As China accuses the Dalai Lama of Nazi policies and the Dalai Lama blames China’s policies for the string of self-immolations,China is now slamming Britain for British Prime Minister David Cameron’s meeting with the Dalai Lama. The Washington Post reports:
China criticized British Prime Minister David Cameron on Tuesday for meeting with the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, saying it amounts to support for Tibet’s independence from Chinese rule.
The British government ignored Beijing’s objections in going ahead with Monday’s meeting in London, and doing so “hurts the feelings of the Chinese people,” meddles in China’s affairs and harms Chinese-British relations, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said. He said Britain now needs to take actions to repair the damage.
“We are strongly discontented and firmly opposed to it,” Hong told reporters at a daily briefing. “We call on the British side to earnestly respond to China’s solemn demand, stop conniving at and supporting separatist attempts to achieve Tibetan independence, take practical measures to eliminate the terrible impact and take actions to preserve Chinese-British relations.”
Hong said his ministry lodged a protest with the British Embassy in Beijing and the Chinese Embassy in London delivered the same message to the British government.
According to Reuters, China has responded similarly in the past to political leaders meeting with the Dalai Lama:
China’s response echoed many previous statements about the Dalai Lama’s meetings with foreign political leaders, suggesting that China will confine its reaction to angry words.
British ministers believe that who they see is a matter for them,” said a British Foreign Office spokeswoman in London. “If they choose to see someone, it does not necessarily indicate they support that individual’s viewpoint.”
The Dalai Lama told reporters on Monday that China is beset by a moral crisis, widespread corruption and lawlessness, leading millions of Chinese to seek solace in Buddhism.
He was in London to receive the $1.7 million Templeton prize for his work affirming the spiritual dimension of life.
This recent source of tension comes after China dismissed claims of plots to assassinate the Dalai Lama. AFP adds:
China has accused the Dalai Lama of “deceiving the world” and “spreading false information” after Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader said he was warned of a plot by Chinese agents to assassinate him.
The Buddhist monk made the allegation in an interview with Britain’s Sunday Telegraph, saying he had been told that agents were planning to poison him using Tibetan women posing as devotees seeking his blessing.
“The Dalai Lama always engages in anti-China splittist activities globally wearing his religious cloak, spreading false information, deceiving the world and confusing the public,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said.
“His most recent statement is not even worth refuting,” he told reporters Monday.
Read more about the Dalai Lama and Tibet Protests via CDT.