China has warned the Dutch parliament not to officially welcome the Dalai Lama when he visits the Netherlands on June 4 and 5, a spokeswoman confirmed on Thursday.
China’s ambassador to the Netherlands Zhang Jun has written to MPs urging them not to hold an official welcome for the Tibetan spiritual leader. Such a reception would not be good for Dutch Chinese relations at ‘these times of economic crisis’, Nos tv quotes the letter as saying.
The chairman of the foreign affairs committee, which plans to meet the Dalai Lama in June, said he planned to raise the issue with the ambassador.
‘We know that China is concerned about contacts with the Dalai Lama. Parliaments in other countries have had similar letters. But in a democracy, MPs themselves decide who they will meet,’ Henk Jan Ormel was quoted as saying.
According to Dutch world service radio, prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende has no plans to meet the Dalai Lama during his visit.
The Tibetan spiritual leader, who fled his home country 50 years ago, was last in the Netherlands 10 years ago.
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