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China Warns Paris over Honor for Dalai Lama བོད་སྐད།


China has warned Paris against awarding Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, honorary citizenship.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu on Thursday urged the French capital not to interfere in what he called China's "internal affairs."

He said Beijing hopes China and France will work together to build on their recently improved ties.

The India-based Tibetan government in exile said last week that the Dalai Lama will accept the honorary citizenship when he visits France next month.

The Paris city council voted to give the honor in last April following China's crackdown on a wave of anti-government protests in Tibet.

Relations between China and France deteriorated sharply last December following a meeting in Poland between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and the Dalai Lama.

Last April, pro-Tibetan demonstrations on the streets of Paris during the Beijing Olympic torch relay angered the Chinese and led to a boycott of French goods and the French grocery chain Carrefour.

Beijing claims that the Dalai Lama seeks independence for Tibet. The Nobel prize laureate says he only wants autonomy for Tibet.

China took control of Tibet in 1951. The Dalai Lama fled in 1959, after a failed uprising against Chinese rule.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.


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