China is reacting angrily to the Dalai Lama's latest speech on religious and ethnic rights, saying it exposed his intent to split China.
A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said Thursday the Dalai Lama's reference to the Xinjiang region as "East Turkestan" proves the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader wants to sabotage ethnic unity.
The Dalai Lama expressed solidarity with Xinjiang's Turkic-speaking, mostly Muslim Uighurs in a speech Wednesday marking the 51st anniversary of a failed Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule.
Using the name given to the region by pro-independence Uighur exiles, the Dalai Lama said the people of East Turkestan have experienced increased oppression.
The Dalai Lama also said Beijing had put monks and nuns "in prison-like conditions", making "monasteries function more like museums ... to deliberately annihilate Buddhism".
The Dalai Lama says he is seeking greater Tibetan autonomy. Beijing insists he wants full independence.
On Wednesday, the Dalai Lama said he would try to continue a dialogue with China, but said there is little hope that a result will be achieved soon.
Some information for this report was provided by Xinhu and Reuters.