Dalai Lama Says Obama Not Soft On China

November 22nd 2009

New Delhi, India, 22 November 2009 (AP) - The Dalai Lama defended President Barack Obama from criticism that he has been too soft on China, saying Sunday that the U.S. leader just has a different approach to dealing with the Asian giant.

Obama made his first trip to China as president last week and has faced criticism that he didn't do enough to press Beijing on Tibet during his meetings with senior Chinese officials.

"Obama is not soft on China; just has a different style," the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader said in an interview aired on Indian television.

The Dalai Lama did not elaborate on those comments, but he did address criticism that Obama didn't meet him when he visited the United States in October.

"I am not disappointed that Obama has not met me yet," the Dalai Lama told New Delhi Television.

He said he believed Obama would discuss Tibet with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when the two meet Tuesday in Washington.

The Dalai Lama, who fled Tibet in 1959 after a failed uprising against China, leads a self-declared government-in-exile in India. Beijing has accused him of trying to split the country and often lodges protests against his travel abroad and meetings with heads of state.

The Dalai Lama has repeatedly denied the accusations and says he seeks only a high level of autonomy for Tibet within the constitutional framework of the People's Republic of China.


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