China flays India for Dalai's visit to Tawan

China flays India for Dalai's visit to Tawan

Buddhist leader can visit any place, says US

A woman attends the morning preaching session of the Dalai Lama in Tawang on Tuesday. PTI

On the third day of the Dalai Lama’s visit to Tawang, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said China “firmly” opposed the trip which was “separatist” in nature.

“The Indian side allowed the Dalai Lama to visit the disputed eastern section of the China-India border regardless of China’s grave concerns, and China is strongly dissatisfied with this,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said at a news briefing.

“We firmly oppose the Dalai Lama’s visit to the region,” Qin was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua news agency.

The visit “fully exposes the Dalai Lama’s separatist nature,” the spokesman said adding “his attempt will not succeed.”

China, which stakes claim on Tawang and the whole of Arunachal Pradesh as part of their country, has been strongly objecting to the Dalai Lama’s visit since it was announced in September. The Dalai, who has been on a week-long visit to Arunachal since Sunday, has characterised his “emotional” trip as non-political and slammed China for opposing it. India has made it clear that Arunachal Pradesh is its integral part and the Dalai is an honoured guest who is free to travel anywhere in the country.

Meanwhile, the United States has said the Tibetan spiritual leader has the right to visit wherever he wants to and talk to people. “The Dalai Lama is primarily an internationally respected religious figure. And he, of course, has the right to go wherever he wants and talk to people that he chooses to talk to,” State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said in Washington.

On being asked about the US position on the Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh, Kelly said: “We don’t think we have a position, necessarily, on his decision to travel to this area.”

Allusion to 1962 war silly: Tharoor

New Delhi, PTI: Refusing to lock horns with China, India hoped on Tuesday that the Chinese “rhetoric” would stop after the Tibetan leader’s trip ends.

Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor also rejected as “silly” the reminder about 1962 war by an anonymous Chinese scholar in a newspaper article there and underlined that India has come a long way. “I am sure our Ministry (of External Affairs) will respond more officially. I don’t wish therefore to personally increase the temperature,” Tharoor told reporters here.

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