9 May 2007
BRUSSELS – The Dalai Lama has cancelled his trip to Belgium.
In a statement he says he will not visit the country so as to prevent any problems Belgium might encounter in its dealings with China.
The spiritual leader of Tibet had planned to attend a conference of Tibetan groups on Friday in Belgium. Tibet has been a Chinese province since 1950 and the Dalai Lama leads a government in exile. He has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
China has put pressure on western countries not to receive the Dalai Lama in the past. Apparently the Chinese government made it clear to Belgium that this is not an opportune time for a visit from the spiritual leader.
Belgium would like to improve its economic ties with China and Prince Filip plans to visit China next week.
[Copyright Expatica News 2007]
Subject: Belgian news