President Obama to meet Dalai Lama despite opposition from the Chinese Government

China said ties with the US were weakened when President Obama and the Tibetan spiritual leader last met in 2011

President Barack Obama is to meet with the Dalai Lama on Friday, a move which could damage ties between the US and China.

The meeting is part of the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader's US speaking tour, but China is urging the US President to cancel the event, accusing Washington of giving the Dalai Lama a platform to promote anti-Chinese activities.

But Washington maintains that President Obama is hosting the Dalai Lama in his capacity as a respected religious and cultural leader, and stresses that the US does not support Tibetan independence from China.

The Dalai Lama’s calls for a peaceful struggle for greater Tibetan autonomy away from Beijing, but Chinese officials denounces him as a separatist responsible for instigating self-immolations by Tibetans inside China.

President Obama’s previous meetings with him in 2010 and 2011 saw Beijing claim that Chinese-American ties were damaged.

“The US leader's planned meeting with Dalai is a gross interference in China's domestic politics,” said Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for China's foreign ministry.

“It is a severe violation of the principles of international relations. It will inflict grave damages upon the China-US relationship.”

Traditionally, when President Obama sees Presidents and Prime Ministers, he hosts them in the Oval Office and allows reporters to witness a short portion of the meeting, but Mr Obama will host the Nobel laureate for a private, morning meeting in the White House's map room.

The change is regarded as an attempt to prevent comparisons being drawn between the conversation and the formal meeting conducted by the President with heads of state.

Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council, said: “The United States supports the Dalai Lama's 'Middle Way' approach of neither assimilation nor independence for Tibetans in China.”

Relations between the US and China are already on edge over Beijing's increasingly aggressive steps to assert itself in the region, including in territorial disputes with its smaller neighbours.

China's emergence as a leading global economic and military power has strained ties with Washington, and the two also have clashed over cyber theft and human rights.

Beijing has protested when world leaders have granted an audience to the Dalai Lama in the past, including when he met Prime Minister David Cameron last year, casting a chill over relations between London and Beijing, and delaying a visit to China by Cameron.

The Dalai Lama has lived in exiled in northern India since fleeing China in 1959. He is widely respected around the world for his advocacy of peace and tolerance.

Yesterday he delivered a message of compassion and care for humanity while addressing a right-leaning Washington think tank.

Additional reporting by AP

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Metail Ltd: Business Development Manager for Asia Pacific

£35,000 - £40,000 based on experience : Metail Ltd: As a Business Development ...

Guru Careers: Product Manager / Product Owner

£30 - 40k (DOE) + Bonus & Benefits: Guru Careers: A Product Manager / Product ...

Recruitment Genius: Car Sales Executive - £17,000 Basic, OTE Uncapped

£17000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Company are looking for a S...

Recruitment Genius: 1st / 2nd Line Technical Analyst

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 1st / 2nd Line Technical Anal...

Day In a Page

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate