Dalai Lama, Obama Hold Private Meeting at White House

By Richard Finney
2016-06-15
Email story
Comment on this story
Share story
Print story
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Email
The Dalai Lama and President Obama greet each other at the White House, June 15, 2016.
The Dalai Lama and President Obama greet each other at the White House, June 15, 2016.
White House Press Office

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama and U.S. President Obama met at the White House on Wednesday, speaking behind closed doors and away from the press in an apparent attempt to minimize offense to China.

Beijing routinely objects to high-level contacts between the exiled Dalai Lama and world leaders and had already warned against Wednesday’s meeting, saying it would “damage mutual trust and cooperation” between the United States and China, wire services said.

Chinese leaders regularly vilify the Dalai Lama, now 81, as a separatist fighting for Tibetan independence from Chinese rule.

In what he calls a Middle Way Approach, though, the Dalai Lama himself says that he seeks only a “meaningful autonomy” for Tibet as a part of China, with protections for the region’s language, religion, and culture.

Reaffirming the U.S. position that Tibet is a part of the People’s Republic of China, the president in his meeting with the exiled spiritual leader also expressed his strong concern for the human rights of Tibetans living in China, the White House said in a statement released after the meeting.

“The President encouraged meaningful and direct dialogue between the Dalai Lama and his representatives with Chinese authorities to lower tensions and resolve differences,” the White House said.

Talks held on Tibet’s status between envoys of the Dalai Lama and Beijing stalled in January 2010 and have never resumed.

Wednesday’s meeting followed talks on Tuesday between the Dalai Lama and members of Congress, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Comments (1)
  • Print
  • Share
  • Email

Anonymous Reader

The photo and story are about two Nobel Peace Prize Laureates meeting to discuss ways of promoting justice and peace, such as restarting negotiations that PRC officials broke off in 2010 between the Dalai Lama's representatives and the Chinese government.

Jun 15, 2016 06:32 PM

CH. 1: MANDARIN | CANTONESE

CH. 2: VIETNAMESE | BURMESE | KOREAN

CH. 3: KHMER | LAO | UYGHUR

CH. 4: TIBETAN

More Listening Options

View Full Site