China warns India not to go against its 'core concerns' over invite to Dalai Lama

Beijing: China on Monday warned India not to go against its "core concerns" to avoid "disruption" in bilateral ties after New Delhi invited the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama to an international Buddhist seminar in Bihar.

"In recent days the Indian side, in total disregard of China's stern representation and strong opposition, insisted on inviting the 14th Dalai Lama to attend the international conference on Buddhism held by the Indian government," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters. "China is strongly dissatisfied and firmly opposed to it," she said.

File image of the Dalai Lama. PTI

File image of the Dalai Lama. PTI

"We urge the Indian side to clearly see the anti-China splittist nature of the Dalai group and honour its commitment on Tibet and related questions, respect China's core concerns and avoid China-India relations from being further disrupted and undermined," she said.

The 81-year-old Dalai Lama inaugurated an international seminar on Buddhism on 17 March in Rajgir in Bihar's Nalanda district, about 100 km from the capital Patna.

Buddhist monks and scholars from various countries participated in the seminar 'Buddhism in 21st Century'.

Earlier this month, China had objected to India permitting the Dalai Lama to visit Arunachal Pradesh which it regards as Southern Tibet.

China is strongly opposed to the Dalai Lama visiting disputed areas, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang had said.

"China's position on the eastern section of China-India border dispute is consistent and clear. The Dalai clique has long been engaging in anti-China separatist activities and its record on the border question is not that good," he had said.

China views the Nobel Peace laureate, who fled into exile in India after a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959, as a dangerous separatist.

China in the past held talks with him for reconciliation after he fled from Tibet. But no such talks were held after President Xi Jinping took over as the new leader in 2012 and Beijing kept pressure on various countries not to host him.

Meanwhile, analysts of China's state-run think tanks termed as provocative the India's invitation to the Dalai Lama to participate in the Buddhism conference in Bihar.

The Indian invitation to him demonstrates that India is trying to secure concessions in Arunachal Pradesh which China claims south Tibet through such provocation, Wang Dehua, Director of the Institute for Southern and Central Asian Studies of Shanghai told official daily Global Times.

"But in doing so, India is asking for trouble, worsening the bilateral relations and impeding normal bilateral discussion," he was quoted as saying by the daily.

India deliberately used the Dalai Lama, who is not only a religious figure but also a political one, as a "legal excuse" to claim the disputed region, said Hu Shisheng, the director of the Institute of South and Southeast Asian and Oceania Studies.

India has been bolder to follow the US, considering that its rhetoric on the Tibet question is increasingly intensifying when many western countries are playing it down, Hu said.

India's aggressive gesture of inviting the Dalai Lama will bring no benefit to India, but tarnish its image among Chinese people, Hu said.


Published Date: Mar 21, 2017 09:46 am | Updated Date: Mar 21, 2017 09:46 am