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China postpones EU summit over Dalai Lama visit
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13:40, December 10, 2008

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China has to postpone the 11th summit with the European Union scheduled in early December because of French leader's planned meeting with the Dalai Lama, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said here Wednesday night.

The decision is made because the summit does not enjoy a good atmosphere, nor can it achieve expected goals, Qin said, adding the cause and responsibility do not lie on the Chinese side.

China has paid great attention to the summit and has made active efforts and lots of preparations for it, the spokesman said.

However, the French leader, whose country holds the EU's rotating presidency, made a clear announcement that he would meet the Dalai Lama after the China-EU summit, Qin noted, saying the Chinese government and people are extremely dissatisfied about that.

"The Tibet issue is related to China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and it touches China's interests at the core. We firmly oppose the Dalai Lama's separatist activities in foreign countries with any capacity, and firmly oppose the contact between foreign leaders with him in any form," Qin said.

To maintain good relations with France and the European Union, China has told France time and again to properly handle the Tibet issue so as to create necessary conditions for the China-EU summit. Unfortunately, the French side does not actively respond to China's efforts of maintaining relations with France and the European Union, Qin said.

Nevertheless, China does not change the determination and policy to actively develop ties with the European Union, and is willing to push forward the healthy and stable development of China-EU relations on the basis of mutual respect and equal treatment, said the spokesman.

"China values the ties with France and has been making active efforts to develop bilateral relations. We hope that France takes the overall situation seriously and pay attention to and cope with the major concerns of China in an earnest manner, and create conditions for the steady development of bilateral relations," Qin said.

Source: Xinhua

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