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China has called off a December 1 summit
China has called off a December 1 summit with the EU to protest against a planned meeting between the French president and Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday.

France, which holds the rotating EU presidency, confirmed French President Nicolas Sarkozy would meet with the Dalai Lama on December 6 in Poland.

"To maintain good relations with France and the European Union, China has told France time and again to properly handle the Tibet issue so as to create necessary conditions for the China-EU summit," Xinhua quoted a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Qin Gang, as saying.

The Dalai Lama, who China has branded a separatist, is scheduled to visit Poland, the Czech Republic, and Belgium.

"The Tibet issue is related to China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and it touches China's core interests," the spokesman said. "We firmly oppose the Dalai Lama's separatist activities in foreign countries in any capacity, and firmly oppose contact between foreign leaders with him in any form."

Beijing has accused Tibet's spiritual leader of orchestrating unrest in Tibet in March which left 19 people dead and 623 injured, according to official Chinese reports.

China's crackdown on the protests was severely criticized in the West. Nicholas Sarkozy was among the first world leaders to call for a boycott of the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games in August over China's response to the riots. He than however backed down and attended, saying that it would be wrong to "humiliate" China.

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