Tibet's exiled spiritual leader will visit Britain this summer in a tour that may upset China at a time of protests over its control of the region and efforts by London to persuade Beijing to invest more in the UK's ailing economy.

His spokesman said the Dalai Lama will give a series of public lectures on peace to young audiences across the country, just weeks before London hosts the Olympic Games.

The Tibetan Buddhist leader has angered the Chinese government by refusing to condemn a spate of protests by ethnic Tibetans in the last year.

More than a dozen people have set light to themselves to highlight what they see as oppressive Chinese policies in the mountainous area. The Dalai Lama has accused Beijing of overseeing a cultural genocide against Tibetans.

China says he should take the blame for them for supporting violent separatism, a charge he denies.

The Dalai Lama is due to visit Britain from June 16 to June 23, giving speeches in London, Manchester and Scotland. He currently has no plans to meet Prime Minister David Cameron, but may do so if he receives an invitation, an aide said.

The main purpose is to meet young people, it's not really a political visit, unless there is interest on the part of the prime minister and he would be very happy to oblige, said Thubten Samdup, who represents the Dalai Lama in London.

Wherever his holiness goes or even if he breathes, it is a problem for them (the Chinese); but as far as we are concerned our motivation is very clear: we want to engage young people.

Spokesmen for Cameron and Britain's Foreign Office had no immediate comment on the visit.

The Chinese government accused the United States of gross interference in its internal affairs last July after President Barack Obama met the Dalai Lama at the White House.

China has ruled Tibet since 1950 when Communist troops occupied the country. The Dalai Lama, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, escaped to live in exile in India after a failed uprising against Chinese rule.

(Reporting by Peter Griffiths)