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India warned over Dalai Lama visit

By Mo Jingxi | China Daily | Updated: 2017-04-06 06:33

China asked India on Wednesday to immediately stop acting in ways that harm China's interests by using the Dalai Lama, and said it would take necessary measures to safeguard its territorial sovereignty.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said India insisted on arranging visits by the Dalai Lama to areas where China and India have territorial disputes, regardless of Beijing's concerns, adding that such actions seriously damage China's interests and China-India relations.

"China is firmly opposed to it and will lodge solemn representations to India," Hua told a daily news conference in Beijing.

The Dalai Lama arrived in the so-called Arunachal Pradesh on Tuesday.

Indian Junior Home Minister Kiren Rijiju said that the visit was "purely religious" and that "China shouldn't interfere in India's internal matters", The Hindu newspaper reported.

"China always pursues the principle of noninterference in other countries' internal affairs," Hua said. "However, India's arrangement of this visit, regardless of China's concerns, goes beyond internal affairs."

According to Hua, India is clear about the role played by the Dalai Lama. The fact that India still invited him to visit disputed areas on the China-India border not only goes against its commitment on Tibet-related issues, but also further provokes disputes on the border.

"This runs contrary to the positive trend of the development of bilateral relations, and will not benefit India in any way," she said.

The spokeswoman also said China will take necessary measures to firmly safeguard its own territorial sovereignty as well as its legitimate rights and interests.

"We urge India to immediately stop using the Dalai Lama to harm China's interests; to not inflame sensitive issues between the two countries; to not sabotage the foundations of border negotiations and bilateral ties; and to maintain China-India relations through practical deeds," she added.

Sun Shihai, a researcher on South Asian studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said China-India relations have encountered some difficulties recently due to a lack of political and strategic mutual trust between the two countries.

"This is unavoidable between any two big countries, but India should not play the Dalai Lama card, which will not help at all. Instead, it should look forward, and stick to dialogue and negotiations in order to solve the problems," Sun said.

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