China urges Obama to cancel meeting with Dalai Lama


Beijing : China Friday urged the US to immediately cancel the planned meeting between President Barack Obama and the Dalai Lama, warning it would “seriously damage” ties between the two countries.

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The Tibetan issue was a domestic affair of China, said Hua Chunying, foreign ministry spokeswoman, arguing that no foreign country has the right to interfere.

“We urge the US to take China’s concerns seriously and not to facilitate or offer occasion for the Dalai Lama to conduct anti-China secessionist moves,” Xinhua quoted Hua as saying.

Her reaction came in response to the scheduled meeting between Obama and the Tibetan spiritual leader Friday in the White House.

Obama has met the Dalai Lama, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, twice before in February 2010 and July 2011.

The Dalai Lama, who fled to India after a failed uprising in 1959, maintains he only wants genuine autonomy for Tibet and denies advocating violence.

“China is greatly concerned about the meeting, and has lodged solemn representations to the US side,” Hua said.

The Dalai Lama, a political figure in exile, would undertake anti-China separatist activities in the name of religion, said the spokeswoman.

The meeting would be an unjustified interference with China’s domestic affairs and a “serious violation” of the principles of international relations and “cause great damage to bilateral relations”, she said.

She said that Tibet has scored brilliant achievements in its economic and social development since its liberation.

“These are facts that won’t be denied by anyone without political bias,” Hua said.

China firmly opposed any foreign leader meeting with the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, she said, adding that any country that insists on damaging China’s interests would eventually harm its own interests.