20 March 2008

Gordon Brown to meet Dalai Lama, would Helen now?

Good for him, he has told the Chinese PM Wen Jiabao that he will meet the Dalai Lama when he visits London in May. Not only that the Chinese PM has said he would meet the Dalai Lama as long as he renounces violence (which appears to hardly be an issue) and does not call for Tibetan independence (which he has not lately, simply requesting the same autonomy Hong Kong has). The Chinese reaction to the proposed meeting has not been hostile.
The British PM's meeting with be a formal one, not the Helen Clark "happen to be at the airport" meeting at Brisbane airport last year which she anxiously said "wasn't planned" and "because one doesn't know whether people are going to be in the lounge, or what time other passengers are boarded". They happened to be on the same flight from Brisbane to Sydney. Clark, understandably was in business class, the Dalai Lama in economy, but Qantas granted him lounge access at Brisbane which allowed the meeting to occur. Remarkable that Qantas could do what Helen Clark wouldn't - because she undoubtedly could have invited him as a guest (I fully expect she is a Qantas Gold frequent flyer).
This meeting will undoubtedly raise the pressure for the Chinese PM to actually meet the Dalai Lama. Helen Clark on the other hand has no backbone at all on this.

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