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U.S. and China: Focus on Iraq, Quiet on Tibet

November 02, 2002

Re "Tibet Issue Is Ripe for Solving," Opinion, Oct. 27: I agree with Orville Schell that President Bush missed a rare opportunity of being a mediator in seeking a peaceful solution to the Tibet issue when he entertained the Chinese leader at his Texas ranch.

However, I cannot see how he could have and why he would have done so. Not only would Bush's obsession with Saddam Hussein be a factor, but he needs China's support more than China needs his -- on Iraq issues, Korea issues and, of course, Taiwan.

What really would be the quid pro quo? Would China agree to grant even limited autonomy to Tibet on the Dalai Lama's terms, which is unacceptable to many Tibetans, without demanding American acquiescence in the takeover of Taiwan? Chinese leaders are not known for their magnanimity.

Pratapaditya Pal

Los Angeles

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