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"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

China objects to Harper meeting with Dalai Lama

September 20, 2007

CTV.ca News Staff
Tue. Sep. 18 2007

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is expected to raise the ire of Chinese
officials next month when he meets with the Dalai Lama.

The Globe and Mail reported Tuesday that Harper plans to meet the
Buddhist leader and Tibetan exile at a government site, a move that
would go further than a non-political meeting held by former prime
minister Paul Martin with the Dalai Lama in 2004.

The Chinese government has already warned foreign officials that they
are weary of meetings with the exiled leader at certain government
venues. In a statement sent to The Globe, a Chinese official said, "We
are against the provision of venues by foreign countries to the Dalai
Lama's secessionist activities and also against foreign dignitaries
meeting with him."

The Chinese -- who have run a behind-the-scenes campaign to prevent a
formal meeting between the Tibetan leader and the prime minister --
claim that the Dalai Lama is not a mere religious figure. Instead, they
argue that he is a political figure who aims to split their country
apart. The Dalai Lama, who was forced out of Tibet in 1959, runs a
government-in-exile from India.

The Harper government has had a tense relationship with China during its
tenure primarily due to the Conservative government's concerns about
that country's human rights record. Leaders of Tibet's independence
movement in Canada say they hope that the expected meeting between
Harper and the Dalai Lama will address the need for serious negotiations
about Tibet's relationship with China.

Communists asserted control over Tibet, which is located between India
and China in the Himalayan Mountains, in 1950. An independence movement
run from within and outside of the country has existed ever since.

In 2004, Martin became the first Canadian leader to meet with the Dalai
Lama. He held a 15-minute meeting with the leader at the residence of
Ottawa's Roman Catholic archbishop, but Harper's meeting is expected to
be held at a government site.

The Chinese also voiced their concerns last year when the Dalai Lama met
with Jason Kenney, the current Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity
Minister. The Dalai Lama was also given honourary Canadian citizenship
at that time.

Fearing increased international support for the Dalai Lama, the Chinese
protest any meetings he holds with world leaders. They have also raised
objections to a meeting that the Nobel Prize winner is expected to hold
with German Chancellor Angela Merkel this weekend. The Chinese were also
quick to protest when U.S. President George Bush met with the Tibetan
leader at the White House in 2003.

Ed
About time! We must send a clear message to the Chinese. They are not
our allies. At best, they're archaic Maoists who we purchase
sub-standard cheap products from. 90 years of communist terror has wiped
out any resemblance to their once great ancient culture. I'll take his
holiness over dollar store trinkets anyday.
Good on ya Steve!

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