China warned France on Thursday that upcoming talks between French President
Nicolas Sarkozy and the Dalai Lama could affect trade ties between the two
countries worth billions of dollars. Meanwhile the Dalai Lama spoke to the
It is not the first time Beijing expressed its disapproval of talks scheduled
for Saturday in Poland between the Dalai Lama and President Sarkozy, who also
holds the rotating European Union presidency. China previously called off an
European Union summit that was to be held in France this week.
China opposes foreign leaders meeting with the Dalai Lama, arguing the
Tibetan spiritual leader is seeking independence for his region.
And Beijing's warning of business sanctions may carry weight. Chinese
boycotted some French companies earlier this year after the Olympic torch relay
in Paris was disrupted by protesters angry over China's record on human rights
But in Brussels Thursday, the Dalai Lama reiterated his argument that he only
wanted autonomy for Tibet during remarks at the European Parliament that were
greeted by rousing applause. "Now the Tibetan issue. Basically to some Chinese
officials our approach they consider (it) a splittist movement. It's actually
not. It's totally wrong. Everyone knows we are seeking genuine autonomy
within...China for our genuine interest," he said.
The Dalai Lama said his movement was trying to promote a harmonious and
stable society, and that couldn't be developed under fear, an apparent reference
to Chinese rule in Tibet.
During a press conference later, the Dalai Lama said China lacked moral
authority because of its poor record on human rights, religious freedom and free
On Thursday, China's state media again condemned the Dalai Lama's call for