China warns U.S. officials not to meet Dalai Lama

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 07, 2011 5:53 AM
China warns U.S. officials not to meet Dalai Lama

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's Foreign Ministry warned U.S. officials on Thursday not to meet with visiting exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, saying it hoped Washington "appropriately dealt" with Tibet-related issues.

China reviles the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Dalai Lama, saying he supports the use of violence to establish an independent Tibet. He strongly denies either accusation, insisting he seeks only true autonomy for the remote region.

The Dalai Lama is currently visiting the United States and is due to give a public talk in Washington on Saturday.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Beijing's position on the Dalai Lama's foreign visits was clear.

"We oppose the underhand visits of the Dalai Lama which he uses to engage in activities to split the motherland," Hong told a regular news briefing.

"At the same time, we also oppose any foreign government or politicians supporting or abetting in such activities by the Dalai Lama," he added.

"We hope that the United States strictly abide by its promises on the Tibet issue and ... cautiously and appropriately deal with relevant issues," Hong said.

The Dalai Lama met President Barack Obama last year, drawing strong denunciation from Beijing.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard;Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)