¶15. (C) XXXXXXXXXXXX raised concerns over China’s "core interests" of Tibet and Taiwan, which he said could "derail" bilateral cooperation. On Tibet, China had heard "rumors" that the Dalai Lama would attend a "seminar" in the United States in late September or early October, and that President Obama was "likely" to meet with him then. Noting that there was no need for both sides to reiterate our respective positions on Tibet, XXXXXXXXXXXX said the critical question was whether both sides would agree to "take care" of each other’s "core interests." When considering such sensitive issues in the context of the bilateral relationship, they could be viewed either as "obstacles" or as "core interests." It did not matter whether one side "liked or disliked" such matters; rather, in a "mature, close and important" bilateral relationship such as ours, the question was whether the key interests for each side would be accommodated. The United States had its core interests, XXXXXXXXXXXX asserted, such as U.S. naval vessels that had operated near the Chinese coast. Both sides agreed to "step down" over that issue, despite the strongly held views of the Chinese public. Regarding the Dalai Lama, China hoped the United States would deny him a visa, and if not, then agree to hold no official meetings with him, including no meeting with President Obama.
¶16. (C) The Charge expressed concern with China’s defining Tibet as a "core issue" with the apparent expectation that others would "step back." Instead, our two sides should agree to continue to discuss the issue in an attempt to resolve our differences. The United States recognized that Tibet is a part of China. Nevertheless, the Dalai Lama is a respected religious leader and Nobel Laureate, and U.S. officials meet with him in that capacity. Future meetings by U.S. officials with the Dalai Lama could not be ruled out. Moreover, there were serious concerns among the U.S. public, the Administration and Congress over the situation in Tibetan areas of China. China should take steps to address Tibetans’ legitimate grievances and engage the Dalai Lama’s representatives in productive dialogue. Denying a visa to the Dalai Lama was not being contemplated.