China slams US 'interference' after Obama meets Dalai Lama

By REUTERS
July 17, 2011 06:39

 
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BEIJING/WASHINGTON - China accused the United States on Sunday of "grossly" interfering in its internal affairs and seriously damaging relations after President Barack Obama met exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama at the White House.

Obama met the Nobel Prize laureate for 45 minutes, praising him for embracing non-violence while reiterating that the United States did not support independence for Tibet.

China, which accuses the Dalai Lama of being a separatist who supports the use of violence to set up an independent Tibet, reacted swiftly, saying Obama's meeting had had a "baneful" impact, and summoning a senior US diplomat in Beijing.

"This action is a gross interference in China's internal affairs, hurts the feelings of the Chinese people and damages Sino-U.S. relations," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said in a statement released in the early hours of Sunday.

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