh and amidst plans for Obama's visit to China in early November.

The Dalai Lama is expected to arrive in Washington in early October. It is
not clear if Obama will see him before his visit to Beijing or after. All
recent US presidents have met with the Dalai Lama in the White House.
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