Germany seeks to calm tensions with China


AP

BERLIN — Germany sought Monday to smooth tensions with Beijing over Chancellor Angela Merkel’s weekend meeting at her office with the Dalai Lama, stressing that the encounter did not mean Berlin was questioning China’s “territorial integrity.” Merkel met the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader — whom China views as a beacon for pro-independence sentiment in the region — on Sunday. She went ahead with the meeting at her Berlin office despite Chinese expressions of displeasure.

In a further apparent sign of irritation, China informed Germany that a traditional breakfast meeting between the countries’ foreign ministers at this week’s U.N. General Assembly meeting could not take place for “scheduling reasons,” the German Foreign Ministry said Monday.