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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 rejects criticism from China over meeting with Dalai Lama

December 4, 2007

The Times of India
2 Dec 2007

BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel brushed off criticism from China
over having received the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, in an
interview with German radio broadcast on Sunday.

"I receive who I think should be received," Merkel told Deutschlandfunk
radio.

Beijing reacted angrily to the September meeting, calling on Berlin to
acknowledge it had made a mistake.

"Germany and its government are partisans of a united China, there is no
question about it. The Dalai Lama (only) wants cultural independence ...
which is why it in no way calls China into question," said Merkel.

Berlin wants friendly relations with China, but it should be possible
for there to be differing opinions within a friendly relationship, she
added.

On Wednesday, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said that Germany and China
could remain friends as long as Berlin recognises that it had committed
an error.

Merkel had a private meeting with the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai
Lama at the end of September despite warnings from Beijing.

German industry criticised her decision to hold the meeting because the
damage it would do to commercial relations with China.

German news magazine Der Spiegel became the latest casualty from the
chill in Sino-German relations.

It announced Friday that it was pulling out of a week of cultural events
in which it was to have participated in China due to what it called
official "censorship".
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