China slams Obama's meeting with the Dalai Lama

Photo: The White House

BEIJING (AP) - China on Sunday slammed President Barack Obama's meeting with the Dalai Lama as an act that has "grossly interfered in China's internal affairs" and damaged Chinese-American relations, and demanded the U.S. remedy the situation.

The strident statement from China's Foreign Ministry came hours after Obama met with the Tibetan spiritual leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate in Washington.

China had already called on the United States to stop Saturday's meeting, warning it could hurt relations between the two countries.

But after the White House meeting went ahead, China issued a second, hardened statement and said the Foreign Ministry and the Chinese Embassy in the U.S. had lodged objections with U.S. representatives in Beijing and Washington.

"Such an act has grossly interfered in China's internal affairs, hurt the feelings of the Chinese people and damaged Sino-American relations," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said in the statement.

"We demand the U.S. side seriously consider China's stance, immediately adopt measures to wipe out the baneful impact, stop interfering in China's internal affairs and cease to connive and support anti-China separatist forces that seek 'Tibetan independence,"' Ma said.

China considers the Dalai Lama a separatist intent on ending Chinese rule over Tibet. The Nobel laureate has repeatedly denied the accusations and says he seeks only a high level of autonomy for Tibet.

Dalai Lama, Barack Obama to meet at White House

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will meet with the Dalai Lama at the White House on Saturday.

It will be a low-key meeting with the Tibetan spiritual leader, who is in Washington for an 11-day Buddhist ritual.

When the president met with the Nobel Peace laureate in February 2010, it angered China.

The two will meet in the Map Room, not the Oval Office, which is reserved for visiting heads of state, and the meeting will be closed to reporters.

A White House official says Obama would like representatives of the Dalai Lama to be allowed to meet with Chinese authorities to resolve their differences. China has accused the Dalai Lama of pushing for Tibetan independence and is calling on Obama to cancel Saturday's meeting.