WHEN CHINA WARNED THE U.S. not to honor the Dalai Lama with the Congressional Gold Medal – which he is set to receive today – their language was ludicrous [IHT]:
The Chinese officials, speaking at a Foreign Ministry briefing and on the sidelines of the Communist Party’s 17th National Congress, condemned the Dalai Lama as a separatist and said foreign leaders must stop encouraging him.
“We are furious,” the Tibetan Communist Party leader, Zhang Qingli, said during the congress. “If the Dalai Lama can receive such an award, there must be no justice or good people in the world.”
But apparently saying ridiculously inflammatory shit gets you places these days. Following George Bush’s 30-minute meeting with the spiritual leader yesterday, White House aides refused to disclose details and would not release a photo of the two. Despite this sheepish behavior, Bush is apparently fighting on Tibet’s behalf [IHT]:
The Dalai Lama’s envoy, Lodi Gyari, who attended the meeting, said Bush described his efforts with China’s president, Hu Jintao, on the Dalai Lama’s behalf: “The president said he has been telling the Chinese president that you need to meet with this man, you should trust the Dalai Lama, I know this man and I trust him and you must not hesitate to meet with his holiness.”