China on Thursday reiterated its opposition to the ongoing visit of the 14th Dalai Lama to Arunachal Pradesh, saying it will fuel tensions along the disputed border in the eastern region.
Foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying dismissed a question on China not respecting India’s application to enter the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), stating the issue has to be decided through multilateral consultations.
Beijing was one of the countries that blocked India’s application to the NSG last year.
Hua said China’s objections to the Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh on Wednesday have been raised with “competent officials in the Indian government”, and ambassador VK Gokhale has been called to lodge a protest.
Beijing refers to Arunachal Pradesh as southern Tibet, and calls the Dharamshala-based Dalai Lama a separatist leader who wants to carve Tibet out of the Chinese mainland.
Asked whether Beijing views India’s permission to the 81-year-old Dalai Lama to visit Arunachal Pradesh as amounting to questioning the ‘one China’ policy, Hua said: “I want to re-emphasise that on issues regarding major concern and core interests, territorial and sovereignty, China’s position is consistent. By inviting and approving of the Dalai Lama’s visit to disputed areas between China and India, India has harmed our interests and the India-China relationship. It has fuelled tensions,”
The country is opposed to the spiritual leader’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh and attempts by New Delhi to “provide him with a platform to conduct anti-China activities”, she added. “We urge relevant country to stop such erroneous actions and stop undermining Chinese interests,” she said.
Both China and its state media have been lashing out at India for allowing the Dalai Lama to visit the northeastern state, especially Tawang, for about nine days.
Hua said the Dalai Lama’s visit has damaged Sino-India ties.
“We hope the two sides can continue to follow principle of mutual respect for each other’s core interests and major concerns and we should do more things that can strengthen mutual political trust and promote the overall interests of China-India relations,” she said.
Hua was asked about comments in the Chinese media that India was “playing” the “Dalai Lama and Tibet card” as an angry response to China blocking New Delhi’s NSG bid among other problems. She said: “China will not make any assumption on India’s intentions.”
On India’s NSG bid, Hua said this issue should be resolved by all members of the group.
“We should achieve a solution that applies indiscriminately to all non-Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty countries through consultations and discussions,” she said.