Meeting between Obama and Dalai Lama irks China

RSTV Bureau

obamaChina has lodged its displeasure through diplomatic representations with the United States over a planned meeting between US President Barack Obama and the Dalai Lama.

Obama is scheduled to meet the Tibetan spiritual leader at the White House later today.

“Chinese Foreign Ministry has already lodged solemn representations with the U.S. Embassy to China over this issue and has expressed our resolute opposition to the relevant arrangement. We must stress that Tibet issue is an internal issue in China, any foreign country has no rights to intervene,” Chinese ministry spokesman Lu Kang said ehile briefing the media.

China considers the exiled Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader a dangerous separatist eho conducts anti-China activities. Lu also said the meeting between Obama and the Dalai Lama will send a wrong message to the “separatist forces”.

“If the United States plans this meeting, it will send the wrong signal to Tibet independence forces and Tibet independence separatist forces, harm China-U.S. mutual trust and cooperation. China urges US to abide by its promises that recognize Tibet as part of China and do not support Tibet independence, and stop any support to Tibet independence forces,” Lu said.

China was furious even the last time the Dalai Lama visited Washington in 2014 and met Obama. Obama had then vowed “strong support” for Tibetans’ human rights.

In the past, the White House has maintained that the US President meets the Dalai Lama in his capacity as religious and spiritual leader.

Despite the US believing that Tibet is an integral part of China, every meeting of the Dalai Lama with the American President angers Beijing.

“As a revered figure to Tibetans and people around the world, His Holiness reminds us of our great responsibility to act to safeguard human rights, promote equality and protect our environment,” said top Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday.

“Any attempts on the part of the Chinese to dilute the population of Tibetans in Tibet is something that would be just really wrong. Just plain and simple: wrong. Again, a challenge to the conscience,” she said.

On Momday, the Dalai Lama told Reuters that Obama was a “a long-time friend” whom he admired for his work. Recently Obama tried to normalise relations with Cuba and Iran. He also visited Vietnam and the bombing site in Hiroshima in Japan, just to bring down the tension with long-time foes.

(With inputs from agencies)