|China urges U.S. to immediately withdraw decision on Obama-Dalai Lama meeting|
BEIJING, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- China urges the United States to immediately withdraw a decision of arranging U.S. President Barack Obama to meet with the Dalai Lama, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said here Friday.
China has lodged solemn representation with the United States over such a decision, Ma said in a statement when responding to relevant questions.
"China firmly opposes the Dalai Lama visiting the United States and U.S. leaders' contacting with him," Ma said, adding China's position on the issue has been "consistent and clear."
Ma said China has made repeated solemn representations with the U.S. side over Obama's possible meeting with the Dalai Lama recently.
"We urge the U.S. side to fully understand the high sensitivity of Tibet-related issues, honor its commitment to recognizing Tibet as part of China and opposing 'Tibet independence,'" Ma said.
According to reports, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Thursday afternoon local time that the meeting between President Obama and the Dalai Lama was slated for Feb. 18 at the White House.
Ma also called on the Unites States to refrain from offering the Dalai Lama venue and convenience for his engagement in anti-China splitting activities, and undermining the stability of Tibet and interfering in China's internal affairs, so as to avoid further damage to Sino-U.S. relations.