China said Monday it is opposed to any country meeting the Dalai Lama "in any manner," after the White House said U.S. President Barack Obama will attend the National Prayer Breakfast with the Tibetan spiritual leader this week.
At a press conference in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei also called on the United States to handle the matter "in the interest of bilateral relations."
The White House announced last week that Obama would deliver remarks at the February 5 prayer breakfast in Washington about the importance of religious freedom. The Dalai Lama is scheduled to attend. The Obama administration, however, has not announced any direct meeting between the two.
Chinese officials were infuriated when Obama held his third meeting with the Dalai Lama in Washington last February.
Beijing regards the Dalai Lama as a dangerous separatist seeking to establish an independent Tibet, but the Tibetan spiritual leader has denied the charge, saying he is only seeking true autonomy for his homeland.
Some information in this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.