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Nancy Pelosi Meets With Dalai Lama, Despite China’s Criticism

WorldNancy Pelosi Meets With Dalai Lama, Despite China’s Criticism

A high-level U.S. congressional delegation, including the former House speaker Nancy Pelosi, met with the Dalai Lama at his Indian home on Wednesday, a visit that was condemned in advance by China’s government, which considers the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader a separatist.

The delegation, led by Michael McCaul, the Republican chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, arrived on Tuesday in the Himalayan town of Dharamsala, where the Dalai Lama has lived since the 1960s. The delegation visited the offices of the Tibetan government in exile, which is pushing for autonomy for Tibet within China.

The trip comes days after Congress passed a bill with bipartisan support that urged China to start dialogue with Tibetan leaders to find a solution to the longstanding conflict.

China’s criticism of the visit was immediate and unsurprising. Its leaders consider the government in exile illegal and regard any support for the cause of autonomy for Tibet, which they call Xizang, as interference in internal Chinese matters.

“We urge the U.S. side to fully recognize the anti-China separatist nature of the Dalai group, honor the commitments the U.S. has made to China on issues related to Xizang, stop sending the wrong signal to the world,” the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi said in a statement on Tuesday night.

At a public function on Wednesday after the meeting with the Dalai Lama, Mr. McCaul said Chinese officials had sent the delegation a letter “warning us not to come here.” He said the United States stood with Tibet in what he called its right to self-determination. “America, the beautiful, will support Tibet to remain a powerful force as always,” he said.

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