Beijing reportedly summoned its US ambassador to account for President Barack Obama’s meeting with the exiled Tibetan leader, the Dalai Lama, yesterday. “The foreign ministry also demanded that Washington act to improve ties, warning in a statement that the US president’s meeting had ‘grossly violated norms governing international relations’. But China did not threaten retaliation of any kind and its response was relatively measured, reflecting the low-key nature of the event and the fact that Obama’s predecessors also met the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader. The move comes amid tensions between the two countries over issues including arms sales to Taiwan, trade, tackling nuclear proliferation and internet censorship. But both Washington and Beijing appear keen to play down the friction. In a statement published on the foreign ministry and Chinese media websites, spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said Washington should stop interfering in China’s internal affairs and take concrete action – which he did not specify – to ‘wipe out the baneful impact’ and maintain the healthy and steady growth of Sino-US relations. He added that the US should stop conniving and supporting anti-China separatist forces that seek ‘Tibet independence’.”
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