The meeting has been seen as an indication of mounting nervousness among Chinese officials ahead of next month's anniversary.

He reportedly also warned religious leaders to be wary of plots to use temples and the clergy to carry out "infiltration and disturbances".

Beijing's violent crackdown on protesters last March sparked international outrage [AFP]
Next month marks 50 years since the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader, fled into exile in India after a failed uprising against Chinese rule.
 
Earlier this week witnesses reported Chinese paramilitary police wielding truncheons and rifle butts broke up protests by ethnic Tibetans in Sichuan.

At least 21 people were arrested according to two Tibetan advocacy groups.

China insists that Tibet has been part of its territory for four hundred years, although
many Tibetans say they were effectively an independent nation for much of that time.

Last year, what began as peaceful anti-government protests to mark the anniversary of the 1959 uprising turned into massive demonstrations that rocked Lhasa, the capital of the Chinese autonomous region, badly affecting the economy and once-thriving tourism industry.

State-run Chinese media have reported that more than 100 monks and others have been jailed for their part in the March protests.