The Chinese government on Saturday strongly condemned a meeting between Mexican President Felipe Calderón and Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, saying it damaged relations between both countries.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said the Mexican side arranged Calderón’s meeting with the Dalai Lama on Friday, despite strong objections from China. Following the meeting, China “lodged solemn representations” with Mexican officials in Beijing and Mexico City.
“This is a gross interference in China’s internal affairs, hurts the feelings of the Chinese people, and undermines China-Mexico relations,” Jiang said. “China expresses its strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition.”
Jiang said Calderón went against the ‘commitments of the Mexican side’ and urged the Mexican government to take concrete actions to eliminate the negative impact of the issue. She added that the Tibet issue concerns China’s core interests and accused the Dalai Lama of carrying out secessionist activities under the banner of religion.
China continues to claim Tibet as a region of their territory, though Tibetans have disagreed for many years. In mid-July, the Chinese Foreign Ministry also strongly condemned a meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and the Dalai Lama.
That meeting was quietly announced on a late Friday evening in Obama’s daily schedule in an attempt to keep it low profile, but it did not slip past China’s attention. The meeting also took place behind closed doors with no press allowed to attend.