20 Feb 2010

China angry over Dalai Lama's visit to US

2:43 pm on 20 February 2010

Beijing says a visit by the Dalai Lama to Washington has "seriously undermined" relations between the United States and China.

The BBC reports a strongly worded statement was issued on Friday in response to a meeting at the White House on Thursday between President Barack Obama and Tibet's spiritual leader.

China earlier expressed "strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition" to the meeting. It said the United States should "take effective steps to eradicate the malign effects".

The White House kept the meeting low-key to emphasise it was private rather than political.

Despite that, China's Vice-Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai summoned ambassador Jon Huntsman to lodge a complaint on Friday.

A statement said: "The behaviour of the US seriously interferes in China's internal politics and seriously hurts the national feelings of the Chinese people."

China sent troops into Tibet in 1950 and the Dalai Lama fled the country in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule. He has since been living in India.

The BBC reports the Dalai Lama has met every sitting US president since 1991, with each visit drawing Chinese ire.