Washington - President George W Bush will meet the Dalai Lama at the White House next week just before lawmakers award the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader a high-profile medal, the White House said Thursday. China has condemned Washington's planned red-carpet treatment for the 72-year-old Buddhist leader, whom China accuses of fomenting independence for Tibet.
But Bush told Chinese President Hu Jintao at an Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting last month that he would welcome the Dalai Lama in Washington, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said.
"This should not come as news to the Chinese," Perino told reporters.
The two leaders will meet Tuesday, a day before the Dalai Lama is due to receive the congressional Gold Medal, the highest US civilian honour, at the Capitol building.
Bush will make brief remarks at that ceremony to "reiterate our view that the Dalai Lama is a great spiritual leader," Perino said.
Bush has received the Dalai Lama three times at the White House, most recently in November 2005.