Washington, Feb.18 (ANI): US President Barack Obama will meet Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, today putting a further strain on America's relations with China.
China has called on Washington to cancel the meeting, describing it as a 'wrong decision', which will harm ties between the countries, reports Sky News.
The Dalai Lama, who has met every American President since 1991, often uses foreign trips to highlight what he says is China's poor treatment of his homeland.
The White House has described the meeting as private and that Obama will receive the 74-year-old monk in the Map Room, and not in the more official Oval Office.
The Obama administration not only refused to call off the meeting but also announced that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would meet the Dalai Lama.
"We feel encouraged that the president of the United States, a global superpower, is meeting with His Holiness. It means the world has not forgotten," the Dalai Lama's spokesperson said.
"The Dalai Lama is a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, internationally revered religious and cultural leader and the secretary will meet him in this capacity as recent secretaries of state have done," Clinton's spokesperson said.
The US has acknowledged that China is upset, but says that it supports a cooperative relationship.
"It's a complex relationship. There's areas where we agree, there's areas where we disagree on. And we're going to continue to pursue that relationship vigorously," an American government spokesman said
China has branded him a "wolf in monk's clothes" and accuses him of advocating separatism.(ANI)