China yesterday accused the United States of meddling in its domestic affairs after US President Barack Obama met the Dalai Lama at the White House. Beijing said it was up to Washington to take steps to avoid further damaging ties.
"The US seriously interfered in China's internal affairs by allowing the Dalai's visit to the United States and arranging the meetings with US leaders," Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in a statement.
"We urge the US to take China's concerns seriously, stop tolerance and support of anti-China separatist forces, cease interfering in China's internal affairs and immediately take measures to eliminate its baneful influence to avoid further impairment to China-US relations."
China had warned on Friday after news broke of the planned meeting that an encounter between Obama and the Dalai Lama would damage relations between Washington and Beijing, and urged the US to cancel it.
The meeting went ahead, however, with Obama offering "strong support" for the protection of Tibetans' human rights.
Chinese ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai criticised the US for breaking its promise not to support "Tibet independence", Xinhua reported.
The overseas edition of People's Daily yesterday ridiculed the meeting as an invitation for the Dalai Lama to enter the House Of Cards - a US television drama about power politics.
"Just like … House of Cards, which shows all the careful calculations, conspiracies and horse-trading, the Dalai Lama and the US must have made calculations … But no matter what, China's development cannot be stopped and any forces to separate Tibet from China are just dreams that will vanish," the paper said.
Deputy Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui summoned the charge d'affaires at the US embassy in Beijing late on Friday to protest, the ministry said.
"China expressed strong indignation and firm opposition" to the "erroneous acts" of the US in interfering in China's internal issues, the ministry quoted Zhang as saying.
The White House appeared to have taken steps to keep the meeting low key. Obama hosted the Dalai Lama in the White House's Map Room, rather than the Oval Office, where the president normally greets leaders.
Agence France-Presse, Associated Press. Additional Reporting by Staff Reporter