The hypocritical Mr Rudd as well as Mr Howard should both meet with the Dalai Lama. The DL is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people regardless of what the Chinese invaders of Tibet say. The DL is also a decent person who receives and deserves respect.
Howard has met the DL but Rudd has not despite criticising Alexander Downer in the past for not doing so. Rudd is fearful of cantankerous, Chinese paranoia in relation to the DL. They fear the respect the people of Tibet – and people around the world – feel for this remarkable man. Rudd is a cowardly hypocrite who only changed his views once Howard declared he would try to meet the DL.
I agree that in international affairs cost-benefit analysis should be applied. But the costs of meeting the DL do not only include the costs of offending China. They also include the cost of accepting the implications of the Chinese invasion of Tibet and, as an occupying force, of subsequent Chinese attempts to repopulate Tibet with Chinese and to destroy Tibetan culture.
The latter is also very costly in terms of establishing precedents. Moreover, the benefits from cordially greeting this leader include the respect that most Australians feel for the DL. For once I agree with Bob Brown – Rudd is out of touch with the views of most Australians.
Questions also need to be raised about Rudd's foreign policy reliability.