Beijing warns New Delhi that it will take ‘necessary measures’ to protect its territorial sovereignty. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that His Holiness’s visit could ‘severely damage peace and stability in the region’ and will weaken the connection between the two countries. Notably, the Chinese embassy in New Delhi is also expected to take needful measures about the visit, Chinese diplomats indicated.
According to reports, Vijay Gokhale, Indian Ambassador received a call around 4 PM of Beijing time. The Foreign Ministry said India had “obstinately” arranged the visit by the Dalai Lama who reached Bomdila in West Kameng district at the start of his nine-day tour of Arunachal Pradesh. In response, New Delhi said that such a reaction from Beijing was expected.
“We have also urged that no political colour be ascribed to his religious and spiritual activities and to his visits to states of India, and no artificial controversy be created around his ongoing visit,” Indian government sources said.
In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said: “China will take necessary measures to firmly preserve our own territorial sovereignty and legal interests. We ask India to stop this wrong behaviour. Taking advantage of the Dalai Lama harms China’s national interests. Do not speculate and expand the sensitive issues between two countries, do not purposely harm the negotiation of a boundary as well as the foundation of our bilateral relation.”
The spokesperson refused to elaborate on what measures China would take to underscore its dissatisfaction.
This was Beijing’s sharpest reaction to the Dalai Lama’s visit, the fourth in under a month. “Tibet-related issues involve China’s core interest. China’s standpoint on this issue is consistent and clear. India does not care about China’s concern and negotiation and has purposely arranged the visit to a disputed area of China-India boundary. India’s invitation to the Dalai Lama to the disputed border region will severely damage peace and stability along border areas and hurt ties between the two countries,” Hua said.
A part of Arunachal Pradesh as called as Southern Tibet is maintained by China. And India’s continued engagement with the Dalai Lama, described by the Chinese government as an anti-China separatist, will cause damage to bilateral ties.
Hua also rejected Minister of State (Home) Rijiju’s remarks that the Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh was “purely religious” and not political.
“Could you tell me honestly… do you seriously believe that Dalai is only a religious leader? I think the answer is known to all. He is not just a religious figure. Therefore, his visit to the place will not be pure of religious purpose. So using empty words to defend this arrangement is not reasonable. We demand the Indian side stop this move of undermining Chinese interests,” Hua said.