China on Thursday criticized a visit by the Dalai Lama to Israel, condemning it as a ploy by the exiled spiritual leader to promote Tibetan independence. The Dalai Lama is on a five-day visit to the Holy Land but was not scheduled to meet any government officials. "Everybody is clear on what kind of figure he is and everyone is well aware of the purpose of his visits around the world," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said at a regular briefing. "His purpose is to internationalize the Tibet issue, to split the motherland, which we are resolutely opposed to." China objects to all international visits by the Dalai Lama.