China Warns Sarkozy on Meeting with Dalai Lama

From the New York Times:

President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, who is expected to announce on Wednesday that he will after all attend the opening ceremonies of Beijing’s Olympic Games, was warned by China on Tuesday not to meet with the Dalai Lama in France next month.

China’s ambassador to France, Kong Quan, told reporters there would be “serious consequences” for Chinese-French relations if Mr. Sarkozy meets the Dalai Lama, asserting that it “would be contrary to the principle of non-interference in internal affairs.”

Mr. Sarkozy has been vague on whether he would meet personally with the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader-in-exile of Tibet, regarded by China as a renegade “splittist” who has advocated resistance to China’s sovereignty.

China has repeatedly blamed the Dalai Lama and his subordinates for instigating anti-Chinese riots in Tibet three months ago and encouraging a boycott of the Beijing Olympics, which the Dalai Lama has denied. Representatives of both sides recently resumed suspended reconciliation talks.


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