China lodges protest with Japan over Dalai Lama visit

China strongly opposes all forms of support from any country or any individual for the Dalai Lama's separatist activities, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told media.

"The Dalai Lama is merely a political exile who has long been engaged in activities to split China under the disguise of religion," Hong Lei said in response to a question regarding the Tibetan spiritual leader's trip to Japan, which started yesterday.

The Dalai Lama's "international activities aim at colluding with international anti-China separatist forces to undermine relations between China and other countries so as to split the nation," said Hong.

China has lodged a solemn representation to Japan, he said.