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"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

China PM: Merkel should say Dalai Lama meet was error

November 29, 2007

28 November 2007, 21:33 CET

(BEIJING) AFP- China and Germany can remain friends as long as
Chancellor Angela Merkel admits making a mistake in meeting with Tibetan
spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, China's Premier Wen Jiabao said Wednesday.

"We oppose European leaders in an official capacity to meet the Dalai
Lama," Wen told journalists following the annual China-European Union
summit here.

"Germany is also a friend of China and a strategic cooperative partner.

"Friends and partners often say and do the wrong things, but as long as
they recognise and correct (their mistakes) we will always remain friends."

Merkel incensed China when she met with the Dalai Lama on September 23,
with Beijing saying the meeting had "seriously damaged" bilateral relations.

The German chancellor has refused to bow to China's pressure.

"As German chancellor I will decide who I meet and where," she told Bild
newspaper last week. "In foreign politics, we cannot allow our
principles and our economic interests to contradict each other."

Merkel has urged Beijing to hold talks with the Dalai Lama, and to allow
him to return to the Tibetan region and help realise Beijing's long-held
promise of granting autonomy to the Himalayan region.

"The Chinese government has all along maintained that as long as the
Dalai Lama acknowledges that Tibet is an inseparable part of China and
that Taiwan is an inseparable part of China, then the door for dialogue
with him will always be open," Wen said.

"We are watching the Dalai Lama, we not only watch what he says, but
more importantly what he does," Wen added.

"His words and deeds fully show that he aims to take Tibet and the
greater Tibetan area and separate it from China."

Since Merkel's meetings with the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize winner, China
has cancelled a series of high level exchanges with Germany, including a
planned December trip to Beijing by German Finance Minister Peer Steinbruck.

China sent troops into Tibet in 1950 and officially "liberated" it the
following year. The Dalai Lama now travels the world seeking support for
his calls for Tibetan autonomy.

The Dalai Lama fled Tibet following a failed uprising in the region in 1959.

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