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Obama warned on Dalai meeting

[ 2010-02-04 13:59]     字号 [] [] []  
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Simmering tensions between China and the United States since the beginning of the year were ratcheted up another notch yesterday, with Beijing warning Washington that a meeting between US President Barack Obama and the Dalai Lama would further sour ties between the two global powers.

Despite repeated protests, the White House confirmed on Tuesday that Obama would meet the Dalai Lama, whom Beijing considers a separatist.

The flare-up comes close on the heels of Washington's approval of a $6.4 billion weapons package for Taiwan, and experts forecast that it might further escalate as several thorny issues such as the value of China's currency, trade protectionism and human rights come to the fore.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu yesterday said that China "resolutely opposes the leader of the United States having contact with the Dalai Lama under any pretext or in any form".

Ma was responding to claims that Obama had told Chinese leaders about the meeting during his November visit to China.

"During President Obama's visit, Chinese leaders had expressed firm opposition to leaders or officials of any country meeting the Dalai Lama," said Ma.

"We urge the US to fully grasp the high sensitivity of Tibet-related issues, to prudently and appropriately deal with related matters, and avoid bringing further damage to China-US relations."

According to AP, the Dalai Lama will be in Washington on Feb 17-18 and then head for California and Florida before returning to India on Feb 26.

Analysts said Beijing's ire at Washington’s announcement was predictable as it gets.


1: Who is President Obama planning to meet?

2: How much was the deal in weapons to Taiwan worth?

3: What dates in February will the Dalai Lama be in Washington?


1: Dalai Lama.

2: $6.4 billion.

3: Feb 17-18.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Obama warned on Dalai meeting

About the broadcaster:

Obama warned on Dalai meeting

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.