Beijing, June 9 (ANI): Chinese experts have termed Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe's meeting with the Dalai Lama to award him an honorary citizenship of the French capital as "a full political stunt."
China opposes the honorary Paris citizenship for Dalai Lama.
Despite a protest from China, Delanoe hosted the Dalai Lama at a ceremony in Paris on Sunday afternoon.
The step irked Beijing at a time when relations between France and China have just begun to get warmer.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry condemned Paris city government's move.
"The behavior can only create serious damage to cooperation between Paris and relevant cities in China and has created grave interference in relations between China and France," China Daily quoted a ministry statement, as saying. owever, French President Nicolas Sarkozy distanced himself from the meeting, describing it as "a municipal matter, not an act of state".
The Socialist Party, which Delanoe represents, was the main opposition to Sarkozy in the 2007 presidential election.
"The Sarkozy government has distanced itself from Delanoe's meeting with Dalai Lama as it learned the lesson from the last Sino-French relationship crisis, but Sarkozy could do little about Paris City Hall's decision," Wu Baiyi, an expert with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), said.
Zhao Junjie, an expert in European studies with the CASS, said Delanoe, as a Socialist Party member, met the Dalai Lama to "intensify the competition with the opposite party" and "played the political stunt to its full", risking hurting Chinese people's feelings. (ANI)