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Obama to Meet with Dalai Lama, Over Chinese Objections


The White House says President Barack Obama will meet with Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, despite Chinese warnings that such a meeting would further harm bilateral relations.

Those ties are already strained by Taiwan, Internet censorship and other issues.

But White House spokesman Bill Burton said Mr. Obama told Chinese leaders during his trip to China last year that he would meet with the Dalai Lama, and that the president intends to go ahead with those plans.

He did not say when the meeting would take place.

The Dalai Lama was in the United States last year, just before Mr. Obama traveled to China. But the president decided not to meet with him until after that trip.

U.S. officials say it is important to maintain relationships with both China and Tibet's government in exile. Beijing considers the Dalai Lama a separatist.

The Dalai Lama's envoys say they asked Chinese officials during talks last week to stop using that term in reference to him.

China's warning Tuesday came amid its continuing anger over the latest U.S. arms sale to Taiwan, which Beijing views as a renegade province. China has cut off military contacts with Washington over the issue.

The $6.4 billion sale, announced Friday, also prompted China to announce it will impose sanctions on American companies involved in the deal. Beijing has not named any firms or said what the sanctions would involve. But some companies that could be affected include Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Boeing.

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

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