BEIJING, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- China on Friday urged the United States to immediately cancel the planned meeting between President Barack Obama and the Dalai Lama to avoid damaging China-U.S. ties.
"We urge the United States to take China's concerns seriously and not to facilitate or offer occasion for the Dalai Lama to conduct anti-China secessionist moves," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a press release.
Her comments came in response to the scheduled informal Obama-Dalai Lama meeting on Friday in the White House Map Room, a historically important room but of less significance than the Oval Office.
"China is greatly concerned about the meeting, and has lodged solemn representations to the U.S. side," Hua said.
The Tibetan issue is a domestic affair for China, she said, arguing that no foreign country bears the right to interfere.
The Dalai Lama is a political figure in exile who is undertaking anti-China separatist activities in the name of religion, said the spokeswoman.
The arranged meeting between the U.S. leader and the Dalai Lama is an unjustified interference with China's domestic affairs and a serious violation of the principles of international relations, and will cause great damage to China-U.S. relations, she said.
Addressing a routine press briefing, Hua said the Chinese people are best qualified to speak on the human rights situation in Tibet.
She said that Tibet has scored brilliant achievements in its economic and social development since its peaceful liberation. The former serfs and slaves have since become masters of their own country and society.
"These are facts that won't be denied by anyone without political bias," she added.
China firmly opposes any foreign leader meeting with the Dalai Lama, she said, adding that any country that insists on damaging China's interests will eventually harm its own interests.
China has long opposed foreign dignitaries meeting with the Dalai Lama,who fled to India and created the self-declared "Tibetan government in exile" in 1959 after a failed armed rebellion.
Obama has met with the Dalai Lama twice before, in February 2010 and July 2011.