The US should stop meddling immediately in China’s internal affairs, said China’s foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, after the leader of the head of the Tibetan government-in-exile met a US State Department official in Washington.
Lobsang Sangay, the president of the Tibetan Central Administration (CTA), met the new US special coordinator on Tibet last week. Sangay said it was the first time that the State Department received the head of the CTA.
“China will take all necessary measures to protect its interests,” foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said during a daily news conference in Beijing on Tuesday. The United States should stop meddling immediately, he added.
Beijing’s irritation with the United States over Tibet comes at a time when relations between the two world powers are at their lowest point in decades over a range of issues, including trade, Taiwan, human rights, the South China Sea and the coronavirus.
Describing Sangay as an anti-China separatist, Zhao said the United States should cease any official contact with him.
The meeting “sent a seriously wrong signal to Tibetan independence forces,” he said.
US should stop interference
“The US should immediately stop using the Tibet issue to interfere in China’s internal affairs.”
China seized control over Tibet in 1950 in what it describes as a “peaceful liberation”. International human rights groups and exiles routinely condemn what they call China’s oppressive rule in Tibetan areas.
Since its formation in 1959, the Tibetan government-in-exile has been based in Dharamshala in northern India. China’s relations with India became fraught recently following a bloody clash between troops stationed on the disputed Himalayan border.
Beijing has engaged in territorial disputes in both the South China Sea and the East China Sea. It has built up and militarised many of the islands and reefs it controls in the region. Both areas were stated to be rich in minerals, oil and other natural resources, and are vital to global trade.