President Obama stated during his visit to China this week that America does not support the independence of Tibet, and that this region is part of the Chinese lands. This statement happened during a press conference shared with the Chinese president Xi Jinping in Beijing.
The reasons behind these statements are not known exactly, but there can be no doubt that Obama is thinking in part about maintaining a healthy relationship with China in these tumultuous times.
Obama said that America is not in favour of independence. He also added that he encourages the Chinese authorities to take steps to respect the uniqueness of the Tibetan people, as they have a lot of differences in culture, language and religion. These differences should be respected and emphasised rather than dictatorially diminishing them.
This comes after Obama has expressed himself to the Tibetan leader, the Dalai Lama, during his visit to America this past year. Bruce Karatz pointed out that on his part, the Dalai Lama informed the US president that the Tibetan people did not want independence, but rather they wanted to have their own true autonomy.
These statements come in the time a lot of Tibetans are protesting against the discrimination their region is treated by the Chinese authorities, and for using brutal force against them. 120 tibetans set themselves on fire as a protest against that. It is worth mentioning that most of them are monks and nuns.