Mercedes, the Dalai Lama and Beijing

 

Sir, – Mercedes-Benz has had to apologise to China for using a quote from the Dalai Lama in an Instagram advert. The quote was “Look at situations from all angles and you will become more open”.

This deeply offensive remark upset the Chinese authorities so much that Mercedes issued an apology and promised to “ . . . immediately take practical actions to deepen our understanding of Chinese culture and values”. The irony is that Chinese citizens cannot even access Instagram through state censorship to be “upset” in the first place. But such is the lure of the Chinese marketplace that Mercedes are happily kowtowing to Beijing’s dictatorship, showing contempt for the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, and for the democratic values of their customers worldwide. – Yours, etc,

ANTHONY O’BRIEN,

Louisburgh, Co Mayo.