From The Financial Times:
The Pentagon assumes the Chinese were angered by US sales of anti-missile systems to Taiwan (hardly shocking given the Chinese missiles targeting Taipei) or by President George W. Bush’s meeting with the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader who has campaigned peacefully for Tibetan autonomy.
So enraged are Chinese leaders by the smiling Dalai Lama – Tibet gives the lie to the assertion that China has never been an expansionist power – that their mask of affability sometimes slips to reveal the true face of intransigent Chinese nationalism. China denounced the US welcome for the Dalai Lama as “extremely wrong”. Wen Jiabao, the Chinese premier, peremptorily demanded that Berlin “correct” its mistakes after Angela Merkel of Germany also met the Dalai Lama and robustly defended her vision of human rights.
It was unfortunate that Gordon Brown of the UK and Nicolas Sarkozy of France scarcely mentioned human rights on their recent visits to China. Western timidity shows how successfully Chinese leaders have used their country’s financial clout to stifle international criticism. [Full Text]