WASHINGTON — U.S. President Barack Obama held talks with the visiting Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama this past Friday, which upset the Chinese communist government.
Reuters reported that the Chinese asked the Obama White House why the Americans would ignore China’s warnings on meeting with the Dalai Lama. The Chinese said it would damage ties between the U.S. and China.
The vice foreign minister for China, Zhang Yesui, called the U.S. charge d’affairs Daniel Kritenbrink to talk with him and condemn the meeting as Americans meddling in China’s domestic affairs. Kritenbrink is stationed in the American embassy in China.
The Chinese government labels the Dalai Lama as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” for his violent methods to help Tibet become independent. The Dalai Lama disputes such claims and says he wants genuine autonomy for the region and condemns violence.
Obama’s meeting with the Dalai Lama lasted an hour and apparently told the Tibetan spiritual leader that he supported Tibet’s culture, language and human rights. But, Obama did not support Tibetan independence from China.