BEIJING, June 12 — China warned Australia Thursday not to allow the exiled Dalai Lama to carry out separatist activities on its territory, despite the Tibetan spiritual leader's stated opposition to an independent Tibet.
"We request Australia to pay attention to our grave concerns and not allow the Dalai to engage in separatist activities on Australian territory," foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang told journalists.
"The Chinese government firmly opposes the Dalai's engagement in separatist activities in any country under any name and firmly opposes any country offering the Dalai support or convenience to engage in separatist activities."
Qin was commenting on the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize winner's ongoing visit to Australia.
China has continued to accuse the Dalai Lama of seeking an independent Tibet, but the Buddhist leader has repeatedly denied such accusations while calling for greater autonomy for his homeland from Chinese rule.
On Thursday in Sydney, the Dalai Lama reiterated his call for "meaningful autonomy" for Tibet, while appealing to Tibetans not to interfere with the Beijing Olympic torch relay as it passes through the capital Lhasa in coming days.
"The Olympic Games we fully support, the Olympic torch is part of that," the Dalai Lama told reporters in Sydney, where he is conducting a series of meditation seminars.
"Over a billion Chinese brothers and sisters feel very proud of it, we must respect this, therefore we should not disturb it."
Some groups critical of China's rule in Tibet have said taking the torch to the Himalayan region is an insult considering the massive Chinese security clampdown after unrest against Chinese rule exploded there in March.
Exiled Tibetan leaders say more than 200 Tibetans have died in the crackdown. China denies those allegations and says "rioters" were responsible for 21 Tibetan deaths.
China has largely blamed the Dalai Lama for fomenting the unrest and accused him of seeking to sabotage the Olympics.