President Obama meets Dalai Lama as China reacts with anger
President Barack Obama welcomed Dalai Lama in the White House spending nearly 45 minutes with the Tibetan spiritual leader according to a statement from the presidential spokesman, Jay Carney.
Washington, D.C., United States
July 16, 2011 08:11 pm EDT
Politics, Diplomacy, International Relations, Politics, Human Rights, Religion And Belief, Buddhism
President Barack Obama welcomed the Dalai Lama in the White House spending nearly 45 minutes with the Tibetan spiritual leader according to a statement from the presidential spokesman, Jay Carney.
According to a White House official, the meeting sans press coverage started at 11:33 am and wrapped up at 12:17 am in the Map Room instead of the Oval Office, where visiting heads of state are usually received.
In a major slap on the face of Chinese protests, Obama told the Dalai Lama of his "strong support" for human rights in Tibet, a White House statement said.
“The President reiterated his strong support for the preservation of the unique religious, cultural, and linguistic traditions of Tibet and the Tibetan people throughout the world,” the statement from Carney read, adding, “the importance of the protection of human rights of Tibetans in China.”
Commending the “Dalai Lama’s commitment to nonviolence and dialogue with China and his pursuit of the “Middle Way” approach,” Obama reiterated, “the U.S. policy that Tibet is a part of the People’s Republic of China and the United States does not support independence for Tibet,” stressing “that he encourages direct dialogue to resolve long-standing differences and that a dialogue that produces results would be positive for China and Tibetans.”
On his part the Dalai Lama stated that he is “not seeking independence for Tibet and hopes that dialogue between his representatives and the Chinese government can soon resume.”
On the eve of the meeting China warned the White House not to welcome Dalai Lama and later released an angry statement denouncing the talks.
In a written statement Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said, “Such an act has grossly interfered in China's internal affairs, hurt the feelings of Chinese people and damaged the Sino-American relations.”
"We demand the US side to seriously consider China's stance, immediately adopt measures to wipe out the baneful impact, stop interfering in China's internal affairs and cease to connive and support anti-China separatist forces that seek 'Tibet independence',” Ma added in his statement.
There was no immediate comment from the White House on Beijing’s angry reaction as Obama's last meeting with the Dalai Lama in February 2010 also drew strong condemnation from Beijing.
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