China protests Obama meeting with Dalai Lama

Chinese state media on Thursday protested against the meeting of US President Barack Obama and the Dalai Lama. 

Obama and the Tibetan religious leader met Wednesday in Washington, DC.

"This unwise behaviour has broken the solemn promise of the United States not to support Tibet's independence, seriously jeopardized China-US relations, and deeply hurt the Chinese people's feelings," official state news agency Xinhua said in a commentary. 

"By meeting with the Dalai Lama, the US government has broken its own promise and thrown away its political credibility," the commentary said. 

The Dalai Lama had offered Obama his condolences on a terrorist attack in Orlando, Florida, while Obama praised the Tibetan religious leader's "efforts to promote compassion, empathy, and respect for others," a White House statement about the meeting said.

The meeting had taken place in Obama's residence on Wednesday rather than in the Oval Office and was not open to the media because the Dalai Lama is not a head of state.  

Decisions about how the meeting was conducted were not influenced by the Chinese government, spokesman Josh Earnest said in a statement. 

Beijing had earlier lodged diplomatic representations with the United States over the planned meeting, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Wednesday. 

Chinese authorities routinely protest visits by the Tibetan Buddhist leader in exile, who advocates autonomy for his home region, which China seized in 1950. The Dalai Lama fled during a 1959 crackdown by Chinese forces.

During the meeting, Obama maintained the US position that Tibet is part of China and that the US does not support independence for the region. 

It was the fourth meeting between Obama and the Dalai Lama at the While House. Their last was in February 2015.

Last update: Tue, 28/06/2016 - 17:25
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