For the second time in a month, China today warned India of “serious damage” to bilateral ties if it allows the Dalai Lama to visit Arunachal Pradesh and asked New Delhi to honour its “political pledges” on the Tibet issue. “We are seriously concerned about the news. On the eastern section of the China-India border, China’s position is clear and consistent,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told media in Beijing today, responding to a question on the Dalai Lama’s upcoming visit to Arunachal Pradesh. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of south Tibet.
“The Dalai clique has long been engaging in separatist activities with inglorious record. India should be very clear with the true nature of the Dalai clique,” Mr Lu said.
“But despite this India still invited the Dalai Lama to visit the region. This will have serious damage on bilateral relations,” Mr Lu said.
The Dalai Lama will visit Arunachal Pradesh from April 4 to 13.
This is the second time this month Chinese Foreign Ministry has aired its objections to the Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh.
“China is gravely concerned over information that India has granted permission to the Dalai to visit Arunachal Pradesh,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang had said on March 3.
China has protested to India last year also when New Delhi cleared his visit to Arunachal Pradesh.
“Such visits will have deep damage on China-India relations. We have asked India to stick to its political pledges and not to hurt China-India relations. It will come down to India to make a choice,” he said.
“China firmly opposes the Dalai Lama carrying out any activities in the relevant region and we have expressed our concerns to the Indian side. We urge India to stick to its political statements, respect the consensus and avoid doing anything that might further complicate the matter,” he said.
Last year, China also protested the visit of then American Ambassador to India Richard Verma to the area. The India-China border dispute covers the 3,488 km long Line of Actual Control (LAC).
While China claims Arunachal Pradesh as Southern Tibet, India asserts that the dispute covered Aksai Chin area which was occupied by China during the 1962 war.