Dalai Lama no foe of Beijing

THE Dalai Lama has a dilemma. The spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism believes he is an honest friend of China and describes himself as pro-Chinese.

He does not seek independence from China for Tibet and the six million Tibetans who live there and in surrounding Chinese provinces. Nor does he support violence of any kind, not that directed at the Chinese state or conducted by anyone else.

He proposes a middle way, in which China would grant Tibet a degree of internal autonomy under a one-country, two-systems style of arrangements somewhat similar to those pertaining in Hong Kong.

But the Chinese Government relentlessly portrays him as an enemy of the Chinese people, so that now he frequently faces demonstrations and hostility from Chinese, burning under the hot fires of nationalism that the Chinese Government is constantly stoking.

The Australian Greg Sheridan, Foreign editor | Link