China kept up its tirade against the Dalai Lama on Tuesday, and warned the US not to organise a meeting between the Tibetan leader and US President Barack Obama.
A senior Chinese official told the media that the Dalai Lama’s planned meeting with Obama would cause ‘serious damage’ to Sino-US ties.
“Such a move would be irrational and harmful,’’ said Zhu Weiqun, executive vice minister of the United Front Work Department of the Communist Party, at a media briefing.
A fresh round of talks between the Dalai Lama’s envoys and Chinese officials since November 2008 was held last week in Beijing, but it achieved little.
Beijing refused to recognise the Dalai Lama as the representative of Tibetans.
Officials said that the views of both sides remain ‘sharply divided’.
“The so-called Tibet government-in-exile composed of those who defected to India and gathered there absolutely violates China’s laws,” Zhu said. “The representatives have no legal status to discuss with us the affairs about Tibet Autonomous Region. They are only the Dalai Lama’s representatives, so they can only talk about the Dalai Lama and the prospects of a small party around him.” The representatives were given an official tour of central Henan province to showcase China’s ethnic policy.
The Dalai Lama, who fled to India in 1959 after a failed Tibetan uprising, seeks greater rights for Tibetans.
China calls the Buddhist leader an anti-China separatist and blames him for instigating riots in the Tibetan capital Lhasa in March 2008.