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China protests British PM's meeting with Dalai Lama

May 15, 2012 16:56 IST

China on Tuesday took strong exception to British Prime Minister David Cameron's meeting with the Dalai Lama and lodged diplomatic protests accusing the United Kingdom of interfering in its internal affairs by playing up the Tibet issue.

China has lodged solemn representations both in Beijing and London to protest Cameron's and other UK leaders meeting the Dalai Lama in London on Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a media briefing in Beijing.

The Dalai Lama's meeting with Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg at the 10 Downing Street was officially described as "private" get together by the British officials.

"Regardless of China's repeated representations the UK still arranged Prime Minister Cameron and other UK leaders to meet Dalai. This is a serious interference in China's internal affairs and an affront to the Chinese people besides undermining China-UK relations," Hong said. He said the Tibetan issues are China's internal affairs.

"Dalai is a long term political exile who is engaged in anti-China activities in the name of religion. China is a firmly against any country's to leaders meet with him in anyway and oppose any country or any individual use of Tibet related issues to interfere in China's internal affairs," he said.

"We demand the UK to take China's firm position and requirement seriously," he said, adding Britain should stop "self condoning and supporting Tibet independent separatist forces" and take immediate and effective measure to undo the damage.

Britain should adopt concrete measures to uphold larger interests of China-UK relations, he said.  

China routinely protests world leaders meeting the Dalai Lama. Last year, US President Barack Obama met the Tibetan spiritual leader in the White House despite vociferous protests from Beijing.

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