President Obama met with exiled spiritual leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner the Dalai Lama today in the Map room of the White House today before he left town.
The meeting was scheduled for 11:30 AM on the last day that the Dalai Lama was to be in town after an 11 day visit.
Before the meeting China started urging the United States to deny the meeting with the Dalai Lama on grounds that the meeting would damage the relationship between the two nations.
"The issue regarding Tibet concerns China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and we firmly oppose any foreign official to meet with the Dalai Lama in any form," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei.
After the 45 minute meeting took place the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu released a statement regarding the meeting saying that "Such an act has grossly interfered in China's internal affairs, hurt the feelings of the Chinese people and damaged Sino-American relations,"
The statement continued demanding that the US seriously consider China's stance in respect to Tibetan Independence.
In a statement issued after the meeting, the White House also said Obama reiterated his support for the preservation of Tibet's religious, cultural and linguistic traditions.
During the meeting President Obama reiterated to the Tibetan leader the U.S. policy that Tibet is a part of the People’s Republic of China. The Dalai Lama also stated that he does not seek Tibetan independence.
Read the Reuters post here.
Politico 44 also has a good post regarding the Dalai Lama's visit here.
The press was not allowed in the meeting with the Dalai Lama.
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