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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Merkel angers China on Dalai Lama

September 24, 2007

BBC News
September 23, 2007

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is to meet the exiled Tibetan spiritual
leader, the Dalai Lama, on Sunday in talks that have angered China.

Chinese officials have cancelled planned talks with German counterparts
in Munich on legal and patent issues.

Germany says the meeting with the Dalai Lama, who fled Tibet in 1959
after a failed uprising, is a private exchange.

But China, which governs Tibet, says the meeting is part of the Dalai
Lama's agenda for Tibetan independence.

'Conscious' decision

Sunday's meeting will be the first time the Dalai Lama has been received
at the chancellery.

China has already summoned the German ambassador in Beijing to complain.

However, German deputy government spokesman Thomas Steg said: "The
meeting will take place, the invitation stands, and the chancellor also
extended the invitation very consciously."

The German justice ministry said the legal talks had been cancelled for
"technical reasons".

The Dalai Lama told the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung that
Beijing was showing the "arrogance of power".

"Wherever I go, China protests. The Chinese are simply testing how far
they can go," the Nobel Peace Prize winner said.

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