Beijing, Mar 4: Criticizing some foreign leaders for meeting the Dalai Lama, a senior Chinese official has described Tibetan spiritual leader as a 'political monk'.
"Some foreign politicians said the Dalai Lama is a religious figure, but in fact he is a political exile," said Li Zhaoxing, spokesman for the annual session of China's top legislature, the National People's Congress.
"A very close friend ... who served an important post in the US government said the Dalai Lama was a political monk," Li was quoted by news agency as saying.
Li further said, "Why did the Dalai Lama propose a 'Greater Tibet' and keep the 'government-in-exile' with a so-called constitution while claiming he is not in support of 'Tibet independence'?"
He pointed out that Tibet was "an inalienable part of China" and the region has recorded social and economic progress since the Communists took control of the region in 1959.
"They (foreigners) lacked proper understanding about Tibet's history and present," Li said.
Li's comments came a fortnight after President Barack Obama met the Dalai Lama at the White House.