Meeting with the Dalai Lama is a poor economic move, according to a new study by the University of Gottingen.
Turns out that when top political leaders meet with the exiled spiritual leader, their country tends to lose about 8.1 percent of their exports to China, who isn’t the Dalai Lama’s biggest fan.
“We wanted to find out the impact of the rising role of China in the world … to find out what we should expect of China’s role in the world in the coming years. It is clear that politics has played a huge role in China’s commercial relationships,” said Andrea Fuchs, one of the study’s coauthors.
No kidding. The research indicates that ever since President of China Hu Jintao rose to power in 2002, bad economic karma has tailed the Dalai Lama everywhere he’s gone. Recently, his meetings with Barack Obama, Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Nicolas Sarkozy have all been met with tension from China.
As a result, the Dalai Lama is considering an early retirement.
“It is unfortunate that the Chinese government views everything His Holiness does through a political angle,” said Tenzin Taklha, one of the Dalai Lama’s representatives. “His Holiness has no intention of causing any inconvenience to the host country he visits.”
Doesn’t that statement alone pretty much prove his point? The Dalai Lama makes my personal list of the top 10 good men in existence today. He’s an international icon of peace, and the most contentious idea he’s had (that we know of ) is that Tibet be allowed the freedom to maintain its culture, language, and religion under China’s rule. And that’s what China’s flexing its economic muscle to punish?