China condemns exile Tibetan administration head’s white House visit, but sees it as less damaging than those of the Dalai Lama

President Obama greets the Dalai Lama at the entrance to the Map Room of the White House on June 15, 2016. (Photo courtesy: White House)

(, Nov23’20) – China has on Nov 22 called the reported Nov 20 visit to the White House by Lobsang Sangay, “head of the so-called Tibetan government-in-exile”, a move by the Trump administration to create as many obstacles as possible for the next administration to shape the latter’s China policy. However, it sees the visit as less influential than those of the Dalai Lama who had four White House meetings with President Barack Obama alone, according to a commentary in China’s party mouthpiece Nov 22.

Calling the “Tibetan government-in-exile” a separatist political organization seeking to achieve “Tibetan independence,” despite the exile administration’s well-publicized campaign only to seek genuine autonomy for the Tibetan homeland, the commentary sought to downplay the visit of Sangay by saying he had much lower international influence than the Dalai Lama.

Nevertheless, the commentary called the visit – which the exile Tibetan administration has called a “historic” first for its head in its 60-year history – and the meetings a grave interference in China’s internal affairs, contending that they undermined China’s national interests.

And it expected the Trump administration to “hype up” the visit, rather than play it down, “given that there are many anti-China politicians” in it.

The commentary saw the visit as a new step taken by the Trump administration to stir trouble with China during the transition period of the US presidency.

And the commentary saw no reason for optimism under the new, future US administration of Joe Biden “as Democrats tend to underline the significance of so-called human rights and values.”

“Biden administration will raise the weight of human rights and ideology in its China policy. After Biden takes office, issues related to Tibet, the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Hong Kong are expected to become pivotal on the agenda to deal with China,” said the commentary written by one Lu Yuanzhi.

Noting that former US president Barack Obama had hosted the Dalai Lama four times at the White House, and seeing that almost all of Biden’s advisors on China policies had come from the Obama administration, the commentary noted that “the possibility that the Biden administration will take more aggressive moves on Tibet cannot be ruled out.”


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