Vancouver, British Columbia - The Dalai Lama declared Thursday that he was proud to be named an honorary Canadian citizen, a move that has drawn sharp criticism from China.
When he was granted the citizenship by Canada‘s Parliament earlier this summer, China complained to the Canadian government that it could could harm relations.
Canada‘s Department of Foreign Affairs says Canada recognizes China as the legitimate government of China and Tibet, but has great respect for the Dalai Lama.
The Dalai Lama said Thursday Vancouver was chosen as the site of the center because its multiethnic and multiracial population gives it harmony.
The Dalai Lama, a Nobel peace prize winner for his struggle for Tibetan autonomy, fled into exile in northern India in 1959, following a failed uprising against Chinese rule, and is still widely revered in Tibet.