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November 25th, 2008
03:49 PM ET

Did Britain just sell Tibet?

Tibetan monks in exile read prayers during a protest in New Delhi, India.

Tibetan monks in exile read prayers during a protest in New Delhi, India.

Robert Barnett
The New York Times

The financial crisis is going to do more than increase unemployment, bankruptcy and homelessness. It is also likely to reshape international alignments, sometimes in ways that we would not expect.

As Western powers struggle with the huge scale of the measures needed to revive their economies, they have turned increasingly to China. Last month, for example, Gordon Brown, the British prime minister, asked China to give money to the International Monetary Fund, in return for which Beijing would expect an increase in its voting share.

Now there is speculation that a trade-off for this arrangement involved a major shift in the British position on Tibet, whose leading representatives in exile this weekend called on their leader, the Dalai Lama, to stop sending envoys to Beijing — bringing the faltering talks between China and the exiles to a standstill.

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Filed under: Raw Politics • Robert Barnett
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. earle,florida

    Dear Mr. Barnett, What England does is there business! Our meddling doesn't make the situation any better. The Dalai Lama seems very outspoken at times,and a bit provocative for a," religious (passionate) person". China has a hands-off tolerance policy for the Tibetian's so what gives,stop crying ,"WOLF",unless you are a member of their sect! Yours truly

    November 27, 2008 at 12:00 pm |
  2. Sergei Daghlovsky

    IF this is true, it is utterly disgraceful, shameful, and disappointing that we once again sacrifice our treasured values on the altar of political expediency. The precedent set here could have dangerous ramifications in the future.

    November 26, 2008 at 9:07 am |

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