Saturday, July 16, 2011

Obama to meet Dalai Lama at White House Saturday

China calls on Obama to cancel Dalai Lama meeting

WASHINGTON/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China urged the United States to cancel a scheduled meeting between President Barack Obama and exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama at the White House on Saturday, saying such a meeting would harm U.S.-China relations.
The White House announced on Friday that Obama would speak with the Dalai Lama about Tibet in their first meeting in more than a year. The announcement upset China, which was already on edge about the Dalai Lama's meetings with U.S. congressional leaders and the potential for a U.S. debt default.
"This meeting underscores the president's strong support for the preservation of Tibet's unique religious, cultural and linguistic identity and the protection of human rights for Tibetans," the White House said in a statement.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in a statement on the ministry's website: "We firmly oppose any senior foreign government officials meeting with the Dalai Lama in any way."
Hong said China called on the United States to "cancel the decision for Obama to meet the Dalai Lama as soon as possible, and not do anything that could interfere with China's internal affairs or harm China-U.S. relations."Read more...

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