On July 14, 2017, Xinhua quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang as saying China firmly opposes the Dalai Lama's anti-China separatist activities and opposes him meeting with officials of any country. Referring to media reports that the Dalai Lama will visit Botswana and meet with its President next month, Geng Shuang told a daily news briefing that China opposes any foreign official's contact with the Dalai Lama in any form and that "The Dalai Lama is a political exile who has long engaged in anti-China separatist activities under the guise of religion". He said "We hope the country will clearly recognize the nature of the Dalai Lama, earnestly respect China's core concerns, and make the correct decision on this issue."

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