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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."

Dalai Lama accuses China of "arrogance of power" on German visit

September 23, 2007

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
Sep 22, 2007

Berlin - The Dalai Lama has accused China of showing 'the arrogance of
power' in objecting to his meeting on Sunday with German Chancellor
Angela Merkel in Berlin.

The 72-year-old religious and political leader said it was senseless to
be angry about the way China attempted to interfere in his affairs, in
an interview published in the Saturday edition of the Sueddeutsche

'That is simply the Chinese attitude. The arrogance of power. Beijing is
also interfering in Germany's internal affairs, by demanding that the
chancellor should not meet me,' said the Dalai Lama, who lives in exile
in India and is currently on a tour of Europe.

He dismissed the sharp Chinese reaction to his meeting with Merkel - the
first ever with a serving German chancellor - as an indication that
Beijing was testing the limits of its power.

'I don't belive that my visit to Mrs Merkel will cause long-term damage
to Chinese-German relations,' the Dalai Lama said.

The Tibetan leader indicated optimism regarding the situation in Tibet
and China as a whole.

'The only opportunity for us is that things are changing in China, and a
lot has happened there, by comparison with 30 years ago,' he said in
remarks translated from the German.

'And China will continue to change. The Chinese government appears to be
in a dilemma with regard to Tibet,' the Dalai Lama said.

Chinese leaders were well aware that their foreign image depended to a
large extent on their attitude to Tibet and knew that unity and
stability throughout the country depended on peace in Tibet.

The Dalai Lama predicted that if there was trouble in Tibet, this could
have knock-on effects on the Chinese provinces of Xinjiang and Inner
Mongolia, where there is also resistance to rule from Beijing.

He pointed out that these three huge provinces made up around half of
Chinese territory.

The Dalai Lama emphasized that he was not seeking independence for
Tibet, which he left in 1959 to go into exile, following the 1951
invasion by Chinese troops.

And he acknowledged that the mountainous region was economically backward.

But he insisted that Tibet should be under Tibetan control and that the
many Chinese who now lived there should either learn Tibetan and accept
Tibetan ways or leave.

Merkel meets the Dalai Lama on Sunday afternoon for what German
government officials term 'a private exchange of views.' She has met him
previously while a member of the opposition.

Gerhard Schroeder, the previous German chancellor, declined to meet the
Tibetan leader.

German government spokesman Thomas Steg said the meeting should be seen
as part of a series of meetings between Merkel, who is the daughter of a
Lutheran pastor, and global religious leaders.

Steg insisted the meeting should not affect Berlin's 'high quality'
relations with Beijing, which had been extended during Merkel's visit to
China at the end of August.

'The German government believes that the Tibetan problem can only be
solved by dialogue between the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama,'
Steg said.

He added that the German government supported Tibet's claim to religious
and cultural autonomy.

Merkel and the Dalai Lama are to pose for photographs following their
meeting, but are not scheduled to answer journalists' questions.

On Tuesday China warned the German government not to allow the visit and
urged it to consider the 'general picture of Chinese-German relations.'

'We hope the German side will not allow the Dalai Lama to visit
Germany,' Foreign Affairs Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said.

The Dalai Lama's meeting Thursday with Austrian Chancellor Alfred
Gusenbauer also drew condemnation from Beijing.

The Tibetan leader previously visited Spain and Portugal.

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