India said that the meeting between Dalai Lama and President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday was a non-political event.
The clarification comes after China objected to the meeting saying that bilateral ties might be disturbed.
“India has a consistent position. His Holiness, the Dalai Lama is a respected and revered spiritual leader. It was a non-political event organised by Nobel laureates dedicated to the welfare of children,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.
Reacting to the meeting, spokesperson of Chinese Foreign Ministry, Geng Shuang said “China strongly opposes any contacts between the Dalai Lama and officials of any countries. China has urged India to clearly recognise the Dalai Lama’s anti-Chinese and separatist nature, to respect China’s core interests and concerns, to take effective measures to eliminate the negative influences of the incident, and to avoid disturbing China-India ties.”
The Dalai Lama is scheduled to visit Arunachal Pradesh, an event that has already riled Beijing. The US ambassador to India, Richard Verma too, visited Arunachal Pradesh recently, inviting another storm of protests. Even the Karmapa Lama, 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje has been cleared to visit Arunachal Pradesh.
Last week, India had said that it would try to help Mongolia tide over an economic crisis in deep winter, after China imposed border tariffs on their goods as punishment for Mongolia hosting the Dalai Lama for the ninth time in their country.