Beijing: China has lodged a protest with India’s Ambassador in Beijing, Vijay Gokhale, over the Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh, the Chinese Foreign Ministry has said.
China has said that by inviting the Dalai Lama to “disputed” areas in Arunachal Pradesh, India has caused “serious damage” to Indo-China ties.
“India in disregard to China’s concerns obstinately arranged the Dalai Lama’s visit to the disputed part of the eastern part of China-India border, causing serious damage to China’s interests and China-India relations,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters.
The 81-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader reached Bomdila in West Kameng district on Tuesday, starting his nine-day visit to Arunachal Pradesh.
“Arranging his visit to those sensitive and disputed areas not only runs counter to the Indian side’s commitment to the issues related to Tibet but also escalate disputes over the border area,” she added.
India has maintained that the revered leader’s visit is purely spiritual.
Minister of Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said India never interfered in Beijing’s affairs, has respected the “One China” policy, and thus China should not interfere in India’s internal affairs or object to the Dalai Lama’s visit.
“There is no political angle behind his holiness’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh. It is completely religious.”
However, China has rejected India’s statement.
“Could you tell me honestly do you seriously believe that Dalai is only a religious leader. I think the answer is known to all. He is not just a religious figure. Therefore, his visit to the place will not be purely of religious purpose. So using the empty words to defend this arrangement is not reasonable. We demand the Indian side to stop this move of undermining Chinese interests,” she said.
China is sensitive to the Dalai Lama’s visit to Tawang region in Arunachal which happens to be the birthplace in 1683 of the sixth Dalai Lama and is at the centre of Tibetan Buddhism.
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