China Warns Against Obama Meeting Dalai Lama

Senate Foreign Relations Committee greets the Dalai Lama before their meeting on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, June 14, 2016.
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China warned against U.S. President Barack Obama meeting with the Dalai Lama, saying it could damage mutual trust on Tuesday.

The meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, will be closed-door to avoid angering China, who sees the Dalai Lama as a dangerous separatist.

President Obama has met with the Dalai Lama, a monk revered by Tibetans, multiple times and refers to him as "a good friend".

But China fears it will send the wrong message to Tibetans.

"If such meeting goes through, it will send a wrong signal to the separatist forces seeking Tibet independence and it will damage mutual trust and cooperation," China's foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters Wednesday.

Dialogue between the Dalai Lama and China’s central government stopped in 2010.

Tibetans re-elected their Prime Minister in May, and maintain hope that talks with China about a "middle way" that would give Tibet sovereignty can continue.