China revels at Dalai Lama snub by SA

BEIJING - China expressed appreciation yesterday for countries that shun the Dalai Lama, a day after SA denied the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader an entry visa.

BEIJING - China expressed appreciation yesterday for countries that shun the Dalai Lama, a day after SA denied the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader an entry visa.

"All countries should respect China's sovereignty and territorial integrity ... and oppose Tibetan independence. We appreciate relevant countries' measures," foreign ministry spokesperson Qin Gang said.

South Africa said on Monday that the Dalai Lama was denied an entry visa for a meeting with other Nobel peace laureates out of concern that his visit would overshadow the 2010 World Cup.

The Dalai Lama was billed to attend a conference backed by the Nobel peace committee and hosted by SA's three surviving laureates, former presidents Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk, and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.

The Nobel peace prize committee said it would not take part unless the Dalai Lama, the 1989 peace prize laureate, was allowed in.

China vehemently opposes any overseas activities by the Dalai Lama, whom it considers a separatist seeking independence for his Himalayan homeland. - Sapa-AFP

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