India using Dalai Lama’s visit to upset Beijing: analyst
The 14th Dalai Lama's visit to the disputed zone along the border of India and China on Tuesday will hurt Sino-Indian ties because China opposes any official invitations to the Dalai Lama, a Chinese expert said.
The Dalai Lama began his nine-day visit to "Arunachal Pradesh," called South Tibet in China, on Tuesday, the Hindustan Times reported.
"The Dalai's visit to the controversial area, especially Tawang, which China hopes will be returned, will affect relations between China and India," an expert from the Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, who requested anonymity, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
He said Tawang is also the birthplace of the 6th Dalai Lama, Tsangyang Gyatso, which gives the place religious meaning to Tibetans.
India's Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju was quoted by The Hindu as saying that the Dalai Lama's visit is "purely religious," and that there is no political angle behind the visit.
But the Chinese expert said that this is not the first time India has used the Dalai Lama to express its displeasure to China, especially when bilateral talks fail to include their demands or to pander to domestic anti-China issues.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said at a regular press conference last week that China is firmly opposed to any visit by the Dalai Lama to the disputed border region between China and India.
"China is gravely concerned about this. Our stance on the eastern part of the China-India border is clear and consistent," Lu said.
"India should deliver its political commitments to China on Tibet-related issues, including opposition to separatists," said the expert, noting that China would take steps against any government which invites the Dalai Lama to express its position to the international community.
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