Beijing: China on Sunday summoned top US diplomat in the country to lodge a strong protest over President Barack Obama's meeting with Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama in the White House.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai summoned Robert S Wang, Charge d'Affaires of US embassy in Beijing, in the early hours on Saturday to lodge solemn representations over Obama's meeting with the Dalai Lama, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Chinese Ambassador to the US Zhang Yesui also lodged representations to the American side in Washington, said the statement.
Obama on Saturday met the Dalai Lama at the White House.

The US obstinate arrangement of Obama's meeting with the Dalai Lama in the White House has seriously interfered in China's internal affairs, hurt the feelings of the Chinese people, undermined China's key interests and damaged the Sino-American relations, the ministry said, voicing a strong indignation and stern objection to the meeting.

The Chinese side stressed that Tibet is an inseparable part of China and the issue about Tibet concerns exclusively to China's internal affairs, the state-run news agency reported quoting the statement.

The Chinese government and people are firmly determined to safeguard the country's key interests and national dignity, it said.

China also pointed out that fostering a sound and developing China-US relations needs the concerted efforts from both sides.

The Dalai Lama, who is living in exile since 1959, says he is peacefully seeking rights for Tibetans and accepts Chinese rule. But China insists that he is a "splittist" bent on dividing the country.

China requested the US to seriously consider China's stance, honour its commitment recognising Tibet as part of China and oppose 'Tibet independence', take measures to wipe out the baneful impact, and regain the trust from the Chinese government and people with its concrete actions, said the statement.

(Agencies)