US Lawmakers Meet With Dalai Lama

US Lawmakers Meet With Dalai Lama
Above: The Dalai Lama in 2019. Image copyright: Pallava Bagla/Contributor/Getty Images News via Getty Images

The Facts

  • A bipartisan US congressional delegation, led by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and including Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Wednesday met with the Dalai Lama at his home in India.

  • The delegation arrived Tuesday in the town of Dharamshala, where the Dalai Lama has lived since fleeing in 1959 after an unsuccessful uprising against the PRC. It visited the offices of the Tibetan government in exile, which is seeking autonomy for Tibet within China.

The Spin

Anti-China narrative

This visit was rightly cheered by Tibetans in exile and should earn praise from all parties who believe in freedom. For too long, Tibetan leaders have been in exile and their way of life has been under threat from Chinese assimilation of the region. It's important for the US, as a defender of human rights, to stand up to China on this matter and at least force the issue to the negotiating table.

Pro-China narrative

It's unthinkable that the US would violate its promise to Beijing by backing the Dalai Lama's separatist notions. In fact, the US should do what it can to denounce what the Dalai Lama stands for. At a time when the US and China were rekindling cordial relations, it's unfortunate that Beijing may have to take measures to counter the US' intrusion into China's dispute with the Tibetans in exile.

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