China warns Obama over meeting Dalai Lama

China warns Obama over meeting Dalai Lama

Foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang made the remarks Thursday when asked to respond to a White House official's comments earlier this week that Obama would be ready to meet the Dalai Lama "at the appropriate time".

Obama said in a speech that without the efforts of Lincoln he would not have been able to reach his position. "He is a black president, and he understands the slavery abolition movement and Lincoln's major significance for that movement," the China Daily reported quoting Qin.

He said the Chinese position is similar to Lincoln's when the nation abolished serfdom in Tibet.

"Thus on this issue we hope President Obama, more than any other foreign leader, can better, more deeply understand China's stance on protecting national sovereignty and territorial integrity," he added.

China has long opposed any contact between foreign leaders and the Dalai Lama.
His comments come as Obama kicked off his maiden Asia trip Thursday. After attending the annual Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Singapore and a brief stay in Japan, Obama will arrive in the financial hub of Shanghai Sunday for a four-day China visit.

The US president avoided meeting the Dalai Lama in Washington in October but a high-ranking US official has hinted he would make the meeting happen after returning from China.

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