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China Warns French President Against Meeting Dalai Lama


China's ambassador to France has warned French President Nicolas Sarkozy against meeting with Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

Ambassador Kong Quan told reporters Tuesday that a meeting during the Dalai Lama's visit to France next month would have serious consequences.

On Wednesday, Mr. Sarkozy is scheduled to meet with Chinese President Hu Jintao on the sidelines of the Group of Eight summit in Japan.

The French president has said he will announce this week whether he will attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics.

Mr. Sarkozy had indicated he might boycott the August 8 ceremony following China's crackdown on Tibetan protests.

Last week, he said his decision will depend on progress in talks between representatives of the Dalai Lama and Chinese officials.

Earlier this year, Chinese demonstrators gathered in major cities to express anger over the disruption of the Olympic torch relay in Paris - and France's alleged support for Tibetan independence.

China routinely protests meetings between world leaders and the Dalai Lama, whom Beijing says is working for Tibetan independence.

The Dalai Lama has repeatedly said that he is seeking autonomy, not independence for Tibet.

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