McCain Meets the Dalai Lama
The Republican presidential contender sat down with the exiled Tibetan spiritual and political leader in Aspen, Colo., to discuss “issues of mutual concern,” a McCain aide said, including talks between the Dalai Lama and China, as well as show “the international community can best support the Dalai Lama in his efforts.”
After the meeting with the Dalai Lama, Sen. McCain offered tough criticisms of China and urged its leaders to show more progress in addressing political grievances. “The U.S. welcomes good relations with China, but it does no service to the Chinese government and certainly no service to the people of China for the U.S. and other democracies to pretend that the suppression of rights in China doesn’t concern us,” Sen. McCain said.
Over the years, activists have turned the Dalai Lama into a symbol not just of the struggle for Tibetan autonomy but, more broadly, of political and human rights in China. Especially given the timing, Sen. McCain’s meeting is a strong show of sympathy for critics of the Chinese regime at a time when the world’s attention is focused on the country.