Wednesday, November 26, 2008
China Postpones EU Summit to Protest Dalai Lama Visit
China has postponed a summit with the European Union next week in protest of a planned visit to Europe by Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.
A statement Wednesday from the EU says Chinese authorities made the decision because the Dalai Lama will be visiting several EU countries at the time of the summit.
The summit was originally scheduled to take place on December 1. In the statement, the EU said it regrets China's decision.
The EU stressed, however, that it plans to continue to promote its strategic partnership with Beijing at a time when the world's financial situation calls for close cooperation.
Earlier this month, China warned that French President Nicolas Sarkozy's plans to meet with the Dalai Lama in Poland in December would hurt relations.
France holds the EU's rotating presidency until the end of next month.
In Poland, the Dalai Lama and Mr. Sarkozy will attend ceremonies to mark the anniversary of the awarding of the Nobel Peace prize to Lech Walesa, the anti-communist activist who later became president.
The Dalai Lama will also visit the European Parliament.