China has lodged a strong diplomatic protest over the meeting of the US President Barack Obama and Tibetan Spiritual leader Dalai Lama. It added that it could seriously jeopardize China-US relations. Mr. Obama met the spiritual leader at the White House setting aside Chinese reservations.
In an interview with Fox News, the exiled Tibetan monk reiterated that he did not seek independence of Tibet from China which is not in its interest. All he seeks from the Chinese government was respect for Tibetan culture and its preservation.
Dalai Lama added that Buddhism was an important part of Chinese culture which is something new for a leader of a Communist party.
In a release, the White House Press Secretary said that the President has a very warm personal admiration for the Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
The President also has a deep appreciation for his teachings and his efforts for preserving the unique religious and cultural traditions of Tibet.
Mr. Obama also thanked the Tibetan spiritual leader for offering condolences for the 49 victims of the Orlando shooting. It was the fourth meeting between the two leaders.
Beijing accuses the Dalai of fomenting trouble in Tibet and leading a movement to secede Tibet from China. However, the esteemed Lama says he seeks only autonomy under Chinese rule.
China is very sensitive about the issue and often chides world leaders for meeting the exiled leader.
China maintains that Tibet issue is an internal affair of the nation and no outside interference is warranted.
The meeting of the two leaders was closed for the press, but the White House released on its Flickr account a photo showing the two warmly greeting one another.
The Dalai led a silent prayer for 1 minute in memory of the victims of the Orlando shooting.