China fretted earlier this morning over the likelihood of United States(US) President Barack Obama meeting with the Dalai Lama. President Obama is set to speak at a prayer breakfast that underscores the importance of religious freedom to be held here in Washington, DC, later this week which the Dalai Lama will attend.
As Reuters reported, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei, speaking at a Press briefing in Beijing today said: "China is opposed to any nation or government using the Tibet issue to interfere in China's domestic affairs, and opposed to any country's leader meeting with the Dalai Lama in any manner."
And in essence, the thin-skinned Chinese government,which frets and complains over any and all anti-communist actions by anybody, has sought to dictate the domestic and international affairs of the greatest democracy on the planet.
Thus, China has entered American affairs as it often complains and accuses others of meddling when serious human rights issues are pertinent and as thousands of Hong Kong's youth beg for simple universal suffrage, as the Uyghurs scramble for basic rights in Xinjiang province, and as from Hebei to Fuzhou to Beijing and about China, a Nobel Laureate, attorneys, artists, activists and scholars, rot in Chinese jails because they dared to speak freely.
But China's recent fret over a possible meeting between President Obama and the Dalai Lama provides a ripe and fitting opportunity for President Obama to reaffirm the principles of freedom - religious, political and social. And a meeting with the Dalai Lama could go a long way to reclaim the principles of liberty, equality and democracy that many youth lured to violent extremism have complained of being lacking from the stalwarts of freedom. Many youth have raised far too many complaints about what they perceived as western hypocrisy of the values of equality and of tolerance.
President Obama's available overture will be a strong affirmation to marginalized and other youth that the US stands and respects tolerances of religious differences. And although China might have been able to sway South Africa and the Vatican to reject the importance of a particular religious leader, Washington has the unique opportunity this week to send an explicit message that tolerance and freedom remain alive and well as major tenets of democracy, of stability and of the free American way of life.