The Chinese government on Tuesday accused New Delhi of “disregarding China’s grave concerns” by allowing the Dalai Lama to visit Arunachal Pradesh and said it was “strongly dissatisfied” about the Tibetan leader’s visit to the State, parts of which China has claims on.

“Sabotage”

Last week, Beijing accused the Tibetan religious leader of “sabotaging” ties between India and China but stopped short of criticising New Delhi for granting approval for the visit. Beijing reiterated its opposition on Tuesday, but this time directly blamed New Delhi for ignoring its concerns.

“The Indian side has disregarded China’s grave concerns and allowed the Dalai Lama to visit,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Qin Gang said.

“China is firmly against the Dalai Lama’s visit to the disputed area of the eastern section of the boundary region.”

The Tibetan leader’s visit to the State has heightened already frayed tensions between the two countries over the long-running border dispute.

To avoid further fanning the flames, the Indian government and the Dalai Lama have repeatedly stressed in recent weeks that the Tibetan religious leader’s visit to the State was not political in any way, and that the Dalai Lama would only visit monasteries, schools and hospitals. But that is far from how the visit is being viewed here in Beijing.

The Chinese government in public statements described the Dalai Lama’s visit to the State, which borders Tibet, as “anti-China” and “separatist”, while articles appearing in China’s official media in recent days have even suggested New Delhi was using the visit to stake its claims to the disputed region.

In an article headlined “India covets Dalai Lama’s visit,” the State-run Global Times newspaper quoted a well-known Chinese scholar who said India “may make use of the Dalai Lama to solve the decade-long territorial conflict.”

“The Dalai Lama went to southern Tibet at this critical moment probably because of pressure from India,” Hu Shisheng, a South Asia scholar at the government-supported China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations told the newspaper in an interview. “By doing so, he can please the country that has hosted him for years.”

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