BEIJING (Reuters) - China said on Monday it was opposed to any country meeting the Dalai Lama "in any form" after the White House said United States President Barack Obama would attend an event in Washington with the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader whom Beijing brands a separatist.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei also called on the United States to handle the issue in accordance with the interests of US-China relations. "China is opposed to any nation or government using the Tibet issue to interfere in China's domestic affairs, and opposed to any country's leader meeting with the Dalai Lama in any manner," Mr Hong said. "China hopes the US side abides by its promises on the Tibet issue, and proceeds to appropriately handle the issue on the basis of the overall condition of bilateral relations."
The White House said last week that Mr Obama would deliver remarks at a Feb 5 prayer breakfast about the importance of upholding religious freedom. The Dalai Lama is due to attend.
China denounces the Dalai Lama as a dangerous "splittist" seeking to establish an independent Tibet. The Nobel Peace Prize winner, who fled to India after a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959, says he simply wants autonomy for Tibet and denies espousing violence.