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Chinese President welcomes Obama with anti-Tibet independence reminder

China's President Xi Jinping. (Photo courtesy: Reuters)
China’s President Xi Jinping. (Photo courtesy: Reuters)

(TibetanReview.net, Sep05, 2016) – As US President Barack Obama arrived in Hangzhou on Sep 3 on the eve of the of the G20 summit to be held in the eastern city, Chinese President Xi Jinping met with him with a reminder hopes that the former will not support independence activities by Tibetans, reported Xinhua Sep 3. Mr Obama last met with Tibet’s exile spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, in the White House on Jun 15, which China calling it support for Tibet’s separation from China.

The report by China’s official news agency said Xi wanted Mr Obama to honor what he has called the US government’s commitment on Tibet-related issues and not support secessionist activities by “Tibet independence” forces.

Mr Obama, like other US leaders, had prefaced his meetings with the Dalai Lama by emphasizing his recognition of Tibet as part of China. However, to China, any meeting with the Dalai Lama – who himself has long given up the demand for Tibet’s independence – and criticizing China’s abysmal human rights record amount to supporting Tibet’s independence.

Indeed, following their Jun 15 meeting, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said, “No matter in what way the US leader met with the Dalai Lama, the meeting violated the US promises of acknowledging Tibet as a part of China, not supporting Tibet independence and not supporting separatist activities,” reported India’s PTI news agency Jun 16.

President Obama had previously met with the Dalai Lama in 2010, 2011 and 2014. He had called for meaningful and direct dialogue between the Dalai Lama and his representatives with Chinese authorities to lower tensions and resolve differences. He has also expressed strong support for the preservation of Tibet’s unique religious, cultural and linguistic traditions and the equal protection of human rights of Tibetans in China.

Another Xinhua report Sep 3 cited Xi as having told Mr Obama that China “will resolutely safeguard sovereignty and territorial integrity, and curb “Taiwan independence” activities in all forms”. The US has a security commitment towards Taiwan.

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