China protested strongly to France on Sunday over President Nicolas Sarkozy's meeting with the Dalai Lama, calling it a "rude intervention" into Chinese affairs. Sarkozy met the Tibetan spiritual leader on Saturday privately in Gdansk, Poland, during celebrations marking the 25th anniversary of former Polish President Lech Walesa's Nobel Peace Prize. The Dalai Lama has also received the prize. Although China routinely lodges protests when world leaders meet with the Dalai Lama, Sunday's complaint - reported by the official Xinhua News Agency - comes as China hardens its line toward the Himalayan region. China's relations with the French have been especially testy over the issue of Tibet since April, when pro-Tibetan activists protested en masse in the streets of Paris as the Olympic flame passed through the city on its world tour. Some Chinese called for boycotts of French products afterward.