Hindu Vivek Kendra
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Dalai Lama Lesson

Dalai Lama Lesson

Publication: The Wall Street Journal
Date: October 30, 2009
URL: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703574604574500863498085246.html

India shows the world how to stand firm with China.

As President Obama prepares for his trip to Beijing next month, he'd be wise to cast an eye toward New Delhi, where Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is showing the rest of the world how to deal with Beijing when it gets into a bullying mood.

At issue is the Dalai Lama's proposed trip next month to visit Tibetan Buddhist believers in Arunachal Pradesh, a province governed by India but claimed by China since the 1962 border war. Chinese spokesperson Ma Zhaoxu said last week the trip "further exposed the anti-China and separatist nature of the Dalai clique."

But India stood firm. During a regional summit over the weekend Prime Minister Manmohan Singh says he "explained to Premier Wen [Jiabao] that the Dalai Lama is our honored guest; he is a religious leader." The prime minister went on to imply that the Dalai Lama was free to travel where he pleased, so long as he did not engage in politics.

This contrasts with Mr. Obama's decision not to meet with the Dalai Lama earlier this month. His cave-in broke Presidential precedent and emboldened Beijing to step up anti-Dalai Lama rhetoric, particularly in-guess where-India, which has hosted Tibet's government-in-exile for more than 50 years.

Mr. Singh will face further China tests soon, given the other conflicts with his northern neighbor. China and India still dispute their 2,200-mile long border, and Indian defense officials say that Chinese incursions into Indian territory are on the rise. The two also have disputes over Kashmir and Nepal.

Those irritants are more reason for Mr. Singh to stand firm on the principles for which India stands-the very same principles of democracy and freedom that America holds. Therein lies a lesson for Mr. Obama's China diplomacy as well.

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