President Barack Obama announced Wednesday in Beijing that the United States doesn’t favor Tibetan independence, believing instead that it should remain a part of the Peoples Republic of China.
He made this pronouncement immediately after confirming that the two countries had reached a deal to limit greenhouse gases, according to The Tibet Post International, which reported:
On the subject of human rights, [Chinese President] Xi [Jinping], who spoke through a translator, said China has made progress on human rights but said there was always room for improvement. Obama highlighted America’s strong support for human rights of all people but said the US does not favour Tibetan independence from China.
“We recognize Tibet as part of the People’s Republic of China,” he said, according to The Post. “We are not in favor of independence.”
This isn’t the first time Obama has refused to recognize Tibet as an independent state. Over China’s objections, he met in February with the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual leader, according to Al Jazeera America. During the course of the Dalai Lama’s White House visit, the president offered his strong support for the preservation of Tibet’s rights.
But then a funny thing happened. In an apparent bow to China’s objections to the meeting, and after the Dalai Lama had left, Obama said he couldn’t support independence for Tibet.
Then there was the unceremonious manner of the holy man’s departure. According to the New York Post:
The spiritual leader, who visited Washington this week, had a rather undignified departure from the White House, exiting from a side door — walking past big piles of bagged garbage — on Thursday after he had a sit-down with President Obama.
The Dalai Lama’s march out the Palm Room doors took him alongside heaps of trash whose removal had been delayed by snow.
When Obama’s announcement in Beijing hit the news, folks on Twitter reacted in disbelief. Here are a few examples collected by Twitchy:
— Gopala Tumuluri (@gtumuluri) November 12, 2014
Did Obama trade Tibetian independence for this bs climate deal+
— Greg Pollowitz (@GPollowitz) November 12, 2014
Next will be silence on Taiwan and Hong Kong. Likely a new lack of interest in human rights violation in China as well.
— Amy Otto (@AmyOtto8) November 12, 2014
— turbo chick (@KelleyTori) November 12, 2014
And some couldn’t help comparing the president’s treatment of Tibet with that of a truly imaginary state — Palestine.
@NathanWurtzel Screw the real country! We like made up countries better!
— Bound Together (@itsonlywords) November 12, 2014
But Obama still managed to offend the Chinese. As he arrived at the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Beijing, he was recorded chomping on a wad of gum, according to USA Today.
Watch the video, via CNN.