China piled pressure on Botswana over a scheduled visit to the southern African country by the Dalai Lama, who it considers a dissident separatist threat.

Botswana's President Ian Khama announced on Wednesday he would meet the Tibetan spiritual leader during his visit to the country next month, prompting a stern response from Beijing.

"China's stance is clear...," said a statement from Beijing-based foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang issued by the embassy.