Chinese groups oppose Paris mayor’s plan to honor Dalai Lama

June 3rd, 2009 - 6:33 pm ICT by ANI  

Beijing, June 3 (ANI): A number of Chinese groups based in France have registered their protest against Paris mayor’s plan to honor the Dalai Lama.

Chen Shengwu, chairman of the Chinese Immigrants and Expatriates Association in France, said more than 30 Chinese organizations in France have sent letters of protest to the mayor of Paris.

“We strongly protest against the Paris mayor’s meeting with the Dalai Lama, a move likely to derail Sino-French ties again,” Chen said, adding that the rekindled relationship was “hard-won” after it was damaged following a meeting between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and the Dalai Lama last December. ,

Last month, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao attended the 11th Sino-EU Summit in Prague, indicating the return to warmer relations between China and France.

Despite a protest from China, a spokesperson for the mayor of Paris confirmed that the Dalai Lama will be hosted in the French capital so the city can bestow on him the title of honorary citizen, the China Daily reports.

Last week, Poland’s capital city Warsaw awarded him an honorary citizenship.The Leaders of other European countries have met or planning to meet the Dalai Lama who is currently touring Denmark, France, Iceland and Poland. Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen and Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller also met him in Copenhagen recently.

Wu Baiyi, an expert on European studies with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) said the meetings were “dangerous” with possible consequences for ties with China.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang announced that Beijing remains opposed to “foreign political figures having official exchanges with the Dalai Lama”.

“Any irresponsible moves taken by whatever country on this issue will constitute gross intervention in China’s internal affairs and will certainly seriously damage China’s relations with the relevant countries,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said.

Zhao Junjie, an expert in European Studies with the CASS claimed that a meeting with the Dalai Lama is often used as “a political stunt” in some European countries. (ANI)

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