Page last updated at 06:48 GMT, Friday, 19 February 2010

China anger at Dalai Lama-Obama meeting


Dalai Lama talks about his meeting with President Barack Obama

A visit by the Dalai Lama to Washington has "seriously undermined" relations between the US and China, Beijing says.

It released a strongly worded statement in response to US President Barack Obama's meeting with Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

China had earlier expressed "strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition" to the meeting with a man they see as a separatist.

It said the US should "take effective steps to eradicate the malign effects".

Washington had kept the Dalai Lama's meeting low-key to emphasis it was private rather than political.

Hurt feelings

Despite that, China's Vice-Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai summoned ambassador Jon Huntsman to lodge a "solemn representation".

The Dalai Lama (L) and US President Barack Obama at the White House Map Room - 18 February 2010
The talks were held in the White House Map Room instead of the Oval Office

"The behaviour of the US side seriously interferes in China's internal politics and seriously hurts the national feelings of the Chinese people," a ministry statement said.

China never reacts well to these meetings, which have been taking place for nearly two decades, says the BBC's Quentin Sommerville in Beijing.

But this time it has expressed its dissatisfaction in stronger terms than ever before.

The meetings highlight Beijing's terrible human rights record, a