Monday, December 8, 2008

China Lodges Protest Over Dalai Lama-Sarkozy Meeting

China has summoned Herve Ladsous, the French ambassador in Beijing, and called the meeting between Sarkozy and Dalai Lama a "rude intervention" into Chinese affairs."The French side's wrong action grossly interfered in China's internal affairs and also severely hurt the feelings of the Chinese people," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao said in a press release.Sarkozy defied Chinese ire and met the Dalai Lama on Saturday privately in Gdansk, Poland, at the celebrations marking 25 years of Nobel Peace Prize conferment on Lech Walesa, former Polish president and Solidarity leader. Sarkozy said, "There's no need to dramatize things."Chinese Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei said it was up to France to "fully understand the damage" done to bilateral ties by Sarkozy's meeting with the Tibetan leader."It also severely undermined China's core interest, gravely hurt the feelings of the Chinese people and sabotaged the political basis of China-France and China-EU relations," Yafei said. An editorial in the People’s Daily, which acts as the voice of the ruling Communist Party, said, "He (Sarkozy) ignored China's repeated entreaties and stubbornly refused to shift, plainly determined to step over China's red line.""This malicious provocation concerns China's core interest in national unity and inevitably will exact a heavy price."Rama Yade, France’s government minister for human rights said Sunday on France's RTL radio that it wasn't worth turning the tensions into a "psychodrama.""I don't see what there is to debate about," Rama Yade said on France's RTL radio, noting that other world leaders have also met the Dalai Lama. "They should accept the situation."China accuses the Dalai Lama of seeking separation from ChinaChina, which sent military troops to occupy Tibet in 1949, reviles the Dalai Lama as a “separatist” trying to split Tibet from it, and regularly protests against countries that agree to visits by him or warns world leaders of diplomatic consequences if they meet him. However, the Tibetan leader has always maintained that his meetings and visits should not cause any obstacle in the ties between his host countries and China.


No comments: