The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill to award Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, with the United States' highest civilian honor.
More than two-thirds of House members supported Wednesday's bill to award the Dalai Lama the Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of his advocacy of religious harmony, non-violence and human rights.
Last week, Canada granted the Dalai Lama honorary Canadian citizenship during his visit to Vancouver. The decision drew a formal complaint from China.
Beijing has long condemned the Dalai Lama as an enemy of Chinese national unity because of his demands for greater autonomy for Tibet. China says it strongly opposes any country's offer to give the Buddhist leader a stage for what it considers his separatist activities.