China told the U.S. to back off of its domestic affairs Friday, chastising the American government for honoring the Dalai Lama with a human rights award despite Chinese animosity toward the peace figure.
"We urge some members of the U.S. Congress to respect the history and the facts, recognize teh true face of Dalai Lama, stop using the Tibet issue to interfere in China's internal affairs," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said in a statement posted on the Chinese Foreign Ministry's Web site.
Congress Tuesday celebrated the exiled Tibetan leader, honoring the Dalai Lama's human rights efforts with an award from the Lantos Foundation, named after human rights activist Tom Lantos. China has long argued that Tibet is part of its territory, although many Tibetans -- including the Dalai Lama -- argue the region has been independent for most of its history.
President Obama decided this week he would not meet with the Dalai Lama during his trip to America to accept the award, saying instead he would meet with the spiritual leader after he visits Chinese President Hu Jintao in November.
Get more: The Associated Press