Beijing: Bush-Dalai Lama meeting negative
Updated: 2005-11-11 05:50
China criticized US President George W. Bush yesterday for meeting the Dalai
Lama this week, and dismissed Washington's annual report on religious freedom as
"The Dalai Lama is not a simple or a
pure religious figure. He is a political exile who undertakes secessionist
activities abroad," Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said at a regular
news briefing. "We oppose meetings between him and other leaders."
George W. Bush looks up after signing a book of condolences at the
Jordanian embassy in Washington November 10, 2005.
Bush's White House meeting with the Dalai Lama on Wednesday came just days
ahead of his Beijing visit scheduled for November 19-21.
"Other leaders should not provide a platform for him to separate the
country," Liu said.
On Tuesday, the Bush administration, in a report to Congress, labelled China
a serious violator of religious freedom along with Myanmar, the Democratic
People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Viet Nam, Iran, Sudan, Eritrea and Saudi
Liu said the State Department's annual report on religious freedom, which
said China restricts religious practice to State-sanctioned groups, made
"We urge the US Government to stop interfering in China's religious affairs
under the guise of the religion issue," Liu said, adding all people in all
regions in China enjoy religious freedom in accordance with the law.
But Liu stressed the two incidents would not overshadow Bush's visit to
"The importance will not be diminished by a single incident," he said. "The
visit will achieve its planned goals."
Bush to seek China economic concessions
In the face of a widening U.S. trade deficit with China, US President George
W. Bush will pressure China to make good on a pledge of economic concessions on
an Asia tour that will also focus on fighting bird flu and North Korea's nuclear
program, a top aide said on Thursday, the Reuters reported.