President Bush will meet with the Dalai Lama next week before the monk is awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Not so delighted with the Washington love fest are Chinese government officials, and the meeting is bound to infuriate them further. Beijing has already blasted the US for “using the Dalai Lama to interfere in China's internal affairs."
The Chinese government has long rebuffed efforts for Tibetan autonomy, and the Dalai Lama fled in 1959 after an uprising to establish a government in exile in Dharamsala. The White House is trying to downplay Bush’s reception in an attempt at diplomatic damage control, but it remains a remarkable event: it's the first public appearance of a US president with his holiness.