BEIJING, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai Friday summoned the U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman and lodged solemn representations over U.S. President Barack Obama's meeting with the Dalai Lama.
"The U.S. act grossly interfered in China's internal affairs, gravely hurt the Chinese people's national sentiments and seriously damaged the Sino-U.S. ties, " said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu in a further statement Friday.
In spite of China's strong opposition, U.S. President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met respectively with the Dalai Lama in Washington on Thursday.
"Tibet is an inalienable part of the inviolable territory of China, and the issues concerning Tibet are purely internal affairs of China," Ma said.
China firmly opposes leaders or government officials of any country meeting the Dalai Lama in any form, and also firmly opposes any country or anyone using the Dalai Lama issue to interfere in its internal affairs, he added.
"The Dalai Lama's words and deeds have shown that he is not a pure religious figure, but a political exile who has all along been engaged in separatist activities under the pretext of religion," the spokesman said.
The U.S. side allowed the Dalai Lama to visit the United States and arranged its president and other political leader to meet with him, which grossly violated the basic norms governing the international relations, and ran counter to the principles set forth in the three China-U.S. joint communiques and the China-U.S. joint statement, Ma said.
"It also went against the repeated commitments by the U.S. government that the U.S. recognizes Tibet as part of China and gives no support to 'Tibet independence'", he said, stressing China expressed strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition against such a move.
The determination of the Chinese government and the Chinese people to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity is firm and unshakable, and anyone who attempts to use the Dalai Lama issue to interfere in China's internal affairs is doomed to failure, said Ma.
He demanded the U.S. seriously consider China's stance, immediately adopt measures to wipe out the baneful impact and stop conniving and supporting anti-China separatist forces that seek "Tibet independence."
The U.S. should stop interfering in China's internal affairs and make concrete actions to maintain healthy and steady growth of China-U.S. relations, he said.
Originally named Lhamo Thondup, the Dalai Lama was conferred the title of the 14th Dalai Lama in 1940.
After launching and having failed an armed rebellion in March 1959, he fled to India and formed a so-called "Tibet government in exile."
In the guise of religion, the Dalai Lama has since then been involved in activities aimed to separate China and to undermine Tibet's social stability.