President Bush ignored China’s pleas and honored one of the world’s most spiritual men yesterday.
“Americans cannot look to the plight of the religiously oppressed and close our eyes or turn away,” Bush said at the U.S. Capitol building, where he personally handed the Dalai Lama the prestigious Congressional Gold Medal.
“I support religious freedom; he supports religious freedom. … I want to honor this man,” Bush told reporters at the White House. “I have consistently told the Chinese that religious freedom is in their nation’s interest.”
China reviles the 72-year-old monk as a Tibetan separatist and vehemently protested the elaborate public ceremony. Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi in Beijing said the events “seriously wounded the feelings of the Chinese people and interfered with China’s internal affairs.”
Maybe Chinese officials could consider the internal affairs of Tibet, before spouting off in such fashion.
[via The New York Times]