by Zhou Yan
BEIJING, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- The planned meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and the 14th Dalai Lama Friday is doomed to be a lose-lose deal.
While it is doomed to fail in its attempt to press for "Tibet independence," or the "middle way" approach that the high monk preaches, the third Obama-Dalai Lama in five years, planned at the White House Friday, is certain to harm China-U.S. relations.
The White House says Obama is hosting the Dalai Lama in his capacity as a "respected religious and cultural leader," but the meeting is apparently not one about religion or culture.
While announcing the meeting plan Thursday, White House National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said the United States recognizes Tibet as part of China and does not support Tibetan independence.
She added, however, that the United States supports the Dalai Lama's "middle way" approach, his comparatively new policy on autonomy for Tibetan areas.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying on Friday voiced China's firm opposition against the meeting, saying it is an "rampant interference in China's internal affairs" that violates the norms of international relations and will seriously harm China-U.S. relations.
Hua has urged the U.S. side to call off the meeting and refrain from facilitating the Dalai Lama's anti-China, secessionist activities in the United States.
The meeting, if not called off at the last minute, is certain to impair ties between China and the United States, a relationship that both sides have tried so hard to improve for their mutual best benefits for many years.
Either the White House is blindfolded by the Dalai Lama's word game, or politicians are seeking once again to manipulate China with an unscrupulous old trick.
For nearly two decades, "the middle way" rhetoric has been the Dalai Lama's trump card in his game to rally international sympathy and support.
He and his representatives have tried to convince the Chinese government of the same approach in several rounds of talks, but to no avail.
The seemingly reasonable and mild "middle way approach" is just a camouflaged attempt at Tibetan independence.
The 14th Dalai Lama, frustrated by China's growth and the infighting among exiled pro-Tibet independence groups, has toned down his independence claims since 1994.
Instead, he has taken a softly-softly approach, insisting he does not seek independence but demanding a high degree of autonomy for Tibet within the framework of the Chinese Constitution.
His call for "true autonomy" is tantamount to an eradication of Chinese sovereignty over Tibet.
The Dalai Lama requests "true autonomy" over the proposed "Greater Tibet," a region extending to Tibetan-inhabited areas in the provinces of Qinghai, Gansu, Sichuan and Yunnan. This is an obvious attempt to overthrow the system governing China's ethnic minority regions.
With such a secessionist attempt in mind, he has never renounced the "Tibetan Exile Constitution," an outlawed document similar to the "Future Tibet Constitution" drafted in 1963, which proclaimed the establishment of an "ethnically unified state led by the Dalai Lama."
The 14th Dalai Lama, who allegedly retired from his political roles three years ago, has never stopped trying to sell his independence message to overseas Tibetans and innocent people in the West.
From time to time, he has done away with his facade of "non-violence" and tacitly approved of self-immolations in China's Tibetan areas.
The Dalai Lama has allegedly been fighting for the rights and interests of Tibetans since he fled China in 1959. Such claims, however, are merely meant to appease devout Tibetan Buddhists who still have faith in him and to persuade his Western patrons to continue to support his "Tibet independence" movement, which aims to eventually separate Tibet from China.
No matter what Obama is to discuss with the Dalai Lama Friday, their meeting will be sheer politics, but of no avail in manipulating China over the Tibet issue.
It is high time for the United States to wake up to Dalai Lama's hypocrisy and abandon the lose-lose deal.