As rumors fly that U.S. President Barack Obama and the Dalai Lama will both attend the National Prayer Breakfast on February 5, Beijing reiterated its strong opposition to meetings between the exiled spiritual leader and foreign politicians.
“Tibet-related issues bear on China’s core interest and national feelings. We are against any country’s interference in China’s domestic affairs under the pretext of Tibet-related issues, and are opposed to any foreign leader’s meeting with the Dalai Lama in any form,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in a press conference on Tuesday.
According to John Rizzo, the communications director for Senator Bob Casey (a co-chair of the prayer breakfast), the Dalai Lama “was invited by the organizers of the event” (rather than by the White House). The Dalai Lama “plans to be there,” Rizzo told The Huffington Post. The U.S. president historically attends the event as well – meaning Thursday could be the first time Obama and the Dalai Lama have appeared together in public.[Source]