July 16, 2011 / 1:46 AM / 9 years ago

China calls on U.S. to cancel Dalai Lama meeting

China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei asks journalists for questions during a news conference in Beijing July 7, 2011. REUTERS/David Gray

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China urged the United States on Saturday to cancel a planned meeting between President Barack Obama and Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, saying such a meeting would be harmful to U.S.-China relations.

“We firmly oppose any senior foreign government officials meeting with the Dalai Lama in any way,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in a statement on the ministry’s website.

Hong said China called on the United States to “cancel the decision for Obama to meet the Dalai Lama as soon as possible, and not do anything that could interfere with China’s internal affairs or harm China-U.S. relations.”

Reporting by Jason Subler; Editing by Ron Popeski

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