U.S. President Barack Obama will host the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet, Thursday at the White House, despite intense protests from China.
The Dalai Lama arrived in Washington Wednesday ahead of his meeting with Mr. Obama, which will take place in a private room in the White House, and not in the Oval Office, the president's official study.
A White House spokesman says there will be no opportunity for journalists to take pictures, but says the White House will release one official photograph.
The meeting has drawn angry comments from China, which said it "firmly opposes" the visit by the Dalai Lama. China last week called on the U.S. to "immediately withdraw" the invitation.
A spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry said last week the meeting could further damage U.S.-China relations, which have recently been strained by a planned U.S. weapons sale to Taiwan, disagreements over China's currency exchange rate and U.S. concerns over Chinese Internet censorship.
Mr. Obama passed up a chance to meet the Dalai Lama last year before his summit with his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is also scheduled to meet with the Dalai Lama on Thursday.
Previous U.S. presidents, including Mr. Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush, have received the Dalai Lama.
The Dalai Lama fled Tibet in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule. He says he is not seeking independence for Tibet, just greater autonomy; China accuses him of advocating