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China slams Blinken for Delhi meet with Dalai Lama’s representative

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday said he was "pleased to meet civil society leaders". Photo: Twitter/@SecBlinken  

China on Thursday accused the United States of “meddling” in its “internal affairs” after Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with a representative of the Dalai Lama in New Delhi during his visit on Wednesday.

Mr. Blinken had met with the Director of the Bureau of the Dalai Lama in Delhi, Ngodup Dongchung, on Wednesday morning. He separately also met with a group of civil society representatives, which included Geshe Dorji Damdul, Director of Tibet House in New Delhi.

Asked by Chinese media to comment on the meeting, the Foreign Ministry in Beijing on Thursday hit out at the U.S., saying "Tibetan affairs are purely China's internal affairs that allow no foreign interference.”

"China firmly opposes any form of contact between foreign officials and the Dalai Lama,” spokesperson Zhao Lijian said. "Any form of contact between the U.S. side and the Dalai clique is a violation of the U.S. commitment to acknowledging Tibet being part of China, to not supporting 'Tibetan Independence', and to not supporting attempts to separate China. The U.S; side should honour its commitment, stop meddling in China’s internal affairs under the pretext of Tibetan affairs, and offer no support to the 'Tibetan independence' forces to engage in anti-China separatist activities. China will take all necessary measures to defend its own interests.”

 

The Foreign Ministry earlier this month surprised observers when it did not issue any response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s telephone call with the Dalai Lama on his 86th birthday, which marked the first time Mr. Modi had publicly confirmed speaking with the Tibetan spiritual leader since 2014.

Among the differences between China and the U.S. is the question of the Dalai Lama’s succession, which the Tibetan leader said he would address when he turns 90.

The Biden administration said earlier this year it was of the view the Chinese government “should have no role in the succession process of the Dalai Lama”. The Tibet Policy Support Act passed by the U.S. Senate in December 2020, and backed by the then Trump administration, said Washington would oppose any moves by Beijing to interfere in the succession or identification of Tibetan Buddhist lamas including the Dalai Lama.

Beijing, however, in May issued a white paper affirming that the ruling Communist Party and the government in Beijing would approve the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama and other Living Buddhas, saying a procedure of “drawing lots from the golden urn” would be followed and “the selected candidate would be subject to approval by the central government of China”.


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Printable version | Sep 27, 2021 6:01:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/china-slams-blinken-for-delhi-meet-with-dalai-lamas-representative/article35615255.ece

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