A senior Chinese leader has cancelled a planned visit to Britain after Prime Minister David Cameron met the Dalai recently ignoring Beijing's warning that any such meeting would have “serious consequences” for U.K.-China relations.
Wu Bangguo , chairman of the standing committee of China's National People's Congress, is on a tour of Europe and was scheduled to pay a “brief but symbolic” visit to Britain.
China's Foreign Ministry was reported as saying that Mr. Cameron's meeting with the Dalai Lama had “seriously interfered with China's internal affairs” and amounted to support for his campaign for Tibet's independence. Mr. Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg met the Dalai Lama earlier this month when he was here to receive the Templeton Prize.
Britain's ambassador to Beijing was summoned by the Chinese Foreign Ministry and told that the meeting had damaged relations between the two countries.
A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman called on Britain to “stop conniving at and supporting separatist attempts to achieve Tibetan independence”.
The British embassy in Beijing called the cancellation of Mr. Wu's decision as a matter of “regret''. His visit, it said, would have been “a good opportunity to continue deepening U.K.-China relations”.
“We would welcome future visitors from the National People's Congress to strengthen the UK-China dialogue,” a spokesman said.
Downing Street said the Dalai Lama was “an important religious figure” who had met previous British Prime Ministers.