Tiptoeing

White House Preps for Dalai Lama Visit

The last thing the White House wants is to openly irritate China. So it is treading carefully on matters of protocol this week as it prepares for the Dalai Lama’s visit Thursday morning. President Obama will receive the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan leader-in-exile, not as a head of State, but as an "internationally respected religious leader and spokesman for Tibetan rights." They will meet in the Map Room of the White House (as opposed to the Oval Office) and in a group (as opposed to the one-on-one sessions reserved for heads of State). The White House made sure to also provide advance notice of its plans to the Chinese government, which considers the Dalai Lama a separatist.