China warned the US and lodged a “diplomatic representation” with American officials here on Wednesday over a planned meeting between President Barack Obama and Tibetan leader Dalai Lama at the White House.
The meeting could “damage relations”, China said as it made it clear that it was against the interaction between Obama and the Dalai Lama.
Beijing considers the Dharamsala-based spiritual leader as a “separatist” who incites Tibetans living in China to split from the country.
“It is reported that Obama and the Dalai Lama will meet privately in the Map Room at 10.15 am on Wednesday,” the state media said.
“Chinese foreign ministry has already made a representation to the US embassy in China,” spokesperson Lu Kang told a daily news briefing.
“If the US side arranges such a meeting, it will send a wrong signal to Tibet separatist forces and harm China-US mutual trust and cooperation,” Lu said.
The Dalai Lama told Reuters on Monday that Obama was a “a long-time friend whom he admired for his work to normalise relations with Cuba and Iran and for his recent visits to former US foe Vietnam and the site of the Hiroshima atomic bombing in Japan”.
In a white paper released last year, the Chinese government claimed the Dalai Lama and his followers were hatching a plan towards Tibetan independence.
“The 14th Dalai group's separatist activities violate the Constitution of China and its state system, and greatly damage the fundamental interests of all ethnic groups in Tibet, which is why they have met strong opposition from all Chinese people, including those of all ethnic groups in Tibet, and hence why they are doomed to fail,” the white paper said.