Saturday, July 16th, 2011
WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Reuters) – China accused the United States on Saturday of “grossly” interfering in its internal affairs and damaging relations after President Barack Obama met exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama at the White House.
Obama met the Nobel Prize laureate for some 45 minutes, praising him for embracing non-violence while reiterating that the United States did not support independence for Tibet.
China, which accuses the Dalai Lama of being a separatist who supports the use of violence to set up an independent Tibet, said Obama’s meeting had had a “baneful” impact.
“Such an act has grossly interfered in China’s internal affairs, hurt the feelings of Chinese people and damaged the Sino-American relations,” Xinhua quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu as saying in a written statement.
“We demand the U.S. side to 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 ‘Tibet independence’,” Ma said in the statement.
The Dalai Lama denies China’s accusations, saying he wants a peaceful transition to autonomy for the remote Himalayan region, which China has ruled with an iron fist since 1950, when Chinese troops marched in.