China condemns Austrian Chancellor-Dalai meeting

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China on Saturday condemned strongly a meeting between the Dalai Lama and Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann and Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said the meeting was a severe interference with China's internal affairs, hurt the feelings of Chinese people and sent false signals to the "Tibet independence" forces.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing and the Chinese Embassy in Austria will both lodge solemn representations to the Austrian side, he said.

The issue regarding Tibet is of exclusive concern to China's internal affairs. And the Dalai Lama is but only "a political exile who has long been engaged in anti-China secessionist activities in the name of religion," Hong said.

China objects firmly to any foreign leader's meeting with the Dalai Lama in any form and opposes any country, or anyone, interfering in China's internal affairs by using the Dalai Lama, he said.

Hong urged the Austrian side to take seriously China's solemn stance, stop indulging and supporting anti-China "Tibet independence" forces and take immediate and effective measures to minimize the baneful impact, so as to safeguard the overall development of bilateral ties.

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