Beijing on Thursday said United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s meeting with Tibetan leader Dalai Lama’s representative violated Washington’s commitment in acknowledging Tibet as part of China, reported PTI. Blinken had met Ngodup Dongchung, a representative of the Central Tibetan Administration, in New Delhi on Wednesday.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said the meeting marked an interference in Beijing’s affairs.

Zhao added that the US should honour its commitment and stop meddling in China’s internal affairs. “The 14th Dalai Lama is by no means just a religious person but rather a political exile who has long been engaged in anti-China separatist activities attempting to split Tibet from China,” he alleged.

The spokesperson said that China will take all necessary measures to defend its rights and interests.

During the meeting on Wednesday, Dongchung thanked Blinken for America’s continued support to the Tibetan movement. Another Tibetan representative, Geshe Dorjee Damdul, also attended a roundtable that Blinken held with seven civil society members.

The Chinese government officials and the Dalai Lama or his representatives have not held any formal talks since 2010. In 2016, the Dalai Lama had met former United States President Barack Obama in Washington.

After a failed Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule, the Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959. He went into exile in the town of Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh, where he still lives. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.

Beijing, however, sees 14th Dalai Lama as a “separatist” working to split Tibet from China. But, the spiritual leader insists that he seeks autonomy for those in the three traditional provinces of Tibet.