China gave the British ambassador in Beijing a dressing down today after British Prime Minister David Cameron met with the Dalai Lama in London.
Vice Foreign Minister Song Tao told Sebastian Wood that British leaders had “hurt the feelings of the Chinese people” by meeting with the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, Reuters said, citing a foreign ministry statement.
It said Monday’s meeting "seriously interfered with China's internal affairs” and British leaders should fully consider the “serious consequences” of the talks and take “practical actions to correct the error."
The Telegraph said the high-level rebuke came a day after Cameron urged all his ministers to take every opportunity to boost trade with China, the world's second largest economy.
Cameron met with the Dalai Lama at St Paul’s Cathedral where the Nobel laureate received the £1.1 million ($1.75 million) Templeton Prize for his contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension.
The Dalai Lama plans to give away the money to charity.
More from GlobalPost: Dalai Lama to give away $1.75MN award
According to Bloomberg, Cameron’s spokesman told reporters in London that he wasn’t aware of Beijing’s protest and that the meeting between Cameron and the Dalai Lama had been a private one.
Beijing has long campaigned against the international influence of the Dalai Lama, who has lived in India since fleeing his Buddhist homeland in 1959 after a failed Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule.