Friday, May 25, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

USA conniving with separatists, says China

Beijing, May 24
China today accused the USA of encouraging Tibetan independence activists after US President George W. Bush offered the Dalai Lama his strong support at a meeting in Washington.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry also accused Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader of being insincere about negotiations with Beijing — in contrast to Bush’s praise for the 1989 Nobel Peace Laureate’s efforts to start a dialogue with Chinese leaders.

“The Dalai Lama is not a purely religious person, but an exiled politician who has long been conducting activities to split the motherland,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao told a news conference.

The Dalai Lama met Mr Bush yesterday as he neared the end of a nine-city tour of the USA where he has been speaking about China’s suppression of Tibetan nationalism.

Although the Dalai Lama has met previous US Presidents, Mr Bush went further than his predecessor by hosting the 30-minute meeting in the Yellow Oval Room in the White House residence.

“This is conniving at and supporting Tibetan independence forces and interfering in China’s internal affairs,” Zhu said.

The meeting is one of a host of issues which have severely strained US-China relations since the April 1 collision of a US spy plane with a Chinese jet fighter. Reuters

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