Dalai Lama w/ Martin Schulz
Dalai Lama w/ Martin Schulz

Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama met Thursday with European Parliament President Martin Schulz in Strasbourg.

According to Politico.eu, Chinese officials protested the meeting by announcing an immediate postponement of an upcoming visit by an EU economic delegation to China.

In a meeting with the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, the spiritual leader urged European officials to offer more "constructive criticism" to China on its policies in Tibet.

In a prepared statement, Schulz's office confirmed his one-on-one meeting with the Dharamsala-based Tibetan leader, in which they discussed "global affairs and the human rights situation in the world."

"President Schulz enjoyed the frank, open, spiritually enriching and wide-ranging discussion," according to the statement. "The meeting was originally requested by His Holiness' side. President Schulz said he met the Dalai Lama in his capacity as spiritual leader.

"President Schulz regrets Chinese authorities have stated their intention of postponing upcoming visits of MEPs [Members of the European Parliament] to the country, but the President remains firm in deciding autonomously and free from undue pressure on who he should meet and in ensuring the European Parliament remains an open and pluralistic place for debate, hosting a number of guests and of different opinions."

The statement also says the European Parliament endorses the one-China policy, and it has expressed concerns about the human rights situation in Tibet.

This report was produced in collaboration with VOA's Tibetan Service.