China called on US President Barack Obama to immediately cancel a planned meeting with the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet, and warned the meeting would “severely impair” Sino-US relations if it goes ahead.
Mr Obama is scheduled to welcome the exiled septuagenarian Tibetan leader at 10am Washington time on Friday and will spend just over an hour with him in the White House Map Room.
Beijing regards the Dalai Lama as a political exile and a violent anti-China separatist and regularly imposes various sanctions and punishments on governments who meet him publicly.
The Tibetan leader is usually based in Dharamsala in India and has consistently advocated non-violence and repeatedly said he wants greater autonomy for Tibet rather than outright independence.
“By arranging a meeting between the President and the Dalai Lama, the US side will grossly interfere in the internal affairs of China, seriously violate norms governing international relations and severely impair China-US relations,” a spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday in Beijing.
The US President’s decision to meet the Dalai Lama is a show of concern for China’s human rights record but also appears aimed at warning Beijing it does not have the right to dictate who leaders of other countries can meet.
Mr Obama has met the Dalai Lama twice before, in February 2010 and July 2011.
Like virtually every other country, the US recognises Tibet as part of China and does not support Tibetan independence but Washington also supports the Dalai Lama’s call for more autonomy and improvement in human rights.
Diplomats and foreign policy analysts say European leaders are very unlikely to agree to a similar meeting with the Tibetan spiritual leader in the wake of China’s livid response to meetings by the German, French and British heads of government in recent years.
Most recently, China reacted to a meeting between UK Prime Minister David Cameron and the Dalai Lama in May 2012 by cutting off all high-level diplomatic ties for more than a year.
Relations only began to warm again after Mr Cameron reiterated Britain’s opposition to Tibetan independence in front of his colleagues in Parliament and later publicly stated he had no plans to meet the Dalai Lama again.
Tensions across the Tibetan plateau have been steadily rising in recent years, with widespread anger at Chinese religious and ethnic repression and the militarised occupation of many Tibetan areas.
Since 2009, more than 120 Tibetans have set themselves on fire to protest Chinese rule and to call for the return of the Dalai Lama to his homeland.
中国敦促美国总统巴拉克奥巴马(Barack Obama)立即取消与西藏精神领袖达赖喇嘛(Dalai Lama)的会面计划，并警告说，如美方坚持会面，将“严重损害”中美关系。
奥巴马预定将于华盛顿时间周五上午10点会见这位70多岁的西藏流亡领袖，会见地点选在白宫地图室(White House Map Room)，计划的会面时间为一个小时多一点。
刚表态过的朋友 (4 人)