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China warns India against Dalai Lama’s Arunachal visit

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Beijing: China on Friday said ties with India would be hit if New Delhi allowed the Dalai Lama to visit Arunachal Pradesh, which is claimed by Beijing.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said Beijing was concerned over India permitting the Tibetan spiritual leader to visit the northeastern state of India. Geng said China was strictly opposed to the impending visit by the Dalai Lama. “China is strongly opposed to the Dalai Lama visiting disputed areas,” he told a regular press briefing.

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Geng said India knew the sensitivity of the border issue between both countries and allowing the Dalai Lama to visit Aunachal Pradesh would damage its ties with China. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as its own, calling it South Tibet. Besides, it accuses the Dalai Lama of separatist activities in Tibet.

Earlier too, Beijing had warned India against Buddhist leaders visiting Arunachal Pradesh. In December 2016, China expressed concern over President Pranab Mukherjee hosting the Tibetan spiritual leader. In October 2016, China slammed India for letting US envoy Richard Verma attend a festival at Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh.