- Title: CHINA: Chinese disapprove of Obama-Dalai Lama meeting
- Date: 19th February 2010
- Summary: BEIJING, CHINA (FEBRUARY 18, 2010) (REUTERS) CROWDS IN TIANANMEN SQUARE PORTRAIT OF FORMER CHAIRMAN MAO ZEDONG AT GATE OF HEAVENLY PEACE IN TIANANMEN SQUARE VARIOUS OF GUARD STANDING IN FRONT OF GATE OF HEAVENLY PEACE RED FLAGS OUTSIDE THE GREAT HALL OF THE PEOPLE IN TIANANMEN SQUARE CHINESE NATIONAL EMBLEM / RED FLAGS PEOPLE WALKING PAST RED FLAGS IN TIANANMEN SQUARE PEOPLE ARRIVING AT BEIJING'S LAMA TEMPLE PEOPLE WALKING PEOPLE WALKING THROUGH GATE OF TEMPLE (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) BEIJING RESIDENT MR. ZOU SAYING: "It's hard to say. The Dalai Lama, this whole situation with meeting Obama, should have an impact. After all, the Dalai Lama has a very particular status in China." PEOPLE BURNING INCENSE PEOPLE HOLDING INCENSE STICKS IN FIRE PEOPLE IN TEMPLE COURTYARD (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) VISITOR MR. WANG FROM ANHUI PROVINCE SAYING: "I think that because we Chinese are now celebrating the Spring Festival, to have President Obama meet the Dalai Lama is contradictory, and not very proper. Because the Tibet problem is one of China's core issues, so Obama shouldn't put his nose into China's internal affairs. It is misleading because the Dalai Lama is a separatist. So for him to do this is not good, and I think it will have an impact on the Sino-U.S. relations." WOMAN PRAYING PEOPLE BURNING INCENSE STICKS VARIOUS OF MAN BURNING INCENSE MAN PRAYING PEOPLE PRAYING CROWDS AT TEMPLE WOMAN AND MAN PRAYING TRAFFIC IN THE STREET OUTSIDE TEMPLE
- Embargoed: 5th March 2010 23:49
- Location: China
- Country: China
- Topics: International Relations
- Reuters ID: LVAF2RIAC95MN32PLFFUB70WOPKA
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, is expected to meet U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington on Thursday (February 18) against a backdrop of tension with China.
China has urged the Obama administration to scrap plans for the meeting, which is viewed in Beijing as another irritant in relations between the United States and China.
Tensions between the two countries have arisen over issues from trade to currencies to the U.S. plan to sell 6.4 billion of weapons to Taiwan.
China vowed last week to impose unspecified sanctions against American companies selling arms to Taiwan and curtail military-to-military contacts.
China regards the spiritual leader as a separatist who is formenting unrest in Tibet.
In Beijing, worshippers at the capital's Tibetan Lama Temple expressed their discontent over the meeting but most were apprehensive about stating their concerns in front of the camera.
Beijing resident Mr. Zou said he believed the meeting would bear some consequences on the Sino-U.S. relations.
"It's hard to say. The Dalai Lama, this whole situation with meeting Obama, should have an impact. After all, the Dalai Lama has a very particular status in China," he said.
Mr. Wang, a visitor from the eastern Anhui province said he thought the timing and the objectives of the meeting hurt Chinese interests.
"I think that because we Chinese are now celebrating the Spring Festival, to have President Obama meet the Dalai Lama is contradictory, and not very proper. Because the Tibet problem is one of China's core issues, so Obama shouldn't put his nose into China's internal affairs. It is misleading because the Dalai Lama is a separatist. So for him to do this is not good, and I think it will have an impact on the Sino-U.S. relations," he said.
Mindful of Chinese sensitivities, Obama held off meeting the Dalai Lama until after he first met Chinese leaders during a trip to Asia in November.
Further, in a nod to diplomatic courtesy, Obama will not receive the Dalai Lama in the Oval Office of the White House and will, instead, greet him in the Map Room, a space which is generally used for social occasions.
China has recently become increasingly vocal in opposing meetings between foreign leaders and the Dalai Lama.
Previous U.S. presidents, including Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush, have met the Dalai Lama, drawing angry words from Beijing but no substantive reprisals.
The Dalai Lama has said he wants a high level of genuine autonomy for his homeland, which he fled in 1959. China says his demands amount to calling for outright independence.
Beijing blames the spiritual leader for violent unrest that broke out in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa and across other Tibetan areas in March 2008, ahead of the Beijing Olympics.
China recently hosted talks with envoys of the Dalai Lama but they achieved little.
Washington has said it accepts Tibet is a part of China but wants Beijing to sit down with the Dalai Lama to address differences over the region's future.
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