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mr-absentia

‘West must unite against China’s bullying’

Calling China’s bullying [against those who meet Tibet’s exiled leaders] “a test” of European and transatlantic political will, he [Edward Lucas, International Editor of The Economist] calls for Europe and the US to adopt a common position, something on the lines of “we will meet with anyone we choose to, regardless of diplomatic bluster.”

“China can afford to pick off individual countries, punishing them with a ban on high-level meetings and visits, or even trade and investment sanctions. But it cannot do that to the entire West,” Lucas argues.

The author, who has covered Central and Eastern Europe for more than 20 years, witnessing the final years of the last Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet empire, notes that the “burden of responsibility and solidarity lies particularly heavily on the countries that have living memories of communist rule and foreign occupation.”

He writes that former captive nations such as the Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Hungarians and others who cared about freedom in Europe during the Cold War “should care about Tibet now, for the same reasons.”

Lucas calls upon European leaders to arrange meetings with Tibetan representatives “publicly and proudly” and publish photos of the meetings.

“Once everyone is doing so, the ability of the Chinese embassies to feign outrage, and to impose punishments, is greatly limited. Instead of letting timidity ratchet down towards defeat, collective action ratchets resistance upwards towards victory,” Lucas writes.

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