Cablegate: Media Reaction: Meeting the Dalai Lama, Arms Sales To
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SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: MEETING THE DALAI LAMA, ARMS SALES TO
1. MEETING THE DALAI LAMA
a. "Obama insists on meeting the Dalai Lama; Sino-U.S. relations are
drastically cooling down"
The Shanghai-based Shanghai Media Group (SMG) publication, China
Business News (Diyi Caijing)(02/03)(pg A5): "Zhang Zhi-rong,
professor of Tibetan Studies at Beijing University, said that the
central government has been in contact and talked with the private
representative of the Dalai Lama for several years. It shows that
the door to negotiation has been widely open to him. The Dalai's
separatist attempt will not succeed. All his overseas activities
will only raise his own worth and will benefit him. One of the
reasons that Obama insists on meeting with the Dalai is domestic
political pressure. In the opinion of U.S. conservatives and some
industrial unions, for the past year, Obama has been overly
pro-China. For the sake of the mid-term elections, his meeting with
the Dalai could help Obama build an image where his is 'not giving
in to China.' The U.S. may issue or not issue a formal invitation
to the Dalai Lama for a visit to the United States. This may be used
as a bargaining chip for other trade-offs, such as the arms sales to
Taiwan and trade issues. In a sense, this potential invitation [to
the Dalai Lama] is 'diplomatic blackmail.' Once this 'blackmail'
fails, the U.S. will turn to a tougher stance on these issues.
'Using Tibet to contain China' has always been a tactic of the
United States when it is imposing its 'soft containment' of China.
These recent events suggest that the Sino-U.S. relationship has now
entered a dangerous 'Ice Age.'"
b. "China opposes Obama-Dalai meeting"
The official English-language newspaper China Daily (02/04) (Front
Page): "Simmering tensions between China and the United States since
the beginning of the year ratcheted up another notch yesterday, with
Beijing warning Washington that a meeting between U.S. President
Barack Obama and the Dalai Lama would further sour ties between the
two global powers. Analysts said it remains to be seen how far each
country would go down that road, and when it is time to put on the
brakes as the two are in dire need of each other. 'Beijing is sure
to take some concrete measures to fight back, which are not clear so
far. But the two sides must have weighed the consequences prior to
announcing any measure,' Niu Xinchun, an expert on U.S. studies at
the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, told
China Daily. Yuan Peng, head of U.S. studies at the China
Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, was quoted by
Reuters as saying the response from Beijing would be tougher than
Washington anticipates. 'China wants to change the rules of the
game,' Yuan said. 'Though the U.S. has previously sold weapons to
Taiwan and (previous U.S. presidents have) met the Dalai Lama, this
time there'll be true cursing and retaliation.' But unlike Sarkozy,
Obama is set to meet the Dalai Lama discreetly, Niu said. Gong Li,
director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies at the
Central Party School, said China is not seeking a complete halt in
bilateral relations, showing constraint in its retaliatory measures
instead of reacting hysterically such as selling the U.S. bonds.
Gong also said that the U.S may also be testing how far it could
push China. 'If China doesn't react strongly, F16s might be next on
the arms sale list to Taiwan.'"
2. ARMS SALES TO Taiwan
"Obama rejects China's warning"
The People's Daily-sponsored and internationally-focused commercial
news publication Global Times (Huanqiu Shibao)(02/04)(pg 1): "On
February 2 and 3, both Washington and Beijing retaliated, putting
each other in tough positions [on Taiwan arms sale]. Experts said
not to expect either country to step away from its stance. Jin
Canrong from the People's University of China said that China's
resolute stance is to make the United States clear concerning
China's bottom line. On many occasions, the strengths of China and
the United States are balanced. However, it is impossible for the
United States to continue using its old ways to deal with China.
The effects of the Dalai issue will mix with the influence of the
Google incident and arms sales to Taiwan to impact Sino-U.S.
relations. The pressures from within China, among netizens, are
growing concerning these issues. If Chinese netizens are incensed,
the result will be serious. Although the United States is happy to
see the growing numbers of Chinese netizens and the broadening
degree of the Chinese society's freedom; it seems like the U.S.
can't handle the effect of these changes in China. China will not
compromise on issues concerning its core interests. Its reaction to
the arms deal is reasonable. It is predicted that, this year,
Sino-U.S. relations will encounter continuous ups and downs."
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