"Did we make a demand that all non-Tibetans be expelled from the plateau of Tibet?
The Dalai Lama's chief negotiator said Wednesday that China lied to President Barack Obama on Tibet and said the spiritual leader would set the record straight when he visits the White House.
Obama, meeting this month with China's top diplomat, nudged Beijing gently over its treatment of Tibet and voiced hope for a renewal of talks with the Dalai Lama's representatives which broke down in November.
But Lodi Gyari, the chief envoy of Tibet's exiled leader, said Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi (wiki) told Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton "absolutely, totally baseless lies about the proposal I submitted."
He said that China falsely claimed that Tibet's exiled leadership was seeking independence or the expulsion of Han Chinese from the region.
"Did we make a demand that all non-Tibetans be expelled from the plateau of Tibet? Never. In this day and age? We are not that stupid," Gyari told a forum at the Heritage Foundation think tank.
The Dalai Lama fled Tibet for India 50 years ago this month as China crushed a failed uprising against its rule.
The Tibetan spiritual leader, who has gone on to win the Nobel Peace Prize, denies China's frequent accusations he is a separatist and says he is merely seeking greater freedoms for Tibetans under Chinese rule.
Gyari expected the Dalai Lama to stay consistent advocating non-violence and a "middle way" of autonomy.
"When he comes to Washington to meet with the president, I don't think His Holiness would have a new message," Gyari said.
The Dalai Lama's supporters say he is planning a visit to the United States in the coming months although no firm date is set.
China regularly denounces foreign leaders who meet with the Dalai Lama, but every US president has met him since President George H.W. Bush in 1991.
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Photo of Lodi Gyari Rinpoche uncredited.