US President Obama and the Dalai Lama have held a private meeting at the White House in Washington.
It’s the third time the two men have met.
The US does not support Tibetan calls for independence but says is concerned about the human rights situation and believes the region should have more autonomy.
The encounter was condemned by China who warned it would damage ties between Beijing and Washington.
A White House spokesperson responded, saying: “When it comes to the relationship the United States has with China, the president and the Dalai Lama agreed on the importance of a positive and constructive US-China relationship and of course we are committed to a constructive relationship with China in which we work together to solve regional and global problems.”
China took control of Tibet in 1950 and has been condemned by human rights groups for its crackdown on the religious and cultural heritage.
More than 120 Tibetans have set themselves on fire since 2009 in protest against Chinese rule.
China calls the Dalai Lama a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’ and accused the US of interfering in China’s internal affairs.