DHARAMSHALA: President Barack Obama raised the Tibet issue during a joint press conference in Beijing on Wednesday with Chinese president Xi Jinping, the Daily Mail reported.
‘We are not in favor of independence,’ President Obama said at the press conference.
‘But we did encourage Chinese authorities to take steps to preserve the unique cultural, religious and linguistic identity of the Tibetan people,’ he said.
President Obama said he and President Xi ‘had a very healthy exchange around these issues,’ and he told the Chinese head that ‘it is so important for us to speak out for the freedoms that we believe are universal, rights that we believe are the birthright of all men and women, wherever they live, whether it is in New York or Paris or Hong Kong.’
‘We think history shows that nations that uphold these rights – including for ethnic and religious minorities – are ultimately more prosperous, more successful, and more able to achieve the dreams of their people,’ he added.
In February this year, President Obama met with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and reiterated his support for the preservation of the unique religious, cultural, and linguistic traditions of Tibet.
The President extended support for His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Middle Way Approach policy and reiterated that Chinese government should have constructive dialogue with His Holiness’ representatives without any precondition. President Obama asked His Holiness the Dalai Lama about Tibet and His Holiness explained the current situation. President Obama expressed his deep concern about the worsening human rights situation in Tibet and Tibetan areas in China.