Beijing, China (CNN) – China restated its opposition Friday to U.S. President Barack Obama's plan to meet with the Dalai Lama.
China urged the United States "to immediately withdraw" its decision for Obama to meet the Tibetan Bhuddist spiritual leader, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said in comments reported by the state-run Xinhua news agency.
"China firmly opposes the Dalai Lama visiting the United States and U.S. leaders' contacting with him," Ma said, adding China's position on the issue has been "consistent and clear."
"We urge the U.S. side to fully understand the high sensitivity of Tibet-related issues, honor its commitment to recognizing Tibet as part of China and opposing 'Tibet independence,'" Ma said.
The White House said Thursday that Obama will meet the Dalai Lama on February 18.
Beijing accuses the Dalai Lama of advocating for Tibetan independence from China.
Tibet is technically autonomous from the central Chinese government, but the Dalai Lama and others have said they favor genuine autonomy and resent the slow erosion of their culture amid an influx of Han Chinese, the most numerous ethnic group in China.
Zhu said there would be no compromise on China's control of Tibet.
The Dalai Lama fled China in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule. He lives in exile in the north Indian hill town of Dharamsala.