Tags: Bush | Meets | With | Dalai | Lama

Bush Meets With Dalai Lama

Wednesday, 23 May 2001 12:00 AM

Speaking to reporters outside the West Wing of the White House, the Dalai Lama described Bush as showing "very genuine, human, warm feeling," which he appreciated. The Tibetan leader said China should not isolate itself from the world.

"So good relations with China, mainly in economy, it is a major benefit, it is good," the Dalai Lama said.

The Dalai Lama's regular appearances in Washington are a source of friction in U.S.-China relations, which became icy recently when a U.S. Navy plane made an emergency landing on Hainan Island after being hit by a Chinese fighter jet.

"I showed to him that in the future, whenever the president has the opportunity of meeting with a Chinese leader, he can [tell] the Chinese government I am not seeking independence, irrespective of past history. I am seeking genuine self-rule, which essentially is a mutual benefit," the Dalai Lama said.

The Dalai Lama's visit comes on the same day Beijing marks the 50th anniversary of Communist rule in Tibet. Many Tibetans and their sympathizers regard the date as the beginning of Chinese occupation of the Himalayan region, which Tibetan Buddhists consider a sacred homeland. The Dalai Lama would not answer a reporter's question on the anniversary.

In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao denounced Bush's decisions to meet with the Dalai Lama - and the U.S. visit by Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian, who arrived in New York on Monday and planned to leave Wednesday. Zhu said Washington's decision to host the president of Taiwan, which Beijing has considered a breakaway province since 1949, would hurt relations.

On Beijing's bid to host the 2008 Olympics, the Dalai Lama said those working for freedom would have to decide whether the government was politicizing the event or if they believe it would further their goal for republican rule.

Copyright 2001 by United Press International.

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Speaking to reporters outside the West Wing of the White House, the Dalai Lama described Bush as showing very genuine, human, warm feeling, which he appreciated. The Tibetan leader said China should not isolate itself from the world. So good relations with China, mainly...
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2001-00-23
Wednesday, 23 May 2001 12:00 AM
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