China's foreign ministry has accused Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama of using a trip to Latin America to promote secession from China.
In a statement to reporters Thursday, a foreign ministry spokesman said the Dalai Lama is not a purely religious figure but a political exile engaged in activities designed to split China. The spokesman urged Latin American nations to be - in his words - on "high alert" for what he called the Dalai Lama's secessionist activities.
The Dalai Lama is in Colombia - the last leg of a Latin American tour that also included stops in Brazil and Peru.
China frequently accuses the Tibetan spiritual leader of promoting secession from China. He has denied seeking to split Tibet from the rest of China