Dalai Lama’s visit to disputed zone to hurt Sino-Indian ties: Global Times

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BEIJING, (China) April 5 (APP): The 14th Dalai Lama’s visit
to the disputed zone along the border of India and China will hurt Sino-Indian ties as China opposes any official invitations to the
Dalai Lama, a Chinese expert said on Wednesday.
The Dalai Lama has begun his nine-day visit to “Arunachal
Pradesh,” called South Tibet in China.
“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.
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.
Amid Beijing-New Delhi conflicts, the Dalai Lama is
now openly used by India as a diplomatic tool to win
more leverage.
India is also exploring the option of linking the
strategic border district of Tawang with a railway
network, another provocation against Beijing. India
has also invited a “parliamentary” delegation from
Taiwan in February.
New Delhi may have underestimated Beijing’s
determination to safeguard its core interests. Many
countries have pledged not to extend invitations to
the Dalai Lama. As the two largest emerging economies,
China and India have great potential for cooperation.