China has slammed India for inviting the Dalai Lama, Tibetan spiritual leader, at a function in Rashtrapati Bhavan, and urged New Delhi to respect Beijing’s “core interest” in order to avoid “any disturbance” in bilaateral ties.
In a strongly worded response to a question, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said: “Recently in disregard of China’s solemn representation and strong opposition, the Indian side insisted on arranging for the 14th Dalai Lama’s visit to the Indian Presidential palace, [and] participation in the event with the Indian President and meeting with President [Pranab] Mukherjee.” The spokesman asserted that the Beijing was “strongly dissatisfied with and firmly opposed to that.”
The Dalai Lama was present in the opening session of the ‘Laureates and Leaders for Children Summit,’ organised by Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi’s Children’s Foundation on December 10.
To China, he is a separatist
Mr. Geng stressed that the “Dalai Lama is in political exile and has long been engaged in anti-China separatist activities with the attempt of separating Tibet away from China under the cloak of religion.” He added that China was firmly opposed “to any form of contact between officials of the other countries with him.”
“We urge the Indian side to see through the anti-China separatist nature of the Dalai Lama clique, fully respect China’s core interest and major concerns and take effective means to remove the negative impact caused by the incident so as to avoid any disturbance to China-India relationship,” he observed.
After Trump’s Taiwan phone call
China’s strong objections towards the perceived promotion of Tibetan separatism coincide with its rejection of remarks by U.S. President Donald Trump, questioning Washington’s unqualified endorsement of Beijing’s sovereignty over Taiwan.
In October, Beijing slammed India for granting permission to the Dalai Lama to visit Arunachal Pradesh, designated and claimed by China as southern Tibet.
This to Mongolia
Global Times , the daily affiliated with the Communist Party of China (CPC), also took exception to the statement by Mongolian Ambassador to India Gonchig Ganhold seeking New Delhi’s financial support to override Ulan Bator’s economic difficulties. Mongolia’s bread-and-butter crisis followed its reception of the Dalai Lama last month, apparently triggering a slew of economic measures by Beijing against Ulan Bator.
“Mongolia should know that mutual respect is the precondition to develop bilateral relationships and hitch a ride on China’s economic development. It is even more politically harebrained to ask for support from India, a move that will only complicate the situation and leave a narrower space to sort the issue out,” Global Times observed.