BEIJING - China on Tuesday expressed its strong discontent and resolute opposition to Paris city council awarding the Dalai Lama honorary citizenship of the city.
"This act grossly interferes in China's internal affairs and severely infringes on Sino-French relations, as well as the existing friendly relations between Beijing and Paris in particular," said Jiang Yu, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, at a press conference.
Paris city council voted on Monday to award honorary citizenship to the Dalai Lama, a proposal tabled by Mayor Bertrand Delanoe.
Jiang said Tibet is an inalienable part of China, and a purely internal Chinese affair.
"China is strongly against any nation or individual using the Dalai Lama issue to interfere in China's internal affairs," she said.
She added that the Dalai Lama's wordings and actions over the past decades demonstrated he is not really a religious figure, but a political exile engaged in the separatist activities under the disguise of the religion.
The Dalai clique is the organizer, plotter and instigator of the March 14 violence in Lhasa and other areas of the country, she said.
Recently, Jiang said, some French people and media, regardless of the reality, have continued to make negative reports and remarks about China. She also said the Olympic torch being attacked in Paris seriously hurt the feeling of the Chinese people and impaired Sino-French relations.
"The Paris city council's awarding at present will be taken as another severe provocation to 1.3 billion Chinese people including Tibetans, and will further encourage the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan secessionists," she said.
China urged France to take effective measures to get rid of the bad impact, to stop conniving and supporting the "Tibet independence" secessionist act, to halt interfering in China's internal affairs so as to safeguard Sino-French relations through actions, she said.