President Obama met with Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, at the White House on Wednesday.
The fourth meeting between the pair during Mr. Obama’s two terms, White House spokesman Josh Earnest described the meeting as personal in nature, but declined to offer specifics.
Earnest added that the president extended gratitude for the compassion the Dalai Lama offered after the June 12 Orlando nightclub massacre which claimed 50 lives and injured 53 others.
Reacting angrily, the People’s Republic of China lodged a protest with American officials condemned the meeting, saying it will injure relations between Washington and Beijing.
Chinese-controlled news agency, Xinhua, stated the meeting “seriously jeopardized China-U.S. relations, and deeply hurt the Chinese people’s feelings.”
The People’s Republic of China invaded and annexed Tibet in 1950. After an uprising against Chinese rule failed in 1959, the Dalai Lama fled to India.
Although the United States holds the position that Tibet is part of China, it has pressed Beijing on human rights issues in Tibet.