New Delhi : India on Friday dismissed China’s warning over Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama’s proposed visit to Arunachal Pradesh next month, saying that New Delhi’s position on the matter is well known.
“The government’s position is well known and has not changed,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said in response to a query.
In his daily press briefing in Beijing on Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said that the Dalai Lama’s proposed visit to Arunachal Pradesh in April would cause serious damage to India-China ties and warned New Delhi not to provide him with a platform “for anti-China activities”.
According to reports, the Dalai Lama will be visiting the Tawang monastery in Arunachal Pradesh after a gap of eight years.
Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, who hails from the northeastern state, is also reportedly going to meet him during the visit.
While China has been claiming Arunachal Pradesh as part of Tibet and routinely objects to visits by top leaders, officials and diplomats to the area, India has been maintaining that the Tibetan spiritual leader was an honoured guest and was free to travel to any part of the country.
China had aired similar concerns in October last year when India granted permission to the Tibetan leader to visit Arunachal Pradesh at the invitation of the state government.
The visit is expected to take place this year. “China is strongly opposed to the Dalai visiting disputed areas,” Geng said.
“China’s position on the eastern section of China-India border dispute is consistent and clear. The Dalai clique has long been engaging in anti-China separatist activities and its record on the border question is not that good,” he said.
Geng said China expressed its concern to India through formal channels. “India is fully aware of the seriousness of the Dalai issue and the sensitivity of China-India border question,” he said.
“Under such a background if India invites the Dalai to visit to the mentioned territory, it will cause serious damage to peace and stability of border region and China-India relations,” he said.