Beijing: Reacting strongly to Barack
Obama`s invitation to the Dalai Lama, China on Saturday said it was
firmly opposed to any such move and asked the US President to
call off the meeting.
The Sino-US tensions resurfaced as Obama decided to
invite the Tibetan spiritual leader to the White House,
ignoring Chinese pressure.
Obama is scheduled to meet Dalai Lama at the White
House today though he will meet him at the Map Room and not
his Oval office where he welcomes heads of state.
In a statement, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong
Lei said Beijing urges the US to immediately call off the
proposed meeting between Obama and 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," he said.
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, Hong said.
"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,"
A meeting between Obama and the Dalai Lama last year,
along with Washington`s decision to supply weapons to Taiwan
had ended up causing year-long friction.
China had called off all military contacts, but they
were resumed recently with high level defence officials from
both sides visiting each other.