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China miffed over UK PM's meeting with Dalai Lama

Source: PTI
May 24, 2008 22:44 IST
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China on Saturday voiced its 'strong discontent' over the meeting between British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, saying it was an interference in its internal affairs and it gravely hurt the feelings of the Chinese.

"The British side, regardless of China's serious concern, allowed the Dalai Lama to visit Britain, meet Brown and other political figures and testify before a British parliamentary hearing on China's human rights," Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said.

In a high point of his 11-day visit to Britain, the Dalai Lama met Brown on Friday, with the British premier's office saying Brown held 'warm and constructive' discussions.

Qin said Tibet was an inalienable part of the Chinese territory and "China opposes any country, organisation or individual to use Dalai Lama to interfere in its internal affairs".

Noting that the British government had pledged not to support Tibet independence, he said it should honour its commitment and "do more to help the long-term development of Sino-British relations and safeguard the general situation of the relationship".

Brown met the Dalai Lama at Lambeth Palace, the official residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, inviting criticism within the country for not receiving him at Downing Street's office, in deviation of what his predecessors Tony Blair and John Major did.

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