[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/11/art.lama.file.gi.jpg caption="President Barack Obama will meet with the Dalai Lama on February 18."]Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama will meet February 18 with the Dalai Lama, the White House announced Thursday.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs announced the meeting date to reporters. The White House previously had said Obama intended to meet with the Tibetan spiritual leader despite opposition by China.
Last week, China warned that ties between two of the world's superpowers would be strained if Obama met with the Dalai Lama.
"It will seriously undermine the foundation of Sino-U.S. political relations," said Zhu Weiqun, a Communist Party official who is in charge of talks with representatives of the Dalai Lama. "We will take corresponding action to make relevant countries see their mistakes."
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.