LhasaThe President’s recent trip to China and the Autonomous Region of Tibet (see previous posts) has understandably provoked a large press, some of it positive, some of it critical, but all of it interested in this development. Today’s edition of the European Voice carried a full-page analysis of what it described in its headline as a ‘whispered dialogue’. I have felt for my President, Mario Sepi, over the past few weeks, as he was sometimes apparently wilfully misquoted in critical pieces. For example, drawing on his knowledge of his own country, he warned that excessive dependence on central state funding could leave Tibet (and other areas of China for that matter) like the Italian mezzogiorno, unable to achieve economic autonomy. Some reports claimed that Sepi had spoken about the mafia, but this was completely false. I was at the press conference and followed what he said in Italian and also what the interpreter said in English. But today’s European Voice article was, to my mind, an excellent example of responsible and well-researched journalism, its criticisms nuanced and its author, Andrew Gardner, having understood that when institutions and their presidents engage in ‘soft diplomacy’ they evidently say more in private than they can do in public.