What does the Dalai Lama actually stand for?

Is Dalai Lama just an opportunistic human being who is striving for fanfare and constant attentions for sole reason of stoking his insatiable ego? His child like giggling and public embracing of non-violence even while his native captured land Tibet was burning were disturbing to many of his Tibetan expatriates, some of whom see him as weak leader, whose compromise with China in not pursuing full independence for Tibet is condemned by many. Looking at these graphic images and videos from Tibet's recent turmoils where unknown numbers of Tibetans were killed, maimed or simply disappeared can raise questions on Dalai Lama's apparent ineffectiveness.

Despite this apparently minor discontents among his Tibetan expatriates, ""Virtually all Tibetans have the Dalai in their hearts.” And the more that their economic prospects and traditional culture are undermined by Han Chinese immigration, the more this long-distance reverence is likely to grow."

Why is Dalai Lama more conforming to China's rule while China openly calls him an instigator? Here is one explanation:
"In his view, Tibet needs good neighborly relations with China: “One nation’s problems can no longer be satisfactorily solved by itself alone,” he has said. He bravely promotes “universal responsibility” to people who want to be citizens of their own country before they start thinking about the universe."
Here is another quote from Pankaj Mishra's article in The New Yorker:
"As the Dalai Lama sees it, countries must pursue their interests without harming those of others, and Tibetan independence, in addition to being an unrealistic ideal, needlessly antagonizes Beijing. This stance has failed, however, to convince the Chinese that he is not a “splittist”; they have accused him of having “masterminded” the latest disturbances. It has also made many Tibetans suspect that what makes the Dalai Lama more likable in the West—mainly, his commitment to nonviolence, reiterated during the current crisis—makes him appear weak to the Chinese."
Dalai Lama's immense popularity in the West is due to his simplifying Buddhist teachings that can be accessible to mostly secular minded Western audiences. "But the gentrification of an ancient and often difficult philosophy has not been achieved without some loss of intellectual rigor."

Pankaj Mishra's concluding remarks on Dalai Lama demands careful reading:
Avidly embracing the liberating ideas of the secular metropolis, the Dalai Lama resembles the two emblematic types who have shaped the modern age, for better and for worse—the provincial fleeing ossified custom and the refugee fleeing totalitarianism. Even so, his critics may have a point: the Dalai Lama’s citizenship in the global cosmopolis seems to come at a cost to his dispossessed people.
However, like the widely popular song of John Lennon's "Imagine", for the wider world, "imagine the Dalai Lama as something of an intellectual and spiritual adventurer, exploring fresh sources of individual identity and belonging in the newly united world."

Link to The New Yorker article on Dalai Lama:
Holy Man: What does the Dalai Lama actually stand for?