China on Tuesday urged India to “abide by its commitments” to restrict political activities of exiled Tibetans in India, two days after Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao met with the Dalai Lama.
“China has expressed its position clearly to the Indian side over this issue,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Qin Gang said when asked about Ms. Rao's meeting with the exiled Tibetan religious leader in Dharamsala.
“The Indian government has expressed on many occasions to China that it recognises Tibet Autonomous Region as part of the People's Republic of China, and it would not allow exiled Tibetans in India to conduct anti-China political activities,” he said. “We hope India could abide by its commitments on Tibet-related issues, and properly handle all relevant issues.”
China's measured response on Tuesday marked a striking contrast from the government's displeasure at the Indian government November last, when the Dalai Lama travelled to the Tawang monastery in Arunachal Pradesh. China has voiced claims on parts of the State, including Tawang, and exerted pressure on the Indian government to prevent the visit.
The Chinese government then blamed the Dalai Lama for trying to “sabotage” and “wreck” China's relations with India, though Indian officials said the Tibetan religious leader's visit to the State was purely for religious reasons.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao in talks October last that the Dalai Lama was an “honoured guest” of India and free to travel anywhere within the country. India has, however, assured China that it would clamp down on any “anti-China” activities by Tibetan separatists on Indian soil.