Obama will meet the Dalai Lama at the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday, February 5, in Washington. It will be the fourth meeting between the two men and the first time they have been together in nearly a year. Each of the previous meetings has prompted objections from the Chinese government, which regards the Tibetan spiritual leader an anti-Chinese separatist.
According to media reports, the Dalai Lama will not have a speaking role at the prayer breakfast and will be seated with the audience. Nevertheless, the Chinese foreign ministry reacted by saying: “We are opposed to any foreign leaders meeting with the Dalai Lama in any form.” China has ruled Tibet since 1950, and many Tibetans feel their intensely Buddhist culture is at risk of erosion by Beijing’s political and economic domination.[Source]