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  World   Asia  07 Apr 2017  China tirade continues over Dalai Lama

China tirade continues over Dalai Lama

PTI | K.J.M. VARMA
Published : Apr 7, 2017, 2:41 am IST
Updated : Apr 7, 2017, 2:52 am IST

In its editorial, the ruling CPC-run Global Times criticised Mr Rijiju for accompanying the Dalai Lama during his visit to the state.

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama (Photo: AP)
 Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama (Photo: AP)

Beijing: China on Thursday accused India of “fuelling tensions” and damaging its interests by allowing the Dalai Lama to visit Arunachal Pradesh, while the state media here called for answering “blows with blows” if New Delhi chooses to “play dirty”.

“I can confirm (that) China has lodged protest in Beijing and Delhi,” Wednesday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing here.

The protest was lodged in Beijing with Indian ambassador to China Vijay Gokhale. In Delhi, the protest was lodged with the competent officials of the external affairs ministry, Ms Hua said.

Asked whether Beijing views India’s permission to the 81-year-old Dalai Lama to visit Arunachal Pradesh as amounting to questioning the “One China” policy, Ms Hua said, “I want to re-emphasise that on issues concerning China’s major concern and core interests, territorial and sovereignty, China’s position is consistent.”

“By inviting and approving (the) Dalai Lama to visit disputed areas between China and India, India has damaged our interests and the India-China relationship and it has fuelled tensions,” she said. “We oppose the visit to relevant areas and oppose attempts by relevant countries to arrange a platform for (the) Dalai (Lama) to conduct anti-China activities. We urge the relevant country to stop such erroneous actions and stop undermining Chinese interests,” she added. The Dalai Lama is on a nine-day visit to Arunachal Pradesh.

The official media here slammed the development, saying that China should not hesitate to answer “blows with blows” if India chooses to “play dirty” by allowing the Dalai Lama to visit Arunachal Pradesh.

Two English newspapers, China Daily and Global Times, launched a scathing attack on India after minister of state for home affairs Kiren Rijiju said that Arunachal Pradesh — which China claims as part of Southern Tibet — is “an inseparable part of India”.

Taking exception to Mr Rijiju’s remarks, the papers said India is using the Dalai Lama as a “diplomatic tool” against China for its “vice like veto” against India’s membership in the NSG and the UN ban on Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar.

Despite the historical dispute, the China-India border area has by and large remained peaceful recently, particularly since Beijing and New Delhi began to get serious about border talks, the state-run China Daily said in an editorial.

“If New Delhi chooses to play dirty, however, Beijing should not hesitate to answer blows with blows,” the paper said.

In its editorial, the ruling CPC-run Global Times criticised Mr Rijiju for accompanying the Dalai Lama during his visit to the state.

“The Dalai Lama has been to the disputed region before, but what makes this trip different is that he is received and accompanied by India’s Junior Home Minister Kiren Rijiju. When China raised the concern over the visit, Rijiju commented that China shouldn’t intervene in their ‘internal affairs’,” it said.

“New Delhi probably overestimates its leverage in the bilateral ties with China. The two countries in recent years have continuously strived to improve their relationship and the peace on the border area has been maintained,” it said.

“India has benefited from the good momentum of bilateral relationship as much as China. If New Delhi ruins the Sino- India ties and the two countries turn into open rivals, can India afford the consequence?,” the tabloid, known for striking aggressive nationalistic postures, said.

“With a GDP several times higher than that of India, military capabilities that can reach the Indian Ocean and having good relations with India’s peripheral nations, coupled with the fact that India’s turbulent northern state borders China, if China engages in a geopolitical game with India, will Beijing lose to New Delhi?” it said.

Asked about assertions in the Chinese media that India’s move was aimed at pressuring Beijing over the issues relating to China blocking India’s Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) membership bid, Ms Hua said, “China will not make any assumptions on India’s intentions.”

The China Daily, in its editorial, stated, “Rijiju might think himself cute in borrowing a line from Beijing’s diplomatic representations, but he has ignored the fundamental distinction here: Like Taiwan and any other part of China, Tibet is a part of the Chinese territory no matter whether New Delhi agrees or not.”

“Neither the ‘McMahon Line’, by which New Delhi justifies its actual control of Southern Tibet nor the present-day ‘Arunachal Pradesh’ has Beijing’s endorsement. In other words, Indian occupation of the area is legally untenable. Using it as leverage, therefore, is not just unethical, it is outright illicit,” the editorial said.

Despite the historical dispute, the China-India border area has by and large remained peaceful recently, particularly since Beijing and New Delhi began to get serious about border talks, it said.

Tags: dalai lama, hua chunying, kiren rijiju