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China condemns Obama meeting with Dalai Lama

By the CNN Wire Staff
The Dalai Lama is also known by the name Tenzin Gyatso.
The Dalai Lama is also known by the name Tenzin Gyatso.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • U.S. president to meet with Buddhist spiritual leader at the White House on Saturday
  • China's Foreign Ministry asks Obama to reverse the decision to meet with the Dalai Lama
  • The Dalai Lama has been in Washington for nearly two weeks
RELATED TOPICS
  • Dalai Lama
  • Tibet

(CNN) -- China says it is opposed to an upcoming meeting between the U.S. president and Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, and is calling on Barack Obama to cancel the visit.

Obama will meet with the Dalai Lama at the White House on Saturday, according to a statement. The White House statement went on to say that the visit will highlight Obama's support for dialogue between representatives of the Dalai Lama and the Chinese government.

But the issue of Tibet is one that "involves China's sovereignty and territorial integrity," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei said in a statement. "We oppose foreign leaders meeting with the Dalai Lama in any format."

The foreign ministry statement went on to ask that Obama reverse his decision to meet with the exiled spiritual leader, as well as to "stop interfering with China's internal affairs and damaging Sino-U.S. relations."

The current Dalai Lama is also known by the name Tenzin Gyatso. He was born in 1935 in modern-day Qinghai, China.

The term "Dalai Lama" is a Buddhist religious title. In traditional Tibetan belief, the title is given to those who are the reincarnations of a line of revered religious teachers. The current Dalai Lama is considered the 14th in this line.

The Dalai Lama has been in Washington on an 11-day visit. He has conducted a mass ritual for Buddhists and met with several lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

 
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