China, France in Dalai Lama dispute

May 8, 2009 at 1:22 PM
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BEIJING, May 8 (UPI) -- China has told the city of Paris to stop interfering in its internal affairs in a dispute over the Dalai Lama, a top official says.

That was Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu's response to Paris' plan to make the Dalai Lama an honorary citizen next month, Xinhua, China's state-run news agency, reported.

The Paris City Council approved a resolution last year to honor the Tibetan religious leader, which aroused indignation in China, Ma said.

He said he hoped France and China could work together on the issue to remove obstacles and promote ties between the two countries in a sound and stable way.

Bilateral tensions thawed after France assured China it recognized "the sensitivity of the Tibet issue" and would not support "Tibet independence" in any form.

However, Chinese President Hu Jintao was believed to have objected to French President Nicolas Sarkozy's meeting with the Dalai Lama.

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