In my affectionately titled entry “In Your Ass, China”, I wrote about Prime Minister Paul Martin meeting with the Dalai Lama in 2004. China was not pleased this meeting occurred. Now, three years later, the Dalai Lama is back and will, for the first time, officially meet with Canada’s Prime Minister. Fantastic. Again China is not pleased. According to CTV News,
As expected, the Chinese embassy in Ottawa issued a statement critical of Harper’s public meeting with the Dalai Lama referring to him as a political figure engaged in “secessionist” activities.
If the Chinese government is trying to convince Canada that the Prime Minister shouldn’t meet with the Dalai Lama because he wants Tibetan freedom, they’re using as poor a strategy as one can imagine. For goodness sakes, we’ve got a Federal political party whose primary goal is to remove an entire province from Canada. Of course the circumstances of Tibet and Québec couldn’t be more different.
Interestingly, the subject of Tibet came up in conversation at work a few months ago. In the West, it’s pretty clear that China’s sending its military into Tibet in 1950 was nothing less than a hostile invasion. One of the participants in the conversation is not only Chinese, but he’s a recent arrival to Canada from China. He disagreed that China invaded, and restricts the personal freedoms of the Tibetan people. To say I was surprised is an understatement. Given that we were in the office, none of us pursued the topic, but I would love to hear his thoughts on the matter. I’m curious if he’s learned any more about the situation since leaving China.
I do not claim any sort of expertise about Tibet, but I don’t agree with what China did in 1950, nor do I agree when what they continue to do to Tibet today. I support the Dalai Lama’s visit and I hope he enjoys his stay in Canada. I also support the Chinese government voicing their opinion about the meeting. It’s a shame they don’t allow their own citizens, and the Tibetans, a similar freedom.