It seems that where ever The Dalai Lama goes, he is accepted openly and seen in a good light. However when you look at the Chinese government, they are more viewed as business minded and not caring a whole lot about others.
Most everyone can connect on a personal level with The Dalai Lama. Nearly everyone has been in a position at one time or another in their lives that someone did them wrong. It could have been a bully at school, or some official simply getting caught up in their own ego. It seems a part of life to need to stand your ground.
Simply put The Dalai Lama is one of the bookends of politics. The opposite bookend would be Osama Bin Laden with everyone else some place in between.
The Chinese government on a human level comes across as brash and selfish. What is theirs is theirs forever is how they come across. If a person is born in China then moves and becomes a citizen of another country and is issued a passport from that other country, the Chinese government does not accept it and insists that they must travel with their Chinese passport to visit China. Even Chinese that are born outside of China that have never set foot on Chinese soil find it difficult going at the border. So when the topic of Tibet and Taiwan come up, you can see the same ‘ours forever’ mentality.
So as people connect with The Dalai Lama, they frequently see part of their own life’s experiences in him. People always connect better on a human to human level than any other way.
China has also been seen by many as looking to take over the world by simply making everything there is to make. Undermining markets to get market share thus causing many people to lose their jobs. Those memories just do not go away, and will very likely stick around all their lives. In fact the quality problems from Chinese goods is seen by some as a blessing in disguise. The Chinese can not manage market share and quality at the same time without raising prices. That in turn will send some jobs back to the places that they came from.
So when the Chinese government makes an attack on The Dalai Lama, it leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. The bloody crackdowns that are seemingly synonymous with how Chinese deal with groups of people also hits home with many. So in short every attack by the Chinese government on The Dalai Lama is counter productive for their popularity.
So in reality there is little wonder why The Dalai Lama is so much more popular and accepted by all. He is one of the people in their eyes. That same one of us feeling also contributes to the popularity of US President Barack Obama. So for the Chinese government to be accepted as one of us, they simply must become one of us and listen to the voices of the Chinese people.