by Xinhua writer Chen Shilei
BEIJING, March 14 (Xinhua) -- Friday marks the sixth anniversary of the deadly Lhasa riot masterminded by the Dalai Lama and his secessionist followers.
The more Western countries come to understand the Dalai Lama's real agenda, the more they will see him as a negative political asset.
The prevailing myth in the West about the Dalai Lama as a peace-loving monk and spiritual leader is set to unravel as facts have revealed that he planned the Lhasa riot that killed 18 innocent people.
He and his followers are also behind more than 100 self-immolation attempts of Tibetans in China since then, most of whom died.
Despite the Dalai Lama's preaching of peace, tolerance and benevolence, his main political objective has always been to pursue "Tibet independence," an ulterior agenda that might be presented as something else.
Even with the so-called "middle-way" approach, the Dalai Lama is still what he was a half century ago, a political opportunist who fancied a "Greater Tibet" that had never existed in history.
In the Cold War era, the West might try to use the Dalai Lama as an asset to constrain China. But under the new global landscape, that tactic has become increasingly irrelevant and self-harming.
A disintegrating China, with Tibet independent, would be a disaster for everyone.
The secessionists may not understand that building lasting peace and prosperity of the world requires an indispensable part played by a stable, strong and robust China, but the West surely does.
That's why U.S. President Barack Obama reacted positively to Chinese President Xi Jinping's proposal of constructing the new model of the major-country relationship where the two nations respect and accommodate each other's core interests and major concerns, including the Tibet issue.
That's also why Obama's latest meeting with the Dalai Lama at the White House appeared so ill-conceived.
Wise politicians in the West should not use the Tibet issue to irritate China. Nor should they pursue ties with the Dalai Lama at the expense of their relations with China.
After all, a true religious dignitary won't meddle in politics. But the Dalai Lama has been engaged in a political campaign all along the way.