French President won’t meet the Dalai Lama fearing ‘crisis’ with China

Emmanuel Macron meeting the Dalai Lama in Paris on September 12, 2016, while running for President. 
Image: Olivier Adam

DHARAMSALA, April 26: French President Emmanuel Macron has said he won’t meet with His Holiness the Dalai Lama fearing it would lead to a ‘crisis’ with Beijing.

Emmanuel Macron, the youngest French President ever has rejected the prospect of meeting the Dalai Lama and said that doing so without consulting Beijing first would trigger a ‘crisis’ with the Chinese government, according to a report on Mail Online.

The French President, who is on a three-day state visit to the United States, made the remarks while speaking at a town hall with George Washington University students in the US capital on Wednesday.

Macron has met with the Tibetan spiritual leader in Paris when he ran for the French President and described the Tibetan Nobel laureate ‘very inspiring’.

“Now I’m president of the French Republic. If I meet him it will create indeed a crisis with China,” Macron was quoted as saying in the report.

The young French President has further stated that meeting with the Dalai Lama ‘without any precondition’, just to send a signal to China, would be useless and counterproductive.

The 40-year-old French President doesn’t want to annoy Beijing and risk countermeasures either.

“Is it good for my people if I have a sort of countermeasures coming from China as a result of the meeting? For sure no,” Macron has said.

But Macron has said he is all in for a deeper engagement on the Tibetan issue and Xi Jinping may be open to addressing the issue.

“If France could be useful in order to fix the situation between the Dalai Lama and his people and China, I will do my best,” the French President said and added that he perceives ‘some early signals’ that Chinese President Xi Jinping may be open to addressing the issue.

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