The Dalai Lama just met with Lady Gaga and a few US mayors at a random event this weekend in Indianapolis, Indiana. She posted several photos on Instagram where she appeared with the Tibetan religious leader in exile on a panel about kindness and compassion. Some users from China are not happy about it.
Some Gaga fans from China expressed disappointment with their idol’s support for the Dalai Lama, who is seen in the country as an advocate for the region’s independence. ”I’m so heartbroken. I like you [Lady Gaga] so much,” writes one Instagram user “Xwyt1994.” “But when it comes to national interests, I won’t concede to any separatist. He should be skinned alive.”
User “Keyboardmirror” says Lady Gaga is showing “extreme disrespect” to China because “how many innocent children and people died because of him,” before declaring: “I HATE YOU, US CHINESE HATE YOU LADY GAGA!!”
Others say they believe the American pop star only met with the Tibetan spiritual leader because she doesn’t know about “all the things he has done,” because ”he pretends to be innocent,” and because foreign media “always portray him as a saint.”
Taiwanese and Hong Kong Instagram users also joined the debate, which quickly spun from criticism of Tibetan separatism, Taiwan and Hong Kong independence, to whether simplified or traditional Chinese characters are more esthetically pleasing.
It’s not the first time Chinese internet users have lashed out against celebrities meeting with exiled Tibetans. Earlier this year, Hong Kong pop star Denise Ho attracted waves of criticism on her Facebook post with the Dalai Lama, Faye Wong and movie star Tony Leung were also warned by Chinese officials after appearing in a photo where they sat close to leaders from the exiled Tibetan government at a Buddhist event in India.
China’s foreign ministry and the Global Times, China’s official mouthpiece on foreign policy, also routinely protest foreign politicians for meeting with the Dalai Lama.