US has clarified that there is no change in its policy towards Tibet even as it takes decision to convene talks with Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama following President Barack Obama’s visit to China slated in November.
It should be noted that for the first time, the Dalai Lama, on a five-day visit to the US, would not be visiting the White House during his stay in Washinton. The Dalai Lama arrived in Washington on Monday. During the visit, he is scheduled to meet key Congressional leaders.
“The US government thinks that he is an internationally revered religious and cultural figure. He’s a Nobel prize laureate. The President has decided that he will meet with the Dalai Lama at a mutually agreeable time. I think that there was an announcement that it would be after his trip to China,” the State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said.
Arguing that the decision has nothing much to be read beyond what it is, Kelly said: “I wouldn’t necessarily read anything into the decision beyond what it is, is that we’ve decided to meet with the Dalai Lama because of our respect for his position, the fact that he is a revered spiritual leader.”
Kelly noted that the US position regarding China was clear and that the Obama administration wanted to engage China.
“We think China is an important global player. We also don’t try and downplay some of the concerns that we have about China and some of our disagreements with China in the areas of human rights, religious freedom, and freedom of expression.”