President Obama Meets With Dalai Lama

Despite China's objections the Dalai Lama meets with President Obama.
3:00 | 02/21/14

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Transcript for President Obama Meets With Dalai Lama
This is a special group. -- -- -- -- New York where this ABC news digital special report ignoring warnings from China President Obama welcomes Tibet's exiled spiritual leader the Dali Lama to the White House. The meeting happened today not in the oval office for the president normally greet heads of state but in the White House map room at concession perhaps. To China's objections. During and after the White House north line Jonathan Karl ABC's news chief White House correspondent Jonathan attacked with UK and the history -- between China and the Dali Lama. -- Dolly Lama is the great spiritual leader of some seven million Tibetans. To -- as a region that very much considers itself independent and is. Considered by China to be integral part of China. Other Dolly Lama has banned the ex filed -- since 1959. He was driven out of Tibet. Has not been able to step step foot back in his homeland. -- and the Chinese see him as a threat because they see him as somebody that stands for the independence. Of a region that they seasonable that a country so. China for years. Has tried to pressure US leaders not to meet with the Dali Lama. But he has managed to meet with every president since George Herbert Walker Bush. And every time it happens the Chinese get upset about it and say that this is something it's gonna hurt US Chinese relations. It is certainly complicated relationships over the years as you point out there white house Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked today about that diplomatic dance. Between US and Chinese relations and meeting with the Dalai Lama let's listen. When it comes the relationship the United States has with. China the president and the Dali Lama agreed on the importance of a positive and constructive. US China relationship and of course we are committed to a constructive relationship with China in which we work together to solve regional and global problems. So again this is in keeping with past practice. The meeting the president had today with his holiness it is capacity as a respected religious cultural leader. So if you pay close attention to that -- I know you have a several times -- was careful. To refer to the Dalai Lama not a political reader leader rather but as a religious and cultural leader and and you spoke with the Dalai Lama yesterday I -- -- play that. -- -- Of course really upset the Chinese and some of the rhetoric. It's rather over the top. The Chinese called you a wolf in sheep's clothing. Doesn't look like sheep's clothing what what would he wouldn't -- -- that. What are they seem so threatened by and it didn't say what do it tonight. The other -- -- to get it. But you should not use the -- Chinese. Chinese companies -- -- yes all wonderful people. Long history. -- of the people -- working -- -- to I had deep respect. The dominant. As the Sobel patience. Hotline. I think the first. I don't England's. Then -- usually. Is -- -- me is indeed. A city that come that -- -- through -- speak some negative thing. Not listed. These -- would truly -- hot. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- He's so close that one sentence for ships who speaks -- these things so they keep them in. These. Negative woods not come from his from from his hot. Companies to use -- was. -- -- DC school you alone would not listen to come from high. That -- -- Is it unfortunately some diversity. -- -- -- attendance is system. -- Everything it's almost like mission. Individual. Is and what types right. So -- and I -- it these abuse in for example. -- -- -- -- -- -- Officials describe me as -- demon. Damon -- event is his summer want to us me wasn't my comment yet and I even in this book. Respond yes I'm demon we've all -- They've not -- Well you know that the Dalai lama's agency has has some humor about this. But there's great sadness as well he has as I mentioned. Been unable to step foot in his homeland. Since 1959. Some 4054 years it is -- And meanwhile in Tibet. You've had terrible human rights situation. For decades but one has actually gotten worse. Over the past several years and it's gotten so bad. In Tibet which with the Chinese really trying to control. The succession of that the next Dolly Lama what happens after after -- Dolly Lama who was 87 years old what happens next. And you've seen it's gotten so bad that many of these. Very peaceful Tibetan monks have resorted to -- self immolation they're -- themselves on fire have been more than 100. Monks over the past. A couple of years who have protested. Chinese repression in Tibet by lighting themselves on fire. It something that is. It is -- -- just over the last couple of years so it's actually and Carney did did acknowledge this site in in the briefing Jay Carney did. The human rights situation in Tibet as -- as it is -- for decades. Has actually gotten worse in recent years and now I understand this is the third time the Dalai Lama has met with the president each time. China has objected very loudly to the meeting. It does anything concrete ever come out of those objections though. Well yes you know first you see things like the the white house Press Secretary -- reiterating over and over again he's meeting with -- religious and cultural leader. Not somebody who is the a political leader. Although for years the Dalai -- has also been a political leader of of Tibetans. And these meetings never take place in the Oval Office they always take place in the residence again. So as not to offend the Chinese. And there's there's virtually no coverage of this the White House did release that photograph showed in the of this meeting which took place in the map room in the residence. But -- -- you know press coverage whatsoever of the meeting. It's you know everything is done -- kind of minimize. And to say that he's just meeting with religious figure this is not about to bad. This is not about China this is just a meeting with the with the great religious and cultural leader I think -- that all happens because of of the pressure that China has brought down on on. Not just this president but on previous presence is a fascinating very insightful interview Jonathan Karl thank you so much we appreciate it there's a lot more to what we're gonna. Within the that'll be posted later today but it's a really fascinating discussion and he is both somebody with a lot of wisdom but as you can see -- that. One short clip also somebody with a with a great that he's certainly -- is always and that trademarks and smile and a sarcastic wit that he can add it to some of the more. Heavier moments and times. Yes no doubt and and in what they look for when this this post is. I ask review -- gets irritated if he averaged get frustrated kind of irritated at things and he finally first he said nobody needs he told me story which I won't I won't blow here we will what you like you see this when it goes on line about -- the time he got. Quite irritated with -- reporter who was interviewed him. Interest to Iraq I'd listen I'm I'm saying with great confidence that it was not use -- -- it was not immediately -- -- in fact he said he lost his temper now we as one. I kind of wished it had been leaders like it see that. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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