(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) file
DHARAMSHALA, January 31: China has accused the US President Barack Obama for letting the exiled Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama use the White House as a podium to "promote anti-Chinese activities". It urged Obama to cancel the event which would be the first ever public appearance for the two leaders who had met each other on three occasions in the past.
“The U.S. leader’s planned meeting with Dalai is a gross interference in China’s domestic politics,” said Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for China’s Foreign Ministry. “It is a severe violation of the principles of international relations. It will inflict grave damages upon the China-U.S. relationship.”
Beijing's protests when world leaders grant an audience to the Dalai Lama has now become a diplomatic routine for the Beijing leadership.
Chinese officials denounce the Dalai Lama as a separatist responsible for instigating self-immolations by Tibetans inside China. The Tibetan leader is widely respected around the world for his advocacy of peace and tolerance.
Relations between the U.S. and China are already on edge over Beijing’s increasingly aggressive steps to assert itself in the region, including in territorial disputes with its smaller neighbors.
China’s emergence as a leading global economic and military power has strained ties with Washington, and the two have also clashed over cyber theft and human rights.