China Says Concerned by McCain, Dalai Lama Meeting བོད་སྐད།

China has voiced what it calls "deep concern" about a recent meeting between U.S. Republican presidential candidate John McCain and the Dalai Lama.

China's Foreign Ministry Monday said the United States should recognize that the Dalai Lama is engaged in separatist activities in Tibet under the guise of religion.

A statement published on the ministry's Web site also called on the United States to refrain from interfering in China's internal affairs.

China routinely condemns meetings between the Nobel Peace Prize winner and world politicians.

McCain and the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader met Friday in (the western U.S. city of) Aspen, Colorado. The Dalai Lama emphasized he was not endorsing the Arizona senator's presidential bid.

After the meeting, McCain called on China to release all Tibetan political prisoners and address the grievances of the Tibetan people. McCain also called on Chinese leaders to engage in meaningful dialogue on genuine autonomy for Tibet.

Representatives of the Dalai Lama and officials of the Chinese government have held several meetings over the past few years to talk about Tibetan issues.

After the last round of Tibetan-Chinese talks earlier this month, Tibetan envoys accused Chinese officials of lacking sincerity during the discussions.

China continues to accuse the Dalai Lama of seeking independence for Tibet, fomenting violence and seeking to disrupt the Olympic games.

The Dalai Lama denies the charges. Since the late 1980s, he has called publicly for meaningful autonomy for Tibet within the borders of China.