A China daily calls it ‘another world-class show of playing dumb’. Meanwhile, Obama and the visiting Tibetan spiritual leader agree on the importance of a positive US-China relationship
Washington: As President Barack Obama met the Dalai Lama ignoring usual Chinese objections, White House portrayed it as in keeping with past practice and in no way detracting from Washington’s ties with Beijing.
Barack Obama’s meeting with the Dalai Lama was held in the Map Room of the White House rather than Obama's Oval office, where he usually receives visiting leaders. Pic/AFP
In fact, Obama and the visiting Tibetan spiritual leader “agreed on the importance of a positive and constructive US -China relationship,” said press secretary Jay Carney.
Obama had earlier met the Dalai Lama in February 2010 and July 2011 and presidents of both Democratic and Republican parties have done so since 1991, he said. Each time China has responded to those meetings with angry comments about how they would “inflict grave damages” on the relationship between Washington and Beijing.
“Of course, we are committed to a constructive relationship with China in which we work together to solve regional and global problems,” Carney said. In an apparent small concession to China, Obama's meeting with the Dalai Lama was held in the Map Room of the White House rather than Obama’s Oval office, where he usually receives visiting leaders.
Obama’s meeting with the Tibetan spiritual leader and fellow Nobel laureate, who is in the US on a speaking tour, was closed to photographers, and, unlike during some previous visits, the Dalai Lama departed the White House without speaking to reporters.
The official said: “The United States supports the Dalai Lama’s ‘middle way’ approach of neither assimilation, nor independence for Tibetans in China.” The US, he said “recognizes Tibet to be a part of the People’s Republic of China and we do not support Tibetan independence.”
“In contrast to previous meetings, the White House seemed unruffled by the diplomatic repercussions of the visit by the Tibetan spiritual leader, which comes as the United States is taking a firmer line with China on a range of territorial disputes with its neighbours,” he said.
Malia Obama to learn driving in 2015
Michelle Obama revealed on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon that her eldest daughter Malia will be learning to drive next year.
The US First Lady said that in an effort to keep her children’s life as normal as possible, she wants to make sure Malia learns how to drive when she turns 16 this summer. Obama also said that her kids try to avoid their parents and the White House life that comes with them.
Spotted: Virat Kohli, Anushka Sharma and other celebs at Mumbai airport
Photos: Salman Khan's 'special friend' Iulia Vantur at a song launch
Photos: Hrithik Roshan, Anushka Sharma, other celebs dazzle at event
In Pictures: Sex scandals involving Indian politicians
Photos: Abhishek Bachchan and Farah Khan at Boman Irani's birthday bash