Tuesday, February 2, 2010
China has warned the United States that ties between the two countries will be strained if the US President meets the Dalai Lama. This follows the little progress achieved at "sharply divided" talks between China and the representatives of the Dalai Lama in China. Chinese Communist Party official Zhu Weiqun, speaking at a press conference to discuss the five-day visit by the representatives, said that "corresponding action" would be taken if the White House did not step down. He elaborated, stating that "it will seriously undermine the foundations of Sino-US political relations", and that China would take "corresponding action to make relevant countries see their mistakes."
He added, "The Dalai Lama is already 75. We hope he will face up to reality, change his stand and make a correct choice for the remainder of his life." He went on to say that "We oppose any attempt by foreign forces to interfere in China's internal affairs using the Dalai Lama as an excuse," referring to the United States.
The Dalai Lama fled Tibet after an uprising rebelling against China failed in 1959. The talks between the exiled supporters & China follow a conference last month, held by Chinese leaders, to review Tibet policies.
Tibet saw major unrest in March of 2008, and riots and demonstrations are a regular occurrence, although the Chinese Government believes that its policies in Tibet are correct.
This development adds to previous tension between the United States and China, caused by issues over internet censorship and the US-Taiwan arms deal announced last week.