The Chinese demand came after the White House announced Obama, whose meeting with the Tibetan spiritual leader has been pending since last November, would do so Feb. 18 at White House. In the past two weeks, China has been issuing a barrage of criticisms, threats and tirades against the United States on issues such as the Dalai Lama, arms sales to Taiwan, trade disputes and U.S. demand for the appreciation of the artificially undervalued Chinese currency.
On Obama's meeting with the Tibetan leader, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said Beijing "firmly opposes the Dalai Lama visiting the United States and U.S. leaders' contacting ... him," the official Chinese news agency Xinhua reported.
Ma said China has made repeated "solemn representations" on the issue.
"We urge the U.S. side to fully understand the high sensitivity of Tibet-related issues, honor its commitment to recognizing Tibet as part of China and opposing 'Tibet independence,'" Ma said.