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Dalai Lama in White House
- Subject: Dalai Lama in White House
- From: cd@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Tue, 08 Apr 1997 03:33:00
#2 Dalai Lama visit puts Clinton on the spot
By Jim Wolf
WASHINGTON, April 4 (Reuter) - The Dalai Lama, the exiled leader of
Tibet, will visit Washington this month in search of support for
talks with China, posing a diplomatic challenge for President Bill
Sponsors of the visit said the Tibetan political and spiritual
who has led a government-in-exile in India since a failed anti-Chinese
uprising in Tibet in 1959, would be in Washington from April 21 to 24.
The White House welcomed the visit and said administration
would meet the Dalai Lama. But it said no decision had been made on a
request for a meeting with Clinton.
"The administration welcomes the Dalai Lama's visit and looks
to discussions with him," Eric Rubin, a White House spokesman, said. "He
will definitely be meeting members of the administration, but at what
and with whom has not been decided."
The visit poses political and diplomatic challenges for Clinton,
is juggling U.S. economic interests in China with concern over its human
rights record, its alleged violation of arms control agreements and its
aggressive stance on Taiwan.
Vice President Al Gore became the most senior U.S. official to
Beijing since the crackdown on the democracy movement in Tiananmen
in 1989, and Clinton and Chinese President Jiang Zemin are planning to
Beijing has accused the Buddhist leader, who made his first visit
Taiwan last month, of joining with Taipei in an effort to "split" China.
Beijing has threatened to retaliate against countries whose leaders meet
the Dalai Lama.
Organisers of the U.S. visit said the monk, the 1989 Nobel Peace
laureate, would ask Clinton to nudge China toward the negotiating table
discuss self-rule, not independence, for Tibet.
"The Dalai Lama is seeking some genuine support for a negotiated
settlement," said John Ackerly, director of the International Campaign
Tibet, the human-rights group that is sponsoring the visit.
Clinton has relegated his previous three meetings with the Dalai
to low-profile, off-camera "drop by" sessions in a deliberate effort to
minimise the affront to China.
At the last such meeting, on September 13, 1995, Clinton merely
dropped in on a session with Gore, who met the monk in his capacity as a
"As he has done the past two years, President Clinton briefly
the meeting to pay his respects to the Dalai Lama and to express his
concern for the preservation of Tibetan religion and culture," the White
House said then.
Some analysts predicted Clinton would hold a higher-profile meeting
this time, despite the risk of angering China, to burnish his
"We feel it's inconceivable that the president would not have a
one-on-one meeting under the present circumstances," said Ackerly.
Washington has long urged China to talk with the Dalai Lama or his
representatives to resolve their differences. Tibetans want Clinton to
the issue during President Zemin's planned first state visit to
Winston Lord, a former U.S. envoy to Beijing and the State
Department's top policymaker on China until his retirement in January,
China was missing an opportunity by not dealing with the Dalai Lama
"The Dalai Lama is a moderate figure," Lord said in an interview.
cited the monk's embrace of the "one country, two systems" formula for
autonomy under Chinese sovereignty, which Beijing plans for Hong Kong
it resumes control of the British colony in July and would like to
In Washington, The Dalai Lama will be the keynote speaker at a
convention on Tibet that will bring together members of parliament from
more than 50 countries in a House of Representatives' office building.
Dalai Lama to open meet in United States, visit France, Spain
NEW DELHI, April 5 (AFP) - The Dalai Lama will this month visit
Spain and the United States, where he will open a parliamentarians'
Tibet, a spokesman for the the Tibetan spiritual leader said Saturday.
The Dalai Lama, who in March paid a landmark six-day trip to Taiwan
angered China, is to leave India April 11 and spend around eight days in
and France, the spokesman told AFP.
He will then travel to the United States for about four days, where
inaugurate the Third World Parliamentarians Conference on Tibet in
The first meet was held in New Delhi in 1994.
The conference has been organised jointly by the Tibetan
parliament-in-exile, located in the Indian hill town of Dharamsala, and
Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet.
Other details of the Dalai Lama's engagements in the United States
immediately available. The spokesman said it was not known if the Dalai
a frequent visitor to the United States, would call on President Bill
whom he has met twice previously.
The Dalai Lama will return to France and spend some more time there
flying back to New Delhi in early May. In France, he is scheduled to
"There is nothing specific about his European visit," the spokesman
"His main purpose of going to the United States is to inaugurate the
The conference was to be held in Washington late last year, but was
because of US presidential elections.
The spokesman did not say if the Dalai Lama would meet French and
The Dalai Lama, who won the Nobel peace prize in 1989, is scheduled
visit the largely autonomous Basque region of northern Spain, other
The Tibetan leader could meet the head of the Basque regional
Jose Antonio Ardanza. The Dalai Lama has shown interest in the Basque
process and its regional institutions.
The Dalai Lama met Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui during his last
visit to the island. Beijing denounced the trip as a plot by "separatist
forces" seeking to split China.
On April 1, the London-based Tibet Information Network (TIN) said the
Lama was planning a visit to China.
The Dalai Lama has been living in exile in India since fleeing his
in 1959. India is home to an stimated 100,000 Tibetan exiles, most of
escaped Tibet with him after an abortive anti-China uprising.
The Tibetan leader heads a government-in-exile in Dharamsala. It is
recognised by any country.