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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."

President Bush Meets With Dalai Lama in Low-Key White House Affair

October 16, 2007

Fox News
October 16, 2007
WASHINGTON —  China's leaders are outraged over President Bush meeting with the Dalai Lama Tuesday in a narrowly publicized event that Beijing says amounts to U.S. support for Tibet's demands for greater autonomy if not complete independence.
The White House refused to allow video cameras at the event but was releasing still pictures of the president's meeting with the Dalai Lama, who Bush aides describe as a spiritual leader not a political one.
The Dalai Lama is the head of Tibet's Buddhists and to many a symbol of their push for the right to manage their religious and cultural affairs, education and language without Chinese interference. The Dalai Lama has lived in exile since Beijing sent troops into Tibet to put down an uprising in 1959, eight years after it first annexed Tibet.
But Chinese officials are unlikely to get any satisfaction from White House attempts to make the meeting a low-profile affair since Bush is expected to stand up for the first time in front of live cameras with the Dalai Lama on Wednesday to present him with the Congressional Gold Medal, the nation's highest award.
Tibet's Communist Party leader Zhang Qingli said he's "furious" at the ceremony in Washington, calling it an attempt to "split the motherland." The Chinese consider it meddling in China's internal affairs, even though the U.S. officially doesn't support an independent Tibet.
Bush and the Dalai Lama have met three times. But China's latest display of anger was demonstrated by its pulling out of a meeting this week on Iran's nuclear program.
The White House figures China will get over it, but last week the Chinese boycotted their annual human rights dialogue with German after Chancellor Angela Merkel met with the Dalai Lama.
White House officials said Tuesday that they are sensitive to the Chinese concerns and are making some concessions. They add that Bush told Chinese President Hu Jintao months ago that the meeting would take place.
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