Chinese officials to contest Dalai Lama’s Milan visit

The Dalai Lama pictured on June 29, 2015. Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

MILAN – The Chinese Embassy in Rome is contesting the Milan city council’s plans to bestow honorary citizenship on the Dalai Lama.

The embassy said in a statement that plans to convey the honour on the Dalai Lama “has seriously wounded the feelings of the Chinese people” and would have a negative impact on both bilateral relations and on regional co-operation between Italy and China.

The Dalai Lama is meeting with Milan Cardinal Angelo Scola on Thursday, before speaking with students at the University of Milan-Bicocca, where officials plan to give him a key to the city.

China accuses the Dalai Lama of leading a campaign to split Tibet from the rest of China. The Dalai Lama says he simply wants a higher degree of autonomy under Chinese rule.