WASHINGTON, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) -- Despite China's strong opposition, U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday met with the Dalai Lama in Washington.
Previously, China has repeatedly and solemnly taken up the issue with the U.S. side.
On Feb. 12, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said China firmly opposes the Dalai Lama visiting the United States and U.S. leaders' contacting him.
The Chinese side urges the U.S. side to fully understand the highly sensitive nature of the Tibet-related issues, to honor its commitment to recognizing Tibet as part of China and to opposing "Tibet independence," he said.
Ma also urged the Unites States to refrain from offering the Dalai Lama venue and convenience for engaging in split-China activities, and to avoid further damage to the Sino-U.S. relations.
There have been a couple of meetings between a U.S. president and the Dalai Lama since 1991.
Originally named Lhamo Thondup, the Dalai Lama was conferred the title of the 14th Dalai Lama in 1940.
After launching and having failed an armed rebellion in March 1950, he fled to India and formed a so-called "Tibet government in exile."
In the guise of religion, the Dalai Lama has since then been involved in activities aimed to split China and to undermine Tibet's social stability.