China Warns of Sanctions for Sarkozy-Dalai Lama Meeting

Dalai Lama criticism of China's lack of 'moral authority' sparks Beijing fury
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 5, 2008 4:23 AM CST
French President Nicolas Sarkozy. China is warning of trade sanctions if he proceeds with Dalai Lama meeting.   (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
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(Newser) – China is making noises about possible trade sanctions against France to protest President Nicolas Sarkozy's plans to meet tomorrow with the Dalai Lama in Poland, reports the Times of London. Such a meeting threatens the "long-term development of ties" with France, warned a Chinese official. China has already pulled out of this week's annual summit and business forum with the EU to protest the meeting, the latest sign of Europe's growing support for the Tibetan spiritual leader.

The Dalai Lama infuriated Beijing with a speech at the European parliament yesterday criticizing the Chinese government's morality. "Because of its very poor record on human rights and religious freedom and freedom of expression and freedom of the press, the image of China in the field of moral authority is very, very poor,” he said.