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Foreign leaders using Tibet to interfere in China's affairs: Li Zhaoxing

March 7, 2010

Saibal Dasgupta
Times of India
March 4, 2010

BEIJING -- Voicing its opposition to "certain"
foreign leaders' meetings with the Dalai Lama,
China warned them against using Tibet-related
issues to interfere in the country's internal affairs.

The Chinese people were angry over the meetings
between certain foreign leaders and the Tibetan
spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, said Li
Zhaoxing, the spokesman for the annual session of China's top legislature.

"Some foreign politicians said the Dalai Lama is
a religious figure, but in fact he is a political
exile. A very close friend of mine who served in
an important post in the US government said the
Dalai Lama was a political monk," Li told a press
conference, a day before the opening of the
National People's Congress (NPC) session.

"Why did the Dalai Lama propose a 'Greater Tibet'
and keep the 'government-in-exile' with a
so-called Constitution while claiming he is not
in support of 'Tibet independence'?" Li was
quoted as saying by the official Xinhua news agency.

He said some politicians ignored the fact that
Tibet is an inalienable part of China. The region
has scored great social and economic progress since democratic reforms in 1959.

"They lacked proper understanding about Tibet's
history and present," he was quoted as saying.

Some foreign leaders intended to use
Tibet-related issues to interfere in China's internal affairs, Li noted.

Notwithstanding China's strong opposition, US
President Barack Obama and Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton met the Dalai Lama in Washington on February 18.
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