Don’t hold Obama-Dalai Lama meeting: China

Beijing, July 16: China Saturday urged the US to immediately withdraw a decision to arrange US President Barack Obama’s meeting with the exiled Tibetan leader Dalai Lama.

‘The issue regarding Tibet concerns China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and we firmly oppose any foreign official to meet with the Dalai Lama in any form,’ said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei.

Hong’s comments came in response to a question concerning a release on the White House website saying the US President Barack Obama was scheduled to meet the Dalai Lama July 16, China’s official Xinhua news agency reported.

Hong said that the Chinese foreign ministry and the Chinese embassy in the US have lodged solemn representation with the US over the issue in Beijing and Washington, respectively.

‘We request the US side to honour its serious commitment that recognises Tibet as part of China and opposes ‘Tibet independence’, to immediately withdraw the decision of arranging Obama-Dalai Lama meeting, and to avoid interfering in China’s internal affairs and damaging China-US relations,’ the spokesperson said.

The Dalai Lama fled Tibet after a failed uprising against Communist rule in 1959. His Tibetan government-in-exile is based in Dharamsala, India.

IANS