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February 18th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

Now the time for U.S. to irritate China by meeting with the Dalai Lama?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

In a move sure to get the Chinese all riled up - President Obama met today with the Dalai Lama at the White House.

The Dalai Lama draws in the snow with his finger outside the White House after meeting with Pres. Obama earlier today. The meeting drew angry protests from China.
The Dalai Lama draws in the snow with his finger outside the White House after meeting with Pres. Obama earlier today. The meeting drew angry protests from China.

The president commended the Tibetan spiritual leader's commitment to non-violence and stated his support for the preservation of Tibet's identity and human rights.

After the meeting, the Dalai Lama told reporters he was very happy with the session; and that Mr. Obama was very much supportive. The exiled leader says he admires the U.S. as a champion of freedom and talked about promoting religious harmony and human value.

Here's the problem: China warned ahead of time that the meeting would damage relations with the U.S. The Chinese view the Dalai Lama as a separatist who wants to overthrow Chinese rule. The Dalai Lama insists that's not true. And - critics are after the president for not meeting with him last fall when he came to Washington.

All of which is why the White House kept today's meeting very low key - it wasn't held in the Oval Office where presidents usually meet with world leaders, and there were no reporters allowed. The White House only released a single photo.

Meanwhile it might not be the best time to tick off the Chinese. Relations are already strained between the two countries due to trade disputes, a recent U.S. arm sales deal for Taiwan, and a censorship disagreement over Google. Not to mention the fact that the Chinese hold a staggering amount of U.S. debt - hundreds of billions of dollars worth.

Here’s my question to you: Is now the time for the U.S. to irritate China by meeting with the Dalai Lama?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Lisa in Portland, Oregon writes:
Any time is a good time to "irritate" the Chinese regarding their human rights abuses... they need us economically as much as we need them, giving us the bully pulpit no other country has. The Chinese will change their ways if they are pressured from within and without. A strong American voice on behalf of human rights can only help strengthen those cries for justice within China

Troy writes:
Obama had him over to his HOME on the top floor, his residence. The president can invite whoever he wants to his home and it's not any of China's business. If we bow to them for that, what else will we have to bow to them about?

Matt in Washington writes:
Jack, Who cares about angering a bully? President Obama has an opportunity to help resolve the 60 year Chinese occupation of Tibet through diplomacy and negotiation. It's the least a Nobel Laureate can do.

Ted in Illinois writes:
Of course President Obama should meet with the Dalai Lama. They should all get together and drink some beer.

Lisa in San Jose writes:
Jack, The Chinese are *choosing* to be irritated by Obama meeting the Dalai Lama. That makes it *their* problem, not ours. Meanwhile, are you sure your site isn't being knocked out by a Chinese-authored hacker attack, for even asking the question?

John writes:
It's just insignificant saber rattling. There will always be something to make China irritated with the U.S. or vice versa. We are two of the most powerful countries in the world and we will always maneuver for dominance of the other. But our futures are so linked economically, we have like each other. China wants the US to be healthy and prosperous. How else will we make our loan payments?


Filed under: China
soundoff (92 Responses)
  1. Ann from Hampton, New Jersey

    Instead of shunning this peaceful man the last time he was here, he should have me with the Dalai Lama then. He only is meeting him now because of the negativity he got. He is also dissing him by not meeting him in the Oval Office where other dignitaries are met. Another black eye for Obama. I think Tibet should be a free country regardless of the Chinese ideology.

    February 18, 2010 at 2:36 pm |
  2. Don (Ottawa)

    Let's put it this way Jack, would you upset the Mafia if you owed them money? I think not!

    February 18, 2010 at 2:36 pm |
  3. Soul Leister- undisclosed bunker

    No, its a no win situation He looks weak not strong being seen with a perceived enemy of the people holding our debt... as he tiptoes thru another empty photo op. Obama is advancing the Dalai Lama's position with China (or vice a versa) how? Short answer: he not, as usual its about him (Obama)... there is no honor is empty promises that will never realize fruition.

    February 18, 2010 at 2:41 pm |
  4. Rick McDaniel

    Why not? We only owe them a few hundred billion dollars.

    February 18, 2010 at 2:42 pm |
  5. Melissa

    Its just a meeting. Stop placing more importance on it than it deserves.

    February 18, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
  6. Tony from Southport

    I have given up trying to decide if Obama is right or wrong on any issue. He changes his stance depending on the polls or election results.

    February 18, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
  7. Paul Round Rock, Texas

    We as the United States and the President have a right to meet with any leader be it political or otherwise. We should not fear any country becoming irritate of any actions or meetings we may have with any one leader of a group or nation. If China gets upset with the U.S. over meeting and talking to the Dalai Lama it will only give the Dalai Lama the chance to continue to tell the truth of what he is doing is valid.

    February 18, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
  8. Jane (Minnesota)

    I personally don't care if they are irritated or not. China doesn't seem to worry about it when they irritate us with their economic policies.

    February 18, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
  9. Pete - Georgia

    Obama's timing reminds me of mine .........when investing in the stock market.

    February 18, 2010 at 3:03 pm |
  10. frank

    We should re establish ties with Taiwan also. If China and the reds on the mainland are upset, too bad. They started as a bunch of crooked warlords, same as Taiwan. They invaded Tibet. Its time the US stood with the Dalai Lama. The Cold War is over, they can pull their troops out and go home.

    We're buying all their garbage they produce. They should be thankful we're helping prop up their economy. It wouldn't exist without us.

    February 18, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
  11. Terry Gnsbg,IN "Hoosier Hillbilly"

    Not if the Dalai Lama will buy the treasury notes China no longer wants.

    February 18, 2010 at 3:19 pm |
  12. Mike in Guatemala

    I don't see any advantage for the U.S in having Presient Obama meeting with this unimportant, washed-up, cult leader. Through our own fault, China owns us and now we have to pay the piper. Let Biden meet with him.

    February 18, 2010 at 3:20 pm |
  13. Maria

    A short meeting w/the Dalai Lama is not going to cause China to have a melt-down. HRC is spending a lot of time in China, as a country they own huge pieces of the U.S. They have nothing to lose. They'll be stand-up guys and get over it very quickly.

    Maria

    Brunswick,MD

    February 18, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
  14. JENNA

    Is now the time for the U.S. to irritate China by meeting with the Dalai Lama?

    Why China is getting their panties in a wad over the Dalai Lama is beyond me.

    He is a spirital leader, nothing more.

    They give him more credibility by droning on and on about him – when they should be ignoring him – if they hate him so much.

    And the United States can meet with anyone at anytime we want to.

    China should get over themselves!

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    February 18, 2010 at 3:29 pm |
  15. SARAH from Wisconsin

    we should have met with him when he was in the U.S. in November; not now when we need China on-board with Iran.

    February 18, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
  16. Carl

    Jack,
    This is what we do, the United States, we stick our nose in every other countries business all the time. Just like no other country can have Nuclear power except the United States, just think about it, who is the only country to have used such destructive power? We need to take care of our country and our own people and stop trying to be the police of the world, but I really don.t think this will happen.

    February 18, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
  17. Terry, Chandler AZ

    President Obama cannot demonstrate that he fears what action China may take if he meets with the Dalai Lama.

    February 18, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
  18. Hank

    Anytime is the right time to irritate China. The Clinton Administration invited China to inject us with their subnormal products – lead painted toys, dangorously created toys, food diluted with almost anything you can imagine.

    It is time to withdraw that rope given to them – the one described by Mao as the one that they would hang us with – and the one Clinton gladly provided.

    February 18, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
  19. Conor in Chicago

    From a strategic point of view having a good relationship with the Dalai Lama is good for US interests. If China were to ever strike the US whether it be militarily or economically one of our strong cards to play would be to stir up unrest in the Western provinces of China. The Dalai Lama would be crucial in that endeavor. This, in conjunction with our recent arms sale to Taiwan, sends a message to the Chinese that they don’t have quite the upper hand they think they do and they need to be careful where they tread moving forward. When it comes to world dominance the US doesn’t tend to screw around.

    February 18, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
  20. Michael Alexandria, VA

    It's always a good time to stick it to thugs, Jack. The worst thing that could happen is that they stop buying our debt and selling us things that we should be making here anyway. The only negative would be higher interest rates (which will make saving pay better generally) and higher taxes on the wealthy (to keep interest rates down). In some people's minds, including mine, these are not negative things.

    February 18, 2010 at 3:40 pm |
  21. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    No I don't it is the time to irritate the people that holds the U.S. mortgage. Especially when our national debt keeps growing. They could easily say, we had enough of this, where is our money. We have to learn the pick are fights. Meeting with the Dalai lama at this time would not be a good idea at all.

    February 18, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
  22. Gordo, NJ

    China seems to be looking for things to pick a fight over these days - Taiwan, Google, exchange rates, and now the Dalai Lama. China is clearly misreading the tea leaves of US domestic politics if they think this is a good time to confront Obama. Bad idea. If China wants anything from the US, they should side with Obama on Iran.

    February 18, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
  23. Don in Iowa

    I know our Supreme Court has recently turned over control of American policy to the whims of foreign corporations, but should we worry so soon what China thinks?

    February 18, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
  24. Tina Texas

    Just because we have a loan from China does not mean that we cannot talk to the Dalai Lama. It is like when you get a loan for car, you can drive the wheels of the car just as long as you keep paying on your loan.

    February 18, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
  25. Denny from Tacoma, WA

    Are we now going to allow the Chinese to dictate our policies? How is China doing with civil rights, etc., in their own country? If the Dalai Lama is our friend then we should continue treating him as such.

    February 18, 2010 at 3:56 pm |
  26. Albert K., L.A., CA

    Jack, if China gets irritated because two Nobel Peace Prize laureates have lunch together, then so be it, let the record show China has a problem with peace.

    February 18, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
  27. kent, NJ

    No it is not the time to irritate china who owns a lot or our debt. This is exactly what obama does. He has done the same thing with his base. He irritates progressives by catering to the pubs who will never ever do anything for him.

    February 18, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
  28. Stan Ward

    Jack, the administration is obtuse or stupid. In scheduling the Dalai Lama's visit now Obama is showing more arrogance and poor judgement.. But the die is cast. To cancel after they gripe would be kow-towing and showing weakness.
    P.S. I am coincidentally now rereading his holinesses' book, " The Art of Happiness"

    Stan from Budapest

    February 18, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
  29. D/St Louis

    Now is the time for our President to meet with whomever he chooses, and not be bullied by anyone, including China, the GOP, Big Insurance companies, Big Pharma, Wall Street, and most of all CONGRESS!

    February 18, 2010 at 4:09 pm |
  30. CB

    Since when should the U.S. allow any other country to dictate who we do or do not have relations with? Does our concern over North Korea have any affect on China's dealing with them?

    February 18, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
  31. Ken from Maryland

    Why should we bow to China? Just because they hold our entire economy in the palms of their hands? Oh. [deep bow]

    February 18, 2010 at 4:15 pm |
  32. Dennis north Carolina

    does china own the keys to the white house. is this some thing that you have been hiding, jack.

    February 18, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
  33. southerncousin

    I doubt if we will ever have a good time to irritate China, given that this administration will make sure we are in debt to them for a very long time. They own us now and it will only get worse until we get the liberals out of office.

    February 18, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
  34. Kyle, Irvine, CA

    When is it ever a good time Jack? Shut the hell up China.

    February 18, 2010 at 4:26 pm |
  35. Rick Medina,OH

    Jack,

    I don't think talking about human rights and religious freedoms is a bad thing, no matter who is doing the talking.

    Rick, Medina, OH

    February 18, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
  36. Bert

    This move sounds like the George W. Bush days to me?Obama apparently put his desire to meet this man above the better choice to not stir relations with China?
    Shows me his inexperience to use better judgement at crucial times.I'am disappointed at his arrogance!

    February 18, 2010 at 4:30 pm |
  37. William Pontarelli

    Hello from Iowa. I think it is past due for Far Eastern Cultures to stop playing the save face game. Everyday is a good day to connect with a spiritual leader.

    February 18, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  38. Ed from MD

    Yep, great time to meet with the Dalai Lama. China supporting sanctions against Iran would of course delay the trip indefinitely.

    February 18, 2010 at 4:33 pm |
  39. Ray in Nashville

    What will they do, Jack? Refuse to buy any more of our debt? Refuse to sell us any more cheap goods? Maybe that will get us back on the right track of controlled spending and doing our own manufacturing.

    February 18, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  40. Jim

    Jack,

    China does not dictate who the President of the United States can and cannot meet with.

    Jim
    Reno, Nevada

    February 18, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  41. Michael Roepke - Dallas, TX

    I would irritate anyone for a chance to meet the Dalai Lama.

    February 18, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  42. Darren - Detroit

    We made Chia the superpower they are today with onesided Free Trade agreements, the bigger question should be "do they really want to bite the hand that feeds them?"

    February 18, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  43. marlene

    China shouldn't get to decide who the President talks to or meets with in the course of United States best interests. Marlene in Mich

    February 18, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  44. Mr. D

    It's time to put the Dali on the back burner. He has been overexposed and I doubt if he would like to return to Tibet and give up visibility and fame he has garnered on the world stage. We have more important things to take care of with China.

    February 18, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  45. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    None of the rest of our foreign policy makes sense, why start now. i am just trying to figure out what Obama is going to apologize to him for.

    February 18, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  46. paul

    Excuse me your highness, but since when did the President of the United States start asking Communist China for permission to speak to the Dalai Lama?

    February 18, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  47. David Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    jack
    The United States should be consistant and firm and stand for things.
    Things more important than money like the future of the United States.
    We are a paper tiger we do not mean what we say and make special deal with ever who is on the winning side that day.JUST LIKE CONGRESS TRASHED OUR COUNTRY,SAME THING DIFFERENT DAY.
    "'STAND FOR SOMETHING""
    David

    February 18, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  48. Lisa, San Jose CA

    Yup.

    February 18, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  49. Ed from California

    It's never a good idea to upset your landlord, or A.K.A,"Sugar Daddy".

    February 18, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  50. Bah Gassim

    Why not? and Why? Let the U.S government Stays out of Chinese Business or no more lending money or buying U.S treasury bonds. Hence, we will move from Recession to Depression.. What you think Jack?

    February 18, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  51. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    When the president demonstrated cultural awareness by bowing at a meeting with an ally, he was criticized by the likes of Limpbough, who couldn't muster enough etiquette for a pig wrestle.

    Our Chinese friends have learned enough about western culture by now to realize they can not dictate which Nobel Prize winners the United States honors.

    February 18, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  52. Greg H - Minneapolis

    Who cares if China gets upset? They are hardly going to call in all of the debt they hold, and thereby risk causing the collapse of the world economy. They should finally realize that Tibet, and Taiwan are like children that have been raised by the parent China but are now old enough to make it on their own. Continuing to put forth the fiction that both Tibet and Taiwan are part of China is like England trying to hold on to their former colonies. Our British cousins saw the wisdom in letting us (and others) stand on our own, China should at least do the same, especially considering how long they have been a country and had the time to develop wisdom!

    February 18, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  53. M & M

    Irritate China?? I thought it was an honor to meet with the Dalai Lama. Don't all US presidents meet with him?

    February 18, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  54. Mark

    US not meeting Dalai Lama would irritate a lot of people.

    February 18, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  55. JW Georgia

    When America allows other nations to dictate when or with whom we may speak or meet anyone, we might as well turn over the keys to the Capital building.

    February 18, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  56. Joe CE

    We should never worry about irritating China – if we have to do this we are in really bad shape – this would be worst than the debt. Actually we should demand that China agree to renegotiate the Trsde Agreement that is making them rich, allowing them to become a military threat and costing us industry & jobs. To hell with China – FAIR trade or none at all. So they shot themeslves in the foot bydumpimg US bonds. THey own too many & are buyting too meny US assests.. They dump – we devalue the dolllar – one for ten.

    February 18, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  57. Ryan- Galesburg, IL

    Jack it is always time to stand up for our principle and open dialogue with world leaders. To cower from the Chinese, as you seem to want us to do, would be shameful.

    February 18, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  58. honestjohn in Vermont

    Why not? If we continually bow to China's wishes now we will always be bowing to China's whim.

    February 18, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  59. Don from Belleville, Ontario

    Don't be petulant, America. You are sounding just like a rebellious teenager defying the wishes of his parents. In reality you are now China's pet dog, and if you soil their carpet, they will spank you financially and stop feeding you with their cash.

    February 18, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  60. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    There must be no time limit on doing what is right. Isn't that what courage is, doing something you may not want to do but know is the right thing to do, at all cost.

    February 18, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
  61. Carlos Malave

    Bottom line is that what really irritate China is our freedom and the fact that we don't need permission from anybody to exercise it.

    February 18, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
  62. Antonio from Washington D.C.

    We must do what we have to do in order to do what we want to do.

    February 18, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
  63. Jeff Dicks

    Why should we cater to the Chinese for Anything.. Where are they when we need their sanction votes at the UN..

    February 18, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
  64. Troy Lynn

    Obama had him over to his HOME on the top floor, his residence. The president can invite whoever he wants to his home and it's not any of China's business. If we bow to them for that, what else will we have to bow to them about?

    February 18, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  65. CanadianJoe

    Irritate China? Why? When was the last time China irritated the U.S.? Why do people keep putting their noses in other people's business?

    February 18, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  66. Michael/Manorville, NY

    Why isn't China seen like any other vendor.?They lend us money we pay the interest and the payments. They make a profit and a damn handy one at that. Rather than the US being concerned for China's opinion, shouldn't China worry about whether the US will continue to buy their products and use their manufacturing services? I personnally don't care what China likes or doesn't like. We are free to entertain any leader we want and China's opinion should not enter into it. Does China really care what we think? Their views and actions with regard to human rights perfectly illustrates they have absolutely no concern for what the US wants and considers important. Tell China to pound salt!

    February 18, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  67. Subhash

    US politicians have a nack for following an attitude of "I don't give a damn" ,If the same is done to them ,they cry foul ! Typical American approach

    February 18, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  68. Joseph

    Now is the perfect time for President Obama to say "Hello, Dalai."

    Joe in Delray Beach, Florida

    February 18, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  69. Ben

    Our response to any criticism from the Chinese in regard to Obama meeting with the Dalai Lama should be direct from the Chinese playbook stating “we do not appreciate outside interference in regard to our internal government policies and matters.” What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

    February 18, 2010 at 7:30 pm |
  70. Renee

    Where are all the people who screamed " You gotta stand for something or you'll fall for anything" now? When it leads to a catastrophic war everyone is for "making a stand" then when a Bullying country , a Communist country at that, makes threats trying to control who we as a nation will or will not have a relationship with. Then where is the outrage? Where is that pride and defiance? Is it that we as a nation only kowtow to the rich and powerful? I think the President of the United States should tell China that no matter what their belief, We are not going to clear who we deal with through them! I am having trouble understanding what has happened to this country. People are protesting Healthcare Reform while ignoring the fact that a foreign country is trying to rule us? The Supreme Court in affect rules that corporations foreign or domestic can have more influence on our politics than the individual. How many foreign corporations will manipulate our politics to their way of thinking? How long until we are no longer the USA but USA inc.?

    February 18, 2010 at 7:31 pm |
  71. Linda in Arizona

    Yes, now is the time to receive HH, the Dalai Lama. China always objects, and we always receive him at the WH. If Obama had refused to meet with him, it would have looked weak. Even the Bushes met with him. Dubya even had pictures taken with him once. The Dalai Lama is not trying to make Tibet autonomous from China. He knows that is futile. He WOULD like them to stop murdering Tibetans, and to stop flooding Tibet with Han Chinese to repopulate the country.. Tibetans are a separate people. They are NOT Chinese. Tibet does NOT belong to China. The Chinese know this. That is why they are so repressive and unreasonable about it. They have killed MILLIONS of Tibetans. They have a guilty conscience about that, I'm sure. The Dalai Lama is criticized by young Tibetan activists for being too passive about accepting Chinese rule. As always, his concern is with keeping the peace, and keeping people from coming to harm. He really is what he seems to be, but people want to believe he operates out of motives similar to their own. This is why China is so paranoid about him.

    February 18, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  72. Elizabeth Hartley Filliat

    Yes, President Obama should have met with the Dalai Lama, even over China's objection. If the U.S. ever becomes intimidated not to meet with a spiritual person of nonviolence, then our nation will have forfeited what is of most valuable in our country – freedom of speech and the pursuit of nonviolence as a solution to conflict.
    Elizabeth Hartley Filliat, Alpharetta, GA

    February 18, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  73. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    Courage is doing something that we may not wish to do because of possible costs, but do because it is right.

    Do we now allow the Chinese to dictate our courage and what is right?

    Maybe the leaders of China should emulate the Dalai Lama rather than fear him.

    February 18, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
  74. Johnny Bush

    The Dalai Lama isThe People Of China's Ambassador and Best Hope for their future Peace, let them hope he doesn't exile them from Freedom's Extended Hand.

    February 18, 2010 at 7:35 pm |
  75. Barbara in NC

    We've had to borrow for 2 (two) unfunded wars and for "free" trade (free to China, cost a lot of jobs here).

    Guess they own Bush/Cheney/Haliburton, but not our personal rights. Is that next?

    February 18, 2010 at 7:36 pm |
  76. CRAIG

    Jack, it is like a retailer who doesn't like your skin color but doesn't mind collecting your money. China makes billions off of us each year so as a business man i can care less who that person sees as long as he keeps paying me. Some people are very sensative towards nonsense but have amnesia towards real sensative issues......ie. RACISM????

    February 18, 2010 at 7:36 pm |
  77. Adam in Newfoundland

    Actually, the U.S. and China can prod each other to their heart's content: Both countries know that taking any truly SERIOUS action against the other would be nothing short of suicide.

    February 18, 2010 at 7:37 pm |
  78. John A. Koulouris

    Hello Jack;

    It seems to me that the time isn't right for the U.S. Government to irritate anyone right now. Given the fact that the citizens of the global community have been irritated enough, maybe it's time to get rid of the Banker owned Federal Reserve and place it back into U.S. citizen control. This would be a great start, as it would stop the global community from being irritated by what they have to pay for which has been intentionally created from those who live off the sweat of the true patriotic citizens of the United States, and the Global Community. It is time to hold these irritating theives responsible for their fraudulent treason.

    February 18, 2010 at 7:38 pm |
  79. Gigi Oregon

    Who is going to dictate to the free world, China? Well I guess they could call all the loans in. What a foolish move our government made who borrowed that money any way. How can you live in a free society and sell your soul to China. I've heard that U.S. is on a dead end road. How is congress going to stop this or are the going to fiddle while the U.S burns. Did the government borrow that money before or after Pres.. Obama?

    February 18, 2010 at 7:38 pm |
  80. Kathy, Santa Fe

    Obama is in a unique position to help broker a solution to China's brutal occupation of Tibet. By not meeting with the Dalai Lama in November, Obama hoped to appease the Chinese and further his foreign policy goals at the Beijing summit. However, the Chinese Government conceded nothing, and in fact, became emboldened by such cow-towing. The more unchecked China goes, the more tyrannical it becomes and the more it is now or never to stand up for human rights and Tibet.

    P.S. No President has ever met with the Dalai Lama in the Oval Office, so this is not a backslide

    February 18, 2010 at 7:41 pm |
  81. Michael H. in Albuquerque, NM

    Absolutely! We do not live by the permission of China. For the 44th Dalai Lama to meet with the 44th president is an oppurtunity to meet with history.

    February 18, 2010 at 7:42 pm |
  82. Cliff

    Should be no different than a meeting with the Pope.

    February 18, 2010 at 7:42 pm |
  83. CRAIG

    Renee,

    good points...We look weak when are dictated by another country on who to see. it is like telling everyone on the here that if you don't agree with your post i'm not your friend....many of you will say SO..I don't care to be your friend anyway...Again we look WEAK when we bow down to another countrys will.

    February 18, 2010 at 7:43 pm |
  84. Michael H. in Albuquerque, NM

    correction: 14th Dalai Lama is meeting with the 44th President...

    February 18, 2010 at 7:44 pm |
  85. Ron in South Carolina

    We are a sovereign nation and can speak to whoever we want to.

    February 18, 2010 at 7:44 pm |
  86. steve- virginia beach

    Depends whether one considers principle or reality. To act per another country's demands is to give up a degree of our soveriegnty. But realistically, China holds so much of our debt that they could crush us financially in short order. And they are the sole source of enough of our military hardware that they could render our military impotent by ceasing export of those parts. And they make enough of our consumable goods that ceasing exports could rock our world. Like it or not, we have willfully given up a large degree of our soveriegnty to China. Otherwise, why did we apologize to them for complaining about them poisoning our children and pets with their toxic toys and pet food?

    February 18, 2010 at 7:45 pm |
  87. Diane G from New York City

    Jack,
    Quite frankly I am not worried about angering China, I am worried about the Tibetans inside Tibet who are living under the brutality of the Chinese Government.
    Tibetans inside Tibet have lost their land, the right to practice their religion, the right to have rule of law, their culture and since 1959 millions have lost their lives.
    Tibetans inside Tibet for 50 years have fought for their freedom, angering China is not on their radar, nor on mine.

    February 18, 2010 at 7:45 pm |
  88. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    It’s just Obama being Obama. He is beginning to buy into the walking on water bit and thinks he can will his way into anything and the rest of the world will follow. Apparently he learned nothing from the Olympics foolishness and the other snubs. Somebody needs to tell him that the Chinese can put the plug on us any time they want.

    February 18, 2010 at 7:45 pm |
  89. Sean from Maine

    Jack, this is all talk and showboating. Our relationship with China is about money and cheap labor. Petty things like human rights don't really play into the equation. Chinese leaders have to talk tough, but they have not forgot that most of the economic progress China has made in the past couple decades is thanks to the U.S. and it's silly obsession with cheap plastic consumer goods. At the end of the day, Obama will meet with the dali lama, China will keep turning out poisonous toothpaste and lead paint covered toys, and we'll keep buying their crap and borrowing money from them. There's just to much money to be made by the Chinese and U.S. corporate interest. Money rules and we all Know it.

    February 18, 2010 at 7:46 pm |
  90. Steve Hiss

    I am not so much about weather or not the President should have met with the dalai Lama, it is that we have to be afraid of China's reaction because they own so much of us that we lost our independence and ability to freely choose to or not to meet.

    February 18, 2010 at 7:47 pm |
  91. Han Shan

    If President Obama continues to compromise long-term principles for short-term gains, he will not only lose leverage with Chinese government on N. Korea, Iran, global warming, and economic issues, but risk losing the moral authority to speak up for human rights and justice anywhere.

    President Obama must lead like a Nobel Peaze Prize Laureate, an honor he shares with the Dalai Lama, and the President must speak out forcefully for American, and indeed, universal, values of human rights, freedom, and justice.

    – Han Shan, New York, NY

    February 18, 2010 at 7:51 pm |
  92. Amy Elizabeth

    Jack- It did not help our relations with China when the President decided not to meet the Dalai Lama last fall as a good will gesture......so why shouldn't he stand up to China's bullying and meet a fellow Nobel Laureate? The US President can meet whomever he wants- this is still America, right?

    We must send China a message that the US is strong and won't concede to their petty attempts to bully our Government.

    Amy
    Elizabeth
    NYC

    February 18, 2010 at 7:52 pm |