Canadian PM to Meet With Dalai Lama Despite Chinese Warnings

April 13, 2004

Source: CNews

On April 13, 2004 CNews reported, "Paul Martin will become the first Canadian prime minister to meet with the Dalai Lama despite protests from trade dynamo China. Martin has decided to meet the Nobel prize winner next week when the Tibetan spiritual leader visits Canada. The visit is sure to annoy Beijing. The prime minister's office underscored the meeting will deal 'spiritual' rather than political issues. 'He'll be meeting (with the Dalai Lama) in his capacity as a spiritual leader so we're trying to arrange something that will fit within that frame,' said Mario Lague, director of communications for the prime minister. The Dalai Lama, [the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists and political leader of Tibet,] arrives in Canada on April 19 and has scheduled visits to Vancouver, Ottawa and Toronto before he leaves again May 5. China - which has grown to become Canada's fourth largest export market - has urged Martin not to meet with the Dalai Lama. Beijing sees the spiritual leader as a dangerous 'splittist' in the region."