News24

Dalai Lama clouds SA trade trip to China

2011-09-26 22:30

Johannesburg - Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe left for China on Monday on a trip that Beijing may use to influence Pretoria to reject a visa application by the Dalai Lama.

South Africa has not made a decision yet to allow a visit by the Tibetan spiritual leader and Nobel Peace Laureate, the international relations department said. The Dalai Lama was invited by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, another Peace Prize recipient, to attend his 80th birthday celebration in early October.

The Dalai Lama, once embraced as a beacon of peace in South Africa when apartheid ended, has become a diplomatic headache for the country as its economic fortunes are increasingly linked to China, which had pushed Pretoria to reject a previous visa application.

The three-day visit by Motlanthe is aimed at bolstering economic ties. He was invited by Vice President Xi Jingping, widely seen as China's future leader.

In mid-July, Xi, in his first major speech on Tibet, vowed to crackdown on separatist forces he said were led by the Dalai Lama, suggesting he will not ease Beijing's hardline stance towards the region and angering many Tibetan self-advocacy groups. .

"It is a concern not to upset the Chinese," said Thomas Wheeler, a diplomacy specialist at the South African Institute of International Affairs.

South Africa rejected the Dalai Lama's last application when Tutu and former presidents Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk invited him to a 2010 peace conference.

"When you are dealing with the reality of politics, there are other considerations than these high principles. That has been a letdown for everybody who expected South Africa to be different," Wheeler said.

South Africa exports about $5.5bn a year in minerals to China and has been increasingly a destination for Chinese foreign direct investment.

China last year invited South Africa to join the Bric grouping, a diplomatic coup for President Jacob Zuma. It was also seen by analysts as a Chinese stamp of approval for the country's role as a stepping stone to the African continent.

China has ruled Tibet with an iron fist since Communist troops marched in, in 1950. It says its rule has brought much needed development to a poor and backward region.

Comments
  • Ano Nymous - 2011-09-26 22:16

    The Dalai Lama has privately expressed serious reservations about the ability of the ANC, with its poor record on human rights and corruption, to effectively represent the poor, hence the antagonism.

      crackerr - 2011-09-26 22:25

      No. It could not have been in private. You were present. Hence that the ANC knows of the reservations. You in fact told them.

      cliffarc - 2011-09-27 00:34

      - Hmm - Motlanthe off to see the Anc's masters and get orders. Look no further than the Anc's bedfellows - Gaddafi, Mugabe, Castro , China and you can tell their true colours. From being previously oppressed they now choose to turn their backs on the presently oppressed and rather side with the dictators, tyrants and communists.

      Chuck U Farlie - 2011-09-27 05:20

      Somehow the ANC thinks the Chinese love Africans when in reality the exact opposit is true. The Chinese just want Africa's resources and dont care rocks about some two bit piss pot horny bles kop from the tip of Africa. And its pretty obvious that the ANC has thrown out all its principles and morals and would rather get into bed with a bunch of war mongering communists than aloow a man of peace into the country!!

      GypseyAnn - 2011-09-27 08:57

      @ Chuck U Farlie - "And its pretty obvious that the ANC has thrown out all its principles and morals and would rather get into bed with a bunch of war mongering communists than allow a man of peace into the country!!" "Principles and morals" - did they have any to begin with? Me doubts that very much!!!

      PDP - 2011-09-27 09:28

      Jip, let's all bow down to our communist masters!

      Mags_24 - 2011-09-27 11:37

      In Jan 2011 the US(40 Billion) signed a trade agreement with China, in June 2011 the UK(60 billion) signed a trade agreement with China. So whats wrong with the ANC doing it? In last year the british signed deals with the Gadaffi to train and supply weapons and tech to his army. This is the way the world works.So if you have a problem with it, too bad because no matter where you go this is how things are done.

      Looking@SA - 2011-09-27 14:19

      @cliffarc; How true how true. Julius speaking about "bloody agents" of the evil west and the imperialist powers. Yet his master China is now telling him to turn his back on the oppressed people of Tibet. 17 years isn't that long I would think that the ANC and the YL would remember the struggle that they had with oppression. Oh yes I forgot they do remember, they are right now fighting for the right to sing struggle songs. Maybe they should forget about singing songs about a struggle that ended and instead befriend those who's struggle continues. And btw since they won't tackle crime that scare the tourist away and the threats of nationalization that scare FDI (foreign direct investment) away, except for china who would never allow someone to nationalize their investment, they (ANC) are forced by their new economic masters to support oppression rather than freedom. 17 short years to go from the symbol of freedom and friend of the oppressed (Ban-ki) said this at the UN to become the friend of oppressor. I wonder what Mr. Mandela thinks of all of this?

      Jo - 2011-09-27 14:27

      @ Mags_24 There is no problem with anyone signing trade agreements with China - the problem is when a "trade partner" starts to impact on your foreign policy, and on who may or may not visit your country. When that happens, the relationship has changed and the "trade partner" can start to impact on internal policy too. Once THAT happens, you are no longer partners, you have been colonised. The Dalai Lama issue is a very important acid test of whether the ANC is still free to make it's own decisions. No-one in the US would stop the Dalai Lama visiting on the basis of a trade agreement.

      Together - 2011-09-27 15:12

      This is how it should be done: "Lusaka - New Zambian President Michael Sata told Beijing on Monday he welcomed Chinese companies investing in Africa's biggest copper producer but only if they obeyed the law, especially by employing more Zambian workers. In his first official appointment since being elected president on Friday , Sata met Chinese ambassador Zhou Yuxiao to dispel fears his sometimes fierce anti-Chinese rhetoric while in opposition would translate into a shift in investment policy. However, he also made clear that Chinese companies that have so far ploughed more than $2bn into developing the mining sector in the southern African country would not be getting preferential treatment. "We welcome your investment but as we welcome your investment, your investment should benefit Zambians and not the Chinese," Sata said. "It is in law that all investors who are coming to Zambia should bring a limited number of expatriates whom they cannot find in Zambia. My party has taken concern at the unlimited number of people your investors are bringing to Zambia." Reuters

      Mags_24 - 2011-09-27 16:23

      @Jo - agreed but right or wrong that is unfortunately how things work for us we dont have as much pull as the US. If the DA were to get into power they would probably do the same, it is how the game is played. you can play the game or you can be left behind.

      Andre Barendse - 2011-09-28 10:57

      The Dalai Lama is still welcome in honest countries.

  • Trevor - 2011-09-26 22:23

    ANC will give in, they to reliant on handouts/payoffs and the Chinese know this just watch and see..

  • Ex-employer - 2011-09-26 22:25

    China rules, ANC's masters control from Beijing.

  • kudu - 2011-09-26 22:33

    South Africa is a sovereign on its own and supposed to make its own decisions in the interest of democracy. Something that our leaders don't have - its balls to stand up to what may be wrong in the Chinese eyes but may be correct to other democratic societies. The Dalai Lama recently visited the US and Pres. Barrack Obama was least worried about the Chinese threats possibly impacting the US economy.

  • slg - 2011-09-27 01:33

    Such a contrast, isn't it: China so vehemently opposed to pacifist Tibetan monks. A stark reflection of China's current lack of human rights sensibility.

  • fuzuma - 2011-09-27 02:59

    The South African English teachers in Jinan have been fired from their jobs because of this spiritual leader being invited to South Africa. They are being forced to return to South Africa because of this crap. You do not make friends with your trading partners enemies. Ask the Americans about the lesson that they learnt when they allowed this spiritual leader to enter their country. Its simple... Don't bite the hand that feeds you.

      PDP - 2011-09-27 09:29

      troll!

      tailormade - 2011-09-27 11:53

      Sorry Fuz, you are the weakest link.

      Jo - 2011-09-27 14:32

      @ fuzuma The most important question to ask, fuzuma - why does China hate one man so much? Really look into it before you trade your own freedom away. And if everyone in the world is happy to support Palestinian freedom, why not support Tibetan freedom? The answer: pure hypocrisy. You are saying: we can get more personal money from Chinese trade than from Tibetans. And once you have conceded that point, you have become the worst kind of capitalist.

  • Nasdaq7 - 2011-09-27 04:10

    Isn't there more important issues to discuss? Like the global economy.

  • Ulrich - 2011-09-27 06:33

    China = "klein Baas" !

  • umlaut - 2011-09-27 07:08

    Kgalema can use this as a means to score a better trade deal with China. The Lama will definitely not get a visa. So the anc and the Chinese human rights abusers will have a nice party in China whilst the poor in SA will continue to be poor and the rich anc elite will get fatter and richer.

  • letsee - 2011-09-27 07:09

    China won't "abandon" South Africa because if a visa to the Dalai Lama is issued. China needs South Africa to "colonize" it to secure its source of minerals and to control the sources of minerals worldwide.

  • AJS - 2011-09-27 07:56

    You see, it's not ok for the imperialists to rape African resources, but for China our government will bend over nice and low. Stop ALL raping of our resources NOW

  • 50something - 2011-09-27 07:57

    China is dictating to SA - can't these idiots see the trap they are walking into? China is the new Russia, they want world economic domination. So much for a good man wanting to visit SA. The SA government is spineless and won't stand up to China on this issue, they will rather give in nad deny a peaceful man access, but they won't blink an eye if Gadaffi or Bob wants to come in. Two faced

  • RainbowZombi - 2011-09-27 08:10

    Puppet Masters, to the puppets; we will stop bank rolling you! They were Cuban puppets and now Chinese puppets. Always remember it is proven with a credible track record all over in Africa they can not do anything good by themselves.

  • hindu_k - 2011-09-27 08:25

    Yep the chinese officially rule South Africa. From designing our rugby national clothing, creating the fifa world cup mascot, Supplying us with condoms which were only rejected because they were too small and Now controlling who is allowed and not allowed to step foot in South Africa. This government has absolutely no balls.

  • jacques - 2011-09-27 08:28

    This is probably the most peacefull person on earth - is it that SA doesn't promote peace that they don't want him to come here?

  • Gibbonater - 2011-09-27 08:53

    The new BAAS has spoken. Yet this pathetic lot say nothing that the Chinese have destroyed jobs in this country with their cheap exports. Run and grovel to your new BAAS,eish.

  • GypseyAnn - 2011-09-27 08:56

    @ Chuck U Farlie - "And its pretty obvious that the ANC has thrown out all its principles and morals and would rather get into bed with a bunch of war mongering communists than allow a man of peace into the country!!" "Principles and morals" - did they have any to begin with? Me doubts that very much!!!

  • Johnny - 2011-09-27 09:07

    the only good thing that comes out of China is fried rice noodles(meefoon), other than that they can go to hell

  • Hugh - 2011-09-27 09:09

    Amazing how on one hand the ANC are against European influences in everything from schools to commerce but balk at what the Chinese think.

      PDP - 2011-09-27 09:44

      True, the Chinese in this country are even classified as previously disadvantaged.

  • Badballie - 2011-09-27 09:52

    The ANC waiting to hear its masters Chinese voice as usual.

  • IQ - 2011-09-27 11:09

    SA government supporting a Palestinian nation, and Tibet????!!

  • tailormade - 2011-09-27 11:48

    According to the ANC, they support any country fighting for sovereignty. Well, they either don't think that Tibet deserves a sovereign status.....and/or they are too s*** scared to do anything that will upset China. Such blatant double standards...

  • Fair Deal - 2011-09-27 11:59

    Tutu may enjoy his 80 th birthday with the Dalai Lama and continue with his life, but we in S A have to deal with the cosequences long into the future.The SA Government has every right to deny the visa. Tutu should have consulted the Government prior to issuing sutch a controversial invitation.

  • AS - 2011-09-27 13:42

    When will the ANC run by China realise that Buddhism is not a religion but a way of life! Cliffarc couldn't agree more! Writing on the wall as to which way we are going......

  • Tolerant - 2011-09-27 14:19

    This was a slap in Mr Mandela's face by the ANC in 2009, no wonder he is staying quiet about the "new improved anc".

  • Together - 2011-09-27 15:16

    This is the way to do it: "Lusaka - New Zambian President Michael Sata told Beijing on Monday he welcomed Chinese companies investing in Africa's biggest copper producer but only if they obeyed the law, especially by employing more Zambian workers. In his first official appointment since being elected president on Friday , Sata met Chinese ambassador Zhou Yuxiao to dispel fears his sometimes fierce anti-Chinese rhetoric while in opposition would translate into a shift in investment policy. However, he also made clear that Chinese companies that have so far ploughed more than $2bn into developing the mining sector in the southern African country would not be getting preferential treatment. "We welcome your investment but as we welcome your investment, your investment should benefit Zambians and not the Chinese," Sata said. "It is in law that all investors who are coming to Zambia should bring a limited number of expatriates whom they cannot find in Zambia. My party has taken concern at the unlimited number of people your investors are bringing to Zambia." Reuter

  • Brainbow - 2011-09-27 15:19

    If you need any answers to your questions I suggest that you further research the meaning of the term peace.

  • anna - 2011-09-27 18:39

    Stop buying chinese products! Start buying made in SA products. This is a small start, but a start indeed!! The very least it will put food in our peoples stomach, and it is all, us people with no voice, can really do to help prevent the taking over of our country (and Africa) by the Chinese! Start today!

  • SinghH - 2011-09-28 09:27

    The new name of our country -> RSA-DC ( Republic of South Africa - District of China)

  • Justice - 2011-09-28 11:48

    Some decisions are made in the interest of the collective against the individuals.However, I choose not to have a position on this as I both love peace and the emancipation of those who in live in poverty. It's the paradox of life!

  • Allieo - 2011-09-28 11:58

    Once the ANC have indebted SA far enough with China, the Chinese will come for their pond of flesh, this is when ANC will start longing for their old "baas"

  • Michael - 2011-09-28 12:54

    Yaaaaaawnnnn. ANC. enough said.

  • Peeved - 2011-09-28 12:54

    Good to know that we are a colony of China, and we thought colonialism was dead.

  • Jaded - 2011-09-29 10:43

    I have spent a fair amount of time in Dharamsala, India, where His Holiness and many Tibetan refugees live. I have heard their 1st-hand experiences (and seen their scars) of horrific torture by the Chinese, of killings, of the fear that has been put into their hearts by the Chinese. The Chinese government consists of terrible, ruthless people, who will do anything, kill anyone, torture anyone, just because they can. And yet countries like us support them in their ruthlessness, by bowing to their naferious demands. All I can say is that we are going to be in serious, serious trouble, if we allow these callous, unfeeling people to continue to have any say in our country! Love, light and peace to the Chinese government. May they see the light...

  • Johnnie - 2011-09-29 17:48

    Why does the Media still worry whether the DaLai Lama will come to South Africa? We all know it will not happen- not while this government is in power. They are just stalling,for time and then the same excuse will be heard. "The application came in too late"

  • Guillermo - 2011-09-30 15:28

    The blacks fought for so many years for their freedom in their own country,to finally surrender it all to the china men...for money. So much for ideals! Welcome to the SARC(South African Republic of China)

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