Washington, Feb 12: The already strained US-China relations is bound to get more sour as the White House has confirmed that US president Barack Obama will be meeting Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama.
This comes after the communist nation voiced its objection against the meet last week saying that the meet would 'threaten trust and co-operation' between Beijing and Washington.
A 2009 autumn meeting was postponed by Obama as he did not wish to disrupt ties with China.
However, the ties between the two countries have been suffering since Jan 2010 after Google Inc alleged hacking attempts from China and raised a cry over Internet censorship.
Now, US has decided to go ahead with the Obama-Dalai meeting.
"The Dalai Lama is an internationally respected religious leader and spokesman for Tibetan rights, and the president looks forward to an engaging and constructive dialogue," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said on Thursday, Feb 11.
China was quick to respond to this. On Friday, Feb 12 the Asian giant warned US against going ahead with this decision as it would further damage to already strained ties.
"We firmly oppose the Dalai Lama visiting the United States and US leaders having contact with him," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said in a statement.
"We urge the US side to fully understand the high sensitivity of Tibet-related issues, and honour its commitment to recognise Tibet as part of China and to oppose 'Tibet independence'," he added.