February 3, 2010

China opposed to Obama meeting Dalai Lama

by Benjamin Graham

China has warned US President Barack Obama that relations between the two countries will be damaged if he meets with the Dalai Lama.

According to speculation, the President is due to meet the Tibetan spiritual leader later this month, though no date has been confirmed.

Zhu Weiqun, spokesperson for China’s Communist Party, said if the meeting goes ahead it will “threaten trust and co-operation” between China and the US.

Ma Zhaoxu, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said his government “resolutely opposes” any contact between Obama and the Dalai Lama.

“We urge the U.S. to fully grasp the high sensitivity of the Tibetan issues, to prudently and appropriately deal with related matters, and avoid bringing further damage to China-U.S. relations,” Ma said.

The White House has shrugged off the warning and said the meeting will go ahead regardless of China’s comments.

“The president told China’s leaders during his trip last year that he would meet with the Dalai Lama and he intends to do so,” said White House spokesperson Bill Burton.

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