Sarkozy’’s decision to meet Dalai Lama forces angry China to call off EU summitNovember 27th, 2008 - 5:28 pm ICT by ANI
Beijing, Nov.27 (ANI): China has decided to cancel its annual summit with the European Union because of French President Nicholas Sarkozys plans to meet Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.
The decision is a dramatic example of the lengths to which Beijing is willing to go to isolate the Dalai Lama internationally.
French President Sarkozy, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, will go ahead with plans to meet the Dalai Lama in Poland next month despite Beijing’’s explicit anger.
Luc Chatel, a French government spokesman, said: “The president of the Republic will meet the Nobel Prize winners. So he will meet the Dalai Lama in that framework.”
The EU voiced regret at China’’s decision to postpone indefinitely the December 1 summit: “particularly at time when the global economic and financial situation calls for very close co-operation between Europe and China”.
Anti-Chinese riots by Tibetans in March provoked fury in Beijing as they threatened to overshadow the August Olympics by stirring international sympathy for the Tibetan cause.
China was enraged when German Chancellor Angela Merkel received the Dalai Lama in 2007 and froze commercial ties for a month, furious that Bonn had failed to notify Beijing in advance of its plans.
China responded with more equanimity when U.S. President George W. Bush met the religious leader because Washington had given Beijing private prior notice. (ANI)
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