Pope Francis is more than a religious leader — he’s also a politician. And that’s led him to controversially deny an audience to the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet.  During his still young and highly ambitious papacy, Francis has made it clear he would like to broaden his church’s appeal.

Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed here Monday that the United States should honor its commitment to respect China's sovereignty and territorial integrity on the Taiwan and Tibet issues. At a meeting with his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama on the sidelines of a nuclear security summit slated for Monday and Tuesday, Xi said Washington should never support any activities aimed at separating China.

Just a week after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's trip to Beijing, where he signed a Border Defense Cooperation Agreement, China has reminded India of its other border conflict: Arunachal Pradesh. The Hindu reports that China opened a new highway that links Medog, Tibet’s so-called “last isolated county,” with the rest of China. The Global Times called Medog “the last roadless county in China” – it did not mention India at all.

The Chinese government on Tuesday released a "white paper" defending its policies in Tibet, and accusing the Dalai Lama and his supporters of "conducting separatist activities" to "sabotage the development and stability of Tibet".

In a symbolic move, the Chinese government would appear to have made their conquest of Tibet nearly complete. Hongai village, the exiled Dalai Lama’s ancestral home that rests on a mountain peak, is receiving a 2.5 million yuan makeover in the form of redevelopment. The house where Tibet’s spiritual leader grew up is not to be spared. The structure is now surrounded by a three-meter high wall and is being watched by security cameras. The Dalai Lama’s boyhood home is the final physical spot in the mainland dedicated to the man whom Beijing calls a “wolf in monk’s robes.”

Chinese officials have lifted a ban on Tibetan monks displaying photographs of the Dalai Lama at a prominent monastery, a rights group said on Thursday, an unexpected policy shift which could ease tensions in the restive region.

September 11, 2012

Citing “strong resentment from the local Chinese community,” the Chinese government has asked the city of Corvallis to force a Taiwanese-American businessman to remove a mural advocating independence for Taiwan and Tibet from his downtown building.

Two members of Congress have released an August 9 letter they sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, calling on the Obama Administration to strengthen public diplomacy and form a multilateral forum to resolve the Tibet crisis. They specifically call for starting a “contact group” with like-minded governments to have focused meetings on Tibet.