Obama Won't Mention Tibet in Saturday Asia Speech

A senior aide to U.S. President Barack Obama says the president will not mention Tibet in his speech on Asia policy in Tokyo Saturday.

The aide, Ben Rhodes deputy national security advisor for strategic communications, says Mr. Obama will stress the U.S. commitment to the rights and freedoms that Washington believes all people should have.

The human rights situation in Tibet has long been a concern for Washington. But some rights activists say Mr. Obama has not done enough to push China on the issue.

The president's critics say his decision to delay a meeting with the Dalai Lama until after his visit to China was an insult to the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader. White House officials say Mr. Obama plans to meet with the Dalai Lama as early as December.

The Chinese government considers the Dalai Lama a separatist and frequently takes retaliatory action against countries whose leaders meet with him.

Senior administration officials say it is important for the United States to maintain a relationship with both China and Tibet's government in exile.

Tibetans have complained of discrimination by the Chinese since Beijing took over the region in 1951.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and WSJ.