Behind closed doors, President Obama met with the Dalai Lama for the fourth time in his 8 years in office.
Although Mr. Obama has long considered the Tibetan religious leader a “good friend,” last Wednesday’s meeting transpired amidst warnings from China that the United States’ continued relationship with the Dalai Lama would “undermine mutual trust and cooperation” between the U.S. and China.
Last month, two Tibetan Buddhist teenagers died of self-immolation just weeks before the 57th anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising.
Dorjee Tsering, a 16-year-old student who was living in India as a refugee from Tibetan China, had been considering how best to protest China’s continued rule of Tibet for some time. Radio Free Asiareported that Tsering had told his parents he wanted to do something to express his support for Tibet’s freedom from Chinese rule.
A new survey by Beijing's Renmin University finds that Islam is the most popular religion among Chinese youth, at roughly 22% of the under-30 population. Conor Gaffey of Newsweek cites Wei Dedong, a professor of Buddhist studies at Renmin University, who claims that the number reflects higher fertility rates among Muslim ethnic minority populations.
The findings come at a time of heightened tensions...
When the Fourteenth Dalai Lama recently told an interviewer that he might choose not to reincarnate, one listener was particularly upset: the Chinese government. The Dalai Lama’s remarks, and Beijing’s insistence that he reincarnate, have set off a firestorm in Tibetan-Chinese relations, with China insisting that the Dalai Lama had no say in the matter.
Tibetan Buddhists believe that the Dalai Lama is the reincarnation of a holy monk who lived in the 14th century. Since China’s invasion of Tibet in 1951, which prompted the current Dalai Lama’s exile, his role has been both religious...