BEIJING — China urged the United States today to immediately cancel plans for President Obama to meet with the Dalai Lama next week, warning the move could further hurt ties.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu issued the remarks hours after Washington announced Obama would meet with the Tibetan spiritual leader at the White House on Feb. 18.
China accuses the Dalai Lama of pushing for Tibetan independence, which the Dalai Lama denies, and believes that shunning the exiled Tibetan monk should be a basic principle of international relations.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Obama looked forward to an "engaging and constructive dialogue" with the Dalai Lama.
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Mexican president visits drug-scarred city
CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico — Under heavy guard, President Felipe Calderon visited this embattled border city Thursday and apologized to parents for having suggested that the recent killing of their teenagers was part of a confrontation between rival gangs.
At least five women meeting with Calderon, some of them mothers of the victims, stood up and turned their backs to the president, parents who were present said later.
Calderon's visit came 12 days after gunmen massacred 15 people, most of them high school and college students, who were celebrating a birthday at a private home.