Both leaders call for renewed dialogue between China's government and Tibetans.
WASHINGTON D.C. - In defiance of opposition from Beijing, U.S. President Barack Obama met with the spiritual leader of Tibet, the Dalai Lama at the White House on Friday.
During his meeting, "The President reiterated his strong support for the preservation of Tibet’s unique religious, cultural, and linguistic traditions and the protection of human rights for Tibetans in the People’s Republic of China," according to the White House.
Both leaders called for renewed dialogue between the Chinese government and Tibetans, while the Dalai Lama "stated that he is not seeking independence for Tibet."
The president reiterated Washington's position that Tibet is part of China, and that the U.S. does not support Tibetan independence.
China had requested that the White House refrain from meeting with the Dalai Lama, saying it would strain Sino-American relations.
Still, Obama and the Dalai Lama acknowledged the importance of "positive and constructive" relations between Washington and Beijing.
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