(NECN) - Despite protests from China, President Barack Obama held a meeting with the Dalai Lama on Saturday.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry urged Obama and the White House to cancel the visit, but they refused.
"We firmly oppose any foreign official to meet with the Dalai Lama in any form," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in a statement posted on the ministry's website.
"We request the U.S. side to honor its serious commitment that recognizes Tibet as part of China and opposes Tibet independence."
Neither the President nor the Dalai Lama support Tibetan independence, and Obama also stressed the importance of a good relationship with China following the meeting.