April 25, 2008

China agrees to meet Dalai Lama's envoys

At heart China is a business, and this turmoil was hurting the bottom line:

China appeared to bend to international pressure on Friday as the government announced it would meet with envoys of the Dalai Lama, an unexpected shift that comes as violent Tibetan demonstrations in western China have threatened to cast a pall over the Beijing Olympics in August.

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LazyBuddhist's picture

Even though you're probably quite right that it is nothing but a PR move from the Chinese side, perhaps something good can come of this. Perhaps. However, the DL also has to contend with the Shudenites who are now prepared to do public battle here in the West by showing up at all the DL's speaking engagements and trying to tarnish the sympathetic view most in the West have of him. It's pretty ugly.

Philip Ryan's picture

Yes -- Most likely nothing more than a ploy designed to soothe the international community. The DL's envoys will essentially be prisoners held at some Beijing hotel, duly trotted every few days to be photographed by the Western press. Progress in the talks will be slow but "encouraging" according to Beijing. Then, after the Olympics, the talks will suddenly end -- back to the status quo.

Konchog's picture

My sense from the media is that the Chinese want to give an appearance of "dialogue", while what they really intend to do is lecture and harangue the envoys. Now that they've thoroughly riled up their population into a nationalistic frenzy, no way they're going to lose face by starting to make concessions, especially if they would seem to come about as a result of "foreign pressure". The Tibetans seem to get this and are being quite cagey, as they should be.