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Stop supporting Dalai Lama, Beijing tells US

world Updated: Nov 13, 2009 08:16 IST

China has urged the US to stop supporting the Dalai Lama and to show support for its territorial integrity, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said on Thursday.

"We have repeatedly said that China vigorously opposes the Dalai Lama meeting with any foreign heads of states," Qin Gang said, commenting on a possible meeting between US President Barack Obama and the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader.

The White House has said that Obama may meet the Dalai Lama after the president's November 15-18 visit to China.

"We hope that Obama and his administration will respect China's territorial integrity and sovereignty," Qin added.

The spokesman said the US president should recognise that the Dalai Lama was the head of "a state of slaves".

"As the first black US president, Obama is well informed of the plight of America's black population," the Chinese diplomat said.

"Likewise, the Chinese people are well informed of what took place in Tibet until 1959, the year when millions of Chinese villagers were freed from the Dalai Lama's authority."

The Dalai Lama, who fled Tibet in 1959, has repeatedly said he seeks autonomy for Tibet rather than independence from China.

Beijing accused the Nobel Peace Prize winner of orchestrating the March 2008 unrest in Tibet.

Disturbances started when Buddhist monks took to the streets to mark the 49th anniversary of a failed uprising against Chinese rule. The unrest left 19 people dead and 623 injured, according to official Chinese reports. The Dalai Lama denied the allegations.

In early October, the Dalai Lama received a US Congress award in honour of his human rights work.

The US president will visit Japan Friday and attend a summit of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Singapore Sunday, where he is to meet Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

Later that day, Obama is set to fly to Shanghai. On Wednesday, he will complete his visit to China and move on to South Korea, rounding up his Asian tour on November 19.