China once again urged U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday to immediately cancel his meeting with Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama due next week, Xinhua said.
Beijing has repeatedly warned Obama that in case he decides to meet with the Dalai Lama this month, relations between the countries may deteriorate. However, the White House announced on Thursday that the meeting would take place on February 18.
"China firmly opposes the Dalai Lama visiting the United States and U.S. leaders' contacting him," the agency said citing Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu.
"We urge the U.S. side to fully understand the high sensitivity of Tibet-related issues, honor its commitment to recognizing Tibet as part of China and opposing 'Tibet independence,'" he went on.
The United States and China have recently not seen eye to eye on a number of international issues, including the Iranian nuclear issue, the $6.4 weapons sales to Taiwan, as well as the Dalai Lama's status.
The Dalai Lama, who fled Tibet in 1959, has repeatedly said he seeks autonomy for Tibet rather than independence from China.
Beijing accused the Nobel Peace Prize winner of orchestrating the March 2008 unrest in Tibet, which left 19 people dead and 623 injured, according to official Chinese reports. The Dalai Lama denied the allegations.
MOSCOW, February 12 (RIA Novosti)