Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hit the trifecta...

...and slap a tariff on all Chinese imports.

First Taiwan, now the Lama.

Feb. 11 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama will meet with the Dalai Lama on Feb. 18 in the White House’s Map Room, presidential press secretary Robert Gibbs said.

Obama’s plan to meet with the Tibetan spiritual leader has prompted criticism from Chinese government officials at a time when friction between the U.S. and China has been on the rise.

“The Dalai Lama is an internationally respected religious leader and a spokesman for Tibetan rights,” Gibbs said.

Earlier this month, Zhu Weiqun, a Communist Party official who manages Tibet affairs, told reporters in Beijing that a meeting between the Obama and the Dalai Lama would “seriously undermine the political foundation of Sino-U.S. relations” and “threaten trust and cooperation.”

Tension between the world’s No. 1 and No. 3 economies has risen recently over censorship of Google Inc., climate change and arms sales to Taiwan. Additional strains may hamper global efforts to contain the Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs and make China less willing to cooperate on financial matters, such as mitigating the effects of the global credit crisis.

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